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

August 20, 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.


JUN141280 SISTERS GN $10.99
JUN141281 SISTERS HC GN $24.99
Behold the summer juggernaut we've all ben waiting for, although my guess is that this is really an early Fall release, as momentum should take Raina Telgemeier's work -- this time more closely affiliated with her breakout hit Smile than follow-up Drama could be -- all the the way through Christmas with sales punch. The first printing on this was bigger than all but a handful of North American superhero comic books since 2000. Telgemeier is a big star with her readers, and one thing she does as well as any cartoonist working is track the emotional state of her characters as they move through the narrative. I would assume a box set with Smile is coming soon, if not immediately, and she has a book tour planned.

imageJUN140463 FADE OUT #1 (MR) $3.50
JUN140145 MULTIVERSITY #1 $4.99
JUN140015 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #122 $3.50
JUN140010 DARK HORSE PRESENTS 2014 #1 $4.99
JUN140581 SUPREME BLUE ROSE #2 (MR) $2.99
JUN140584 TREES #4 (MR) $2.99
JUN140619 DAREDEVIL #7 SIN $3.99
JUN140698 MAGNETO #8 $3.99
JUN140614 ORIGINAL SINS #5 $3.99
The juggernaut here is the first issue of the Grant Morrison written and coordinated multiple-universe series Multiversity for DC Comics, a company that can always use the energy and conviction that Morrison brings to such project. I'm choosing to spotlight the cover to the latest Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips comic book The Fade Out, because that team may be the only creative force in the big-company end of comics more reliable than Morrison. This is post-war Hollywood noir, and comes right on the heels of their final issue of Fatale. A Mignola-verse book comes out this week -- they come out almost every week -- while Dark Horse is also presenting the latest iteration of its anthology title, Dark Horse Presents. That's a smaller book and a smaller price point than the last volume. The Little Nemo is Eric Shanower so I'll definitely look at that. That's two comic books from Warren Ellis next; I'd love to know the last time that happened. Daredevil and Magneto are solid mid-list performers for the House Of Ideas, while Original Sins is the latest "event" series, this time focused on messing with character origins a bit. Or at least that's my impression; I've only seen the advertisements. You know it's sort of fun to read those event series if you're not reading a bunch of mainstream comics just to sort of catch up with the general way they're being done. Southern Bastards looks like a legitimate hit with a third printing arriving this quickly.

JUN141526 CHI SWEET HOME GN VOL 11 $13.95
JUN141562 DOROHEDORO GN VOL 13 (MR) $12.99
MAY141474 VINLAND SAGA GN VOL 04 $19.99
Three solid series of mainstream-oriented manga of different types. I'm only following these in chunks and gups according to when they become available, but the price point is always pretty reasonable on these things right off of the rack first day.

MAY141606 FIRST KINGDOM HC VOL 05 (MR) $19.99
I'm happy to see this Jack Katz work slip back into print and I think there's an audience of sci-fi readers for this material, if only a modest one. I love the magazine, but I'd certainly take a look at this presentation.

MAR140977 KILLER OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 (MR) $24.99
This is a high-end spy/mercenary adventure serial I've enjoyed when it's cross my desk. Very stylish-looking.

This is another Peanuts gift book, which may or may not appeal in DM shops for a crowd that might be more oriented towards the complete collection. Still, it's hard to go wrong with Schulz.

JUN141261 ALANS WAR GN $24.00
JUN141448 SHARK KING TP $4.99
JUN141265 ODD DUCK GN $15.99
There are a number of pretty good books coming back to market; this is a group of four, completely unaffiliated with each other, that jumped out at me. My favorites were the second and the fourth. You won't find a prettier comic than that Shark King book, while the Kupperman I thought was really strong across the board.

MAY141480 ZAYA HC (MR) $29.99
This is a pairing of JD Morvan and the illustrator Huang-Jei Wei, continuing a run of Morvan's collaborative works to the market. It's a mostly spy-oriented science fiction work and it looks very, very pretty.

This is Ed Piskor's new work and a new printing of the previous volume. I think it's safe to call this book a legitimate alt-comics hit, and while it's not operating in the same sales stratosphere as the book at the top of this post, I hear it's doing very well. This is also a book likely to be paired together for gift-giving. I like cultural history, the more idiosyncratic the better -- it doesn't any more personalized than Piskor's mix of documentation and junky comic art flourishes. The great thing if you lived through this time period is to test your memory in a timeline fashion; I remember some of these things, but never close to the right order.


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 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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