Food or Comics? | Black beans or Black Beetle

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.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

J.K. Parkin

If I had $15, I'd start with Black Beetle #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99), Francesco Francavilla's pulp action hero who jumps into his own miniseries after a run in Dark Horse Presents. I'd also grab Threshold #1 (DC Comics, $2.99), which continues the story from last week's New Guardians annual, featuring a new Green Lantern and a whole bunch of cosmic DC characters. I'd also grab Comeback #3 (Image, $3.50), as I just got around to reading the first issue and really enjoyed it. They're doing some fun stuff with time travel that should make for a cool series. That leaves room for one more, which is a hard choice ... but let's go with Indestructible Hulk #3 (Marvel, $3.99), because I love the new direction and take on the character and his status quo.

If I had $30, I'd also pick up Saga #9 (Image, $2.99) and Daredevil #22 ($2.99), because, well, Saga and Daredevil. I'm also really digging what Kelly Sue Deconnick is doing with the Avengers, so next I'd get Avengers Assemble #11 (Marvel, $3.99). Lastly, I'd grab Captain America #3 (Marvel, $3.99), as I'm really worried about Cap and the kid, and hope they come out of Zola's world OK.

Finally, for my spulrge, I'd go with the big Paul Pope book from Image, One Trick Rip-Off ($29.99).

Chris Mautner

Wow. This is really a dead week for me. I've scanned over the list several times now and I'll be hanged if I can find anything calling out to me. I suppose I could splurge on the fifth volume of Li'l Abner from IDW, but then I haven't gotten the first four volumes as of yet (and what's more, Al Capp's comic strip has always left me cold). My wallet -- and family -- will be happy, but this will be one of those extremely rare occasions where I see little reason to head out to the comic store this Wednesday.

Brigid Alverson

If I had just $15, I would pick up Francesco Francavilla's Black Beetle #1 ($3.99), because I loved the #0 issue; it had a great retro art style and some nice, sophisticated storytelling. I'm in for the duration on this one. Dark Horse gets more of my money because I'll go for B.P.R.D. 1948 #4 ($3.50) and Conan the Barbarian #12 ($3.50). Then to round it out, I'll grab Archer and Armstrong #6 ($3.99), because kicking ass and cracking wise is always in style in my neck of the woods.

If I had $30, I'd add in Vol. 7 of Afterschool Charisma ($12.99), a pleasantly weird manga about a school where all the students are clones of famous people. This could be boring if it were done badly, but Afterschool Charisma is pleasantly goofy and a little bit deep besides.

Usually I have no problem compiling a splurge list, but I'm with Chris here: The Li'l Abner looks like the best bet, but I don't have the earlier volumes. I like the strip better than he does, though, so I'm happy to spend 50 fictitious bucks on it.

Graeme McMillan

I'm with Chris in terms of this being a somewhat dead week for me, but if I had $15, I'd join Brigid in both Black Beetle #1 and Archer and Armstrong #6, but I'd also grab Saga #9 (Image, $2.99) as well. Those three alone are likely to be enough to make me happy with the world of comics, to be honest.

If I wanted to be happier, I'd use the remainder of my $30 to buy Fables, Vol. 18 (DC/Vertigo, $16.99), continuing my buy-it-in-trades-because-it-reads-better-that-way tradition for this series. Something that's nice about my Fables habit by now is that I have no idea what's in each volume, who's drawing it -- it's still Bucky, right? -- and how many issues it contains. I just know that I'll enjoy it.

Splurging, though, defeated me this week. There's really not anything that leaped out at me. Can I save my splurge money and just splurge big next week ...?

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d gleefully skip into my local comic store to get the next issue of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga #9 (Image, $2.99). The Will is my favorite character among the cast, and given the cover and the solicit it looks like I’m getting my catnip with this issue. Next up would be Black Beetle #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99). I’ve been a big fan of Francesco Francavilla going back to discovering The Black Coat at Comic-Con International in 2006. He’s built up a terminal velocity with his skills increasing by leaps and bounds. Enough hyperbole: he’s good. This has the potential to be great. After that I’d dig into New Avengers #2 (Marvel, $3.99). I loved the slow burn Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting did in the last issue by making it Black Panther specific, but I hope for a little bit broader picture in this issue. Finally, I’d get Conan The Barbarian #12 (Dark Horse, $3.50). I’ve really enjoyed the tangent Brian Wood and guest artist Declan Shalvey have taken with this plague-centric story. This reminds me of the high point of Northlanders, in a very good way.

If I had $30, I’d spend the rest on Marvel. First up would be Captain America #3 (Marvel, $3.99). The first issue didn’t quite grip me the way I hoped, but the second issue made up for lost time. Remender’s sci-fi story leanings mixed with Romita doing his more grittier, almost Daredevil-era, linework have really made something unique here. Next up I’d get All-New X-Men #6 (Marvel, $3.99). I’m a bit tentative coming into this knowing I won’t be seeing Stuart Immonen’s work inside the pages, but David Marquez has won me over in the past so I’m hoping that’s the case here. Last up would be Daredevil #22 (Marvel, $2.99). I’ve never been a Stilt-Man fan, but after seeing the way Mark Waid has handled villains in the past with this series I’ll give it a shot.

If I could splurge, I’d buy Image’s One Trick Rip-Off/Deep Cuts HC (Image, $29.99). I own an earlier edition of this Pope story, but seeing it in hard-cover with the never-printed Supertrouble manga he did makes this a must-own book for me.

Michael May

If I had $18, I'd join just about everyone else in grabbing Saga #9 ($2.99) and being Francesco Francavilla's pulp friend with Black Beetle #1 ($3.99). Then, because I'm a unique flower, I'd also get Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness #4 ($3.50) and Savage Wolverine #1 ($3.99). I'm a sucker for any Shanna the She-Devil comic, but I'm a special sucker for ones drawn by Frank Cho.

With $30, I'd add Creator-Owned Heroes #8 ($4.99) to my stack, saddened that it's the final issue of that experiment, but eager to see what Niles, Palmiotti, Gray, and Friends have in store. And since it's Kelly Sue DeConnick week, I'd also get Avengers Assemble #11 ($3.99) and Captain Marvel #9 ($2.99).

I found a couple of things to splurge on this week. The Fear Itself: The Fearless tpb ($29.99) collects the story that leads into Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney's all-female Fearless Defenders team next month. And since I'm in the mood for it, I'd also like to check out Camaren Subhiyah and Kyle Hilton's spoof comic, Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey ($14.99).

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