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











October 28, 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.

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JUL141688 NEIL GAIMAN HANSEL & GRETEL GRAPHIC DLX HC $29.95
JUL141687 NEIL GAIMAN HANSEL & GRETEL GRAPHIC HC $16.95
This is the high-profile item of the week, a rare comic from Lorenzo Mattotti working with the esteemed writer and not-exactly-prolific-comics-maker-himself Neil Gaiman, both of whom are name above the title kind of guys. Together that's a potent match-up. This is both a standard Toon-format size offering and a bigger one, the better to show of Mattotti's lovely art.

imageAUG148241 TUKI SAVE THE HUMANS #1 2ND PTG $3.99
AUG141235 TUKI SAVE THE HUMANS #2 $3.99
SEP140968 TRUE STORIES #1 (MR) $5.99
AUG140935 RACHEL RISING #29 $3.99
AUG141192 ADVENTURE TIME #33 $3.99
AUG140675 SAGA #24 (MR) $2.99
AUG140676 SEX #17 (MR) $2.99
AUG140371 VERTIGO QUARTERLY #1 YELLOW (MR) $7.99
This is an odd week in comic-book format comics, so I'd likely look around. Jeff Smith has the second issue of Tuki Save The Humans ready to go, and a reprint of the first. I imagine that this is the way a large number of his fans are experiencing the work for the first time despite its presence on-line. I like that model, though, and certainly seeing it onscreen hasn't diminished my desire to own a comic book version. Fellow Ohioan Derf Backderf has the first issue of his series with Alternative out this week, diving into his considerable back catalog. Rachel Rising is the latest series from Jeff Smith's direct peer and good friend Terry Moore, and it's not one that I've been in a comics shop to ever see, so long have I been out in the desert. At some point I'll start picking up those Adventure Time comics to give them a whirl. Saga is a major release within its category -- I'm guessing top 3 -- and a major release generally. I think this is the last one for a few months and wraps up the current storyline. I enjoy Joe Casey's Sex for the 1980s-style setting and world-building, although the sex stuff does continue to distinguish it from other, similar efforts in a way that makes those other comics look kind of odd. Finally, I only liked one of the stories in that Vertigo Quarterly effort, but that's a worthwhile project and I was happy to see so many names with whom I'm completely unaware.

NOV130335 BASIL WOLVERTON WEIRD WORLDS ARTIST ED HC PI
My personal list of artists I want to see showcased in the IDW's Artist's Edition format includes everyone -- every last single goddamn artist. If there's a Werner Roth AE, I will consider not buying medication for a few weeks in order to afford it. Certainly Basil Wolverton is on lists a lot more picky than mine, and I look forward to seeing it. I think there's work from a number of time periods. The printed work is frequently so gorgeous, I have a definite interest to seeing how much he corrected on the page at various time. I bet he was one of those guys that got to a point where it's almost straight out of the pen. But who knows? Well, we all can, starting tomorrow.

SEP140984 COMPLETE CALVIN & HOBBES SLIPCASED HC NEW PTG $175.00
It's Christmas season, don't you know: why wouldn't there be room for one of the great comics-related holiday gifts ever. I'm not sure there's anything new about this new printing, but I sure like my old one -- which was a gift.

JUL141235 PALESTINE TP (MR) $24.99
JUN141216 SET TO SEA GN $14.99
Two paperback re-releases from Fantagraphics. You know Palestine, although this puts it back out there in an affordable format for, again, giving as a gift. The Set To Sea book is a mournful tale from the very talented early-webcomics innovator and all around fine cartoonist Drew Weing.

SEP141430 DISNEY ROSA DUCK LIBRARY HC VOL 02 RETURN TO PLAIN AWFUL $29.99
SEP141431 DISNEY ROSA DUCK LIBRARY HC BOX SET VOL 01 & 02 $49.99
SEP141436 WALT DISNEY DONALD DUCK HC BOX SET ANDES & UNICORN $49.99
Bunch of Disney ducks and Peanuts material out this week from Fantagraphics, all of which I think are lovely. Both series. The same way that some kids wanted to see what we have now with all those Marvel movies, little kid me wanted to read duck comics and Charlie Brown. Then new one with the ducks is the second volume in the Don Rosa series. I thought those were really snappy-looking, and I've always enjoyed Rosa's work. I can't even imagine the narrow landing strip that is creating good work in reference to to other work -- wait, I read comics, of course I can imagine it. Anyway, it's a rare, rare accomplishment what Rosa did with these great Carl Barks characters and comics.

