March 13, 2013
This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases To The Comics 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.
DEC121205 HAND DRYING IN AMERICA HC $29.95
A new Ben Katchor book, which basically means you could walk into the store, buy one of these, walk out, and you would have had a fine comics experience for that week. I hope that this one gets a bit more attention than the last one, which was inexplicably ignored by the comics-culture side of things. I always wonder if the relative idiosyncrasy of Katchor's work in terms of the daily grind of comics -- it's not like you'd ever expect too many people to cite him as an influence in the way that other citations get your head nodding in a long interview -- has kept him from being fully embraced in the comic-shop milieu. I don't know; he's not lacking for fans, though, and the books consistently compelling, with every release is worth checking out.
DEC121219 HAIRSHIRT HC GN (MR) $24.95
In addition to the thrill of walking into a comics shop knowing you're going to encounter a first-rate, known quantity like Ben Katchor, this week also provides a book-length effort from a talent with which you're probably only familiar in bits and pieces: Pat McEown. I'm dying to see this one, and I'd drive into any comics shop within a hour that promised me a glimpse.
NOV120067 BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL TP VOL 26 BLIZZARD (MR) $19.99
OCT121259 NAOKI URASAWA 21ST CENTURY BOYS GN VOL 02 $12.99
JAN131320 PARADISE KISS TP VERTICAL INC ED VOL 03 $19.95
That's a lot of quality manga -- two sturdy to excellent series either having reached (the Urasawa) or getting close to (the Samura) their conclusions, plus the last volume of a three-volume reprinting of an early series by Ai Yazawa, perhaps best known for Nana
. I'm not sure if you weren't following these already you'd jump on at this moment, but there are a lot of happy quality-manga fans out there today.
DEC128352 BLACK BEETLE #1 NO WAY OUT (2ND PTG) $3.99
DEC120171 BEFORE WATCHMEN OZYMANDIAS #6 (MR) $3.99
JAN130615 WALKING DEAD #108 (MR) [DIG] $2.99
DEC128322 ALL NEW X-MEN #2 3RD PTG IMMONEN VAR NOW $3.99
DEC128323 ALL NEW X-MEN #3 3RD PTG IMMONEN VAR NOW $3.99
DEC128324 ALL NEW X-MEN #4 3RD PTG IMMONEN VAR NOW $3.99
DEC128325 ALL NEW X-MEN #5 3RD PTG IMMONEN VAR NOW $3.99
DEC128326 ALL NEW X-MEN #7 2ND PTG MARQUEZ VAR NOW $3.99
This is a bit of a strange week for serial comics, the kind where I figure you'd send ten different comics readers into a shop to buy something in this format and you'd get eight different sets of choices when these folks came back out. The new Walking Dead
hits, that's been rock-solid for its fans for quite some time. The X-Men
stuff is the Brian Bendis/Stuart Immonen offering that looks like it's hitting with fans a bit: I like Immonen's work there and Brian Bendis when he's re-formulating something is the best Brian Bendis right now. He knows those audiences very well. The Black Beetle
stuff is very pretty, and reminds me of the late-'80s Eclipse and First comic books for which I was a fiend at the time. Finally, this is the last scheduled date for the Before Watchmen
effort, although I guess one of the comics is a bit behind and still needs to come out and an epilogue-type story once discussed is now never to be released -- at least it hasn't been heard from since. I'm not as excited as the day Watchmen
#12 came out, but maybe some fans are. I should probably write a follow-up essay about those comics.
MAY121178 MICKEY SPILLANE FROM FILES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL 01 $49.99
NOV120058 CRIME DOES NOT PAY ARCHIVES HC VOL 04 $49.99
These are two collections of material -- the Mike Hammer effort from the 1950s newspaper strip, the Biro material from roughly the same period -- that I'm glad exist even though I'm baffled that there's any audience for them. We are a richer arts community from having so much work out there to be seen.
SEP121231 FRAZETTA SKETCHBOOK SC $24.95
The below image isn't the cover to the Vanguard softcover sketchbook, but it's the Frank Frazetta art that's been used to put one together. I always look at Frank Frazetta books when I see them, even though at this point it's mostly a nostalgic pull. There was a time when visual culture was very different, more desert than marketplace, and the vigor that Frazetta's art had in spade felt like a long drink of water after a lengthy, hot walk though dust and powder.
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 8:00 am PST
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