Food or Comics? | Steak or <i>Schism</i>? <i>Red Wing</i> or Red Wine?

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. We’re coming a little late today due to a power outage in my neck of the woods — due to a blackout, not because I spent the money for the electric bill on Flashpoint or Fear Itself tie-ins.

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 make a mad grab for American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99); I love what Snyder and Murphy are doing here, and anyone who knows me knows how big a fan I am of Murphy's work. Next up would be the debut of Jonathan Hickman's Redwing #1 (Image, $3.50); after seeing Hickman blossom at Marvel, it's great to see him re-invest in creator-owned comics. Third would be Jason Aaron and Carlos Pacheco's X-Men Schism #1 (Marvel, $4.99); I have a sense Aaron's the kind of writer to bring his "A" game when it comes to special stories (he did it recently in Scalped #50), so I'm interested to see what he does here. Last up would be Northlanders #42 (DC, $2.99).

If I had $30, I'd double-up on two indie series; Jeff Smith's RASL#11 ($3.50) and Loose Ends #1 (12 Gauge, $3.99). Then I'd go back to Marvel and get FF #6 (Marvel, $2.99) and Wolverine #12 (Marvel, $3.99).

If I had some money to splurge, I'd get the great Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies trade paperback (Image, $18.99). It has two things I like -- weird variations on a long-running character, and an eclectic line-up of creators. It's almost as if the Popgun crew had a go at Larsen's Dragon.

Graeme McMillan

I admit: Thanks to traveling, work overload and just plain busyness, I've completely failed to make it to a comic store in the last few weeks, so if/when I hit the store this week, I'll be less interested in the new releases than I will be just seeing what I've missed since mid-June. But if someone were to insist that I spend $15 on books from this week, chances are I'd spend it on Captain America #1 (Marvel, $3.99)--I'm curious to see what Ed Brubaker does with the idea of a new beginning for the character, especially considering the fact that he's essentially been doing one 70+ issue storyline since the last time he relaunched the series --as well as Superman #713 (DC, $2.99), because I'm curious to see where the Man of Steel goes in my neck of the woods (presuming, of course, he gets there and someone at DC hasn't taken offense at something else Chris Roberson has written this issue) and, completing an unconscious cycle, DC Comics Presents Gotham Noir (DC, $7.99), reprinting an early collaboration between Brubaker and Sean Philips that promises to be grim yet enjoyable reading.

If I had $30, I'd make a point of adding Ultimate Comics Fallout #1 (Marvel, $3.99), because I hope it'll include something to make the "Death of Spider-Man" storyline so amazingly emotionally vapid, Green Lantern #67 (DC, $2.99) because I'm curious to see how that whole "War of The Green Lanterns" ended up--My bet? Hal is shown the box office take of the GL movie and has to face real fear for the first time--and X-Men: Schism #1 (Marvel, $4.99) because I am masochistic enough to be curious about how this particular Cyclops/Wolverine clash will differ from the seventy-nine similar clashes in their past.

Splurging this week for me will probably take the form of just buying all the books I'd meant to get for the last three weeks or so, but if I were to look at something from this week's list, I'd probably take a look at the Bloom County To Mars: The Imagination of Berkeley Breathed catalog from the Cartoon Art Museum's recent exhibit that IDW is making available in the direct market ($20)...

Chris Mautner

It's a pretty quiet week for me, so if I had $15, I'd probably just stick with the 11th issue of Jeff Smith's RASL.

If I had $30, I'd pick up the trade for Incognito: Bad Influences. There's something about Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' work together that just really accentuates their particular strengths.

As far as Splurge items go, that Bloom County book that Graeme mentioned sounds rather intriguing, so let's go with that.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15, I'd spend the whole thing on the fourth volume of Cross Game ($14.99), Misturi Adachi's charming story of boys and girls and baseball, packaged by Viz in a double-sized volume of almost 400 pages.

If I had $30, I'd take a chance on The Homeland Directive ($14.95), a new thriller out from Top Shelf that looks like it would make good summer reading.

My splurge is pretty modest this week: The third issue of Gladstone's School for World Conquerors, which would be my first choice if the other books weren't 15 bucks each. Nothing other than that is calling out to me, so I'll save the rest of my splurge money for next week.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd load up first on three different series I'm following: Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #2 ($2.99), Alpha Flight #2 ($2.99), and Mystery Men #3 ($2.99). I've written about Alpha Flight and Mystery Men here before, so I'll spare you, but Frankenstein has a great concept and Jeff Lemire did an excellent job on the first issue by drawing me in without making me feel like I needed to buy any other Flashpoint titles to follow his story. Next I'd add Defenders: From the Marvel Vault #1 ($2.99), because I'm curious and excited to see Kurt Busiek write a story over Mark Bagley's art that was already produced from a Fabian Niceza script. That's a crazy experiment that I wouldn't pay money to see many people do, but Busiek...you bet. Finally, if I just had 50 cents more I'd grab the new RASL or BPRD, but I don't, so I'll buy All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #9 ($2.99) instead. I'm not a big Hawkman fan, but B:tBatB has consistently been strong enough that it doesn't have to rely on my affection for its guest-stars.

If I had $30, I'd add Casanova: Gula ($14.99) to see how it's improved since I read it in single-issues from Image.

My splurge item this week wouldn't be actual comics. Instead, I'd buy the Triton and Black Manta figurines from Eaglemoss ($14 each) and make them fight each other.

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