Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, my Wednesday haul would start with Glory #30 (Image, $3.99). This series has been great, and since Kris Anka began doing covers, it’s gone to very great. Now, seeing New Yorker cartoonist Roman Muradov coming in to do a story makes it potentially even more, well, great. I’m psyched to see Glory face off against her sister, and Campbell’s depiction of both has been mesmerizing. Next I’d pick up Comeback #1 (Image, $3.50), featuring letterer Ed Brisson making his major writing debut. The cover design by Michael Walsh is impeccable, and the concept of time traveling for grieving loved ones is a fascinating concept. Next up, I’d get a Marvel double – Wolverine and the X-Men #21 (Marvel, $3.99) and Hawkeye #4 (Marvel, $2.99). This carnie issue of Wolverine and the X-Men is intriguing; it’s going out on a limb, but after what Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw have done so far, I trust them. With Hawkeye, I’m slightly hesitant to pick up an issue knowing David Aja isn’t drawing it, but Javier Pulido has the potential to be an ideal temporary substitute.
If I had $30, I’d look back on my $15 and reluctantly put Hawkeye #4 back on the shelf to free up money for Derek Kirk Kim’s Tune, Book 1: Vanishing Point (First Second, $16.99). Man oh man, do I love Kim’s work, and seeing the previews for this online makes me see a honing of the artist’s style akin to the way Bryan O’Malley did between Lost At Sea and Scott Pilgrim. Count me in.
If I could splurge, I’d take a chance on the anthology Digestate (Birdcage Bottom Books, $19.95). I’m no foodie like C.B. Cebulski, but I like food and I like anthologies so this is right up my alley; especially when the chefs include Jeffrey Brown and Liz Prince. Where’s my order?
If I had $15 this week, the first thing I’d pick up would be something that’s just going to be an oddity in years to come: The “Mitt Romney” variant of Spawn #225 (Image, $2.99). The issue has two editions: one for each potential outcome of the election at the beginning of the month, with the idea that the story could theoretically be changed by whoever actually won the election. Considering we’re going to get the Obama continuity in the series as well as in reality, color me oddly curious about what the road less traveled looks like. Out of slightly less morbid curiosity (but curiosity nonetheless), I’d also grab Judge Dredd #1 (IDW, $3.99), which is coming out at arguably the wrong time, with 2000AD’s Dredd strip currently as good as it’s ever been, and Indestructible Hulk #1 (Marvel, $3.99), because I really want to see what Mark Waid can do with Bruce Banner when given the chance.
If I had $30, I’d probably grab the first collection of Fairest (DC/Vertigo, $14.99); I wasn’t too convinced by the first issue of the series, but Fables always worked better for me in collections anyway.
Were I to splurge, I’d likely head straight toward the Nexus Omnibus, Vol. 1 (Dark Horse, $24.99). I’ve liked what little I’ve read of this classic space opera/superhero series, but I’ve not read enough. Here’s hoping this collection spurs me on to fix that (I’ve actually already read Derek Kirk Kim’s Tune: Vanishing Point collection — thanks, Gina! — otherwise I would’ve picked that, because it’s very, very good indeed).
If I had $15, I’d have plenty of floppies to spend it on, starting with two from Valiant, X-O Manowar #7 ($3.99) and Harbinger #6 ($3.99). Then I’ll join Graeme in picking up Judge Dredd #1 ($3.99) from IDW, and wind up my short stack with some fun: The one-shot Princeless: Short Stories for Warrior Women ($3.99), because writer Jeremy Whitley has a real knack for doing that thing where a comic is fun for kids and for adults as well, and that’s not that easy to pull off. And yes, I am a dollar over, but I don’t mind cashing in the soda bottles to afford this one.
If I had $30, the very next thing to go on my pile would be Vol. 6 of Saturn Apartments ($12.99), a sci-fi manga from Viz Media. I absolutely adore this series, which is about the window-washer in a ring-shaped apartment building that orbits the earth; the whole world of the story is so well realized, and the characters are so interesting, that I really think it is one of the best manga in print today. What’s more, you could pick up this volume and get up to speed fairly quickly, as it’s a series of stories loosely assembled around a backbone of a plot. The art is unusual, too.
And my splurge item is another quirky manga: Thermae Romae ($34.99) from Yen Press. I already talked about it in this week’s What Are You Reading, but basically, it’s the story of a designer of baths in ancient Rome who keeps getting sucked into public and private baths in modern-day Japan. It’s a beautiful book and a joy to read, and it really is a splurge item. I’m also eyeing that Nexus anthology with envy, and I’m looking forward to Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story ($19.99), the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire novel.
If I had $15, I’d keep my purchases solely to Castle Waiting #18, the final issue in Volume 2 of Linda Medley’s slow-moving, but charming fantasy series. I don’t know if Medley is planning on a Vol. 3 or not — I hope so — her cast has grown on me and I want to continue to learn more about them.
If I had $30, being a complete George Herriman junkie, I can’t imagine a book I’d want more this week than Volume 1 of Baron Bean, courtesy of IDW’s Library of America Comics imprint. Baron was one of the many strips Herriman did before and during his tenure on Krazy Kat, concerning a somewhat refined bum and his hapless sidekick. It’s heavier on the slapstick than Krazy, but certainly has a bit of charm to spare nonetheless.
Splurge: Harvey Kurtzman fans will certainly take note of MAD Archives, Vol. 4, which collects MAD #19-24, the last issues before Gaines and Kurtzman turned it into a magazine, thus sparing it from the wrath of the comics code. Kurtzman and company are in fine form here, as this volume contains such classics as “Mickey Rodent” and “Sound Effects.” Totally worth the price, especially if you haven’t read this material before.
If I had $15, I’d be perfectly happy with the four comics I could afford. Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #4 ($3.99) continues Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s thrilling crossover between two of my favorite pulp characters, while Frankenstein Alive! Alive! #2 ($3.99) carries on a Frankenstein story by two of the Creature’s biggest (and most talented) fans: Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson. Then it’s DeFraction week again with Captain Marvel #7 ($2.99) and Hawkeye #4 ($2.99).
With $30, I’d sweeten that pile with some awesome comics about female superheroes: Supergirl #14 ($2.99), Glory #30 ($3.99), Wonder Woman #14 ($2.99), and It Girl and the Atomics #4 ($2.99).
My splurge for the week would be about more great heroines: the women of Fairest, Volume 1: Wide Awake ($14.99). I’ve recently been catching up on the Fables trades and can’t wait to get to this new series.