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November 9, 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 if I were anywhere near a comic shop, I would invoke my rights as a citizen of Planet Awesome to spend my days picking up and putting down the following.

*****

SEP100044 BPRD HELL ON EARTH NEW WORLD #4 (OF 5) $3.50
It seems that not a week goes by without something from the Mignola-verse on the stands, which I bet is a big reason why these books do well despite being left mostly to themselves.

JUN100035 GRANDVILLE MON AMOUR HC $19.99
This is a sequel to Bryan Talbot's anthropomorphic steampunk fantasy, coming out almost exactly one year after the first book's release. That's a first-class offering of its type of comic, even if that's a type of comic you don't necessarily read.

JUL100144 BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #6 (OF 6) $3.99
I was going to write "Finally" but since it's DC I'm guessing there's probably a one-shot or two after this supposed last issue. That "JUL" can't be a good sign considering how tightly these various series are coordinated time-wise, either.

SEP100305 CONSTANTINE HELLBLAZER CITY OF DEMONS #3 (OF 5) (MR) $2.99
I have to say, I don't really get the spin-off series from a mid-level performer strategy as it relates to anything other than goosing market share a tiny bit.

JUL100231 NORTH 40 TP $17.99
This is the collection of one of the better-reviewed late-period Wildstorm books, a horror-fantasy set in a small town that seems to have touched on all the familiar aspects of that kind of literature without boring its fans. It's one of those book that I probably wouldn't buy, but I'd sure love to look over in a shop. You know, if I had one. Thanks, Marvelution.

APR100224 SUPERMAN VS MUHAMMAD ALI DELUXE HC $19.99
APR100223 SUPERMAN VS MUHAMMAD ALI FACSIMILE EDITION HC $39.99
The strange thing is that as recently as five years ago you could still easily find the original of this powerful item of '70s kitsch for less than $10. I know, because I had to buy one. It's a pretty good comic, and its underlying craft strengths are a big part of what has kept it alive over the years.

AUG100441 MAGE HC VOL 01 THE HERO DISCOVERED (NEW PTG) $39.99
It'd be fascinating to see what this one looks like on high-end paper and given the general, deluxe treatment. My memory of the comics -- and I still have them all -- is very much wrapped up in their being comics.

SEP100342 DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS #1 $3.99
What the Internet is to comics in the 2010s, the bookstore to comics in the 2000s, and the music store to comics in the 1990s, the gaming shop was to comics in the 1980s -- a natural ally whose longevity will depend on factors that have nothing to do with comics at all. I have to imagine that boiled down to one or two comics and given to a writer with a light touch, a Dungeons and Dragons comic book could do okay.

JUL100439 COWBOY NINJA VIKING #10 (MR) $3.99
This is a deeply weird adventure comic book series, about agents grafted with multiple personae in order to best fulfill their jobs of asskickery and related functions. While I can't imagine running out to see it I hope a recently announced movie version does well for them. It has that rare comics virtue (Thriller, later Giffen Legion Of Super-Heroes) of not giving a moist crap whether you understand what the hell is going on.

SEP100596 ANT-MAN & WASP #1 (OF 3) $3.99
Here's a question. Are they collecting three-issue mini-series now? I liked the characters as they appeared in that Roger Langridge Thor comic, but every character that appears in that comic ends up being super-appealing. I kind of like the fact that Hank Pym has long been the Bob Meusel of the Lee/Kirby era, and there's likely something that can be done with that.

SEP101196 ADV PROF THINTWHISTLE INCREDIBLE AETHER FLYER GN $14.99
One of comics' most beautiful Lost Children, a whimsical science fiction story that ran in the Ted White Heavy Metal. This age of reprints demanded its re-publication. If you saw it in one of its earlier iterations, it may have burnt a place in your memory that make re-reading it now a voyage of re-discovery, a visit to a time when comics -- the whole magilla -- seemed to be barely holding on.

SEP100744 ELMER GN (MR) $12.95
I've enjoyed Gerry Alanguilan's surprisingly personal story of emotional fallout in the world talking chickens in every form I've read it, and I hope it does well in this iteration.

AUG100760 MOUSE GUARD LEGENDS O/T GUARD HC $19.95
This is Archaia's companion piece to its successful work with David Petersen's Mouse Guard franchise; I have yet to read it, but I think Mouse Guard and Archaia are on principle worth more of our collective attention.

SEP101084 SMURFS GN VOL 03 SMURF KING $5.99
SEP101083 SMURFS HC VOL 03 SMURF KING $10.99
I know a four-year old that's going to be happy about this. I think a lot of parents will be happy, too, as the series starts to stretch its legs and bit and get more Jay Ward-like in its ability to please the younger set and those that are reading to them.

SEP100737 GLAMOURPUSS #16 $3.00
I think you'd be surprised for how many people this is their favorite serial comic book right now.

SEP101143 TONOHARU GN PART 2 (MR) $19.95
One of the few self-published alternative book series of note (it's distributed by Top Shelf but published by the cartoonist), I enjoyed Lars Martinson's low-key soap opera set in the barest bones of an English-speaking community in a rural Japan (a place where Martinson himself taught) much more in this second volume than I did in the first.

JUL101177 VAGABOND VIZBIG ED GN VOL 09 (MR) $19.99
AUG101179 TWIN SPICA GN VOL 04 $10.95
Your mainstream manga series offerings of the week, one a well-executed adventure story the other a quirkily-told coming-of-age drama set in a school for astronauts.

JUN100999 EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADELE BLANC SEC HC VOL 01 $24.99
Fantagraphics' Tardi roll-out reaches new heights with this first in a series of books translating Tardi's fun and of course beautiful-looking turn-of-century adventure series. There's also a soon-to-be "Watch Instantly" favorite directed by Luc Besson out there, just waiting.

AUG101019 TOYS I/T BASEMENT HC $14.99
AUG101076 TWO GENERALS GN $24.95
Two graphic novels that are more slipping out than arriving on the stands with fanfare, both from quality cartoonists (Stephane Blanquet, Scott Chantler) with impressive creative pedigrees. I look forward to reading them both.

AUG100917 INKSTUDS SC $20.00
I'm enjoying dragging this one around the house to various sofas and easy chairs and catching a piece here or there -- it's as good a snapshot of comics right now as you're likely to read now that TCJ is gone in that monthly sense where it gave you a window into the world of comics just by engaging with so much of it. I'm in this book, but I'm avoiding that section; I don't remember really distinguishing myself in that particular interview. But the rest of it's pretty good.

SEP101256 WILL EISNER DREAMERS LIFE IN COMICS HC $28.00
I'm still not all the way certain why another Will Eisner biography was necessarily called for just a few years after Bob Andelman's under-publicized take on the master cartoonist, but I suppose that means I can hope in that it's a wildly divergent take. Nobody ruin it for me.

*****

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'm retrenching my overall strategies regarding this site following a poor showing in the midterms.

*****

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