Food or Comics? | The League of Spontaneous Olympians

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

If I had $15 this week, the first thing I'd grab would be a complete nostalgia-buy: DC Retroactive: Justice League of America - The 70s #1 (DC, $4.99), because I am a complete and utter sucker for JLA stories, and grew up reading old back issues of the title I found at used bookstores. This would be worth it for the reprint at the back alone, never mind the new story by Cary Bates that looks like it's playing around with the multiverse one more time. To accompany that, I'd also pick up the first two issues of Joe Harris and Brett Weldele's Spontaneous (both $3.99), because - even though I missed the Free Comic Book Day release of the debut - I'm a fan of Harris' Ghost Projekt and Weldele's work on The Surrogates, and curious to see just where a book about spontaneous human combustion can actually go.

If I had $30 this week, I'd add Kirby: Genesis #2 (Dynamite, $3.99) and Captain America & Bucky #620 (Marvel, $2.99) to my pile, each one taking on Kirby characters in their own way - I really loved the first two issues of Kirby: Genesis, and Chris Samnee's art alone makes Cap/Bucky a must-read. I'd also get another Dynamite book, the first issue of Terminator/Robocop: Kill Human ($3.99), because I'm hoping that Brit writer Rob Williams brings the 2000AD feel that the cyborg cop vs. killer robot high concept really deserves. Finally, I admit that I'm unable to resist Amazing Spider-Man #666 (Marvel, $3.99), just to see what Spider Island is like in person, as sad as I am that they didn't go for the more obvious Spider-Manhattan pun for the title...

When it comes to splurging this week, I'm sticking with ol' webhead: Essential Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Vol. 5 (Marvel, $19.99) collects all manner of classic issues from my youth, including the original Sin-Eater saga, and resisting that just isn't going to happen anytime soon, I'm afraid. Make mine late 1980s Marvel!

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

Wow. It's a really strong week. There's a new issue of Glamourpuss ($3.99) out, so that's probably my first buy. There's also a new Smurfs book, The Astro-Smurf ($5.99) out as well, but I think I'll hold off on that for now and go instead with the second chapter of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 3: Century ($9.95), which I've been rather anxiously anticipating.

If I had $30:

I love learning about classic Eurocomics, so my next purchase would be one of two new books from Fantagraphics: either Gil Jordan: Murder by High Tide ($18.99) or Sibyl-Anne Vs. Ratticus ($16.99). I know nothing about either book or the creators (M. Tillieux and R. Macherot, respectively) and am eager to be schooled.


Oh my goodness, where to begin? There's the new Alex Toth collection, Setting the Standard ($39.00), also from Fanta. There's also a fourth volume of Alex Raymond's Rip Kirby ($49.99) out. There's a interesting looking collaboration between Lou Reed and Mattotti on Poe's The Raven ($22.99), Rick Geary has a new Murder volume out, this time on Sacco and Vanzetti ($15.99), George O'Connor's latest retelling of classic Greek myths, Hera ($9.99) arrives, Grant Morrison's examination of the cape and cowl genre, Supergods ($28.00) is out and Gary Spencer Millidge's biography of Alan Moore ($45.00) is here. I'll take it all please.

Brigid Alverson

So many choices! If I had $15, the first $10.99 of it would go to vol. 8 of Twin Spica. This is a great series about a girl who aspires to be an astronaut, and while it definitely favors human drama over sci-fi, there's a bit of both. That leaves me four bucks, so I can buy one comic. I see a lot of temptations, but there's no way I'm missing The Sixth Gun #13 ($3.99) so that gets the nod.

It doesn't get any easier at the $30 level. I'm tempted by the newest volume in George O'Connor's beautifully drawn Olympians series Hera: The Goddess and her Glory ($9.99), but an odd little comic called Seeds ($10.99) is pulling me away with the promise of family drama in a detached indy style. OK, I'll go with that, and then add Spontaneous #1 ($3.99) to the pile, because who can resist a comic about spontaneous human combustion?

My splurge is all over the place. I'll take the second issue of Spontaneous, for starters, as Oni seems to be releasing them simultaneously. Toss in Ape's latest Richie Rich comic as well. The serious splurge begins with Abrams' Krazy Kat and the Art of George Herriman: A Celebration ($29.95). As much as I love old comics, I love oddball memorabilia even more, and Craig Yoe always finds some interesting ephemera to add to his collections of classic comic strips. I'll take that Olympians book now, and add the second volume of Defiance ($16.99), also from First Second, because I think the first volume was my favorite of last spring's books and that's saying a lot when you're talking about First Second. And finally, because even splurges have their limits, Atomic Robo: The Deadly Art of Science, the fifth collection of this series and one of my favorites. There. Done. Hold my calls, I'm reading comics.

Chris Arrant

If I only had $15, it would be a tough week for me; I count 14 titles I'd easily spend my money on. Narrowing it down to $15, I'd spend the bulk of it on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #2 (Top Shelf, $9.95). If anyone's deserved my money sight unseen it's Alan Moore, and that goes double after reading the first issue of this series. Second up would be Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips' Criminal: Last of the Innocent #2. This one seems to recapture some of the first series' magic after going a bit wild in subsequent installments.

If I had $30, I'd double back and get Flashpoint: Project Superman #2 (DC, $2.99) if for nothing else than to see more of Gene Ha. After his debacle with IDW and Bill Willingham, I'm glad to see him back on shelves -- although I kind of wish he'd been given a more prominent series at Marvel or DC. Next up would be a trio of Marvel titles: X-Men Schism #2 (Marvel, $3.99), Uncanny X-Force #12 (Marvel, $3.99) and Secret Warriors #28 (Marvel, $2.99).

If I had money to splurge, I'd give it up for the second Metal Hurlant Collection (Humanoids, $29.95). I have some of these stories in theiroriginal magazine format, but this would fill out my collection and let me give away those singles to someone deserving.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd load up on floppies, as usual, starting with a couple of series I'm following faithfully. Xombi got recent praise from both Jeff Lemire and Grant Morrison, so don't take just my word for how good it is. Issue #5 ($2.99) of course makes my pile. Also, I just finished watching the live-action Planet of the Apes TV show and loved it, but watching the cartoon series that followed it is a real buzz-kill. I need some good Planet of the Apes again and the fourth issue of Boom's series ($3.99) is just the ticket. Rounding off the pile are Image's undersea-treasure-hunt-gone-horribly-wrong story The Vault #1 ($3.50) and IDW's Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #5 ($3.99). I'm going to miss Phil Hester's art on Godzilla, but am excited at the same time about Victor Santos' (who takes over starting with this issue) work on it.

If I had $30, I'd trade-wait Godzilla and Planet of the Apes to save enough money for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #2 ($9.95) and Olympians, Volume 3: Hera - The Goddess and Her Glory ($9.99).

As some of the guys said above, it really is a busy week, so I'm also splurging like crazy on four different books. Like Brigid, I loved Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis' Resistance, Volume 1 and can't wait for this new installment, Defiance ($16.99). I'm also looking forward to Keith Champagne and Shawn Moll's league of extraordinary cowboys in Death Valley ($17.99), Phil Hester and David Marquez' follow-up to Days Missing with Volume 2: Kestus ($24.95), and of course Atomic Robo, Volume 5: Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science ($19.95). It's not even fair to call Atomic Robo a splurge item. Really more of a necessity.

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