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April 2, 2015


This Isn’t A Library: New, Notable Releases From 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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JAN150916 AGE OF SELFISHNESS HC $17.95
This is a really weird week for me in that there are tons of books out, but the vast majority are all down around my lowest thresholds in terms of triggering a purchase. That doesn't mean they're bad books, not at all, just not right in the mainstream of what I usuallly buy. This book, already out in the UK and here under a different title and trade dress from Abrams, would have made my interest-cut any old week. I enjoy Cunningham's pictorial essays generally, and think his sense of humor would greatly serve an exploration of the absuridities at the high end of financial enterprise.

imageNOV140103 BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL TP VOL 31 FINAL CURTAIN (MR) $19.99
FEB151487 ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 15 $10.99
JAN151677 WHAT DID YOU EAT YESTERDAY GN VOL 07 (MR) $12.95
DEC141741 WOLFSMUND GN VOL 06 $12.95
FEB151696 ONE PIECE GN VOL 74 $9.99
JAN151676 PROPHECY GN VOL 03 $12.95
Unless I'm well, well off of my game these are all solid manga series with new volumes out, none more solid than the Samura in its final volume in this iteration of the series -- given the haphazard nature of manga publishing, you never know which publication series will be a work's last. Anyway, I liked that one when I saw it, particularly the beautifully choreographed fight scenes. The others I'm in various states of catch-up except for maybe One Piece, on which I'm too far behind to fool myself. There's a beautiful energy to that one in its best moments, and while it's not the first series I'd pick in blind test for most popular in the world, I get it.

DEC140082 GIRLFIEND TP $19.99
Pander Brothers! I bet a lot of what they were up to even during their early Grendel-drawing heyday would work really well now, as the audience's purchasing power has caught up with the tastes. I'd look at it, for sure.

JAN151512 LULU ANEW HC $27.99
Etienne Davodeau's job-switching tale The Initiates was one of the pleasant surprises the year it arrived on North American shelves. This story of someone walking away from their life for a while would seem perfectly suited to the kind of pacing that the artist does well.

OCT140043 GOON TP VOL 14 OCCASION OF REVENGE $16.99
NOV140039 BPRD PLAGUE OF FROGS TP VOL 03 $24.99
NOV140068 DEMO TP $24.99
DEC140112 ELFQUEST FINAL QUEST TP VOL 01 $17.99
NOV140075 EMPOWERED UNCHAINED TP VOL 01 $19.99
DEC140137 GROO VS CONAN TP $16.99
Here's a bunch of trades/collection tied into a specific kind of genre comic I don't buy as much of anymore, so to have so many of them in one week seemed really interesting to me. In fact, you could probably double this list up by selecting more generously and adding back a couple I separated out. I'm not sure what this means. The Goon, Groo and Elfquest creations are on their lion-in-winter tours. Demo just seems like something you do right to have it as backstock because the creator are in the midst of solid careers. Empowered we don't know about yet. But yeah, 16-year-old me, this is a big week.

DEC140172 LONE WOLF & CUB OMNIBUS TP VOL 08 $19.99
I always wonder after these collections, because I think people assume that a lot of series will have a secondary collection run all the way through, page one to the last page, and I'm not sure that's true. I admire these comics more than enjoy them; they're the very definition of influential, handsome adventure comics, and it's hard to think of a collection working that area over a certain size not having these.

NOV140522 TARZAN RUSS MANNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS HC VOL 04 1974-1979 $49.99
I'm grateful for the rush of newspaper strips being done now. I bet we have one more period for a lot of these works in the 2030s, but I could imagine many of these comics not being reprinted anymore. Tarzan used to have a better chance than most at this kind of prize, but it's not an icon to which people feel the connection they used to feel.

imageDEC140948 AVENGERS RAGE OF ULTRON OGN HC $24.99
Marvel has probably left a few million on the racks of their most devoted retail partner by not having more point-to-it book for fans of the movies and TV shows that they've been doing. This seems different: solid creative line-up, a plot that plugs into their comics and doesn't need a whole lot of figuring out from the movie end, and done-in-one. I never liked Ultron as a thematic bad guy -- I find those issue a little dull. He's a great brawler, though, all metal and shiny and painful-looking. He's the most formidable opponent in superhero history to lose as many times as he has, like lose down to the dismantling level.

FEB150059 HELLBOY AND THE BPRD #5 1952 $3.50
JAN158230 BITCH PLANET #2 2ND PTG (MR) $3.50
JAN158231 BITCH PLANET #3 2ND PTG (MR) $3.50
DEC140763 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #8 (MR) $3.50
Here's a few comic-book type comics for you. I collect the Hellboy comics in serial form, so I'll need to buy that one at some point. I enjoy them all, although I do get the sense at times I'm enjoying them less as '60s Marvel stand-in than '70s Marvel stand-ins. Bitch Planet is somehow a bigger hit than people thought it would be and people thought that one would do well. A double-printing this deep in is a great sign for its potential longevity. I don't know if Southern Bastards is doing four-issue cycles, but this latest issue feels like the end of the coach storyline. Insert Craig T. Nelson revived version here. That one strikes me the same way a lot of primetime Vertigo series did in the '90s -- a heartfelt story, a lot of genre trappings just not the typical ones, a significant period of growth by the creators as they find their level.

FEB151424 BUDDY DOES JERSEY GN $19.99
All hail Peter Bagge, comedy hero. Taking Buddy and Lisa out of still-popular (and about to get a Real World bump) Seattle and into suburban New Jersey doesn't get enough credit as one of the all-time ballsy plot progressions. I love these comics and I hope by the end of the year you'll fall back in love with them, too. Watch this site.

DEC141666 BURNE HOGARTH TARZAN HC VOL 02 VS BARBARIANS $39.95
More Tarzan. I'm not the greatest fan of Hogart's approach to the page -- I think he kept a lot of illustrative flourish that actively work against these pages' readability as comics -- but he's one of the more interesting personalities to ever work in comics and if you're a fan of his approach you're likely a fiend.

JAN151464 GLORKIAN WARRIOR GN VOL 02 EATS ADVENTURE PIE $12.99
JAN151465 GLORKIAN WARRIOR HC GN VOL 02 EATS ADVENTURE PIE $19.99
James Kochalka, in softcover and hardcover form. This is the project of his that most naturally crosses over into indie videogames, where I believe it still has a presence.

FEB151172 LUMBERJANES TP VOL 01 $14.99
Well, this should be around for the next thirty years. I don't even know if this is the first time this material has been offered this way or if it's a reprint. I do know it will sell for quite some length of time unless there's a sudden reversal in market tastes.

FEB151506 SNAKE PIT GETS OLD 2010 TO 2012 GN (MR) $14.95
Diary comics, way closer to the end of Ben Snakepit's significant run, a run I think goes 2000-2012 although I could be super wrong. Snakepit has worked really hard in this area, and deserves every fan that want to join him on this extended trip. I look forward to this later material myself.

OCT140523 JOHN ROMITA AMAZING SPIDER MAN ARTIFACT ED HC PI
If I remember my Dunbierian lore, the Artifact Editions are editions that use some replication of original material due to those pages just not being available, but the core is the oversized, color Xeroxes of originals that the Artists' Editions use exclusively. Nothing more fun that a primetime John Romita Sr. project.

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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 12:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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