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

March 14, 2007

This Isn’t a Library: New and Notable Releases to the Comics Direct Market


Here are a few books that jump out at me from this week's 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 following, but were I in a comic book shop I would likely pick them up and look at them, potentially annoying my retailer.

It seems I'm not very good at reading shipping lists, as this did not come out last week. So to repeat myself:

The irony of extending the Buffy series into comic book form is that the show itself was a season or two too long. In fact, once the leads graduated high school, Joss Whedon's reputation-maker lost both its metaphorical juice (the horrors of high school are real horrors) and shifted to a much less poignant framework for its Zot!-like wish fulfillment subtext (special friend with special powers making possible a secret, special life). That didn't have to be a bad thing except that the writers replaced working through those kind of humane ideas with a type of soap opera that assumes rather than builds devotion to its characters. However, I'll totally admit the nerd in me is fascinated by the idea of a work trying to extend its official canon from one medium to another, as with this series' "Season Eight." If I were in comic shop I'd buy this for someone else and read it before dropping it in the mail.

I just sort of want to see this, to make sure it exists. It's amazing to me that the Invincible series, charming as it can be, will support books this high-end and expensive.

JAN072363 BLADE #7 $2.99
Is this still batshit insane? The issue I read wasn't good enough to make me want to pursue it at moment of publication, but I definitely have it earmarked as something to buy at less than cover price to get over a shipping minimum a few years from now.

JAN073653 A LATE FREEZE $6.50
What little I've seen of Danica Novgorodoff's work seems derivative -- not specifically so, but just way more emblematic of a certain type of comic than the idiosyncratic pleasure I get from the pages. A lot of people like this, though, and I'd love to stare at one for a few minutes.

I know next to nothing about it, but I will pick up any issue of any anthology that features at least two good cartoonist, and Dash Shaw and Vincent Stall make up one of several combinations in here that meet that standard.

JUN063096 TIMES OF BOTCHAN VOL 3 GN (OF 10) $19.99
This is why I love comics shops. Great works are published at their own speed, tiny publishers have scatter-shot marketing plans and there's still a thirty-three percent chance if I walked into a top 20 shop my retailer would say to me, "Have you seen the new Times of Botchan yet?" You can't get that kind of service from the grumpy twenty-somethings at the Barnes and Noble help kiosk, let me tell you. I once listed Times of Botchan as one of the great comics of all time, and although I was projecting from a sample rather than having read the whole thing I look forward to testing my notion. At the very least, with Jiro Taniguchi art, you'll be getting a very pretty book.


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.

To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, 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.

If I didn't list your new comic, it's not because I missed it by accident or that our tastes differ. It's because I hate you.
posted 4:19 am PST | Permalink

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