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 first snap up a book I’ve been trying to track down for years: Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky (Marvel, $4.99). This 1986 lost classic features Bernie Wrightson drawing a webhead story featuring monsters and alternate worlds – looks like a real gem. Now to convince Marvel to republish John Paul Leon’s Logan: Path of the Warlord… Next up would be Secret Service #1 (Marvel/Icon, $2.99). I’ll buy pretty much anything Dave Gibbons puts out these days, and seeing him with Mark Millar is bound to be a unique experience. Next up is Saga #2 (Image, $2.99); Brian K. Vaughn is really setting up a world – like a sci-fi sitcom here, with loads of direction to go in. Lastly I’d get Conan the Barbarian #3 (Dark Horse, $3.50). Can I admit I might like this more than Northlanders? Brian Wood’s definitely expanding how people think of him with this story, and Becky Cloonan is making a lot of editors look foolish for not putting her on these kinds of books sooner.
If I had $30, I’d start out with Secret #1 (Image, $3.50). Manhattan Projects seems more up my alley than this story, but Jonathan Hickman’s built up some credit in me to try anything new he puts out even if I’m not too interested. Next up would be Northlanders #50 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99), which I’m sad to see go. I think this will be one of those series that achieves more popularity after it’s over, and it’s a shame DC can’t find a way to continue it. After that it would be Glory #25 (Image, $2.99). I was a bit shaky on the story after Joe Keatinge’s first issue, but everything after has really put the pieces into place and Ross Campbell seems to be finding his footing to really land the superheroics of this story. Last up would be Secret Avengers #25 (Marvel, $3.99); Rick Remender’s clearly put his own spin to this series, so much I’m surprised Marvel didn’t use this as a chance to renumber the series… but I’m glad they didn’t.
If I could splurge, I’d throw money at my comic retailer for Pete and Miriam (Boom!, $14.99). Big fan of Rich Tommaso, and he seems to be honing his craft like a knife, creating more pointed and poignant stories here. And Miriam, she’s a real gem.
I am, somewhat surreally, under house arrest for the next few days because I have the flu and am in the middle of my five day infectious period, but when I finally get to escape and get to the store, my $15 will go on the first issue of Caitlin Kiernan and Steve Lieber's Alabaster: Wolves (Dark Horse, $3.50), which really has some spectacular art from Lieber and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg that's worth the price of admission alone, the second issue of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' spectacular Saga (Image Comics, $2.99) and another debut, Dynamite's The Bionic Woman #1 ($3.99); I've been continually surprised by how much I enjoy the Bionic Man series, and having Paul Tobin write a spin-off makes it an easy must-read for me.
If I had $30, I'd look under cushions and in coat pockets to find an additional 47 cents so I could pick up Showcase Presents The Losers, Vol. 1 (DC Comics, $19.99). I'm not a massive war comic fan, but reading the recent Kirby hardcover of his issues on this series, I found myself interested in finding out more about Sarge, Gunner and the rest of the team; having some lovely black and white John Severin, Ross Andru and Russ Heath art to look at just makes the decision to pick it up even easier.
Were I to splurge, this week, it'd be the hardcover reissue of Courtney Crumrin, Vol 1: The Night Things that'd I'd be taking home; I missed these stories the first time around, but I've liked what I've seen of Ted Naifeh's work elsewhere, and the lure of newly-colored, deluxe collected editions of the original stories is just a little too strong for me to ignore...
This is a slow week for me, but with only $15 I'd definitely take a look at Stan Lee's Stripperella. I'm sorry, I mean Pete and Miriam. Rich Tomasso's coming of age story about two troubled teens and close friends growing up in 1980s New Jersey is about my own era and stomping grounds. If Tomasso's book includes scenes set in the Garden State Mall and Ho Ho Kus Inn, I'm sold.
If I had $30, I'd get Unterzakhn, another coming of age story, this time from Leela Corman and concerning two sisters living in early 20th century New York City. It's been awhile since Corman's had a comic out - she's been working on this particular book for awhile - and I'm intrigued both by the subject matter and by the chance to see how her work has developed since her last book.
There's not much I'd really be willing to splurge on, but I am intrigued by the Boom!'s re-release of Kitchen Sink Press: The First 25 Years, a company retrospective from a company that's no longer around. Will there be any added chapters regarding the publisher's eventual fate (as I recall, the investors decided selling candy bars was more profitable than comics)? Hard to say, but it should at least offer a nostalgic look back at the heady days of the black and white era.
This is a tough week for me. If I had just $15, I'd follow Chris's lead and spend it on Pete and Miriam. I discovered Rich Tomasso via his website, where he publishes his graphic novels in webcomic form, and I got hooked, so I'm looking forward to seeing his work on paper
With $30 to spend, I'd add on Box Brown's one-shot comic Survivalist ($7.99), from Blank Slate. Again, I discovered Brown via his online work (Bellen, Everything Dies), and I'm a fan. Then I'll pick up Adventure Time #3 ($3.99), because BOOM! Studios has been doing such a nice job with these books that it's easy to forget they're supposed to be for kids.
Splurge: Aaaaahhh. Let's start with Unterzakhn ($24.95), the story of two Jewish girls growing up in New York. It's a topic that interests me, and the book has been getting great buzz, so I'm looking forward to picking it up. Viz has a new volume of Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys ($12.99) and the second volume of the snappy shoujo manga A Devil and Her Love Song ($9.99). I'll pair that with the softer but still fascinating vol. 7 of Arisa ($10.99), from Kodansha, and I'm set for the week.
If I had $15, I'd start with the first issue of the new Courtney Crumrin ongoing ($3.99), because Ted Naifeh. Then I'd add Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #8 ($2.99), Batwoman #8 ($2.99), and Glory #25 ($2.99), because those are all great series. With only $2 left in my pocket, I'd buy me a cup of coffee to read my comics with.
If I had $30, I'd put back Glory in order to afford Courtney Crumrin, Volume 1: The Night Things (Special Edition) ($19.99). I've already got it in black-and-white, but if I learned nothing else from Bone, it's that color doesn't have to ruin fantastic black-and-white art and that sometimes it's nice to have both versions.
I don't have just one splurge this week, but several smaller things I want, but can't afford because of Courtney. Batgirl #8 ($2.99), for instance, and Bionic Woman #1 ($3.99). I'm also curious about Alabaster: Wolves #1 ($3.50) because the heroine looks like Elric. Finally, Piranha Pancakes ($9.95) promises "penguins, dinosaurs, cowboys, superheroes, and even some owls trying to take over the world" by Ray Friesen (Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken).