20 February 2007

On the Shelves: 2/21/07

Reading is fundamental. Read what you like; don't waste your time reading bad comics out of habit!

My weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday, 2/21/07. The full shipping list, as always, is available at ComicList.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]

PICK OF THE WEEK



House of Sugar


DARK HORSE COMICS
Conan #37, $2.99


I'm finally caught up on my post-Busiek Conan reading and am happy to see that Truman has taken the baton relatively cleanly and is running forward with it. If I wasn't a hard-won fan of the series, I'd probably consider waiting for the trades at this point, but there's something to be said for consistently entertaining serial adventures at a time where that's increasingly difficult to come by.

DC COMICS
Brave And The Bold Cvr A #1, $2.99
Helmet Of Fate Black Alice #1, $2.99
Robin #159, $2.99


The Big Two need a solid team-up book, featuring done-in-one (or two, at the most) stories that pair up their handful of A-list characters with an assortment of B- and C-list characters and send them on continuity-free adventures. Marvel Team-Up was nowhere near to being that book, but hopefully Brave and the Bold will be. *** Damn Helmet of Fate sucked me in via a completely irrational affection for Dr. Fate and while none of the stories have been terribly compelling so far, they've been solid enough to keep me onboard until the main series launches. *** I've enjoyed Adam Beechen's OYL take on Robin, and I've been hoping for a long while that Geoff Johns would step aside and let someone else take over Teen Titans, so having Beechen on both is a promising turn of events that will hopefully result in some meaningful character development for Tim Drake over the next year or two.

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
Heartbreak Soup Palomar Vol 1 TPB, $14.95
Maggie The Mechanic Locas Vol 1 TPB, $14.95


I've wanted to get into Love & Rockets and Los. Bros Hernandez for a long time now, so maybe these will be the gateway collections that finally make it happen.

GINGKO PRESS
Burning New York Graffiti NYC TPB (resolicited), $39.95


This is a pricey tome but it looks interesting and Gingko did right by me last time I picked up a couple of their books. Still, yet another non-comic book in the comic book section of the list. Seriously, how's that work?

HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS
Reinventing Comics TPB (Harper Collins Ed), $22.95


I'm about halfway through Scott McCloud's Making Comics and it is an amazing piece of work, absolutely essential reading for anyone creating or writing about comic books. Based on that, and the equally essential Understanding Comics, I'm going to have to finally stop procrastinating and check out Reinventing Comics.

MARVEL COMICS
Annihilation Book 1 HC, $29.99
Civil War 1 For 75 Turner Sketch Var #7 (Of 7), AR
Immortal Iron Fist #3, $2.99
Legion Of Monsters Werewolf By Night #1, $2.99
Powers #23, $2.95


I've seen so many positive reviews for Annihilation, and coupled with the fact that Quesada admitted that he didn't hype it too much because it wasn't his cup of tea, my interest is piqued. Not sure about the Hardcover only collecting half of the saga, but I might pick up the eventual TPBs if I like what I see when I flip through them. *** So, what does it take to get a 1-for-75 variant cover? Assume the average retailer is paying approx. $1.46/copy for the regular issue, so that's approx. a $109.50 investment for each variant copy, most of which will likely be flipped for at least half that much if not more on eBay, except for the major retailers who are ordering 300+ copies of the issue anyway, and can afford to price them lower. Retailers who give into this scheme in the name of superior customer service are ultimately harming themselves because Marvel and DC justify the continued use of variants as supplying the demand. So, who's killing comics?

TULIP TREE PRESS
House Of Sugar GN, $10.00


Well, check this out! A book I've never heard of, and the publisher, Tulip Tree Press, has a nicely designed web site that turns up on the first page of a Google search for "House of Sugar"; detailed information and samples of the book (the WHOLE book, actually); and ordering and contact information for the creator and publisher. Imagine that! It does get a demerit, however, for its lack of availability on Amazon.

VIRGIN COMICS LLC
Devi Sp Extended Coll Ed #1 & #2, $6.99
Sadhu Sp Extended Coll Ed #1 & #2, $6.99
Snakewoman Sp Extended Coll Ed #1 & #2, $6.99
Walk-In #3, $2.99


Nice to see Virgin making their comics accessible by releasing these bumper editions of the first two issues, but their Web site makes no reference to them or why they seem to cost more than the two issues did individually. Is there extra content? Dunno. Too bad, too, as I might have been tempted into getting one or two of them, but lacking that info, it will now depend on them actually being on the shelves when I get to Midtown, quite likely for a large retailer, but what about those LCBS' with tighter budgets and less experimental clientele? Missed opportunity, I think.

2 comments:

Tim said...

Guy:

I've tried picking up Robin and the art has just not grabbed my eye. What is it about the writing that really draws you in and keeps you coming back?

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Basically, I enjoy Beechen's take on the character, in and out of costume, and the supporting cast he's been developing around him. The overall tone just feels right, with a solid balance of humor and action, and Williams III's art complements it nicely, particularly with his ability to make teenagers look like teenagers.

Robin, Blue Beetle and Firestorm all feel like old school comics in new school clothes, which is what I want most from the spandex set. Unfortunately, based on their sales numbers, I'm clearly in the minority here. Of course, I'm one of six people who weren't Scott Beatty's mother who bought and enjoyed Son of Vulcan, so what do I know?