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February 26, 2014


This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases To 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.

*****

DEC130960 SERGIO ARAGONES FUNNIES #12 $3.50
There's not a ton of material out to which I'm automatically attracted, but going to the comic book store is always fun and there are always things to look at there. I could buy just this comic book and have a very good weekend -- it may be the best comic book series of the last few years. A one-man anthology comic book featuring Sergio Aragones sounds like the kind of thing that we form from conjecture while spitballing potential attractive titles at 2 AM in San Diego, but this actually exists. Why anyone wouldn't want every issue of a lion-in-winter style snapshot of a major cartoonist's career is beyond me, but people barely talk about this series.

imageDEC131312 INSUFFICIENT DIRECTION GN $14.95
There's a high curiosity factor involved with this one, an autobiographical effort from Moyoco Anno that is basically a comics-style essay on what her married life with Hideaki Anno was like at the time of this writing. At least there's a high curiosity factor for me, given the relatively focused aspect of the subject matter and the fact that Anno is working in a different style than other manga I've seen from her.

DEC130248 SUPERMAN LOIS LANE #1 $4.99
DEC130347 WAKE #6 (MR) $2.99
DEC130591 SATELLITE SAM #6 (MR) $3.50
DEC130594 SEX #11 (MR) $2.99
DEC130605 WALKING DEAD #122 (MR) $2.99
DEC130616 FANTASTIC FOUR #1 ANMN $3.99
JUL130649 HAWKEYE #15 $2.99
These are the mainstream serial-type comic books that popped for me for various reasons looking at a long list, although this might be the kind of week where I took a long look at a bunch that didnd't, just to see what was out there, like the IDW "ongoing" titles on a couple of the properties with which they work. Here I'm favoring a bunch of old man comics. I've seen the Lois Lane; I don't know why folks would want to read a monsters-driven superhero story starring the intrepid girl reporter, and I don't have any connection to the New 52 version of the character at all, and I don't DC has ever figured out how to portray reporting in an interconnected superhero universe, but I thought that was a solid-enough mainstream comic book, and it seems like they're tossing pretty good artists at the Superman books recently. Satellite Sam I don't have a bead on even six issues in, but I'll keep reading the Fraction/Chaykin effort for as long as they want to do it. Fraction in particular seems to nail down his projects several comic-book issues in. Sex is the most 1980s indy comic book on the stands, even with Chaykin doing a book with ladies in garters. The Walking Dead I'm not all the way up on, but they're reaching one of those likely plot points soon and I think that title's been around long enough for there to be some basic interest in the shape of the overall plotline (who's alive; what they're doing). They're launching Fantastic Four again with James Robinson and Leonard Kirk this time out; Marvel's inability to find an approach that works with a groundswell of fans on that title has been interesting. Certainly enough concepts have been realized since the Millar/Hitch run that any creative team will have a lot of things to play with. Finally, Hawkeye endures.

NOV130277 UNKNOWN SOLDIER TP NEW ED (MR) $14.99
I have some comics-reading friends that are slowly working their way through the writer Garth Ennis' various collaborations over the last two decades, so it might be a boon for them that this late 1990s mini-series with Killian Plunkett is being collected again. I remember it as a pretty standard, grim updating of the character into a role that doesn't really involve theater-to-theater war of the fighting nazis variety.

SEP130783 CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER HC MOVIE CVR $34.99
One of the most interesting things to happen in mainstream comics would be for Marvel to change its general orientation towards book collection with an eye towards maximizing possiblities as opposed to floating a certain level of market share, which is what their program seems like right now. A grant first step would be to identify a single book rather than a dozen as the tie-in work with the forthcoming Captain America sequel movie. This could be it; we'll see what's to come. I generally like these comics: they're very sturdy 1970s "realistic" superheroes tweaked in a way that makes them more palatable for modern audiences.

