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October 12, 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.

*****

JUL111060 GREAT NORTHERN BROTHERHOOD CANADIAN CARTOONISTS HC (MR) $24.95
JUL111057 DANIEL CLOWES DEATH-RAY HC (MR) $19.95
Two super-solid, you-want-them releases from Drawn And Quarterly: a brand-new work from Seth using the faster-than-usual technique he employed in Wimbledon Green and a new classic from Dan Clowes now given bookstore dress.

imageAUG110750 POPE HATS #2 (MR) $6.95
I was impressed by this second issue of Ethan Rilly's series, particularly the main story and its dive into vocation and value systems. Seriously, if there could be something like this in the comic store every week, a lot of people that no longer shop there as much as they used to would become devoted comic book store customers again.

MAR110352 ABSOLUTE IDENTITY CRISIS HC $99.99
Then again, maybe not. Yikes. This was a very a popular comic, but thinking of someone spending $100 on an oversize version makes me want to cry like a crying superhero.

JUN118155 ARCHIE ARCHIVES HC VOL 03 $49.99
JUL110055 ARCHIE ARCHIVES HC VOL 03 $49.99
AUG111019 JOHN STANLEY LIBRARY NANCY HC VOL 03 $29.95
It's like it's a race with the John Stanley material and the Archie material to confuse average comics readers to death with various formats and publishing programs. It's a sad day when you get old enough not to recognize if you own a comic book or not simply by glancing at the cover, and it's a sadder day when you no longer know what series of an American pop-culture classic you're buying. All of this material is worth a look, and the Stanley material is close to an automatic buy.

JUN110343 100 BULLETS HC BOOK 01 (MR) $49.99
A major repackaging of a solid performer from last decade's Vertigo line.

AUG110382 BLOOM COUNTY COMPLETE LIBRARY HC VOL 05 $39.99
AUG110384 COMPLETE CHESTER GOULDS DICK TRACY HC VOL 12 $39.99
It's amazing on a certain level that for some comics fan out there going to the comics shop and buying $15 in pamphlets has in 15 years or so become ordering two giant-ass books for $80. I'm trying to think of another arts-consumption experience that's changed this much. As to the books themselves, there was no comic more revered by an entire generation of cartoon-loving fans sitting in the back of middle school study hall than Bloom County, and no comic strip whose appeal seems divorced from its public perception than Dick Tracy.

APR111033 THE CABBIE HC VOL 01 (MR) $19.99
Speaking of Gould, The Cabbie draws deeply from the Dick Tracy well but in a way that criticizes the excesses of its underlying worldview rather than blindly celebrating its virtues. I'm really grateful Fantagraphics is doing this work, because it's not always easy to read.

JUL111290 NAOKI URASAWA 20TH CENTURY BOYS GN VOL 17 $12.99
JUL111272 SLAM DUNK GN VOL 18 $9.99
Two entertaining series with wide appeal that have new volumes out. 20th Century Boys has hit a little harder than this latest trip through the Slam Dunk series, which I think suffers a bit from narrative crawl that was mitigated in the original serialization by the novelty of the sport it covered. That's just a guess, though.

MAY111078 NUTS HC $19.99
This is Gahan Wilson's National Lampoon strip, an extended meditation on/reaction to the sugary-sweet quality of most kids strips.

AUG111336 IF YOU RE CRACKED YOU RE HAPPY SC VOL 01 EARLY YEARS $34.95
AUG111337 IF YOU RE CRACKED YOU RE HAPPY SC VOL 02 FINAL YEARS $34.95
"Humor magazines that aren't MAD" is a final frontier for a lot of comics readers, and this might serve as an extended introduction to one popular source for that material.

AUG111190 TROOP 142 GN $20.00
Mike Dawson's story about a summer session at a Boy Scout camp was serialized both on-line and in handmade paper editions, and gets a fancy book release now from micro-publisher of the extended moment (they have been around for years, after all) Secret Acres.

*****

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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*****
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