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, I’d catch up on Joe Keatinge and Andre Szymanowicz’ Hell Yeah with the first trade, Vol. 1: Last Days On Earth (Image, $9.99). I admit to dropping off after the second issue, but it’s always something I wanted to get back to; and reading Keatinge’s interviews on the more recent issues has pushed me over the top. If nothing else, $9.99 for five issues is a good deal. After that I’d get Avengers Vs. X-Men #12 (Marvel, $4.99). Of all the group-written issues, Jason Aaron’s seems to have been the most organized and engaging, so I’m glad they opted to have him do the finale. Seeing Adam Kubert on this is surprising, as his previous issues of Avengers Vs. X-Men felt rushed – but previews of this issue show him more measured and confident, like his Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine work, also with Aaron.
If I had $30, I’d double back and gleefully grab Thomas Herpich’s White Clay (AdHouse, $4.95). When I first heard about this the onus of Adventure Time was heavy given the cartoonist works on that show, but after seeing the previews and hearing Chris Pitzer talk about this book I’m in for it. I’d also get the debut issue of Andy Diggle’s Doctor Who #1 (IDW, $3.99) with artist Mark Buckingham. Bucky’s a real treat here, and I’m interested to see what he does with Diggle’s words – and what exactly Diggle does. I’m okay if it’s not Lenny Zero – but that would be nice too. Finally, I’d get Uncanny X-Force #32 (Marvel, $3.99). At one time this was my favorite book coming from the Big Two, but it seems to have grown long in the tooth; I’m not confident enough to say Rick and crew are doing something wrong, as maybe it’s just me. But the first 18 issues had a special kind of magic, and that doesn’t seem to remain here in these issues. But still, I’m in 'til the end.
If I could splurge, I’d get The Nao of Brown (SelfMadeHero, $24.95) by Glyn Dillon. I admit I already received an advance review copy of this book, but if I didn’t I’d surely have it on pre-order. A read a review where they compared to this to Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese, but I think that’s a mere surface examination. After reading this (and flipping through it a dozen times since), this is just a pure coming-of-age story that reminds me more of Hope Larson or a very chatty Adrian Tomine. Very great, very great.
This week's choices are easy for me, if minimal. If I were limited to just $15, I'd pick up Doctor Who #1 (IDW, $3.99), not just to stave off withdrawl after this past weekend's final episode for three months, but also because Mark Buckingham's art looks set to be something to be reckoned with in this particular setting (as if his Fables wasn't enough). But if I had $30, then I'd immediately scale up to get Glyn Dillon's Nao of Brown (Self Made Hero, $24.95), a graphic novel that sees Dillon return to comics with something that looks much more human, quiet and beautiful than his earlier works. I am very, very excited about this one, I have to admit.
If I still had time to splurge after that, then I'd find myself attracted to Frank Young and David Lasky's Carter Family Comics: Don't Forget This Song ($24.95), which tells the story of the first superstars of country music, all the way back when, complete with a CD of their music. I'm not a massive country fan, but something about this book really calls out to me.
If I had $15, I'd spend it on single issues like usual, starting with Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #2 ($3.99) and Bionic Woman #5 ($3.99). BOOM!'s Planet of the Apes comics seem able to do no wrong and I've written before about my enjoyment of Bionic Woman. It'd follow those up with Guarding the Globe #2 ($2.99), 'cause I like Phil Hester comics and the first issue was complicated and perfect. Finally, I'd add Legends of the Dark Knight #1 ($3.99). I read all those stories in digital form, but they're good and short, out-of-continuity Batman stories are exactly what I need from that superhero right now.
With $30, I'd put all that stuff back except Planet of the Apes to afford Sailor Twain ($24.99). I've already read (and reviewed) Sailor Twain, but it's good enough that I'd buy it all over again.
There are several splurge-worthy volumes out this week, including Hope Larson's Wrinkle in Time adaptation, Zack Giallongo's awesome-looking fantasy Broxo, a City of Embers adaptation, the first collection of Pippi Longstocking comics, and Rod Espinosa's gender-bent version of A Christmas Carol. But it's October and what gets my gift card is the 30 Days of Night Omnibus, Volume 2 ($29.99), with stories written by Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, Matt Fraction, and Kelly Sue DeConnick. I've read them all before, but want them on my bookshelf.