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March 2, 2010


This Isn't A Library: New And Notable Releases To The Comics Direct Market

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*****

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. But were I in a comic book shop tomorrow I would find those comics where certain fundamental imagery was present.

*****

DEC090242 ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE BOOK FOUR #2 (OF 4) $3.99
DEC090403 CHEW #9 (MR) $2.99
DEC090415 SWORD #22 (MR) $2.99
JAN100426 TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD IMAGE ED #12 $3.50
JAN100576 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #24 $2.99
JAN101035 STARSTRUCK #7 $3.99
Here's a collection of well-liked -- by at least some people to whom I link regularly at CR -- standard comic-book sized comics. This includes the latest issue of burgeoning Image high-concept hit Chew, a final-battle issue (not "the" but "a") of the Luna Brothers' loopy Sword, Tom Beland's return to serial comics after injury, and the latest in Marvel's frothy Iron Man series. None are for everybody, but all are for somebody. The serial comic experience isn't quite as dead as people pretend it is at times, even on a seeming off week like this.

DEC091032 ONE PIECE TP VOL 34 $9.99
DEC091033 ONE PIECE TP VOL 35 $9.99
DEC091034 ONE PIECE TP VOL 36 $9.99
DEC091035 ONE PIECE TP VOL 37 $9.99
DEC091036 ONE PIECE TP VOL 38 $9.99
A lot of what's out this week reflects unsettled publishing strategies in a more interesting fashion than it does great comics, I think. For instance, here's the fruits of the latest effort by Viz to flood the market with a specific title and -- I think -- catch a series up to its animated iteration. The troubling part of this strategy is that there's seemingly no way this work as well as it did for Naruto. The positive is that no one on earth would expect it to, so if it enjoys any success at all, it will be noteworthy.

AUG090020 GRENDEL BEHOLD THE DEVIL HC $19.99
A second publishing strategy quandary: do you keep moving series into hardcover from established creators? In this case, Dark Horse says yes, but put off the answer to a question posed in 2008 for almost two years.

JAN100264 FIRST WAVE #1 (OF 6) $3.99
Here's a third take on recent publishing strategy. How do you launch a line/imprint within a wider line these days? This is the mini-series that's meant to launch DC's more mystery-men comics efforts as their own group of comics within their overall superheroic efforts, and would seem to have a better chance of success than just soft-launching a line the way they did last summer with that Red Circle stuff.

DEC090284 TRANSMETROPOLITAN TP VOL 06 GOUGE AWAY NEW ED (MR) $14.99
One more publication with implications to general publishing strategies: what is the level of commitment going forward on keeping certain series of collections in print? It seems like of the second generation Vertigo series, Transmetropolitan and Preacher would be the ones that would perennials in terms of all the books finding an audience, but that's just a hunch on my part.

DEC090579 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN HC VOL 01 $39.99
No such decision has to be made on collections of newer work with the reflected sheen of a being a hot movie property. Come back in five to seven years for the more interesting questions to be asked. I enjoyed the superhero comics in here.

NOV090249 SWAN VOL 15 $9.99
Old-school manga is the best kind of manga.

JAN100517 GIRL COMICS #1 (OF 3) $4.99
DEC090594 STRANGE TALES HC $29.99
This is Marvel's newest effort at a slightly off-key anthology effort using variations on its best characters as well as little-used ones (female creators doing female characters), and a collection of its last such effort (alternative comics artists doing alternative takes on Marvel's best-known and quirkiest properties).

NOV090897 ALEX TOTH IN HOLLYWOOD SC VOL 02 $25.00
This is a follow-up to last year's Theakston/Pure Imagination effort, and is definitely one of those book I'd want to pick up and look at before deciding if I wanted to purchase it or not. Alex Toth always deserves at least a thumb-through.

JAN100248 BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #42 $2.99
DEC090927 SAM KIETH SKETCHBOOKS VOL 01 $9.99
Two from Sam Kieth, the first the kind of mainstream assignment an artist of his statue will seemingly always have access to, and an art book showing why editors still get excited in affording Kieth the keys to one of their comic book cars.

JAN100690 STARR SLAYER TP A STARR IS BORN $19.99
Another such artist that seems to be getting work in this manner and then making good on it is Richard Corben. This is the old Roy Thomas/BWS character that was Conan before they got to do Conan. I'm almost certain he was revived and re-conceived by one of the major writers, but I can't think of whom: this is written by Daniel Way but there's no doubt that Corben's art is at the center of this project's appeal.

