My good friend and mentor Jim Ridley has been known to buy two tickets to movies he likes at his local arthouse, just to help push attendance up. I've never gone that far, but I do try to pay for my own comics from independent publishers whenever possible. I accept review copies (and even ask for them occasionally), but I also try a few times a year to place catalog orders from my favorite publishers, especially when they're having a sale or need bailing out of a hole.

Unfortunately, I'm probably not going to buy anything at this sale from Top Shelf. It's a celebration sale, in honor of 10 years of existence; but I'm sure Top Shelf head honcho Chris Staros would be happy to reduce some stock and make a few extra dollars while he's toasting ten years of quality work. And if I hadn't placed a Top Shelf order fairly recently, I'd be sending some money his way, and getting some great comics in return.

Instead, I'll do the next best thing, which is to urge the comics fans among our readership to check out the list of available books at that link above. (Did you miss it? Here it is again.) From the $3 list, I especially recommend Alex Robinson's graphic novel Tricked, one of the best of the sitcom/soap-opera alt-comics around. You also can't go wrong with Brian Biggs' beguiling, poetic Dear Julia, or with the first four individual volumes of James Kochalka's Sketchbook Diaries. From the dollar list, Jason Little's Jack's Luck Runs Out marks the promising debut of a cartoonist to watch. And on the "slashed" list, you can find good deals on Alan Moore's Lost Girls and From Hell, Craig Thompson's justly well-regarded Blankets and unjustly under-read Carnet De Voyage, as well as the collected works of the alternately embarrassing and painfully funny Jeffrey Brown.

These are some of the best (or at least most talked-about) graphic literature of '00s. If you've never read them, spend a few bucks and check them out. And if you already have copies, why not buy two? It's just good karma.

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