DEC130792 THOR BY WALTER SIMONSON TP VOL 04 $29.99
This would be one of those Marvel book I'm talking about where I just don't even know how this stuff is collected and to what extent and how many times and which version I should buy. So I don't, and when I do I tend to go to the original comics because they're less baffling. I'm only one person, but I'm betting I'm not the only one and that at least a few sales are left on the table over time by this kind of perceived randomness. I like these comics, though, and if you're reading them this way I bet you're happy to see this book.

DEC130793 X-FORCE BY KYLE AND YOST COMPLETE COLLECTION TP VOL 01 $34.99
There's a time in every pop culture fan's life when a Saturday Night Live cast member goes on to the movies and you realize you no longer watch the show and have no idea who they are exactly, but you're sure they have many fans.

imageDEC131199 CAPE HORN HC (MR) $39.95
DEC131198 LOVING DEAD HC (MR) $19.95
This would be a great week to look at the Humanoids of your store -- if you're lucky to have such a section in your store -- for its solid line of genre comics. This is a western and, well, a genre-mix about zombies, I'd assume. I'm more interested because there are few westerns with this kind of heft that aren't like the classic two or three coimcs westerns, and this is a displaced (South America) western to boot. I tend to really like those.

DEC130821 CHARLIE BROWN & FRIENDS TP $9.99
Andrews McMeel is still doing Peanuts-related collection aimed at someone other than longtime collectors. Just in case you were wondering. This is classic material, not the new stuff.

OCT131321 FIRST KINGDOM HC VOL 03 (MR) $24.99
I have all of these comics already but I know at least four people that bought earlier volumes here because they are bookshelf oriented now. I like how odd these comics are, and how they've become more odd over time, the way that certain 1970s science fiction and fantasy filmed media feels fifty years older than that despite the nudity or hints at same. Anyway: Jack Katz is a comics original and so was this series.

JAN141242 HENRY AND GLENN FOREVER AND EVER #4 (MR) $5.00
Tom Neely is a comics original, too, and this is the final issue of his anthology take on a parody comic aimed at general metal excesses and macho culture. I think this project has had a decade-long life span, initial mini-comic to now, which is pretty incredible. This is certainly the go-to book for alt-comics fans this week, I think, or at least it strikes me that 23-year-old me would hit first.

JAN141414 WILL EISNER DREAMER GN $16.95
JAN141417 WILL EISNER READER GN $16.95
JAN141415 WILL EISNERS CONTRACT WITH GOD TRILOGY HC NEW PTG $35.00
This is your bunch of comics that you probably already have but if you don't probably should think about having in some form. Will Eisner is a lengthy subject for discussion, and we're right at that point where there are certain people, mostly older, that assume he's an automatic giant in the history of all comics everywhere no arguments seriously shut up and sit down with whatever you were going to say and there are people that don't connect with what he was doing at all. That's just the nature of the discussion surrounding all figures in an art form, really. I think there's a lot of room to get back on board with this material if you haven't been in the past, a lot of entry ways as yet unexplored, so I'm glad it's remaining in print for people to find -- or not -- at their own pace.

JAN141377 ART OF NICK CARDY SC (MR) $19.95
Well, I like looking at Nick Cardy and I would if I were in a comic shop today. That's all.

OCT131028 RUSTY RILEY DAILIES HC VOL 01 1948 -1949 $49.95
OCT131027 LEONARD STARRS MARY PERKINS ON STAGE TP VOL 12 $24.95
Finally, it remains a really great thing that comics is structured in a way that work from features that weren't exactly format-defining hit can find their way to print and, one assumes, an audience. My mom was a big fan of On Stage, which ended in the late 1970s and thus this series is heading towards its conclusion. Both Leonard Starr and Frank Godwin were artists worth taking in for the illustrative attractiveness of their comics, although I almost find work like this more interesting for its one-time mainstream status that has faded so far from view the way the stories involved almost seem baroque and artsy. I would love to see a person to person breakdown of everyone that buys the Rusty Riley book, I really would.

*****

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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*****
*****
 
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