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

Welcome once again to 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, Kevin Melrose 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 to spend ...

Then I would be a very unhappy girl, because there are a ton of interesting looking comics that are coming out this week, and they all cost more than $15. If I had to limit it, I'd go for the first volume of Code Breaker, a new manga series from Del Rey that looks like it has promise; David Welsh, whose taste usually matches mine pretty well, says it's much better than the cover and blurb would make it appear. That's going to set me back $10.99, so I get one floppy with the remainder; I choose Time Lincoln: Fists of Fuhrer, vol. 1, just because it looks kind of awesome, and I can never get enough of Abraham Lincoln.

If I had $30 to spend ...

Then it's a whole new ball game. I think I'd go for Flight 7, at $27, and use the leftover to pick up Disney's Hero Squad #7.

And this week's splurge would be a major binge: Everything I have mentioned, plus vol. 2 of Summit of the Gods, Jiro Taniguchi's epic story of mountaineering ($25, plus another $25 for volume 1, which, inexplicably, I don't own); the latest volume of Black Jack ($16.95), because I can't wait to see which body parts he will transplant next; Archie: Pureheart the Powerful, a compilation of old superhero-parody comics from the 1960s ($19.95); the first issue of the Life with Archie magazine ($3.99), just because; and the second volume of Ben 10 Alien Force Doom Dimension ($7.99) because, despite the subtitle pile-up, it's written by Peter David and illustrated by Dan Hipp, so it must be good.

Kevin Melrose

If I had $15 to spend this week, I'd buy ...

Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #2 ($3.50)

It's the conclusion of the two-part story from Abe's early career, by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Peter Snejbjerg and Dave Stewart. (Dark Horse)

Northlanders #30 ($2.99)

Brian Wood and DMZ collaborator Riccardo Burchielli kick off "Metal," a new storyline about a pair of lovers banished from society who set their sights on revenge. (Vertigo)

Wonder Woman #601 ($2.99)

Now that at least some of the dust has settled from the costume redesign and origin/timeline rebbot, I confess that I'm a little curious about what J. Michael Straczynski has planned for the character. But only a little. (DC Comics)

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #2 ($2.99)

Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee continue their new all-ages romp starring the god of thunder. Once again, this is the title I'm most excited about. (Marvel)

That comes to $12.47.

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

Driver for the Dead #1 ($4.99)

This is undoubtedly a movie pitch, but I don't really care as it hits a few of the right notes for me: The unlikely named Alabaster Graves (really?) chauffeurs bodies from funeral homes and coroners' offices to their final resting places, often being given "the more unusual assignments." This time, he's driving the body of a renowned voodoo priest, with the deceased's granddaughter riding shotgun and a necromancer on their tail. It's penned by the screenwriter of Snakes on a Plane, and is probably being shopped around as "Transporter meets Smokey and the Bandit meets Constantine." But on the plus side, it features art by Leonardo Manco of Hellblazer fame. (Radical Publishing)

Four Eyes, Vol. 1: Forged in Flames ($9.99)

I didn't pick up this miniseries by Joe Kelly and Max Fiumara as the individual issues were released, so here's my chance. It's a curious revenge tale set in 1930s Brooklyn ... with dragons. So, sure. Why not? (Image Comics)

And that brings me to $27.45.

Splurge:

The Marvels Project: Birth of the Super Heroes hardcover ($34.99)

Here's another title that I didn't pick up in single issues, but I'm not sure why. After all, it's Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting unveiling the origins of the Marvel Universe. I should've been all over that. (Marvel)

JK Parkin

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

Action Comics #891 ($3.99)Justice League: Generation Lost #6 ($2.99)Usagi Yojimbo #130 ($3.50)Fantastic Four #581 ($2.99)

For a total of $13.47, I can get three superhero books and one about a samurai rabbit. After last issue's incredible debut by writer Paul Cornell, I'm looking forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve for Lex Luthor in Action Comics. And I've been buying Justice League:Generation Lost through DC's comics application for the iPad, and it's been a lot less "bwhahaha"-ing than you might expect, but it's still very well done. And Usagi is consistently one of the most entertaining books in shops each month.

And if I had $30, I'd also get ...

American Vampire #5 ($3.99)Northlanders #30 ($2.99)Unknown Soldier #22 ($2.99)Avatar of the Futurians #1 ($3.99)RASL #8 ($3.50)

This technically brings my total to $30.93, but don't tell anyone. I add three Vertigo books and two independents to my buy pile, including the latest issue of Jeff Smith's RASL. As for Avatar of the Futurians, I really liked the original graphic novel, but without Dave Cockrum on the book I'm not sure if it will have the same appeal.

As for the splurge item, I really don't have one this week, so I'll save that money for next week.

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