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February 22, 2012


This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases To The 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.

*****

AUG110352 WALLY WOOD EC STORIES ARTIST ED HC PI
There are so many books of quality out this week that it may seem slightly absurd to some of you to lead with a Wally Wood reprint, but this book with its massively over-sized reprinting (I'm told it's slightly bigger than Kramers Ergot Vol. 7, a book so big it makes adults reading it in photos look like infants) of Wood's work from the original art should be completely awesome looking.

imageNOV110994 IS THAT ALL THERE IS HC (MR) $35.00
NOV110967 GOLIATH HC $19.95
NOV110676 MY FRIEND DAHMER HC $24.95
NOV110675 MY FRIEND DAHMER SC $17.95
Here's a trio of books (one has two editions) that in a week lacking Giant Wally Wood would easily find a place at the top of this post. The first one listed is the long-anticipated collection of Joost Swarte's comics work, and is one of those things you're grateful to see finally come out even if you can't afford to buy it right away. I liked Tom Gauld's new, longer work enough to interview him about it and it's a handsome book now that I have it in my hands. I worry about the re-release -- and apparently massive re-working -- of My Friend Dahmer coming in such a stuffed publishing period because the whole idea of a new edition is to give that work a better position in the marketplace. There's a lot to admire about that work specifically and cartoonist Derf's recent career output more generally.

NOV110050 AFRIKA HC $15.99
DEC111083 KOLOR KLIMAX NORDIC COMICS NOW GN (MR) $29.99
NOV110701 EXPLORER THE MYSTERY BOXES HC $19.95
NOV110700 EXPLORER THE MYSTERY BOXES SC $10.95
DEC110882 HECTOR UMBRA HC $26.99
Here's the stand-alone material with more than a $10 investment that as a result might take some faith from the potential buyer. The first is an in-one-volume work from Hermann, of all people -- painted, too. I'm just grateful books like that come out. The second is one of those anthologies with tons of cartoonists you've never heard of but probably wish you had. The third and fourth -- two editions of the same book -- is one of those fancy-production, high-end art anthologies of the kind that I think Scott McCloud once thought would take over comics publishing. The second is this handsome beast. Having them all out on the same Wednesday, what with their being the kind of books one might usually buy one of when there's nothing headlining that week's comic releases, just seems sort of cruel.

DEC110075 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #9 MIGNOLA CVR $7.99
DEC110076 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #9 YEATES VAR CVR $7.99
NOV110366 MONDO #1 (OF 3) (MR) $4.99
OCT110561 MORNING GLORIES #16 (MR) $2.99
DEC110566 PROPHET #22 $2.99
Here's a few more standard comic-book comics that are either popular, well-regarded or both. I didn't even dip into Marvel and DC this time. I like how Dark Horse Presents is just really aimed at a perceived Dark Horse customer of traditional standing, without any apology for not trying to constantly break in new cartoonists or comics. I think there's a definite place for a book like that in the comics marketplace. It's sort of a mini-version of Dylan Horrocks' one-time dream for manga-volume anthologies of core comics work by North American company.

DEC110307 MAD MAGAZINE #514 $5.99
I sometimes forget that DC still publishes the greatest comic series of all time.

NOV111001 BUDDY DOES SEATTLE GN (NEW PTG) $19.99
I think we all forget that the Buddy Bradley material is one of the great comics efforts, period.

DEC110681 MAGNETO NOT A HERO #4 (OF 4) $2.99
That title still cracks me up. Not enough has been made about the near-total collapse of available titles for superhero comics. I think all comics starring a superhero or supervillain should just have the name of that character on the book along with a number that's one more than the last one, but nobody asked me.

SEP111101 AMAZING MYSTERIES BILL EVERETT ARCHIVES HC VOL 01 (RES) $39.99
I'm a huge fiend for Bill Everett, one of the romantic figures of 20th Century comic book making for the fact that when his comics hit on a certain popular notion they contributed to the general development of that form as much as anyone's comics ever did, but when they didn't quite conform to the most popular efforts they super stuck out.

DEC111205 CHICK AND CHICKIE IN PLAY ALL DAY HC $12.95
DEC111206 ZIG AND WIKKI IN THE COW $12.95
Two from the Toon folks. I liked that Chick and Chickie book; it was very cute.

NOV111123 NAOKI URASAWA 20TH CENTURY BOYS GN VOL 19 $12.99
Your mainstream-oriented manga series of high quality of the week.

OCT110963 RASL #13 (MR) $3.50
I'm a fiend for Jeff Smith's science fiction series, and this issue is one of those where you get a shift in the action and just a few pages later you're way further along towards the climax than you thought you would be going in. Smith's ability to shift from one tone to another is vastly underrated, I think because his style carries such a consistent flavor to whatever he does.

DEC110934 TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN CUTIE ISLAND TP (MR) $17.99
Shannon Wheeler's latest, and I think it's been a while since he's released new work with his most popular character.

AUG111045 GLITZ 2 GO TP (MR) $19.99
It's wonderful that Diane Noomin has a new collection out. I'm reading it right now as the book I keep in the back seat of the car as I wait for people to leave buildings where I'm picking them up. The more openly autobiographical material is much more interesting to me than the Didi Glitz character, even when that character works in the context of those autobiographical stories. I hope this one doesn't get lost in the flood of new material out. We desperately need to come to grips with more of the underground comix work, if only because so much of it was deeply compelling. I liked the support material in here, too, particularly Noomin's walking us through her career.

*****

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 on me. I apologize.

*****

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