Pantheon, the publisher behind such serious-minded comic books as Persepolis, continues to lead the way. In February the house will release Posy Simmonds' GEMMA BOVARY, a graphic novel that updates the Flaubert classic, turning it into a satire on modern mores. In October the publisher will collect into a single volume the series Black Hole, Charles Burns' inky creepfest about a plague that infects teenagers during the 1970s. And the summer will see the release of The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar, a philosophically inclined French comic artist. Splashy comics from other publishers include Lost Girls (Top Shelf, summer) by Alan Moore (author of The Watchmen) and Melinda Gebble, an erotic fantasy that's pricey ($75) and edgy (the publisher says the work "seeks to reinvent pornography as something exquisite"). Bizarro World (DC Comics, February) will feature many alternative comic artists giving their take on DC's superheroes. And Pyongyang (Drawn & Quarterly, September) will chronicle cartoonist Guy Delisle's trip to North Korea's capital in 2000."