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August 2, 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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JUN160408 MARCH GN BOOK 03 $19.99
I liked volume two of this series a bunch, as the stately all-ages reader faded in favor of harrowing scene after harrowing scene of people placing themselves in danger for a country that at times seemed like it might not have been worth it. I hope volume three is as good if not better. I note that Lewis' take on the civil rights struggle is one where it ended -- or at least changed -- after the Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965. For those of us whose projected continuity includes 1968, that's a really interesting perspective into which to dive.

imageJUN160578 KILL OR BE KILLED #1 (MR) $3.99
JUN160101 BALTIMORE EMPTY GRAVES #5 $3.99
JUN161286 GIANT DAYS #17 $3.99
MAY160655 SEX #30 (MR) $3.99
AUG150551 TREES #14 (MR) $2.99
JUN160672 WALKING DEAD #157 CVR A ADLARD & STEWART (MR) $2.99
Lot of serial comics worth noting. The prince of the pile is the new Brubaker/Phillips/Breitweiser series, this time out their take on the twisted vigilante genre. I find it to be a fun comic, a bit more silly in some ways than you'd think given its dire subject matter. The next one there is the Mignola-verse book of the week, followed by the John Allison series I fear I may never catch up to in terms of reading every issue. Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski continue to world build in Sex, making me laugh the whole time. Good chance there has never been a comic that sideways a reflection on the nature of comics. Trees is one of the Warren Ellis books of recent vintage, science fiction this time out. I enjoy reading those when I get them. I still read Walking Dead when I think of it, too. There's another war.

APR160134 BURROUGHS TARZAN COMPLETE KUBERT OMNIBUS TP $29.99
Anything Joe Kubert + Edgar Rice Burroughs I want to buy. It's kind of the easy way into Kubert's career because of those works' fairly stand-alone nature, but it's not automatically a bad thing to spend time with work whose parameters you can process over work that may have been more potent but that needs massive amounts of context to best understand. He's not the icon he used to be, but Tarzan is still pretty easy to grasp for most of us, even a thousand riffs in.

MAR160084 USAGI YOJIMBO LTD ED HC VOL 30 THIEVES AND SPIES $59.99
I don't always get the limited edition portion of publishing for creators and characters that have been published since forever, but I also love that this series has generated 30 volumes. What an accomplishment.

JUN161635 COUSIN JOSEPH HC GN $25.95
Whoa, the new Feiffer! That one snuck up on me. I like watching Jules Feiffer draw things, particularly things that might not have come to him at other points in his long and admirable career. Feiffer was a clean-background, foregrounded-figure cartoonist for such a long time to see that he has chops and the work is so visually interesting, that's remarkable.

APR161629 EC JACK DAVIS AL FELDSTEIN LIVING MUMMY HC $29.99
I love that this came out so close to Jack Davis' passing, a wink and reminder that the all-time southern gentleman of American comic book had a giant, decades-spanning career of a size and scope that's hard to fathom now, let alone recognize. I love these stand-alone EC books, and that shift to authorial presentation has helped me process the work itself without getting wrapped up in EC as a publishing entity.

JUN161502 COSPLAYERS HC DASH SHAW $22.99
I like these comics; it's sort of like watching the adult children of Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Dopplemeyer hang out, at least spiritually, and in the sense that the bubble our protagonists build around themselves has almost no element of pushback to it. Shaw's a very interesting comics talent in terms of the choices he makes, where he spends his time, and not just what he does when he gets there.

JUN161498 GROWING UP IN PUBLIC GN $22.99
JUN161496 SPANISH FEVER TP ANTHOLOGY $29.99
APR161626 WRINKLES HC $19.99
Let the Spanish invasion begin. I honestly didn't know these books existed until they showed up on my desk yesterday. They all look interesting, and Fantagraphics being involved makes them interesting, but I'm caught unawares as I so often am these days.

JUN160996 RACHEL RISING OMNIBUS HC $75.00
Dirk Deppey always had a lot of respect for the way Terry Moore negotiated the bookstore market, and one imagines a giant version of Rachel Rising is being done not for some perceived outcome but in spite of it.

MAY161830 ALTER EGO #142 $8.95
APR161335 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #23 (MR) $5.99
APR162002 JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #68 $10.95
Here are three magazines you might have found on my desk at Fantagraphics 23 years ago. Not the actual magazines -- none of them existed unless you count Alter Ego's first run -- but the idea of magazines. We're now in an on-line era where information is becoming more and more compressed, where there's no publishing moment to hold things accountable. I tweet obituaries now. Hell, there's nothing out there keeping me from asserting I was working at Fantagraphics 23 years ago, when I didn't get there until a year later. It's crazy. In conclusion, I miss magazines, and I bet you do, too.

MAY162026 ART OF THE STORY ELFQUEST HC $50.00
MAY162030 FRANK MILLERS DAREDEVIL & ENDS OF HEROISM SC $27.95
DEC151372 NEXUS CHRONICLES HC (RES) $50.00
You can take the 1982 out of the shop, but you can't take the shop too far out of 1982. Although, you know, if I'm being honest, I think 35-40 years is an amazing and impressive run of interest in any one creative expression. It's only things like Superman that screw things up and make us feel everything is going to last 100 years. We should be letting our late 1970s fantasy book do a valedictory run complete with art book, or having academics figure out why Daredevil worked in the continuity of like comics, or publishing Nexus in a way that is similar to what was being done with Prince Valiant in the 1990s.

DEC151324 MEAT CAKE BIBLE HC $49.99
Dame Darcy for President. Okay, "Dame Darcy" for president is my way of finishing a post when I'm falling asleep at my computer, and she deserves better. Burn away all the public personality stuff -- which I think is a blast, but bear with me here -- and what you have left is densely illustrated, well-conceived and routinely funny comics drawing from traditions that aren't boys-adventure, that validate a whole different set of concerns than fighting and lofty hard-man ideals. The book looks great and if these things matter to you, you won't find a book with which you'll spend more time per page this summer or next. There's a smart theory out there that cartoonists like Dame Darcy don't get the credit they're due because their emergence and influence doesn't fit a popular narrative about when and from where significant comics by women artists started to catch fire. That sounds like a theory to me, and I think also with the Dame there's an element that her work is so idiosyncratic and layered it's just hard to enter into this world. You won't regret trying.

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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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