imageAUG141477 SOCK MONKEY INTO DEEP WOODS HC $16.99
I feel like I should take a nap. Do you mind if I take a nap? How are you? I rarely ask. It's really lengthy this week, isn't it? It's what comics is like now. Anyway, this isn't a comic but it'swhat I'm reading right now in anticipation of that Belliveau book from earlier. It's really good. I thought that giant Sock Monkey collection was criminally under-discussed when it came out. Those are lovely, lovely comics. The characters work in this form, too.

AUG141922 DOONESBURY MELS STORY SURVIVING MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT TP $9.99
As I recall, Garry Trudeau has done a number of works about the effects of military living on the men and women that serve. I don't think I've seen one yet, and I'd kill to be in a comics shop to check one out. I think the military material has been a real strength of later-period Doonesbury, and he obviously comes to the stories with a great deal of compassion.

SEP141229 ONE YEAR IN AMERICA GN (MR) $17.00
This is a straight-up memoir of the year-in-the-life variety, encompassing the end of a school, a marriage and a divorce. It's on my bed table, so I haven't read it yet that I can remember sitting here, staring at the open doorway down the hall, but the author has worked with Conundrum before. Web site here.

AUG141748 GARDEN OF WORDS GN (MR) $12.95
JUN140080 BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL TP VOL 30 VIGILANCE (MR) $19.99
The best manga I saw on the list this week, or at leat the manga that interests me. Blade Of The Immortal I read like a teenager, for the fights and the Hiroaki Samura art rather than the political and cultural ruminations. But I read the heck out of it. Garden Of Words is one of those manga works that seems a companion to an anime film rather than the instigating factor for one, but I take a look at just about anything Vertical decides to publish.

AUG140572 THOUGHT BUBBLE ANTHOLOGY 2014 #4 $3.99
I like this anthology the best of any publishing-type effort that any festival or convention does right now. This is a week-long event that runs mid-November; the book features guests and the winning participants of a competition. It's not a revelation the way that the SPX anthologies were 12-15 years ago, but these have been fun.

AUG141473 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 22 1993-1994 $29.99
SEP141435 PEANUTS EVERY SUNDAY HC VOL 02 1956-1960 $49.99
AUG141474 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC BOX SET 1991-1994 $59.99
SEP141438 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 01 1950-1952 (NEW PTG) $29.99
SEP141439 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 02 1953-1954 (NEW PTG) $29.99
SEP141434 COMPLETE PEANUTS TP BOX SET 1950-1954 $39.99
SEP141433 COMPLETE PEANUTS TP VOL 02 1953-1954 $22.99
Yeah, here's the Peanuts list. The new books I've put up top: the latest hardcover of the dailies, moving into the mid-1990s and close enough to the end it feels real now, introduction by Jake Tapper. I hope you're buying them all; I know I'll keep mine for as long as I have comics. The strip was good throughout, by the way. The first color volume came out without little fanfare, but I loved it, and look forward to this one. Sundays weren't a particular strength of the feature, not so you'd say so (you'd be more likely to do it with Crane, Kelly or Watterson), I think mostly because of how accommodating he was in terms of doing work for multiple formats, but a lot of them are awfully, awfully good.

SEP141608 BEST OF ENEMIES HIST OF US MIDDLE EAST RELATIONS HC VOL 02 1 $24.95
Between Mattotti, Schulz, Barks, Millionaire, Smith and this latest from David B., it is a heck of a good week for comics art. There is a lot of amazing history covered in this one, which I think takes us from the early 1960s through the embassy bombing in Beirut. That means all the conflicts of the '60s and '70s are played out in these pages.

AUG141429 SHOWA HISTORY OF JAPAN TP VOL 03 1944-1953 (MR) $24.95
When D+Q announced they'd be doing this historical narratives, the periods I thought would be most interesting would be the end of World War II and the aftermath stretching into the 1950s. Looks like I get both in the same volume.

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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 5:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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