Food or Comics? | Snarked, Caniff, Ultimate Comics Fallout and more

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.

Graeme McMillan

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.

Chris Mautner

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.

Michael May

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.

JK Parkin

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.

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