Pointing to hard- and softcover graphic novel collections released in time for holiday shopping, Rich Johnson, director of trade book sales at DC Comics and its Vertigo Wildstorm and America's Best Comics imprints, is looking for the publisher to have one of its best holiday seasons ever in the general bookstore market. "We're getting more and more of our books into trade stores," Johnson said.
Johnson cites a strong list that includes new works by the critically acclaimed comics writer Alan Moore; a new hardcover from underground comics legend illustrator Richard Corben; and, of course, superhero comics of all kinds, the mainstay of D.C. Comics' graphic novel list.
Moore, one of the most highly regarded comics writers working today, also heads up America's Best Comics, his own imprint at D.C., and he has released Tom Strong, a hardcover collection about an unusual explorer and scientist superhero with roots in the Victorian Era, a favorite historical reference of Moore's. DC is also distributing ABC's new hardcover title Top 10, a quirky and comic superhero series created by Moore, about a futuristic city where the people, and the police needed to control them, all have some kind of extravagant super powers. Coming in December is the much-anticipated hardcover release of Moore's commercially and critically successful The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, an entertaining Victorian adventure fantasy and homage to Jules Verne, beautifully illustrated by Kevin O'Neill. Moore has also written an introduction to Richard Corben and Simon Revelstroke's comics adaptation of William Hope Hodgson's 1908 horror classic, The House on the Borderland, from Vertigo.
Besides a DC Universe Christmas, an anthology of Christmas stories that date back to the 1940s, featuring DC superheroes, the company is also publishing the third in a series of vividly illustrated, tabloid-sized paperbacks by the hot-selling writing-and-illustrating team of Paul Dini and Alex Ross, books aimed to appeal to holiday sensibilities. Last year, DC published Dini and Ross's Superman Christmas story Peace on Earth. This year, they're tugging at holiday heartstrings with Shazam: The Power of Hope, a story that sends classic superhero Captain Marvel out to grant the wishes of a group of hospitalized kids.
And, finally, DC is also releasing a hardcover collection of 1970s-era stories about the superhero team of Green Lantern and Green Arrow. These groundbreaking stories are credited with broadening the subject matter of mainstream superhero comics by exploring such topics as the environment, drug abuse and racial discrimination. The collection comes in a 30th-anniversary, boxed hardcover edition for $75.