Welcome once again to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy based on certain spending limits — $15, $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we call the “Splurge” item. Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
It's a weird week for new releases, with everyone but Marvel taking it easy and pulling back on massive hauls in order to give our wallets a nice holiday break (unless you're a Marvel completest, in which case, yowza. Look out). That said, if I had $15, I'd put it towards the special 200th issue of What If? ($4.99), the first issue of event tie-in Chaos War: X-Men ($3.99) because I'm curious how Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson handle Marvel's version of Blackest Night, and the second issue of Scott Snyder and Jock's Detective Comics run (#872, $3.99), because I was really happily surprised by how much I enjoyed the first.
If I had $30, I'd put Chaos War and What If? back on the shelf, and get Emitown ($24.99) instead. I've heard really great things about this print collection of Emi Lenox's autobio webcomic, and I like the idea of seeing 2011 in by discovering a new cartoonist to love.
Splurging, I'd go back to Marvel, with the brand new Ka-Zar collection by Mark Waid and Andy Kubert ($19.99). I missed out on this series back in the 1990s, but as a fan of both fish-out-of-water stories and Mark Waid stories, something tells me that this might be right up my street.
If I had $15:
I picked up a copy of this at the Brooklyn show but if you weren't there, then the third issue of Sammy Harkham's Crickets ($8) is easily the pick of the week, at least as far as I'm concerned. Harkham has seemingly abandoned, at least for now, his tale of wandering golems and invulnerable men for two self-contained pieces, each with a decided literary bent (the first one is rather cheekily titled "The New Yorker."). Both tales show a slight movement towards more introspective, character building work, with the second tale "Blood of the Virgin," offering a nice homage of sorts to the late 1960s and early '70s era of Roger Corman-style cheapie b-films, or at least how they were produced. Definitely one of the nicer surprises at the Brooklyn show this month and highly recommended.
If I had $30:
I'm extremely curious to check out Bigfoot ($20), Pascal Girard's graphic novel about a sensitive teen who becomes an unwanted celebrity thanks to an embarrassing YouTube video. I really liked Pascal's last book, Nicolas, a memoir about his younger brother who died at an early age, and am anxious to see what he'll do with more fictional material.
There's not much that's splurge-worthy this week, but I'll at least check out Drew Friedman's Sideshow Freaks ($19.95), a collection of color caricatures of human oddities, courtesy of Blast Books.
If I had $15:
Like Graeme and Chris said, there's not a whole lot going on this week, but I'd spend my money on the new Hellboy (The Sleeping and the Dead #1; $3.50) and Josh Fialkov's new book, Echoes #1 ($2.99). Fialkov describes his story as "a dark horror book that asks whether you can inherit murder" and "about the darkest, scariest thing I've ever done." Bold words coming from the writer of Elk's Run.
If I had $30:
I'd add Dark Horse's John Carter of Mars: Weird Worlds collection ($14.99), their reprinting of DC’s John Carter stories from the ’70s featuring the work of guys like Marv Wolfman, Howard Chaykin, Gray Morrow, and Joe Orlando.
Sometimes I regret having to pick based on a budget. Like this week when two of the books I want most count as splurge items. There's no way I'm missing the new Atlas collection though, The Return of the Three Dimensional Man ($16.99) or Marvel's reprint of Mark Waid and Andy Kubert's Ka-Zar ($19.99). I was a fool in the '90s for not picking up that series. I'm also cautiously curious about Markosia's The Young Sherlock Holmes Adventures ($15.95). That one's going to require a flip-through before buying though.