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By Christopher Butcher

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Shipping (Thursday) January 4th, 2007
List courtesy of The Beguiling
http://www.beguiling.com

These are the books shipping... next year! OOOOOoooooOOoOOOOooooo!

What's your internet new year's resolution? Not your real-life new year's resolution, mind you. I mean mine will probably affect the things I do on the net to a certain degree, but I think that everyone that spends as much time online as I do should probably prepare two. For example, I think my real-life resolution will be something along the lines of trying to eat a little healthier, more fruits and vegetables, make more meals at home and eat out less, that sort of thing. However, my internet resolution is to post every day here at comics212.net. I already know that's more-or-less impossible, as there'll be days where I'll be away from the computer or I might get a flu or something, but who knows? Maybe I'll be able to do it Dave Sim style, shipping two issues a month for a year to catch up... or something... Anyway, I hope you join me on this surely-taxing journey through the comics industry in 2007. Maybe I'll even get the site redesigned.

Now, let's see what the first week of 2007 bodes for the whole year, by attaching special significance to all of the books... Like astrologers of crap!

--

NOV060196 52 WEEK #35 2.50
2006: 34 weeks of mediocrity, only 18 to go. Omen for 2007: A constant top-20 presence proves once again that people would rather have a constant stream of pablum than a great meal that takes some time to prepare. Look for much more of the same next year...

NOV061850 68 (ONE SHOT) (MR) 3.99
SEP061806 A DISTANT SOIL #38 (RES) 4.50

NOV060204 ALL NEW ATOM #7 2.99
2006:
Picked as Entertainment Weekly's 'Debut book of the year' or some other such nonsense. Omen for 2007: Investigators discover there really is something in the water at Entertainment Weekly. 10x the normal ammount of flouride, or possibly aluminum, something like that.

JUL060145 ALL STAR SUPERMAN #6 2.99
2006:
Frank Quitely is conscripted to a bi-monthly book, fails at schedule, turns out lovely work. See also: Every other Grant Morrison book. Omen for 2007: Morrison and other big-name writers realise that the promise of assembly-line comics is ultimately hollow, going back to creator-owned books that are released, uninterupted, when they're actually completed. Sorry, just kidding.

NOV063991 ALTER EGO #64 (C: 0-1-2) 6.95
2006:
Twomorrows released yet another magazine that is the same magazine as the other titles the publish with Rough Stuff #1 and #2. Omen for 2007: Look for them to get in on that sweet 52 action and release a seemingly identical magazine every week, with only the most minute variations.

AUG062018 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #537 CW 2.99
2006:
Spider-man shows face, penis, to world. Omen for 2007: This was just a blip. Superheroes will remain faceless eunnichs for nerds to project themselves onto. DON'T WORRY.

OCT060284 AMERICAN VIRGIN #10 (MR) 2.99
2006:
Vertigo releases painfully unsexy story about sex. Nice art though. Omen for 2007: Vertigo editors make ammends by commisioning extra-sexy story about sexiness. Unfortunately, it's drawn by the dude who did Skin and they colour the whole thing brown.

OCT063138 ARCHIE & FRIENDS #106 2.25
AUG063013 ARTESIA VOL 2 ARTESIA AFIELD HC (MR) (C: 0-0-1) 24.95
NOV063796 AVATAR MAGAZINE THE LAST AIRBENDER (C: 0-1-2) 3.99

JUL062969 BARRONS GRAPHIC CLASSICS OLIVER TWIST HC (C: 0-1-2 15.99
JUL062968 BARRONS GRAPHIC CLASSICS OLIVER TWIST SC (C: 0-1-2 8.99
JUL062971 BARRONS GRAPHIC CLASSICS TREASURE ISLAND HC (C: 0- 15.99
JUL062970 BARRONS GRAPHIC CLASSICS TREASURE ISLAND SC (C: 0- 8.99
2006:
Savvy small publishers and major publishing houses alike realize that there's a huge gap in the book market featuring adaptations of classic literature, and race each other to the shelves in their bid to 'update the classics.' Omen for 2007: Adaptations almost always suck, horribly, and 2007 will be the year that everyone finds that out, hopefully.

OCT063749 BLACK CAT VOL 6 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
AUG063461 BONEYARD #23 2.95
NOV062291 BULLET POINTS #3 (OF 5) 2.99
NOV063605 CANTARELLA VOL 5 GN (MR) (PP #736) 10.99
JUL063282 CARTOON HISTORY OF THE MODERN WORLD TP (C: 0-1-2) 17.95
OCT063788 CHEEKY ANGEL VOL 16 GN (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT060244 CIPHER VOL 6 (C: 1-0-0) 9.99

AUG062033 CIVIL WAR #6 (OF 7) 2.99
AUG062035 CIVIL WAR 1 FOR 75 TURNER SKETCH VAR #6 (OF 7) (NE PI
AUG062037 CIVIL WAR FRONT LINE #10 (OF 11) 2.99

AUG062034 CIVIL WAR TURNER VAR #6 (OF 7) 2.99
2006: Marvel's Civil War topped the sales charts, coming off of the poorly-received and ultimately-disappointing House of M crossover. Omen for 2007: Marvel's World War Hulk tops the sales charts, coming off of the incredibly late and ultimately-disappointing Civil War crossover. No one learns anything.

SEP063297 COMICS JOURNAL #280 9.95
2006: The Comics Journal continues its return to becoming an essential industry periodical by actually engaging the industry as a whole, and increasing coverage of manga, female creators, new mainstream, and 'outsider' comics artists. Then Dirk leaves for the internet. Omen for 2007: Well, at least Dirk's still on the internet.

OCT060185 CRISIS AFTERMATH THE BATTLE FOR BLUDHAVEN TP 12.99
NOV063606 CROSSROAD VOL 5 GN (MR) (PP #736) 10.99
OCT063524 CSI DYING IN THE GUTTERS #5 (OF 5) 3.99

OCT061893 DARKNESS LEVEL 1 INCENTIVE CVR D 2.99
OCT061892 DARKNESS LEVEL 1 MARC SILVESTRI CVR C #1 2.99
OCT061890 DARKNESS LEVEL 1 STEPJAN SEJIC PAINTED CVR A #1 2.99
OCT061891 DARKNESS LEVEL 1 VIDEO GAME CVR B #1 2.99
2006:
Variant covers are back! Offered in every conceivable permutation including, at one point, as an apology to retailers, the bane of the 1990s returns and is welcomed with open arms. Omen for 2007: It's 1993 all over again, as we find out that no one actually wants to 'feel the blood' and you're stuck with 100 cases of unsellable crap. Good on yer.

OCT063770 DEATH NOTE VOL 9 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
2006: Life-long superhero fans forced to admit that not all manga is crap, as titles like Death Note and Monster are amongst the most compelling page-turner comics ever released. Omen for 2007: "Hey, that guy on the internet won't shut up about Dragon Head, maybe that one's good too? And I hear this Genshiken book is like looking into a funhouse mirror version of my life. Ooo! [Malibu Stacy's got a new hat!] Screw this Jap crap!"

JUL063417 DEVILS PANTIES #8 4.95
OCT063106 DINOWARS JURASSIC WAR OF THE WORLDS #1 (OF 3) 3.50
OCT063764 DR SLUMP VOL 11 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99

OCT063824 DRAW #13 (RES) (C: 0-1-2) 6.95
2006:
No, Seriously. DRAW WRITE NOW ROUGH STUFF BACK ISSUE ALTER EGO JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR MODERN MASTERS THE AMBUSH BUG COMPANION. Omen for 2007: Wouldn't everyone really rather just see one magazine for all this? Aren't they all just expanded versions of articles/columns that ran in Alter Ego or Comicology or whatever?


NOV060298 EXTERMINATORS #13 (MR) 2.99
NOV062367 FANTASTIC FOUR BOOKS OF DOOM TP 14.99
NOV062294 FANTASTIC FOUR THE END #4 (OF 6) 2.99

AUG061767 FEAR AGENT #10 2.99
2006:
This year saw Fear Agent follow Rex Mundi from Image Comics to a new home at Dark Horse. I guess it's for the possibility of a movie deal, as DH is very connected with that sort of thing? But as this item code shows us Fear Agent was just brutally, brutally late from very early in the serialization and more than anything, its lateness impeded sales for us. It's too bad, and I hope that the move to DH does for them whatever they're hoping it will, but they've still got one more issue solicited through Image that hasn't arrived yet, and is already two months late... Yikes. Omen for 2007: I guess Dark Horse felt that they didn't have enough late books and needed to sign some more from other companies? Look for Dynamic Forces to move the remastered AMERICAN FLAGG! to them this year, for eventual release in 2012. Oh, also? Soliciting the same trade paperback of volume one for $3 more is kind of weak:


APR061774 D FEAR AGENT VOL 1 REIGNITION TP PRICE : US$ 9.99 IMAGE COMICS
DEC060039 V FEAR AGENT RE-IGNTION VOL 1 TP PRICE : US$ 12.95 DARK HORSE COMICS


OCT063356 FORGOTTEN REALMS DARK ELF TRILOGY VOL 3 SOJOURN HC 29.99
OCT063775 FROM FAR AWAY VOL 14 GN (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT063110 GD SOURCEBOOK OFF HANDBOOK TO THE GD UNIVERSE #1 3.95
NOV062363 GHOST RIDER ROAD TO DAMNATION TP 14.99
NOV063507 GI JOE VS TRANSFORMERS VOL 4 CVR A #1 (OF 2) 5.50
NOV063508 GI JOE VS TRANSFORMERS VOL 4 CVR B #1 (OF 2) 5.50

OCT063583 GLACIAL PERIOD GN (MR) 14.95
2006: NBM slowed down their releases of great French graphic albums considerably this year, with no new Isaac The Pirate, or Astronauts of the Future, some stand-alone projects and only one or two of the many Dungeon Volumes. NBM focussed more on original/North American material this year, and I'm not entirely sure why? Much of it is interesting, but cherry-picking genius comics from overseas seems like a much surer bet than doing full-colour graphic novels from first-time cartoonists... Or another one of those terrible Lucifer's Garden books [shudder]. Still, every once in a while they knock it out of the park and De Crecy, the author of this volume, is one of the most talented comickers on the planet. Everyone buy this! Read David's review! Hurrah! Omen for 2007: All euro-comics, all of the time! I'm tired of only reading about these great books in Bart Beaty's column and I nominate NBM to start releasing challenging, interesting work. I promise I will order a ton of each and personally review each one.


OCT063108 GOLD DIGGER #80 2.99
2006:
Now I ain't sayin' she's a Gold Digger. Omen for 2007: But she ain't messin' with no broke [broke broke].


OCT063449 HEAVY METAL MARCH 2007 (MR) 5.99

MAY051534 HELLSHOCK DEFINITIVE ED VOL 1 HC 49.99
2006:
Holy shit, this is actually coming out. And just in time for... oh, wait, that was last week. Omen for 2007: Joe at Dynamic Forces does not, in fact, buy me a blue drink after me making fun of the company on my blog. That's more of a personal sort of omen, but, important nonetheless.


