Radical Publishing has been awarded New Comic Book Publisher of the Year for 2008 by Diamond Comic Distribution. Voted for by comic book retailers based on impact of the industry, performance in sales, quality, and creativity, the GEM Awards represent Diamond’s recognition of suppliers in the comic industry.

“To say that I am extremely proud of this award is an understatement. It validates all the hard work and long hours that everyone involved with the company has put in for both launching and running Radical,” Barry Levine, President and Publisher of Radical said. The 19th annual celebration awarded Radical for their first two titles, Hercules: The Thracian Wars and Caliber: First Canon of Justice. Both comics began in May and saw sellout performances.

Their follow-up titles include Freedom Formula: Ghost of the Wasteland and City of Dust: A Philip Khrome Story, as well as their deluxe hardcover publication Mateki: The Magic Flute. Both Hercules and Caliber have been collected into hardcover omnibus editions, with a City of Dust collected edition in the works, as well as a sequel to Hercules.

“I started Radical Publishing with the commitment to releasing only the best books in terms of both story and illustration. Given that we were only in business for eight months for 2008 with just five titles, we definitely achieved that, and will continue to do so for this year and beyond,” Levine said. “I want to thank all the retailers not only for their votes, but also for their overall support for this relatively new company. I would also like to thank the press for their write-ups for all of our books and to the comic fans who purchase and read them.”

This weekend, Radical Publishing will be at the New York Comic Con, giving away a special limited and numbered 3-D edition NYCC ashcan to those who attend their preview panel show. Only 300 copies of the ashcan were produced, featuring the 3-D cover and glasses. The panel where you can get the free ashcan at is hosted by Rick Marshall of MTV Splash Page on Saturday, February 7, at 5:15 PM in room 1A07 in the Jacob K. Javits Center. After the panel a special drawing will be held, giving away one of a kind posters from Hercules: The Knives of Kush signed by Jim Steranko, Cholly and Flytrap: Center City signed by Arthur Suydam, City of Dust: A Philip Khrome Story signed by Steve Niles, Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead signed by Steve Pugh, and more.

“I can’t stress how big of an event this panel will be,” Levine said. “I’m making a very special announcement that will take a lot of people by surprise, so make sure to be there.”