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:
There are a lot of great periodicals coming out this week, so I'd have some hard choices to make. With only $15, I'd concentrate first on those with the cheapest prices: the first issue of Dark Horse's new Mighty Samson ($3.50), Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #2 ($3.50), and Mouse Guard: Black Axe #1 ($3.50). I'm already a huge fan of both Atomic Robo and Mouse Guard and - based on its concept and vague memories of stories I read as a kid - hope to become one of Mighty Samson too. I'd spend the last of my money on Northern Guard #1, because I'm a sucker for Canadian superheroes.
If I had $30:
I'd add Doc Macabre #1 ($3.99), John Byrne's Next Men #1 ($3.99), and Strange Tales 2 #3 ($4.99). "Doc Macabre" is an awesome name and I love Steve Niles' pulp stuff, I've been waiting 16 years for that Next Men issue, and the Strange Tales book has a Kate Beaton story in which the Avengers go to a carnival. I'd pay five bucks just for Beaton's deal, but it's also got a Thing tale by Harvey Pekar (and yes, Harvey Pekar is in the story).
Speaking of Steve Niles pulp: the Mystery Society collection ($19.99) comes out this week, as does Beau Smith's Wynonna Earp: Yeti Wars ($17.99). Those should both be a lot of fun.
I'm having the opposite reaction to Michael this week, with lots of more expensive items leaping out at me, but nothing seeming particularly urgent in the periodicals list. And so, if I had $15, I'd probably start with the second issue of IDW's Dungeons & Dragons ($3.99) after loving the first so much, and then try out the debut of John Byrne's reborn Next Men ($3.99), to see where his head's at after all these years. I'd probably also pick up Marvel's Strange Tales #3 ($4.99), because I've enjoyed enough of what's come before, and really love Kate Beaton's work... but that remaining $2.03...? That'll remain up for grabs, I think.
If I had $30, I'd forget about Next Men #1 and put that money and some of the unused $2.03 towards Jason Little's Motel Art Improvement Service hardcover from Dark Horse ($19.99). There's something compelling about Little's comics, which feel to me like a mix of Jessica Abel and Chris Ware, in some strange way. I only vaguely caught up with this as a webcomic, hoping to read it in print. And here it is!
As far as splurging goes, there's an embarrassment of riches this week: Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's better-than-Earth-One-even-if-delays-in-original-release-killed-momentum Superman Secret Origin HC ($29.99)? The second volume of Judge Dredd Complete Case Files ($19.99)? A new Yotsuba! ($10.99)? But nostalgia wins me over again: I'd go for DC's Tales of The Green Lantern Corps Vol. 3 ($19.99), which begins collecting Steve Englehart and Joe Staton's "The Green Lantern Corps" run from the late '80s that I loved so much. John Stewart was always my favorite back then. Followed by the kinder, gentler Kilowog.
If I had $15…
I have to confess, there aren't too many books that leap out at me and demand my attention this week. One that I must see, however, is the second issue of Atomic Robo: Deadly Art of Science ($3.50). I really liked the first issue, and I want to see more. That leaves just enough for the ninth volume of Yotsuba&! ($10.99), and I'm grabbing that because it's that rare book that is funny to adults as well as children.
If I had $30…
I don't know too much about it, but NBM's latest Nicolas de Crecy graphic novel, Salvatore: Transports of Love ($14.99) looks like the sort of thing I'd like. It's a weird fantasy about a dog who works as an auto mechanic and moves his shop to a mountain peak… yeah. Well, it's something to talk about at Christmas parties, anyway.
Two things, which together add up to less than 40 bucks: I liked Nathan Edmondson and Brett Weldele's The Light, especially Weldele's art, so I would like to pick up the trade ($16.99). And Fumi Yoshinaga's Not Love But Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy! ($10.99) is sort of a foodie's tour of Tokyo, with Yoshinaga and a friend sampling the signature dishes of various restaurants. I have no plans to go to Tokyo anytime soon, but the book looks like fun.
If I had $15:
The trade collection of Anders Nilsen's Big Questions will be out next year, but I'm the impatient sort, so I'll probably pick up the final issue, No. 15 ($7.95) this week. Nilsen earned his cred on books like Dogs & Water and Don't Go Where I Can't Follow, but Questions, which he's been doing seemingly since before Dogs debuted, may prove to be a defining work.
I'll also pick up the fifth issue of Highland Laddie ($3.99) though the next time they do one of these Boys spin-offs I might opt to wait for the trade ...
If I had $30:
... as I did with Strange Tales. I'm anxious to see the third issue, but in this instance I'm holding off. Instead, I'll pick up the ninth volume of Yotsuba&!, a book that never fails to charm just about every member of my family.
I already have a copy, but if you're a Steve Ditko fan then your splurge item for the week should be Unexplored Worlds, the second volume in Fantagraphics and editor Blake Bell's ongoing attempt to collect his pre-Code and pre-Spider-Man material. My splurge, however, is a $30 hardcover collection of Jodorowsky and Moebius' Madwoman of the Sacred Heart. I know next to nothing about this book, but c'mon, it's Jodorowsky and Moebius! The same folks who brought The Incal! How could it not be awesome? (please don't answer that)