Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Comic Book Day New Comic Book Day

So I've made some initial observations upon reading this handy-dandy comic book shipping list for 6/18/08:

It seems like the major comic book companies are still getting mileage off of their backlist and older comics that have stood the test of time. This is why continuing to create the classics of tomorrow today is so important. Also as important: knowing that to a large extent, those sort of classics can't be planned.

Also, I really don't know the nitty-gritty about TOKYOPOP, but I was surprised to see that they put out more than twice the monthly output of books that Viz, another major manga company, does. Now, Viz has been around since the time of the flood, and I'm willing to bet that they know what they are doing.

I think Steven Grant touched upon the topic recently of smaller companies whose "eyes are bigger than their stomachs," so to speak, and put out way too much product. I agree: I think this is the kiss of death for an independent publisher. Better you stick with 3-4 really great books a month than 15 of varying quality.

As for me this month, I just might stick with picking up Incredible Hercules #118 and the soft-cover edition of Hope Larson's Chiggers.

Chiggers, which is not put out by that really big comic book company Simon & Schuster.

Now, Chiggers is apparently (according to the list) being released in both hardcover and softcover editions at the same time.

Seriously, who, if given the choice, buys the hardcover? Unless it's like your favorite book ever?

There was a recent book in the bargain bin of my local comic shop from an independent publisher -- this very thin hardcover printed on crappy paper that came out like two months ago and had the price slashed 75%. And I looked at the original price tag on that sucker and I was like: are you f**king kidding me? Seriously, who would buy this?

Preview of Chiggers in New York Magazine.

Anywho, those are my picks.

What are you all buying? Post below!


  1. You don't like hardcovers? I'm quitting your blog forever! And ever!

    Actually, I do prefer hardcovers if I can get them. I love the archivalness of them. But it really depends on the book. Jack Kirby, Jaime Hernadez, Skim, yeah yeah yeah. Amazons Attack? No no no.

    Wow, isn't Chiggers great? Thanks for linking that. I love how they become elves when they're gushing about their favorite sci-fi/fantasy book series.

  2. Oh... and my personal New Comic Day was earlier today- the guy came by and dropped off my new Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume Two... and it's a hardcover! Sometime over the weekend I should receive that John Byrne's Next Men I ordered, too.

    That's New Comic Day in Japan. You order stuff from the Internet.

  3. Tokyopop does put out a lot of books, but they will soon be reducing output.

  4. Ms. D'Orazio, I purchase hardcover books for a variety of reasons.

    1) My library will one day become a reference collection at an established library.

    a) Hardcover bindings are more sturdy. I once read "Jinx" while sunbathing, and the binding disolved while I was reading! Librarians have posted numerous comments online about trade paperback bindings, and many send their books to be rebound. BWI offers many "rebound" trades.

    b) I do not collect every hardcover. Some are not scarce, and I know they will exist in other collections or libraries. Some are of inferior quality. Some are astronomically expensive or oversized.

    2) By purchasing a hardcover edition, I am telling the retailer (usually my employer, Barnes & Noble) and the publisher that someone appreciates a hardcover edition.

    3) Why buy the trade paperback? Why not just buy the monthlies? Because, as many will answer, it confers STATUS. It suggests MATURITY ("Hey, look, comics are just like regular books!") Just as Science Fiction titles were eager to move from the mass market paperback binding to trade or hardcover formats, so do graphic novels. It suggests PERMANENCE. (Although, I will admit, I do enjoy the fragrance of disolving woodpulp. Also the cherry-like aroma of leather bindings.)

    4. Hardcovers have a higher resale value. They usually have lower print runs than trade paperbacks, and quickly go out of print. Collectors want the nicest edition (similar to the "chromium condition" of comicbooks). They also look nice when shelved together.

    5. For all that extra goodness, the price isn't that much more. ( has a $4 difference between the HC and TP editions.) What cheeses me is when the trade edition costs just as much as if I bought the single issues.

    6. Hardcovers will sometimes not sell as well as the trade paperbacks, and become clearance titles, where one can purchase the title below the cost of the trade.

    That said, if your budget is limited, visit your friendly neighborhood public library! Everyday is Free Comic Book Day there!

  5. This week I am getting -

    Ex Machina
    Fallen Angel

    And the Atomic Robo trade.

    Outside of JLA, I highly recommend everything else. I am lukewarm on JLA and it is near to being axed off my pull list.

