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April 30, 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.

*****

FEB141277 LOVE BUNGLERS HC $19.99
This is a collection of the Jaime Hernandez work that made a lot of us cry in serial form and it's maybe the best comic I've read all decade. I not only want it in every iteration of its publishing history, I'm happy taking home multiple copies. I have no idea what this reads like for newbies -- one did tell me they found it extremely affecting, but maybe they caught something slightly crazed in my eye. A beautiful, humane, masterfully executed comic.

imageFEB141424 CIGAR THAT FELL IN LOVE WITH PIPE GN $22.95
This is Nick Abadzis illustrating David Camus and I bought my copy before I got to "illustrating." I always enjoy looking at Abadzis' work. This is a SelfMadeHero book, as they continue to build a super solid back catalog of books that should sell for a few years most times out.

JAN140382 FLEX MENTALLO MAN OF MUSCLE MYSTERY TP (MR) $14.99
DEC130122 MESMO DELIVERY 2ND EDITION HC $14.99
I'm not sure where this edition of the former fits into the publishing history, but it was so long for this book to be collected at all that many folks that would like one might not have availed themselves as of yet. I think of this one more as a bundle of interesting concepts rather than a cohesive and affecting read -- at least one of that type in the mainstream pantheon of excellent works -- but it's been a decade or so since I've read these comics. I'm aware of the content in the Mesmo Delievery: it's an intense, funny and lurid action-adventure comic that was a big word-of-mouth work when it first appeared on the edge of folks' cognizance. This looks like a fancier edition. Fun comic.

JAN140502 ALICE IN COMICLAND HC $29.99
This is a Craig Yoe effort featuring work from a variety of mainstream heavy hitters -- Toth, Kelly, Kurtzman, Davis, etc. -- on the Lewis Carroll Alice character and her fellow travelers.

JAN140547 CBLDF PRESENTS LIBERTY HC (MR) $29.99
This collects work from the CBLDF annuals of the same name. It's as solid a list of creators that ever might work on an anthology in an overlapping set of aesthetic arenas that rarely favor that kind of book.

FEB140475 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1 (MR) $3.50
FEB140595 CHEW #41 (MR) $2.99
FEB141087 ADVENTURE TIME 2014 ANNUAL #1 $4.99
These are the serial comics that jump out at me -- it's kind of a small list. The Southern Bastards titles is writer Jason Aaron -- working with Jason LaTour -- taking his shot to the join the long line of established Marvel/DC writers that have signature comics series with Image. Chew is a super-solid performer that's been around long enough we can remember how freaking odd and unlikely hit that was when it first started coming out. I think it was also influential in terms of attracting other creators to come to the company and try something similar; I've heard it referenced, anyway. The Adventure Time 2014 Annual really does sound like what I write about those books every single week: a decent entry point as to what they're doing with those books.

FEB148267 SEX CRIMINALS #5 2ND PTG (MR) $3.50
FEB148315 STARLIGHT #1 2ND PTG (MR) $2.99
It's always fun to note the Image reprints -- there's no dysfunctional corporate culture that keeps an Image comic from printing to its expected initial sales point, so these tend to reflect straight-up demand outpacing the creators' ability to project how well their work is going to sell. Sellling out of a print run five issues in is worth nothing all by itself.

JAN141201 BUDDY BUYS A DUMP GN $19.99
Peter Bagges is a living, breathing comedy hero, and Buddy Bradley is his best character. This is another book of many on this list I have but have yet to read, and I look forward to seeing how they play one right after the other -- I know their extremely intermittent nature and the relative shortness of each story has had a presence in my mind when I've read them as they come out.

JAN148166 EC COMICS FOUR HC SLIPCASE VOL 01 $94.99
Like Archie the Tower Comics works, the EC Comics expressions escape me in terms of who is publishing what in which order and why. I'm kind of hooked on the black and white author-oriented Fantagraphics volumes because they force me to reconsider artists that I power past when they're collected in a format resembling the original comics, but I tend to enjoy the EC stuff no matter how they're assembled. Only the size of my wallet keeps me from buying them all, and I'd certainly look at this one.

FEB141617 JEFFREY BROWN KIDS ARE WEIRD OBSERVATIONS FROM PARENTHOOD HC $14.95
The cover to this book made my mom laugh when she picked it up at the Barnes & Noble. Brown has carved himself a nice career as a joke-book maker -- and by that I mean the way these books are structured, not that this makes them lesser works or less interesting to me than comics just for that differentiating characteristic. I'd be happy to have Brown books to give out as gifts to sort-of comics reading friends for the next 25 years.

FEB141333 VINLAND SAGA GN VOL 03 $19.99
The latest in Makoto Yukimura's viking saga seems the best of the mainstream-oriented manga series with a volume out this week.

MAR141548 ART OF OSAMU TEZUKA GOD OF MANGA HC $40.00
This is a hardcover edition of the Helen McCarthy book that Abrams put out; I don't know if this particular format release is replacing one that's out of print, designed to be for collectors, meant for classroom use or what, but it's a considerable book.

FEB140533 PRETTY DEADLY TP VOL 01 (MR) $9.99
First of all, look at that price point. I'm not one to write appreciatively of publishing strategies, but it seems to me that Image has been focused in effective fashion on driving people towards serials comics purchasing in addition to providing a decent price point for curious buyers. This is doubly smart if you believe, as I do, that there's a growing groups of consumers that read trades as serial comics nows. I have this squired away as a reward read at some point in the future -- yeah, I'm that guy -- and am looking forward to it. It certainly has struck a chord with its readers, if the early cosplay indications are to be believed.

*****

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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