This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into Comics' Direct Market
Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's no-doubt largely accurate list of books shipping from Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to comic book and hobby shops across North America.
I might not buy all of the works listed here. I might not buy any. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.
APR190900 X-MEN GRAND DESIGN X-TINCTION #2 (OF 2) $5.99 APR190901 X-MEN GRAND DESIGN X-TINCTION #2 (OF 2) PISKOR VAR $5.99
Congratulations to Ed Piskor on what I believe is the last comic in his lengthy run of X-Men comics. I thought one thing these comics did is show off how strong the basic character designs were in most the title's various important runs of books. I look forward to what Ed does next, that was really interesting in a way it didn't have to be.
APR190146 HEAD LOPPER #12 CVR A MACLEAN $5.99 APR190147 HEAD LOPPER #12 CVR B ALLISON $5.99
I'm a great fan of the Head Lopper, a combination of alt-animation fantasy show execution of Hellboy-style monster comics. I like the energy it builds within its narratives, which isn't something that looks like this even has to do to be successful. It's also the kind of comic that I think is hurt by the nature of the market, with its point-to "you have to buy this" mechanisms which don't sustain themselves past an issue or two.
FEB190342 USAGI YOJIMBO TP VOL 33 HIDDEN $17.99
Thirty-three volumes? I've read them all, and will do so until a ghost appears that slaps them from my hands.
DEC180793 DIABOLICAL SUMMER HC $24.99
This nostalgic-looking piece about spy culture of the 1960s looks fun, although there are dangers in crafting a narrative out of such well-worn idea. Still: pretty.
APR190976 NOT BRAND ECHH COMPLETE COLLECTION TP $39.99
One thing that frequently confuses me about mainstream-company collection projects is that you can usually with a little effort find the actual comics, sometimes for even less than the resulting book. I get that there are fans that see the collections as the far more desirable final outcome, though, for sure. Not a huge fan of these comics, but there are definitely added historical points to enjoy about the company's self-conception and about the role of parody in building a brand more generally.
MAY191704 HAWKING HC GN $29.99
Count Jim Ottaviani among those -- I believe this is true -- to have two major releases out this year. I always like what Jim does to his stringently non-fiction material, and I have some curiosity about Hawking himself that I wouldn't mind seeing engaged in comics form.
MAY191306 ROUGH AGE GN $12.00
This is Max De Rodrigues, and nostalgic comics using that art style sounds interesting enough for me to lean over the book when it's on the shelf.
APR191606 TELLING STORIES CLASSIC COMIC ART OF FRANK FRAZETTA DLX HC $49.95 FEB191982 WINSOR MCCAY THE COMPLETE LITTLE NEMO HC VOL 02 1910 -1927 $80.00 APR192162 20TH CENTURY BOYS TP VOL 04 PERFECT ED URASAWA $19.99
You want all of this material in your collection, how and which versions is the shopping fun part of it. I no longer buy every Frazetta art book that isn't beyond my ability to purchase one, but I will need at some point a representative early collection. I'm not wild about stripping a logo across the art, but maybe that's just me.
APR191712 BTTM FDRS HC (MR) $24.99
I like reading comics from creators I suspect may be making them when I've been dead a while, and I hope that's true of the talented pair Ben Passmore and Ezra Claytan Daniels. See them if they come to a show near you. Fantagraphics is putting together a potentially interesting under-40 core.
The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations and a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite this official list there's no guarantee a comic will show up in the stores as promised, or in all of the stores as opposed to just a few. Also, stores choose what they carry and don't carry so your shop may not carry a specific publication. There are a lot of comics out there.
To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, albeit a while back, try this.
The above titles are listed with their Diamond order code in the first field, which may assist you in finding comics at your shop or having them order something for you they don't have in-stock. Ordering through a direct market shop can be a frustrating experience, so if you have a direct line to something -- you know another shop has it, you know a bookstore has it -- I'd urge you to consider all of your options.
If I failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.
* Chris Kuzman steps into the "A Cartoonist's Diary" spotlight over at TCJ.com. That's a swell feature.
* the primary discussion about kids in camps should be 99.999 percent about getting these kids the fuck out of those camps, but part of the rest of it might be a discussion of the new George Takei inspired and co-created comics work regarding his own childhood experience regarding internment camps. The material could illuminate the historical tendencies involved; it's also a publishing quandary as to how you make use of a news story without crossing over into exploiting it. Those kids have enough of a burden already.
* by request extra: that nice man and interesting cartoonist Carl Antonowicz has expressed an interest in getting his Patreon over that first $100/month milestone that a lot of cartoonists seek. You could check him out and see if what he's up to is up your alley.
Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding
By Tom Spurgeon
* Dustin Harbin's smashed-face gofundme is beginning to seriously stall out at $55K of a $75K two-step ask. That's great that Dustin has received the help, and I hope he'll continue to move towards his goal. He's a nice man, a good artist, and that's a lousy circumstance. Please consider giving. As popular as Dustin is, that might establish an upper end for such asks in the future. I think there will also be some exploring of the subjects raised by the entire enterprise.
* I like the looks of this project with drawings of NYC, and others have, too. That seems to me a sizable ask for a single-volume book -- that's a number I'd affiliate with a series of books or an entire season -- but I don't know the ins-and-outs of publishing that well to make any sort of definitive statement there. People charge what they feel they can charge, and the core ask looks to be a $120 book. That doesn't seem like a lot of money lost between the lines. It's an art, deciding to support these things. I don't even know if the size of ask matters to people or not. I hope that money is spent well, and efficiently, but there are a lot of ways to do that.
* Timothy Donohoo's review of the new early-in-his-life Superman comic from Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. compares it to the Zack Snyder films in several places. It sounds like a good comic compared to those films, but I found those films slipshod, unpleasant and uniquely horrible, so for me just about anything else would look good. What I don't see in any of the reviews is any sort of general take that breaks with past ones or places the character within the context of a specific time. I don't need to see this story again unless it's really, really interesting and/or magnificently executed.