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

Welcome once again to our weekly round of “What would you buy if your budget was limited?” — or, as we call it, 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, Chris Mautner 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.

JK Parkin

If I had $15 ...


Morning Glories #2 ($3.50)

Image promoted this book pretty heavily before it came out, and I hope it paid off ... I really enjoyed the first issue, and I hope it sticks around for awhile.

Unwritten #17 ($3.99)

This issue hearkens back to the days of my youth with a "Choose Your Own Adventure" issue, as Mike Carey and Peter Gross continue to have fun with literature of all sorts (with an assist from Ryan Kelly this issue). I was always a total cheater -- I would read ahead to get a good ending, which is probably what I'll do with this issue.

Joe the Barbarian #7 ($2.99)

Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy's story of Joe's trek to the kitchen prepares to wrap up.


True Blood #3 ($3.99)

Once again, for my wife. Hey, if it means she's reading comics, I'm cool with it.

If I had $30, I'd also get ...

Brightest Day #10 ($2.99)

Featuring the new Aqualad in all his glory.

Thunderbolts #148 ($2.99)

Considering who their leader is, I guess it makes sense that the Thunderbolts would eventually find their way into the Shadowland event. I trust Jeff Parker to make it interesting.

DMZ #57 ($2.99)Northlanders #32 ($2.99)

It's a really heavy Vertigo week for me, with two titles by Brian Wood. Typically for this exercise I would have chosen one or the other, meaning DMZ probably would have stayed on the hypothetical shelves, but I can't pass up on a Cliff Chiang sighting.


Amazing Spider-Man #643

I bought the "One Moment in Time" storyline just because I was curious to see how the whole thing played out ... and it didn't play out well. What did play out well, though, was issue #642, featuring the beginning of the "Origin of the Species" storyline by Mark Waid and Paul Azaceta, the team behind the wonderful Potter's Field. So I'm looking forward to this week's installment.

Splurge item: I'm actually going to skip the splurge this week and just point out what I think is a great deal instead, The Dynamite Reader Starter Set ($6.99). According to the solicitations, it's a sampler set of six of their comics -- from The Boys to Super Powers, Green Hornet to Army Of Darkness, Red Sonja to Legendary Tailspinners and more. If you've never picked up any of their titles, here's a good way to see if you'd like them.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15 to spend...

I’d get the latest volume of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service ($11.99). I loved the first few volumes of this series. The stories are clever, and I like Housui Yamazaki’s clear, crisp line, even when he is drawing shredded corpses. This series is definitely not for the squeamish, but it is very clever and always a good read.

That leaves three bucks, and I guess the best use of that money this week is the first issue of the Muppet Sherlock Holmes series.

At the $30 level, that changes—I’d skip the Muppet Show comic and instead get Koko Be Good, by Jen Wang. I have really liked Jen’s webcomics, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she does in long form. (OK, Koko and Kurosagi together cost $30.98, but I’ll take it out of next week’s splurge.)

Splurge time! Two books jump out at me, and neither is terribly expensive, so if I’m splurging, I’ll go for both: The first volume of Dark Horse’s Harvey Comics Treasury ($14.99), which features both Casper the Friendly Ghost and Wendy the Good Witch on the cover, and Hill and Wang’s Anne Frank biography, which I know is going to be terribly earnest, but which I simply can’t resist anyway.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

I'm lucky to have $2 to spend on comics this week let alone $15 after going to SPX, but let's play along anyway. If I did have $15, you can bet one of the first things I'd buy is Prison Pit Vol. 2 ($12.99) Johnny Ryan's sequel to his exquisitely Grand Guginol, no-holds-barred, incredibly violent and scatological action comic. To say this comic is not for the faint of heart is the understatement of the year -- it features an insane amount of blood and viscera, an abundance of fecal matter and the forced rape of a female flying dinosaur creature. It's also rather brilliant at the same time -- a free-flowing, constantly imaginative display of pure cartooning power that is both disgusted and invigorated by the horror of its ideas. The first volume was one of the best books of last year. Will the second match its power? Bet on it.

If I had $30:

I'd get Stephen DeStefano's Lucky in Love Vol. 1 ($19.99), which would put me a little over budget but heck, I'm already over budget this week.

It's been awhile since we've seen much from DeStefano -- he's been busy with animation projects and illustration work -- but I'm intrigued by his attempt to tell the story (working with writer George L. Chieffet) of WWII soldier Lucky and his various sexual misadventures with a number of women. DeStefano has a nice, thick, rubbery line that I really appreciate, so I look forward to lingering over these pages.

Splurge: The "book about comics" choice of the week is Daniel Clowes: Conversations ($22), a collection of interviews done with the Wilson creator over his career, edited by Ken Parille and Isaac Cates and published by University Press of Mississippi. Parille showed me a copy of the book at SPX this past weekend and I have to say it looks pretty good.

Since I'm splurging, I'll also pick up a copy of Too Soon? by Drew Friedman, because, you know, it's Drew Friedman.

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