Food or Comics? | Char-broiled Chase

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.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d reverently pick up the big release of the week: the final issue of DMZ, #72 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99). Wood and Burchielli have done something special here, and I easily see the series taking its place next to Preacher and Transmet as Vertigo (and mature comic) staples. Next up I’d get a dose of a new Vertigo series, Spaceman #3 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99); Azzarello and Risso definitely zigged when most thought they would zag, and in this shaking off of the long shadow of 100 Bullets they’ve created something decidedly unique and spellbinding. Next up I’d get another DC book, this time All Star Western #4 (DC, $3.99); I’ve really enjoyed Palmiotti and Gray taking Jonah Hex into the big city here and opening up the world and heroes of these tumbleweed times, and I’m excited for the new back-up featuring a literal firebrand of a female. Finally, my last book on a $15 budget would be Avengers: Children’s Crusade #8 (Marvel, $3.99); I could write a whole article on how the schedule’s affected this book, but despite all that what we’ve got is a great story. Despite all the delays, I’m apprehensive about the final issue because it’ll probably be the last we’ll see of Allan Heinberg in the Marvel U for a long time.

If I had $30, I’d thank the yuletime gods and pick up the vibrant new issue of Haunt, #20 (Image, $2.99). I don’t know what’s in the water at Image, but they’ve orchestrated a series of recent inspired and left-field revamps of their books: Casey/Fox on Haunt, the upcoming Keatinge/Campbell on Glory, Graham/Roy on Prophet. Next up I’d get Top Cow’s Artifacts #12 (Image/Top Cow, $3.99); I admit coming onto this series late, but thanks to a plush assignment I was able to tear through the past two years of Top Cow comics and found I really enjoyed their current event book. After I read and re-read that book, I’d get a double-shot of Marvel with Captain America & Bucky #625 (Marvel, $2.99) and FF #13 (Marvel, $2.99); love what the writers are doing here, but the recent choices by editors for their new artists have made both these books even more enticing for me. Juan Bobillo drawing Hickman’s scripts on FF especially gives it a creepy vibe I’d love to see more of. Speaking of art, my final pick for this final week of the year would be the artistic tour de force of Flash #4 (DC, $2.99); Manapul and Buccellato are really showing their stuff, providing story to enable Manapul to do some of the most dynamic and heart-wrenching work of his career. In the back of my mind I’m worried what happens when Manapul needs a break from drawing: much like finding an appropriate artist for J.H. Williams 3 to rotate with on Batwoman, a suitable second for The Flash will be hard to come by.

My splurge this week is the under-the-radar collection Broadcast TV: Doodles of Henry Flint (Markosia, $19.99). I’d buy an art book by Henry Flint on face value alone, but from the limited previews I’ve seen of the book online it’s something far, far more unique. These are off-hand doodles Flint’s done in his spare time over the past five years, but I’m not talking about quick sketches: "doodles" as in ornate mind-benders where Flint literally doodled his heart out. Once I get this in my merry hands, I’ll be going over it with a fine tooth comb, magnifying glass and anything else I can find.

Graeme McMillan

'Tis the season to be somewhat confuddled between the holidays, which means that I'm playing it safe with my $15 this week, grabbing regular picks Justice League Dark #4, Flash #4 (both DC, $2.99), Dungeons and Dragons #14 and Star Trek #4 (both IDW, $3.99) to round the year out with some familiar faces.

If I had $30, though, I'd add something a little more unusual: Shaky Kane's Monster Truck (Image, $14.99), in which the comic great - probably best known in the US for The Bulletproof Coffin with David Hine - gets his solo "graphic road movie" back into print with a recolored, "remastered" second edition that's sure to tread Kane's familiar ground of being at once nostalgic and somewhat disturbing.

When it comes to splurging, I'd definitely go for D. Curtis Johnson and JH Williams III's Chase TP (DC, $34.99), collecting all of their original run on the way-ahead-of-its-time series, including all of the Secret Files and Origins back-ups and additional material outside of the main series. I haven't read nearly enough of this stuff, so I'm considering it a late Christmas present to myself.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15, I'm very excited to see a new issue of Godland out this week, so that would likely be my first pick off the shelves. If I can scrape up a few extra cents I might also pick up the latest volume of Gantz, but I'm so far behind that series at this point I'll likely put it back in favor of getting a previous volume instead.

If I had $30, the book I'm most curious about this week is Keep Our Secrets, a children's board book by Jordan Crane (of Non and Uptight fame) where the central gimmick is that certain parts of the book are coated in heat-sensitive, color changing ink, that reveal hidden surprises when you put your hand on them. Even though I'm over 40 and my kids are long past the age for this sort of material, I'm a complete sucker for a book like that.

Splurge: That Chase collection does seem nice, but I can't think of a more splurge-worthy book this week than the latest volume of Frank King's Gasoline Alley, redubbed as Walt and Skeezix by Drawn and Quarterly for legal reasons. This volume is particularly noteworthy as it contains a DVD of home movies King made during the 1920s.

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