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











October 7, 2014


This Isn’t A Library: New And Notable Releases Into 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.

*****

AUG141526 BEST AMERICAN COMICS HC 2014 (MR) $25.00
I agree with Paul Constant at The Stranger: I think this may be the best in this series, partly because the other editions seemed solid but didn't make a stand-alone impression. Picking the best of the year's is a mug's game to begin with, so this year's editor Scott McCloud and new series editor Bill Kartalopoulos present what they've selected as a walk-through of what McCloud finds important and interesting in a kind of snapshot of the times fashion. McCloud has broad enough interests that every comics reader will likely find a favorite it's hard to believe is appearing in a volume like this and a new cartoonist or team of comics-makers to assay.

imageJUN141452 JOHNNY BOO HC VOL 06 ZOOMS TO THE MOON $9.95
I'm not totally up to date on what James Kochalka is up to right now, and I would have guessed this series was at about volume four or five. That said, I like that there's enough space in the making of comics for kids over the last 10-15 years that people can build up these little libraries of work there. Kids will often demand more work from the same author, so it's just good business, and in Kochalka's case there's something about his approach that is particularly suited to this kind of open, eager storytelling.

JUN140012 BLACKSAD AMARILLO HC $17.99
I'll confess that I've only read one volume in this series as translated for North American audiences. I'm told I picked the absolute worst one. While the art is impressive and some of the visual moments are stop and stare gorgeous, I find the narrative fairly plain and not flattered in any specific way by the anthropomorphic approach. I'll happily try again; sure was good-looking.

JUN140076 CRIME DOES NOT PAY ARCHIVES HC VOL 08 $49.99
This is an extremely valuable and below the radar reprint series, of a comic that was as big and important and muscular on the stands as any of its peers. It's new territory for me, for sure.

AUG140285 BATGIRL #35 $2.99
JUN140572 SEX CRIMINALS #8 (MR) $3.50
AUG140093 ABE SAPIEN #17 $3.50
JUN140345 WINTERWORLD #3 $3.99
AUG140523 WYTCHES #1 (MR) $2.99
There isn't a ton in serial comics this time out, at least not to my specific tastes -- I'm sure I'm missing one or two from the list. The Batgirl is the much-ballyhooed soft-reboot featuring the character redesign that people enjoyed so much upon announcement. I'm happy for books like that to be well done because of the importance that a lot of people, particularly kids, place in those characters. Sex Criminals is fun right now as creators Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky settle into the series with the confidence they'll have the time to try a lot of different things and an audience that will follow them there. It's a fun read, because I don't have an historical antecedent in mind in terms of predicting where it will go storywise, which is significantly rare in comics. The Abe Sapien is this week's Mignola-verse title and the Winterworld is probably IDW's best-looking serial comic. Wytches #1 is interesting because of co-creator Scott Snyder's career arc; it's always interesting when a creator with displayed success at one of the mainstream comics companies works elsewhere and the results they have there. And I mean that without any sort of

JUN140444 WONDER WOMAN COMP NEWSPAPER DAILIES HC VOL 01 $49.99
Totally not familiar with this work and would certainly give it a look on the shelves despite that impressive price point.

AUG140588 MINIMUM WAGE TP VOL 01 FOCUS ON THE STRANGE (MR) $14.99
This is Bob Fingerman's Minimum Wage comeback series from Image collected, and one hopes the first volume means that Fingerman is doing well enough with the title to attempt more of them. I certainly enjoy that milieu the most of all of those in which Fingerman has worked over the years.

MAY140930 HAWKEYE TP VOL 03 LA WOMAN $15.99
Marvel's trade program is kind of wacky, and they've additionally given some scheduling leeway to this series that I couldn't tell you anything about it -- whether it's new or a re-run -- other than knowing I should probably give you a heads up in case this is how you're reading this particular work.

imageJUL141257 BATTLING BOY RISE OF AURORA WEST GN VOL 01 $9.99
The sister-sequel-series to Paul Pope's Battling Boy effort at First Second gets its first volume, with the previous all-Pope volume still recent enough to be held in memory.

AUG141612 GIGANTIC BEARD THAT WAS EVIL GN $20.00
I feel horrible that the author of this fun book -- now getting a formal North American release after being out for a long while in the UK -- shares a name with someone in the news right for horrible misdeeds. Ignore even finding out about that, just buy the book. If you go to the comics shop to encounter unfamiliar talents, to get that shock of the new, this is your best bet this week. You'll remember it far after this week's gossip goes away. Read a selection here.

MAY141172 JIM HENSONS TALE OF SAND BOX SET (MR) $49.99
JUL141325 MISS DONT TOUCH ME OMNIBUS HC (MR) $29.99
Two in the Christmas gift possibility arena; I'm sure there are more -- that Wonder Woman volume might work here, as would the Best American Comics volume.

JUL140786 MUTTS DIARIES TP $9.99
This is a non-traditional presentation of strip work from Patrick McDonnell, although when I say that I'm not even sure how many people are on the old dual paperback volume track anymore (Toomey, Pastis, Trudeau sort of and Adams for sure; also Scott/Borgman). Mutts has always been a super-attractive strip, and nearly every individual volume from the series works on its own merits. It can be your first book or your tenth.

AUG141755 NARUTO GN VOL 67 $9.99
I mention this because there's bound to be some curiosity now that the end of serialization is in sight: a little more than a month away.

JUL141324 BEAUTY HC $27.99
This is a collection of multiple albums in the Beauté series from Hubert and the husband-and-wife illustration team Kerascoet that astonished people with the art on the unrelated Beautiful Darkness earlier this year. To get that much attractive art in one place would be worth it if the story were high nonsense, but I liked it on the level of a compelling narrative that took its own rules seriously and as a study in fairytale motivations. I'm still thinking about it almost a week later.

*****

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 11:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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