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 comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join Brigid Alverson, Michael May and me as we run down what comics we’d buy if we 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 full release list if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Michael May

If I had $15 ...

As a life-long Defenders fan, I'm excited about all the attention Valkyrie's getting lately. I'm usually a trade-waiter, but with $15 in my pocket I'd gladly check out the Valkyrie one-shot ($3.99) by Bryan JL Glass and Phil Winslow. I didn't read "Avengers Disassembled" and didn't know that Valkyrie was supposedly dead before she started showing up in She-Hulk, so this is more about Viking warrior action for me than continuity fixing.


With the rest of my money, I'd pick up the Marvel Adventures Spider-Man: Amazing digest ($9.99). I don't really need a separate reason to buy Paul Tobin's writing Spider-Man, but if I did, a Shang-Chi guest-appearance would do the trick.

If I had $30 ...

I'd add Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword ($15.95). I mentioned in "Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs" last month that I'm curious about Orthodox Judaism, which plays a large role in this story. I'm also interested in dragons and witches and young girls who fight them, and Hereville has those, too.


Thanks to the awesome Gold Key Comics! blog, I've fallen in love with the old Gold Key stories. And since Dark Horse is reprinting so many of them, I've picked a good time for it. This week sees the release of The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor Archives, Vol. 1, ($49.99) with fun, spooky stories by Donald Glut and fantastically groovy art by Jess Santos.


Brigid Alverson

If I had $15 …

I'd borrow another dollar so I could get Barry Deutsch's graphic novel Hereville ($15.95). Deutsch's story is written for pre-teens, but his art and storytelling are sophisticated enough to make this beautiful graphic novel interesting to adults as well.

If I had $30 …

I'm up for a little escape reading, so let's add Vol. 6 of Pet Shop of Horrors Tokyo ($10.99) to the cart. This (and its progenitor series, Pet Shop of Horrors) is an odd but very readable manga about the mysterious Count D, who owns a pet store, and the fates of his customers and the pets he sells them. There's a Twilight Zone vibe, but it's much weirder. And keeping with the crack-comics theme, I'll spend my last three bucks on Massive Awesome #1 ($2.99), by Jesus Hates Zombies creator Stephen Lindsay, because it sounds like a lot of fun.If I were splurging …


Even for splurges, it's a tough choice this week, because there seem to be more than the usual number of big, beautiful, expensive books on the shelves. I liked the first volume of Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know, the story of her father's experiences in the war, but it left me wanting more, so I definitely want to read the second volume, Collateral Damage ($24.99). And having grown up with MAD Magazine, I really want to read Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography ($27.99). And I'm very tempted by Abrams's Archie Marries deluxe edition ($24.95), even though I have already read the story.

Kevin Melrose

If I had $15, I'd buy ...

Star-Spangled War Stories ($3.99)

DC concludes its month-long series of classic war one-shots with William Tucci and Justiano's story starring Mademoiselle Marie, the French Resistance fighter created in 1959 by Robert Kanigher and Jerry Grandenetti. (DC Comics)

Chew #14 ($2.99)

The surprise hit of the past year continues with Part 4 of the "Just Desserts" storyline, by John Layman and Rob Guillory. (Image)

Captain America #610 ($3.99)

Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice bringing us the finale of the showdown between Bucky Barnes and Zemo doesn't really require further explanation. (Marvel)

Valkyrie #1 ($3.99)

Like Michael, I've enjoyed the character since her Defenders days, even if I have little idea what's been done with her lately (and by "lately" I mean "in years").  (Marvel)

That brings me to $14.96!

If I had $30, I'd also pick up ...

Image Firsts: Godland ($1)

I'm a little ashamed that I've never read this series. (Image)

Namor: The First Mutant #2 ($2.99)

Two words: Atlantean vampires. (Marvel)

Fairy Tail, Vol. 12 ($10.99)

I'm woefully behind on Hiro Mashima's addictive fantasy adventure about Lucy Heartfilia, Natsu Dragneel and the members of the magical Fairy Tail Guild. (Del Rey)

And with that I'm at $29.94.


Heralds hardcover ($19.99)

At $20 it's not very "splurgy," but I definitely have my eye on this collection of the five-issue miniseries by Kathryn Immonen, Tonci Zonjic and Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic. It casts a spotlight on the heroines of the Marvel Universe, specifically Emma Frost, She-Hulk, Agent Abigail Brand, Hellcat, Valkyrie, Monica Rambeau and Sue Storm. (There's that Valkyrie again.) (Marvel)

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