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May 7, 2014


This Isn't A Library: 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.

*****

FEB140897 COMPLETE CUL DE SAC SC BOXED SET $75.00
A great comic strip gets its version for the next 50 years. I thought this was excellent right away and stay really, really good to excellent throughout. It's a miracle this book exists, in a way -- the accident of Richard Thompson doing a comic strip at all, to it becoming beloved, to Thompson shutting it down for health-related reasons to the increased reverence with which it's held, thorugh the Billy Ireland show still up in Columbus and so on.

imageJAN140194 ALLEY OOP COMPLETE SUNDAYS HC VOL 01 1934-1936 $75.00
These books are quite, quite nice, and while I'm the worst person in the world in terms of sussing out production quality if they had priced these $50 higher I wouldn't have blinked. Alley Oop is always fun, goofy and innocuous and at times narratively slack more than any of the other great strips with a continuing plotline. No one's quite figured out the way these strips should be presented to modern audiences; maybe this is it.

MAR140208 BATMAN ETERNAL #5 $2.99
So I guess they're attempting to do weekly comics now at DC, and this is the Batman one. I suppose that's worth trying as a publishing strategy, and the Batman characters would seem well-suited if not outright perfect for the kind of relentless, propulsive storytelling people always seem to give weekly serials. On the other hand, I don't know that there's anything to distinguish this comic from all the other Batman books other than the fact it's a weekly. We'll see how solid the concept is storytelling-wise when we get about ten more issues, when the new-series bloom is off the rose. Sales-wise, there's an outside chance that it might by DC's 2014 MVP.

FEB140266 WATCHMEN TP INTERNATIONAL EDITION NEW ED $19.99
FEB140265 WATCHMEN TP NEW ED $19.99
This is a remarkable book in modern publishing history, and would be an interesting story on those terms even were it divorced from the high drama and shenanigans of writer Alan Moore's deteriorating relationship with DC Comics.

MAR140284 ASTRO CITY #12 $3.99
DEC130570 FATALE #22 (MR) $3.50
FEB140626 SATELLITE SAM #8 (MR) $3.50
MAR140697 MILES MORALES ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 $3.99
These are the classic, comic-book format genre comics that jumped out at me this week. I thought the Fatale in particular was really good. The Spider-Man I mention because of the title launching right as the latest movie's out, and in feature article about future movies it seems as if the movie side of Marvel has no interest in the character.

DEC130761 ANNIHILATION OMNIBUS HC $125.00
I enjoyed these comics when I finally caught up to them, and I know some people love to have their comics in hardback format, but it really does seem to me that you could find all of the comics reprinted here for pretty cheap, and maybe have enough money left over for that Alley Oop book.

FEB140837 UNCANNY X-MEN PREM HC VOL 03 GOOD BAD AND INHUMAN $24.99
DEC130758 X-MEN ADAMANTIUM COLLECTION HC $200.00
FEB140834 X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST PROSE NOVEL HC $24.99
JAN140780 X-MEN NO MORE HUMANS OGN HC $24.99
FEB140852 X-MEN VS HULK TP $24.99
I have no idea why Marvel is pushing so much X-Men product into the market when every last bit of conventional wisdom seems to suggest a) have this work out when the first trailer for your movie hits, b) you need to find one book to which your retail partners can send people. The thought that they're just releasing five giant books featuring the X-Men into the market with no comprehension there's a movie out could also be true.

MAR140541 I KILL GIANTS FIFTH ANNV ED TP $19.99
This was an interesting-looking series that had passionate defenders at the time it came out and I think has done well in other markets. It does seem like the kind of book people should have access to. Oh, and it seems like it came out ten years ago.

imageJAN140836 FEMINIST BUT GN COMICS ABOUT WOMEN $20.00
There are a lot of good people in here, including Vanessa Davis, Ulli Lust, the great Lauren Weinstein, and Gabrielle Bell. This site explains the project.

MAR141430 ALL YOU NEED IS KILL GN VOL 01 (MR) $14.99
I'm just proud of myself for remembering that this is the tie-in to that next Tom Cruise movie that no one is going to see. It really is a good name, though, easy to remember.

FEB141281 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 21 1991-1992 $29.99
MAR141166 COMPLETE PEANUTS TP VOL 01 1950-1952 $22.99
These came together in my mail, and the trade dress for the softcovers works just fine. I really like the Peanuts group at Fantagraphics right now, as the hardcover strip books are in a strong place with which I'm largely unfamiliar. The Sunday color book was remarkable-looking.

FEB140898 GET FUZZY TREASURY TP JERKTASTIC PARK $18.99
I have no comprehension of what the market is like for still-running newspaper strips, but I do know that Get Fuzzy is regularly republished in book form. This indicates a sizable audience and a passionate fan base, because I know strip with one or the other that seem to barely get published at all.

MAR141366 HEY MISTER COME HELL OR HIGHWATER PANTS GN (MR) $14.95
This is Pete Sickman-Garner's return to comics and there was a time I didn't think I'd ever say that because I figured he was around for the duration. It's good see Top Shelf working with one of the artists they published very on.

MAR141300 SIXTH GUN #40 $3.99
That's a lot of issues. Congratulations to those creators and their publisher.

JAN140837 SUGAR BOOGER #2 $5.95
Kevin Scalzo's work is always fun, and there's nothing like his specific visual approach making comic books right now. This is a comic book that could have been published in alt-comics circles at any time at the last 25 years, and I mean that as a total compliment. Its strengths are some of alt-comics' long-running strengths.

FEB148375 USAGI YOJIMBO TP VOL 03 WANDERERS ROAD $16.99
This is your older book with newer edition and you probably already have it but if not you'll want it someday notice of the week.

MAR141349 WEAPONS MASS DIPLOMACY GN $24.95
If you go to the comics shop to buy exquisite talent working near the top of their craft, it doesn't get much more promising than the first book in an award-winning series featuring the art of Christophe Blain, one of the stop-and-stare talents of the comics world. I would charge right across the room to this. There are enough political dramas out there right now that maybe that will serve as a hook.

*****

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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