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 what we call our “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 to spend at the comic store this week, the first thing I'd grab would be Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly's New York Five #1 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99), the follow-up to New York Four (obviously), their contribution to the much-loved-by-me-at-least Minx imprint. Really, almost everything else pales into comparison, but I'll also go for IDW's Infestation #1 ($3.99, which I was convinced came out last week), the fun opener for the zombie crossover that's about to go across their licensed line for the next few months. My superhero fix for the week comes from Paul Cornell and Pete Woods' always-entertaining Action Comics (#897, DC Comics, $2.99), which pits Lex and the Joker against each other, and Age of X: Alpha #1 (Marvel Comics, $3.99), which starts off another reality-altering timequake or something for the X-Men. I'm not expecting much from this, to be honest, but Mike Carey has proven me wrong before...

If I had $30, I'd put Age of X back on the shelf, and pick up the reissue of Sean Murphy's Off-Road from IDW ($17.99). Murphy's turned into one of those artists who I'll happily follow anywhere, and I completely missed this early work when it first came out (from Oni, I think? Maybe?) a few years back, so it'll be nice to make up for past mistakes.

Splurgewise, I'm probably going to splurge small, and grab Greg Rucka and Cully Hamner's The Question: Pipeline collection (DC Comics, $14.99), collecting the "second features" from the back of Rucka's run on Detective. I admit to dropping the title before the series finished -- once Batwoman was gone, so was I, I admit -- and so I'm curious how the story ends.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15 dollars in my pocket and a couple minutes at a comic store this week, I’d mainly stick to the Marvel shelves. First up would be getting a bagged copy of Fantastic Four #587 ($3.99); who knows -– knowing Brevoort, he might throw in a blood-soaked, chromium cover beneath these plastic walls. Seriously, I’ve been appreciative of Hickman’s run on the title and the addition of Epting recently brought it to a new level. I didn’t need the death to get me to buy the comic, and I’m a bit worried the sales part of it all might ruin it for me.

Getting back on topic, the other books I’d get is Age of X Alpha #1 ($3.99) – I’ve tried to get into Mike Carey’s X-Men books for awhile but keep being non-plussed by it, but love his other work The Unwritten. But the pitch and the art for this book has me wanting to like this. The third book would be Uncanny X-Force #4 ($3.99). Remender and Opena are doing some amazing work; to date I’ve thought Remender’s creator-owned work outshone his work for hire stuff, but this new work has me rescinding that remark. Opena is a real star of this –- he’s really shown an amazing improvement trajectory that I hope keeps up.

On the DC front, I’d pick up Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly’s New York Five #1 ($2.99). I was a big fan of the original New York Four OGN, and this one shouldn’t disappoint.

If I had $30, I’d go back and pick up something I haven’t bought in ages -– Wizard Magazine #235 ($5.99) The last of its kind, and probably the first issue I’ve bought in some time. I want to see this for historical record, to know what the Wizard was at the end. I have the first issue somewhere, so it’ll be interesting to compare it all. With The $9.05 left in my pocket I’d go after American Vampire #11 ($2.99), Action Comics #897 ($2.99) and…. Detective Comics #873. I might have been apt to throw another Marvel book in the lot, but times are tough – and DC’s $2.99 price point won out for this reader.

And if Jonah Weiland gave me a nice bonus in this month’s paycheck, I’d call my comic store and tell them to hold me a copy of Sean Murphy’s Off Road OGN ($17.99). I already have a copy of the original Oni edition from years back –- and even a piece of original art from the book -– but I’d be interested to get the new edition to look for any updates. If not, I’d pass it off to my best friend Jason who needs more good comics in his life.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15…

I'd have plenty of things to spend it on this week! First off, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #715 ($3.99), which is a 40-page special 70th anniversary issue from BOOM! Studios. BOOM! is switching over to mostly classic stories in this line, but this issue features a special 70th anniversary story by Daan Jippe that brings in a whole slew of classic Disney characters, as well as two older stories. Add Archaia's Fraggle Rock #2 ($3.95) to the pile; this is the second Fraggle Rock comic in two weeks, but what the heck, I could use a little more silliness in my life. Then I’d pick up The Sixth Gun #8 ($3.99), because I'm addicted to this series. That leaves just enough money for Jughead #205 ($2.99), in which Jughead teams up with Podman, a Jamaican DJ, to catch a gang of thieves. Hold my calls, I'm reading comics today!

If I had $30…

I'd add on vol. 4 of Deadman Wonderland ($10.99), Tokyopop's spectacularly violent yet also kind of fun manga about a prison that's also a theme park. Then I'll check out Infestation #1 ($3.99), because who wouldn't want to see a Star Trek/Transformers/Ghostbusters/G.I. Joe crossover? Just thinking about it opens up fissures in my brain.