OCT063771 HUNTER X HUNTER VOL 12 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
NOV062298 INCREDIBLE HULK #102 2.99
NOV062365 IRON MAN ARMOR WARS TP 24.99

NOV062300 IRON MAN HYPERVELOCITY #1 (OF 6) 2.99
2006:
Not enough Adam Warren on the stands. Maybe not ANY Adam Warren on the stands, except for an introduction (!) to the American Mangaka book, and that's simply unacceptable. Omen for 2007: Perhaps between this and Warren's forthcoming graphic novel for Dark Horse, Empowered, everyone will wake up and realise just how good of a creator he is. He made Gen 13 REALLY, REALLY GOOD. Do you know how hard that is? Gail Simone does... (heh). Geez, between this and the Atom thing, that's two shots at Gail. Sorry Gail, it's nothing personal. I think Birds of Prey is actually a very good superhero comic.


NOV062289 IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #4 2.99
2006: Big trend this year? Big comics authors hustling for their friends by threatening their existing readership. Bendis and Oeming run a preview for a Marvel book in POWERS in order to try and give it a sales boost, which seems backwards to me a little? Like, sure, they're both "Icon" books or whatever, and I like Brubaker and Phillips and Criminal has been very good so far, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the entire industry rallying around a Marvel book to give it a sales boost. So yeah, pimping Criminal was a little wierd. But then when he did it again the next month for ANT-MAN on his message board? That goes straight into the WTF? folder. Sure, Robert Kirkman is swell and all, but that dude has two (2) books that could use some high-profile endorsement more than GENERIC MARVEL SUPERHERO COMIC #6829. Honestly. Invincible and The Walking Dead? Really fun books, totally worth your time and money! Ant-Man? Come on... Omen for 2007: Brian Bendis takes you off the Chanukkah-card list unless you pick up Marvel's new Jack Of Hearts ongoing. Mark Millar refuses to be your friend anymore unless you pick up a four-issue Terror, Inc. story his buddy is writing.


OCT063772 IS VOL 11 GN (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
SEP062160 JACK KIRBYS GALACTIC BOUNTY HUNTERS #4 2.99

OCT061858 JACK STAFF VOL 3 ECHOES OF TOMORROW TP (C: 0-1-2) 16.99
2006: Hey, how about that! A Jack Staff book that's more-or-less on time. Omen for 2007: Image Comics and Paul Grist work together to only solicit books reasonably and responsibly, after they're already completed. Sounds easy enough.


NOV060219 JLA CLASSIFIED #31 2.99
NOV060214 JONAH HEX #15 2.99
OCT060207 JSA VOL 12 GHOST STORIES TP 14.99
NOV060252 JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #29 2.25
NOV063798 KANAS ISLAND #1 3.50
SEP061795 KANE VOL 6 PARTNERS TP 16.99
OCT063779 LA CORDA DORO VOL 2 TP 8.99
NOV060256 LOONEY TUNES #146 2.25

NOV060229 MANHUNTER #27 2.99
OCT060215 MANHUNTER VOL 2 TRIAL BY FIRE TP 17.99

2006: Dan DiDio pulls a whimsical move and saves this book from cancellation, making it DC's very-own Spider-Girl. Omen for 2007: Other female-led superhero titles will be constantly herded towards the chopping block before being whisked away at the last second! It'll be so hot they'll even start having campy villains based on the premise! Cancellation threats are the new rape! (Rape was the new bondage).


NOV062303 MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #23 2.99
OCT062155 MARVEL SPOTLIGHT GHOST RIDER 2.99

NOV060272 MIDNIGHTER #3 2.99
NOV060273 MIDNIGHTER VAR EDITION #3 2.99
2006:
Garth Ennis does not, for a moment, forget to remind us that Midnighter likes cock. Omen for 2007: Midnighter sleeps with dead woman totally in service of story, homosexuality not mentioned for about 5 months or so.


NOV062301 MS MARVEL #11 2.99

SEP063658 NAOKI URASAWAS MONSTER VOL 6 TP (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
2006: What a great, great year for manga. Seriously. All the Tezuka (so much Tezuka!), all of the Viz Signature books are great. 3 releases from Fanfare/Ponent-Mon, a new Tatsumi from D&Q, Tokyopop is putting out some great books, and Dark Horse's 'horror' line skirts the edge of J-Horror to bring some really solid, off-the-wall stuff. Great year for manga. Omen for 2007: None of it sells, and all you fuckers get the umpteenth variation on LONELY NERD FUCK-UP MUST TAKE CARE OF 40 SEXY LITTLE GIRLS; HIJINKS ENSUE. Serves you right.


NOV062310 NEWUNIVERSAL #2 2.99
2006: Apparently, creators and publishers are being dared to do work now. "No, seriously, I fucking dare you to bring back the New Universe." Bet that suggestion for you to tackle Micronauts doesn't seem so assinine now, eh Mr. Ellis? Omen for 2007: Planet Terry! Misty! Royal Roy! AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE. Christopher Butcher and Carlos Pacheco present: *starcomics.


NOV060286 NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET #4 (MR) 2.99
NOV060178 NIGHTWING #128 2.99
OCT063765 ONE PIECE VOL 13 TP 7.95

SEP063518 ORDER OF THE STICK VOL 2 NO CURE FOR THE PALADIN B 29.95
2006:
Lots of Webcomics made the jump to print this year, which still seems to be a good way of making some cash (arguments about advertising, micropayments, and etc. aside). It's interesting too, because you'd assume that people wouldn't want to a) pay for something they can read for free, or b) come into a store to buy something they can purchase on the internet. But it turns out that neither is true, and the Penny Arcade, Dinosaur Comics, Order of the Stick, and various Keenspot collections were all solid performers for this year. We are down to ordering one issue of PVP a month for rack and one for a subscriber, which is kind of odd until you consider that there was actually an issue of PVP this year with only 16 pages in it. That and the complete lack of new material. Omen for 2007: Maybe Chris Onstad at Achewood will work with someone like Image comics so that I can sell lots and lots of his book for him, after PVP is... over...


NOV060306 OTHER SIDE #4 (OF 5) (MR) 2.99
OCT063780 OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB VOL 8 TP (C: 1-0-0) 8.99
OCT060224 OUTSIDERS THE GOOD FIGHT TP 14.99
OCT060023 PERHAPANAUTS SECOND CHANCES #3 (OF 4) 2.99
MAY063573 PETER DE SEVE SKETCHBOOK HC (C: 0-1-2) 25.00
OCT063776 PLEASE SAVE MY EARTH VOL 20 TP (C: 1-0-0) 9.99

AUG062095 POWERS #22 (MR) 2.95
2006:
Brutal schedule this year guys, and all of those issues where Bendis used 'stand-up comedy routines' to yell at fanboys? Kind of soured me on the series for a while there. The current arc is very good though, and two issues in three weeks means that the book MIGHT JUST get itself back on schedule. Omen for 2007: Bendis takes on more projects. Oeming takes on more projects. Issues solicited for November 06, January 07, and February 07 all do manage to be released in calendar-year 2007. Maybe even a trade, the crystal ball is a little fuzzy at this point. Or sad, one of the two.


OCT063766 PRINCE OF TENNIS VOL 17 GN (C: 1-0-0) 7.95
OCT063774 PRINCESS MONONOKE FILM COMIC VOL 5 GN (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT063792 PROJECT ARMS VOL 15 TP (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT063781 PUNCH VOL 2 GN (C: 1-0-0) 8.99

AUG062066 PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #2 CW 2.99
OCT068142 PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL 2ND PTG OLIVETTI VAR #1 (PP # 2.99

2006: I guess I'm happy that Matt Fraction's two Marvel books are doing so well (this and Iron Fist), but man, Casanova is really, really good. Omen for 2007: Fraction to follow Kirkman on second 12-issue arc of Irredeemable Ant-Man. I cry a little.


OCT063773 REBORN VOL 2 GN 7.99
NOV062341 RED PROPHET TALES OF ALVIN MAKER #5 (OF 12) 2.99
OCT063777 RED RIVER VOL 16 GN (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT063315 RED SONJA #18 2.99
OCT063316 RED SONJA HA B&W CVR INCV #18 2.99

NOV060289 SCALPED #1 (MR) 2.99
2006:
Wow. Awkward. I kind of don't want to put this out for sale on Thursday. Omen for 2007: Vertigo's new series I Got Jewed does not perform as well as expected.


OCT063471 SCARFACE SCARRED FOR LIFE #1 (MR) 3.99
2006: Shit, just when you thought they couldn't find something else to license. Omen for 2007: I dunno, what's left? Is there a 'Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle with talking mirror' action figure yet? There will be.


OCT063767 SHAMAN KING VOL 11 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.95
OCT063782 SKIP BEAT VOL 4 TP (C: 1-0-0) 8.99
AUG063037 SOULFIRE CHAOS REIGN #3 2.99
AUG063037 SOULFIRE CHAOS REIGN #3 2.99

SEP063205 SOULSEARCHERS #81 2.50
2006:
Never have I felt less sympathy for a company going out of business. Omen for 2007: But I definitely could.


NOV062280 SPIDER-MAN AND POWER PACK #3 (OF 4) 2.99
OCT063643 STAR TREK COMICS CLASSICS VOL 4 RETURN OF THE WORT 19.95
NOV063862 STEEL CLAW THE VANISHING MAN HC (C: 0-1-2) 19.95
OCT063726 STREET FIGHTER II ALVIN LEE CVR A #6 (RES) 2.95
OCT063727 STREET FIGHTER II ALVIN LEE CVR B #6 (RES) 2.95
SEP060203 SUPERMAN #658 2.99

NOV060189 SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL #3 2.99
2006:
Does the world really need another Superman title? Honestly? Turns out: Yes! This is actually very good. Maybe the world only needs this Superman title. Omen for 2007: Abysmal JLA: Classified and JSA: Classified series are cancelled, replaced with Confidential series that start off really well, fall to pieces by issue 20 or so. Who's on Superman after Darwyn and Tim Sale leave anyway?


SEP060270 TENJHO TENGE VOL 11 (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
NOV063607 TENSHI JA NAI (IM NO ANGEL) VOL 5 (MR) (C: 1-0-0) 10.99
OCT063490 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS VOL 1 TP 19.99
NOV062273 ULTIMATE VISION #2 (OF 5) 2.99
NOV062361 ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL 15 MAGICAL TP 11.99

NOV062326 UNCANNY X-MEN #482 2.99
2006:
The X-Men had a vibrant creative re-launch spiraling out of a senses-shattering event that left the team changed... FOREVER. Omen for 2007: The X-Men have a vibrant creative re-launch spiraling out of a senses-shattering event that leaves the team changed... FOREVER. Omen for 2008: The X-Men have a vibrant creative re-launch spiraling out of a senses-shattering event that leaves the team changed... FOREVER. Omen for 2009: The X-Men have a vibrant creative re-launch spiraling out of a senses-shattering event that leaves the team changed... FOREVER. Omen for 2010: The X-Men have a vibrant creative re-launch spiraling out of a senses-shattering event that leaves the team changed... FOREVER. Omen for 2011: The X-Men have a vibrant creative re-launch spiraling out of a senses-shattering event that leaves the team changed... FOREVER. Omen for 2012: The X-Men have a vibrant creative re-launch spiraling out of a senses-shattering event that leaves the team changed... "WE MADE GODS AND JAILERS BECAUSE WE FELT SMALL AND ASHAMED AND ALONE," HE SAID. "WE LET THEM TRY US AND JUDGE US AND, LIKE SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER, WE ALLOWED OURSELVES TO BE...SENTENCED. SEE! NOW! OUR SENTENCE IS UP."


