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Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Diamond Comics Distributors has once again rejected from their catalogue work many people find of value. In this case, it was the print version of formerly on-line comics magazine Comics Foundry, edited by one of the sexiest men in comics, Tim Leong. Now, I don't find everything that appears in Comics Foundry to be of value, but it's certainly a hell of a lot better than other "generalist" comics magazines like Wizard or The Comics Buyers Guide. Diamond, however, didn't find it worthy of a listing because, apparently, it's in black and white. Which comics magazines of far narrower scope carried by Diamond are.
Now, as for me, I'd much rather see something like Comics Foundry on the shelf at my local comics shop than another TwoMorrows nostalgia fetishist magazine, with yet another interview with a Harvey comics colorist (after your fourth "and then the low pay drove me to alcoholism and my wife left me. I don't even remember what my kids look like" interview with someone who used to work in the comics industry, they all blend together), or another price guide of dubious accuracy. And if you feel the same way you could maybe write to Tim Huckelbery at Diamond and politely tell him so.
Tiny internet elves pointed out this handy function at the website for Canadian bookseller Chapters, where you can see scheduled ship dates for various DC trades. Many of which haven't been officially announced yet.
Amongst the highlights are: Showcase Presents: The Great Disaster featuring the Atomic Knights: more Silver Age wackiness, with a tie-in to Countdown. (November) JSA All Stars Archive: At $75 dollars, I'm at a loss as to what this might be. (November) Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex: Presumably a second volume, without any annoying unrelated characters butting in. (January) Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons: Bob Haney baby! (December) Showcase Presents: Metal Men: Eh. (October) Legion of Super-Heroes: An Eye for an Eye: Apparently a Levitz era trade, when the jerkiness of the Legion was at its height. Good stuff. (December) Tales of the Multiverse: Batman-Vampire: Probably "Elseworlds" material under a new trade dress and title. (December) Showcase Presents: The Secret Society of Super-Villains: Oh, yes. Yes indeed. Showcase Presents: The Suicide Squad: John Ostrander is credited as the writer, so it's probably the post-Legends version. Which...wow, that's very recent material by the standards DC has previously set for Showcase trades. (November) JLA: Ultramarine Corps: Grant Morrison is credited as writer, but I have no clue what this could be, as I was under the impression that all previous Ultramarines stories had already been collected in JLA trades. (November) Kimmie66: No clue. Possibly an OGN. (November) Water Baby: Again, no clue. Possibly an OGN. (October) Edit: It just occured to me, these are almost certainly Minx titles. The Question: Denny O'Neil era, which will please many I'm sure. (October) 52: The Companion: Notes? "Behind the scenes" material? Sketches? (October) Showcase Presents: Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew: Oh, yes. This is fantastic news. Especially if it includes the Oz-Wonderland War mini-series. (October) Showcase Presents: Batman and the Outsiders: A book I keep meaning to buy in back-issue form, so news that pleases me. (September) Sword of the Atom: The swords-and-sorcery revamp from the 80s. Probably a Countdown tie-in. (September) Dr. 13: Architecture and Morality: Brian Azzarello's brilliant meta-text from Tales of the Unexpected in stand-alone format. You really should get this. (September)
Bear in mind, this list could be wildly inaccurate. Heck, it updated while I was typing this. And just because it's on the list, that doesn't mean it's coming out. Will Pfeiffer's Hero is on the list. With a pub date of Januray, 2050. I doubt even DC sets their publishing plans decades in advance. Edit: Since the link seems to not work all the time, do a search for "DC", then order by publisher, then order by release date.
All this recent talk of gendered genres prompted me to remember a detail from my comics retail days. If you take the most sexist looking, T&A-riffic books on the racks, you're probably talking stuff like Lady Death, Purgatori, Tarot and Witchblade. At least in our neck of the woods, it seemed like the readership for those books was somewhere around 90% female. Now, you could argue, I suppose, that those books are about female empowerment. I'd look at you funny, but you could make the argument. But I think the appeal for our female customers was simpler: they wanted to read about women in heroic (or anti-heroic at least) action roles, who looked good in those action roles. Now, if something of as dubious quality as Chaos! Comics can attract a female readership, there's no reason to think that Marvel and DC can't.