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September 3, 2014


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

*****

JUN141318 KILL MY MOTHER GN $27.95
MAY141403 DISNEY ROSA DUCK LIBRARY HC VOL 01 SCROOGE SON OF SUN $29.99
Two big books at the top of a big week. The Feiffer is new, and the subject of a thousand big-paper feature articles. If a new book is what it takes for people to realize what an amazing career Jules Feiffer has had, every page of that book is a bonus. The reviews I've read have all been positive, though, which is great. Don't sleep on the Don Rosa book. Rosa's comics may be the best comics ever done in the voice of another creator. They're very funny, satisfying yarns, and this presentation -- particularly the color -- is super-handsome. This would have been my favorite book ever at eight years old, and I'm fond of it now.

imageJUL141315 LOSE #6 $8.00
JUL140110 USAGI YOJIMBO SENSO #2 $3.99
JUL140262 TINY TITANS RETURN TO THE TREEHOUSE #4 $2.99
JUL140440 GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS #1 CVR A BROWNE (MR) $3.50
JUL140441 GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS #1 CVR B DARROW (MR) $3.50
MAY140731 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #4 (MR) $3.50
JUN148255 DAREDEVIL #6 2ND PTG SAMNEE VAR SIN $3.99
For a week that goes a dozen deep on stand-alone volume, the periodicals section of the comic shop isn't particularly stuffed. You can cheat a bit by putting Michael DeForge's latest here; everything he makes right now demands one's attention. A Stan Sakai comic is one of the twin avatars of modern shop visits for the indy-genre minded fan. I'm looking forward to catching up to God Hates Astronauts in comics form. I'm enjoying the Aaron/Latour small-town crime comic (I guess that's mostly what it is) Southern Bastards just fine, although I'm not a good audience for that kind of work. It looks like it could be filmed, which is a strength with a lot of readers, although part of me feels like it hasn't quite started yet. Daredevil is the most reliable performer on the Marvel roster.

MAY140100 ALLEY OOP COMPLETE SUNDAYS HC VOL 02 1936 - 1938 $75.00
I saw the first volume of this series, and liked it quite a bit. No one carved shapes out of space like Hamlin (there are artists better at shapes like Dedini and better at space like Watterson, but no one better at both).

JUL140626 AVENGERS WORLD #12 $3.99
I have nothing to say about this one, but it amused me there have been 12 issues of a flagship-approximate title at Marvel and it's not only escaped my attention I could not tell you what the specific take on the concept is in play with this one. I don't think it's "main team," "unity" or "super-smarties"; those are all other titles. It could be a catch-all for solo stories. I don't know, it could be about Jarvis. I have no idea, and it's sort of fun not knowing.

MAY140074 FINDER THIRD WORLD TP $19.99
I belief this is an expanded version of the Finder serial that ran in the last iteration of Dark Horse Presents; that was one of that title's best features. Carla Speed McNeill's work holds color very well.

MAY140053 AW YEAH COMICS TP VOL 01 $12.99
This is a Dark Horse collection of the creator-owned work by kids-versions-of-older-licensed-characters comics superteam Franco and Art Baltazar. I find their work generally appealing -- the little kids I know seem to universally love it -- although I think I missed most of this series. As I recall, the series version of this material was not just creator-owned but basically self-distributed, which means this book should see a step up for this work's profile. I know some parents that will be happy to see it in the bookstore.

APR140763 OZ OMNIBUS HC $125.00
I haven't made a giant study of it, but my hunch based on past exposure is that Marvel does a better job with the bigger books in its haphazardly-assembled trades program. This is an awfully big book, but has been enough of a solid performer in bookstores for the almost bookstore-disinterested publisher to demand that kind of treatment above and beyond the economics of moving such a work into a sales avenue that depends on non-returnables. I honestly haven't caught up on all of this work yet, but I like what I've seen and certainly awards voters have taken notice for years now.

imageJUL141256 ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD WWI IN POETRY & COMICS HC $24.99
This is the latest from that hard-working, fine editor of comics anthologies Chris Duffy, and features a typically for Duffy eclectic line-up including Simon Gane, Eddie Campbell, Isabel Greenberg, Kevin Huizenga and Sarah Glidden. It's a deep, deep week in comics that this one isn't profiled with a cover image at the top of the post. While I'm sure it was previewed, I don't recall seeing a single page, which is sort of exciting.

