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, the third issue of Batman Inc. would be a must for me this week [after Chris turned in his picks, DC announced that the issue will be delayed until next month], especially since it features the return of Matches Malone, a character I wasn't even aware I missed until now. I might also spring for the first issue of Axe Cop: President of the World, a new limited series featuring the hatchet-swinging lawman.
I read very little manga by Moyoco Anno, but what I have read has impressed me and what I've read about her has made me want to seek more of her work out. So with $30, I'd almost certainly nab Sakuran, Vol. 1, about a high-priced courtesan/geisha looking to escape her gilded cage.
If I really, really wanted to splurge, I'd plunk $125 down for the second printing of the Wally Wood EC Stories Artist Edition from IDW, of which I've only heard wonderful things. If my splurging had to be a little budget-friendly, and I was in a more academic mood, I'd at least flip through Cerebus: The Barbarian Messiah, a collection of critical essays on Dave Sim's controversial opus.
I'm very much in the mood for something resembling comfort food this week, but that doesn't stop me going for two new launches with my initial $15: DC's National Comics: Eternity #1 ($3.99), the publisher's new pilot format of 40 page one-offs showcasing reboots of old characters, and Marvel's X-Treme X-Men #1 ($2.99), because it's Greg Pak doing Dazzler, and I am remaining very hopeful that Dazzler + Sliders = Awesome when all is said and done.
The comfort food comes in when I hit the $30 level, as I grab Angel and Faith #12 (Dark Horse, $2.99) and Gatecrasher Vol. 1: Ring of Fire (Image, $12.99); both books I know I can rely on for thrills, spills and all-out enjoyment. I've gone on many times before about my love of Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaac's Buffy spin-off, but Gatecrasher is something else altogether; I've never read it, but considering that Mark Waid, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are involved, I feel pretty much guaranteed that I'm going to end up enjoying it quite a bit.
If I splurge, then I shall splurge in the direction of Rick Remender, whose Secret Avengers by Rick Remender Vol. 1 HC (Marvel, $24.99) is out this week. Isn't this the Captain Britain volume? If so, then that's even more reason for me to pick it up; I like some Brian Braddock when he's done well, I do…
If I had $15, I'd start out with the third volume of Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer ($10.95). I was impressed with the first two volumes and the way the creators took a one-joke premise and spun it into a real story, not just about Pinocchio and the familiar cast of characters but also about the story of the story itself. With my remaining money I'll indulge in Archie #635 ($2.99), the Occupy Riverdale issue; while Jill Thompson's variant cover for this comic was stunning, I'm also a fan of Gisele Lagace's streamlined look, so her cover will do just fine.
If I had $30, I'd add in Rick Geary's Lovers Lane: The Hall-Mills Mystery ($15.99), the 5th volume in his Treasury of XXth Century Murder. Geary brings a reporter's detachment and a historian's curiosity to these books, and as a mystery fan, I'm really looking forward to this one.
For my splurge, I don't see any high-end archives volumes this week, but I sure could go for some manga. I'll start with vol. 8 of Arisa ($10.99), a twin-switching manga by Kitchen Princess creator Natsume Ando. Ando is a real pro, drawing you gently through the story and throwing in enough twists to keep it interesting, so this series is a great summer read. Then vol. 10 of Black Butler ($11.99); I think this manga has its flaws, but I still want to see how things turn out. And of course vol. 21 of 20th Century Boys ($12.99), because every volume of this series is a "must buy" for me. And I'd be right there with Chris buying Sakuran except I already have it, so my wallet gets a bit of a break this week.
If I (only) had $15, it'd be a bloody week with alot of cuts, for the first and foremost book I'd get is Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys Vol. 21 (Viz, $12.99). Anyone who tells me the best new series coming out isn’t this series is woefully uninformed or has a blind spot for great comics, because Urasawa is delivering like few others can here. After that, I’d get Prophet #27 (Image, $2.99) – I’m really invested in the world Brandon Graham is creating here, and the list of artists coming onboard for this is like some sort of featured-players showcase I’m very fond of.
If I had $30, I’d come away first with a Marvel two-fer – Uncanny X-Force #28 (Marvel, $3.99) and Wolverine and The X-Men #14 (Marvel, $3.99). UXF has the unique pleasure of being what could be the major launching point of one of the best artists no one’s heard of – Julian Totino Tedesco. Trust me folks, he’s got it. Next up would be two creator-owned series, Manhattan Projects #5 (Image, $3.50) and Spaceman #8 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99). Manhattan Projects artist Nick Pitarra has been hyping up this issue as something special, and I’ll take him at his word – although I would’ve bought this issue without knowing that. On the Spaceman tip, I’m back on board for the finale after losing myself midway through the eight issue run. I’m going to buy any issues I’m missing and do a massive read-through of the entire series once I get this final issue and really come to terms with what Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso are telling here.
If I could splurge, I’d make up for lost time and get the second printing of Wally Wood: EC Stories, Artist’s Edition (IDW, $125). I was late to the game on this, but after seeing the glowing reviews from reviewers and discerning professionals I knew this was something I needed – but by then they were sold out. Thanks IDW, for doing a second print!
If I has $15, I'd grab Planet of the Apes #16 ($3.99), Resident Alien #3 ($3.50), Aquaman #11 ($2.99), and The New Deadwardians#5 ($2.99). PotA is always great, I hear excellent thing about New Deadwardians, and Aquaman has the Sea King teamed up with a jungle girl right now. As for Resident Alien, I had an awful feeling halfway through #2 that I'd figured out the mystery, but I'm hoping I'm wrong and that there are surprises left in the mini-series. This is the final issue (for now anyway), so I guess I'll find out.
With $30, I'd add Doctor Atlantis, Volume 1 ($9.99) and Godzilla #3 ($3.99). I don't know anything about Ian Ally-Seals and Carl Mefferd's Doctor Atlantis other than the premise (a couple of steampunk heroes fighting monsters on the high seas), but that's enough for me.
There's a lot to splurge on this week. Brigid mentioned Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer, Volume 3 ($10.95) and that's a temptation. So is Jeff Lemire's Underwater Welder ($19.95) and Fictionauts ($12.99) by Mauro Mantella and Leandro Rizzo about a group of heroes whose job it is to preserve the boundaries between fiction and reality. If I had to pick one book though, it would be Resistance, Volume 3: Victory ($17.99), the final book in Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis' excellent trilogy about kids in the French Resistance during World War II.