Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop 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.
If I had $15, I'd start with Alpha Flight #1 ($3.99). I had mostly positive feelings about the prequel issue with the only negatives being a mixture of "that doesn't look like Sasquatch" and some anxiety born from being used to disappointment from Alpha Flight books. Neither of which has anything to do with the people creating the next eight issues, so I'm looking forward to this in a way that I haven't since John Byrne left the book. Next I'd grab Flashpoint: Grodd of War #1 ($2.99), because an all-out Gorilla Grodd comic sounds awesome. And then I'd give Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths #1 ($3.99) a shot to see how well IDW can manage two Godzilla comics at a time. They certainly managed the first one well. Finally, I'd pick up Mickey Mouse #309 ($3.99) because it's a globe-trotting adventure with a ton of guest-stars, including my favorite: The Phantom Blot.
If I had $30, I'd add Anya's Ghost ($15.99) to the stack. I've already read it, but I'd buy it again; it's that good. The most enjoyable, surprising comic I've read in a long, long time.
My splurge item for the week is The Sixth Gun, Volume 2 ($19.99). I picked up Volume 1 at C2E2 and have been waiting for this so that I could read them back to back. I'm excited to see what all the buzz is about.
If I had $15 this week, the first thing I'd pick up would be Kirby: Genesis #1 (Dynamite, $3.99), the second issue -- but first full-length one -- of Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross' love letter to the King of Comics. I've talked about how much I love this series already, but suffice to say, this is the issue where it all really kicks off and the result is even more fun than last month's #0. Talking of fun, I'd also grab Supergirl #65 (DC, $2.99), which begins Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chriscross' short run on the title, pre-reboot; I've got really high hopes for this, so fingers crossed it delivers. Also on the DC side, I'll likely be getting Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1 and Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1 (both $2.99), although for different reasons: I'm a big fan of the characters in the former, and curious enough about the back story of the latter. The Flashpoint tie-ins have been uneven so far, but here's hoping these trend toward the higher end of the quality scale.
If I had $30, I'd grab Ruse #4 (Marvel, $2.99), the last issue in Mark Waid's light but fun reboot of his Victorian detective series from CrossGen, as well as the debut of Roger Stern's Captain America Corps series (Marvel, $2.99), about which my inner conflict can be summed up with "Concept sounds dumb, but Roger Stern is pretty damn awesome, so... maybe it'll be good?" Beyond that, I'm saving my pennies for...
Splurging this week: the Legion Lost hardcover (DC, $39.95). I'm a big Legion fan who had drifted away from the series by the time Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Olivier Coipel launched this year-long mini. I've been hoping to read it for a long time, and now, finally have the chance to do so in one place.
It looks like First Second will be getting a lot of my money this week.
If I had just $15, I'd pick up Dave Roman's Astronaut Academy ($9.99), which is funny and smart, a kids' comic that a grownup can enjoy as well. It's a cute idea‹a school in outer space, which allows Dave free rein for all sorts of outlandishness, but at the same time, the kids are typical kids, with the full range of personalities that you see in elementary school. And that will put me in such a juvenile mood that I'll have to pick up Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #2 ($2.99), the second issue of Mark Andrew Smith's delightful story of kid super villains--again, a clever setting with believable kids.
If I have $30, I'll have a dilemma on my hands: Do I go for Vera Brosgol's Anya's Ghost or Gene Yang's Level Up? Both are $15.99, and it's a tough call. For me, Anya's Ghost gets the edge because it's about a girl and I'm not a gamer, but I love Yang's storytelling, and Level Up looks like it will go far beyond gaming. I'll save it for my splurge pile.
The splurge starts with Level Up, but it won't end there. There are some books coming out this week that aren't all sweetness and light, and I'd like to cleanse my palate with That Hellbound Train #1, the first of a three-issue miniseries from IDW that looks totally kickass, and the second volume of The Sixth Gun ($19.99), because we all need a little evil (or a lot of evil) to keep things interesting.
If I had $15: It would go toward Welcome to Oddville ($14.99), a collection of newspaper strips by Jay Stephens starring superkid Jetcat. Stephens is a real underrated talent in comics, and I hadn't heard of or seen any of these strips before now, so I'm really looking forward to diving into them.
If I had $30: First Second has a number of books out this week, but Anya's Ghost ($15.99) would probably be my pick. It's a really well-told, smartly observed story of a girl who befrends a ghost, only to discover that the friendship isn't everything she bargained for. Plus, cartoonist Vera Brosgol has some serious cartooning chops.
Splurge: I'll probably check out the ninth volume of the heavy metal satire Detroit Metal City ($12.99) and pick up the other eight volumes as well. I am splurging after all.
This week's issue of Brian Wood's Northlanders, issue #41 ($2.99), features artwork by Marion Churchland of Elephantman and Beast fame. So it goes to the top of the list. I'm also looking forward to Graveyard of Empires #1 ($2.99), the new zombie/war book by Mark Sable and Paul Azaceta. I'd also grab Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths #1 ($3.99), as Chew scribe John Layman and Unknown Soldier artist Alberto Ponticelli send a detective on vacation to Monster Isle, courtesy of the mob. One of the covers is by Geof Darrow, which is the one I'd be looking for. And finally, Alpha Flight #1 ($3.99) ... I was a bit lukewarm to the zero issue, but I have enough faith in the creators to stick with it for a few issues to see what happens.
That puts me at $13, so for the second tier, I'd also add the Deadlands one-shot ($2.99) from Image; this is based on a role-playing game I'm not familiar with, but I am familiar with the team of David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, who worked on Zuda's High Moon, among other projects. So I know they can do weird westerns well. Like Graeme, I'm also looking forward to DeConnick's run on Supergirl ($2.99) so throw one of those in the bag. Also, I've been meaning to retry Soldier Zero since Abnett and Lanning came on board, and since issue #9 ($3.99) starts a new story, it seems like a good week to check it out. And to round it out, I'd get the second issue of Gladstone's School for World Conquerors ($2.99) and Avengers #14 ($3.99).
To splurge, I'd go with Graeme and get the Legion Lost hardcover ($39.95) but all the First Second titles everyone's talking about also sound very tempting, so what the hell ... let's throw those in, too.