Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 6, 2012

This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases To The 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.


I know very little about Magdy El Shafee's crime book, but it's being sold in part as a reflection of the younger culture in Egypt that led to the recent political changes there. I think of all the items out this week, this one has the highest curiosity factor by a wide, wide margin.

imageMAR121015 ED THE HAPPY CLOWN HC (MR) $24.95
It's probably not smart to admit this, but Chester Brown's early Yummy Fur material is one of those comics I'll buy every time they come out with a new version. This seems like basically a collection of the serial publication, complete with those patented Chester Brown notes. Lovely, weird, hypnotic comics. I will also buy everything Jaime Hernandez does just short of new printings. I'd sure check my damn bookshelves to make sure I had one, though. This early material reads quite well in those paperbacks, I think.

I'd be disappointed if I did one of these lists and there wasn't something from the Mike Mignola universe on here; this is a reprint of one of the early, prime-time efforts, so if you don't have it this would be one to have.

My love for Little Orphan Annie in its heyday knows no bounds; reading these comics about 15 years ago was one of the great, happy surprises of my adult reading life. I actually started to read them because my mother was so fond of Annie, but it's difficult not to get caught up in the appealing soap opera elements. These also collect really, really well.

APR120385 POPEYE #2 (OF 4) $3.99
I don't know that I was completely sold on the necessity of reading more Segar-style Popeye comics, but if they have to exist you really want them to look and feel like this. Now includes major-league Segar fan Tom Neely in the contributor column.

JAN120594 MORNING GLORIES #19 (MR) $2.99
JAN120595 MUDMAN #4 $3.50
MAR120502 SECRET #2 $3.50
APR120561 THIEF OF THIEVES #5 $2.99
APR120646 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #518 $3.99
APR120626 WINTER SOLDIER #6 $2.99
Here's the action-adventure, serial comic group that intrigues me enough to check up on them -- if I were in a comic shop this week, that is. I like that the Ed Brubaker-written Winter Soldier comic is at the $3 rather than the $4 price, as I suspect that that one may be a lot of fun. I'm sort of not enthused about the first four comics listed here, not personally, but they're all pedigreed efforts in that they're from intriguing, bank-on-them level talent. I also admit being far behind on the Iron Man comics and I think I tend to like those ahead of any passion shown them by smart superhero fans.

I did not expect to see a nice-looking Fantagraphics hardcover featuring Nicolas Mahler's work, so this was a pleasant surprise.

MAR121098 PARIS GN $23.99
This is... what is this? This is a Knockabout book of all things, with stylish art by Maarten Vande Wiele. Pretty good week for snappy-looking work from relative unknowns. I'd certainly give it a look.

JAN121112 SQUA TRONT #13 $9.99
I've read this and it was as surprise for me. I generally adore Squa Tront, and magazines that use a specific focus to build a perspective on comics more generally. I thought this a strong issue just for the presentation of Jack Davis war-era cartooning. This is the kind of thing I want to do with my own relationship to comics when I grow up.

Rich Johnston has beat me to print, though, with a magazine iteration of his super-popular web site. God bless him.

FEB121069 KOMA GN (MR) $29.95
When I wrote this was a pretty good week for snappy-looking work from relative unknowns, I meant this book even though it features Frederik Peeters and Pierre Wazem, two comics-makers who have received enough attention over here you could argue they should be over by now if it was going to happen for them in easy fashion. Nothing in comics is easy, though. This looks pretty great, and both Peeters and Wazem are talented to the point they should see multiple chances at a North American audience.


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 on me. I apologize.



posted 2:10 pm PST | Permalink

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