June 30, 2015
This Isn’t A Library: Notable Releases Into Comics’ Direct Market
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.
FEB150413CORTO MALTESE GN BEYOND THE WINDY ISLES $29.99
There are a lot of comics you could put top of post this week, including four or five of the comic books. Kate Beaton also has a work out, and that's worth going to the comics shop all by itself. I wanted instead to spotlight the new volume in the Corto Maltese
series. We live in a time of impossible riches for comics, and I would argue the bulk of that is in making sure we have great comics of the past to go along with all the good work, and occasional great work, of right now. That probably puts me in the opposite quadrant of most of my peers, but I'd rather have all the work reprinted since 2000 than its volume equivalent of the best new work. This is glorious work, paced and positioned like no comics before or since, and it's fun to enter into that mindspace.
MAY151302 BERLIN #19 (MR) $5.95
APR150669 SATELLITE SAM #15 (MR) $3.50
MAY150473 MINIMUM WAGE SO MANY BAD DECISIONS #3 (MR) $3.99
MAY150480 WE STAND ON GUARD #1 (MR) $2.99
MAY150086 BALTIMORE CULT OF THE RED KING #3 $3.99
APR150499 8HOUSE ARCLIGHT #1 (MR) $2.99
MAY150459 AIRBOY #2 (MR) $2.99
APR150522 CHEW #50 (MR) $3.50
MAY150471 HUMANS #6 (MR) $2.99
It's a big week of Image Comics in advance of their Expo and San Diego Con, but the one that all by its lonesome might get me over to Laughing Ogre is the nineteethn installment of Jason Lutes' Berlin
. There's something where you're just happy with yourself that you're still reading comics when you hear about a long-lost friend like that series. Satellite Sam
winds down the kids sic-fi part of its existence and will come back with a second installment on a different coast and bouncing around a different genre (westerns). I look forward to going back and reading a bunch of this at once. I wonder if Bob Fingerman has done as many issues of Minimum Wage
as there are issues of Berlin
despite having walked away from the project for a dozen or so years. A friend of mine very much into the Image Comics tells me US robots vs. Canadian robots We Stand On Guard
has an excellent chance of being their next big thing; we'll see, but there's a lot of goodwill from readers aimed at writer Brian K. Vaughan. 8House Arclight
#1 isn't the name of the theater where you're seeing the movie version of the aforementioned giant robot comic, but the first installment in a shared universe project featuring work from Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland. That sounds like a hit, too. The first issue of Airboy
was interesting, using the author stand-in trope in a way that just kept going and going and going until you either accept it or bail. I think that's the only way you can do a story like that anymore, so good for those creators. Chew
! 50 issues! Congratulations to those creators on one of the most unlikely successful comics ever -- by concept and by approach, not by skill of creator. Finally, the Humans
are lurking around again. I like this cover
DEC140420 ABSOLUTE Y THE LAST MAN HC VOL 01 (MR) $125.00
I read this in serial form and I'm not sure I've given it a lick of thought since. Coming out today is a break for We Stand On Guard
if retailers are smart. I think if I were super rich I'd buy all the comics that were offered in these super deluxe formats.
APR150416 MIKE ZECK CLASSIC MARVEL STORIES ARTIST ED HC PI
Speaking of which, here's a collection of Mike Zeck work in the Artist Edition format, original art at size photocopied in color. I don't really know what his originals look like or even what I think of his work overall, so sitting down with this one might be fun even I'm not sure there's a bunch of stories he ever did that I liked.
MAR150098 LONE WOLF & CUB OMNIBUS TP VOL 09 $19.99
MAY151467 ASTERIX OMNIBUS SC VOL 09 $22.99
FEB150046 USAGI YOJIMBO LTD HC VOL 29 TWO HUNDRED JIZO $59.99
MAY150468 CRIMINAL TP VOL 06 LAST OF THE INNOCENT (MR) $14.99
APR151503 COMPLETE PEANUTS TP VOL 03 1955-1956 $22.99
MAR151352 PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 11 1957-1958 $34.99
None of these comics really go together, but they're all worth at least the consideration of a buy which is interesting because 1) my god, what a financial commitment you could make to comics if you could afford, just by being a reader; and 2) I think the formats and how they're done and priced has a real effect on how I view each series with the possible exception being the Prince Valiant
, which I think would be worth buying at $15 more. But there's a whole bunch that can be said about the other books. I have no interest in buying Usagi Yojimbo
at a high price point, for example, not when cheaper ones are available. The Criminal
I'd probably prefer to have in loose individual issues than as a book with a spine, but I really like this new series of books. The pricing on the Complete Peanuts
strikes me as pretty high in terms of what I'd guess it might be if I were attacked by comics-geek hoodlums and interrogated, but those are lovely books and of course worth three times as much on merit. I wish I had known about them from the start.
APR150573 AUTUMNLANDS TP VOL 01 TOOTH & CLAW (MR) $9.99
I just wanted the price, which is at that entry point level. Image is very smart in identifying trades as jumping on points for a lot of people looking to get into a continuing serial. I thought the pacing was interesting in this comic in that it never quite settled down for me but at the same time it reflects the discombobulation that is at the story's center.
MAY150481 WICKED & DIVINE #12 (MR) $3.50
MAR158209 WICKED & DIVINE #12 CVR B BROWN (MR) $3.50
APR150619 WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 02 FANDEMONIUM (MR) $14.99
I've read these off and on; I liked the 11th issue, so I'm looking forward to the 12th in order to further make up my mind if it's something for me. One thing these comics and past ones involving Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie have is a comfort with their own way of unfolding a story. There's a very appealing confidence in one's creative choices in all of their work. I also find it interesting that they're publishing a trade right on the heels of the last issue, but I suppose everyone does that now. I'd love to get a sense of the economics where that makes sense, but it seemingly does.
APR151490 LAST MAN GN VOL 02 ROYAL CUP $9.99
This is the second volume in the mainstream series involving Balak and Bastian Vives; it's the one I've read. I liked it even though I have a very small appetite for robust takes on classic genre tropes. One thing they have down is a kind of self-aware joy from the characters in being start of a story. They also seem happy when lots of things are happening. That's a big part of what makes them heroes, I imagine.
MAY151443 DIARY COMICS GN $15.00
A big ol' collection of Dustin Harbin's diary comics. Harbin is super-suited as an artist to this kind of everyday project; he can draw just about anything at multiple distances of remove and have it be scannable, and he has an easygoing sensibility that skewers but doesn't savage an individual's personal appearance. In the past I've wondered if he has the self-criticism necessary to make compelling art out of a string of experiences, but many readers will be happy to take that burden onto themselves.
APR151954 PRINCESS & THE PONY YR HC $17.99
Kate Beaton's ceiling is Matt Groening and that's if she has one. We shouldn't get too wrapped up in our perception of anyone's career to forget to enjoy the artist themselves, and between this new book, the new Hark!
volume and a bunch of interesting online material Kate Beaton has made as many good comics pages happen in 2015 as anyone in the world. I enjoyed my quick read through of this volume at a friend's studio. The art is quite evocative in an endearing, humorous way.
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.
posted 5:25 pm PST
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