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August 1, 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.

*****

APR120980 RASL #15 (MR) $4.99
I may write a bit later today about how the ending to Jeff Smith's latest series both echoes and works in completely opposite fashion to his Bone series finale, but for now let me just remind you that this oversized issue is out there and congratulate Smith on the completion of work which I thought was a great deal of fun. I think the oversized volume concluding that publishing format on the series is hot on its heels.

imageAPR121167 MONSTER DINOSAUR HC $9.99
Any week with new Jeff Smith and new-for-English-language-audiences Lewis Trondheim is a victory for single-author cartooning, that's for sure. This is one of those densely-told, color hardbacks from that period when Trondheim could basically do no commercial wrong as far as I could see. Very pleasurable, fun book.

JUN120423 BLACK KISS II #1 (MR) $2.99
And with Howard Chaykin showing up, you not only have one hell of a poker game but a week worth visiting the comics shop with a $20 bill in your hands. The reputation of this one probably precedes it, but it's a continuation of Chaykin's infamous series from almost 25 years ago now.

JUN120415 MICHAEL KALUTA SKETCHBOOK SERIES SC VOL 02 $9.99
If I saw something the words "Michael Kaluta" and "sketchbook" on it, I'd look. For sure.

JUL110524 GODLAND #36 [DIG] $3.99
I believe this is the second to last issue of the sprawling Joe Casey and Tom Scioli series referencing cosmic mainstream comics starting with Kirby and spiraling outward. I don't think I own more issues of any post-2000 comic book series than I do of this one.

JUN120655 DAREDEVIL #16 $2.99
JUN120659 HAWKEYE #1 $2.99
JUN120651 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #522 $3.99
JUN120674 MUPPETS #2 $2.99
Strong week for serial comic books from Marvel. I'd pay particular attention to the Hawkeye book, because that's a super-appealing character right up Matt Fraction's alley and David Aja's work can be super, super pretty.

FEB121037 NO STRAIGHT LINES QUEER COMICS HC $35.00
There are a ton of interesting cartoonists in Justin Hall's anthology, and Fantagraphics is letting you have a sustained look at the thing in various forms here. I'd say this is the most formidable book of the week, the one you need to make a decision on now that it's out.

APR121430 CHRISTOPHER NOLAN BATMAN ART & MAKING DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY $40.00
MAY121424 COMIC BOOKS AND COLD WAR 1946-1962 SC $40.00
Two books about comics of very different types. I thought the Nolan was interesting enough I may write a short review; it's not so much I enjoyed the book listed here as I sort of like those movies and am intrigued by the idea of books that come out in conjunction with movies. Anyway, that's Chip Kidd doing design on that one. The second another McFarland book, and a book about comics for which I have practically no information, let alone an idea if it's worth buying. Fine, rich subject matter, though.

JUN120009 BEASTS OF BURDEN NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH ONE SHOT $3.50
Let's end with exactly why many folks I know have always gone to the comics shop: new work, strong creators, a format that works for the material being presented, an affordable sample. I can't imagine this not being entertaining in the way that comics have long been entertaining.

*****

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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