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April 7, 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 be bringing the following books chocolate and flowers, in an attempt to woo them into my good graces.

*****

FEB100130 BATMAN AND ROBIN #11 $2.99
DEC090402 ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #22 (RES) $2.99
DEC090364 INVINCIBLE RETURNS #1 $3.99
FEB100539 SHIELD #1 (MARVEL) $3.99
DEC090411 KING CITY #7 (MR) $2.99
DEC090417 WEIRD WORLD OF JACK STAFF #2 $3.50
Here's a handful of comics that might make for a good pile of comics to take out of the funnybook shop if you still buy comics that way. It's a perfectly good way of buying comics, you know. King City is already up to #7 and Weird World Of Jack Staff follows up its first sometimes surprisingly confusing issue for a #1 with -- and it's only a guess -- more of the same rapid-fire narrative-switching and chapter-jumping approach. Of the mainstream superhero stuff I'm most interested in seeing the Hickman/Weaver take on Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. concept -- it sounds like they're giving the whole organization the Eternal Warrior shtick, which is such a tired concept they had better execute it really, really well.

DEC090201 BATMAN AND ROBIN DELUXE HC VOL 01 BATMAN REBORN $24.99
Here's a hardcover of that Batman and Robin material. I'm not totally sold on this material yet, but it looks like this is an opportunity to do my reconsideration of the series thus far as fancily as possible.

JAN101030 LIL ABNER HC VOL 01 $49.99
It used to be that there were only a few strips I didn't feel as much as understood their positive qualities intellectually: Dick Tracy made the trip out of that category and into the "I love you deeply and without question" part of the pie chart, so maybe there's still hope for Li'l Abner. Sure is good-looking and there sure is a lot of it in this new hardcover presentation.

FEB100906 BOOTH GN $19.99
I thought this book had a lot of positive qualities, particularly its depiction of mid-1860s Washington D.C. as a kind of overheated small town stuffed with intrigues big and small, but in the end it failed to grab me. Your mileage may vary.

JAN101138 ONE PIECE TP VOL 39 $9.99
JAN101139 ONE PIECE TP VOL 40 $9.99
JAN101140 ONE PIECE TP VOL 41 $9.99
JAN101141 ONE PIECE TP VOL 42 $9.99
JAN101142 ONE PIECE TP VOL 43 $9.99
It doesn't feel like the sales for One Piece are exploding with this multiple-volume, catch-up effort, but I guess I could be wrong. There aren't ten more popular properties in the entire world right now.

JAN100953 HATE ANNUAL #8 (MR) $4.95
I love Hate, particularly the increasingly oddball Buddy Bradley stories that come once a year with these annuals. I'm guessing their publication here means that Peter Bagge has stopped submitting work to Discover, but that's only a guess. Every comics fan should have the vast majority of whatever Peter Bagge has in print, and these volumes would be a great value for a cartoonist only 2/3 as talented.

AN101168 SLAM DUNK GN VOL 09 $9.99
My experiences trying to get a Butler score on Saturday at WonderCon are a sign that Slam Dunk probably will never hit as hard with American comics fans as their Japanese counterpart; those two worlds are just separate, separate, separate.

OCT090901 TIMES OF BOTCHAN GN (OF 10) VOL 04 (OF 10) (RES) $19.99
Fanfare/Ponent Mon's translation of one of the great literary comics series of the 20th Century continues.

JAN100916 WALT & SKEEZIX HC VOL 04 1927-1928 $39.99
Another of the great 20th Century comics and, additionally, one of the great 21st Century reprint projects. I don't think any series of books has done more to raise the estimation of a strip than this one has Gasoline Alley.

DEC098381 DODGEM LOGIC MAGAZINE #2 (PP #905) $4.25
Does it reflect badly on my character that the modern burlesque movement bores me to death?

FEB101180 ART IN TIME UNKNOWN COMIC ADVENTURES 1940-1980 HC $40.00
Dan Nadel's follow-up to Art Out Of Time and a fun anthology mixing never-heard-of folks with never-knew-they-did-this talent.

JAN101213 COMICS OF CHRIS WARE SC $28.00
A collection of essays on Chris Ware, including one by Jeet Heer. Jeet Heer is almost always interesting on great cartoonists; can't speak for the rest of the contributors because I have no idea who they are.

*****

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'm a sorehead.

*****

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