OCT063783 VAMPIRE KNIGHT VOL 1 TP (C: 1-0-0) 8.99
OCT060251 VS (VERSUS) VOL 4 (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT063778 W JULIET VOL 14 GN (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT063650 WALLACE & GROMIT MAGAZINE #17 (C: 0-1-2) 5.99
OCT063768 WHISTLE VOL 15 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
SEP063176 X ISLE #4 (OF 5) 2.99
NOV062330 X-23 TARGET X #2 (OF 6) 2.99
OCT063794 YAKITATE JAPAN VOL 3 TP 9.99
OCT063769 YU GI OH MILLENNIUM WORLD VOL 5 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.95


- Christopher, Happy New Year

Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 12/31/2006 12:01:00 AM
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I am so fucking Christmas it hurts
Whiskey makes a man merry
http://kittyempire.org/


Merry Christmastopher. Photo by Liz Clayton.

I just wanted to excuse myself from blogging for a few days, due to the imminent Merrymaking. Whenever I do one of these posts I inevitably end up posting something else 2 hours later, but whatever. Work, merriment, and some last-minute shopping are going to fill up my next few days, and I'll probably see you soon. In the meantime, check out my friend Liz Clayton's blog at http://chinesebroccoli.org/, and her awesome, sprawling photo site at http://kittyempire.org/. I hope she doesn't mind me stealing her photo... of me... for my blog ;).

- Christopher

Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 12/20/2006 04:13:00 PM
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Five Totally Awesome Gifts For Christmas, Which Is in Like 6 Days, And Which Will Likely Be Hard For You To Buy Unless You Live Near The Beguiling*
*and Hanukkah too, though that's almost over for this year
http://www.beguiling.com

It's Christmas in just a few days, and there is still time to buy some amazing gifts for people... if you live near The Beguiling, where I work. Which isn't to say that some of these fine gifts are never available anywhere else, it's just that they're not always available everywhere else and I know that we've got stock on all of them. And I love them. So, yeah, five gifts, but first I want to give props to Torontoist.com who recommended that people pick up Scott Pilgrim from The Beguiling in their annual gift guide. For the sake of expediency, let me state that Scott Pilgrim is number 5 on my list:

The Top Five Totally Awesome Gifts For Christmas, from The Beguiling

5. Scott Pilgrim Volumes 1-3, by Bryan Lee O'Malley. $11.95 each
Scott Pilgrim lives just around the corner from The Beguiling, in Toronto. He hangs out with his friends up the street and goes to the record store and gets on the 63 Ossington bus just like you and me. He also has to defeat his dream-girl's 7 evil ex-boyfriends in battle in order to go out with her. It's a hilarious, action-packed, even-a-little-emotional graphic novel series that no Torontonian should be without. There might even be autographed copies floating around from creator Bryan Lee O'Malley's last signing at the store. Inexpensive and essential. (Both floors)

4. Christmas Days, by Derek McCormack. Illustrated by Seth. $24.95
See, I totally love Christmas. Love It. Sometimes it takes me a few more weeks than usual to get my X-Mas on, like this year, but one thing that's guaranteed to get me in the spirit of the season is reading a little bit of this book. Derek McCormack has dug up the origins of many Canadian Christmas traditions (The Santa Claus Parade!) and written them up and gotten Seth to illustrate them. It's a perfect, beautiful little book and all of the copies we have for sale are autographed by Derek and Seth. If someone you know loves Christmas like I do, they will totally love this book. (Both Floors)

3. Japan: As Viewed by 17 Creators, by Various. $28.95
If you're a 'traditional' comics fan looking for a good way into either euro-comics or manga, this book is an amazing gateway. As part of a cultural exchange, 8 amazing European graphic novelists are sent to Japan and create comics about the city they visit and the time they spend there. Then, 8 Japanese creators tell stories about their hometowns, some fables, some autobiographical, and some just wierd. And Frederic Boilet is in it too. Possibly my favourite book of the year, this book offers up an amazing diversity of strong cartooning, and insight into the culture and participants of such. (Both Floors)

2. The Films of Hayao Miyazaki. $29.95 or less.
How can you go wrong with Hayao Miyazaki? I mean, ignoring Howl's Moving Castle for a moment, Miyzaki's works are classics, and the two-disc Disney releases are really, really good. We recently re-stocked and lowered the price on My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Castle In The Sky (Laputa), Kiki's Delivery Service, and Nausicaa and any one of these movies would be a great gift for a kid or family on your Christmas list (maybe not Princess Mononoke). Seriously, no child should grow up without knowing the Totoro theme song, and as one customer expressed to me last week: "My kid loves Totoro so much that I've had to watch it probably 50 times, and I've never gotten sick of it." Seriously, these are near-perfect films, and Miyazaki's penchant for kick-butt heroine's and role-models for young girls makes this series particularly easy to recommend. (2nd Floor)

1. Original Art!
The best part of my job is dealing with the original art. A whole package of it will come in to the store, and I just devour it with my eyes. It really doesn't matter who the artist is either, because everyone we work with is amazing. While most of our art sales are through the web-site, and for customers who AREN'T local to The Beguiling, there's still plenty of time to swing by the store and pick something up (just give us 8-24 hours notice so we can package it up for you first!). So to brighten up your holidays a little, I've chosen my six favourite pieces in the art-store that are currently available for sale (excluding the Scott Pilgrim Christmas Card because we already pimped one of Mal's things), and I've tried to mix up the prices a bit too, trying to find something for every budget. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! (Please e-mail ahead to mail@beguiling.com)


Greek Love Print Set, by Maurice Vellekoop. $625.00
What kind of Christmas doesn't have erotic art in it? Granted, most kinds of Christmas, but I think everyone should make an exception for this fantastic print set of Maurice Vellekoop's Greek Gods. Available individually for $150 or as a set of six for $625, these are pretty specific gifts but I'm sure we can all think of a bachelor uncle or interesting cousin who would love one of these...(Psst, you can see the uncensored versions in Maurice's Gallery.)



Dracula Page 27, by Becky Cloonan. $85.
Becky's art is really great and priced to move. She's got pages up from Demo and Jennie One with Brian Wood, her Flight story, and tons of pages from a Dracula adaptation she illustrated. They're all different kinds of gorgeous, and none of them are much more than $200. Becky's Gallery.



Please Call Ahead, by Graham Roumieu. $195
Toronto illustrator Graham Roumieu is probably best-known to the world for his two Bigfoot Books, In Me Own Words: An Autobiography of Bigfoot and Me Write Book, which is about Bigfoot's tragic fall from fame (both are in stock at the store right now!). They're both amazing, and Graham's illustrations are perfect for framing. This one, about what happens behind closed doors, is my personal favourite, but check out Graham's Gallery and choose your own.



Clouds Above, Unused Panels by Jordan Crane. $285.
We've got almost the entire book's worth of art for Jordan Crane's fantastic all-ages graphic novel The Clouds Above available in Jordan's Gallery right now, but the stair-climbing sequences are probably my favourite for stand-alone pieces of art. Still, it's all pretty great.



The Graphic Novelist, by Kagan McLeod $230.
This piece is in the recently released book "Archetypes", and is a pretty brutal send-up of art comix creators. Now, understand, I love Art-Comix and their creators, but the inclusion of Little Lulu just cracks me up every time I see it. There is an absolute ton of incredibly inexpensive and diverse art up in Kagan's Gallery, starting at a whopping 25 bucks. I mean, that DangerDoom piece alone should've sold already...!



Prison Funnies #2, Page 6, by Chip Zdarsky. $115.
Oh Chip Zdarsky. I love you so much, and the image of the dude from Monopoly felating a pistol will stay with me (and now everyone else) forever. Check out more handjobs, filthy euphamisms for the act of coitus, and full-frontal male nudity in Chip's Gallery.


So that's it for my Christmas recommendations! Sure, I'm using my blog to pimp my employer, but I'm also taking today off to go Christmas shopping so I've gotta make up for it somehow! Oh, and I should probably point out that we have this kind of stuff available all year round, and so if you don'thappen to live near The Beguiling, we're happy to ship it out to you in time for next Christmas. Or Hallowe'en. Or St. Patrick's. Or St. Valentine's. Groundhog Day, New Years, you know. Whatever.

- Christopher
P.S.: The Scott Pilgrim Christmas Card:

Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 12/19/2006 04:15:00 AM
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Monday, December 18, 2006

Tokyopop's Online Exclusives - Epilogue
Now's your chance to actually buy some good titles...
http://csls.diamondcomics.com/

So it's nearing the end of the year, and looking back one of the biggest stories that I covered, and maybe 'broke', on this blog was the news of Tokyopop's online-exclusives program. Originally conceived as an opportunity to finish up poor-selling series in digital formats, the program was announced as including both existing properties and new ones that did not receive significant book-market orders, and that these would be print books sold exclusively from Tokyopop's webstore. As you might imagine, this did not sit well with me.

Tokyopop announced a non-announcement after sufficient reader and retailer outrage, that they were going to reconsider their position and they were sorry to stress a bunch of people out. Fair-enough, and I've learned since then that:

a) Dragon Head, picked as one of Publisher's Weekly's comics of the year, has been removed from this program entirely and will be available (and re-orderable) throughout the duration of it's release (They've even gone back to print on volume 1! A very good sign)
b) There will be no on-line exclusives; all titles will be offered to the Direct Market (comic book stores) and through Tokyopop's online shop, and
c) That these titles will be limited to initial orders, for the most part, as it is unlikely there will ever be a second printing on any of them.

Sure, it isn't ideal, but it is fair and that's really all I want out of the comics industry (most days). As a follow-up, Tokyopop and Diamond sent out a little release today reminding us all that we bitched about it, so we better put our money where our mouths are and order these books. Sure, they were much nicer about it, but I'm cutting right to the quick here. From today's Diamond Daily, on the Diamond retailers-only website:

In an effort to strengthen the position of manga in comic shops, TOKYOPOP is offering titles available only to the specialty market for their first several months in release, beginning with the Heaven! Volume 1 GN (NOV063863E)!

Available exclusively to specialty market outlets until April 2007, the Heaven! Vol. 1 GN is the latest manga from Shizaru Seino (Girl Got Game). In this offbeat manga, Rinne is a young girl who can see and exorcise ghosts. Partnered with a deceased punk whose spirit is inhabiting a pink, stuffed bunny, Rinne must ward off unwanted spirits and poltergeists in the 192-page, black-and-white manga, which is scheduled to ship January 24 and is still available for advance reorder. With its quirky humor and supernatural appeal, this title’s specialty market exclusivity should drive even more manga-loving traffic into comic stores!

TOKYOPOP is offering a similar exclusive with the King City Volume 1 GN (JAN073850E), a Featured Item in January’s Previews. Suggested for mature readers, the 192-page, black-and-white King City Vol. 1 GN will be available exclusively to specialty market retailers until June 2007, making comic shops the key resource for consumers seeking the hot new book from creator Brandon Scott Graham. Carrying an Order Increase Cut-Off (OIC) date of Tuesday, February 6, 2007, this book can be ordered with your January Previews initial order and is slated to arrive in stores March 28.

These graphic novels are among the first exclusives offered by TOKYOPOP to Previews customers, adding to the heat already generated by consumer anticipation. Furthermore, aggressive promotional plans for both titles include Internet marketing on manga, comic and anime fan sites, plus exclusive content on Tokyopop.com targeting more than 2 million Web users, assuring even higher visibility and demand from your customers...

So I just checked and I ordered about a year's worth of HEAVEN! up-front, just to show support for the title. Because, and I know this is going to shock and upset the people at Tokyopop who throw their marketting behind a lot of other titles, GIRL GOT GAME is in our top-five best-selling Tokyopop titles of the last 5 years. Girls pretending to be boys and hot basketball action, what more could you want? (Apparently, you could only want like Fruits Basket and Kingdom Hearts more, but that's pretty good still...)

