Rocketo Love from Junot Diaz

Today’s N.Y. Daily News, in their monthly Viva New York pullout section, included a feature called “Authors Pick Their Favorite Reads of 2006”, wherein Junot Diaz (of the critically acclaimed collection of short stories, Drown), gave Rocketo a shout-out:

“A comic book of extraordinary power, with a Cuban hero, written by a Cuban writer. I’ve read nothing like it before and can’t imagine anything like it ever being written again.”

High praise indeed! And with Diaz being one of three featured authors in the article, his selection, the only comic book picked, really stands out. (Drown was an excellent read, highly recommended, and I’ve been looking forward to his long-awaited debut novel ever since.)

I tried and just couldn’t get into the first issue of Frank Espinosa‘s quirky tale — back when it was being published by the now-defunct Speakeasy — partly because of the landscape format, which didn’t feel right in floppy form. The collected trade published by Image felt a lot sturdier in my hands when I flipped through it, though, and Diaz’ recommendation is enough for me to go back and give it another chance.

*** In loosely related news, Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix, creators of the fabulous Stagger Lee (also published by Image), will be on CBC Radio tomorrow (Thursday 12/14) night, talking about their ambitious graphic novel, which is on my personal short list for Best of 2006. The show is called The Arts Tonight and it airs at 10 p.m. on CBC Radio 1. If you’re not in Canada or for whatever reason can’t get CBC Radio 1, you can catch the show online, picking which time zone you want to listen to, for a total of five and a half chances to catch it.

*** In even more loosely related news, Dynamite Entertainment has announced that their forthcoming mini-series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: ZAREK is going to be featured in the December 11th issue of TV Guide. Unfortunately, the first issue of the mini-series won’t be out yet when the article is published, but it’s a nice piece of PR for the comic nevertheless, and they apparently were able to get a promo for the Comic Shop Locator Service (1-888-COMIC BOOK) in there, which is a nice touch.

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