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February 14, 2007

This Isn't A Library: New and Notable Releases to the Comics Direct Market


Here are a few books that jump out at me from this week's 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 following, but were I in a comic book shop I would likely pick them up, potentially annoying my retailer:

OCT062179 ASTONISHING X-MEN #20 $2.99

I imagine that if you're really into X-Men comic books and follow them every week, then the glacial pace, old-fashioned plot-lines and irregular publishing schedule might put too much pressure on the material for it to entertain you. However, if you're an adult five years on either side of writer Joss Whedon's age who wants a slicker version of the comics that you read when you were 12 years old, and you're the kind of person that stumbles into a comics shop three or four times a year, this is totally the superhero comic book for you. This issue: extra pluckiness.


I like writer Joe Casey and I really liked mid- to late-1960s Marvel comic books when I was a kid -- my memories of the sixth grade are inked by Tom Palmer -- so this would be something I'd definitely pick up and look at.

NOV063955 BANANA FISH VOL 18 TP $9.99

One of the few manga series coming out this week I've heard of. Plus, you know, Salinger fan. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this was initially sold primarily as a mature-readers gang story and is now pushed at least in part for the attractiveness and undefined relationships of its leads. Like The Outsiders.

OCT061867 CASANOVA #7 (MR) $1.99

Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba's 1960s-style attractive and intricately detailed spy and adventure comic book (not-really-a) send-up starts its second major storyline with this issue. If you couldn't get through that last sentence, you may not have the focus to hang with Casanova's more complex than usual narratives, some of which feels intentional and some of which feels like the typical, baroque end result of subverting the traditional use of linear action transitions and staging with interior narratives and multiple story points. The cheaper, 16-page format benefits writer Fraction, whose weakest area seems to be story structure.

NOV061852 GODLAND #16 (NOTE PRICE) $0.60

Like I said, I like Joe Casey and this comics gets weirder and weirder with every couple of issues. And the price is right. If I had a spinner rack, this comic book would go in my spinner rack, along with Air Ace and the Dell not-monster comics.


Hey, it's a volume of the greatest comic of all time in full color with exquisite art direction. Really, this is the only comic you have to have out of this entire pile.


I don't ever hear anything about this series, which is weird given the affection most cartoonists and comics readers have for the source material.

OCT063411 NEUROTIC HC (MR) $19.95

A series of intense drawings, some shocking, most with a sexual element and all very interesting, by the mega-successful magazine illustrator John Cuneo. One of those books that publishing Peanuts makes possible for Fantagraphics. Not that they wouldn't publish this before, but it might sit at the end of a forthcoming projects list for six years before we saw it.


I don't have any desire to upgrade from the comic books of this material that my brother I bought a hundred years ago, but Steve Rude's art is attractive enough that anyone without the original funnies might consider making this a purchase. As I recall, this isn't some of the stronger material, with a lot of false-start soap opera developments that fail to cohere.


Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen's funny and well-drawn superhero book -- Marvel's best this half-decade -- comes to an end on a trade-friendly multiple. Buy it now or you'll be buying the back issue in a few years as part of a set to get you over that $50 mark at, after hearing it was under-appreciated and under-read.

DEC063271 REX LIBRIS #7 $2.95

I'm about four issues behind on James Turner's library-adventure comic, but this is as odd a regular series that's going right now.


The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite there being an 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.

To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, 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.

If I didn't list your new comic, it's not because I missed it by accident or that our tastes differ but because I hate you and your artistic endeavors.
posted 1:00 pm PST | Permalink

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