Food or Comics? | Empowered or empanadas

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 grab with two hands the new issue of Orc Stain #7 (Image, $2.99). Stokoe is one of the few people in mainstream comics blending storytelling in art and writing seamlessly, creating an organic piece of work that’s as good to eat as some of the fictional food he presents in the book. Spaceman #4 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) has, in its short run, showed the best of what can be done at Vertigo and is pretty exhilarating, especially if you re-read it from the beginning. After that I’d pick up my regular double-shot: Invincible #89 (Image, $2.99) and Walking Dead #94 (Image, $2.99), and then top it off with The Twelve #10 (Marvel, $2.99). I’m appreciative Marvel and the creators saw fit to see it through, and the story’s all the better for it.

If I had $30, I’d go all company-owned super heroes. Avengers #23 (Marvel, $3.99) for the continuing fight against HYDRA by Brian Michael Bendis and Daniel Acuna. Acuna’s really (finally) had a chance to blossom on this book and I hope he sees it through for a good long while. After that I’d get FF #15 (Marvel, $2.99), which has silently outstripped Fantastic Four in my book; the added bonus for this issue particularly is seeing artist Nick Dragotta on this book. I’d wrap it all up with Batman Beyond Unlimited #1 (DC, $3.99). I’ll admit I missed out on the complete fervor of Batman Beyond, but I’m excited by Dustin Nguyen and Adam Beechen’s work and the possibilities of them taking on a future rendition of Batman and the JLA.

And if I could splurge, I’d check out the overlooked Key Of Z TPB (Boom!, $14.99). New York City street warfare told against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse? Sounds like my kind of book. Newcomer artist Aaron Kuder’s got an interesting style that I’d been meaning to check out, and this gives me just that chance.

Graeme McMillan

More fifth week blues, it seems, judging by what seems to be a particularly light shipping list in comparison with recent weeks. If I had $15, I'd be spending it on books that I've been picking up for awhile: The Shade #5 (DC, $2.99), Angel and Faith #7 (Dark Horse, $2.99, and is it just me or is that cheaper than previous issues? I wonder if it's a typo or pricing shift to make print and digital the same?), Star Trek #6 (IDW, $3.99) and the second issue of Kirby Genesis: Dragonbane (Dynamite, $2.99).

If I had $30, I'd probably put Dragonbane back on the shelf and pick up The Punisher by Greg Rucka, Vol. 1 HC (Marvel, $19.99). I bought the first issue of this when it appeared, but dropped off immediately because I wasn't floored by it. Since then, I've regretted not sticking with it longer, especially after reading interviews with Rucka that suggest I would've enjoyed where it was going. Here's a second chance to see if it clicks, then.

When it comes to the Wonderful World of Splurging, I have to admit that the Empowered Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 HC (Dark Horse, $59.99) is looking very tempting. I'm not a complete Adam Warren convert, and go back-and-forth about Empowered usually, but the 700+ page package seems particularly tempting for that price, and I am going to be splurging, after all...

Brigid Alverson

With just $15 in my pocket, I could do pretty well with issue 34.5 of The Unwritten ($2.99), the literary-mystery fantasy series from Vertigo, and vol. 2 of Gate 7 ($10.99), CLAMP's beautifully drawn historical-supernatural fantasy series. The Unwritten is, contra the title, very well written, and Gate 7 is beautifully drawn.

At the $30 mark, I'll add in Steed and Mrs. Peel #2 ($3.99) for some period fun. Then I'll have to borrow a dollar so I can afford my other choice for this week, vol. 11 of GTO: The Early Years ($12.95), from Vertical. It's the story of Great Teacher Onizuka before he became a teacher, so I expect plenty of goofy teenage gang action. This series was originally licensed by Tokyopop, and the early volumes are easy to find, but I suspect I can jump right in at any point.

As for my splurge, this is a good week to load up on manga. I'll grab vol. 19 of xxxHOLiC ($10.99), the last volume in the series, just for more of CLAMP's lovely art. Digital has vol. 7 of the lively rom-com Itazura na Kiss, priced at $16.95 because it's a double-size volume. And I'll wrap it up with vol. 13 of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei ($10.99), a witty black comedy from Kodansha.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd grab my guitar and start singing those Fifth Week Blues next to Graeme. There are a couple of single-issue comics I'd enjoy reading, but nothing's a must-buy, so I'm going to take a chance on Chris Eric Peterson's Dragons vs Dinosaurs ($14.95). I'm not familiar with Peterson's work and I'm really scratching my head over making a Mature Readers" comic out of that concept, but that's okay. Nobody gets out of this place without singin' the blues.

If I had $30, I'd grab Ka-Zar by Mark Waid and Andy Kubert, Volume 2 ($24.99) because it's Ka-Zar. By Mark Waid and Andy Kubert. And he's fighting Thanos. Why I didn't buy this when it was coming out monthly I cannot tell, because I do not know. I was probably buying X-Men or something.

I'm just going to copy Graeme again for my splurge item too. I've heard so much about Empowered that I've wanted to check it out for a long time. If I had a generous gift card or something to spend, a Deluxe Edition hardcover ($59.99) would be just the way to do that.

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