I was very much looking forward to reading my pal Tom Beland's latest one-shot classic for Marvel -- Fantastic Four: Isla de la Muerta -- and getting a first-hand look at the work of his artistic collaborator, Juan Doe. Evidently, so were a lot of other media folks, from the New York Times to Washington Post, only for different reasons than my own.

Seems Marvel's simultaneous publication of Isla de la Muerta in English and Spanish, in which the 4 battle the legendary blood-sucking Chupacabras (the Spanish word means goat sucker), is only the first from a comics publisher to date. Considering EIC Joe Quesada told the NYT, "Hispanics don't only mark the fastest-growing segment of the population but also one of our fastest-rising readership segments," you'd think publishers would've jumped on this market segment a long time ago.

I'm very well familiar with American GNs translated for foreign editions, but this pamphlet publication is a different animal indeed, and, evidently, one whose time is long overdue. My LCS of record sold out of the Spanish language edition on the very first day Isla de la Muerta was released, testimony to me this struck a nerve.

Check out both Spanish and English sample pages of Tom's latest Marvel book -- chock full of the playful banter among characters that's makes his auto-bio True Story Swear to God so special (one of the few pamphlet comics I buy, in addition to the trades) -- and be impressed...

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