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, this ever-lovin’ comics fan would first pick out Dark Horse Presents #12 (Dark Horse, $7.99). First off: John Layman and Sam Kieth doing an Aliens story, can you believe that? That debut, coupled with the return of Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus, makes this another DHP worth buying. After that, I’d jump into Prophet #25 (Image, $2.99) to see Brandon Graham’s rollicking story with special guest artist Farel Dalrymple. The creators lined up on this Extreme Comics revival continue to impress me, and I’m excited to see new work by Dalrymple here. Third up would be Secret Avengers #27 (Marvel, $3.99), and I’m all hyped up to see how Rick Remender handles the touchy subject of Marvel’s original Captain Marvel. As for the artist, I’m still waiting for Renato Guedes to wow me the way he did before he jumped from DC to Marvel; the previews for this show some promise, so I’m excited to see the entire package.
If I had $30, I’d double back to get the return of Batman Incorporated #1 (DC, $2.99). Grant Morrison’s schedule, along with the New 52, seemed to harpoon this title last year, but I’m hoping this is some attempt to right that ship. Next up would be Fantastic Four #606 (Marvel, $2.99), seeing Jonathan Hickman come full circle as his run nears conclusion by going back to where the FF started: with four people in space suits. Ron Garney is an interesting choice to draw this one, and his take on the Thing is right up there with Stuart Immonen's. Last up would be Irredeemable #37 (BOOM! Studios, $3.99). I admit I switched to trades a couple issues ago, but I’m jumping back in -- spoilers be damned -- to find out the end to this story. I’m a little bit morose that artist Peter Krause isn’t the one drawing the finale given all he put into this, but Diego Barretto is an able artist to draw what Waid has set out for this final issue. Oh, hey, I’ve got $5.06 left so I’ll live up to the the title of this Robot 6 feature and get some food: a hot dog from Voodoo Dogs in Tallahassee. Have you seen their new commercial?
If I could splurge, I’d finish eating my hot dog and pick up Comic Book History of Comics (IDW Publishing, $21.99). I’ve failed at life when I couldn’t track down all six of these issues on my own, but IDW offering it all up in one package saves me from that level of hell. Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey have put on a master class here in doing bio comics, especially bio comics about comics, and as a journalist, comics fan and would be comics writer myself this hits all the right spots for an engrossing read.
If there's one thing that forgotten masterpiece SeaQuest DSV taught the world, it's that everything is better with a talking dolphin. No surprise, then, that if I had $15 this week, the very first thing I'd pick up would be Mind MGMT #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99), the new series by Matt Kindt that is described by the publishers as involving "weaponized psychics, hypnotic advertising, talking dolphins, and seemingly immortal pursuers" amongst other things, including a mystery about why every passenger on a commercial flight lost their memory. Color my curiosity tingled. The other must-grab for me is the return of Batman Incorporated (#1, DC Comics, $2.99) which will hopefully have its mojo back after its break. It started well and finished well last time 'round, but some of the middle …? Well, let's just say that Grant Morrison's version of the Internet would've been awesome in a world without Tron and leave it at that.
If I had $30 this week, I'd fight random strangers for my own copy of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey's Comic Book History of Comics (IDW, $21.99), because - well, it's Van Lente and Dunlavey (everyone who's read Action Philosophers knows what I mean; everyone who hasn't, you should fix that really soon), and it's comics history done with style, wit and not just a little smarts. Having missed some of the single issues, I've been looking forward to this collection for awhile.
When it comes to splurging, I'm going with the Uncanny X-Force: Otherworld Premiere HC (Marvel, $24.99). I'm somewhat agnostic when it comes to X-Force despite many people smarter than me trying to convince me otherwise, but I loved Captain Britain and Excalibur back in the day, so this might be the best chance I'll have - not to mention the … third? fourth chance, maybe? -- to get into this series once and for all.
Also, that is a great advert, Chris, even if the guy is totally not eating the hot dog at the end. Seriously, dude: COMMIT.
If I had $15, I'd join the prevailing crowd and pick up the first issue of the new Batman Incorporated series. Like Graeme said, the past iteration was hit and miss (though nowhere near as schizophrenic in quality as Morrison's run on Batman), but I'm hoping this reset offers a fresh start.
If I had $30, I already have the four Ignatz issues, but I won't let that stop me from recommending Interiorae, Gabriella Giandelli's dark and occasionally surreal look at the drab lives of various people living in an apartment complex. This new version of the atmospheric - downright moody even - book allegedly is an improvement on the color printing, so newcomers may be getting the better deal here.
Splurge: More Steve Ditko? Why, certainly! Courtesy of Mysterious Traveler, the third volume in editor Blake Bell's ongoing collection of early Ditko work, this one largely taken from Tales from the Mysterious Traveler and This Magazine is Haunted.
Pickings look kinda slim this week.
If I had $15, I'd have money left over, because the only thing that appeals to me on this week's list is Dark Horse Presents #12, which features the return of Steve Rude and Mike Baron's Nexus. I'll slap down $7.99 for that, and everything else in that issue will be bonus content.
With $30 in hand, though, I'd add on Holliday, a dark look at the story of Doc Holliday from David Dabbs and Nate Bowden, just because I like a good western once in a while, and this looks like a good western.
And if I'm feeling flush, I'd splurge on Makeshift Miracle, the print edition of Jim Zubkavich's webcomic, illustrated with luminous paintings by Shun Hong Chan. It's available online for free, but it sure would be nice to have a paper copy to keep.
If I had $15, I'd start with the relaunch of IDW's Godzilla ($3.99) by Duane Swierczynski and Simon Gane. Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters got kind of sloppy at the end, so I'm glad to see the monsters get a fresh start. And speaking of fresh starts, I'm also interested in Jeff Lemire's take on Justice League Dark ($2.99) as an "Indiana Jones-type action-adventure" with treasure hunting, globetrotting, and "satellite members" like Frankenstein, Andrew Bennett from I, Vampire, Etrigan and Doctor Mist. I couldn't get into Peter Milligan's take on the series, but this sounds right in my wheelhouse. Next, Chris has made me hungry ... for voodoo! Voodoo #9 also comes out this week, but instead I'll snack on Dominque Laveau: Voodoo Child #3 ($2.99). [I wouldn't typically hijack this column's sub-title with something only I picked, but the only thing I could come up with for this week's popular pick was "Batman Incomplete Protein" and I just didn't want to do that to you.] Finally, I'd join Chris in reading Prophet #25 ($2.99).
With $30, I'd add some more single-issues to that pile, starting with All-Star Western #9 ($3.99) and Aquaman #9 ($2.99). Graeme sold me on Mind MGMT #1 ($3.99) with "talking dolphin," so I'll grab that. And I've been interested in Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse's Resident Alien #1 ($3.50) since it was first announced. I love the combination of sleepy, small town murder mystery and alien lurker.
My splurge for the week would be Showcase Presents: Sea Devils, Volume 1 ($19.99). I've always been intrigued by the fantastic Russ Heath covers to those early issues and Bob Kanigher's name promises a brilliant level of whackadoo in these underwater adventures.