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April 2, 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.

*****

DEC130108 FATIMA BLOOD SPINNERS HC $19.99
This is Gilbert Hernandez doing a kind of comic I'm not all the way sure we'll see again from him. It's pulpy and propulsive more than it is thoughtful and meticulously realized on the page. I like the look of individual panels quite a bit. For something that wants to drive the reader through from beginning to end there are a lot of quiet, odd moments like that. Anyway, it's not for everyone, but it's definitely for those that like what Gilbert Hernandez is about more than it is for those that wish for a work that not like the other Gilbert Hernandez comics.

imageFEB141324 SLEEP OF REASON GN (MR) $30.00
This is a crowd-funded effort, which I either don't see or fail to notice when they appear on these lists if they do so with any regularity. It's horror material. I like that cover. Here's a list of contributors. I like smartly-assembled work featuring a wide array of talent more than I like finding these artists in scattershot ways on-line, but a lot of that comes down to the skill of the editors here.

DEC130144 LONE WOLF & CUB OMNIBUS TP VOL 04 $19.99
I'm hoping to invest in this series in this form myself. It's almost the definition of handsome-looking comics, although the all kind of blend together in my memory of them.

DEC130307 BATMAN 66 HC VOL 01 $19.99
Lorenzo Semple Jr. is dead, but the Batman milieu he midwifed into existence lives on. I've enjoyed these as comics when I've seen them (I've seen maybe four?), although I'm not sure how well they work collected together or if they're even something to which a lot of readers would naturally return if it were on their bookshelves. That sounds mean, but I was fond of the issues I've read. If this is the way you collect comics, I'd say have at it.

JAN140353 SUPERMAN RED SON TP NEW EDITION $17.99
I don't think I've ever read this one, a well-regarded Mark Millar/Dave Johnson effort I believe about Superman being raised by Soviets. I do remember that when the book became successful that Millar had basically taken a really obvious concept but with his collaborators made it work for audience in a way that isn't always guaranteed in comics. I think you can find the same kind of broad conceptual work in a lot of his creator-owned books.

FEB140089 1 FOR $1 ITTY BITTY HELLBOY #1 $1.00
FEB140075 LOBSTER JOHNSON GET LOBSTER #3 $3.99
FEB140189 ACTION COMICS #30 (DOOMED) $3.99
FEB140166 AQUAMAN AND THE OTHERS #1 $2.99
FEB140295 TRILLIUM #8 (MR) $2.99
FEB140607 INVINCIBLE UNIVERSE #12 $2.99
DEC130586 PRETTY DEADLY #5 (MR) $3.50
JAN140612 REVIVAL #19 (MR) $2.99
FEB140632 STARLIGHT #2 CVR A SIENKIEWICZ (MR) $2.99
FEB140633 STARLIGHT #2 CVR B PARLOV (MR) $2.99
Hey, it's this week comic-book comics of note. I wouldnt' buy them all, but I'd certainly stare. As is usually the case, there is a Mike Mignola-style presence with the latest issue featuring his characters and a one-shot re-releases as a potential gateway comic. I don't know what's going on with that copy of Action Comics, but I've enjoyed Aaron Kuder's art when I've seen it. I mostly listed it here because the "Doomed" cracked me up. I assume it's something dire about the fantasy universe in which these stories take place and not an editorial comment from someone high up. I found Aquaman And The Others very confusing, and it's hard for me to believe that demand for Aquaman is so high that anyone is clamoring for a second book starring the guy. I could be wreong, though. Trillium is Jeff Lemire; I've been collecting those. I think this issue of Incredible Universe is the last for a while, or at least it felt that way reading it. I'm fascinated that it's been very difficult for othet writers to duplicate Kirkman's sales despite using all the same characters and having access to the guy. My understanding is that Pretty Deadly and Revival are at the very least both super-solid performers for Image; I read both. I enjoy how unhurried Revival can be. Starlight is Mark Millar's latest, and this issue felt half the size of the first one. I'll be interested where and when he breaks with all the clichés he's been ladeling onto our plates.

FEB141280 BATTER UP CHARLIE BROWN HC $9.99
Novelty Peanuts books are the best kind of novelty book.

FEB141298 HIDDEN CHILDS STORY OF HOLOCAUST HC GN $16.99
JAN141046 HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS GN $16.95
These are two stories set in the best aimed at a general reading audience. The first is a holocaust narrative from First Second, a publisher that would seem ideally suited to handling a work on that subject. I haven't seen it yet, which is odd. Harlem Hellfighters involves Max Brooks and First World War history; I love World War I history. Brooks is attracted to strong concepts with a twist, so I assume the source material is strong.

DEC130859 BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS BETTY & VERONICA TP VOL 01 $9.99
Keeping my promise to always check out individual volumes collectding Archie material, which is a cageful of howling gibbons in terms of my being able to understand who is doing what on what kind of schedule.

JAN141209 LOCAS TP VOL 01 MAGGIE THE MECHANIC (NEW PTG) $18.99
This is the book that if you don't have you want; I'm very fond of these paperback editions. Reading Jaime Hernandez's early work with all of the fantasy elements given what's come after doesn't seem so out of place given he's worked with the fantastic side of things a bit over the last decade more than the previous one, maybe. It does at times feel like a different cartoonist -- a really fun cartoonist that can draw amazingly well. And the emotional core is there from the very beginning.

FEB141509 NARUTO GN VOL 65 $9.99
Sixty-five volumes! This is the quietest of all the comics that have at one time or another been the highest-performing book on the market (it gave way to One Piece quietly and decisively); I don't even know what's going on in the story anymore.

DEC131413 MARVEL ENCYCLOPEDIA HC 75TH ANNIV ED $40.00
I'd want to take a look at this one. A lot of my friends' kids who are really into the movie but are sort of baffled by the comic books ask after these kinds of works as a way to ease their kid into the reading part of the Marvel superhero experience. I would have been one of those kids given an entirely different set of world circumstance, so the impulse doesn't seem laughable to me.

NOV131373 ORIGINS OF COMICS FROM WILLIAM HOGARTH TO WINSOR MCCAY HC $50.00
This is Thierry Smolderen's book, CR's Bart Beaty was one of the translators, and it's one I'm looking forward to reading very much. My thoughts about the early days are all over the place, and I'm not exactly academic-level rigorous with any aspect of comics. It always feels to me like people just kind of pick a thread in terms of what was likely a brightly-colored sweater of visual media and just sort of pull on it and write down what gets pulled loose in terms of material from the early days. It'd be fun to read someone with a more systemic approach.

*****

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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