Food or Comics? | Hark! A Snarked!

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 spend several musty dollars on Fear Agent #31 (Dark Horse, $3.50). This penultimate issue has been a long time coming, and I’m excited to see Remender and Moore enlist Mike Hawthorne to help get these final issues done – big fan of all three of them! Next up would be two of DC’s New 52; Action Comics #2 (DC, $3.99) and Swamp Thing (DC, $2.99); I admit that I feel weird not being more excited about Morrison’s run than I am, but somehow the first Action Comics wasn’t as gripping as the first All-Star Superman … and it’s not the art. For the last pick, I’d get X-Men: Schism #5 (Marvel, $3.99). It got off to a slow start, but Jason Aaron’s an expert at nailing his landings, and I’m intrigued to see how it all goes down.

If I had $30, I’d start off with a pair of number ones – Pilot Season: Test #1 (Image/Top Cow, $3.99) and Roger Langridge’s Snarked #1 (BOOM! Studios, $3.99). Pilot Season has always been a must-buy for me; sometimes the concepts don’t live up to the promise, but they still have a good track record. I just wish more ended up as ongoing series. Next up I’d get the long-running Invincible #83 (Image, $2.99); seriously, this hits all my itches harkening back to my younger comic-reading days. Last up I would get Animal Man #2 (DC, $2.99); I love what Lemire and Foreman started here; I just wish there were more of it!

If I found some extra cash, I would double-back for Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant (D+Q, $19.95). This reads like a literary nut’s comic strip, and I love every bit of it. For some reason it reminds me of Gary Larson’s The Far Side but in a very modern way.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15, I'd make a beeline for Roger Langridge's Snarked #1 (BOOM! Studios, $3.99) first of all, having loved the #0 preview and being curious as all get-out to see where things are about to go next. For the same, "But what happens now?" reasons, I'd grab Action Comics #2 and OMAC #2, my favorites from the first week of DC's New 52 books (Both DC Comics, Action: $3.99, OMAC: $2.99), and also Marvel's wonderful and underrated Mystic #3 ($2.99).

If I had $30 this week, I'd put Mystic and OMAC back on the shelves, and pick up Drawn & Quarterly's Hark! A Vagrant HC ($19.95), the print collection of Kate Beaton's spectacular webcomic that may have been released last week, but shows up on the Diamond list for this week. There's no way this won't be awesome.

When it comes to splurging, I'm going to go for the seventh volume of Bakuman (Viz, $9.99), a manga I'm a latecomer to, but have finally been won over by. Yes, it's ridiculous and over the top, but that's grown on me to the point where I can't quite imagine anyone doing a story about the inside workings of the manga industry that wasn't approaching operatic levels of emotion and intensity.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

The new Casanova and Boys are the obvious picks for me. And probably that first issue of Snarked as well. I might consider getting Action #2, although, to be honest, like Chris I wasn't that enthralled with it.

If I had $30:

Hello, new volume of Bakuman! How nice to see you again! (Oh, and welcome to the club, Graeme.)


Everyone's already mentioned that swell Kate Beaton book, and NBM has its first foray into manga, Stargazing Dog, but I can't think of a more significant release this week than Vertical's latest entry from the Osamu Tezuka library, The Book of Human Insects. This is one of Tezuka's dark, later works from the '70s and hopefully will be as gonzo insane as Ode to Kihrito and MW were.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd return for a couple of DC series I enjoyed last month. My reaction to Action Comics was more in line with Graeme's than the Chris'; possibly because my expectations for it were so mixed. I expected it to be interesting, but I didn't predict how pleased I'd be with the less-powered Superman whose passion for social justice (as well as criminal) reminded me of the character's earliest appearances. I'm eager for #2 ($3.99), though disappointed that the price is still not holding the line at $2.99; more pages or no. I'm a little less interested in Static Shock #2 ($2.99) knowing that John Rozum is leaving the series, but my fondness for the Milestone characters will keep me around long enough to see how it does without him. Next, I'd add the new Huntress #1 (2.99) because I like that character and - switching over to Marvel - grab Avengers 1959 #1 ($2.99) because Namora and Killraven on a team together sounds like a lot of fun.

If I had $30, I'd add Josh Fialkov's Last of the Greats #1 ($3.99) to see him tackle a creator-owned superhero story. I also enjoyed the zero-issue of Snarked enough to come back for #1 ($3.99), so that goes on the pile too. I can't pass up the price on Moonstone's pulp crossover, Phases of the Moon, so I'd also grab the second issue ($2.50) featuring Honey West and Kolchak. And finally, with six bucks left in my pocket, I'd check in on Moriarty #5 ($2.99) and Reed Gunther #5 ($2.99), though in truth I'm trade-waiting both those series.

My splurge item this week is a no-brainer. Everyone's already singing the praises of Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant ($19.95) and I'll gladly add my voice to that choir.

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