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October 26, 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.

*****

JUN118167 MANARA LIBRARY HC VOL 01 $59.99
JUL110054 MANARA LIBRARY HC VOL 01 $59.99
This is a new reprint series of major works from Milo Manara, the Blake Edwards of the comics world, in fancy editions at a fancy price. This is two works: the teamed-with-Hugo-Pratt Indian Summer and a western I haven't seen The Paper Man. Manara's work doesn't do it for a lot of folks, and for others he's downright problematic. I imagine that this series will do pretty well, though. I'm not sure what the difference is between the two announced editions.

imageJUL111183 SMURFS GN VOL 08 SMURF APPRENTICE $5.99
JUL111184 SMURFS HC VOL 08 SMURF APPRENTICE $10.99
I do know the difference between these Smurf editions: one's in softcover, one's in hardcover. I'm not sure where I stand on Peyo's Smurf comics other than to be in slight awe at their continuing appeal to my friends' young children no matter the decade they dig into them, but these are nicely substantial little books for the price. Considering what some parents likely paid for that Sugar And Spike hardcover, I imagine picking up one of these at a deluxe-burger price will be a relief.

MAY110255 ABSOLUTE ALL STAR SUPERMAN HC NEW PTG $99.99
JUN111092 FRANK BOOK HC (NEW PTG) $45.00
JUN111093 FRANK BOOK SC $34.99
AUG110751 AFRODISIAC HC (O/A) (MR) $14.95
New printings of good books -- or their simply being offered again -- doesn't mean you have to buy them, but if you're a superhero fan you probably want some version of the All Star Superman material, if you're a fan of newer work and the 1970s you likely want a copy of the very clever Afrodisiac, and if you're a fan of any and all good things in life you definitely want the Frank work by the great cartoonist Jim Woodring in as many forms as you can pull it across the table and into your lap.

AUG110619 RED SKULL #4 (OF 5) $2.99
I'm thrilled to discover there's a Red Skull mini-series, as I enjoy any super-villain whose primary powers seem to be screaming and acting like a dick. No one invites the Skull into their villainy carpool, that's for sure.

AUG110611 SECRET AVENGERS #18 $3.99
This is the Warren Ellis/David Aja Shang Chi-focused issue that seemed to me like a fine idea when I saw it previewed a while back. It still seems like a pretty good idea, and I'll definitely look at one the next time I'm in a comics shop. I know I'm probably engaging in idle fantasy when I suggest that Karkas and The Reject could be major characters at a publisher like Marvel, but I'm not certain what would ever keep anyone from the embrace of a character that's essentially Bruce Lee playing the lead in a 1970s spy movie drawing heavily on the Sax Rohmer pulps.

JUL110903 POOD #4 (MR) $4.50
An honest-to-god alt-comics effort in a week that's somewhat lacking in them, this newspaper-formatted anthology features work this time out from Joe Staton of all people. That alone would get me to look at it.

AUG110629 SPIDER-MAN #19 $2.99
This issue features the first Marvel comics work of longtime industry blogger and occasional comics-maker Sean T. Collins. This is their Marvel Adventures kid- and new reader-friendly line, which they no longer indicate in solicitation, I suspect as a subtle attempt to break our spirit.

JUL110515 BUTCHER BAKER RIGHTEOUS MAKER #7 (MR) $2.99
AUG110547 WALKING DEAD #90 (MR) $2.99
Two sturdy selections from the Image pile -- Joe Casey's latest dip into madness (seriously, there was an issue about two or three back that featured more violence and male nudity than the entire of comic-shop funnybooks in the 1990s) and Robert Kirkman's latest effort to stretch out the soap opera elements of his post-apocalypse pulp story until what one assumes is a rush of terrifying action in and around issue #100.

AUG110653 WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #1 XREGG $3.99
AUG110276 SPACEMAN #1 (OF 9) (MR) $1.00
A pair of interesting #1 efforts from the mainstream publishers. The Wolverine comic is the latest in like 10,000 comics with Wolverine in the title but is more important as a new launching point for the X-Men. I think the X-Men books are pretty exhausted storywise, but a new standard launching point is about as close as the publisher will come to giving one of the books the chance to become the dominant one in the monthly spread of mutant titles. That's Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo, I think. The Spaceman comic is the first of a nine-issue mini-series from Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, the team behind the long-running and substantially successful 100 Bullets. The Vertigo corner of DC Comics seems sort of tired right now, with a lot of series late in run or being shown the door, so this has to be a welcome boon to that line.

JUL111082 DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE BOX SET VOL 01 & 02 $49.99
JUL111081 DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE HC VOL 02 TREASURE ISLAND $29.99
These Floyd Gottfredson-created adventure strips following the early years of the now-neutered corporate icon are everything you want from a feature like this: exuberant, lovely-looking and a lot of fun.

AUG111274 YOTSUBA&! GN VOL 10 $11.99
I haven't caught onto the relaunch of this material, but I certainly enjoyed the first several volumes of this domestic comedy, one that tugs at the perceptions of a child without making it cloying.

*****

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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