The intent of this column is to encourage comics fans to preorder indy titles from their local retailer. In fact, the majority of it has been composed by studying the latest issue of Diamond's catalog PREVIEWS, and posting the page ASAP after PREVIEWS hits the shops.
At most comics shops, you can print this page, circle the comics you want, and hand it to your shop owner-- just remember to get it in before the preorder deadline.
The comics listed here are Joe Zabel's selections of the best independent comics. Excluded are superhero comics, established kids' comics like ARCHIE, bloody horror and exploitation comics. There are many fantasy and manga titles that no doubt have a lot to offer, but are too numerous to make the list-- I'd rather focus on the offbeat.
Other online preview services include Todd Verbeek's PREVIEWS PRATTLING (currently not available) and Johanna Draper Carlson's list at the Comics Worth Reading website, http://www.mindspring.com/~johannadc/. We encourage online comics enthusiasts to take up this genre of comics journalism-- it's fun, and it's a worthy cause!