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March 14, 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.

*****

NOV110026 MONSTERMEN AND OTHER SCARY STORIES HC $24.99
This is mostly a surprise to me; I have a vague memory of a Gary Gianni collection of his material from various Hellboy-related back-ups, but not firm knowledge that it was imminent. I suspect this material might have additional power gathered all in one place.

imageDEC111081 COMPLETE CRUMB TP VOL 01 EARLY YEARS OF BITTER STRUGGLE $24.99
DEC111082 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 17 1983-1984 $28.99
JAN121272 CORTO MALTESE TP VOL 01 BALLAD OF THE SALT SEA $25.00
NOV110052 CRIME DOES NOT PAY ARCHIVES HC VOL 01 $49.99
OCT110248 DC UNIVERSE BY ALAN MOORE HC $39.99
DEC110438 ARCHIE AMERICANA HC VOL 03 BEST OF THE 60S (IDW) $24.99
Here's almost $200 of archival material all worth a look. The Peanuts and the Crumb are automatic buys for me: the former and the reigning Greatest Living Comics-Maker. The Corto Maltese is of course of high interest because of that work's pedigree and reputation; a lot depends on the way the project is executed, which is why getting to be near a full-service comics store can be the greatest thing in the world. That's really the publishing project of the week, I think, the release to note. Ditto the Crimes Does Not Pay work, although there's a bigger chance that work is less interesting page to page than the Maltese. Alan Moore's superhero work is always of potential interest, although even with Moore there's some diminishing returns after a while and I'm not certain at this point you couldn't pick up what you really wanted in the original comic book form. I remain sort of baffled by all the Archie books, but I'll look at every last one of them.

JAN120483 ART OF MOLLY CRABAPPLE SC VOL 01 WEEK IN HELL $9.99
DEC100415 GEORGE PEREZ ART OF HC $49.99
NOV110296 WOMANTHOLOGY HEROIC HC $50.00
Here's three notable releases in which I don't have a lot of interest but that's more personal taste than any slam against the works in question. That's a nice price point on the Molly Crabapple; I'm just not familiar enough with her work to want this sight unseen. George Perez is always fun, although an art book with that price point (I'm having a depressingly mercenary imaginary day at the imaginary comics shop) deserves hands-on scrutiny. There are some good creators in the Womanthology anthology, although I have to admit I don't have $50 to take a chance on finding someone new I might like if that's the point of the book, and I think it is. I'm not 100 percent certain. Or for me to find even several people. Fortunately, I'm pretty confident in my ability to find the creators I value through their individual work, by paying attention to what's been written and what's out there book to book. I hope I'm right to be confident that way. I don't think I've ever not been able to find a cartoonist whose work I've enjoyed; at least they haven't been kept from me for long. Your mileage may vary considerably from my own.

JAN120340 NORTHLANDERS #49 (RES) (MR) $2.99
JAN120485 SAGA #1 (MR) $2.99
JAN120076 LOBSTER JOHNSON THE BURNING HAND #3 (OF 5) $3.50
DEC118235 THIEF OF THIEVES #1 VAR CVR 2ND PTG $2.99
JAN120607 THIEF OF THIEVES #2 $2.99
JAN120664 CAPTAIN AMERICA #9 $3.99
JAN128240 ADVENTURE TIME #2 $3.99
JAN128109 ADVENTURE TIME #1 (3RD PTG) (PP #1011) $3.99
NOV110717 MOUSE GUARD BLACK AXE #4 (OF 6) $3.50
Here's a bunch of stuff that kind of popped out at me as potential comic-book comics buys. It's a strange list in that I think it all pretty much inhabits an area of "I'd look at it, but I probably wouldn't buy it." It's still a compelling group of books form a publishing standpoint. The Northlanders is an issue of a serial comic winding down from Vertigo, the company that did higher-end serials pretty much exclusively for a while there; the Saga is a new comic that provides roughly the same kind of reading experience except it's from Image, where those comics seem to be clustering. There's a Mignola-verse comic. The Thief Of Thieves gets points for being a comic in a genre (crime drama) other than horror or superheroes, yet seems deserving for demerits for being a little too self-congratulatory for being that kind of comic. It kind of reads like a 15-minute segment in some future TNT/USA Network TV show starring someone like... I don't know, Bill Paxton? When that kind of thing is so easily available in other media, I'm not sure that it just being a comic book is a big selling point, unless you're really wowed by the thought of comic books doing such a thing. The Captain America is from reliable Ed Brubaker (at least I think it is). The Adventure Time stuff seemed to hit reasonably hard with its target audience first time out, and I'm curious about it. The Mouse Guard books seem to be pretty reliable packages for what they do, too. I'm not sure I'd come away with any one of those books, but they'd all be in there fighting for my attention and somewhere out there someone is going to mutter "all right!" about each of them as they scoop it up.

JAN121203 SMURFS GN VOL 11 SMURF OLYMPICS $5.99
JAN121204 SMURFS HC VOL 11 SMURF OLYMPICS $10.99
I enjoy these collections of classic kids material -- I'm assembling the softcovers.

JAN121309 TWIN SPICA GN VOL 12 $13.95
This is apparently the last issue in Vertical's reprint of the kids-becoming-astronauts series. I was never 100 percent on board. It had that thing I find distracting in a lot of manga series in that the characters and situations tend to reflect these huge clichés in ways that I find more distracting than enervating. But there was some really fun junk rattling around in this one, and I liked its view of a bunch of kids feeling the effect and weight of personal and public history in a way that doesn't get brought out a lot in works about young people -- mostly because it doesn't always occur to the kids in that situation. It was an admirable publishing project, as far as these kinds of projects go; I hope it had its fans.

*****

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 3:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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