I'll likely do a huge order for KING CITY as well, for much the same reason (up-front orders are 100x more important for publishers than reorders). I'm a fan of Brandon Graham's work anyhow but with a new Scott Pilgrim and Sharknife still 6-8 months away, we'll need something strong to push to that audience and I think this'll be a smooth fit.

Anyway, I just wanted to reflect back on one of the very good things that happened this year in comics, from my POV. Here's hoping that if you're a manga fan that you start bugging the hell out of your retailer, and if you're retailer reading this blog you take advantage of this opportunity to stock and promote solid titles that won't be showing up at Borders or Barnes & Noble... ever.

- Chris

Posted Monday, December 18, 2006 at 12/18/2006 03:09:00 PM
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Friday, December 15, 2006

Child's Play 2006
They've raised a lot of money...
http://www.childsplaycharity.org/
Who are those two gentlemen? Why they're Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, a.k.a. Tycho and Gabe, the proprietors of Penny Arcade, a thrice-weekly web comic. To combat the growing (and stupid) negative public perception of video games and gamers, they launched the Child's Play charity a few years back. They wanted to show that gamers (and Penny Arcade fans) were decent people who donated time and money to worthy causes, like Children's Hospitals around the world. In the first two years, Child's Play raised over a million dollars in donated video games and toys, and as of last night, the total for 2006 is now over $760,000, for a total of over 2 million dollars.

That's pretty damned impressive. Congrats to the Penny Arcade/Child's Play staff and to everyone who dropped some money for a great cause.

Unfortunately, the deadline to get toys and games to the hospitals in time for Christmas has more-or-less passed, but the wish-lists are still open and, sadly, there are sick kids all year 'round that could use some cheering up. Head on over to http://www.childsplaycharity.org/ and see what you can do to donate to a children's hospital in your area.

- Christopher

Posted Friday, December 15, 2006 at 12/15/2006 06:54:00 PM
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Shipping December 20th, 2006
List courtesy of The Beguiling
http://www.beguiling.com

What follows is a list of the books scheduled to ship from Diamond Comics Distributors to The Beguiling in Toronto, Canada. It's not a guarantee that these books are shipping to every store in North America, but it might be worth bugging your retailer about anyway.

I cut my finger at my Christmas Party last night. Badly. It's making typing right now sort of hilarious. I apologise if my spelling is worse than usual for the next little while.

Here's what's coming this week!


NOV060001 PREVIEWS VOL XVII #1 (NET) 4.50
I'm starting off here with Previews, because I can't actually believe there's a new Previews out already. I haven't even cracked the old one. The covers are kind of uninspiring, but I think that the new Buffy comic is going to do amazingly well. I know it'll be the biggest Dark Horse order we've ever done.

OCT060177 52 WEEK #33 2.50

OCT063400 ACTION PHILOSOPHERS VOL 2 GIANT SIZED THING TP 8.95
This has been one of our best-selling indy books ever. Actually, indy is kind of wierd, it has a very different connotation in my mind than most people, probably. It's a pretty clear ideal that doesn't include publishers like D&Q or Fantagraphics, for the most part, which I identify as "art-comix". I realize that on some level these distinctions are just so much fan-wank, but 'indy' is a continuum that includes works like Bone, Strangers in Paradise, Ragmop, and more recently Scott Pilgrim, Mouse Guard, and Action Philosophers. And unlike indy hits like Lady Death and Shi I can totally get behind this one. Pick it up if it makes it to your local comic shop.

OCT063542 ADV OF RABBI HARVEY JEWISH WISDOM & WIT IN WILD WE 16.99
SEP060290 ALBION TP 19.99
NOV063431 ALEX RAYMONDS FLASH GORDON VOL 7 HC 19.95
OCT063459 ANGEL DIARY VOL 5 GN 10.95
OCT068070 ANITA BLAKE VH GUILTY PLEASURES 2ND PTG VAR #2 (OF 2.99
OCT063632 AOI HOUSE VOL 2 GN (C: 0-1-2) 10.99
SEP060217 AQUAMAN SWORD OF ATLANTIS #47 2.99
AUG060191 AQUAMAN SWORD OF ATLANTIS ONCE AND FUTURE TP 12.99
OCT062207 AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED HC 24.99
OCT062140 AVENGERS EARTHS MIGHTIEST HEROES II #4 (OF 8) 3.99

OCT060022 BAKERS MEET JINGLE BELLE (ONE SHOT) 2.99
This is the first Kyle Baker project that's shipped on time in recent memory. Looking forward to it!

AUG060059 BANYA EXPLOSIVE DELIVERY MAN VOL 2 TP (C: 1-1-2) 12.95
SEP063245 BASILISK VOL 3 GN (MR) 13.95
OCT060157 BATMAN LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #213 2.99
OCT060182 BIRDS OF PREY #101 2.99

OCT063123 BLACK COAT CALL TO ARMS TP 12.95
People seem to really like this series. All I know is it's got pirates in it. I'm sure there's more information at the publisher's website.

OCT063244 BLURRED VISION VOL 2 GN (MR) 14.95
OCT061866 BOMB QUEEN VOL 2 #3 (OF 3)(MR) 3.50
AUG060045 BOTTOMFEEDER NOVEL (C: 0-1-2) 12.95
OCT063464 BRING IT ON VOL 4 10.95
OCT062180 CABLE DEADPOOL #35 2.99
SEP063670 CAIN SAGA VOL 2 TP (MR) (C: 1-0-0) 8.99
OCT060158 CATWOMAN #62 2.99
OCT060183 CHECKMATE #9 2.99
AUG062036 CIVIL WAR FRONT LINE #9 (OF 11) 2.99
OCT062150 CIVIL WAR WAR CRIMES ONE SHOT 3.99
OCT063446 CODE #1 2.99
OCT063819 COMICS BUYERS GUIDE MAR 2007 #1626 5.99
OCT060013 CONAN #35 (MR) 2.99
OCT062204 CRIMINAL #3 (MR) 2.99
OCT060040 CRIMINAL MACABRE TWO RED EYES #1 (OF 4) 2.99

OCT063468 CYNICAL ORANGE VOL 3 10.95
With a sea of manga and manwha releases, and seamingly nothing differentitating them in the eyes of the general comics-reading populace, I will say that at our store, this title seems to have a particularly enthusiastic following. It also has a great title.

AUG062106 DAREDEVIL FATHER HC 24.99
SEP063063 DARK HORRORS ANTHOLOGY VOL 1 GN (MR) 9.95
JUL060027 DARK HORSE BOOK OF MONSTERS HC (C: 0-1-2) 15.95
AUG063206 DARKMAN VS ARMY OF DARKNESS #2 (OF 4) 3.50
AUG063207 DARKMAN VS ARMY OF DARKNESS PEREZ NEG CVR INCV #2 3.50
JUL061747 DARKNESS COMPENDIUM EDITION TP 59.99
OCT061894 DARKNESS LEVEL 0 2.99
OCT063257 DAVE JOHNSON FC SKETCHBOOK 2006 ISOTOPE ED 9.99
OCT063373 DAY OF REVOLUTION VOL 2 GN 12.95
OCT060286 DEADMAN #5 (MR) 2.99
OCT061853 DEADWORLD REQUIEM FOR THE WORLD TP (MR) (C: 0-1-2) 16.99
JUN063351 DEVILS PANTIES #7 4.95
OCT063369 EDU MANGA EINSTEIN GN 9.95
OCT061871 ELEPHANTMEN #5 2.99
OCT060289 FABLES #56 (MR) (NOTE PRICE) 3.50
SEP060313 FABLES VOL 8 WOLVES TP (MR) 17.99
JUL061965 FANTASTIC FOUR #541 CW 2.99
SEP063454 FIREBLAST ADVENTURES IN THE 30TH CENTURY #0 2.99
OCT063357 FORGOTTEN REALMS CRYSTAL SHARD SEELEY CVR A #3 (OF 4.95
OCT061902 FRESHMEN VOL 2 #2 2.99
OCT061903 FRESHMEN VOL 2 INCENTIVE PANORAMIC COVER 2.99
OCT062130 FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #15 2.99
OCT063444 GENESIS FIVE #1 2.99
JUL060040 GHOST I/T SHELL STAND ALONE COMPLEX VOL 3 NOVEL (C 8.95
OCT060048 GHOST IN THE SHELL 1.5 HUMAN ERROR PROCESSOR #3 (O 2.99
OCT063354 GI JOE SPECIAL MISSIONS ANTARCTICA 4.95
AUG063528 GIANT SHANDA ANIMAL #11 (MR) 4.99

SEP062968 GOLDEN PLATES VOL 1 LTD ED HC 29.95
I guess I admire Allred's dedication to his religion, but I'm kind of ambivilant about this material. It has that 'adaptation' feel that doesn't really serve the material, and from what I hear he's had a hard time cracking the religious bookstore market with the material too. I guess, who is this for, beyond Mike Allred?

OCT063458 GOONG VOL 1 GN (RES) 10.95
SEP063917 GOTHIC & LOLITA BIBLE EXTRA 2 (C: 1-1-3) 25.99
JUL063670 GREAT BRITISH COMICS SC (C: 0-1-2) 35.00
OCT060292 HELLBLAZER #227 (MR) 2.99
SEP063055 HERC & THOR PKT MANGA VOL 1 (APR068167) 14.95
SEP063229 HIGHLANDER #2 2.99
SEP063230 HIGHLANDER DORMAN VIRGIN CVR INCV #2 2.99
OCT060195 ION #9 (OF 12) 2.99
SEP062118 IRON MAN #14 CW 2.99
OCT062158 IRON MAN CAPTAIN AMERICA CASUALTIES OF WAR ONE SHO 3.99
OCT063445 JOE & MAX #1 2.99
OCT063743 JOHN WOOS SEVEN BROTHERS AMANO CVR #3 2.99
OCT063744 JOHN WOOS SEVEN BROTHERS HORN CVR #3 2.99
OCT063143 JUGHEAD #178 2.25
OCT060211 JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA HEREBY ELECTS TP 14.99
OCT063827 JUXTAPOZ JAN 2007 VOL 14 #1 (C: 0-1-2) 4.99
OCT060237 KRYPTO THE SUPER DOG #4 (OF 6) 2.25
OCT063370 LA ESPERANCA VOL 5 GN 12.95
AUG063514 LEVIATHAN BY IAN EDGINTON HC GN (C: 0-1-2) 20.99
OCT063165 LIBRARIAN RETURN TO KING SOLOMONS MINES GN 14.95
OCT063371 LITTLE BUTTERFLY VOL 3 GN (MR) 12.95
AUG060024 LITTLE LULU VOL 13 TOO MUCH FUN TP (C: 0-1-2) 9.95
SEP063219 LONE RANGER #3 2.99
SEP063220 LONE RANGER VIRGIN CVR INCV #3 2.99
OCT063553 LOVE AND CAPES #2 3.95
SEP063202 LUCKY LUKE JESSE JAMES TP (C: 0-1-2) 9.99
SEP061873 MAGDALENA VOL 1 TP 19.99
OCT068053 MAGICIAN APPRENTICE 2ND PTG VAR #3 (OF 12) (PP #74 2.99
OCT063599 MAINTENANCE #1 (NET) (MR) 3.50
OCT060269 MAN CALLED KEV #5 (OF 5) (MR) 2.99
OCT062161 MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS #8 2.99
NOV060002 MARVEL PREVIEWS JANUARY 2007 EXTRAS (NET) 0.99
OCT062235 MARVEL TALES FLIP MAGAZINE #19 4.99
AUG063814 MASTERS OF THE COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE REVEALED SC (C: 18.95
OCT063620 ME A MOUND HC (C: 1-0-0) 65.00
SEP060269 MOON CHILD VOL 5 (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT062168 MS MARVEL #10 2.99
AUG063832 NEIL GAIMAN READER SC (C: 0-1-2) 19.95
OCT063118 NEOTOPIA STOCKING STUFFER 4 PACK 19.95
SEP062126 NEW AVENGERS #26 2.99
OCT062165 NEW AVENGERS ILLUMINATI #1 (OF 5) 2.99
OCT063831 NEWTYPE ENG ED JAN 2007 (C: 0-1-2) 12.98
OCT063111 NINJA HIGH SCHOOL #145 2.99
OCT060221 OMEGA MEN #3 (OF 6) 2.99
OCT063372 PASSION VOL 3 GN 12.95


OCT061881 PIRATES OF CONEY ISLAND #3 (OF 8) 2.99
I'm not entirely sure that much is happening each issue, but I am enjoying this series. The art and colouring is just gorgeous, but I kind of wanted the first two issues to be one issue, so we got a stronger kick-off. Maybe I'll do a buy-one, get-one free on issues one and two this week to encourage people to try this series out, as I think that it's going to be worth the effort long-term.

