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











September 11, 2018


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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JUN181751 DEMENTIA 21 GN (MR) $24.99
That is just one attractive cover, and getting to read more Kago seems like a great idea to me. That's a nice pairing, with Fantagraphics, too.

MAY181184 TONY MILLIONAIRE SEA MONSTER COLORING BOOK SC $16.99
I'll buy anything with Tony Millionaire's name on it, except the stuff I can't afford. I still don't understand how we got into a cycle of coloring books for a while there, a cycle I suppose continues even when I'm not paying attention to it.

MAY180323 ALCOHOLIC TENTH ANNIVERSARY EXPANDED EDITION TP (MR) $19.99
Man! Ten years! We're all going to die in 20 minutes! I'd like to re-read this, I remember thinking there were some very interesting moments in there, although this kind of book is generally not in the mainstream of what I read. Congrats to Mr. Ames and Mr. Haspiel, though.

imageJUN181887 PROVOCATIVE COLETTE (MR) $24.99
There's a Colette film coming out, and I'm always interested in looking at Goetzinger's work -- she died just at the end of last year. There's something about the stark qualities of some of the art and the artist's general persona that makes me think that there could be some reclamation of the artist here.

JAN180393 ABSOLUTE BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE HC $49.99
Fifty dollars or five dollars, this is one handsome and repeatedly unpleasant book. It's so good-looking that I don't believe its creators will ever talk its audience out of it.

JUN188003 LOEG TEMPEST #1 2ND PTG (MR) $4.99
JUN180748 LOEG TEMPEST #2 $4.99
JUL180471 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #10 $3.99
JUL180234 HEAD LOPPER #9 CVR A MACLEAN (MR) $5.99
JUL180239 HEY KIDS COMICS #2 (MR) $3.99
JUL180258 MAGE HERO DENIED #12 (OF 15) $3.99
JUL180310 SCALES & SCOUNDRELS #12 CVR A GALAAD $3.99
JUN180274 WICKED & DIVINE #39 CVR A MCKELVIE & CUNNIFFE (MR) $3.99
I am totally behind on the LOEG material. I tend to laugh a lot when I read those books and it might help that I generally don't take them as books of great import or significance. I assume there's a pointed satirical viewpoint in play that's definable and which can be pulled apart and analyzed, but I'm still at the point where I'm pointing at the page and saying, "Hey, Mary Poppins." I'm right there on the surface for that kind of stuff. What else? Here's this week's Mignola-verse title. There is probably an interest story about the overlapping production schedules of those books, although the driver is how they're created, for sure. I really love Head Lopper and glad the book is back. Not sure where Howard Chaykin is going with this lickety-split narrative about the American comic book industry that tends to bounce through time connected by catty conversations. I'm having fun, though. There's a nice Gil Kane scene in there. Matt Wagner's last few issues of the latest Mage cycle have found their focus a bit more effectively than the first trade's worth, in my opinion. There are some intriguing ideas about life direction in there, too. I think that's it for Scales & Scoundrels; a comic I enjoyed but can't make too much of a case on its behalf in terms of its overall market viability as a serial comic book. It just seems any material that works like that works in trade. Wicked & Divine loses me occasionally narrative-wise but despite the story build makes it pretty easy for readers to find multiple entry points along the way.

JUL182133 FLOCKS GN (MR) $21.95
I am about halfway through this book -- a rare Secret Acres effort -- about trying to find a way to reconcile a growing sense of gay identity with stern religious beliefs supported by a culture fearful of all but a few orientations and outlooks. I have to reserve judgment because a lot is going to depend how this comes together... or doesn't.

JUN181596 HELLINA #1 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE A (MR) $8.99
JUN181597 HELLINA #1 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE B (MR) $8.99
JUN181598 HELLINA #1 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE C (MR) $8.99
JUN181599 HELLINA #1 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE D (MR) $8.99
JUN181609 HELLINA #1 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE NUDE (MR) $16.99
JUN181608 HELLINA #1 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE TOPLESS (MR) $9.99
JUN181600 HELLINA #2 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE A (MR) $9.99
JUN181601 HELLINA #2 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE B (MR) $8.99
JUN181602 HELLINA #2 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE C (MR) $8.99
JUN181603 HELLINA #2 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE D (MR) $8.99
JUN181611 HELLINA #2 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE NUDE (MR) $16.99
JUN181610 HELLINA #2 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE TOPLESS (MR) $9.99
JUN181604 HELLINA #3 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE A (MR) $8.99
JUN181605 HELLINA #3 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE B (MR) $8.99
JUN181606 HELLINA #3 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE C (MR) $8.99
JUN181607 HELLINA #3 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE D (MR) $8.99
JUN181613 HELLINA #3 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE NUDE (MR) $16.99
JUN181612 HELLINA #3 (OF 3) COSTUME CHANGE TOPLESS (MR) $9.99
The fact that the market still encompasses this kind of material kills me. So much effort is put into serving such a specific collection of fetishes, and there always seems to be more sprawl per book than any other kind. Once you accept the reality of what this means, very little about the resulting culture shocks.

JUL182297 P CRAIG RUSSELL JUNGLE BOOK & OTHER STORIES FINE ART ED $125.00
I am always interested in Russell, although these special editions kind of pivot on the quality of the production and the cleverness of the presentation. I'm not casting aspersions, I'm just saying you have to look at these up close and I haven't yet.

APR181501 PYONGYANG A JOURNEY IN NORTH KOREA GN (CURR PTG) (MR) $18.95
APR181695 SMURFS 3IN1 GN VOL 01 $14.99
JUL181731 VALERIAN COMPLETE COLLECTION HC VOL 06 $29.99
This is all material you probably want in a standard, broad comics collection, but you may not have any of it. Or you may already have it. I wonder if Pyongyang reads any differently in the present political context. I remember liking that book in part because of how much the country and its people as encountered by Delisle thwarted the usual march towards understanding.

JUL181944 RX GRAPHIC MEMOIR $28.00
JUL181694 THREE ESCAPES OF HANNAH ARENDT GN $28.00
I've started but not finished both of these as well. I'm enjoying the RX one. It's breezy, but there are some really scary observations in there.

JUN181671 WOMAN WORLD GN (MR) $24.95
I like this cover, too. I'm always interested to see which newer -- to traditional print audiences, anyway -- cartoonists are selected for a work relationship by which alt- or arts-publisher. All apologies for a brain-tired week. Comics continue to yield thrills on an almost weekly basis. I'm glad to be here even when the best I can do is let things wash over me.

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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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