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April 25, 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.

*****

FEB121003 JERUSALEM CHRONICLES FROM THE HOLY CITY HC (MR) $24.95
And Comics 2012 officially begins with its first waiting-for-it trade, a book I've now read three times. It's good, and it's forced me to reconsider everything I've read by Delisle so far.

JAN120075 ABE SAPIEN TP VOL 02 DEVIL DOES NOT JEST $17.99
FEB120039 BPRD HELL ON EARTH PICKENS COUNTY HORROR #2 (OF 2) $3.50
The latest trade and latest comic book in the Mignola-Verse, comics' most reliable source of genre entertainment right now. It also has the advantage of not making you hate yourself when you buy them.

imageDEC111079 FOLLY CONSEQUENCES OF INDISCRETION GN (MR) $18.99
If you go to the comics shop to buy work from voices with which you're not entirely familiar -- and you are a fine person if this is your primary reason for heading into comics shops -- I can't imagine a better buy for more people than a Hans Rickheit book.

FEB121159 PTERODACTYL HUNTERS IN THE GILDED CITY (ONE SHOT) $9.95
If you just read my last description and thought, "Everyone knows Hans Rickheit, sheesh" than you are a refined person and maybe you can cast your eyes on this book instead.

FEB120040 GOON #39 $3.50
I'm not a buyer of the Goon comics and look forward to catching up to them someday; I thought I'd mention it here because this is the first time I've encountered the latest issue of an established indy-comic series and the number of issues met almost exactly with my expectation for the same. Usually I go, "Holy crap, there are that many issues out?" But 39 issues of The Goon feels right.

MAR110472 ART OF AMANDA CONNER HC $29.99
I bet this is pretty.

JAN120479 FRAZETTA FUNNY STUFF HC $49.99
I bet there are already complaints on the comics Internet about the art direction, and I haven't even seen the book yet.

FEB120338 POPEYE #1 (OF 4) $3.99
FEB120874 ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #7 $3.99
A double-dose of Roger Langridge, whose comics I will look at in a comics shop every time I'm in a comics shop until the day I die. I'm not sure how to feel about that Popeye. It feels kind of unnecessary coming out the same week Fantagraphics has a volume of the real sauce available for consumption. At the same time, I bet it's classy and respectable.

FEB120619 ASTONISHING X-MEN #49 $3.99
See, this is something I'll never understand: how does yet another title for a franchise not in the greatest shape sales-wise, a title based around the very specific presence of Joss Whedon, survive for this many issues beyond Whedon's departure? I'd like to say that pure Darwinism is at work here, and this book just found the level of support it needed for the creators doing work there -- and god bless them -- but I also suspect that there's an element of how the DM orders stuff in play here.

FEB120594 FF #17 $2.99
I bought a bunch of these for a dollar apiece recently on a trip to read on the train and enjoyed them; it was like coming across reruns of a TV show you wouldn't watch otherwise but happens to be on when you're eating breakfast for a couple of weeks and having a pleasurable experience doing so. I plan on eventually picking them all up if I can, at least through the end of writer Hickman's run, but I'm going to give myself every chance to buy them for a buck a pop.

FEB128179 WINTER SOLDIER #1 2ND PTG BERMEJO VAR (PP #1016) $2.99
FEB128180 WINTER SOLDIER #2 2ND PTG BERMEJO VAR (PP #1016) $2.99
FEB128181 WINTER SOLDIER #3 2ND PTG BERMEJO VAR (PP #1016) $2.99
I would imagine these are pretty good, too, all of Ed Brubaker's superhero work and what he likes about doing them getting a dedicated showcase.

JAN121109 ANY SIMILARITIES TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD HC (MR) $19.99
One of the foundational books of any arts/alt comics library, and a fine printing endorsed as such by the creator. If there's a funny five minutes to be had than reading that Andy Griffith story, please tell me about it.

NOV110990 POPEYE HC VOL 06 ME LIL SWEE PEA $29.99
One of the great strips, and an archival project that's kind of been forgotten a bit. These are magnificent comics, and I read them in a semi-swoon.

SEP110751 SECRET HISTORY BOOK 18 (MR) $5.95
OCT110804 SECRET HISTORY BOOK 19 (MR) $5.95
I think these comics are batshit crazy, slightly squirelly and generally well-executed in precisely the way I want my mainstream comics entertainment to be, and if I were in a comics shop my retailer would point them out to me because I'd be the customer with the reputation for buying them.

JAN121205 SMURFS BOX SET VOL 4-6 $17.99
I think these books have been solid no matter how you want to buy them; the kids I know seem to like them, too.

Let me end this weekly walk through the new comics not with another DM recommendation, but by noting that retailers like Brian Hibbs will likely have the new Alison Bechdel book in stock from their relationship with a book distributor or two. I don't think I can remember the last time a thematic sequel to a major book has been released without a whole lot known about it, so seeing it in a comics shop today would be delightful.

*****

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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