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November 3, 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.

*****

AUG110044 USAGI YOJIMBO #141 $3.50
This is Stan Sakai's 200th issue of his samurai saga. You get to 200 by counting the Dark Horse efforts along with the Fantagraphics issues and the Mirage comics. He's a class act, and I'm grateful that he's been able to do the comic he loves doing for as long as he chosen to do it. Congratulations to him.

imageJUN111095 GANGES #4 $7.95
Every single thing that Kevin Huizenga does is a must-have for me. This is a continuation of the insomnia storyline.

JUL110027 HELLBOY HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD HC $14.99
The Mignolaverse juggernaut continues on. This one features the great Richard Corben.

JUL111185 SMURFS BOX SET VOL 1-3 $17.99
I like the individual volumes of this series just fine without putting them all into one place, but the younger kids for whom these are really good books might disagree.

AUG111316 1001 COMICS YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU DIE HC $36.95
Our very distinguished occasional European comics columnist Bart Beaty was among those who wrote for this Paul Gravett-directed shot at a popular canon.

AUG111169 YUICHI YOKOYAMA COLOR ENGINEERING SC (RES) (MR) $35.00
I doubt there's any book this pretty coming out any time soon, and Yokoyama is a buy-everything-that's-put-out creator right now.

APR110255 ABSOLUTE SANDMAN HC VOL 05 (MR) $99.99
MAY110294 JOE THE BARBARIAN DELUXE ED HC (MR) $29.99
JUN110338 LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN OMNIBUS HC $49.99
Three book of considerable interest from the prolific DC trades department. I want to start hanging out with the people that can afford to spend several hundred dollars on giant Sandman books, if only so that I can borrow them. I bet a lot of that work really shines at that size. The Joe The Barbarian series was one of those that started out on everyone's tongue and then ended with no one talking about it at all. I'm curious. The League book is something of interest, although I'm not sure which fan wouldn't have this work in some form already. I think it's the one I saw discussed a couple of weeks back, and the most notable thing was that it was finally a Vertigo book, which seemed to me was something they were trying to avoid with the initial deal -- my memory could be wrong.

SEP110699 HEAVEN ALL DAY SC $4.00
MAY110514 INVINCIBLE #84 $2.99
SEP110530 AVENGERS 1959 #3 (OF 5) $2.99
SEP110513 AVENGERS ACADEMY #21 $2.99
SEP110915 ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #2 $3.99
Here are few notable works in the comic book shops yesterday that either resemble or are outright comic-book comics. I enjoyed John Martz's book, and you don't see a lot of alt-comics talent putting out an issue like that anymore. If I had to guess, I bet Robert Kirkman's superhero comic Invincible is starting the major storyline that will end in time for a build-up to whatever major storyline will get him through issue #100, because that's the kind of traditional structuring that a title like that encourages. The first of those Avengers books features Howard Chaykin drawing characters from the Marvel catalog that could easily be believed to be alive 52 years ago. The second of those Avengers books I know nothing about, but it showed up on a bunch of the serial-comics lists made by readers in last Friday's Five For Friday. You probably already know that Roger Langridge is a gem.

AUG111154 ASTERIX OMNIBUS SC VOL 01 NEW PTG $19.95
AUG111155 ASTERIX OMNIBUS SC VOL 02 NEW PTG $19.95
These are three-in-one collections of the iconic European series. I have no idea if they work in this format or not, but that seems like a fine price point and if you're building a comics library I bet you want representatives of this work in there.

AUG111253 DEATH NOTE BLACK ED TP VOL 06 (OF 6) $14.99
AUG111103 LOVE HINA OMNIBUS TP KODANSHA ED $19.99
Two re-packagings of deservedly popular manga series, and another pop-up by Kodansha in a market I thought for a while they roar into with a lot more power and force.

AUG111335 GOVERNMENT ISSUE COMICS FOR THE PEOPLE 1940-2000S $29.95
This is exactly what it sounds like. While I haven't cracked my own copy yet, I imagine that it's more a compelling document of cultural history as opposed to some hidden treasure source for great comics -- and that's a perfectly fine thing.

MAY111169 STEVE DITKO ANGRY APES N LEAPIN LIZARDS SC $25.00
This is a Greg Theakston produced book of Steve Ditko Charlton Comics, I think from the early to mid-1960s period either strongly or exclusively. Steve Ditko -- this week's birthday boy -- is an artist of interest no matter where he was working, and I have to imagine a lot of this stuff looks as fantastic as the samples of his output from this period I've seen here and there. You'd want to rifle through its pages in the shop, that's for sure.

AUG110744 SOMEDAY FUNNIES HC $55.00
Well, hello there. This is one of a half-dozen books or so coming out this week that might be termed by someone out there "an event," although this collection of a once-thought-lost -- hell, once-completely-forgotten-about -- collection of serious comics makers of its time has maybe the longest and most distinguished pedigree. I've received two e-mails in the last three weeks wondering out loud why more people haven't been talking about this book. As one of those people that could have been talking about it, I couldn't tell you a reason. But here it is.

*****

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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