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April 19, 2016


This Isn’t A Library: New, 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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DEC151326 KRAMERS ERGOT GN VOL 09 $45.00
There aren't many publishing efforts that get treated as an event, at least not outside some of the more cynical big-publisher efforts. One for the alt-comics world that might still apply is the latest issue of what has been one of the big anthologies of that culture in this century. I liked a lot of the work in the volume. KE is well into its second decade as a major of interest and introspection, enough so that I wonder how much longer the book maintains its more public a-list status despite driving force Sammy Harkham's young age and apparent commitment to being a comics lifer. My inbox indicates people are asking the same questions. I'll be delighted to see it every time one comes out until I'm dead or it is.

imageNOV158431 CRIMINAL 10TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL DEADLY ED MAGAZINE SIZE (MR) $5.99
NOV158430 CRIMINAL 10TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL ED (MR) $4.99
DEC150074 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #140 MAIN CVR $3.50
FEB160017 DEPT H #1 $3.99
FEB161633 MADBALLS #1 $2.99
FEB160522 EAST OF WEST #25 CVR A DRAGOTTA $3.50
FEB160523 EAST OF WEST #25 CVR B HICKMAN $3.50
FEB160514 INVINCIBLE #127 $2.99
FEB160529 LAZARUS SOURCEBOOK #1 (MR) $3.99
FEB160859 HOWARD THE DUCK #6 $3.99
OCT150844 KARNAK #3 $3.99
FEB161217 LUMBERJANES #25 $4.99
The anniversary comic for Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Criminal series allows writer Brubaker to work at a deliberate pace -- something he does well. I'm not familiar with most of that series and I found the modest crime story here a lot of fun. Dark Horses gives us the latest issue of its Mignola-Verse, dozens upon dozens of comics into its run, and a brand-new Matt Kindt underwater science fiction comic. Jog's breakdown of the week says that issue of Madballs has a Dan Zettwoch comic in it; I'll check for sure. Twenty-five issues of Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta's American fantasy adventure series East Of West is worth noting. One reason I enjoy that comic is that it's fearless when it comes to sustaining tone. Invincible is one of the best half-dozen or so series on the market, or so indicates its Eisner nomination. I enjoy that comic but I don't think it's necessarily even on one of its better runs right now. I'm a sucker for a sourcebooks. I think this issue of Howard The Duck reintroduces the duck's longtime running partner/love-of-life Beverly Switzer. I've enjoyed Karnak so far but choose to see much of its tortured worldview and violence as funny rather than cool. Finally, a similar quarter-century issue-number achivement for the Lumberjanes.

FEB160251 ASTRO CITY #34 $3.99
JAN160347 ASTRO CITY LOVERS QUARREL TP $16.99
I'm happy that Astro City, a juggernaut of the 1990s, has a publisher that supports and appreciate the title in a way it has both a serial program and a serial trades one. That's terribly important for projects with a lot of creative life in them but that may have faded just past that juggernaut sales period.

JAN160450 JOHNNY BOO HC VOL 07 JOHNNY BOO GOES LIKE THIS $9.99
James Kochalka back doing kids work of the kind he's made aggressively over the last several years. Rumor are we get more of the adult-oriented, mischevious Superstar in future projects, but this is by any measure a signature series for him now.

OCT150451 WALLY WOOD THUNDER AGENTS ARTIST ED PORTFOLIO ED $49.99
This is one of those high-quality image packages rather than something that provides a narrative in a slightly different format. It's hard to convince people now just how much portfolio-type single-images publication was a big part of comics during the 1970s headed into the 1980s. My first comics shop did a terrific business in them.

FEB161441 MURDER BY REMOTE CONTROL GN $12.95
This has to be one of the odder projects the selective reprints-heavy Dover line will ever take on, and up there with the Sam Glanzman and Michael Zulli projects in terms of something that's welcome to see back on stands. This is work by the writer Janwillem van de Wetering and artist/cartoonist Paul Kirchner. I think I purchased it for my mystery-obsessed, comics-fan father at one point, right off the stands of a bookstore.

DEC151492 BAD MACHINERY GN VOL 05 CASE OF FIRE INSIDE $19.99
John Allison scored a couple of Eisner nominations for writing work on the BOOM! project Giant Days, this is the latest book of the webcomics work through which people got to know Allison and were thus so happy yesterday to see him recognized. It's confusing to me why that recognition has been slow in coming.

FEB161490 MEGG & MOGG IN AMSTERDAM AND OTHER STORIES HC (MR) $19.99
Simon Hanselmann's latest... Hanselmann is a prolific cartoonist whose serial and one-shot work always seems to slightly outpace my ability to keep track of what he's up to, so I found work in this one I hadn't seen yet and you might, too.

NOV151648 FLASH GORDON DAILIES HC VOL 01 (MR) $39.99
I thought for a while the space serials might be the last sub-genre to resist the all-encompassing reprint movement of this decade and last, but this volume proves me wrong. If you're buying books for $40, nothing I say is going to convince you either way.

JAN161034 JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC #1 NEW PTG $3.50
JAN161035 JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC #2 NEW PTG $3.50
JAN161036 JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC #3 NEW PTG $3.50
JAN161037 JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC #4 NEW PTG $3.50
JAN161038 JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC #5 NEW PTG $3.50
JAN161039 JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC #6 NEW PTG $3.50
JAN161040 JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC #7 NEW PTG $3.50
Okay, sure. I'm not sure the reasons for this or the market involved, although I'm sure both exist. This is also one of those comics you could argue works best in this format and should always be available this way.

FEB162180 FEARLESS CARTOONISTS GUIDE TO LIFE HC $24.99
Comic-strip survivor Robb Armstrong tells it like it is. As I recall, he's been speaking in front of audience for the bulk of his comic career, so I'm sure this book is very well honed.

FEB161918 GODS LIE GN $12.95
The great joy of going to the comic book shop is getting to pick up work that looks interesting but may not be enough for you to remember it eight months later at a show or order it through the mail -- even when shipping is free. I will be in a local shop looking at this book's interiors by the weekend.

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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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