Sunday, May 01, 2011

Incoming Books: last week of April 2011

Sometime this last week, I got a couple of boxes from a certain online retailer named -- more and more appropriately every day -- after a gigantic river in South America, after I realized last weekend that running around to find a physical store that carried all/most of them was a waste of my time, money and energy. (I'm happy to give my comics/manga/graphic novel business primarily to a comics shop, and even to pay somewhat more for instant gratification, but after hitting one extremely Big Two store and finding a second comics shop had been gone for nearly six months, I was on the verge of buying about half of these from a B&N more than a dozen miles from my house -- without any discounts -- to "buy local." If I was still in Manhattan regularly, there are two excellent stores I'd buy from all the time, but I'm not, so I won't.)

I still like spreading my purchases around various retailers -- I work in the book business, so I instinctively think about being "fair to all accounts" -- but good discounts and fast delivery are definitely difficult to beat.

Anyway, here's what I got:

Adrian Tomine's new wedding favor/book, Scenes from an Impending Marriage, which I hope will be somewhat more positive and life-affirming than his usual work.

Kevin Huizenga's The Wild Kingdom, a sort-of new -- it collects work that has been more-or-less collected twice before in smaller, more comic-book-like packages -- collection of his "Glenn Ganges" stories.

The Downsized, the first graphic novel I've seen in a while from Matt Howarth -- though, apparently, he's been busy online, with a huge list of downloadable graphic novels and other things that he did while I wasn't paying attention. This one looks almost like a Will Eisner kind of story -- an extended family gets back together in trying circumstances -- which is a different choice for the usually gonzo Howarth.

The Complete Peanuts, 1979 to 1980 by Charles M. Schulz -- the strip is solidly into the "feel-good" years by this point, though Schulz was still inventive, particularly in his longer sequences. And there were flashes of the old bleakness in the previous book, so I'm going to keep going with this as long as it stays entertaining, probably through the shaky years right up to the end.

The Muppet Show Comic Book: Muppet Mash, which is the last published collection of Roger Langridge's great work on that series -- though there's reportedly another story arc by Langridge that's in semi-limbo as Disney pulled the license back from Boom!

Daytripper, a new original graphic novel by those fabulous Brazilian twins, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. (They are real, though they sound like characters out of a minor Grant Morrison story.)

And the Dan Clowes book Mister Wonderful, reprinting his strip from The New York Times Sunday Magazine's short-lived "Funny Pages" section. As I recall, it's the depressive side to Wilson's manic; another Clowes middle-aged schlub facing an uncaring world with very little to help or protect him.

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