Thin wallets, thick bookshelves: First Second's fall catalog

Are we six months into 2009 already? Indeed, we are, which means various publishers are sending out their fall and winter catalogs, chock full of impressive books, comics and graphic novels that will be making their way to our local stores in only a few months.

I've already covered a few book publishers and some big indie companies like Fantagraphics. Today, we're taking a look at what the Macmillan imprint First Second has in store for the second half of the year. Join me, won't you?

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Cat Burglar Black by Richard Sala. 128 pages, $16.99. K. Westree tries to put her thieving days behind her by attending the posh Bellsong Academy. But it turns out the school has a mystery only someone with her abilities can solve. Looks like Sala is toning down his gothic horror style for teen readers, which is actually an ideal audience for his tongue-in-cheek black melodrama. September.

Stuffed by Glenn Eichler and Nick Bertozzi. 128 pages, $17.99. One of the writers for The Colbert Report and the author of The Salon (I'll let you suss out who's who) collaborate on a tale about a family who inherit a "museum of curiosities" that comes with a taxidermied African warrior. Hilarity -- and discussions of family, race and politics -- no doubt ensues. September.

The Color of Heaven by Kim Dong Hwa. 320 pages, $16.99. The third and final volume in Hwa's tale of a young woman's sexual and romantic awakening arrives this September.

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Tiny Tyrant: The Lucky Winner by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme. 64 pages $9.99. This is the second volume in the First Second's attempt to repackage Trondheim and Parme's tales of a hilariously selfish boy king for a younger audience. Like I said before, if you haven't read these stories before and are in need of a good laugh or are looking for something to share with your kids, pick this up. October.

Refresh, Refresh by Danica Novgorodoff. 144 pages, $17.99. Working from a screenplay by James Ponsoldt, which was in turn based off of a collection of short stories by Benjamin Percy, the Slow Storm author deliniates a story of a group of teen boys who try to amuse themselves and escape their small town while their fathers fight in Iraq. October.

Ball Penn Hammer by Adam Rapp and George O'Connor. 144 pages, $17.99. A rather dark tale about a secluded loner who stays in his room after a horrible plauge finds himself a part of a gruesome collective that commits atrocities. Definitely a bleak compared with O'Conner's past work (A Journey through Mowhawk Country). October.

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