NOV060005 PREVIEWS ADULT VOL XVII #1 (NET) 0.95
NOV060001 PREVIEWS VOL XVII #1 (NET) 4.50
OCT062195 PUNISHER #42 (MR) 2.99
SEP063921 PUTITAKITYU RYU HUJISAKIS ILLUSTRATIONS (C: 1-1-3) 65.99
OCT063742 RAMAYAN 3392 AD #4 2.99
AUG063686 READ OR DREAM VOL 1 TP (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
OCT060271 RED MENACE #2 (OF 6) 2.99
OCT060272 RED MENACE VAR EDITION #2 (OF 6) 2.99
SEP063222 RED SONJA #17 2.99
SEP063224 RED SONJA MAYHEW NEGATIVE CVR INCV #17 2.99
SEP063223 RED SONJA RENAUD SKETCH CVR INCV #17 2.99
AUG060056 REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP VOL 5 TP (C: 0-1-2) 12.95
SEP063789 REVOLUTION ART OF JON FOSTER HC (C: 0-1-2) 27.00
OCT060039 REX MUNDI #3 2.99

APR063113 ROBOT VOL 3 GN (MR) 24.95
Continues to be gorgeous, continues to be late, continues to push the Moe/Lolicon line of acceptable art in North America. When it all goes down, I think it'll be a race between DMP and Seven Seas to see who's splashed all over the evening news...

OCT063145 SABRINA VOL 2 #81 2.25
OCT060241 SCOOBY DOO #115 2.25
SEP060248 SECRET SIX #6 (OF 6) 2.99
OCT062131 SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #33 2.99
OCT060227 SHADOWPACT #8 2.99
OCT062171 SHE-HULK 2 #14 2.99
OCT063246 SIMPSONS COMICS #125 2.99

OCT063147 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG ARCHIVES VOL 2 TP 7.49
I don't think I commented on this when the first one came out, but this is a great idea. I have to admit, I don't particularly care for either Archie Comics or most licensed books, but there has been steady demand for the last several years for the Sonic material in a more permanent format (it's incredibly popular with the kids), and the price-point and production are both fairly decent on these, which is exactly what I'd hoped for. It's nice when you get a saleable product.

JUL060036 SPIDER KISS NOVEL (C: 0-1-2) 12.95
OCT063507 SPIKE ASYLUM #4 (OF 5) 3.99
OCT063877 STARLOG MAR 2007 #353 (C: 0-1-2) 7.99
SEP063447 STARSHIP TROOPERS DAMAGED JUSTICE ENJETI CVR A #1 3.95
SEP063449 STARSHIP TROOPERS DAMAGED JUSTICE MEYERS CVR C #1 3.95
SEP063448 STARSHIP TROOPERS DAMAGED JUSTICE TONG CVR B #1 (M 3.95
SEP060207 SUPERMAN FOR TOMORROW VOL 2 TP 14.99
SEP063927 TATTOO DESIGN BOOK DRAGONS (C: 1-1-3) 35.99
OCT060232 TEEN TITANS #42 2.99
OCT060295 TESTAMENT #13 (MR) 2.99
OCT060280 TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE #2 (MR) 2.99
OCT062224 THOR BLOOD OATH TP 14.99
OCT062173 THUNDERBOLTS #109 2.99
OCT063481 TRANSFORMERS ESCALATION #2 3.99
OCT063478 TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT SIX SHOT 3.99
NOV063430 TROUBLE WITH GIRLS VOL 2 TP 17.95
OCT062126 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #103 2.99
OCT062174 UNION JACK #4 (OF 4) 2.99
OCT063087 URSA MINORS #4 2.95
SEP062969 VAULT OF MICHAEL ALLRED #3 (OF 4) 6.99
OCT063739 WALK-IN #1 2.99
SEP063551 WALLACE & GROMIT MAGAZINE #16 (C: 0-1-2) 5.99
AUG063132 WARHAMMER 40K #1 2.99
AUG063133 WARHAMMER 40K PX VAR CVR #1 2.99
OCT063600 WASTELAND #5 (MR) 2.99
OCT063024 WIZARD ANIME INSIDER NARUTO CVR #40 (C: 0-1-2) 5.99
NOV063177 WIZARD COMICS MAG RAMOS ART CVR #184 (HELLBOY REPL 5.99
NOV063178 WIZARD COMICS MAGAZINE 2007 PREVIEW RAMOS ART CVR 5.99
NOV063176 WIZARD COMICS MAGAZINE SPIDER-MAN 3 MONTAGE CVR #1 5.99
OCT062214 WOLVERINE BY CLAREMONT & MILLER PREMIERE HC 19.99
OCT062215 WOLVERINE BY CLAREMONT & MILLER PREMIERE HC VAR ED 19.99
OCT061850 WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ GN (C: 0-1-2) 9.99
NOV064097 WUNDERGROUND SC (C: 0-1-2) 24.95
OCT062192 X-MEN FIRST CLASS #4 (OF 8) 2.99
SEP063252 XXXHOLIC VOL 8 GN 10.95
OCT060298 Y THE LAST MAN #52 (MR) 2.99
OCT063582 YEAH KOU PHOBIA GN 14.99
OCT062197 ZOMBIE #4 (OF 4) (MR) 3.99
AUG063382 ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS #1 FREE 50 COPY INCV (NET) PI

--

- Chris

at 12/15/2006 02:41:00 PM
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Drawn and Quarterly 2007 Solicits
For books shipping in January, February, and March, and April 2007
http://www.drawnandquarterly.com

Hey guys, I've been a little bit behind publishing this info, but I guess you've dealt alright. So I'm bringing us screamingly up to date with the April solicitations, followed by March, February, and January. As always, you can click on any of the images for a bigger version.

Drawn & Quarterly Solicitations for FEBRUARY PREVIEWS (items shipping in APRIL 2007)

******************

Optic Nerve # 11
Adrian Tomine
Comic book, 6 3/4 x 10 inches, 32 b/w pages.
$ 3.95 USD

In this long-awaited conclusion to Adrian Tomine's three-part epic, the story leaps across the country, taking place entirely in New York. All of protagonist Ben Tanaka's worst (and most amusing) traits are brought to the fore as his obsessive quest reaches a fever pitch. His best friend, Alice Kim, finds herself at an unexpected crossroads in her life, forcing her to make several life-altering decisions. But whatever happened to Ben's girlfriend, Miko Hayashi? That and many other answers are revealed as our protagonists walk and talk their way through the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan, all delineated in Tomine's evocatively pristine style.

******************

Dogs and Water - Definitive Edition
Anders Nilsen
HARDCOVER book, 96 pages, partial color, 7.5 x 9.75 inches.
$ 19.95 USD

Completely re-formatted by Anders Nilsen, this new volume will be the definitive edition of this major work. Dogs & Water chronicles a piece of a lonely journey, without origin or destination. A young man wandering a nameless path has only a stuffed bear as a companion, which inertly endures his desperation, anger and musings along the way. The landscape is cold and bleak with few landmarks, and offers only precarious encounters with animals and armed men. Offered this month in Previews, is Nilsen’s most recent book, Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, an excellent companion to this new book.

******************

Optic Nerve # 8 (New Printing)
Adrian Tomine
Comic book, 6 3/4 x 10 inches, 32 b/w pages.
$ 3.95 USD

Back in a new printing, just in time for the new issue (#11) offered in Previews. In this issue Tomine tells the story of two outcast teenagers and of the tense undercurrents that exist between them and the more popular group of students at school.

******************

Offered Again This Month:
32 Stories: The Complete Optic Nerve Mini-Comics, by Adrian Tomine
Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, by Anders Nilsen


******************

Drawn & Quarterly Solicitations for JANUARY PREVIEWS (items shipping in MARCH 2007)

******************

King-Cat Classix
John Porcellino
Hardcover book, 384 pages, b/w, 6 x 9 inches.
$ 29.95 USD

John Porcellino has long been considered the greatest of all cartoonists coming from the self-publishing and zine movement of the early ‘90s. His spare approach with words and pictures focuses on the smallest of details, revealing a wealth of meaning and emotion in everyday events that most of us overlook in our daily hustle and bustle. Since 1989, he has released over 65 issues of his self-published comic King-Cat Comics and Stories. This large collection focuses on the first fifty issues, with extensive endnotes, an index, and selections of all the extra ephemera that makes an individual issue of King-Cat it’s own unique experience—essays, articles, stories, and letters from friends. King-Cat Classix presents an artist who always knew what he wanted to do, demonstrating Porcellino’s confidence and skill as it has grown steadily over the past eighteen years.

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Pyongyang: A Journey To North Korea
Guy Delisle
Trade Paperback, 184 pages, b/w, 6 x 8.5 inches.
$ 14.95 USD

Published for the first time as a trade paperback. When the fortress-like country of North Korea recently opened the door a crack to foreign investment, cartoonist Guy Delisle found himself in its capital of Pyongyang on a work visa for a French film animation company, becoming one of the few Westerners to witness current conditions in the surreal showcase city. Armed with a smuggled radio and a copy of 1984, Delisle could only explore Pyongyang and its countryside in the company of his translator and a guide. But among the statues, portraits and propaganda of leaders Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il--the world’s only Communist dynasty--Delisle was able to observe more than was intended of the culture and lives of the few North Koreans he encountered. His astute and wry musings on life in the austere and grim regime form the basis of this remarkable graphic novel. Pyongyang is an informative, timely, and accessible look at an enigmatic country. Also offered in Previews is Delisle’s recent graphic novel, Shenzhen, an excellent companion to this book.

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Offered Again This Month:
Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China, by Guy Delisle
Perfect Example, by John Porcelino

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Drawn & Quarterly Solicitations for DECEMBER PREVIEWS (items shipping in FEBRUARY 2007)

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Aya
Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie
Hardcover book, 112 pages, full color, 6 x 9 inches.
$ 19.95 USD

Winner of the 2006 award for Best New Album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, Aya tells the story of its 19-year old heroine, the studious and clear-sighted Aya, her easy-going friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It’s a breezy and wryly funny account of the desire for joy and freedom, and of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City. An unpretentious and gently humorous story of an Africa we rarely see–spirited, hopeful and resilient. Clément Oubreri’s warm colors and energetic, playful line connect expressively with Marguerite Abouet’s vibrant writing. Ships at beginning of Black History Month.