    I get trades for storylines that meet a 're-read a billion times' internal gauge. I can always re-read the floppies.


  6. Torsten, those are some good points --

    but I sort of operate in terms of my collections under the idea of "impermanence." I think it's a Buddhist concept, but I might be wrong.

    I assume that every comic book in my possession will eventually -- eventually -- end up in one of the following scenarios:
    1. Ripped
    2. Stained
    3. Thrown out long after I'm gone by grandchildren who will read all their books on their mobile phones and just "not get it"
    4. Decomposed
    5. Landfill
    6. Perished in freak global cataclysm
    7. Tossed out by me because I've grown out of them
    8. Cat pees on them (happens many times)
    9. Cat vomits on them and I try to clean it up but then I say this is gross and I throw it out anyway
    10. Water and/or mold damaged
    11. Small child thinks it's a coloring book and takes to it with Sharpies
    12. Recycled
    13. Etc.

    I feel pretty much the same way about my action figures, which is why I don't care when they break and keep them on display anyway.

    That said, I still dig into the back of the comic stack in the shop for the most untouched floppy issue; but I attribute this not so much to conscious planning as a force of habit that I have been robotically acting out since I was 16.

  7. Nice list . . . I like's release list because some issues have previews. But paging through is a pain. Having one list is nice.

    First, is anyone even remotely intrigued by Kill all Parents and My Inner Bimbo? The sort of badness that has potential for good. :)

    @Anj: I met the Red 5 folks, and meeting them endeared me more to their comics. I think Atomic Robo is their best, but have you checked out Neozoic?

    My only definite this week is Ex Machina. I was really disappointed with Cthulhu Tales when I just wanted a decent Lovecraft adaptation.

    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic--For the first 12 or so issues, this was a fun title, but it seems to have lost its way. I'm close to dropping it.

  8. Wow, light week for me.

    Incredible Herc #118
    X-Factor #32

    I ordered a bunch of older collected editions this week though, so that's cool.

  9. I'm gradually overcoming my completionist ways of yesterday. Today, I ditched Anita Blake #11 & 12, having stopped reading the series a long time ago and yet still buying the issues. I'll finish my run from the discount bins I'm so fond of. Also considering dropping DMZ, but I'll read what I've accumulated first (one day) to see if it still merits an axe. I've also decided to stop getting Angel: After The Fall. I didn't like the show enough to pay $4 an issue.

    What I walked away with today was:

    BIRDS OF PREY #119
    CATWOMAN #80
    IRON MAN #30
    JLA #22
    PUNISHER #58
    SPIRIT #18
    TRINITY #3
    X-FACTOR #32

  10. Y: The Last Man, Vol 10 - easy pick.

  11. I prefer soft cover trades too!

    I can't bend the hard cover or see the art in the spine area of the book. It is an inconvenience to me

    My buddy owns 2 comic shops in Toronto, Canada.

    He says that many trade buyers buy BOTH FORMATS!


    Wacky HUH!!!


  12. I don't even buy my favorite books in hardcover. I can't stand hardcovers. Not for books. Not for comics. They are heavier and bulkier and harder to read. Yech.
    I get so mad when I order a book online and find out that I didn't pay close enough attention and bought a stupid hardcover. I have the first Booster Gold Trade in Hardcover. It's 6 freaking issues. It's thinner than my pinky. Is that necessary? No.
    This too Will Pass

  13. Chiggers is fantastic! I just picked it up on Saturday at Heroes(con) in Charlotte. Hope Larson seemed nice and the book is awesome in so many ways.

    I get floppies of things I am reading in real time, and trades of things I missed. Some series I have opted to let 'go to trade' first, and I enjoy reading them in that format, just like I enjoyed watching all of Season 1 of Lost in a week.

    I love having a big bookshelf of trades, and I pick up the hardcover of some things when i find them cheap. The best example is Batman:Year One. I bought it when it first came out in floppies. I picked up a trade at some point (it is now nearly shredded from being re-read and loved). Recently I picked up a hardcover edition for cheap and I feel quite smart about it.

  14. Eh. A disappointing entry in a blog that I've otherwise enjoyed. Steven Grant didn't do much research in that article of his that you linked. Instead he took three companies in very different situations and twisted facts to make them fit into the mold that he had created before he went about writing the article. Bummer it showed up here.