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September 28, 2011


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.

*****

JUN111212 HABIBI GN (MR) $35.00
JUL111154 HOLY TERROR HC (MR) $29.99
This will be the pairing that most people talk about today, although it occurred to me if Diamond hadn't punted on Kate Beaton's book on her publisher's well-coordinate launch day, you'd have a super-intriguing trio of works to discuss and a quartet (along with new Love & Rockets) powerful enough to get any alt-comics fan into the comics shop if that's how they're buying their comics. At any rate, the broadest interpretation of subject matter puts Craig Thompson's love story and Frank Miller's over-the-top sock to the jaw of radical Islam in direct contrast to one another. I'd buy the Thompson first. I'd probably buy it second, too. That's a lovely-looking book, and does everything odd and daring you want a cartoonist to do with the chance afforded them by a major publisher and a previous strong-seller.

imageMAY110248 KAMANDI OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 LAST BOY ON EARTH $49.99
MAR110342 COVER STORY DC COMICS ART OF BRIAN BOLLAND HC $39.99
Two big-item purchases from the part of DC that puts together old comics and work for your bookshelf. Brian Bolland's covers are always a lot of fun, and they're certainly a proven attention-getter over the last two decades. The Kamandi stuff is ragged, weird, glorious late-afternoon Jack Kirby. I think that's 20 issues worth of comics, weird only in that five years ago I could find the individual comic books for $2 or less an individual issue. That might still be true, I don't know. The issue with the giant bats and the super-virus contained in this volume may be the comic book of the entire 1970s.

JUL110238 ALL STAR WESTERN #1 $3.99
JUL110191 AQUAMAN #1 $2.99
JUL110210 BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #1 $2.99
JUL110236 BLACKHAWKS #1 $2.99
JUL110193 FLASH #1 $2.99
JUL110196 FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN #1 $2.99
JUL110221 GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #1 $2.99
JUL110227 I VAMPIRE #1 $2.99
JUL110223 JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 $2.99
JUL110198 SAVAGE HAWKMAN #1 $2.99
JUL110203 SUPERMAN #1 $2.99
JUL110239 TEEN TITANS #1 $2.99
JUL110231 VOODOO #1 $2.99
Either all of or most of this week's run of new DC superhero comic book series. I like the artist Moritat's work, so All-Star Western #1 probably appeals to me most, although the nerd in me probably wants to scope out the bittersweet flavors of Justice League Dark, where the dark, Vertigo-y qualities to one of these new DC books is achieved through heredity and being grafted on to this new mashed-up DC universe instead of by pooling a bunch of black ink in the middle of some four-color enterprise of years' past.

MAY110049 FINDER LIBRARY TP VOL 02 $24.99
The second of two books catching fans up to at least this year's cycle of stories in Carla Speed McNeill's many-swear-by-it, many-have-never-read-it science fiction series. I think this works really well as a run of serial comic books, but the ability to get this much material this quickly at these prices (given that both book will probably be discounted by someone out there) tends to be a pleasure.

JUL111059 DAYBREAK HC (MR) $21.95
A really, really entertaining "zombie art film" comic from Brian Ralph, one of my favorite cartoonists. I know that sort of sounds like a cursory appraisal, but I'm not sure what else I can say about his comics except that I enjoy them a lot and want every edition.

JUL111061 PURE PAJAMAS HC (MR) $22.95
Marc Bell's comics for various publications collected into one place and I think provided with material that connects the stories a bit? Bell is a natural-born cartoonist of the kind that anyone publishing him deserves a reward -- although they'd probably just rather find a few hundred more readers of that cartoonist's work.

JUL111150 SAILOR MOON TP KODANSHA ED VOL 01 $10.99
There's likely something to be said about both this seminal comics-for-girls series being reprinted and that this is a Kodansha project, but I'm not certain I have much to say beyond those magnificently broad stop-and-point observations.

JUL110633 NEW AVENGERS #16 POINT ONE $2.99
MAY110707 BRILLIANT #1 (MR) $3.95
FEB110639 KICK-ASS 2 #4 (MR) $2.99
JUL110643 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY #622 $2.99
APR110705 CAPTAIN BRITAIN HC VOL 02 SIEGE OF CAMELOT $39.99
JUL110742 SIGIL TP OUT OF TIME $14.99
JUL110614 DOROTHY AND WIZARD IN OZ #1 (OF 8) $3.99
JUL110725 EMMA PREM HC $19.99
DC will continue to get all the attention this week, but rival Marvel has a lot of strange comics out this week. The New Avengers book -- one of those "jumping on" comics, the concept of which makes me wonder more than ever after the mental prowess of young people these days -- teams Brian Bendis and Neal Adams. Brilliant is Bendis' creator-owned comic with I think Mark Bagley, interesting in that I swear this has been out already -- either that, or the PR for titles like that is really out of joint with the comic release itself. Kick-Ass is Mark Millar's sequel to his super-successful creator-owned series and money-making movie. Captain America and Bucky is probably the best of their straight-up superhero adventure serial comics out this week. I believe the Captain Britain book is another packaging of some still relatively little-seen Alan Moore-written material. The Sigil book is one of their repackaging of material from Disney-owned stumble-and-collapse publisher Crossgen, while the final two books listed are the serial component and book component of Marvel's supposedly successful book adaptation program. I'm not sure what I'd personally buy here -- I'd probably look at the Neal Adams, buy the Captain America if I were in a superhero-only shop and will eventually try to get the Captain Britain in some sort of used and discounted state. But that's a little of everything from a normally monolithic publisher.

JUL111208 1 800 MICE HC (MR) $22.95
Everything I wrote about Marc Bell above also basically applies to Matthew Thurber; this book collects five previously published issues of his series and one that never was. He's not an easy cartoonist for me to grasp, but I really like staring at this work.

MAY111194 EPIC CHRONICLES HAGAR THE HORRIBLE HC 1976-1977 $19.95
I think you had to be around in the 1970s to remember how big a hit Hagar was and how quickly, although just about the only thing that really survives about that initial crush audience-to-comic is its mighty and never-to-be-bled-dry client list.

JUN111097 LOVE AND ROCKETS NEW STORIES TP VOL 04 $14.99
Finally, I can't imagine there being a better comic out this year than Jaime Hernandez's work in this latest volume. If there's anything that comes close, I'll be overjoyed.

*****

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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posted 12:50 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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