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One Eye
Charles Burns
Trade Paperback, 144 pages, full color, 6 x 8 inches.
$ 14.95 USD

After the incredible success of Black Hole, Charles Burns returns with this unique collection of photographs. The photos are paired two per page and capture the strange undertones of a staggering range of objects and locales. From urban and pristine landscapes to flesh and food, the visual combinations are at the same time ambiguously uneasy and starkly coherent. One Eye is Burns’ world digested through a lens, and evidence of the scope of his visual language. Part of the D+Q Petits Livres series, One Eye is an affordable art book at only $14.95.

******************

Offered Again This Month:
We Are On Our Own, by Miriam Katin
Wimbledon Green: The Greatest Comic Book Collector in The World

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Drawn & Quarterly Solicitations for NOVEMBER PREVIEWS (items shipping in JANUARY 2007)

******************

Oh Skin-nay!
Clare Briggs
Hardcover book, 136 pages, 2-color, 12.5 x 9 inches
$ 24.95 USD

A grittier and less sentimental predecessor to Norman Rockwell, Clare Briggs exemplified the larger journey of American society from small town innocence to urbane sophistication. This book will appeal to readers of Walt & Skeezix, as Briggs was also a direct influence on Frank King. First published in 1913, Oh Skin-Nay! is a collaboration between Briggs and poet Wilbur D. Nesbit and portrays a year in the life of small town America through the eyes of the twelve-year-old boy—woodgathering, sleigh rides, games of post-office, swimming holes and sandlot ballgames.

This book is presented as a facsimile edition of double-page spreads containing short poems and a full-page cartoons with an expanded afterword by Jeet Heer (co-editor of Walt & Skeezix) on Briggs.

******************

Offered Again This Month:
Walt & Skeezix 1921-1922, by Frank King
Walt & Skeezix 1923-1924, by Frank King

Paul Moves Out, by Michel Rabagliati

******************

Time to get a second job...

- Chris

Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 12/13/2006 04:15:00 PM
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Addendum To My Last Post: Sam Hiti Auction
More great art, from a cool dude.
http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZsamQ5fhiti

Just a short addendum to my last post, my friend Sam Hiti is auctioning off a ton of original art. These pieces look like they came from Sam's most recent print project, the little-seen GHOULASH sketchbook. The pieces all start at $40, and as far as I'm concerned it's a total deal. Who wouldn't want an ultra-butch RAMBO drawing framed on their wall?

This Nightmare Before Christmas drawing is probably going to go for a billion dollars... It's very very good. The auction ends this Saturday, and if it's too rich for your blood or you get sniped on the piece you want at the last second, you can pick up GHOULASH in store here at The Beguiling for like $15 or something, or directly from the artist's store at http://www.samhiti.com.

- Chris
(P.S.: If you're not an art fan, you can pick up Sam's Nintendo Gamecube and 8 games as well. I guess he upgraded to a Wii...)

Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 12/12/2006 02:42:00 PM
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Some Mighty Good Work
Lots of stuff for you to spend your money on and feel good about!
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330059370985

Do you know how much I spent at H&M this weekend? It's appalling. I can't actually say, because the person I bought things for is probably reading, but... if only there were a way to spread some of that Christmas/Chanukah/'Holiday' spending around on something good, right? Well there TOTALLY IS! There are two great sets of auctions/fundraising drives on right now that are worthy your time and money, and the best part of all is that you get actual material goods in return, instead of that sense of satisfaction you're usually expected to be happy with after donating to worthy causes. Check it out:

The organizers of The Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning are positively delighted to announce their third fundraising auction: a one-of-a-kind collection of original art by Chester Brown. Inspired by a page from one of Wonder Woman's earliest appearances, Chester has drawn a pretty outstanding final page and you can own the original pencil drawings for this work. These pencils provide a rare glimpse into Chester's creative process, from rough sketches to word balloons. There are over thirty individual drawings included in this auction, each averaging approx 6" x 4"! It's also Chester's first ever superhero art, which is both wierd and rare. I mean, I had sketchbooks and sketchbooks filled with drawings of Green Lantern by the time I was 15... but I digress.

The Wright Awards were established in 2005 to recognize and spotlight the wide array of talented cartoonists working across Canada. The premiere award event recognizing the art of graphic novels and comics, The Wrights are named in honour of Doug Wright (1917-1983) whose humourous strip Doug Wright's Family graced newspapers and magazines across Canada for nearly 35 years. All proceeds will benefit the 2007 edition of The Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning, which will be handed out next year in Toronto.

You can see the auction at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330059370985 and learn more about the Wright Awards at http://www.wrightawards.ca/oldwrights2005.html. Auction ends tomorrow night!


The fine folks at the CBLDF are auctioning off a ton of comics, art, and, uh, drawing chairs, in support of their ongoing efforts (the absolutely ridiculous Gordon Lee case, for starters). Yes, you can rest your rear where Frank Miller did in his fabulous 'drawing chair', but wouldn't you rather buy some nice art? I certainly would. Just to the right there, you can see a collaborative piece by Renee French (The Ticking) and Vasilis Lolos (Pirates of Coney Island) which is a lot of fun. They've even got a Will Eisner Spirit original drawing, and it's gorgeous (you can see that up top).

Anyway, you can find all of the CBLDF auctions at http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZcbldf and they all seem to end next Wednesday evening, so you've got plenty of time to place a bid. If you don't want to bother with the whole auction thing, you can always become a member of the CBLDF, gift a membership to the CBLDF, or just make a donation.

That actually reminds me that I should renew my membership to the CBLDF...

Merry Christmas,

- Christopher

at 12/12/2006 01:39:00 PM
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Monday, December 11, 2006

Hey there... It's looking like this week is going to be a little brutal for me, time-wise. I'll try and get the shipping list up later this afternoon/evening, but regular posting probably won't resume until Wednesday evening. Thanks to everyone who linked me at the end of last week, it was a busy couple of days :)

- Chris

Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 at 12/11/2006 11:18:00 AM
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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Gift of the Year: The New Frontier
For yourself or others...
http://dccomics.com/downloads/?action=desktop_patterns


I sit about a foot away from a stack of these all day, and it that beautifully illustrated stack of hard covers is a constant reminder that I have yet to post about how great this collection is. Basically? This makes me love superheroes. I'm pretty cynical when it comes to the genre, I can read and appreciate the material but I don't really find any of it inspiring. DC: The New Frontier really is inspiring, not only in being really good but also in seeing how uncompromising and... right... Darwyn Cooke's view of these characters is. The ABSOLUTE adds in missing story material, collects the entire series in one spot (like it ought to have been in the first place...), and has tons of great annotations that really placed the story into context for me. Oh, and I'm thanked in the back. A damn-near perfect book, and a must-own for anyone who's ever loved superheroes, or still does (bless their hearts). Put it on your Christmas list today.

- Christopher

Image by Darwyn Cooke. Copyright DC Comics.

Posted Thursday, December 07, 2006 at 12/07/2006 10:28:00 PM
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Marvel's Little Penis Problem
So...hard...to...resist...puns...
http://www.marvel.com

So I'm not actually sure what I'm allowed to say about this and not violate some sort of confidentially clause or something, so let's just stick to the facts: Spider-Man: Reign #1 released today features a 'first appearance' of a new stripe. Yes, it's the Spider-Penis. Click the image at the right to "enlarge"...

Deeply, deeply influenced by Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, the first issue of Kaare Andrew's dark-dark-dark-future Spider-Man tale features a chunky washed-up old Peter Parker well past his prime. In a panel about half way through the book, Peter is awoken from a particularly lovely dream to the cold (apparently very cold) harsh reality of his life.

To say that the appearance of a little peter has caused some consternation would be an understatement.

The thing is, it's just a penis. In fact, it's not the first penis in a Marvel book either. Waaaay back in the day, Frank Miller (him again) wrote and drew a mature readers graphic novel featuring Daredevil (similarly rated, I should note, to the T+ that Spider-Man: Reign received). It was called Elektra Lives Again, and that featured the appearance of Daredevil's fairly un-naughty bits, in a series of non-prurient panels. I'm sure there are other examples of the same, but that's besides the point. It's a penis, and even Spider-Man has one. Even wrinkly-old-un-sexy-Spider-Man.

Marvel's little penis problem today wasn't with Spider-Man; it's just not that big a deal (literally... figuratively...). Marvel's problem was with this poor bastard in Newuniversal #1:

I believe this fellow is "Damage" or something. Notice anything... missing?

Sure, we live in a society where a woman's nipple sends shockwaves throughout the universe, but at the same time maybe the floating naked dude could have had that left leg raised a little bit more so as not to completely insult the intelligence of the readership. I guess in the new universe, all the heroes are eunuchs? That would be considerably more surprising than finding out that McCartney got shot instead of Lennon.

As far as I'm concerned, that's the penis problem Marvel faces this week: That this poor naked bastard doesn't have one, not that Spider-Man does. I'm sure that there are arguments to be made about 'maturing' super-heroes or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that it's a book about a dark future where Spider-Man's wife is dead and he kills a dude and it's always night-time. A penis doesn't make the site of Spider-Man killing a guy more mature... Well, if you think about it, I guess it could, depending on the scene, but trust me, in this instance...? Not so much.

Anyway, Marvel is both aware of and 'dealing' with the book, but again, I'm not sure I'm allowed to say what's going on until the story breaks over the next day or two. I will say that if you want a copy, you might want to pick it up sooner than later.

I actually debated posting about this at all, but I figure it'll be all over the internet tomorrow anyhow after customers get home from the store where many copies of this book have been marked "Adults Only". Here's to the voice of reason, right?

- Christopher
P.S.: Just in case, maybe go drop a few dollars on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund?

Image 1 by Kaare Andrews, Copyright Marvel Comics. Image 2 by Salvador Larocca, Copyright Marvel Comics. Image 3 by Kaare Andrews, Copyright Marvel Comics.

Posted Wednesday, December 06, 2006 at 12/06/2006 11:59:00 PM
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cover Design: Bone
The evolution of a cover design
http://www.boneville.com

Edit: At his blog, Jeff Smith posted the final version of the Scholastic Bone Volume 5. I've appended it in below, and compared the two versions.

I was just chatting with a friend about cover design for young adult and young-reader graphic novels. I think that, by-and-large, the Scholastic editions of Bone are amongst the best examples of such that I've ever seen. I had cited the evolution of the Bone trade paperback covers as being especially noteworthy, as creator Jeff Smith revised and revised the mass-market itteration of his characters to their present successful design over a period of many years and formats. I think there's a lot to be learned from watching Jeff Smith's designs progress through the years, so I figured why not write up a little something about it?

Originally, the first bone collection was just "Bone Adventures Volume 1", and the cover looked a little something like this:


(You can click on all of the images to enlarge them). It's not a bad cover really, with a big character right in the centre and lots of contrasting colours. It tells a story, of a journey or being lost, with nice details like a copy of MOBY DICK in his backpack. The problem is that Bone looks a little too lost, and is really static (despite a very iconic pose). Also, he's looking away from the reader, he doesn't seem to have any expression on his face (tongue aside), and the image could certainly tell more of the story. Bone is also really weighed-down with accessories here and they obscure the character design. (The less said about the typesetting and wierd computer-sky, the better...). Still, for a long time, this image was THE defining image for the series.

