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September 5, 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.

*****

MAR121057 DAL TOKYO HC $35.00
This is really the only book you need this week, the only book you need this week of the about five or six you need that are set to come out this calendar year. I've been wanting to read a collected version of Gary Panter's strip for a time longer than all about a dozen personal relationships I currently have. I almost gasped when I saw it for sale at San Diego. If your shop carries this please count yourself a lucky individual even if you need to go get it somewhere else.

imageJUL121393 MONSTERS MONSTER HC $16.99
This is apparently a Patrick McDonnell stand-alone work, in kids book mode. Here's a synopsis. I would buy that sight unseen. We're in a weird place with Patrick right now in that we're over that initial rush of discovery and enjoying his comics and illustration work but not quite where we need to be for a re-appreciation. I think he's had an admirable career.

JUL120928 PEOPLE AROUND HERE TP (MR) $17.00
I think this work from Dave Lapp, best known for Drop In, collects various previously-published shorter efforts. I also think it clearly qualifies as that special comics-shop experience of picking up a work from a younger talent. This is from the comics wing of Conundrum Press, which has had several winners over the last half-decade.

JUL120342 CLASSIC POPEYE ONGOING #2 [DIG/D+] $3.99
This seems like a pleasant comics-shop surprise to me, and one I'd be more confused we didn't get more often except for the fact that pricing being what it is you're putting down about $5 just to walk off with this one publication. But, yeah: some old comics repackaged for a modern pick-up-and-take-home. What's not to like about that?

JUN128200 BLACK KISS II #1 2ND PTG (MR) $2.99
JUL120487 BLACK KISS II #2 (MR) [DIG] $2.99
These really looks fascinating, although I have yet to plunge into the story. It seems clearly more hardcore than the first series, and by more hard core I mean depictions of genitalia rather than their suggestion. I'm all for Howard Chaykin having as long a run in his last sustained period of work in comics as is humanly possible, so I hope this hits with its intended audience.

JUN120470 MANHATTAN PROJECTS TP VOL 01 SCIENCE BAD $14.99
This is a first collection of writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Nick Pitarra's re-imagining of the science and discovery portions of the war-like first half of the 20th Century; it seems like a good idea to catch up with this one in that form; I only have a glancing acquaintanceship with the work so far.

JUN128167 HAWKEYE #1 2ND PTG AJA VAR $2.99
JUL120588 HAWKEYE #2 $2.99
This should surprise no one: but I'm not really a serial superhero comics shopper. Without a comics shop in easy driving distance, I kind of miss out on buying them off the shelves, and I lack the bankroll and depth of interest where a mail-order service would make sense. But I have to imagine in a week where most of what is out from DC is a bunch of #0 issue tied into the one-year anniversary of their line-wide reboot that there's probably some room like this Matt Fraction/David Aja book. I also have to imagine it's a pretty good book.

JUN120270 PRINCE OF CATS TP (MR) $16.99
JUN121275 AMELIA RULES S&S ED HC VOL 08 HER PERMANENT RECORD $19.99
JUN121274 AMELIA RULES S&S ED TP VOL 08 HER PERMANENT RECORD $10.99
I guess this is a conclusion to the Amelia Rules series...? That's one with which I have only a basic familiarity, but these books have a ton of fans and I feel we should always celebrate a cartoonist/author that complete a series on their own terms. To be able to look at a sequence on a bookshelf like that and know that it's a mission accomplished, that must be a great feeling.

JUN121315 CHI SWEET HOME GN VOL 09 $13.95
This is the best of the mainstream manga series with a volume out this week, at least according to my limited exposure to such material. I know some friends' kids that are pretty fiend-like when it comes to this work, so that's good news for them.

JUN121267 CHINESE LIFE GN $27.50
This giant book showed in my mailbox the other day through distribution deal with Abrams (it's from SelfMadeHero). It's the artist Li Kunwu, in partnership with Philippe Otie, and encompasses life as lived in the People's Republic Of China in the second half of the 20th Century. You really have to pick it up and take a look if you see it.

JUN121332 TEZUKA MESSAGE TO ADOLF GN VOL 01 (MR) $26.95
It's giant book week at the comics shop. Tezuka is required, not just suggested. I wasn't as big a fan of this work when it was released in the mid-1990s in a different format as I am of some of the work that's come out since, but it's nice to see any of this work penetrating into any kind of readership it can hold.

JUL121365 CROCKETT JOHNSON AND RUTH KRAUSS HC $70.00
JUL121364 CROCKETT JOHNSON AND RUTH KRAUSS SC $40.00
I'm greatly looking forward to this biography in advance of Fantagraphics' nuclear-bomb level launch of the Barnaby material sometime in the next few months. If I had a list of comics I wanted to see for more than two decades, and it could only be a few items long, Barnaby would be on that list. Philip Nel has been working on this book for quite some time and the results look promising.

MAY121103 AYA LIFE IN YOP CITY GN (MR) $24.95
JUN121296 BENNY AND PENNY LIGHTS OUT HC $12.95
Here's a couple of series I admire, that I'd definitely check out were I in a shop that carried them. The Benny and Penny book is for kids and I take it quite younger kids, but it has that level of potential absorption that I used to like when I was a tiny, tiny kid reader and I like looking at them when I see them. I think Geoffrey Hayes has been the MVP of the Toon line. The Aya stuff, I'm sort of a fiend for that material. It's soap opera set in the early '80s Ivory Coast. This is a repackaging of the existing, super-handsome books in anticipation of a similarly-formatted edition of the not-yet-translated books that's due later this Fall. I think I could read 10,000 pages of that material; I find it really pleasurable.

*****

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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