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

Welcome once again to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we'd buy based on certain spending limits -- $15, $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we call the "Splurge" item.

So join Brigid Alverson, Chris Mautner and me as we run down what we'd buy this week, and check out Diamond's release list to play along in our comments section.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

This one's easy, as Wednesday sees the arrival of Jeff Smith's latest Bone-related project, Tall Tales ($10.99 paperback, $22.99 hardcover -- I'm obviously going for the paperback here). My daughter has become obsessed with Bone -- to the point where she's started making her own Bone-related comics (complete with theme music) -- and is eager to pick up the latest volume, even if it does mostly collect material she and I have read before (namely the Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails series). I'll probably pick it up on the sly this week and give it to her for for her birthday next month.

Next, it's not comics, but I see that the Macmillan imprint Square Fish is re-releasing some of Tove Jansson's Moomin children's novels at $6.99 a pop. Since I've enjoyed D&Q's reprints of the comic strip so thoroughly, I may pick up one of the novels as well.

If I had $30:

Hmmm. I'm way behind on Naoki Urasawa's awesome 20th Century Boys series, but assuming I wasn't, I'd definitely be picking up the new vol. 10 next ($12.99).

Or, if I was in a more sporting mood, I might hold off on that and get vol. 4 of Fumi Yoshinaga's Ooku: The Inner Chambers. The first volume left me a little cold, but I'll admit to being curious to see if Yoshinaga eventually delivers on her interesting swapped gender historical epic.


Craig Yoe's IDW imprint has been hit or miss with me (great production values but I wish they put a bit more scholarship and analysis into their essays), but I'd definitely pick up Felix the Cat's Greatest Comic Book Tails ($34.99), featuring a wealth of stories the classic Felix artist Otto Messmer did for Dell and Harvey. Messmer's art is lovely, and the original strip was a hoot, so I'm curious to see what he did with a longer format.

Brigid Alverson

If there's a theme this week, it's that it's hot, and I'm cranky and only in the mood for fairly undemanding entertainment. So here goes:

If I had $15, I'd get…

The Archie and Friends Haunted House TPB ($9.95), which is written by Batton Lash and therefore guarantees a good time. A lot of people don't realize that Archie graphic novels even exist, but they are actually very nicely produced and a good deal for the money.

That leaves me with five bucks. I haven't been a big fan of Top Cow properties up to now, but Artifacts #1 ($3.99) looks like a good stepping-on point, so I'll give it a try. It's a big, complicated story about the 13 artifacts that control the universe, and how some shadowy entity is trying to bring them together to destroy everything. It sounds a bit grandiose, but what the hell, it's summer reading. Then I can spend that last dollar on one of Dark Horse's dollar comics, Sin City: The Hard Goodbye.

If I had $30…

I'd get all that and add in Natsume Ono's Gente: The People of Ristorante Paradiso ($12.99). Ono tends to be stronger on art than on story, but that's OK for summer reading, and his art is really lovely. That last two dollars can go for two more dollar comics, Dungeons & Dragons #0 and Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft #1. I'm not a D&D fan, but the comic promises to introduce me to the universe, and Locke & Key just sounds kind of cool.

If I wanted to splurge…

I'd buy more manga, as this is a good week for that. Like Chris, I'm behind on 20th Century Boys, but it's an awesome series and I can't pass up vol. 10. Fumi Yoshinaga's Ooku: The Inner Chambers is a great piece of gender-bender historical fantasy, and I'm definitely up for vol. 4. And I really enjoyed the chapter of Gossip Girl I read in Yen Plus magazine, so I'll grab the first volume of that as well. Don't judge me! It's hot as blazes here, and a bit of badass chick lit is just the thing to take my mind off the lack of air conditioning around here.

JK Parkin

Ah, Brigid, now I almost feel guilty that we've had such a mild August out here on the West Coast that we haven't even had to turn on the air conditioning this month ...

If I had $15 ...

Northlanders #31 ($2.99)Morning Glories #1 ($2.99)Incredible Hulk #611 ($3.99)Thanos Imperative #3 ($3.99)Dungeons & Dragons #0 ($1)

... for a well-oiled total of $14.96. Northlanders continues the "Metal" storyline that kicked off last issue, about a blacksmith and the girl he loves trying to escape from corrupt Christian missionaries. Morning Glories is a new title from Image about six brilliant students who transfer into a prep school with "sinister and deadly" secrets; you can check out a preview here. Hulk #611 finally pits Skaar against his dad, and the Thanos Imperative sees several cosmic heroes uniting against the Cancerverse invaders. Finally, I had a buck left over, and as former D&D aficionado, I figured the new series from IDW was worth checking out.

If I had $30 ...

Jersey Gods Vol. 3: Thunder Road ($12.99). Not only because I really enjoyed the series and would like to see how it ends, but also because they have some of the best subtitles for their trade paperbacks. After "I'd Live and I'd Die For You," I was wondering how they'd pay tribute to the true king of Jersey music.

That's $12.99, so I have a little more than $2 left. So I'm going to cheat and also grab a copy of Justice League: Generation Lost. Or download it, actually, to my iPad, courtesy of Comixology.


Chew Omnivore Edition Vol. 1 Hardcover ($34.99). Actually I already own all the issues collected in this, but I thought it was worth mentioning because it's a really, really great series. If you haven't checked it out, buy this, buy the trades or grab some of the singles ... you'll be happy you did.

Man and Superman #1 Sets a New Standard for Superhero Origin Stories

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