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May 12, 2010


This Isn't A Library: New And Notable Releases To The 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. But were I in a comic book shop tomorrow I would be carrying my bloody broadsword to rest at the top of a pile of the following.

*****

MAR100401 SWORD #24 (MR) $4.99
MAR100044 BPRD KING OF FEAR #5 (OF 5) $2.99
MAR101050 STARSTRUCK #9 $3.99
MAR100178 BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #1 (OF 6) $3.99
These are the individual comics that jump out at me this week. The belle of the ball here is the concluding, 24th issue of The Sword by modern masters of deeply weird, non-ironic, junk-culture pulp adventure comics The Luna Brothers. That Batman comic is the latest Grant Morrison effort with the character.

MAR100220 MAGOG #9 $2.99
My favorite comics title ever. I hope it runs for years. Are there t-shirts?

JAN100136 LITTLE LULU TP VOL 23 BOGEY SNOWMAN $14.99
That's not a bad title, either. Maybe every volume 23 of everything should be "Bogey Snowman" the way that some guy makes the "Electric Boogaloo" joke for every volume 2.

FEB100269 NOBODY TP (MR) $14.99
Everybody sing along:

Nobody, Nobody
will ever love you
the way I could love you
cause nobody is that strong

love is bitter sweet
and life's treasures deep
but no one can keep
a love that's gone wrong

Nobody, Nobody
will ever love you
the way I could love you
cause nobody's that strong
cause nobody's that strong

Nobody, Nobody
will ever love you
the way I could love you
cause nobody is that strong

you've had many lovers
you'll have many others
but they'll only just break
your poor heart in two

Nobody, Nobody
will ever love you
the way I could love you
cause nobody's that strong
cause nobody's that strong

Thanks. I don't know about you, but I have an overwhelming urge to spend the rest of the day throwing glitter, getting drunk and mumbling things about Chuck E. Weiss.

I believe this is a new graphic novel by Jeff Lemire, who in a short career has already earned "I will always take a look at his stuff" status.

FEB100372 UNDERGROUND TP $14.99
I followed this in comics form. On some levels it had a real lack of sophistication, like it was a story in a 1970s black and white comics magazine. I kind of kept expecting Steve Austin to show up. I think the straight-forward quality was intentional, though. The comics' real strength for me was the occasional cave-related trauma it inflicted on its leads, including situations involving squeezing around in the belly of the earth that were I to ever find myself in a similar situation I would probably choose giving up and dying.

FEB101111 BIOMEGA GN VOL 02 (MR) $12.99
MAR101215 BLACK BUTLER TP VOL 02 $10.99
MAR101217 KOBATO GN VOL 01 $11.99
MAR101218 KOBATO GN VOL 02 $11.99
The notable manga volumes this week, in advancing order of girliness, all early enough in their respective runs if you want to get on board.

DEC090880 INVINCIBLE GENE COLAN HC $19.99
I'm in this according to press releases that look like they were edited by my parents, at least for where my name appears on the lists of august professionals contributing work to this Colan fundraiser. If your shop was good enough to buy one, check it out. If you're interested in helping Mr. Colan and don't have easy access to this book, I have to think that there will be premium or signed copies available from Colan himself at some point. My essay was about Colan being such a powerful stylist that nothing, not even the Jack Kirby Revolution, could knock him off point. I think. It's been a while. Anyway, good cause and I hope a good book. God bless Gene Colan.

JAN100835 MUPPET SHOW TP VOL 03 ON THE ROAD $9.99
I read these as individual comics just last week -- the muppet troupe has to go on the road while their theater is being prepared. Partial-cast hijinks ensue. I think these are super-class mainstream comics, and $9.99 would be a good price for comics packed as densely as Roger Langridge packs them.

MAR100948 SOLOMONS THIEVES GN $12.99
This is a Jordan Mechner-written, swashbuckling adventure series I'm looking forward to checking out. Mechner is the guy behind the Prince Of Persia franchise and is an author and screenwriter to boot. There's an age I would have killed for some straight-up adventure comics, and I like to think there's a fat little boy out there exactly like me that feels the same. Because, you know, one day I'll need his organs.

*****

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 didn't list your comic here, all the cold, wet steel in Hyperborea will do you no good.

*****

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posted 8:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
April 20, 2010


This Isn't A Library: New And Notable Releases To The Comics Direct Market

image

*****

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. But were I in a comic book shop tomorrow I would be definitely be slapping books from the hands of customers not reading the following.

*****

FEB100700 DO ANYTHING VOL 01 $5.99
This is a collection of Warren Ellis' serialized, on-line essays about a historical context for comics making both real and imagined. I was quite entertained by the serial version although I'm a big-time sucker for that kind of writing.

JAN101133 KINGYO USED BOOKS TP VOL 01 $12.99
JAN101166 REAL GN VOL 08 $12.99
JAN101137 VAGABOND VIZBIG ED GN VOL 07 (MR) $19.99
NOV090062 SHINJUKU HC $29.99
A little clump of manga- or manga-related books. This first volume of Kingyo Used Books was serialized on-line and I failed to catch onto it there so now I have the option of checking it out in book form. It's supposedly aimed at my demographic. Those are two fine Takehiko Inoue serials in the fighty Vagabond big book and the sporty Real; I'm behind on both. I had to look at what Jog said about Shinjuku, where I learned it's illustrated prose with the illustrator being Yoshitaka Amano.

