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

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.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15:

I'd surround myself with good-humored, good-natured comics. Sometimes you just gotta do that. My stack would include Veronica #207 ($2.99), which launches the new Kevin Keller miniseries; Donald Duck #367 ($3.99), with a rework of a classic Carl Barks story; Space Warped ($3.99), kaboom's new Star Wars parody comic (I probably won't get half the jokes, but it looks like it's worth checking out); and Love and Capes Ever After #5 ($3.99), just because Love and Capes is such a charming comic. I may be poor, but at least I'll be happy.

If I had $30:

I'd get a bit more adventurous -- and philanthropic. Alterna Comics has been having financial difficulties, and this week they are publishing Rafer Roberts' Plastic Farm, so I'll take a chance on that. It sounds like an interesting mix of horror and weirdness. And volume 5 of Bakuman is a must-have for me.


Probably Fantagraphics' Mickey Mouse vol. 1, Race to Death Valley, which promises to show us a different side of the familiar rodent. I have read about Mickey having a personality, which he really doesn't now, so I'm curious about what he was like in the early days. And I'd also throw vol. 14 of Black Jack into the basket, because there is no better hammock reading, and it's getting to be that time of the year.

Graeme McMillan

It's clearly movie week for me: If I had $15 this week, I'd not only pick up Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Kilowog #1 (DC, $2.99) and Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Tomar Re #1 (DC, $2.99), but also the first issue of IDW's Transformers: Dark Of The Moon adaptation ($3.99). Then I'd remember that there are likely to be better books worth my money, and pick up the first issue of American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest (DC/Vertigo, $2.99), Scott Snyder's spin-off from the regular book with the amazing Sean Murphy on art. I mean, really: How could I resist that?

If I had $30, I'd feel rich enough to buy 15 Love #1 (Marvel, $4.99). I'm fairly convinced that I won't really like this "From The Marvel Vault" attempt at manga-style romance stories, despite the presence of Andi Watson as writer, purely because the art I've seen in previews seems offputtingly "desperate" in its attempts to appeal to a manga audience, but I'm curious enough to give it a go... although I would've been a lot more curious if it had been a little cheaper. $5 for a taster? Really? Much cheaper is The Iron Age: Alpha #1 (Marvel, $2.99), a seemingly under-the-radar X-Men Forever/Avengers Forever kind of time-traveling tale pitting Tony Stark against Dark Phoenix because... well, fair fights are for wimps. It could be horrible, but I have to admit: I like the time travel stories. To round out, Marvel's Mystery Men #1 ($2.99), just to see how this latest attempt of Marvel to give itself an instant Golden Age varies from The Twelve, The Marvels Project and all of the other tries we've seen in recent years.

Splurgewise, it's another week where something just jumps out at me: Avengers: West Coast Avengers - Family Ties Premiere HC (Marvel, $34.99). I loved Steve Englehart's 1980s work, especially on this and Green Lantern, and it's been years since I've had a chance to read any of it, so I'll eagerly be looking for this in the store. So much so that the $34.99 price tag doesn't completely scare me off.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

I'd probably get the fifth volume of Bakuman ($9.99) and the 19th issue of Glamourpuss ($3.99 -- with a cover by Mike Allred!). If you haven't already got a copy yet, however, allow me to point you towards Isle of 100,000 Graves, the latest comic from the Norwegian artist Jason, this time working with writer Fabien Vehlmann. Rest assured this new collaboration sees no drop in quality and is a worthy addition to his catalog. (For the curious, I talk about that book, and other things he's done here).

If I had $30:

After what seemed like a lengthy drought, Jim Woodring seems to have jumped back into comics full steam, releasing the second graphic novel, Congress of the Animals ($19.99) in two years. Congress isn't quite as good as his last book Weathercraft, but that's only because Weathercraft was really, really, really excellent. Woodring fans will be more than pleased at this latest tale involving the ever unperturbed Frank and his adventures in the Unifactor, which, I should note, take an interesting left turn 2/3 of the way through.


The new Mickey Mouse collection ($29.99) is the obvious pick of the week for me. Floyd Gottfredson has far too long ignored by comics and Disney fans and it's nice to see Fantagraphics give the work the attention it deserves. They did a fantastic job too; this is easily one of the best designed reprint projects I've seen in awhile, and chock full of great extra essays and extra features. I really hope this goes a long way towards establishing Gottfredson in the comics canon (whatever that may be).

I'd also pick up Black Jack Vol. 14 ($16.95), because, duh, Tezuka.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd pick up each of DC and Marvel's monster-team books: DC's Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1 ($2.99) and Marvel's Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #1 ($2.99). I find it delicious that both companies have prepared such similar books as spin-offs of their big events and I'm looking forward to each. I'd also check out Marvel's Mystery Men #1 ($2.99) to check out their take on Pulp hero action and Vertigo's American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1 ($2.99). I haven't been reading American Vampire, but the SofF covers look awesome and pulpy. It's sadly rare that a comic book cover makes me want to read what's inside, so yay for Sean Murphy. Finally, I'd spend my last three bucks on Ka-Zar #1 ($2.99). I'm not super fond of the creative team, but I find that the famous pizza/sex quote from Threesome also applies to Ka-Zar comics.

If I had $30, I'd add Welcome to Oddville ($14.95), if it's indeed out this week. It's not on Diamond's list, but Comic List has it and they're often right. If so, AdHouse's collection of Jay Stephens comics, including Jetcat and a ghost pumpkin, is mine-all-mine.

My splurge for the week is easily Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Jungle Comics, Volume 2 ($59.99). I've grown especially fond of Golden Age jungle comics lately, though reading them is a lot like eating fish. You have to sift through a lot of bones to find the good stuff, but the good stuff is worth the trouble.

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