The first "Out From Boneville" edition goes for a starker, more graphic colour with the blue background and mysterious eyes. It hints at danger, establishes the personalities of the lead characters with some bright expressions, and has managed to become another iconic image (no small feat!). The problem is that in eschewing a concrete setting, it tells less of a story than the previous edition. None of the characters seem to be interested in the reader, and to me the design feels cluttered with the three characters all given equal weight and all of the eyes in the background. It also doesn't make a lot of sense in the context of the book, as nothing approaching this scene, either actually or emotionally, actually happens in the book. Definitely a step back in terms of design, though more confident.

Before the black and white editions went out of print recently, this was the third and final iteration of the first trade paperback cover. This one is much stronger on the whole, as it finally tells a coherent story by establishing only one protagonist, one antagonist, a clear setting, a clear time period, and a clear action. The composition feels stronger too, with the bright-white Bone silhouetted against the meancing shadow, and framed by the trees and rocks. In setting the scene so successfully, creator Jeff Smith has unfortunately minimized the impact of our lead! Poor Fone Bone is tiny on this cover, so small he can't even muster a facial expression! And from across a busy bookstore, the image makes no impression whatsoever (luckily there's a giant red logo...!). Stronger, but flawed.

Fabulous! The best one yet! You can really see where Smith refined the hell out of his previous design and made it sing. We get a big beautiful bone, front and centre, and the biggest he's ever appeared on a cover! The backpack and map colours are brought more in line with Bone's colouring to make them stand out less. We still get a sense of place (mountainous region) and a sense of time (moonlight) and even an idea of the story (bone with a map, travelling, being stalked by a meancing shadow). Our shadowy friend is greatly simplified, with his large eyes harkening back to the first OFB edition, but with a much clearer focus and really drawing the reader in. Bone is also engaging the map (not just carrying it), which harkens back to the very first design. The framing is still there thanks to our rocks, the text pops thanks to a drop-shadow, and our pal Bone is smiling too, so we know that even though it's a bit scary, there's fun to be had as well. The book is also more colourful than the previous edition, with fewer deep shadows. It's just a really, really strong design that tightens up all the good elements of the previous editions, and brings something new as well.

I'd love for Jeff Smith to give his own opinions on the various cover designs, my external criticism aside I think his thought process on the books would be really valuable. But with this cover and most of the subsequent Scholastic covers, he really hit the nail on the head. Actually, while I'm typing, why not look at the designs for the next Scholastic editions 2 through 5?:

For volume 2, I like how the characters are right in the foreground and just barely overlap. The colours on the background critters are a little dustier to help the leads 'pop'. Both of the Bone characters have clear, fun expressions and considering how goofy-looking Smiley is here I can see why so many kids count him as their favourite. It's another brightly coloured cover, and if this doesn't tell a story as a cover, nothing does!

This is one of my favourite covers in the series. 3 volumes into a series you can be a bit more daring, and having a huuuuge Fone Bone in the foreground (particularly as nervous as he is) really ratchets up the sense of urgency. Setting Grandma and Thorn in the background (though still relatively unobscured) adds depth and dynamicism, and the evil red eyes in the background both tie in to the story and are suitably menacing. Great storytelling here.

Phoney Bone is looking right at you. Be afraid. Here we see all three Bone cousins on the cover for the first time, and all three appear fairly clearly. Phoney is huge and engaging, Fone is running around concerned, and Smiley is consoling poor Lucius. You can even tell that Phoney's happiness is likely at the expense of Lucius too. It's interesting that Fone Bone gets more of a blue-shadow colouration here, while Phoney is in the same dusty brown shadows as the rest of the piece... Still, he pops enough as it is and those eyes are great. Think about all of the manga covers that feature the characters staring RIGHT AT YOU. That's an effective tool, and one that is used incredibly rarely in North American comics.

As this book is not yet released, I probably shouldn't judge it too harshly but it seems like an unfortunate departure. The blue shadow colouration on Fone Bone has disappeared, and while he and Smiley do 'pop' thanks to their size and colouring, they're also on top of each other, which is less clear than previous covers (Bone's backpack has gotten darker too, and the placement of the text on top of the characters is awkward). There're also a LOT of characters on this one, and while they're suitably muted it is a lot busier than some of the other covers. I've no idea if this is the final (or if it'll print differently than it appears on screen), but it's my least favourite of the Scholastic covers. It's still totally servicable though, with easily-identified characters and some nice storytelling.


EDIT: Over at http://www.boneville.com, Jeff Smith posted the final version of the Scholastic edition of Bone Volume 5. With the pre-release one from Scholastic's site and the final one side-by-side, you can see where the main changes occur. With the orange sky and light, the cover is much, much warmer. The rocks all take on a richer, earthier scheme and that blue shadow colouration I talked about has been added to the bones, making them pop right off of the background thanks to the contrast. Much more successful in that regard. The sunset-type colouration also enriches the 'story' of the cover, giving it a stronger sense of place. Rock Jaw the giant cat is less obtrusive and blends into the background a lot better, and all of the little critters (except for the purple/pink rat creature) seem better-integrated into the piece, and less distracting. The yellow lettering on the title at the bottom is much easier to read, though I still find that whole section a little busy. The whole piece just seems so much stronger, doesn't it? Anyway, I think the new cover is really a lot stronger, and I continue to be amazed at how much colouring can really change a piece.

...to end on a positive note, I wanted to talk about the (first) cover for the Bone: One Volume Edition. This one features a nearly-invisible lead character and the eye focussed on the background, completely the opposite of the Scholastic designs. It's still great though, and you know why? Target audience. There's likely no one picking up the 1300 page, $40 "One Volume" edition of Bone who isn't either a die-hard fan, or doesn't know all about the series. Granted, Cartoon Books sold a heck of a lot more of these babies than they were ever expecting to, but their audience is pre-defined: existing comic book store customers. They can use a nice-looking piece of art and just take a chance on the design, as the book's format and pedigree does the job of selling it (and the vigourous hand-selling of dedicated retailers like myself CERTAINLY doesn't hurt either...!).

That's the most important thing to consider in book design, I feel: Who do I want to read this? I think that with the scholastic editions on shelves now, the covers really serve the material and speak to the target audience. Congrats to Mr. Smith on achieving something excellent there, and to his various internet-minions for keeping his site so well-organized and up to date too! It made tracking all this down a breeze!

- Christopher

All images by and Copyright Jeff Smith. Scholastic logo Copyright Scholastic.

Posted Tuesday, December 05, 2006 at 12/05/2006 11:44:00 PM
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Update

I have advertising now, thanks to the fine folks at Project Wonderful. Feel free to spend your filthy money on me. I probably won't swear at you much?

- Christopher

at 12/05/2006 08:33:00 PM
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Have you booked your spot in San Diego yet?
You might want to get on that.
http://comic-con.org

Peter Birkemoe (L) and myself at SDCC. Photo by Alvin Buenaventura.Hey there, I meant to post this last week. I was talking with UDON EiC Erik Ko at the Makeshift Miracle launch party last week (it went amazingly well...!). Erik publishes a whole bunch of CAPCOM video-game related comics, and as such he talks to a lot of people in the video game industry. He was saying that, with the demise of the big U.S. Video Game Showcase E3, many companies in the video game industry were setting their sites on this summer's San Diego Comic Con ("Comic-Con International: San Diego").

Obvious to anyone who has attended San Diego in the past five years, the bigger-than-Hollywood video game entrenchment at Comicon has only grown stronger and larger. Last year's Nintendo DS pavillion in particular seemed a bit like the convention centre was built around it... But this year represents a sea-change for the video game industry, who are hungry for a place to HYPE! THEIR! WARES! and three brand-spanking-new video game systems to feed the frenzy.

All I'm saying is that unless you were one of the smarties who pre-booked at the end of last year's show, you might want to get your affairs in order A.S.A.P. (unless it's already too late!).

As for me, I'm gonna be sticking to Erik like glue at San Diego this year; those video game companies have the money to throw some pretty outstanding parties...!

- Christopher

Image: Peter Birkemoe (L) and myself at SDCC. Photo by Alvin Buenaventura.

at 12/05/2006 12:35:00 AM
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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Firing Tom Brevoort
Fuck all y'all assholes.

I honestly don't give two shits that Marvel's Civil War event has been delayed. Sure, I have to explain to my customers that the book they want isn't going to be out when they want it, but it's a Marvel book and why are they surprised? How's Daredevil: Target treating you? What I find... annoying... is this stupid fanboy rallying cry of "Fire Tom Brevoort!" As if the shitstorm of delays is either this Marvel Editor's fault or there's anything he can actually do about it. "The comic book I want is delayed three weeks! Somebody oughtta be fired for this!!!!" You know what? Fuck. You.

Seriously, Fuck You. Go get upset about something that's actually important, more important than trying to cost some poor schmuck his job 20 days before Christmas. How do you even pretend to know where to lay the blame for a late comic book? Where the fuck are your priorities?

On that holiday-tinged note, I'd like to present to you a little text passage that I was reminded of while reading page after page of fanboy outrage, a little something from David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries. To set the stage: David Sedaris has been hired to play an elf, at Macy's giant Santaland Christmas Display. It is nearing the end of the season, and holiday goodwill has given way to arrogant, self-important, 'entitled' shoppers deciding that their immediate concerns are more important than good will amongst men. Now, let's read on:

"We were packed today, absolutely packed, and everyone was cranky. Once the line gets long we break it up into four different lines because anyone in their right mind would leave if the knew it would take over two hours to see Santa. Two hours - you could see a movie in two hours. Standing in a two hour line makes people worry that they're not living in a democratic nation. People stand in line for two hours and they go over the edge. I was sent into the hallway to direct the second phase of the line. The hallway was packed with people, and all of them seemed to stop me with a question: which way to the down escalator, which way to the elevator, the Patio Restaurant, gift wrap, the women's rest room, Trim-A-Tree. There was a line for Santa and a line for the women's bathroom, and one woman, after asking me a dozen questions already asked, "Which is the line for the women's bathroom?" I shouted that I thought it was the line with all the women in it.

She said, "I'm going to have you fired."

I had two people say that to me today, "I'm going to have you fired." Go ahead, be my guest. I'm wearing a green velvet costume; it doesn't get any worse than this. Who do these people think they are?

"I'm going to have you fired!" And I wanted to lean over and say, "I'm going to have you killed."

- David Sedaris, The Santaland Diaries
Merry Christmas!

- Christopher

Related Links:
Santaland Diaries at NPR: http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/lists/sedaris/

Posted Sunday, December 03, 2006 at 12/03/2006 04:58:00 PM
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Shipping December 6th, 2006
List courtesy of The Beguiling
http://www.beguiling.com

...so I was going to post a bunch of stuff today but I had a little bit too much fun at the Makeshift Miracle / Ragmop launch party last night. It was incredibly successful, we sold a ton of books, and it looked like everyone had a great time all around. It also left me utterly destroyed this morning, and afternoon. Thus proving that this adorable grey-at-the-temples thing I'm doing lately is not just for show, and that I am actually getting too old for this. Le Sigh.

As a means of pennance, I present to you The Shipping List. Enjoy...

