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October 30, 2013


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.

*****

AUG131586 GREAT WAR JULY 1 1916 BATTLE OF SOMME PANORAMA $35.00
AUG131264 RAGE OF POSEIDON HC (MR) $29.95
Two accordion books by cartoonists of significant interest trump an honest-to-goodness publishing phenomenon, at least in these part. Getting another Joe Sacco the year after we got two giant hardcovers is a joy; the Great War book is a panorama drawing of a key day in that war, ably supported, fun to read and heartbreaking as history. Great Christmas present. I just received Anders Nilsen's contribution to the format, Rage Of Poseidon, but it certainly looks gorgeous and everything Nilsen does right now is something I want to read. This is a good week, and you could come out of the store with 1/20 of what is mentioned here and have a fine ol' time at the comics shop.

imageAUG130329 SANDMAN OVERTURE #1 COMBO PACK (MR) $5.99
AUG130325 SANDMAN OVERTURE #1 CVR A (MR) $4.99
AUG130326 SANDMAN OVERTURE #1 CVR B (MR) $4.99
The big publishing news of the week is the writer Neil Gaiman returning to the Sandman character and milieu through which he made his reputation, this time in partnership with the very talented JH Williams III. I like that DC isn't overdoing it on the variant covers here -- they certainly could. I'm interested in reading this myself, and regret not being near a comic book store for the fun of walking out with one.

AUG130105 EC ARCHIVES TALES FROM THE CRYPT HC VOL 04 $49.99
This is the first Dark Horse volume picking up on the by-title color reprints that used to be the only way to access this material -- now also available grouped by author in nice-looking black and white versions from Fantagraphics. It will be interesting to see if one series has an effect on the other. The way comics usually work is that it will not have an effect, even if conventional wisdom suggests it should be so.

AUG131535 IM NOT POPULAR GN VOL 01 $11.99
I'm not a Gantz guy, and the new collection of Uzumaki isn't the same as buying a manga volume right off the shelves, so I might give this comedic effort a try. I tend to like those piece about people ramming their head against a dominant, repugnant society, whether it's an apocalyptic landscape or a high school.

APR131133 STEVE DITKO ARCHIVES HC VOL 04 IMPOSSIBLE TALES $39.99
I'm at a slight loss in terms of what Steve Ditko is getting reprinted where, but I look at all of it and I buy as much of it as I can. I think he's a foundational mainstream talent, and one of the interesting ones like Johnny Craig in that a lot of his influence is felt more directly in areas outside of conventional mainstream funnybooks. I could read him all day. And then the next day.

JUN130262 DC COMICS ONE MILLION OMNIBUS HC $99.99
I made a joke in the old TCJ about the terrifying future where DC is still putting out dopey comic books, which was received at least as far as I can remember in a general context of apathy for this project overall. I don't even remember if there were good comics in there or not -- I'm sure there were. I mention it here because one of the things we don't recognize as much as we should about how good DC's book-making arm is is that it maximizes profit for projects that aren't slam-dunks like Watchmen. In other words, the people with whom I was in contact in the 1990s might not have had a lot of use for this series of book, but there are enough fans that an omnibus might sell several copies, and DC is going to serve those customers.

AUG131313 COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS TP VOL 06 CREST WAVE (NEW PTG) $19.99
AUG138212 COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS TP VOL 08 DEATH FRITZ CAT (NEW PTG) $19.99
These are all must haves, and every positive vibe I emanated up the screen in the direction of Steve Ditko goes double for Mr. Crumb. This is pretty prime time material in terms of the material that made and kept him an icon in the 1970s, but then again, nearly all of these volumes has something. I admire Fantagraphics for their commitment to keep this material in print.

imageAUG131498 UZUMAKI 3-IN-1 DLX ED HC $27.99
I'm reading this right now, and it's certainly beautiful. It slaps up against being consistently disturbing, too, in a way that's rare for comics. If it's not a corpse in the water, it's one ramming up against the pier every five minutes from underneath. Anyway, if you missed it the first time around, this seems a good way to get all of this material at once. If you hate your local comics shop, you could probably get a really good price on this via standard discount somewhere.

AUG130095 EDGAR ALLAN POES THE RAVEN & RED DEATH ONE SHOT $3.99
AUG130740 INFINITY #5 $3.99
AUG131457 STUFF ABOUT SEX (ONE SHOT) (MR) $3.95
JUN130556 PROPHET #40 [DIG] $3.99
AUG130710 SAGA #15 (MR) [DIG] $2.99
AUG130713 SEX #8 (MR) [DIG] $2.99
AUG130601 THOUGHT BUBBLE ANTHOLOGY 2013 #3 [DIG] $3.99
AUG130088 ITTY BITTY HELLBOY #3 $2.99
This is a very strong week for genre comics even without the Sandman book. The Edgar Allan Poe is Corben, which is very Halloween appropriate and bound to be fun besides. The Infinity is the Marvel cross-over event, and you might laugh but if I were to buy one mainstream comic this week I probably would buy that one just to get a snapshot of what Marvel feels is important to put out there in an event comic. That is hardly the most thrilling and pure artistic processing, I'll admit, but there you go. The Stuff About Sex book is the practical advice column and while it may do well in the stores I have to imagine that's a good one to hand sell to certain customers. And then there's a bunch of Image, including that very good '70s sci-fi Prophet book, the juggernaut Saga, the end of what I think is the first cycle on Sex, and an anthology of mostly unfamiliar creators. I don't know that I'd head to a store for any of them, but I could walk out with any to all of them, and each one will make somebody out there's week. The last listed is the little kid version of Hellboy, which is likely adorable -- I haven't seen it yet, but those creators are really consistently solid at those kinds of comics.

AUG131311 DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE COLOR SUNDAYS BOX SET VOL 01 $49.99
AUG131310 DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE COLOR SUNDAYS HC VOL 02 ROBIN HOOD $29.99
MAY131080 MOOMIN COMPLETE LARS JANSSON COMIC STRIP HC VOL 08 $19.95
MAY131081 MOOMIN AND THE COMET SC $9.95
MAY131082 MOOMIN AND THE SEA SC $9.95
More admirable and also good comics: Fantagraphics' stewardship of the Mickey Mouse work, and Drawn and Quarterly making the Moomin material available to a market. They both have their difficulties, and I think both series largely overcome them. Both are a positive force, and I hope you're at least familiar with them. Judge your comic book store on whether or not they have them for sale.

AUG131307 SECRET HISTORY MARVEL COMICS HC KIRBY EMPIRE (RES) $39.99
This is the Blake Bell and Dr. Michael J. Vassallo book about the Marvel artists securing work in other parts of the Martin Goodman empire. No one knows more about that period of comics history than Vassallo, and it's fun to finally have his knowledge on display in a book.

JUL138141 FELDSTEIN MAD LIFE AND FANTASTIC ART HC SGN $125.00
JUN130335 JOE KUBERT TOR ARTIST ED HC PI
IDW has been in the news a bit lately, and everything seems to be going full speed ahead at Ted Adams' company. One thing they seem to have done very well is serve a small but passionate audience for high-end books, and here they hit EC fans and fans of their Artists Editions with new work. That Tor work of Joe Kubert's is freakishly lovely as printed, so I can't imagine what the original art looks like. I hope to know soon!

*****

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 because I hate you.

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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