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September 21, 2011


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.

*****

JUL111182 MONSTER CHRISTMAS HC $9.99
It's a little early for Christmas, but this is a nice-looking, substantive and funny comic book short story by Lewis Trondheim from I think 10-12 years ago that manages to capture a unique Christmas experience (going away for the holidays) in a bizarre but true-seeming way. I think it's good enough it won't be forgotten by the holidays, but comics is fickle.

imageAPR111049 A ZOO IN WINTER HC $23.00
This is Jiro Taniguchi's latest, ostensibly more meditative work (well, it seems to be presented that way) along the lines of The Walking Man or A Distant Neighborhood although with a heavy cultural history/period piece hook as its protagonist is an apprentice cartoonist from decades back. I'm a fiend for Taniguchi -- his work can vary in quality but when it's good it's very, very good -- but I'm not as familiar with this work as some of the older material, so to find this book in a comics shop today would be a pleasure. Pick it up and look at it if you encounter it.

JUL110011 ARCHIE LAUGH COMIC MINI COMIC PI
JUL110013 BOOM SNARKED HALLOWEEN MINI COMIC PI
JUL110010 CASPER/STRAWBERRY HALLOWEEN MINI COMIC PI
JUL110009 DH SCARY GODMOTHER HALLOWEEN MINI COMIC PI
JUL110015 DONALD DUCK HALLOWEEN MINI COMIC PI
JUL110012 FRAGGLE ROCK HALLOWEEN MINI COMIC PI
JUL110016 MAMESHIBA ON THE LOOSE MINI COMIC PI
JUL110014 NBM SMURFS HALLOWEEN MINI COMIC PI
Speaking of holidays, Halloween minis sounds like a fine promotion to me -- how it's executed would be the important thing, though. For one thing, I have to imagine there's no chance of a comic for adults slipping into some kids bag if the focus is on these minis rather than older comics.

JUL110925 SIMPSONS TREEHOUSE OF HORROR #17 $4.99
And speaking of Halloween, it's hard to go wrong with this annual event -- this year Jim Woodring is on board with a contribution.

JUL110206 BATMAN #1 $2.99
JUL110216 BIRDS OF PREY #1 $2.99
JUL110242 BLUE BEETLE #1 $2.99
JUL110195 CAPTAIN ATOM #1 $2.99
JUL110215 CATWOMAN #1 $2.99
JUL110200 DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #1 $2.99
JUL110220 GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1 $2.99
JUL110243 LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #1 $2.99
JUL110214 NIGHTWING #1 $2.99
JUL110217 RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1 $2.99
JUL110205 SUPERGIRL #1 $2.99
JUL110192 WONDER WOMAN #1 $2.99
This is either most or all of the new #1 issue comic books that DC is putting out this week. I'm not sure a single one interests me, but I'm also pretty certain they've all sold through their print runs. It seems like a bunch of books that have been troublesome in some creative sense in the last couple of decades, but that only shows signs of potential trouble for these series continuing to entertain and appeal down the line rather than right away. I'd be excited if to get into heaven required a comics quiz, but doomed to hell if one of the sections was about all the various iterations of that Legion Of Super Heroes property.

MAR110490 ARCHIES JOKE BOOK HC VOL 01 BOB MONTANA $29.99
JUL110855 ARCHIE CHRISTMAS CLASSICS TP VOL 01 $14.95
JUL110841 ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #222 $3.99
I think I'm baffled enough by the avalanche of Archie material coming out that I can no longer comment with any confidence about any single volume, but if I were in a comic book store and saw Bob Montana's name, I'd pick this up.

APR111038 ARMED GARDEN & OTHER STORIES HC $19.99
APR111035 MAN WHO GREW HIS BEARD GN $19.99
Two beautiful and challenging books from Fantagraphics. The first features David B. retelling difficult fables in a way that every single panel is a stop and stare event. The second features Olivier Schrauwen and a suite of stories where deriving even basic meaning doesn't come easy. I'm enamored of both, and have read each one more than once since they arrived. Pieces of both books appeared in MOME.

JUL110637 CAPTAIN AMERICA #3 $3.99
JUL110652 DAREDEVIL #4 $2.99
This strikes me as two pretty solid takes on classic Marvel characters early enough in series' runs that everything should be relatively easy to grasp.

JUN111290 DETROIT METAL CITY GN VOL 10 (MR) $12.99
Your best be in terms of mainstream manga series this week.

JUL110990 GAME OF THRONES #1 $3.99
I imagine there are high hopes for this series, which seems to come along at a perfect time in terms of the television series being between seasons and even that new wave of readers having probably finished with the prose books now. At the same time, I'm having a hard time remembering a comic series adaptation like this really, really working as compelling art on its own.

JUL111112 ZAHRAS PARADISE GN $19.99
This is an interesting experiment as well as a worthy project, as the print publication of this book set in the aftermath of the failed Iranian political protests of recent vintage was preceded by a massive and well-publicized Internet serialization. I imagine it should do very well, as the prestigious nature of the project and its asserted event status soften against those elements that might lead people not to want to buy it in print form.

JUN111096 MARK TWAINS AUTOBIOGRAPHY 1910-2010 HC $19.99
This Michael Kupperman book is mostly prose rather than comics, but it's funny enough not even the biggest comics purist will care. I'd read an entire book of Kupperman listing stupid names of people that Mark Twain ran with in 1970s discos.

*****

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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*****
*****
 
posted 3:35 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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