--


OCT060175 52 WEEK #31 2.50
OCT062137 AGENTS OF ATLAS #5 (OF 6) 2.99
SEP063667 AISHITERUZE BABY VOL 5 TP (C: 1-0-0) 8.99
OCT060179 ALL NEW ATOM #6 2.99
AUG063622 ALL STAR COMPANION VOL 2 TP (C: 0-1-2) 24.95
OCT060283 AMERICAN SPLENDOR #4 (OF 4) (MR) 2.99
OCT063505 ANGEL AULD LANG SYNE #2 3.99
OCT063632 AOI HOUSE VOL 2 GN (C: 0-1-2) 10.99
SEP063071 ARCHIE #571 2.25
AUG063001 ATHENA VOLTAIRE FLIGHT O/T FALCON APE ED #3 (C: 1- 2.99
OCT062139 AVENGERS EARTHS MIGHTIEST HEROES II #3 (OF 8) 3.99
SEP063668 BABY & ME VOL 3 GN (C: 1-0-0) 8.99
OCT060153 BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #1 2.99
SEP063669 BEAUTY POP VOL 2 TP (C: 1-0-0) 8.99
JUL060042 BERSERK VOL 14 TP (MR) (C: 1-1-2) 13.95
OCT062142 BEYOND #6 (OF 6) 2.99
SEP063635 BLEACH VOL 16 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.95
SEP063641 BUSO RENKIN VOL 3 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
SEP063636 CLAYMORE VOL 5 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
OCT063621 COLD HEAT #1 5.00
AUG060015 CONAN BOOK OF THOTH TPB (C: 0-1-2) 17.95

OCT061909 COWBOYS & ALIENS GN GOLD INCV 4.99
OCT061908 COWBOYS & ALIENS TP (C: 0-1-2) 4.99

Look, it's the "best-selling" graphic novel of the month! That no one will read because 3 stores ordered 75% of the copies! (I hope someone buys this, we ordered a couple).

SEP063671 CRIMSON HERO VOL 4 TP (C: 1-0-0) 8.99
OCT061868 CROSS BRONX #4 (OF 4) (MR) 2.99
AUG062939 DEAD EYES OPEN #6 (OF 6) 2.95
OCT060268 DESOLATION JONES #8 (MR) 2.99
OCT060156 DETECTIVE COMICS #826 2.99

OCT062146 DOCTOR STRANGE OATH #3 (OF 5) 2.99
This one's been pretty darned good, hasn't it?

OCT063085 EMO BOY #10 2.95
SEP063483 EMPERORS CASTLE VOL 2 GN (OF 8) (MR) 9.99
SEP063109 ESCAPE O/T LIVING DEAD AIRBORNE #3 (OF 3) (MR) 3.99
SEP063111 ESCAPE O/T LIVING DEAD AIRBORNE BODY COUNT CVR #3 3.99
SEP063110 ESCAPE O/T LIVING DEAD AIRBORNE WRAPAROUND CVR #3 3.99
OCT062228 ESSENTIAL DEFENDERS VOL 2 TP 16.99
SEP063336 ESTANCIA #2 (OF 17) (MR) (C: 1-0-0) 3.50
SEP063154 EVERWINDS SHROOMS ONE SHOT (MR) 3.99
OCT060291 EXTERMINATORS #12 (MR) 2.99
SEP063642 EYESHIELD 21 VOL 11 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
OCT060277 FRIDAY THE 13TH #1 (MR) 2.99
OCT060278 FRIDAY THE 13TH VAR ED #1 (MR) 2.99
AUG063510 FURRLOUGH #165 3.50
OCT063353 GI JOE AMERICAS ELITE #18 2.95
AUG063778 GOBLINS OF LABYRINTH 20TH ANNIVERSARY ED (C: 0-1-2 29.95
SEP063053 GOLD DIGGER #79 2.99
OCT063977 GORILLAZ RISE OF THE OGRE (C: 0-1-2) 35.00
JUL063368 HARDY BOYS GN VOL 7 OPPOSITE NUMBERS SC 7.95
SEP063338 HEAVY METAL JANUARY 2007 (MR) 5.99
SEP063177 HERO SQUARED ONGOING #4 3.99
OCT062156 INCREDIBLE HULK #101 2.99
AUG061769 INVINCIBLE #37 2.99
OCT062141 IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #3 2.99
JUL062987 JEREMIAH HARM #5 3.99
SEP063643 JOJOS BIZARRE ADVENTURE VOL 6 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99
OCT060193 JONAH HEX #14 2.99
OCT060236 JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #28 2.25

OCT060203 JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #1 3.99
OCT060204 JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA VAR ED #1 3.99
You know, I don't even mind the concept of this one, but the execution is so consistantly mediocre that I just don't get why people like it. It's literally every cliche about superhero comics in one book. I mean, aside from having a Wildcat fetish, what's the draw? "Aw dude, it's just like being a guest at someone else's awkward Thanksgiving dinner, except with pervert suits!"

OCT063631 KASHIMASHI MANGA VOL 1 GN (C: 0-1-2) 10.99
AUG060023 KING KONG TP (C: 0-1-2) 12.95
SEP063427 KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #121 4.99
SEP063484 LAND OF SILVER RAIN VOL 4 GN (OF 7) 9.99
JUL063340 LETHE GN (MR) 17.99

SEP063487 LETS BE PERVERTS VOL 1 GN (OF 4) (MR) 9.99
Fuck yeah. I feel that this can't possibly live up to the title though.

OCT060240 LOONEY TUNES #145 2.25
SEP063485 MADTOWN HOSPITAL VOL 4 GN (OF 4) 9.99

OCT060216 MANHUNTER #26 2.99
OCT060217 MANHUNTER VAR ED #26 2.99

It's the return of Manhunter! Good luck Mark, I hope it lasts this time.

SEP063486 MANHWA NOVELLA COLLECTION VOL 4 GN 11.99
OCT062162 MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #22 2.99
OCT062222 MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS WOLVERINE VOL 4 TP 12.99
OCT062160 MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL 3.99
OCT061845 MELTDOWN #1 (OF 2) 5.99
MAY062852 METADOCS CODE BLACK ONE SHOT 3.50
OCT060261 MIDNIGHTER #2 2.99
OCT060262 MIDNIGHTER VAR EDITION #2 2.99
JUL063015 MILTON CANIFFS STEVE CANYON 1952 TP 17.95
AUG063626 MODERN MASTERS VOL 9 MIKE WIERINGO SC (C: 0-1-2) 14.95
OCT060214 MYSTERY IN SPACE #4 (OF 8) 3.99

SEP063637 NARUTO VOL 12 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.95
Look, it's the REAL bestselling graphic novel of the month!

OCT062183 NEW EXCALIBUR #14 2.99
OCT062220 NEW X-MEN CHILDHOODS END VOL 3 TP 10.99

OCT062166 NEWUNIVERSAL #1 2.99
Looking forward to this, but feel bad about that.

OCT060219 NEXT #6 (OF 6) 2.99
OCT061878 NIGHT CLUB #4 (OF 4) 2.99
AUG063039 NIGHT O/T LIVING DEAD BEGINNING #1 3.99
AUG063042 NIGHT O/T LIVING DEAD BEGINNING PAINTED CVR #1 3.99
AUG063040 NIGHT O/T LIVING DEAD BEGINNING ROTTING CVR #1 3.99
AUG063041 NIGHT O/T LIVING DEAD BEGINNING TERROR CVR #1 3.99
OCT061879 NIGHTLY NEWS #2 (OF 6) 2.99
OCT060279 NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET #3 (MR) 2.99
OCT060159 NIGHTWING #127 2.99
SEP060299 NINJA SCROLL #3 2.99
SEP060300 NINJA SCROLL VAR EDITION #3 2.99
SEP061788 OFFICIAL HANDBOOK O/T INVINCIBLE UNIVERSE #1 (OF 2 4.99
AUG060057 OLD BOY VOL 3 TP (NOTE PRICE) (C: 1-1-2) 12.95
OCT060297 OTHER SIDE #3 (OF 5) (MR) 2.99
OCT060223 OUTSIDERS #43 2.99
SEP060272 PIECES OF A SPIRAL VOL 6 (C: 1-0-0) 9.99
SEP063482 PINE KISS VOL 4 GN (OF 8) 9.99
OCT062199 RED PROPHET TALES OF ALVIN MAKER #4 (OF 12) 2.99
JAN062965 RED SONJA VOL 1 HC SGN (C: 0-1-1) 24.99
AUG063012 ROBOTIKA HC (MR) (C: 0-0-1) 19.95
OCT062211 RUNAWAYS VOL 2 HC 24.99
SEP060247 SACHS AND VIOLENS TP (MR) 14.99
SEP060253 SHOWCASE PRESENTS SHAZAM VOL 1 TP 16.99
AUG063788 SPECTRUM 13 HC (C: 0-1-2) 39.95
AUG063787 SPECTRUM 13 TP (C: 0-1-2) 29.95
AUG063789 SPECTRUM 2 TP NEW PTG (C: 0-1-2) 27.00
OCT062134 SPIDER-MAN AND POWER PACK #2 (OF 4) 2.99
OCT062135 SPIDER-MAN REIGN #1 (OF 4) 3.99
SEP062133 STAN LEE MEETS SILVER SURFER 3.99
OCT062227 STAR BRAND CLASSIC VOL 1 TP 19.99
JUN060050 STAR WARS REBELLION #5 (C: 1-0-0) 2.99
SEP062974 STRANGERS IN PARADISE #86 2.99
SEP060205 SUPERGIRL #12 2.99
OCT060168 SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL #2 2.99
JUL063548 TAIL OF THE MOON VOL 1 TP 8.99
SEP063457 TALES OF TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #29 3.25
OCT063078 TIKI ART NOW VOL 3 TP 14.95
OCT063538 TONY LOCO #1 3.50
AUG063498 TOTALLY SPIES VOL 3 EVIL JERRY GN 7.95
OCT063023 TOYFARE HASBRO MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 2 CVR #114 (C 4.99
OCT060252 TRANQUILITY #1 2.99
OCT060253 TRANQUILITY VAR ED A #1 2.99
OCT060254 TRANQUILITY VAR ED B #1 2.99
OCT063487 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS #10 2.49
OCT063585 TREASURY VICTORIAN MURDER VOL 8 MADELEINE SMITH HC 15.95
OCT063584 TREASURY VICTORIAN MURDER VOL 8 MADELEINE SMITH SC 8.95
SEP063196 TROUBLE WITH GIRLS TP 17.95
OCT062128 ULTIMATE VISION #1 (OF 5) 2.99
OCT062185 UNCANNY X-MEN #481 2.99
AUG061781 WALKING DEAD #33 (MR) 2.99
OCT062225 WHAT IF CLASSIC VOL 3 TP 24.99
OCT062177 WHITE TIGER #2 (OF 6) 2.99
SEP060260 WILL EISNERS SPIRIT ARCHIVES VOL 20 HC 49.99
SEP063197 WINSOR MCCAY EDITORIAL WORKS VOL 1 HC 19.95
JUL061740 WITCHBLADE #102 2.99
MAY061795 WITCHBLADE COMPENDIUM ED TP 59.99
OCT068023 WIZARD MAGAZINE 2007 MOVIE SPECTACULAR (183B) 0.00
SEP060298 WRAITHBORNE TP 19.99
SEP063638 YU GI OH DUELIST VOL 18 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.95
SEP063639 YU YU HAKUSHO VOL 11 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.95
SEP063640 ZOMBIE POWDER VOL 2 TP (C: 1-0-0) 7.99

Posted Friday, December 01, 2006 at 12/01/2006 08:01:00 PM
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