Food or Comics? | Brilliant, holy, super habibi

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.

Graeme McMillan

It is, thankfully, the last week of September which means that, if I had $15, I only have one more week of new launches from DC to pick out potential favorites, Sophie's Choice-style. This week: Aquaman #1, Flash #1, Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Men #1, Justice League Dark #1 and Superman #1 make the cut (All DC, all $2.99 each).

If I had the chance to add some more money to take that total to $30, I'd go for some Marvel books: Brian Michael Bendis gets well-represented with Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2 ($3.99); New Avengers #16.1 ($2.99), his "new readers jump on" issue with art by Neal Adams; and Brilliant #1 ($3.99), his new creator-owned book with Mark Bagley. Here's hoping I'm in a suitably Bendis-y mood when I read all of these ones.

Splurgewise, it has to be Habibi (Pantheon, $35), Craig Thompson's new graphic novel. I know a few people who've had a chance to read it already, and everyone has made it sound like a large leap ahead from Blankets, and something almost worth the many-year wait it's been since his breakthrough last book. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

There's a lot of good, big-name books out this week, starting with the fourth volume of Love and Rockets ($14.99). Rumor has it that Xaime Hernandez's contributions to this issue are even more exemplary and emotionally devastating than in Vol. 3, which seems almost impossible, but I'm eager to find out either way.

If I had $30:

I'd at least take a look at Kinky and Cosey, a South Park-esque gag strip from NBM, authored by one Nix, about whom I know nothing, but the online samples intrigue me.


Graeme already mentioned Habibi -- I'm only a third of the way through it now, so I can't really comment on the book yet. Frank Miller's Holy Terror is also out this week ($29.99), but David Brothers' review has put me off on purchasing the book, at least for now. That leaves either Matthew Thurber's delightfully surreal saga 1-800-MICE ($22.95), Marc Bell's equally strange and charming Pure Pajamas (an odds and sods collection of various comic work) ($22.95) or Brian Ralph's first-person zombie apocalypse tale, Daybreak ($24.95). All are really worth getting, it's just a question of which to buy first.

Chris Arrant

Fifteen dollars in my pocket, and I’d still only have room for one of this week’s New 52 from DC: Flash #1 (DC, $2.99). Francis Manapul is a big-time artist, and seeing DC giving him the reins as writer-and-artist is an interesting play that I want to see work. Next up would be another #1, but not from DC: Brilliant #1 (Marvel/Icon, $3.95). It’s good to see Bendis doing more creator-owned work, and bringing in Mark Bagley is a novel idea, especially considering Bagley’s style is synonymous with super-heroes; I think the only non-super-hero book he did was The Pulse back in the day. Next up would be two installments of ongoing Marvel epics: Wolverine #16 (Marvel, $3.99) and FF #9 (Marvel, $2.99). Aaron threw me for a loop revealing a new brood of kids for Logan, and meanwhile FF is turning into the book I’ve always wanted for Marvel: smart-ass kids in over their head. Somehow, I think Kirby would get a kick out of this, too.

If I had $30, I’d double back and bet it all on DC with five #1s: Superman #1 (DC, $2.99) for George Perez; Voodoo #1 (DC, $2.99) for Sam Basri’s art (despite Voodoo being my least favorite Wildcat); All-Star Western #1 (DC, $3.99) for, well, everything and everyone involved; Aquaman #1 (DC, $2.99) to see this Hail Mary pass of revitalizing this guy; and then Blackhawks #1 (DC, $2.99) because I’ve been pining for years they bring this team back in a meaningful way.

If I could splurge, I'd still be in a jam, as there's two big graphic novels I want to get this week. I’d have to choose Frank Miller’s Holy Terror (Legendary, $29.99) over Habibi just because of how curious I am to see what Miller is doing here. For Habibi, I’d put it on my pull list and swing back next week.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd split it between DC, Marvel and a smaller publisher. From DC I'm extremely curious about Superman #1 ($2.99) to see how Lois Lane is handled beyond the couple of pages we've already seen. I love the idea of team of magicians using the Justice League name, especially one where Zatanna and John Constantine get to interact on a regular basis, so I'm all in for Justice League Dark #1 ($2.99).  From Marvel, I'd grab Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #2 ($2.99) because Shang Chi, and X-Men Legacy #256 ($2.99), because I'm enjoying being reminded how good Mike Carey is for that book. Finally, I'd grab Moonstone's That Man Flint #0 ($1.99) for some groovy super-spy action. Casanova's already scratching that itch too, but I've got room for more.

If I had $30, I'd quickly add the more expensive All-Star Western #1 ($3.99), which only got left off my $15 list because I couldn't afford it. I've been wanting to jump on to Gray and Palmiotti's Jonah Hex for a long time and that Moritat art looks very cool. Then I'd also get I, Vampire #1 ($2.99) because I like Josh Fialkov's stuff. I wasn't thrilled with Warren Ellis' first issue on Secret Avengers, but I'm willing to give it another shot, so I'd also grab #17 ($3.99). I'd top off the pile with Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest #1 ($3.50) because Abe's awesome.

There's way too much to splurge on this week. I can't not mention Habibi, but there's also a new collection of All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold ($12.99), Archaia's Weird Western The Grave Doug Freshley ($19.95), and that Kamandi Omnibus ($49.99). If I had to pick one thing though, I'd support Marvel's reprinting John Byrne's Alpha Flight by buying Alpha Flight Classic, Volume 2 ($29.99). Any effort to get those stories out of my closet and onto my bookshelf is extremely welcome.

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