Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary















February 7, 2018


This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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.

*****

NOV170679 GET NAKED OGN (MR) $24.99
Here's a comic that I've been looking forward to reading and almost certainly should have by now: Steven T. Seagle's and a bunch of artists fashioning comics essays all built around the subject of nudity. Seagle's has used a lot of his earned comics capital (time and money wise) exploring what I would imagine are artistically satisfying directions, and meeting him at those points of expression tends to be rewarding. It would be a better comics world if there were a book like this out every week.

OCT170056 GROO PLAY OF THE GODS TP $17.99
I will always buy comics made by the great Sergio Aragones. I know some of my friends reading this in serial form were delighted at the quality of the work, so I'm looking forward to getting into this one with some degree of anticipation.

imageDEC171240 GIANT DAYS #35 $3.99
DEC170757 SAVAGE DRAGON #231 (MR) $3.99
NOV170834 SNOTGIRL #9 $2.99
DEC170770 WALKING DEAD #176 CVR A ADLARD & STEWART (MR) $3.99
OCT178652 WALKING DEAD #176 CVR B SIENKIEWICZ (MR) $3.99
DEC170620 WICKED & DIVINE 1923 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (ONE-SHOT) (MR) $4.99
DEC170621 WICKED & DIVINE 1923 CVR B KOCH (ONE-SHOT) (MR) $4.99
DEC170878 BLACK BOLT #10 LEG $3.99
I enjoy John Allison's comics, and this one promises a special guest-star appearance, so hey, gotta buy. Savage Dragon has an explicit sexual element now, which is weird only if a mainstream show like Blue Blood went explicit for its 17th season. Neither the old status quo nor the old one makes this a comic for me. Solid performer Walking Dead is getting close to its usual first-act twist for the latest plotline. Those are always fun. Wicked & Divine: 1923 puts on display another strategy common to right now: bridging stories between major, prime storylines. And Black Bolt continues to chug along; I didn't know it was going to be published past its space prison storyline, so I need to catch up.

OCT170018 INCOGNEGRO A GRAPHIC MYSTERY HC $19.99
DEC170048 INCOGNEGRO RENAISSANCE #1 $3.99
DEC170758 SCALES & SCOUNDRELS #6 $3.99
NOV170682 SCALES & SCOUNDRELS TP VOL 01 INTO THE DRAGONS MAW $9.99
Here are two standard Direct Market sales techniques: the first is relaunching an edition of a graphic novel the same week as the first issue of a sequel series comes out. The second is having a serial trade collection come out the same week as the first issue of the next trade. Both are designed, I think, to maximize the exposure a work might get in a market and to make sure that everything is available to new readers. I have never read the Incognegro books, but that's fascinating subject matter. I did read the fantasy book. It's sort of a contest to hit as many of the gaming-type fantasy cliches as possible, but it has a genial tone an the art is loose and expressive -- definitely one of the best of that frequent kind of book I've read.

OCT170050 MOEBIUS LIBRARY INSIDE MOEBIUS HC VOL 01 $39.99
It's a sign of our rich times in comics art that I would ideally check this one out in my store but then maybe wait to buy until we're a few volumes along. That sounds awful, because it's Moebius, but I feel there's a danger in committing to these kinds of projects.

NOV178638 MISTER MIRACLE #1 (OF 12) 4TH PTG (MR) $3.99
NOV178639 MISTER MIRACLE #2 (OF 12) 3RD PTG (MR) $3.99
NOV178640 MISTER MIRACLE #3 (OF 12) 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
NOV178641 MISTER MIRACLE #4 (OF 12) 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
That's a ringing endorsement for your publisher, that many printings, even if some people feel that any additional printing is a failure on a publisher's part in terms of gauging interest.

DEC171682 BLACK COMIX RETURNS HC $29.99
NOV171663 LIFE & LEGEND WALLACE WOOD HC VOL 02 $39.99
Two quality-book sequels. The Black Comix book I think is a sequel to one of the early smash-hit crowd-funders, in that the book itself sold out and became super hard to find. The first volume of the Wally Wood was up for an Eisner Award last year.

DEC171531 KILLING & DYING GN TOMINE (MR) $19.95
NOV171613 RED WINTER GN (MR) $21.95
Solid alternative-comics offerings. One is the latest edition of a super-solid recent Adrian Tomine work. I want every page he does on my bookshelves somewhere. The other is a D+Q offering about the domestic fallout from a love affair informed by age, class and political differences. I really enjoyed that one's deliberate pacing.

DEC172083 GRACE FOR GUS HC $17.99
This is a Harry Bliss comic for kids and I did not know it even existed until 30 seconds ago. Should be solid with that pedigree, though.

DEC172058 NEON VISIONS COMICS OF HOWARD CHAYKIN SC $29.95
Your Book About Comics for the week, continuing Brannon Costello's solid and lively exploration of the key indy-comic creator.

NOV171890 PLEASE DESTROY THE INTERNET GN $10.00
Matthew Sweater comes up in my mind as the guy who do that great t-shirt about someone asking their enemies be destroyed, bu the strip work I've seen is really funny. This should be, too. Another Silver Sprocket release.

*****

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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