Food or Comics? | This week's comics on a budget

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday 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 if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

JK Parkin

If I had $15: It would be tough. For one thing, DC has three books for $5 or more each that I'm interested in -- the last issues of Justice League Generation Lost and Brightest Day, as well as Action Comics #900. If I bought all three, well ... I couldn't buy all three, at least not for $15. I stopped reading Brightest Day several issues ago, so I'm more curious about the return of a certain character to the DCU proper than anything. And I'll probably hold off on Action as well, at least for now. But Justice League Generation Lost's final issue ($4.99) would be at the top of my buy list for sure.

So that's $5 worth of comics; I'd also grab Secret Avengers #12 ($3.99), which wraps up Ed Brubaker's run on the book, and FF#2 ($2.99), which continues Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting's awesome run at Marvel's first family. Then I'd round it out with Walking Dead #84 ($2.99) to see if [REDACTED -- SPOILERS!] survived that [REDACTED].

If I had $30: It seems like this is a week filled with wrap-up issues, as I'd also get Osborn #5 ($3.99), the miniseries that made me care about a character I never wanted to see again after Dark Reign. I'd also get the last issue of the excellent New York Five ($2.99), and the last issue of Top Cow's Echoes ($3.99). That leaves me room for one more comic, so I think I'd go with American Vampire #14 ($2.99). That leaves not just Action Comics, but also Batman Inc., Captain America, Morning Glories, Mighty Thor, RASL and Xombi on the shelves. Maybe it's time to up these spending limits so my hypothetical self goes home with more in his shopping bag.

Splurge: It's a really nice week for trades as well, which is how I've been buying Jonah Hex and Invincible. So let's go nuts and throw their latest trades into the cart ($14.99 and $19.99, respectively), along with the Bulletproof Coffin trade ($17.99), the Remake Special ($9.95) and Empire State: A Love Story or Not ($17.95), the latest by Jason Shiga.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 this week, it'd all go to DC Comics, between the final issue of Brightest Day ($4.99), the extra-sized, creator-packed 900th anniversary issue of Action Comics ($5.99) and the second issue of John Rozum and Fraser Irving's Xombi ($2.99), I am very, very much geeking out on all the goodness available for me at the store this week.

It gets better if I have $30, because then I can add Batman Incorporated #5 (DC, $2.99) to my list, and a couple of titles I'm curious about but not sold on yet: Brian Michael Bendis and Bryan Hitch's Avengers #12.1 (Marvel, $2.99) apparently sets up a massive storyline for... something, at some point in the future, while Matt Fraction gets to continue his attempt to make a Thor story make sense in the relaunched The Mighty Thor #1 (Marvel, $3.99); hopefully, Olivier Coipel will help with that more than Pascal Ferry did. I'll round out my purchases with the debut of BOOM!'s Planet of The Apes ($3.99) because... well, come on. Who can resist those damn dirty apes?

Splurgewise, this week really has a no-brainer: IDW's Genius Isolated: The Life & Art of Alex Toth hardcover ($49.99), celebrating the work of the only artist who's ever come close to Jack Kirby in terms of my sheer, undying mix of awe and love for what they've achieved. Anyone who doesn't like Toth just doesn't get comics, if you ask me. This looks amazing.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15: Batman Inc. #5 ($3), RASL #10 ($3.50) and Hate Annual #9 ($5) would be my picks. I suppose of all of them I'm most looking forward to reading the Hate Annual, if only cause we get new Buddy Bradley adventures so infrequently these days.

If I had $30: I'd put down those comics and get Love From the Shadows ($20), Gilbert Hernandez's latest graphic novel is yet another delightfully loopy and hauntingly surreal entry in his ongoing, loosely-related "Fritz" series and would be my pick of the week, certainly for any self-respecting Love and Rockets fan. (note: I interviewed the cartoonist about Love and his other recent works at the main CBR site).

And while I may not purchase them, I'd at least thumb through the new Remake Special by Lamar Abrams ($9.95) and Sleepyheads by Randall C., both of which look intriguing.

Splurge: Graeme hit the nail on the head. There's no other book more splurge-worthy this week than Genius Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth ($49.99). Toth has long been a cartoonist's cartoonist, but maybe the first of this planned three-volume set, as well as some other future books, will help net him a wider appreciation and audience.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15: I'd definitely get the fourth volume of Bakuman ($9.99), the manga-about-manga by the creators of Death Note. You can't go wrong with that story. And then I'd pick up Life With Archie #9 ($3.99), to continue the two-pronged soap opera of Archie's married life with Veronica and Betty.

If I had $30: Next on my list is American Vampire #14 ($2.99), which is the second issue of the World War II arc--I need to catch up on this, but hearing Scott Snyder talk about the story at C2E2 whetted my appetite. And then I think I'll head for another manga, vol. 3 of House of Five Leaves ($12.99), a stylish samurai story by Natsume Ono.

Splurge: I don't do this too often, but my big splurge this week would be Dark Horse's deluxe edition of The Outlaw Prince ($49.99), which is based on a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The art in this is absolutely beautiful and it's one of the few comics that I would consider buying as a deluxe hardcover.

Michael May

If I had $15: I'd have some difficult decisions to make. There's a lot of great stuff coming out, but I'd have to limit my pile to Xombi #2 ($2.99), The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #1 ($3.50), Marineman #5 ($3.99), and Planet of the Apes #1 ($3.99). Xombi and Marineman are two of my favorite series right now, Mr. Hyde sounds promising with its Dr. Jekyll vs. Jack the Ripper premise, and I got to see an advance copy of PotA revealing that its everything I want in a PotA prequel. (Watch this space tomorrow for a full review.)

If I had $30: Typically I'd find a collection or graphic novel to spend my extra money on, but this week I'm going to pick up a few extra periodicals. Echoes wraps up this week with issue #5 ($3.99), Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters continues with #2 (3.99), and Dark Horse's Turok: Son of Stone #2 ($3.50) is finally out.

Splurge: I was all set to grab Sensational She-Hulk by John Byrne, Volume 1 ($24.99), because I've always been curious about that well-regarded comic, but Graeme and Chris M have changed my mind. Alex Toth's stuff really is gorgeous and I don't know as much about him as I'd like. So it's Genius Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth ($49.99) for me.

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