MAY140096 JAYBIRD HC $19.99
JUL141265 ZOO BOX YR HC $17.99
MAY141611 VOID HC $9.99
Speaking of things I haven't seen, this is the stand-alone material that looks of interest and is from cartoonists with whom I either don't have a ton of familiarity, or that I've not seen working on this particular work. Of the four I'd probably look at the Aron Nels Steinke book Zoo Box first. He's doing that as part of the kids' comics portion of the overall First Second yearly release calendar. The Jaybird book looks really pretty; would want to get me my hands on that one. Void is a former European album making its way to the English-language market that features art by Sean Phillips, so I'd look at that one for sure as well.

MAY140410 MR PUNCH 20TH ANNIVERSARY ED HC (MR) $34.99
JUL141040 BONE COLOR ED HC VOL 01 OUT FROM BONEVILLE NEW PTG $26.99
JUL141262 BROXO GN $16.99
The first two are two big books in just about any comics library -- of high enough quality to ask for a place on the art-comics fan's shelves, and from absolute all-time genre-interested creators that would also be a part of a lot of flat out comic-book collections. I'd look at both in the store to see if my own copies needed to be replaced. The third is I believe a First Second book from two years ago that's found its way back to market.

FEB140358 ROCKETEER JET POWERED ADVENTURES PROSE SC $19.99
I'm not sure of the audience here -- I was a fan of the Dave Stevens comics and I'm not all that interested in picking this one up -- but I like the effort that IDW has manifested on behalf of the family's interest in seeing more Rocketeer material produced. That's not always easy.

imageJUN141213 AGE OF LICENSE GN $19.99
This is Lucy Knisley's first of two travelogue/snapshot autobiographies, detail a trip to Europe a couple of years ago. Knisley is a pleasurable picture-maker and there are hooks here in that she talks in forthright fashion about an affair she had while over there (a forthcoming book is about her marriage, which has to imminent) and she engages directly with the issue of privilege as it pertains to her ability to take trips like this one. I think it will make a nice pairing with the forthcoming work about traveling with her grandparents.

JUL141475 WHAT DID YOU EAT YESTERDAY GN VOL 04 (MR) $12.95
I'm not even sure I'd list this in a normal week, but on a New Comics Day as stuffed as this one I didn't want to leave manga out. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think this is a food-informed, measured-tone drama. Vertical's publishing choices usually have multiple avenues for referral.

JUN141627 MASTERFUL MARKS CARTOONIST WHO CHANGED THE WORLD HC $24.99
JUN141624 COMIC BOOK PEOPLE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1970S & 1980S HC $34.95
These books might not go together all that well, but they're both engagements with comics history in their own way. The first is a cartoon biography anthology of major cartooning and comics-making figures. The only one I've seen is Drew Friedman's treatment of Robert Crumb, and that was fun. The second is Jackie Estrada's crowd-funded book of photos from her lengthy life of fandom. The ones that have been released have been amazing, and I'm not sure how much visual historical record exists of the 1970s and 1980s in particular.

JUL141313 BABY BJORNATRAND TP $20.00
JUL141263 WRENCHIES GN $19.99
Here are two creators working at the top of their game with handsome new books out. French continues her recent tour of boutique comics publishers with a stop at Koyama Press, while Farel Dalrymple releases an extensive work through First Second that should help solidify his growin reputation. They are both gorgeous-looking books and convey the significant investment each artist has in their choisen medium. I recommend both, in any order that pleases you.

*****

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.

*****

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