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April 5, 2012


This Isn’t A Library: Notable Releases To The 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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FEB121132 FREEDOM #1 $7.00
JAN120775 GLAMOURPUSS #24 $3.00
Why do we go to comics shops? Is it to buy idiosyncratic work in some semblance of the periodical format by which comics is best known? Here's $10 of that: first an American Revolution-set drama from a brand-new talent (and Xeric winner). The second the latest -- making 24 issues! -- from a master of Direct Market Appeal. A couple of the younger writers have written me pretty hot and bothered (in a good way) about the Freedom comic, and it's the one I'd most want to see if I were in a comics shop today.

imageDEC110771 AMERICAN BARBARIAN HC (MR) $19.95
OCT110285 FLEX MENTALLO MAN OF MUSCLE MYSTERY DLX HC (MR) $22.99
JAN120310 JACK KIRBYS FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $29.99
It could be that we go to the shops to buy the latest, best efforts in the longstanding tradition of heroic fantasy by which the comic book may be best suited. Tom Scioli's American Barbarian is a handsome book at a sterling price point (particularly for color), discussed here. Flex Mentallo is a pantheon-level superhero work finally collected, and maybe one of two or three key book in the treatment of such stories over the last 25 years. I know comics readers with a collection winnowed down to a single box that have kept their issues of Flex Mentallo. It all springs from Jack Kirby, and while I still think the comics are eminently achievable, DC's latest round of reprints is apparently not half bad.

FEB120050 JEREMIAH OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 $24.99
DEC111111 CELESTIAL BIBENDUM DLX HC (MR) $69.95
Here are two sort-of limited edition looking (by aim or by result) prestige projects of the kind that comics shops used to host all the time. The Hermann I'm not familiar with at all beyond knowing the property. I know even less about the Nicolas de Crécy, but that's an artist always worth looking at.

FEB120410 SUPREME #63 HAMSCHER VAR CVR $2.99
FEB120409 SUPREME #63 LARSEN CVR $2.99
FEB120411 SUPREME #63 LIEFELD VAR CVR $2.99
JAN128124 FATALE #3 VAR CVR 2ND PTG (MR) $3.50
FEB120502 FATALE #4 (MR) $3.50
DEC110557 INVINCIBLE #90 $2.99
NOV110463 MUDMAN #3 $3.50
FEB120608 DAREDEVIL #10.1 $2.99
JAN128240 ADVENTURE TIME #2 2ND PTG (PP #1014) $3.99
SEP110630 CASANOVA AVARITIA #3 (OF 4) (MR) $4.99
Maybe the main point of comic book shops is still the big bag of assorted culture, the purchase of a small stack of comic books? You'd have a reasonably good week there. The Supreme is from an not-yet-executed strip from Alan Moore. Fatale is the effort from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, about as reliable a team as there is in mainstream comics. Invincible starts its final countdown to an issue #100 that because of its general self-awareness surely has to be a special issue of some sort for the Robert Kirkman-written superhero series. Mudman is Paul Grist, and it really does look like that one will be a bigger hit than some of the more complex superhero offerings he's done over the last decade -- books like that are a modest hit when they hit, but still. The Daredevil and Adventure Time efforts are apparently popular with regular comics reader if you go by awards nominations (the blind guy) and/or multiple printings (the crossover property). Finally, I like the Casanova series generally and will seek that one out even if I don't get to the funnybook shop. I'm not sure I knew this latest round was a four-issue mini-series until now.

JAN121307 DROPS OF GOD GN VOL 03 $14.95
You can still buy manga in comics shops -- some comics shops, anyway. This is the installment of a broadly-appealing series that made the biggest impression on me while scanning the initial lists. That's that series about wine that seemed to exist in multiple feature articles long before actually taking form as comics.

FEB121007 SHENZHEN A TRAVELOGUE FROM CHINA SC (MR) $14.95
No pithy commentary here; this is a Guy Delisle book back in print. I think this was the earlier effort that Pyongyang's success made of interest. I remember liking its more straight-up travelogue nature, which might be even more intriguing given how Jerusalem unfolds.

DEC111112 ANNIE SULLIVAN & THE TRIALS OF HELEN KELLER $17.99
Finally, there should always be one comic you never saw coming. For me this week, it's this book from a series I didn't know was still an ongoing concern (the CCS/Hyperion partnership) and a cartoonist of promise that I didn't know had a new book imminent (Joseph Lambert). That's a story that could lend itself to some very interesting visual work, too. I'm dying to see it.

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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 on me. I apologize.

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