Food or Comics? | This week's comics on a budget

Welcome to another installment of “Food or Comics?” Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comics come home and which ones stay on the shelves. So join us as we run down what comics we’d buy if they only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad money” to splurge with.

Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15, I'd spend the first $2.99 on the last King City, which definitely appears on this week's list. Yay! Then I'd split the remaining $13 between two DC Comics: Paul Cornell's Action Comics Annual #13 ($4.99), in which a young Lex Luthor meets Darkseid (Editor Wil Moss promised me on Twitter the other week that this will fulfill my sick, sick desire for more comics like Jack Kirby's Super Powers toy tie-ins from the 1980s, so I'm entirely sold) and Vertigo Resurrected: Winter's Edge #1 ($7.99), a collection of long out-of-print seasonal tales starring Vertigo favorites and forgotten ghost characters from Christmas Past. Be warned: I'm a sucker for Holiday comics, so expect to see me picking those a lot in the next few weeks. It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, after all.

If I had $30, I'd add the second volume of Van Jensen and artist Dustin Higgins' Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer series, Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the The Great Puppet Theater ($14.95), to see if it keeps up the fun quality of the first volume - although, admittedly, if I didn't already have a copy of the new Fables collection, Fables: Witches, that'd probably have trumped this one, even if it is a little bit too expensive to come in under the $30 mark (It's $17.99); nonetheless, it's the latest in a long line of enjoyable world-building and "what happens next?"s.

When it comes to splurging, there's a lot to consider: The hardcover collection of the first eight Brightest Day issues ($29.99)? The new Achewood ($16.99)? The Gorilla Man collection ($19.99)? Or some more single issue launches that didn't quite fit into the budget (In particular, Marvel's new take on Heroes for Hire and BOOM!'s new Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers series, both $3.99, and both born out've different flavors of nostalgia)? But, no - I'd have to go for the hardcover collection Thor: If Asgard Should Perish ($24.99). Twelve issues of classic Thor from Len Wein and John Buscema? Who could really say no to that and not feel a pang of loss?

Michael May

If I had $15:

I'd spend it all on Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the The Great Puppet Theater ($14.95). The first volume was awesome, and I can't wait to dig into the sequel.

If I had $30:

I'd add some periodicals to the stack. I love the idea of ocean-based superheroes, even if I don't always like the final product, so I'm looking forward to seeing how Ian Churchill does it with Marineman #1 ($3.99). Related to my fondness for sea stories, I'm also curious about Big Dog Ink's Island Tales series of one-shots based on Polynesian mythology and folklore, the second of which, Nanaue's Bite ($3.99) comes out this week. And finally, I think I'd pick up Marvel's Chaos War: God Squad #1 ($3.99) if only to read about Venus and cry about how much I miss Agents of Atlas.


There's a lot to splurge on this week, starting with another Agents of Atlas reminder, the collection of Jeff Parker and Giancarlo Caracuzzo's Gorilla Man mini-series ($19.99). Also, the Trickster: Native American Tales anthology ($22.95) is out and features a story illustrated by my Kill All Monsters! cohort Jason Copland. And Scott Thompson's Danny Husk: The Hollow Planet graphic novel ($19.99) also hits this week. I'm not sure how Thompson's Kids in the Hall character is going to translate to comic book form, but I like him (and Hollow Earth stories) enough to want to find out. Finally, these aren't comics, but I love those Superhero Figures Collectors Magazines with the little lead statues and there are two awesome ones coming out: Sasquatch/Puck ($38) and Detective Chimp ($14).

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

It's a pretty slim week for me, pamphlet wise. The only thing that whets my comics-buying appetite is Boys #49 ($3.99) (wow, are we that far along already?) and RASL #9 ($3.50). Having recently reread the series so far I feel like Jeff Smith's sci-fi noir series is really starting to cohere and gather some momentum so count me in for the long haul.

If I had $30

But who am I kidding? There's one item on the list this week that stands head and shoulders above all others for me and that's Osamu Tezuka's Ayako ($26.95). At this point, I'm such a Tezuka fanboi that I'd pick up 20 volumes of Unico if Vertical released it (hint, hint), but this particular story, considered to be one of the master's most political works, about a family of once-wealthy landowners and the much abused youngest member of the clan, should appeal to a wider, more adult audience than a tiny, bug-eyed baby unicorn would.


No splurging for me this week, sorry. Too many Christmas presents to buy.

JK Parkin

If I had $15:

I've always been a fan of team books throwing their members into a different setting and letting them run amuck (See: X-Men in Asgard, X-Men in the Savage Land, X-Men in space ... so yeah, I was raised on X-Men comics), so I've been enjoying the latest Secret Six arc. Issue #28 ($2.99) wraps up the storyline this week. On top of that, I'd add the last issue of the oversized and mega-awesome King City #12 ($2.99), as well as Irredeemable #20 ($3.99), which has really kicked it into high gear in the last few issues. And finally, I loved what Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have been doing with Nova and the rest of Marvel's space-faring heroes over the last few years, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they do in Heroes for Hire #1.

If I had $30:

I'd steal a play from Graeme and Chris, and go with Action Comics Annual #13 ($4.99) and The Boys #49 ($3.99). And finally, I'd add American Vampire #9 ($3.99), a title I fell behind on but caught up with this weekend.


I think Graeme and Michael covered this one pretty well already, but my splurge item would be Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the The Great Puppet Theater ($14.95). The first one was such a killer concept that was executed so well, and I hope the second one lives up to it.

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