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











September 30, 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.

*****

JUL140430 PUCK WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS BE HC $59.99
This is perhaps IDW's big stand-alone book of the Fall, if not the year -- a lengthy, lavish look at the proto-satirical publication and home to so, so many fine cartoonists. I have one on my bed stand and the only trick is to keep from blowing off work to go look at the thing.

imageJUL141183 HOSPITAL SUITE GN (MR) $22.95
This latest original graphic memoir from John Porcellino is a potential book of the year candidate. If you know Porcellino and his work, this is an amazing trip down all the paths he didn't quit pursue in the last 20 years of making King-Cat. If you've never read him before, it more than works on the level of an affecting meditation on finding peace in life when medical circumstance pound on you until you're a different person. Highly recommended.

JUN140262 BATMAN 75TH ANNIVERSARY TP COLLECTION $49.99
AUG141470 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE GN BOX SET 1975-1983 $59.99
JUN141170 MOOMIN ON THE RIVIERA GN $9.95
JUL141641 BATMAN YEAR BY YEAR VISUAL CHRONICLE HC $50.00
This is the first time I can recall seeing multiple books on one of these lists that seem to me -- and maybe only to me -- like holiday books. This usually takes the form of high-end, expensive but reasonably superflous studies of big characters or the repackaging of recently successful work, and does so here. I have very much enjoyed seeing those Ed Piskor books do well, and imagine there's some significant gift potential with a box set.

AUG140086 USAGI YOJIMBO SENSO #3 $3.99
AUG140272 GRAYSON #3 $2.99
AUG140207 LOBO #1 $2.99
AUG140566 WALKING DEAD #132 (MR) $2.99
AUG140755 BUCKY BARNES WINTER SOLDIER #1 $3.99
AUG140771 GUARDIANS 3000 #1 $3.99
AUG140777 THOR #1 $3.99
AUG140890 MEN OF WRATH BY JASON AARON #1 (MR) $3.50
AUG140201 GOTHAM ACADEMY #1 $2.99
The individual comic-book format books are more interesting than gotta-haves this week. I love and always buy Stan Sakai's work. Grayson is an Internet pundit favorite title from DC Comics that seems to me may benefit from comparison to some of the less-inspired books in that line. I like the pacing, though, which is a really hard thing to pull off in today's serial comics. The Lobo comic is a refashioning of a mostly-1990s success for the publisher. I didn't like that character, but this one seem eminently punchable in the face. Writer Cullen Bunn has done well with Marvel's Magneto though. I'm not sure that I read Walking Dead for enjoyment or just to kind of keep track of what such a significant player in the market is up to, but I think it's earned its success and does several very comic-book things extremely well. Three launches at $4 seems a lot to me, but I am a million miles removed from any chance to run a big mainstream comic-book company. The Thor book's character gender-switch drove some mainstream entertainment news coverage when it took place. I just sort of like Jason Aaron and sample everything he does, even when I'm not familiar with it. Finally, that Gotham Adventure debut is the on-line darling of the moment; I though the first issue was cute.

JUN140459 COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD DICK TRACY HC VOL 17 $39.99
MAR140458 FLESH & STEEL ART OF RUSS HEATH HC $49.99
JUL140393 STAR TREK GOLD KEY ARCHIVES HC VOL 02 $29.99
What a strong week for IDW's reprints department, particularly in that it comes the same time the Puck book is out. Dick Tracy is of course part of their classic newspaper reprints run, the Russ Heath certainly makes sense placed next to the book on Noel Sickles that instigated that reprint format, while the Star Trek seems a natural given their relationship to the franchise at this moment in time. I don't know that I've ever seen those Gold Key Star Trek comics out there for sale, either, which means it might be one of those collection where there's really a scarcity addressed.

JUL140517 SOUTHERN BASTARDS TP VOL 01 HERE WAS A MAN (MR) $9.99
More Jason Aaron, here working with Jason Latour. I like the idea of this comic and its small-town setting, although the issues collected here seem more on their way to something than already arrived. I'm still reading it, though, in serial form.

JUL140728 MOON KNIGHT TP VOL 01 FROM DEAD $17.99
This is the recent Warren Ellis/Declan Shalvey run, with the kind of quick and decisive re-imagining of characters with which Ellis has always excelled combine with a very tightly paced, pared-down narrative approach. I liked them, and thought they were fun, although I think given the chance to compare I would prefer the individual comic books.

MAY141548 HARVEY HORRORS BLACK CAT MYSTERY SOFTIE TP VOL 04 $24.99
I would want to look at this for any and all Manny Stallman that might be offered. I think historians position this series as kind of the only EC competition worth reading now and then, but I have to say I'm not sure how accurate that is.

JUL141422 LAIKA SC $10.99
This is Nick Abadzis' well-received, mostly-for-younger-readers book given a new price point and new entry into the marketplace. I hope it does well.

APR140993 SECRET HISTORY OMNIBUS HC VOL 03 (MR) $34.99
Secret History has been my favorite trashy entertainment mainstream comic book for a while, and I mean that as sincerely as is possible. It's like a Jack Chick comic in its earnestness, but more like an early 1990s Vertigo Comic in its messy worldview and basic narrative approach. Were it a TV show, I would watch 20 hours in a row, but only on a TV served by an antenna.

JUN140925 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #12 (MR) $4.99
I've never seen one of these, let alone read one, but I admire their commitment to print. That's not an easy publishing trick to pull off these days.

JUL141700 ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS HC VOL 03 SHOULDNT YOU BE IN SCHOOL $16.00
This isn't comics, but you can always admire that Seth cover.

JUL141218 DOCTORS GN $16.99
One of the great things about comics the last 10 years and the next 30 years together is getting a full adult lifetime's output from Dash Shaw. This is his latest, and if you go to comics store to buy new and little-seen work from talented cartoonists, this book is that much more for you.

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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 11:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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