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.
If I had $15:
I’d be all about the Axe Cop, Volume 1 ($14.99). Should be the best thing since Katie Mignola’s The Magician and the Snake.
If I had $30:
I’d add On the Case with Holmes and Watson, Volume 5: The Adventure of the Speckled Band ($6.95) and Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #1 ($7.99). Those On the Case books are cool and a Howard anthology of new and reprinted material sounds awesome. Especially when the creators involved include Paul Tobin, Marc Andreyko, Tim Bradstreet and Barry Windsor Smith.
There’s a lot to splurge on this week, starting with Tikitis ($29.95), a comic about a bunch of luchadores who fight mad scientists, voodoo zombies, jungle warriors, and mythological monsters on a tropical island. Still in the mood for jungle adventure, I’d also love to read Phantom: Generations ($19.99) finally, which tells the stories of the various Phantoms throughout history. Then there’s FX2: The Lost Land ($19.99), a fun, Hollow Earth adventure with superhero analogs and Dracula: The Dead Travel Fast ($9.99), which retells Stoker’s story in the 1930s with Nazis. And hey, Classic Marvel Figures Collectors Magazine has their Snowbird figure ($12) out this week.
If I had $15:
There's a lot of good manga out this week, so my $15 smackeroos would probably end up going towards the 12th volume of 20th Century Boys ($12.99), the fourth volume of Children of the Sea ($14.99) or the second volume of I'll Give it My All .... Tomorrow ($12.99).
If I had $30:
I'd save up my scratch for the most notable manga release of the week, A Single Match by Oji Suzuki ($24.95), part of D&Q's ongoing plan to release as much classic gekiga manga in the U.S. as possible. This is a collection of short stories by the Garo veteran, about whom I know very little, but D&Q has had a stellar record with their manga releases thus far, so I'm confident it will be a worthy purchase.
December is apparently Moebius month as Wednesday sees the release of The Incal: Classic Collection, a $100 (ok, $99.95) deluxe, slipcased hardcover book collecting the original 1980s trippy sci-fi saga the Heavy Metal master did with Alejandro Jodorowsky. This I believe is a remastering of the original coloring, rather than that awful version DC released several years ago when they had that oh-so-brief publishing deal with Humanoids. This book has been calling out to me in my fevered nighttime dreams, taunting me with its exorbitant price tag and (no doubt) limited availability. But one day it shall be mine, oh yes.
I'm continuing my one man War On Christmas Comics this week with my $15, going for DC's Green Lantern: Larfreeze Christmas Special ($3.99), Jay Faerber's Dynamo 5 Holiday Special 2010 ($3.99) and the most festive of all of them, Batman Inc. #2 ($3.99). Okay, it might not be specifically holiday-themed, but it'll likely be jolly and I really liked the first issue. With the $3 I have left, I have to shamefully admit that the hype has worked, and I'll likely check out the Obama/Palin issue of Archie (#616, $2.99). I know, I know.
If I had $30, I'd go with Michael and pick up Dark Horse's Axe Cop Vol. 1 ($14.99), if only to catch up on it considering how rarely I remember to check the webcomic, even though I like it a lot. What can I say? I like paper a lot.
Splurging, it's a pretty easy choice for me this week: IDW's new hardcover collection of Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman ($29.99), a classic slice of misanthropic action to offset all the eggnog and good cheer I'll be imbibing elsewhere. But, admittedly, it's only that easy because I already have the hardcover of Bill Willingham's Fables novel, Peter & Max, which comes out in paperback this week ($14.99); if you haven't read that, then I'd highly recommend it as a stocking stuffer for yourself to relax with when the relatives finally go home.
If I had $15, I'd start with Usagi Yojimbo #134 ($3.50), which sounds like a fun stand-alone story. Then I'd pick up Fantastic Four #586 ($2.99), the penultimate chapter of the "Three" storyline where someone who isn't Ben Grimm, apparently, is supposed to die. Next I'd follow Graeme's Christmas-y lead and pick up the Larfleeze Christmas Special #1 ($3.99), because the concept is just wonderful, and then I'd get Morning Glories #5 ($3.50) to round out this first tier.
If I had $30, I'd also grab a copy of The Sixth Gun #7 ($3.99), which kicks off a new storyline (which means that a trade paperback of the first six issues is on its way ... yep, in January). I'd also grab Chew #16 ($2.99) and American Vampire #10 ($3.99) That leaves me with about five bucks, so maybe I'd take an advance from next week and pick up Royal Historian of Oz #3 and Skullkickers #4. That puts me over the limit, and hoping that Santa will bring me copies of Invincible Iron Man, Batman Inc. and everything else I wanted.
As Michael and Graeme have noted, you can't go wrong with Axe Cop, and I really enjoyed the Fables novel Peter & Max that's coming out tomorrow in paperback. But since I've read both, I'm going to go with something I haven't seen before -- Train Me Gamble ($17.99), a graphic novel about a monstrous bad ass who is tasked with defeating a militaristic sociopath. But because of his size and appearance, the monster has never really had to fight before, so he seeks training from the 10,000-year-old Gamble. It sounds like a lot of fun.