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.
It's an odd week this week, with little slices of history all over the place. If I had $15, I'd make a point of grabbing two of those slices immediately: Ultimate Comics Fallout #4 (Marvel, $3.99) is the most hyped of the two, the introduction of the "all-new" Spider-Man that we've apparently been counting down to for the last week, but I'll admit more eagerness to read Superman #714 (DC, $2.99), the final issue of the original numbering of a series that's been running for seven decades, as well as the final episode of "Grounded," which has become a testament to Chris Roberson's ability to make a silk purse out of JMS' ear, or something. Also on the DC side, Flashpoint #4 (DC, $3.99), because I've come this far, and because I'm curious what the last page shocker that will make me desperate to read #5 is going to turn out to be. Also: Snarked #0 (BOOM! Studios) is out! Worth multiple times the $1 it actually costs.
If I had $30, my masochistic nostalgia would try to tell me that picking up DC Retroactive: The Flash - The 80s (DC, $4.99) would be a good idea despite the disappointments of some of the Retroactive issues to date. To be fair, I really loved the Messner-Loebs/LaRoquette pairing back then, so it could be worth it this time around, as well. I'll also grab Mystic #1 (Marvel, $2.99), more because I love G. Willow Wilson's writing than having any affection for the original Crossgen series, which I haven't even read. There are also new issues of a couple of favorites that I'll be picking up: Secret Six #36 (DC, $2.99, and another final issue), and Dungeons & Dragons #9 (IDW, $3.99).
Splurging, it has to go to the Acts of Vengeance Omnibus (Marvel, $99.99). There's no way in the world I could actually afford this, but in the fantasy world of Splurgeville, I would eagerly pick this up to find out what happened at the end of a story I only read in occasional crossovers.
If I had $15: I'd stick with the adolescent male entertainment side of the rack and get a copy of The Boys #57 ($3.99) and Bakuman Vol. 6 ($9.99).
If I had $30: I'd put the adolescent male fare aside and pick up Tank Tankuro, a pre-World War II manga about an adventurous, roly-poly robot by one Gajo Sakamoto. This first-time English collection features numerous essays, a slipcover case and a cover by Chris Ware, which is like the cherry on the double-cream frosting for me. A preview can be found on The Comics Journal site.
Splurge: This is a pretty good week for reprints. Milton Caniff fans will want to check out Caniff ($49.99) a coffee-table collection of original art, drawings, sketches and other art work by the Terry and the Pirates creator. Fantagraphics is re-releasing their Willie & Joe WWII collection by Bill Mauldin ($39.99) as a paperback and also introducing a collection of post-war Madulin cartoons, titled Back Home ($29.99). Abrams has an oversize tribute to George Herriman in Krazy Kat and the Art of George Herriman: A Celebration ($29.95) -- I wrote briefly about the book in last month's Comics College post on Herriman. And finally there's the Jack Kirby Omnibus from DC ($49.99) which collects a number of the maestro's short tales, including a bunch of Green Arrow adventures.
If I had $15, I'd grab some #1s (and a #0). Terry Moore's new series Rachel Rising ($3.99), about an amnesiac who wakes up in a shallow grave starts this week. So does Mystic ($2.99), Marvel's newest CrossGen reboot. Like Graeme, I never read CrossGen's version, but I love that Amanda Conner cover. Anyone who wields a wooden spoon like a broadsword while wearing an apron is someone I want to read about. The beginning of Matt Wagner's last Zorro story, Zorro Rides Again ($3.99) also comes out this week, as does the introductory 0-issue to Roger Langridge's Snarked ($1.00) from BOOM!. Since I still have a few buck left in my pocket (thanks, BOOM!), I'll also snag Moriarty #4 ($2.99) just to peek and see if it's still worth trade-waiting. I imagine it is, but that three dollars is burning a hole in my pocket.
If I had $30, I'd add Doug Tennapel's Bad Island ($12.99 for the paperback version) partly because I like adventures on uncharted islands; partly because Mautner says this is a good one. It's not on Diamond's official list, but ComicList has it and they're often right.
I've got three splurge items this week. Mautner has already mentioned Caniff ($49.99) and that's on my list too, as is a related collection: Hermes' reprints of the seven Steve Canyon issues ($49.99) of Dell's Four Color comics. More affordable though is Oni's Petrograd ($29.99), which combines the murder of Rasputin with British espionage.
If I had $15, I'd start with the bargain-priced Snarked #0 ($1), which BOOM! just launched a dedicated website for. Head over there to check out a preview. I'd also pick up Punisher #1, as Greg Rucka nearly always gets my money. Two new comics I'm looking forward to that probably couldn't be any more different.
I'd also pick up a couple of last issues -- regrettably, Secret Six #36 ($2.99) wraps up the series, while Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #3 ($3.99) ends one of the better Flashpoint tie-ins. And finally, the penultimate Flashpoint #4 ($3.99) would find its way into my shopping bag.
Speaking of first issues, if I had $30, I'd also add Terry Moore's new horror-ish title, Rachel Rising #1 ($3.99). I'd also get the latest issue of Usagi Yojimbo, #139 ($3.50), which kicks off a two-part "whodunit" style mystery, and The Boys #57 ($3.99). And finally, the Hero Comics 2011 one-shot ($3.99) not noly benefits a good cause, but also features a Chew story and a new tale by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth. I think that puts me about 50 cents over my limit, but I'm pretty sure I've got that much somewhere in my couch cushions.
My splurge is easy: the long-awaited, at least by me, Petrograd by Phil Gelatt and Tyler Crook. I posted some artwork from it earlier today, and it's beautiful stuff.