Food or Comics? | Dark Horse preserves

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's not even a fifth week, but I find myself curiously distanced from this week's releases for some reason. Outside of some books I've been reading for awhile, there's little to really catch my eye, so if I had $15, I'd likely find myself buying Dark Horse Presents #10 (Dark Horse, $7.99) and Memorial #4 (IDW, $3.99), and being quite happy with those two books.

If I had $30, I might go back to Justice League with #7 (DC, $3.99); I wasn't entirely convinced by the opening arc, but I found myself enjoying the Pandora back-up in #6 enough that I found myself more curious about sticking around than I would've expected. I'd also grab Legion of Super-Heroes #7 (DC, $2.99), another book I've found myself liking more than I initially thought, as well as Thunderbolts #171 (Marvel, $2.99) for one of the few, final times before it becomes a part of the Avengers family.

Splurging, oddly, is a much easier choice for me than what I'd get in single issues: Avengers: West Coast Avengers - Lost In Space-Time (Marvel, $34.99) collects some of the first issues of West Coast Avengers that I read way back when, launching a love affair with Steve Englehart's writing that continues to this day. Those original issues are long since lost to history (Somewhat fittingly, considering the time travel subject matter), so this will be a welcome nostalgia trip for me.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15, it would surely be spent on Volume One of Sammy the Mouse, Zak Sally's hallucinatory, somewhat unsettling, funny animal saga, featuring a hard drinking, unsociable mouse, an alcoholic, vitriolic duck that dresses like Captain Ahab and a shut-in dog that's building ... something in his shack of a home. Longtime FoC readers will note that I praised this series to the moon when it was originally serialized through Fantagraphics' Ignatz line. This edition collects those first three comics, not only published but printed via Sally's La Mano press. Check it out, it's a great comic.

If I had $30, I'd put Sammy aside for now and grab a copy of Nancy Is Happy, the first volume in Fantagraphics' new, ongoing collection of Nancy strips. I've never really delved into Ernie Bushmiller's iconic creation before but I know there are plenty of folk who consider it a near-Zen masterpiece and I'm curious as to the effect sitting down with a sizable block of Nancy strips will have on me. Perhaps my third inner eye will finally open!

Lots of good splurge stuff this week, but I'll highlight The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist from Abrams, a really snazzy coffee-table tome focusing on the author of Ghost World and Wilson, and featuring essays by Chip Kidd, Ken Parile and Chris Ware, to name a few. I just got a copy in the mail last week and it's a really nice tribute to Clowes abilities both as a storyteller and as an artist.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d gleefully hand it over to my local comic shop this week for three things. The first, Dark Horse Presents #10 (Dark Horse, $7.99), has a first I think for anywhere – Evan Dorkin and Brian Wood sharing space in the same book. Dorkin’s got new strips from his "House of Fun" series and Wood, along with Kristian Donaldson, is finishing up the first The Massive story. Definitely worth the price tag. Next up I’d get Prophet #23 (Image, $2.99), which is quickly becoming one of my most anticipated books each month. Originally this was planned to only come out once every two months, but I’m glad they decided to make it monthly. Lastly would be Supercrooks #1 (Marvel/Icon, $2.99). I’ve been a fan of Leinil Yu going back to his Wolverine run with Warren Ellis, and this new book seems to find him returning to his darker roots that he hasn’t really had a chance to so far in his most recent Marvel work. His two DC creator-owned books, High Roads and Silent Dragon, were some great examples of his darker work.

If I had $30, I’d first try out Nick Edwards Dinopopolous (Blank Slate, $7.99). This was originally released last year but I don’t remember seeing it anywhere, so I’m glad it’s coming out a second time – it looks like James Kochalka meets Jurassic Park. My other two picks would be books I’ve talked about at length here in Food Or Comics, Wonder Woman #7 (DC, $2.99) and Wolverine #303 (Marvel, $3.99).

If I could splurge, I’d make up for lost time and catch up on the Image miniseries Last of the Greats (Image, $12.99). At the time it came out I felt like I was burnt out on even more new superheroes, especially anti-heroes who turn out to be Earth’s last hope. But the reviews I’ve read by friends have convinced me it’s more than that, and I’m willing to give it a try.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd start with some favorites: Supergirl #7 ($2.99), Wonder Woman #7 ($2.99), and Prophet #23 ($2.99). Then I'd add Super Dinosaur #9 ($2.99), a book that would be a favorite if I hadn't been so stubbornly trade-waiting for it. My son and I loved the first issue, but the problem with trade-waiting is that I don't always get the collection as soon as it comes out and then I forget about it. There's a lot I don't like about the single-issue format, but one of the positives is that it gets me in the habit of buying comics that I like and I want to start doing that with Super Dinosaur. Finally, I'd pick up Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1 because I'm a sucker for stories about the supernatural culture of New Orleans.

If I had $30, I'd quickly add Planet of the Apes #12 ($3.99), which only gets left out of the $15 list because of its price tag. Then I'd grab a copy of Nick Edwards' Dinopopolous ($7.99) because it's about a boy who solves mysteries with his best friend - a dinosaur with twin laser cannons mounted on his back - while obsessing about a girl in his class. I can relate to all of those things. I'd top off that pile with Hoax Hunters #0 ($2.99). Even though it's about a reality show (a subject I'm always resistant to), I love the premise of a group that claims to debunk the supernatural while actually covering it up. Reminds me of the original, too-soon-abandoned premise of X-Factor (the comic, not the reality show).

My splurge item for the week is a true splurge in the sense that it's relatively pricey and I don't even know what to expect from it. But I'm on a Sherlock Holmes kick right now and Yu Aida's Young Miss Holmes Casebook 1-2 ($16.99), a manga about Sherlock's crime-fighting niece and her giant hound sounds wonderful.

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