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March 12, 2014


This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases To The 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.

*****

OCT130050 47 RONIN HC $19.99
I've only read a little bit of this Mike Richardson/Stan Saki collaboration, but the 47 Ronin story is one of the sturdiest of all the frequently-told stories out there and I enjoy Sakai's work and this is a rare non-Usagi project. With money being raised for Stan and Sharon Sakai due to their being caught in a deeply unfortunate healthcare-related crisis, I have to imagine it's a good time to go ahead and buy all the works of his you want.

imageJAN141479 COMICS ART HC $35.00
This is on my bedside as we speak. Paul Gravett is one of the great non-creators in comics over the last half-century, and his books are always tastefully assembled -- it doesn't get much more tasteful in comics than a detail from a Joost Swarte illustration, like this cover -- and offer insights into work that I had barely considered.

DEC130477 AIRBOY ARCHIVE TP VOL 01 $29.99
I would very much pick this one up because I've seen almost no Hillman work and what I've seen is frequently crude and wild. Update: Whoa, wait, I'm told this is actually the 1980s revival material. My bad. I did read a bunch of that stuff when I was a kid, and have no memories of it at all. I'm sure it's solid 1980s indy/mainstream crossover stuff, though, and I like that plane. I'd be more discouraged by my error, but I'm just glad to find out people still read this column.

JAN140137 BEASTS OF BURDEN HUNTERS GATHERERS ONE SHOT $3.50
JAN140126 ABE SAPIEN #11 $3.50
JAN140605 MINIMUM WAGE #3 (MR) $3.50
OCT130604 INVINCIBLE #109 $2.99
JAN140623 WALKING DEAD #123 (MR) $2.99
DEC138410 BLACK WIDOW #2 2ND PTG NOTO VAR ANMN $3.99
DEC138470 BLACK WIDOW #3 2ND PTG NOTO VAR ANMN $3.99
JAN140768 BLACK WIDOW #4 $3.99
JAN140669 CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 ANMN $3.99
JAN140815 DAREDEVIL #1 75TH ANNIV BY ROSS POSTER $8.99
DEC130741 HAWKEYE #17 $2.99
And here we get into serial comic books, of the mostly adventure genre kind. A couple of costume-less exceptions near the top from a trio of veteran hands: Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson with the latest of their charming pet/mystery/horror series Beasts Of Burden; Bob Fingerman with a third issue of his new Minimum Wage series. As expected there's a Mignola-verse title, Image has its two big Robert Kirkman heavy-hitters putting issues on the stands this week: his Walking Dead with Charlie Adlard, (which has to be either right at the end or right before the end of this war storyline) and the always slightly undervalued Invincible, with Ryan Ottley. The latter is one of those periods where the sprawl of the series allows Kirkman and Ottley to kind of work something long-simmering to the forefront with superheroically dramatic results. The Black Widow, Captain Marvel and Daredevil are all part of this latest attempt by Marvel to launch and re-launch comics characters just below the probable hit horizon. I like those comics because at least I can understand what a comic is when it has a character's name on the front cover. I would assume that the aspirational model for a lot of these books is Hawkeye, which has an issue out this week as well. By aspirational I mean that its offbeat take has drive sales success, provides a contrast on the stands, has kept vital talent working for the company and has developed the various properties involved in an appealing way that could be tapped by future film and TV makers. I like those whenever I see them.

JUL131243 ACG COLL WORKS ADV INTO UNKNOWN HC VOL 06 $47.99
AUG131420 ACG COLL WORKS FORBIDDEN WORLDS HC VOL 05 $47.99
DEC131249 HARVEY HORRORS CHAMBER OF CHILLS SOFTIE BOXED SET $109.99
AUG131421 HARVEY HORRORS CHAMBER OF CHILLS SOFTIE TP VOL 05 $24.99
DEC130964 ILLUSTRATED BRITISH CLASSICS TP LOST WORLDS & HOLMES $28.99
DEC131252 ROY THOMAS PRESENTS PLANET COMICS SLIPCASE UNSGN ED $64.99
JAN141204 YOUNG ROMANCE BEST SIMON & KIRBY COMICS HC VOL 02 $29.99
I make a lot of jokes about the times I get confused with elements of today's comics market aimed at readers younger than myself, but that's really nothing to the confusion by and fundamental disconnect from I experience in regards to wave after wave of reprints of material 30 years old and older. I just have no idea who is buying this stuff, I really don't. From what's out this week, I liked the Young Roman book: I thought it was sharply designed and nicely produced, and it's hard to go wrong in terms of the general sturdiness of Simon and Kirby during this era. Still: So. Many. Books.

DEC130828 PEARLS BEFORE SWINE TP PEARLS FALLS FAST $18.99
Here's something you don't see every week: a current strip at one of those early periods of health, vigor and overall market strength releasing a new work in its primary book series into the market for what one assumes is mostly fans that follow it in other formats but also a few of us that don't catch up to newspaper strips at all until they're dropped into our laps in a way that might bruise our thighs. I would think Stephan Pastis the favorite for this year's Reuben.

imageDEC131191 DUMBEST IDEA EVER HC GN $24.99
This is Jimmy Gownley's autobiographical book about getting into the making of comics, which has turned into a career. I was not a comics-maker as a kid, but even I was excited by the notion that there was such a low threshold for participation in the art form at its higest level, or at one of the high levels, through serial comic book self-publishing. Heck, I still like that idea.

JAN141278 SMURFS GN VOL 17 LAZY SMURF $5.99
JAN141279 SMURFS HC VOL 17 LAZY SMURF $10.99
I am alway happy to see these Smurf volume, in a pair of format to match the range of destructive possibilities offered by their potential, primary audience. They're for little hands, too. These have been starter comics with me for some families where comics have become a big art for the kids in question, one they enjoy a lot. I enjoy these comics, too, generally.

DEC131164 STRANGER THAN LIFE GN CARTOONS COMICS 1970 - 2013 $35.00
I interviewed MK Brown on Sunday. I thought this book was swell, and it was way bigger than I imagined if you had asked me six months to think of how much work Brown has done. This is a hugely pleasant surprise of course, because so much of it is well-crafted and genuinely funny. If I could only have one book on this list this week, this would be the one.

DEC131212 TALES OF OSCAR WILDE COMPLETE HC SET VOL 1-5 $79.99
I'd have to figure out what I have in terms of the Oscar Wilde comics and what I don't and see what these look like in a shop, but I certainly want those comics to be a part of my permanent collection so I'm glad to see this released.

JAN141006 CITY IN THE DESERT HC VOL 02 SERPENT CROWN (MR) $24.99
I read the first of these and the cartooning is really interesting -- far ahead of the story, really, particularly in the designs. I'd love to stare at a second.

AN140528 STRAY BULLETS #41 (MR) $3.50
JAN140529 STRAY BULLETS THE KILLERS #1 (MR) $3.50
JAN140530 STRAY BULLETS UBER ALLES ED TP (MR) $59.99
This is a concluding series comic, a new series comic and a collection of the previous series including that issue #41 to catch you up if you haven't been following all along. I think that could be a very fruitful area for Image to explore, reconnecting still-young comics-makers to their abandoned or left-over-here titles and perhaps exposing them to the goodwill the company has generate by providing so many decent-selling comics from a reliable set of creators. It's the kind of thing where even if you don't know the creator, you're happy for the creator to have this chance with that particular work.

*****

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 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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