I’ve just spent some time reading some pretty doom and gloom essays and I must say, I really am concerned about where we are heading and how our Canadian retailers are going to do going into the new year.
Aside from the inevitable Boxing Day/Week sales on the 26th of December and beyond, January and February are traditionally SLOW months for comics retailers and a lot of my contacts are concerned about just how these months are going to be for them, and in some extreme situations how they are going to survive it.
Of course, we will be releasing the nominees list for the 2011 JOE SHUSTER AWARDS around February 1st – so I’m hoping that we will be helping our retailers out by sending many of you to their stores to dig through their back issue bins and book racks to look for all of the excellent comics and books that get nominated for Joe Shuster Awards!
Anyway, it’s a continuing joke between my retailer and I just how yo-yo-like my month-to-month order forms are getting, and I know that I am not alone in questioning just how I will be spending my hard-earned dollars each month on newly published books. January is a pretty big month for me, but February is fairly light.
However, when I look over my lists of what is pending and should be out in January and February of next year, I do see a few highlights by Canadian creators that I will recommend here – hopefully they will help warm up your Wednesdays as they will mine over the next couple of cold winter months:
Prince Valiant Vol.3 1941-1942 HC (Fantagraphics, January unspecified)
It’s no secret that I’ve been loving these gorgeous collections reprinting in order the Prince Valiant strips by Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Famer HAL FOSTER.
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne HC (DC Comics, Feb. 2nd)
Features artwork by YANICK PAQUETTE and MICHEL LACOMBE. I wasn’t blown away by the mini-series as it came out month-to-month, but I am curious to see how it reads as a single volume.
Namor Visionaries: John Byrne Vol.1 (Marvel Comics, Feb. 9th)
Although Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Famer JOHN BYRNE was a US citizen by the time these were coming out, I thought his run on Namor the Sub-Mariner was one of the best of his career. You can see him experimenting in some issues with duo-tone effects and the artwork really pops, so I hope that Marvel does a proper job reproducing these issues. Byrne had a great take on the character, coming up with an interesting way to resolve his radical mood shifts in previous appearances, and I’m really glad to see Marvel is releasing this first collection and hope to see more. Incidentally, where is Alpha Flight Visionaries: John Byrne Vol.2?
Seven Soldiers of Victory Book Two HC (DC Comics, Feb.23rd)
Written by Grant Morrison and featuring, among other, the Bulleteer by YANICK PAQUETTE. This volume also features the Doug Mahnke illustrated Frankenstein 1-4 which was my favourite of the Seven Soldiers story arcs, and has a great end sequence by J.H. Williams III.
There are still a few items from 2010 that I am still waiting for —- such as the Bigfoot HC by PASCAL GIRARD (Drawn & Quarterly, is this out? my retailer has not received my order yet) and The Devil’s In the Details: The Art of TODD MCFARLANE (Image Comics, delayed – no scheduled shipping date at present) and I still need to get a copy of the very well recommended Mystery Society Vol.1 TPB (IDW, December 15) which features artwork by FIONA STAPLES.