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

If it’s Tuesday, it must be time for Food or Comics?, where every week some of the Robot 6 crew talk about what comics we’d buy if we were subject to certain spending limits -- $15 and $30, as well as if we had extra money to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item. Check out Diamond’s release list to see what arrives in comic shops this week,then play along in our comments section.

JK Parkin

If I had $15 to spend:

Strange Tales 2 #1 ($4.99)House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2 ($4.99)

Two $5 anthologies that should be well worth the asking price. Strange Tales II, the sequel to Marvel's indie cartoonist anthology from last year, features new stories by Rafael Grampa, Kate Beaton, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw, Jeff Lemire, Kevin Huizenga, Jhonen Vasquez and many more. House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2, meanwhile, features stories by folks like Mike Kaluta, Jill Thompson, Chris Roberson, Mike Allred, Matthew Sturges and Peter Milligan. Most notably, it has a new "Lucifer" story by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, which is the big draw for me personally.

Update: I received an advanced copy of this in the mail tonight, and saw that the Madame Xanadu story isn't actually by Mike Kaluta and Jill Thompson, as was noted in the above-linked CBR story. No, the Madame Xanadu story is actually by Matt Wagner and Brandon Graham. And it is pretty awesome.

Warlord of Mars #1 ($1)

Dynamite offers a cheap introductory issue to their new series about Edward Rice Burroughs' character John Carter, the Confederate soldier who ended up on Mars. The book is by Arvid Nelson and Stephen Sadowski, and you can't go wrong with the cover price.

Thor #616 ($3.99)

The second issue of Matt Fraction's run; this is the comic a lot of people have been waiting for him to tackle for quite awhile, myself included, and his first issue didn't disappoint.

If I had $30

I had a hard time deciding on my second round this week, as there were several new comics I'd want to check out -- Superior, Knight & Squire -- but I decided to go with the trade paperback of Guerrillas ($14.99). Originally published by Image, Oni collects the series by Brahm Revel about a group of simian soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War. It's not the kind of concept I'd typically be drawn to or, honestly, expect to be any good, but the series is pretty excellent. I'm glad to see Oni pick it up and allow Revel to finish it up.


I'm about halfway through Sickness in the Family ($19.99), the latest Vertigo Crime book, and so far I'm really enjoying it. So I'd make it my splurge item this week, with a tip of the hat to the Celadore trade paper back ($14.99), which collects the Zuda series.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

There's a number of good comics coming out this week, including the fourth issue of Casanova ($3.99), the fifth issue of Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne ($3.99) and the first issue of Strange Tales II ($4.99). I'm a bit tempted to wait until for the trade collection with Strange Tales, but I know in my heart I won't be able to wait to see what folks like Kate Beaton, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw and others do with Marvel's classic cast of characters.

If I had $30:

I already own a copy, but if you're looking for just one good book to buy, let me point you toward Make Me A Woman, a delightful collection of comics by the wonderful Vanessa Davis. She writes and draws with charm and good humor about her life and times, particularly as it pertains to her Jewish heritage and upbringing. If you need further persuasion, you can read an interview I did with Davis here.

Another recommendation is Peter Bagge's Everybody is Stupid Except for Me & Other Astute Observations, which Fantagraphics is re-releasing. I reviewed the book when it first came out here.


IDW has been doing a bang-up job with their Bloom County collections, so I'll be sure to add Vol. 3 ($39.99) to my Amazon wish list. I'm also eager to check out Dick Briefer's Frankenstein ($21.99), also from IDW, but this time focusing on a lesser known artist, one beloved by serious Golden Age collectors, but few others. I haven't read much Briefer and I'm curious to see what his work reads like in bulk.

Michael May

If I had $15:

I don't know if it's DC's announcement about cheaper comics coming, but I'm suddenly interested in single issues again and I'd blow my $15 on those. Knight & Squire #1 ($2.99) sure looks like fun, as does Tiny Titans/Little Archie #1 ($2.99). I'm a Tiny Titans fan now and loved Little Archie in younger days, so this could be the coolest thing since Archie vs. The Punisher. Rounding out my bag would be Marvel's Strange Tales 2 #1 ($4.99) and Dynamite's Warlord of Mars #1 ($1.00). I'm a big John Carter fan.

If I had $30:

I'd add Dark Horse's Turok: Son of Stone #1 ($3.50) to the pile. It would be the first Turok comic I've ever bought, because I was obviously stupid in younger days. Also, I've been wanting to try Campfire's comics adaptations of classic lit and Invisible Man ($9.99) seems like a good place to start.


I don't know if I'd keep it for myself or generously give it to my dad, but Bloom County Complete Library, Volume 3 ($39.99) would go home with me from the store. As would Dick Briefer's Frankenstein ($21.99), but that one's definitely staying at my house. I've been wanting to read those stories for a few years now.

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