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April 19, 2017


This Isn't A Library: New, 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.

*****

JAN171781 GANGES #6 $8.00
Great weekend up top for the kind of books that get me to the comics shop, starting with the latest issue of Ganges, the Fantagraphics series now self-published with Fantagraphics providing some distribution muscle. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm told it provides something of an ending to the insomnia cycle narrative, with all of the fragmented storytelling you might expect. Kevin Huizenga's one of the great cartoonists of the moment, and you shouldn't miss a page.

imageFEB171591 BERLIN #20 (MR) $5.95
JAN170411 ASTRO CITY #43 (RES) $3.99
FEB170652 I HATE FAIRYLAND #12 CVR A YOUNG (MR) $3.99
FEB170654 INJECTION #12 CVR A SHALVEY & BELLAIRE (MR) $3.99
FEB170656 INVINCIBLE #135 $2.99
FEB170674 SEX CRIMINALS #18 (MR) $3.99
FEB170676 SHE WOLF #8 (MR) $3.99
B170885 DOCTOR STRANGE #19 $3.99
Berlin should get a few people to the comics shop, as intermittent its publishing schedule and the general quality of the series to date. Two more issues to go. That comic series is so old it started at Black Eye. It fits in very well at Drawn and Quarterly, even though they don't even publish in this format anymore. At some point I expect some attention paid to Astro City, a titanic model of consistency and heft in a world of reboots. Skottie Young's latest kicks off a pretty strong week at image. The Injection series started out in a kind of obtuse mode but seems more of a reliable, straight-ahead thriller now. Ellis is second only to Grant Morrison when it comes to portentous set-ups in his pulp; he has a much better average executing them. Invincible is about to get bloody and disgusting, I just know it, but this issue was still calm-before-the-storm-ish. Sex Criminals feels like it's caught its stride as an extended narrative; it feels settled in in a good way. Rich Tommaso's She-Wolf continues to provide the odd beauty and, well, the straight-up odd. I buy Doctor Strange when I see it because I like buying comics at comics shops, but I still don't know if it's solved the crawl of its issue-to-issue pacing and making bigger stories. I feel like that world could be fleshed out a bit more than it has been.

FEB170758 SECRET EMPIRE #0 (OF 9) $4.99
This I separate because I have little desire to read a series about superheroes punching each other and screaming speeches, but it should be interesting to see if there's a marketplace effect. The real battle is event burnout + negative fan murmuring + a heroic character's unpleasant heel turn vs. an event with graspable stakes + all publicity is good publicity. My hunch is that there are too many of these events for them to provide any impact, and the disruption to the line is vastly minimized when the individual series are constantly shaking up their own status quo. We'll see how it goes.

FEB171824 IMAGINE WANTING ONLY THIS GN $29.95
A well-publicized stand-alone graphic novel whose publishers think highly enough of it to give it that push, which is something. I like meaning-of-life narratives and look forward to diving in.

FEB171723 SAVAGE HIGHWAY HC (MR) $24.95
High-end science fiction from Humanoids of the broken earth variety (probably the #3 strain of the stuff that we encounter of this kind of comic after "lyrical future" and "transformed city" takes). I'm sure it's terrifically crafted, and without knowing my hunch is that are several tropes we've seen before.

FEB172255 HOGANS ALLEY #21 $6.95
A view of the comics world slightly older than my own, and thus extremely valuable to me. All respect to their dedication to print and its demands for a certain rigor in the content.

JAN170544 JIM THOMPSON KILLER INSIDE ME TP $19.99
OCT160060 GROO FRAY OF THE GODS TP $17.99
DEC160085 RESIDENT ALIEN TP VOL 04 THE MAN WITH NO NAME $14.99
Three books I'd check out that I missed in serial form. I know some people were high on the Thompson, but with the critical framework being what it is, no one I read took it on as it came out so it's still a total mystery to me. Groo is Sergio Aragones, one of the great living cartoonists, and I need to own every page he publishes. Resident Alien is that weird "Longmire but Longmire is a genial doctor alien played by Paul Bettany" series, which I would watch on TV and enoy on the comics page.

DEC160056 HELLBOY INTO THE SILENT SEA HC $14.99
A showcase for the art of Gary Gianni, a imaginative talent whose work has graced a variety of gigs including a few that were self-generated. This should be attractive.

*****

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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posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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