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

If it's Tuesday, it's time for Food or Comics? Every week we talk about what comics we'd buy if we only had $15 to spend, if we only had $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we're calling a "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.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15…

I'd start with the first issue of Baltimore: The Plague Ships ($3.50), because it's written by Mike Mignola and it has Europe flooded with vampires. Looks like fun. And then, because I can't get enough Mignola, I'll take issue 2 of Hellboy: The Storm ($2.99).

Dark Horse is launching its updated Magnus: Robot Fighter series, written by Jim Shooter, this week. Issue #1 looks pretty sweet, and it's 56 pages for $3.50 (including the original Magnus story from 1963), so I'll give that a try.

And then I'll bring it to a gory finish with the final issue of Kill Shakespeare ($3.99), which has been a bloody but exciting ride.

That's $13.98, so I'm a little under.

If I had $30…

I'd add Brain Camp, the new graphic novel from First Second, written by Susan Kim and Lawrence Klavan, illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks. It's about a bunch of underachiever kids who are sent to a weird camp that is supposed to turn them into geniuses—but they soon find a more mysterious and sinister side to it. That seems like a great summer read, a group of buddies exploring a mystery at a camp, and I really enjoy Hicks's art. At $16.99, it puts me a bit over the limit, but maybe I can get a deal on Amazon or something.

And my splurge would be Fogtown ($19.99), which looks really interesting—it's a hard-boiled detective story with a private eye who is deep in the closet, set in San Francisco in the 1950s. That's an interesting premise and I'd love to see what writer Andersen Gabrych and artist Brad Rader do with it.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15 ...

Starstruck #12 ($3.99) Casanova #2 (3.99)Boys #45 ($3.99)

... these would likely be my pamphlet -- I'm sorry, I mean my floppy -- purchases of the week. There's not much to say about these three series that I haven't said before, except to note that this is the penultimate issue of Starstruck before it wraps up, at least for the nonce, which I suppose will be good news to those anxiously awaiting the trade collection.

I'd probably also pick up a copy of Deadpool #1000, not because I'm a huge fan of the character but because this "anniversary" issue features contributions from such indie stalwarts as Peter Bagge, Michael Kupperman, Howard Chaykin, David Lapham and Dean Haspiel.

That puts me over budget at $16.96, but I'm sure I can bum the extra $1.96 difference from a generous friend or family member.

If I had $30 ...

I'd put those pamphlets (sorry, floppies) aside and plunk the whole $30 on a copy of Nancy Vol. 2, part of Drawn and Quarterly's ongoing John Stanley Library ($29.95). The Nancy stories aren't quite as good as some of the other Stanley material D&Q has released -- she feels a bit like Little Lulu redux at times -- but I do love the freewheeling mania of the tales involving Nancy's creepy friend Oona Goosepimple and besides, even mediocre Stanley is better than just about anything else out there at the moment.


It's not a high ticket item, but if I didn't have to worry about money this week I'd quickly snatch up all of the comics French publisher Humanoids is releasing this week, particularly Metabarons Vol. 4: Aghora & the Last Metabaron ($19.99), the conclusion to Alejandro Jodorowsky and Juan Giménez's epic, grim and violent space opera. It's a bit hard to describe -- a trippy, involved saga about a family of warriors that only becomes more battle-scarred and sociopathic as the generations go by (it's also a spin off of Mobieus/Jodorowsky's classic Incal series). If you're new to the series and/or curious, the good news is that Humanoids is also re-releasing Vol. 1 (also $19.95).

JK Parkin

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

Secret Six #24 ($2.99)Daredevil: Black and White #1 ($3.99)SHIELD #3 ($2.99)Murderland #1 ($2.99)

The preview for Secret Six #24 that DC posted on the Source blog earlier today looks pretty killer. And Daredevil: Black and White features another Ann Nocenti story, following the one from issue 500. So that's a must buy. Murderland sports David Hahn artwork and an intriguing premise. Add in some Jonathan Hickman goodness/weirdness in the form of SHIELD, and that brings me to $12.96. A little less than I'd normally spend on this first tier, but there's a method to my madness.

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

I'll need those extra bucks to get Brain Camp ($16.99), the new graphic novel from First Second by Susan Kim, Lawrence Klavan and Faith Erin Hicks. Brigid already described it above, but I'll add that Hicks is the big draw for me here, even if she isn't writing it. That brings me to $29.95 for the week.

And finally, for my splurge item, I'd get Indoor Voice ($19.99) by Jillian Tamaki, who drew the award-winning graphic novel Skim. It's a collection of short comics, sketches and the like by a very talented artist. It may not be for everyone, as the artist notes on her blog: "It can be hard to sum up a book like this, but I had some practice talking about it at Comic-con: I think this book is a snapshot of a year or two in a creative life and is probably best enjoyed by others who live or aspire to a creative life as well."

Let us know what you're planning to get this week in the comments section below.

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