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June 27, 2012


This Isn't A Library: 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. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

*****

MAR121193 LOVELY HORRIBLE STUFF HC $14.95
New Eddie Campbell is always a joy, and I know next to nothing about this work except its subject matter is money. I'd read Eddie Campbell on anything, to be honest with you.

imageAPR120536 FATALE #6 (MR) $3.50
APR120024 BPRD HELL ON EARTH EXORCISM #1 (OF 2) $3.50
APR12004 RESET #3 (OF 4) $3.50
APR120189 BATMAN INCORPORATED #2 $2.99
APR120290 SPACEMAN #7 (OF 9) (MR) $2.99
APR120010 FATIMA THE BLOOD SPINNERS #1 (OF 4) HERNANDEZ CVR $3.99
APR120545 MANHATTAN PROJECTS #4 $3.50
APR120553 PROPHET #26 $2.99
APR120644 FF #19 $2.99
This is a super-strong week for comic-book comics, one of those Wednesdays you could drop $30 without even getting into the more peculiar parts of your particular comics-buying jones. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are launching the second Fatale sequence today; I enjoyed that comic. It's joined by Peter Bagge, Gilbert Hernandez, new Mignola-verse stuff, one of those new Liefeld-verse comics that everyone likes, and projects featuring high-profile writers above the title. It's a bit pulpy, but that's a good little pile of funnybooks right there. I'm super-looking forward to seeing the Gilbert Hernandez.

APR120439 FATALE TP VOL 01 DEATH CHASES ME (MR) $14.99
APR120451 MORNING GLORIES TP VOL 03 P.E. $14.99
APR120720 DEFENDERS BY MATT FRACTION TP VOL 01 $19.99
APR120706 FF BY JONATHAN HICKMAN PREM HC $19.99
This is also a good work for the ongoing trade collection of well-regarded mainstream/indy comics efforts, and that's assuming I got everything worth looking at listed here which I likely didn't. The serial trade paperback -- one of these is a hardcover, but there's a point still to be had -- operates more and more like comic books. You're not waiting for the trade as much as following the trade.

MAR120029 USAGI YOJIMBO LTD HC VOL 26 TRAITORS O/T EARTH $59.99
MAR120028 USAGI YOJIMBO TP VOL 26 TRAITORS O/T EARTH $16.99
FEB120047 TALES O/T BEANWORLD HC VOL 03.5 $14.99
It's always great to see veteran cartoonists with efforts out; Stan Sakai and Larry Marder definitely qualify as veteran cartoonists. I recently dumped all my Usagi trades to buy that work in comics form whenever I encounter it, but it works well in trade. The texture and quality of Sakai's cartooning flatters a longer exposure.

MAY121422 BILL THE BOY WONDER SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN HC $17.95
If you're feeling bad about buying that Batman, Inc. comic -- and guilt is a terrible platform from which to buy things, seriously -- you could also purchase this storybook profile of Bill Finger, the patient zero of comics exploitation.

FEB121041 MR TWEE DEEDLE RAGGEDY ANN COUSIN GRUELLE HC (RES) $75.00
This is a staggering-looking book of work from the cartoonist Johnny Gruelle that I think ran concurrently to the Raggedy Ann stuff that found more of a place in the pop-culture firmament. You could see this as a way of exploring where someone like Tony Millionaire came from, or as a precursor to the Peter Wheat book someone out there has to be doing.

APR121306 DROPS OF GOD GN VOL 04 $14.95
There are a few pretty good-looking upper-end mainstream (in that other sense of the word) manga efforts out this; Vertical's latest in this all-time feature-article generating wine series would be my pick.

APR121232 LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009 (MR) $9.95
Okay, this week is so stuffed that I totally missed this comic the first time I posted this list. This is the Alan Moore Kevin O'Neill ending to the latest League Of Extraordinary Gentleman series. Come for the Harry Potter equivalent; stay for the clever insights into franchise making and the modern imagination. I am vastly entertained by these Moore books, so getting a new one is a real summer highlight for me. It's the kind of book I'd make a trip to the comics shop just to buy, and my comics shop is three hours away.