No big, expensive hardback is calling to me from this week's list, but if I had a few extra bucks to throw around I'd take a chance on The New York Five #1 ($2.99), just because I like the premise, and I'd pick up vol. 7 of Bride of the Water God ($9.99) because the art is just so darn pretty.

Michael May

If I had $15:

I'd start off with Secret Avengers #9 ($3.99) and see what's going on with the best super-team line-up since the Champions. Then I'd add the second issue of Josh Fialkov's Echoes ($3.99) and check out what's going on with the Sub-Mariner in Namor: The First Mutant #6 ($2.99). Now that Namor's not crossing over with X-Men and vampires any more, I'm curious to see Marvel's latest take on the undersea hero.

If I had $30:

I'd trade-wait for Echoes and pick up David McAdoo's Red Moon ($19.99) instead. Beasts of Burden has left me craving more animals-as-occult-investigators and I'm really digging the art I've seen on this so far.


With some extra money I'd pick up The Killer, Volume 3: Modus Vivendi ($24.95). I'm behind by one volume, but I loved the first one and am eager to catch up.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

I'd spend it on booze. If the local liquor store were closed, however, I'd spend it on comics. Specifically the sixth and final issue of The Boys: Highland Laddie mini-series ($3.99). I'll be honest, I've been kind of disappointed in this off-shot, particularly in John McCrea's less-than-stellar art, but as I said last week, I'm determined to see this series through, for reasons that at times seem inexplicable to me.

I'd also pick up the #17th issue of Glamourpuss ($3), Dave Sim's examination of the comic strip photorealist style and the foolishness of fashion magazines. As the series continues to progress, I find it's themes starting to cohere and it becomes more and more of a fascinating -- if decidedly flawed -- work.

If I had $30:

Fantagraphics has a lot of interesting books out this week, but Stigmata ($19.99) would have to be first on my list as I've loved the work of Lorenzo Mattotti ever since I got my hands on a worn copy of Murmur oh so many years ago. I'm happy to see Fantagraphics start to try to get more of his work released in the U.S. and hope this book -- about a lug of a guy whose hands start to bleed in Christ-like fashion -- encourages that.


If I had enough cash, I'd probably try to get my hands on some of the other books Fanta has out this week, including the fourth and final volume of Johnny Ryan's Blecky Yuckarella strips, the charmingly titled F*** You A******, and the second volume of Pirus and Mezzo's King of the Flies, a hip crime noir piece heavily influenced by Charles Burns. Pantheon also has a $16 paperback version of Dan Clowes' Ice Haven out, and as I haven't read that story since it first came out in his Eightball series, I might purchase that as well.

JK Parkin

I read an advanced copy of The New York Five #1 ($2.99) last night, so put me down for that one for sure. I enjoyed the first volume from Minx, but what I really loved about this one was just how great Ryan Kelly's artwork looks in the bigger format. Kelly spoke with Comic Should be Good!'s Kelly Thompson about the differences between working on a manga-sized book and a more traditional comic-sized one, and for me this made a huge difference. The art feels bigger, more New York-like, I guess. Also I love the small touches, like the "fast facts" about various New York locales and the "stats" provided for each character (like what clothes they wear and what music they like).

I'd also pick up Fantastic Four #587 ($3.99); as of 2:21 p.m. Pacific time, I do not yet know which character died, despite the internet's best efforts to tell me. I really don't expect to be able to avoid it forever, but I'm having fun trying. (As an aside, I remember avoiding the big reveal that Spider-Man would unmask in Civil War for much of that Wednesday, until about an hour before I hit the comic store and Yahoo had it as their top headline. So note to self: avoid Yahoo today and tomorrow).

Finally, I'd round out this first tier with some of my usual suspects -- The Sixth Gun #8 ($3.99) and Skullkickers #5 ($2.99).

If I had $30, I'd also grab a couple more Vertigo titles -- American Vampire #11 ($2.99) and Fables #101 ($2.99). I'm also really curious about Age of X ($3.99), so that would likely make it into my shopping cart, leaving me $3 to spend on Scott Snyder's awesome Detective Comics#873.


Ohhh, lots of good stuff this week. I'd probably go for Stigmata ($19.99) based on Graeme's review from a few weeks back. But also for consideration would be Batman vs. the Undead (just for the title alone), the Artifacts trade from Top Cow, the second Cowboy Ninja Viking trade from Image, the Avengers Academy hardcover and the Hawkeye & Mockingbird trade.

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