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May 25, 2011


This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases To The Comics Direct Market

imageHere 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.

*****

MAR111128 YEAH GN $19.99
I just received a copy of this book. I'm always a bit suspicious of collections that gather together material that a) worked well as a comic book and b) seems like it might still be readily available at a cheaper price. This one, however, feels like a notably sturdy volume and seems priced more cheaply than anyone could be expected to find copies of the original funnybooks. It also and probably needed to be re-presented to its potential audience for folks to pay it any attention, in a format that many young readers now prefer. I'm happy to see these comics again.

FEB110041 AL CAPP COMPLETE SHMOO HC VOL 02 NEWSPAPER STRIPS $49.99
I'm not exactly sure where this fits into the overall rainbow of available or soon to be available Al Capp works, but I do know this comes from a very strong period for the overwhelmingly popular cartoonist.

MAR111233 SLAINE THE HORNED GOD HC (S&S ED) $25.00
If you don't buy a lot of superhero comics, something like this piece of demented, well-crafted genre material really pops on a list of comics like this one. This is 200-plus pages of the always under-appreciated Pat Mills and the perhaps recently under-valued Simon Bisley, and I want to say this particular arc is from the late 1980s or early 1990s -- if it's not, it should be.

MAR111334 INFLUENCING MACHINE HC $23.95
This looks like a comics essay featuring Brooke Gladstone through the pen of Josh Neufeld talking about the infernal machine that is modern media. I can't imagine seeing this in a store and not at least picking it up and giving it a flip-through.

MAR111130 TAKE A JOKE TP $18.99
Johnny Ryan is a very funny man.

NOV100923 APPROXIMATE CONTINUUM COMICS GN $18.99
I greatly enjoyed this English-language edition of a key Trondheim work, a collection of four comic book-sized memoir comics that blend fantasy and reality in an attempt to capture the way the mega-successful cartoonist regarded his life on either side of 30 years old. I found particularly affecting just how funny and poignant its set-pieces were, and how they might connect with lives that have very little big-picture overlap with Trondheim's own.

FEB111104 DUNGEON MONSTRES GN VOL 04 NIGHT O/T LADYKILLER $14.99
I collect these NBM editions of the mainstream French series without thinking about it, so I'll soon have one of these as well.

FEB111112 SMURFS GN VOL 06 SMURFS & HOWLIBIRD $5.99
FEB111111 SMURFS HC VOL 06 SMURFS & HOWLIBIRD $10.99
Speaking of NBM, here's the new hardcover/softcover blast of material from the Smurfs library, which I hope are connecting with a lot of families in the slightly intense way I've heard about from a few of close acquaintance.

JAN111236 CLONK GN VOL 01 $19.95
MAR111343 BEAUTY AND SQUAT BEARS HC $14.99
MAR110822 EVEN THE GIANTS GN (MR) $9.95
More than anything this week seems like one to look at stand-alone works from cartoonists with whom most of us are only barely familiar, if that. Clonk is by a cartoonist I've never heard of, Ximo Abadia, from a publisher I've never heard of, Kettledrummer Books, but the visual style certainly appeals. Most of us have heard of Emile Bravo by now, but that didn't mean I automatically remembered that Beauty And The Squat Bears was one of his, nor did I generally recall he was working with Yen Press. I'd make a beeline to that one if I were in a full-service shop. Even The Giants is the latest from Jesse Jacobs and has the AdHouse book imprimatur, both literally and figuratively. There's an intriguing preview in the shape of an interview here.

*****

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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