Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 19, 2014

This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases To The Direct Market


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.


It's great to have new comics from Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill and the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen volumes have been pretty great action-adventure comics in the classic sense: kind of junky and fun and energetic and profane and irritating and sometimes thoughtful. I like looking at whatever O'Neill likes to draw.

imageJAN141306 AAMA GN VOL 01 SMELL OF WARM DUST (MR) $19.95
I've been looking forward to this one, the first of Frederik Peeters' award-winning science fiction series, put out by one of the prestige boutique publishers operating right at the moment. It should hit well with the current interest in higher-end science fiction.

I remember the first two volumes of this series being very pretty and almost possessed of a singular energy because of the way the art looks -- the way early P. Craig Russell did whenever he did action comics, or the way that some of the more decorative manga can be. I'd certainly pick it up and take a look.

I never know exactly what the hell is going on with all the Archie collection, but this one seems pretty centrally oriented. As it is, I'm probably going to wait years and year and hope this material remains in print for me to buy and read then. Right now I'm just a little bit confused.

JAN140127 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #117 $3.50
JAN140134 BTVS SEASON 10 #1 MAIN CVR $3.50
JAN140320 ANIMAL MAN #29 $2.99
SEP130628 PROPHET #43 $3.99
DEC130595 SEX CRIMINALS #5 (MR) $3.50
JAN140630 DAREDEVIL #1 ANMN $3.99
Classic genre serial comic books are all over the place this week. There's one from the Mignola-verse, something to which we've grown accustomed. I always buy that material. The Buffy looks to be starting a new cycle... maybe the third since the television series ended? I don't hear about friends being instructed to pick one up from the comics shop for their non-comics interested partners the way I was for a while, but I'm sure those comics have a lot of fans the way the Star Wars material Dark Horse did for years has had a ton of fans. I believe that's the last Animal Man for a while; that title kind of midwifed Jeff Lemire's move from more obscure to solidly ensconced mainstream comics writer. At some point I'll delve into the My Little Pony comics to see what they're about. They're certainly not lack for my inability to get to a store, though. Sex Criminals and Prophet are the Image series out this week that I follow. i believe the Sex Criminals wraps up the initial storyline; it felt like such an ending. I wish they didn't have to relaunch Daredevil but I can't imagine Mark Waid and Chris Samnee not putting out a solid superhero comic. The Ghost Rider is part of Marvel's current attempt to makes its non-top-of-line core comics sleeper hits, singular reading experiences and good workouts for the general concept involved. Finally, the Adventure Time features art by Jim Rugg!

DEC130341 DEATH TP (MR) $19.99
This is all the Death material I could think of if I were quizzed, plus one I hadn't heard of, so at $19 that strikes me as a pretty solid return on one's investment. I suppose at this point that such material counts as 1990s nostalgia, or a two-generation buy (one for a new copy, one for whom it's brand new). Some very pretty art in those.

imageJAN141234 UQ HOLDER GN VOL 01 $10.99
JAN141413 VAGABOND GN VOL 35 (MR) $9.95
These are the two manga volumes. The first is the most recent manga serial by Ken Akamatsu of Love Hina, so I'd want to see if I didn't want to buy it. The second is the long-running Takehiko Inoue series, which I believe is still running but is certainly right up on the limits of the series as published thus far. I have read neither, but I've enjoyed the Inoue when I've come across it in discrete chunks and random press copies. I've always enjoyed the pacing there.

JAN140150 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #34 (MR) $7.99
That's a lot of issues for an anthology. That's more than the entire lifetime for a lot of prominent and successful series of that type.

That seems like a fine price point for book focused on Hellboy in a way that allows them to bring in artists that have done work on the series outside of creator Mike Mignola. These kinds of book are more feel than something you can figure out from a catalog description, so I definitely look forward to seeing it.

This is one of the Monkeybrain digital to print deals, featuring the writing of serial version co-publisher Chris Roberson and art by Dennis Culver. I like both of those guys' straight-ahead genre work, and this seems like that. I don't know. I just haven't seen one of these books in a store yet, and I look forward to doing so.

JAN140835 BASEWOOD HC $19.95
This is Alec Longstreth's crowd-funded effort; I have a copy, it looks sharp.

NOV130393 STEVE CANYON HC VOL 04 1953-1954 $49.99
Here are two really good collection from important 20th Century cartoonists. The Canyon is part of the Library of America series collecting that work, and those are top-notch production. The Canyon material is a lot of fun for about the first 15 years out of the gate, and it's always beautiful. The Wally Wood book is of course also terribly good-looking, and is fun in a way, although during my recent reading I couldn't quite disconnect from the poisonous elements of its pay-cable machismo.


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.



posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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