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March 30, 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 celebrating the Cinderella-like runs of many of the following:

*****

DEC090774 RASL #7 (MR) $3.50
One odd thing about RASL is that by employing the desert setting as strongly as it has, Jeff Smith's current series also underlines how geographically specific Bone was as well. It's just that Bone trafficked in a region -- the American midwest with its forests and its caves and its strange horizons -- that almost never gets explored. Anyway, I have a lot of fun reading RASL in serial form, so I'm looking forward to seeing the new book.

JAN100139 USAGI YOJIMBO #127 SWORD OF NARUKAMI $3.50
JAN100329 ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE BOOK FOUR #3 (OF 4) $3.99
JAN100231 BLACKEST NIGHT #8 (OF 8) $3.99
OCT090422 GODLAND #31 $2.99
JAN100467 SWORD #23 (MR) $2.99
Here's a small collection of comic book-type comics that may or may not allow you to build one of those classic comic-shop experience of little pockets of creativity sticking out of a thin, blue bag. You even get an honest-to-god veteran of those days in the Usagi Yojimbo comic book, and one of its transitional entities with the latest iteration of Kurt Busiek's superhero universe. Blackest Night brings to conclusion the spine of DC's most recent sprawling event work, Godland continues its slow progression towards its final issue and Sword probably contains some horrifying yet funny scene of someone getting a body part punched off.

JAN100942 IT WAS WAR O/T TRENCHES HC $24.99
I'd say this is the release of the week: one of the great works from one of the great, important cartoonists. This has been serialized a bit here and there over the years, so that's why the work may look familiar, but this book puts it all in your hands.

JAN101203 CHARLES M SCHULZ MY LIFE WITH CHARLIE BROWN HC $25.00
The amount of random material yet to be collected about Charles Schulz could fill a book. And so it has.

OCT090244 CREEPER BY STEVE DITKO HC $39.99
The price point for this bunch of fine but to my memory just slightly south of first-tier work by Steve Ditko seems aimed at that mystery DC patron that never buys anything that doesn't have a per-unit cost of at least $30. I hope one day to meet some of these people and have them accidentally buy me meals in the course of a long weekend.

DEC090840 JOHN STANLEY LIBRARY MELVIN MONSTER HC VOL 02 $24.95
I liked the first one of these and I delight in their total inaccessibility to children, inviting the neighbor's kids into my office and smacking their peanut butter-stained hands with a ruler as they reach for my fancy books. Actually, I had nice books as a kid -- Edward Gorey, Charles Addams -- so I see these as being for kids, too. Cute stories, cute cartooning, cute, cute, cute.

JAN101172 TEZUKAS BLACK JACK TP VOL 10 $16.95
FEB101148 TEZUKAS ODE TO KIRIHITO SC PART 01 $14.95
FEB101149 TEZUKAS ODE TO KIRIHITO SC PART 02 $14.95
Massive chunks of Tezuka -- the Black Jack project has to be over 3000 pages at this point, or at least close to it, with a couple thousand pages to come. I'm not exactly sure what's going on with a two-volume reprinting of Ode To Kirihito, but I think that's a marvelous comic: a mostly straight-forward action-drama that nearly shakes itself apart at certain moments with lucid weirdness, the closes we'll ever see to a Sam Fuller movie in comic book form.

DEC090866 HIGH SOFT LISP GN (MR) $16.99
DEC090868 PENNY CENTURY TP $18.99
Two from Los Bros: a collection of Gilbert Hernandez's stories about Fritz, stories I haven't come close to figuring out yet. The Penny Century book is one of those new-line softcovers and includes a lot of work just after the dissolution of Love and Rockets Volume One. Some of the best comics in the world, and as that Abrams book begins to hit everyone's looking at Jaime's work with renewed appreciation.

DEC091026 PLUTO URASAWA X TEZUKA GN VOL 08 (OF 8) $12.99
If I were Jog, I might be able to write 800 clever words comparing this eighth volume with the eighth Blackest Night book, but as it is I'll just point out it's hitting stories, it's a good series, and it's one that at eight volumes I can imagine having a decently long life in serialized book (as opposed to omnibus) form.

JUL090869 CLASSIC PINUP ART OF JACK COLE SC $18.99
This sounds like a reprint to me; I'd have to see it. The reprint I'm thinking of was a really nice book, although with books like this it's pretty much all in the title as far as potential buyers.

*****

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, that's because I was intimidated by the arena until Coach Dale broke out the measuring tape.

*****

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