JAN100348 100 PERCENT TP (MR) $29.99
I'm not certain where this Paul Pope project stands in terms of when it's been collected and how, but it's a nice-looking book and I'm happy to have it the form I have it right now so you might make a mental note to check it out if you haven't before... it's sci-fi romance with heavy amounts of ink tossed.

FEB100249 AIR #20 (MR) $2.99
I have to pay someone a dollar every time a new issue comes out. I'm sorry I didn't have faith in you, odd little comic whose first issue was sent to me.

FEB100255 JOE THE BARBARIAN #4 (OF 8) (MR) $2.99
I can't imagine I wouldn't be buying a Grant Morrison-penned comic drawn by a stylish, young artist if I had a comics shop within 180 miles. As it is, it's one of those things I may or may not get as a book, but years down the road. This is wrong.

FEB100156 SPIRIT #1 $3.99
Moritat, one of those guys who's been around comics through multiple presidents, digital revolutions and 14 television series with Paula Marshall in the cast, gets his shot on a relatively big-name character from one of the two mainstream publishers. I'm rooting for him, and will buy this comic the next time I'm in a shop that has one.

FEB101010 ART OF P CRAIG RUSSELL HC $49.99
FEB101011 ART OF P CRAIG RUSSELL HC S/N ED $79.99
JAN100999 ART OF TONY HARRIS ART & SKULLDUGGERY HC S/N ED (IDW) $79.99
Art books from IDW, a comic book empire built just as much from fealty to the art book as it is on vampires who don't mind the cold. The good thing about art books is that you can gauge initial interest from the artist and the price point, and then you can gauge secondary interest by picking one up in the better comics stores and checking it out. It's very easy, this comics and comics-related book buying.

FEB101005 BLOOM COUNTY COMPLETE LIBRARY HC VOL 02 $39.99
Last volume was the Bloom County very few had seen. This volume is the Bloom County all of you around 40 years old started laughing about with your teenage buddies in the back of debate class.

NOV090350 INVINCIBLE HC VOL 05 ULTIMATE COLL (RES) $34.99
JAN100442 MICE TEMPLAR HC VOL 02 .1 DESTINY PT 1 $29.99
Two of Image's line of fancy-looking hardcovers. The Invincible stuff is available in a number of formats, but I have to imagine the Mice Templar stuff is much more ideally suited to book collection.

FEB100463 CAPTAIN AMERICA WHO WONT WIELD SHIELD #1 $3.99
Something about that title cracks me up. The great thing about comics is I have no idea if it was supposed to or not.

FEB100453 FIRESTAR #1 $3.99
Something about that price point cracks me up. In this case, I know it's not supposed to be funny. Two of her Amazing Friends show up and you have a $12 book, $13 if Ms. Lyon is thrown in. Speaking of which:

FEB100609 LOCKJAW AND PET AVENGERS TP GN $19.99
Due to the rapid speeding-up of time that comes with middle age, I missed checking out this series when it was out in serial form. So I would definitely pick this book up and give it a shot. I'm always a little bit suspicious of books that seek to push superhero fantasy in every corner of the Marvel Universe, because I think it loosens the intriguing way Marvel is shackled to our world's reality. On the other hand: superhero pets!

FEB100573 DARK WOLVERINE #85 $2.99
Shouldn't this be "Darker Wolverine" -- Wolverine's pretty dark already. Or maybe it could be "Anti-Wolverine" in which the character doesn't have a noble, samurai spirit and also sucks at everything. I might buy that comic.

JAN100520 SIF #1 $3.99
This is long-time dialogue expert Kelly Sue DeConnick's Marvel series writing debut. I hope she's a fan of the initial version of the character, because that character is potentially hilarious: Minka Kelly plays Thundra. Is it my imagination, or has Marvel done a pretty good job with gently resuscitating their various female characters? I like that kind of thing because as the bottom rots out of the serial comics market, thinking you're better off with an effective Valkyrie in your stable is really an act of hope.

JAN100956 BASIL WOLVERTONS CULTURE CORNER HC $22.99
Who doesn't want to read as much Basil Wolverton as they can? He's not in the starting all-time five, but he gets a lot of playing time off the bench.

MAR101139 GREETINGS FROM CARTOONIA SC (MR) $20.00
This is the Stripburger cartoonists working through a fictional construct/high-concept. The first of at least three pretty good art-comics offerings to round out our week.

FEB100923 MOME GN VOL 18 $14.99
I think the last couple of issues felt a bit off, but this 18th volume of Fantagraphics' anthology for (mostly) young cartoonists seeking a showcase at least offers a super-strong line-up of creators, including Ben Jones, Frank Santoro, Joe Daly and Tim Lane. I've been really digging T. Edward Bak's serial in there. I think if I weren't getting to see something close to all the comics, this would be even more of a vital pick-up for me, if that makes any sense.

FEB100787 RASL TP VOL 02 FIRE OF ST GEORGE $15.00
The second trade collection of Jeff Smith's lively RASL series. Since a lot of the fun of RASL is watching Jeff Smith draw these things that pop into his head after years of drawing little Walt Kelly figures and fantasy characters, this over-sized, initial trade series has been a fun way to get into this work.

*****

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 didn't list your comic here, I really have no excuse.

*****

image
 
posted 7:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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