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

August 9, 2017

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



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.


It's difficult for me to think of a comics work that breaks as far away from the publisher's typical works that features a cartoonist that seems perfectly suited for the talent line-up as My Pretty Vampire and its burgeoning star Katie Skelly, interviewed this summer in every publication and on every site where interviews are done. It's her best work. A lot of what I like about her work is its unusual exploration of metaphor, and the emotional terrain explored here is as delicate as any she's ever presented. Book of the summer, I'd say.

imageMAY171540 PALOOKAVILLE HC VOL 23 (MR) $22.95
It's a strong week. Everything Seth does is a must-buy for me, and that's 3X as true for his serial title now a kind of kids annual for the nostalgic adult. His art is as relaxed and controlled as it has ever been, too, ratcheting up the pleasure one gets in reading the comics.

JUN170760 KILL OR BE KILLED #11 (MR) $3.99
JUN170107 GROO PLAY OF GODS #2 $3.99
Not a huge week for traditionally serialized comic book. I haven't caught up to the much-criticized Howard Chaykin work, and I'm not sure it's caught on sales-wise, but that's a book of interest for the industry backstory element of its journey to print. The Ed Brubaker an Sean Phillips comic is as pretty as anything they've done, and I"m warming up to the story now that we're in a part where things are underlined and repeated for effect. Sergio Aragones is a national treasure and it's great he's still doing series. Also great for comic book store owner is the latest comic from the popular series Wicked & Divine. That description makes me sound like Casey Kasem talking about the Ramones.

MAY170693 KILL OR BE KILLED TP VOL 02 (MR) $16.99
This is a collection of the previously mentioned Brubaker/Phillip dive into the criminal-killer sub-genre. I think what I'd be most interested in looking at a collection right now is the pacing, because it does't feel like we're up to as many pages with this one as we obviously have to be.

Elijah Brubaker's back with a follow-up to Reich, plus we get it all at the same time. I don't think Brubaker's found his audience yet, which is sad only in that the work feels engaging and unique to me.

This is Craig Yoe working with on-line archivist Get Apeldoorn on various MAD knockoffs from the famous satirical magazine's initial glory period. A lot of good cartoonists worked on a lot of those magazines.

This isn't work I've jumped into yet, but it certainly has its fans. I may buy this one, even though I'm not 100 percent sure what it's about.

APR171900 ARIOL SC VOL 10 OPERA $12.99
My favorite, my dear little comic-book friend. I am fond of these to a disqualifying degree, and it feels more like the quiet afternoons of my own childhood than any other comic I've read.

JUN171828 PANTHEON SC $22.95
I love the cover to this, if you have a chance to google it. It's the story of Osiris, cleverly told in comics form: I'm not sure the story of Osiris registers with a lot of US readers, so it can be both a brand-new thing and a reliable classic.

Mimi Pond is the other interview you see everywhere right now; she's a smart and funny subject. I quite liked the writing on the book in the same milieu from two years ago, and hope she brings that kind of non-fussy clarity to this further meditation on shared experiences and memory as identity-shapers.


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.



posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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