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

July 31, 2014

This Isn't A Library: New And Notable Releases Into 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.


JUN141208 HOW TO BE HAPPY HC $24.99
MAY141406 GAST GN $22.99
Two really solid stand-alone volumes from two very talented creators, both at Fantagraphics. The first is Eleanor Davis' first major short-story collection, and people were oohing and aahing over it in San Diego. Gast is Carol Swain, with whom Fantagraphics has had a relationship for more than 20 year. Swain is a natural-born cartoonist of the Chester Brown variety in that she could draw people making sandwiches for 200 pages and it'd be interesting. I kow almost nothing about the book, but I'll buy it.

imageMAR140516 FATALE #24 (MR) $4.99
FEB140793 HAWKEYE #19 $3.99
APR140303 WAKE #10 (MR) $2.99
NOV130513 PROPHET #45 $3.99
A smaller than usual but potent week of comics that popped for me in the adventure comic serial comic book realm. That's a classy ending to the Brubaker/Phillips Fatale -- Brubaker's endings are under-appreciated -- and I look forward to their forthcoming noir project. The Hawkeye was the buzz book yesterday for a big chunk of the comics Internet I follow. There are only a handful of these left and all the creators involved are in a good creative space right now, so the individual comic books should be of a very high quality. Wake is a top-selling comic, although it hasn't really brought me into its world yet. Outcast is the new Robert Kirkman-written comic (with artist Paul Azaceta), so that's worth noting. I'm sure it's already been sold for some sort of film/tv adaptation. There's your Mignola, while Prophet #45 ends this cycle -- I think -- with another yet to come.

I thought the first one of these was a beautiful, fun, book, and I can't imagine this one not being more attractive. Not sure where I stand on having giant books around -- they're kind of a weird reading experience.

FEB140527 LAZARUS TP VOL 02 LIFT (MR) $14.99
I enjoy reading these well-executed genre comics in individual serial comic book form when I get them; don't remember much about them when I put the books down, although maybe that's not a criticism. I can certainly imagine this one becoming some sort of TV show in the next few years; there's at least three or four fun acting parts in here, and it feels like the creators have done the work of world creation rather than positioned themselves up near that work.

JUN140922 COMPLETE FUNKY WINKERBEAN HC VOL 02 1975-1977 $45.00
JUN140923 COMPLETE FUNKY WINKERBEAN HC VOL 03 1978-1980 $45.00
MAY140540 RIP KIRBY HC VOL 07 $49.99
There was a time not too many years ago where a Funky Winkerbean collection would have seemed perfectly normal and seven volumes of Rip Kirby would have seemed strange beyond measure. Now those positions are reversed. The funny thing is, I like both of these strips about equally.

MAR141262 NAJA HC $29.99
This is JD Morvan and Bengal, and looks impossibly, beautifully slick. Sci-fi comics are not my thing, but there's a definite mini-market there now even if what that market will handle and what it won't has been worked through just yet. I think Magnetic Press is doing a bunch of Bengal.

MAY141582 NEWT GN $7.99
This is Nicolas Mahler, with whom I'm familiar, working with an artist named Heinz Wolf, with whom I'm definitely not familiar. I like the price point of $8 for 80 pages, and would definitely check it out where I to encounter it in a comics shop.

I liked the movie, which was bonkers and pretty and had a lot of good actors chewing the scenery in an almost 1970s disaster-film way -- something I'm sure was intentional. The graphic novel on which the movie is based is pretty dull, and only for those that like traditional bd adventure-comics art or that saw the movie and wishes it were less frenetic and treated the plot with much more seriousness.

Finally, two of the best genre works of the 1990s, maybe top five in terms of consistent entertainment. The Doom Patrol is all of the Grant Morrison comics featuring that team from the transition-into-Vertigo period. I think those are funny, weird comics, and have an appealing trashiness to them that I don't think was a significant part of any other of the for-adults superhero books of that time period. Monster is one I haven't totally devoured yet, so I'm glad for a kind of legacy edition that should be around for a while.


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 because I hate you.



posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink

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