FEB120281 GET JIRO HC (MR) $24.99
This is the Anthony Bourdain project, which looks like it's tapping into the "Ramones reading Thor" part of the author and television personality's interest in comics as opposed to "writing elegant obituaries for Harvey Pekar" part. Still, I like his writing, and I'd look at this if I were in a store for sure. Bourdain's also one of those guys like Louis CK and maybe Neil Gaiman that seems uniquely suited to make use of social media opportunities by having a body of work and appealing to a wide demographic at an age where his fans are going to want to interact that way. So maybe there's an opportunity for DC there.

MAY121017 SONG OF ROLAND GN $20.00
I almost feel bad that the latest Paul book from Michael Rabagliati comes out this week, because this week offers a ridiculous number of books to people that might be that book's natural audience. Even if you're going, say, Sacco and Huizenga and Mazzucchelli this week, take note that this is out and return to it in a light week ahead. I thought this was very attractive, but you already know that if you're familiar with that work at all.

JAN120442 BERKELEY BREATHED OUTLAND COMP COLL HC $39.99
I had no idea this was coming out, and I look forward to getting into it at some point just to make some sort of historical-perspective appraisal of the work, which I've only seen in the original syndicated-in-my-paper form. It was always kind of sad to me that of the 1980s newspaper heavy hitters Breathed was maybe punished for using his bump to continue working but in a different vein.

MAR120352 DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN ARTIST ED HC PI
Well, you're not likely to see a better-looking volume this year than this oversized (it's the size of the original pages, so it's really not... oh, never mind) collection of David Mazzucchelli's finely-tuned art for one of the most attractive runs of superhero comics maybe ever. Seeing the work like this is enough of a revelation and pleasure that I can recommend the book despite the fact that two years ago in Muncie, Indiana I found the entire run of comic books for $1 each and I'm told this isn't a rare thing. Make a retailer that carried this really happy by rewarding that risk.

APR120987 ANNA AND FROGA WANT A GUMBALL HC $14.95
This is a very well-liked series for kids in the French market -- I think it routinely gets nominated for kids-oriented comics honors -- about which I know basically nothing other than it looks charming. Here's a cartoon adaptation. I'd be dying to look at this, for sure.

DEC111050 GLORIANA HC $19.95
Oh, hey, we're two-thirds of the way through our list and it's a new, attractive, hardcover version of one of the best modern comics. I'll buy this book no matter how it's put out there -- it's kind of like works from Chester Brown and Los Bros Hernandez and Jack Kirby that way. I'm not sure how to describe it except as a series of thoughtful meditation on a collection of small moments. The execution is what makes this, obviously.

DEC111124 JOURNALISM HC $29.00
And here's another hardcover edition of some of the best works going, Joe Sacco's magazine work from the last several years now all in one place. I thought this was satisfying, really fun comic from a thoughtful cartoonist. I'm going to read my copy three more times before it goes back on the shelf. Journalism using the comics form is a popular thing right now, even when it's given an unfortunate name, but Sacco is in a class by himself not just as a journalist but as a comics-maker.

APR121374 ALTER EGO #110 $8.95
APR121375 BACK ISSUE #57 $8.95
APR120741 TERRY MOORE HOW TO DRAW #4 FUNNY $4.99
I'm not sure I'm the audience for any of these effort, but I was tickled by the novelty of there being three magazine on the stands in the same week to which I'd pay at least some attention. That may not have happened in the world of comics for 20 years.

APR120988 BIRDSEYE BRISTOE HC (MR) $19.95
But forget expensive hardcovers, new work by long-established talent, and tons of new and worthy comic books: you go to the funnybook shop for done-in-one efforts by promising talent with whom you're not all the way familiar. There's no better example of that breed than Dan Zettwoch's all-to-himself D+Q debut. Zettwoch is a unique, joyful cartoonist who doesn't make books like anyone else. I'd be so, so happy to see this in the stores if I didn't know it was coming. I'm pretty happy, anyway.

*****

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.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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