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June 30, 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 this week, I'd buy any comic book that would help me avoid my second yellow card.

*****

APR100974 WEREWOLVES OF MONPELIER GN $12.99
New Jason. I know of many people that look forward to these books in this format as much as anyone has ever anticipated anything in comics.

AUG090056 HERBIE 7 INCH VINYL FIGURE $39.99
Not comics, and I'm not really a toy person, but if you're going to have one vinyl figure it might as well be Herbie. Or that Jimbo one. But today, Herbie.

APR100669 ULTIMATES TP ULTIMATE COLLECTION $34.99
So popular and such a confluence of factors driving a ton of popular superhero comics of its time that it's hard not to want there for its museum value. The comics themselves I find kind of dreadful, really, distilling the work of several comics master down to their essence and then burning through that work as quickly as possible for a re-contextualized oomph.

FEB100920 PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 02 1939-1940 $29.99
Oh, these are so gorgeous it's not even funny. We're on an upswing in terms of the legacy enjoyed by Hal Foster's legendary creation -- people are reading it again, and enjoying it, especially these pre-domestic comedy editions -- although I think the days where it's automatically tossed out there in greatest comic ever discussions are very much over.

APR101112 CHI SWEET HOME GN VOL 01 $13.95
This looks freakishly adorable and is staring at me from the new comics pile on my desk.

MAR100029 NEXUS ARCHIVES HC VOL 11 $49.99
I'm glad these are published and I'm told they're pretty although I'm perfectly happy with my old comic books. It saddened me that the attempt a couple of years back didn't take even if only in viking funeral fashion, but there have been a lot of really good Nexus comics and I can see how people might not have an appetite for a lot more of them. Not me, I could read it forever. But maybe most people.

APR100041 USAGI YOJIMBO #129 $3.50
APR100054 ABE SAPIEN ABYSSAL PLAIN #1 (OF 2) DAVE JOHNSON CVR $3.50
APR108255 BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #2 (OF 6) 2ND PTG $3.99
APR100283 NORTHLANDERS #29 (MR) $2.99
MAR100431 INVINCIBLE #73 (MR) $2.99
APR100846 MUPPET SHOW #7 $2.99
This is my take on this week's comic books in the classic format that I'd pick up and scan just because they might be pretty good (as opposed to being novel in some other way). The Muppet Show is written but not drawn by Roger Langridge, I believe. Two solid genre offerings from Dark Horse. I wonder if I were still a frequent comics shopper how big a percentage of old-timey comic books I'd buy from Dark Horse.

FEB100181 BATWOMAN ELEGY DELUXE EDITION HC $24.99
This should be almost as gorgeous in its way as the Foster, and certainly full of interesting ideas as to how to employ powerful and complex page design techniques. Considering how much of comics lurching forward comes out of these technique being employed in commercial comic books, this could be a far more important book 10-15 years down the line than we can see right now.

APR100134 WONDER WOMAN #600 (NOTE PRICE) $4.99
This one is important because it involves yet another re-launch of the character. I'll talk about this more in this week's "Bundled" column.

APR100592 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN ANNUAL #1 $4.99
While this one is important because it's the book Marvel is offering up in sections for digital distribution at roughly the same time it hits comics stands. I believe it's Matt Fraction's re-imagining of their Mandarin character.

JAN100648 MMW ATLAS ERA STRANGE TALES HC VOL 03 DM VAR ED 140 $59.99
Am I to take it that Marvel is releasing almost random clumps of Atlas-era material in hardcover form? Oh, to be rich.

MAR101241 100 GREATEST LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS HC (RES) $24.95
Not comics, and I'm not really a cartoon guy, either, but I do recall Shaenon Garrity and Andrew Farago are among the contributors here.

APR101066 KRAZY KAT CELEBRATION OF SUNDAYS HC $100.00
This is bound to be really good looking and Krazy Kat remains one of the two or three best comics of all time in most polls conducted by CR research staff during brunch at comics conventions.

APR101195 ALTER EGO #94 $7.95
Your 2010 Eisner Award winner. Or Comics Alliance. Or TCJ. I can't tell this year.

*****

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 your midfielders were out of position.

*****

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