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October 19, 2011

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.


A lot of very good cartoonists -- including rare book appearances from major newspaper strip artists like Richard Thompson and Patrick McDonnell -- working with a very good cartoon editor (Chris Duffy) on a very solid concept (right there in the title). All class, this release.

Speaking of McDonnell, this is his latest collection. I'm not entirely sure if Mutts is on two tracks right now the way Zits has been, but if it is this looks like a more frequent version as opposed to an over-sized collecting more than one year at a time. McDonnell is taken for granted now, I think because his comic doesn't have a lot of narrative force: you don't remember individual stories from Mutts as much as recurring features and the drawing in general, and something about it seems like it should be something of a story strip as opposed to more jokey efforts that settle into a similar groove all the time. I still very much enjoy the strip, and look forward to the books so that I might catch up.

AUG110282 FABLES #110 (MR) $2.99
AUG110267 TINY TITANS #45 $2.99
AUG110507 ALL NIGHTER #5 (OF 5) $2.99
AUG110315 30 DAYS OF NIGHT ONGOING #1 $3.99
AUG110325 COLD WAR #1 $3.99
AUG110608 AVENGERS 1959 #2 (OF 5) $2.99
AUG110676 DEADPOOL MAX 2 #1 (MR) $3.99
AUG110192 BATMAN ODYSSEY VOL 2 #1 (OF 7) $3.99
AUG110568 FEAR ITSELF #7 (OF 7) FEAR $4.99
This is reasonably fascinating week for mainstream comic books, and you can't always say that. I don't know if I'd buy any of the above, but I'd take a look at all of them. Fables comes out to engender another round of denials from the multiple producers and show runners that are doing this comic in television form this Fall by skirting around Bill Willingham's work to access the fairy-tale premise itself. Tiny Titans garners attention for that big issue number; I was reminded this week that that's a comic book that really works for a lot of kids, and simply isn't the most recognizable property in its category at any awards program where it's nominated. All Nighter gets points with me for being a story about teens but not being about some sort of monster romance -- this is apparently an entire section of most prose bookstores right now. The 30 Days Of Night series is definitely about monsters, of course, but they're drawn by Sam Kieth so I want to see them. Cold War is new work by veteran mainstream comics maker John Byrne, and I'm dying at some point to read a bunch of his current work (the last one of his I read was a series starring the Gary Seven character from Star Trek). Howard Chaykin is always worth reading, which makes Avengers 1959 a must-buy for me at some point. The Deadpool Max stuff features Kyle Baker, while the Batman Odyssey comics feature Neal Adams. Finally, the Fear Itself series makes me curious because it has all the things I like about mainstream comics and creators I always enjoy, but there's a significant negative strain of commentary in superhero circles about it.

I know almost nothing about this series, although I seem to remember a similar negative reaction to it in some circles. Moore is always worth a look, though.

JUL110888 FREAKANGELS HC VOL 06 (MR) $27.99
JUL110887 FREAKANGELS TP VOL 06 (MR) $19.99
In contrast to the Moore offering, I am completely familiar with this web-serialized concept from writer Warren Ellis and an artist named Paul Duffield, because Ellis used to show up in my inbox every week and yell at me to go read it (not me personally, everyone on one of his now-defunct e-mail lists). This was super-effective in me getting to spend that time with the work. These books represent the monetizing follow-up to that kind of exposure.

AUG110712 15 LOVE GN TP $14.99
This is probably better known for its initial publishing delays and the general road not taken -- road not taken very forcefully, anyway -- by Marvel Comics in establishing a bookstore-focused set of comics in genres other than superheroes with father issues. It gets a look from me for the contributions of Andi Watson, an appealing and prolific comics creator able to work in a wide variety of styles and formats.

This struck me as the best new volume of an ongoing, mainstream-type manga series out this week. I'm not a Gon fan, haven't picked up a Kingyo Used Books yet and I don't know anything about this week's effort from the Clamp collective, so it's Tezuka or nothing for me. I'm actually not a huge fan of this material, but having the entire series near completion (there's one more to come) is quite the accomplishment.

I like Sergio's comics because they usually have his name in the title and in this case it's entirely appropriate because that's almost certainly why you're buying it.

This is your big, fancy book of the week -- some 550 pages in slipcases from Alejandro Jodorowsky and artist Juan Giménez, spanning about a decade of work from the psychologically potent science fiction school of which Jodorowsky is headmaster.

I sometimes wonder after this comic as a semi-important publishing experiment. I hope there's room for the generation of cartoonists mostly represented here to produce new work for a comics audience of the kind you can almost never build anywhere but the comics shop, but I'm not convinced that they've arrived at whatever sales number necessary to guarantee this comic's long-term survival. Not yet, anyway. I know that at the very least I'd pick this up every time I saw on in the shop.


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 2:00 pm PST | Permalink

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