NOV090785 UNLOVABLE HC VOL 02 $22.99
The art/alt comics effort of the week, a massive tome picking up at the moment the first, well-regarded book left off.

DEC090842 STOOGE PILE GN (MR) $19.95
I'm not sure if this counts as a Petits Livres effort but if it's not officially one of those, it's in the same spirit. I can't get the PDF to load, but I take it it's a book of cartoon-related paintings and imagery, all from the artist Seth Scriver.

SEP091084 OUR SENTENCE IS UP SEEING GRANT MORRISON INVISIBLES SC (MR) $26.95
The only noteworthy book about comics that I saw on the Diamond list this week; Tom De Haven's Our Hero essay on Superman is out in bookstores as of today, so you could pair them up.

*****

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 didn't list your comic here, that's because I am only inspired by the work I admire.

*****

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posted 7:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
October 20, 2009


This Isn't A Library: New And Notable Releases To The Comics Direct Market

image

*****

Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's 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. But were I in a comic book shop tomorrow I would stroke the spines of each and every one of these suckers.

*****

AUG090044 BEASTS OF BURDEN #2 (OF 4) $2.99
AUG090225 AIR #14 (MR) $2.99
AUG090355 INVINCIBLE #67 $2.99
AUG090019 CITIZEN REX #4 (OF 6) $3.50
AUG090542 DOMINIC FORTUNE #3 (OF 4) (MR) $3.99
AUG090365 UNDERGROUND #2 (OF 5) $3.50
Here's a small group of well-regarded standard comic books from various comic book creators. Air has sure hung in there.

MAY090058 NOIR TP VOL 01 $12.95
It used to be you could make a joke that projects like this were instituted just to garner Eisner nominations, but that's not so much the case anymore. This seems like it could be a reasonably strong snapshot of crime-related material from various working cartoonists. It's one of those books where a comics shop works really well, because I'd love to have this in my hands before buying.

JUN090206 FINAL CRISIS LEGION OF THREE WORLDS HC $19.99
There was so not enough pulling off of arms in this series. It was like all this cannon fodder everywhere, but not much cannoning.

AUG090853 BOOK ABOUT MOOMIN MYMBLE & LITTLE MY HC $16.95
This is the direct market debut of the D+Q-related children's book effort, so while it's not comics it should be swell-looking and should feature some lovely cartoon art.

AUG090859 TALKING LINES HC (MR) $29.95
I haven't jumped into this necessary collection of RO Blechman's work yet, but it has one of the most clever cover and appropriate designs I've seen in a long, long time. Check it out if your shop has one.

AUG090698 CTRL+ALT+DEL TP VOL 02 DARWIN WOULD BE PROUD $12.95
One of the better-performing gaming webcomics out there. It caught my attention here because I wasn't aware there was a volume one, although it makes sense.

AUG090607 DREAD & SUPERFICIALITY WOODY ALLEN AS COMIC STRIP HC VOL 01 $35.00
Hard to think of a time when Woody Allen was such a powerful cultural totem that the idea of turning his life/work/humor into a comics strip felt like a counter-culture victory when it appeared in your newspaper. I remember liking it just fine, but I was pretty young and desperate for adults to like me.

JUL091109 NAOKI URASAWA 20TH CENTURY BOYS GN VOL 05 $12.99
The best of the mainstream manga series out this week. I think.

SEP090891 FAMILY CIRCUS LIBRARY HC VOL 01 $39.99
I've been joking with the series editor that these books would be worth doing from a gig in the workplace standpoint just so you could occasionally call up and talk to the genuinely funny and charming Bil Keane on the phone. I look forward to seeing one of these just for the differences in art.

JUL091007 STORY OF O HC (A) $24.95
Guido Crepax: popular enough to have an entire half-shelf in the Fantagraphics library, circa mid-1990s; not popular enough to have his books stolen by the interns. This is no doubt very, very, naughty.

AUG091044 NEXUS SPACE OPERA TP $14.95
I couldn't quite follow the release schedule on this latest Mike Baron and Steve Rude return to their iconic 1980s indy comics character as it was coming out, and judging from the failure of the title to drive plans for more such series, I wasn't alone. Still, I'm going to be all over the trade.

AUG090737 STUART & KATHRYN IMMONENS NEVER BAD AS YOU THINK HC (O/A) $15.99
This book offers some crisp, smart cartooning. Also, I think the Immonens should host a selection of books every week.

*****

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 didn't list your comic here, it's probably because our realities diverge on the existence of your book.

*****

image
 
posted 7:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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