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Thin wallets, fat bookshelves: Random House’s outlook for 2009

by  in Comic News Comment
Thin wallets, fat bookshelves: Random House’s outlook for 2009

Continuing our ongoing look at what various publishers have planned for the coming year, here’s a look at Random House’s line-up.

I should note this includes this list includes the Ballantine, Villard and Del Rey imprints. I am not including Del Rey Manga here, as I hope to list their offerings as a separate post in the near future.


Cartoon Marriage

Cartoon Marriage by Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin. New Yorker cartoonists (and old married couple) Donnelly and Maslin chronicle the ups and downs of their relationship in this humourous collection of cartoons and prose. $24 hardcover.

The Case of the Dragonslayer by Kouhei Kadono. Not comics or manga, but a fantasy novel about, well, you figure it out. There’s obviously some crossover for the anime set though, especially since the illustrations are by Kazuma Kaneko, whose work can be seen in the Megami and Persona games. $12.95 paperback

Garfield Gets His Just Desserts by Jim Davis. Because in this age of economic uncertainty, what could be more reassuring than a new Garfield book. This is the 47th book in the series, a fact which I find vaguely depressing. $13 paperback.


Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, adaptation by Chuck Dixon and Brett Booth. This collects the first four issues of the Dabel Brothers-shepherded series, an adaptation of a story which in itself is a retake on a classic tale. That description sounds a bit like a Frankenstein monster in its own way, doesn’t it? Koontz provides both an introduction and an additional story. $19.95 hardcover.

In the Flesh

In the Flesh by Koren Shadmi. A collection of short stories from a new Israeli artist, most of them dealing with love, sex and obsession. I’ve been thumbing through a preliminary copy and I have to say though I have yet to really sit down with the book I like what I see so far. I predict this could well be the sleeper hit of the year. Remember, you heard it here first. $14.95 paperback.


X-Men 1: Misfits. Story by Raina Telgmeier and Dave Roman. Art by Anzu. And here’s Random House’s big sure-fire hit of 2009. Or at least the most interesting thing it’s got in it’s line-up: an OEL shojo manga version of everyone’s favorite group of mutants. I’m curious to see Telgemeier and Roman’s take on the material, though I have to confess that Anzu’s art hasn’t done much for me up till now. $12.95 paperback.

Wolverine: Prodigal Son

Wolverine 1: Prodigal Son. Story by Antony Johnston. Art by Wilson Tortosa. And why should Cyclops and Jean Grey get all the mangafied fun? Let’s start taking beets now as to whether these books will attract the Naruto crowd. I think it might. Any takers? $12.95 paperback.


Life with Mr. Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeier. A young woman, out of love and depressed with her lot, wonders if the main character from her favorite TV show, is trying to give her advice. Originally serialized in Mome, where it was frequently criticized for being too slow-going. One hopes it will read better in collected format. The catalog originally said it would come out in January, but most online retailers are saying April, so that’s where I’m listing it. $16.95 hardcover.

Faust 2

Faust 2. The first volume of this ongoing fiction/manga/j-pop anthology is sitting on my table and I really should get around to reading it before the next volume comes out. This one features work by Takeshi Obata (Death Note), Ueda Hajime (FLCL), Yun Kouga (Loveless), Kouhei Kadono and Fred Gallagher. $10.95 paperback.

Soryuden The Novel: Book One by Yoshiki Tanaka. I’m including this prose novel about teen-age brothers with secret powers because it has illustrations by CLAMP. $10.99 paperback.

Huntington, West Virginia “On the Fly” by Harvey Pekar and Summer McClinton. Five autobiographical stories from Pekar about some of the more interesting people he’s bumped into along life’s travels. $18 paperback.


The Dresden Files: Storm Front

Jim Butcher The Dresden Files: Storm Front. Adaptation by Mark Powers. Illustrated by Ardian Syaf. More comic book adventures about the supernatural investigator. Did the first one do well? Well, it’s coming out in paperback in August. $22.95 hardcover.

Syncopated, edited by Brendan Burford. An anthology of nonfiction comics by various artists. No list of contributors, but I’ve liked Burford’s work in the past, so this will probably be worth checking out. $16 paperback.


The Essential Wonder Woman Encyclopedia by Phil Jimenez. Because somebody somewhere demanded it! Jimenez tells you everything you ever wanted to know about that other Princess Diana and her entourage. More than 400 pages of material! Mark this one down now for your future Christmas list. $29.95 paperback.

Goats: Infinite Typewriters

Goats: Infinite Typewriters by Jonathan Rosenberg. Del Rey jumps on the Webcomics bandwagon with this collection of Rosenberg’s popular strip, as yet unread by me, so I can offer no value judgment. Sorry. $14 paperback.

Peter Jackson Presents District 9 by D.A. Stern. The graphic novel tie-in to the upcoming film, about which little has been revealed. $24 paperback.

CLAMP in America by CLAMP and Shaenon Garrity. In honor of the group’s 20th anniversary comes this oversized tribute, which delves into their history and work, as well as their influence here and in their native land of Japan. $19.99 paperback.

The Passion of the Hausfrau by Nicole Chaison. This looks to be one of those sly attempts at chroncicling the chaotic odyssey known as motherhood. Could be good. Could be really, really awful too. $19.95 hardcover.


The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik. The uber-popular (know of any other comics that inspired their own expo?) moves from Dark Horse to Del Rey. An “11 1/2 year anniversary” book, Magic collects Holkins’ and Krahulik’s favorite strips, as well as anecdotes and commentary. So it’s like the Dark Horse books only more so. $20 hardcover.

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs and Francis Tsai. Another Dabel Brothers/Del Rey collaboration and once again based off of a popular series of novels. This one is about a shapeshifter who finds herself facing off against … wait for it … werewolves and vampires. $22.95 hardcover.

The Essential Guide to G.I. Joe by Pablo Hidalgo. OK, this is obviously not comics. Still, you know you want it. $25 paperback.

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