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

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 this week, I'd immediately go for Flashpoint #1 (DC Comics, $3.99) - I am very, very unsure about the number of tie-ins DC are pushing out for the new crossover event, but with Geoff Johns in charge, I'm suspecting that the main book will be worth a look at least. I'd also grab the relaunched GI Joe #1 (IDW, $3.99), if only to follow up on the "Cobra Civil War" storyline that I admit has completely caught my attention unexpectedly. Curiosity would also get me to pick up both Moriarty #1 (Image, $2.99) and Total Recall #1 (Dynamite, $1.99), two new launches that will hopefully take familiar ideas and characters in directions I wouldn't expect...

If I had $30, then I'd be adding DC Comics Presents: The Flash #1 (DC, $7.99) to my list, because I'm a sucker for silver age Flash, and for well-done time travel stories. Add to that, regular purchase Batman Incorporated #6 (DC, $2.99) and New Mutants #25 (Marvel, $3.99), the latter because I have fond memories of the original run and also quite like new ongoing writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, who take over with this issue, and I've already hit my spending limit. Jeez: Comicbooks can be expensive.

To Splurge or Not To Splurge? DC has the edge this week for me, with Deadman Vol. 1 ($19.99) reprinting the original appearances of Boston Brand and two separate Joe Kubert books, Jew Gangster ($14.99) and Yossel ($14.99), being reprinted as well. Just how much am I allowed to splurge again...?

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, my first pick would be Northlanders #40 (Vertigo, $2.99) by Brian Wood and guest artist Matthew Woodson. I've been following Woodson's work for about eight years now, and after several abortive attempts at comics he's finally coming due with this issue. Woodson is a massive talent that I hope gets the right breaks in comics to show what he can do. Second up would be FF #3 (Marvel, $2.99); Hickman and Epting aren't listening to the hype but focusing on the story and the development of the FF side of the Marvel U. Third would be Flashpoint #1 (DC, $3.99), a given for anyone writing about mainstream superhero comics but also as a fan it could be something special; I have a lot of faith in Geoff Johns' abilities, but this will surely be a test for him. Finally, I would get New Avengers #12 (Marvel, $3.99); I applaud their risky decision to put Chaykin and Deodato in the same book, and I look forward to them doing more of this when the time is right.

If I had $30, I'd get the second piece in the Flashpoint puzzle -- Flash #12 (DC, $2.99). I'm a huge fan of Francis Manapul, and this series has given me that in spades. Unfortunately, DC is canceling the series with this issue -- so I guess there will never be another Flash title... ever.

My other picks would start with Astonishing X-Men #37 ($3.99), which while I love Jason Pearson I might be bailing on this if he's dropping off the series. Second would be Undying Love #2 (Image, $2.99), as I love Tomm Coker's art. Third would be Hellboy: Being Human (Dark Horse, $3.50); I love the team-up of Mignola and Corben, and that luchadore comic they did with Hellboy awhile back was a favorite of mine.

Splurge: For splurging, I'd pick up the reprint of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's Fighting American ($19.99). I have a soft spot for patriotic heroes, and I hope this is something special akin to what Alan Moore did with Supreme.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15: A new Little Lulu volume from Dark Horse is always a must-buy for me, so volume 27, The Treasure Map ($14.99), is pretty much a given for me at the $15 mark.

If I had $30: For me, the book of the week is clearly Garden, the latest manga from the ever avant-garde Yuichi Yokoyama, courtesy of Picturebox ($24.95). It's an extended exploration of Yokoyama's usual interests -- discovery, motion, machinery, artificial "nature" and guys with weird things on their heads. In this book, a large group of people explore a large garden, with ever more surreal and stranger the deeper they progress. I hope to have a review of the book up either this week or next, but suffice it to say I really, really liked this book a lot and strongly recommend it.

Splurge: Nothing really that splurge-worthy for me this week, so I'll use that money to help me pay for both books at once.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15: I'd pick up the first issue of Archie's new Mega Man series ($2.99), just to see what's up with that. And then I'd add the seventh volume of Twin Spica ($10.95), a really great manga about a girl who wants to be an astronaut in Japan's space program.

If I had $30: I'm having a rough week, so I'd load up with some lighthearted comics: Donald Duck #366 ($3.99), from BOOM! Studios, because it features a classic pirate tale and I'm a pushover for classic pirate tales; Love and Capes Ever After #4 ($3.99); and The Smurfs and the Howlibird ($5.99 for the paperback).

Splurge: It's going to be Yoichi Yokoyama's Garden ($24.99), although I had mixed feelings about his Travel: I really loved the experience of reading the book, but I didn't like the mask-like faces he put on the humans. The non-human elements, and the sense that he gave of a real train journey (I take a lot of trains—he nailed it) is what made the book so great, but the figures were distracting. So I'll give Garden a try, but in a way, I feel like it's a book that I should read rather than a book I'll enjoy curling up with.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd start with Viper's Missing Linx graphic novel ($7.95) about Bigfoot, Sasquatch, the Skunk Ape, and the Yeti teaming up to fight a mad scientist. Then I'd go for Moriarty #1 ($2.99) because connecting your book to Sherlock Holmes is an easy way to get my money. And I'd finish off with Veronica #206 ($2.99), which kicks off a two-part crossover with next month's Betty in which the girls resume their careers as groovy super spies.

If I had $30, I'd add the Hellboy: Being Human one-shot ($3.50) because it's Hellboy, but also Hellboy and Roger. I miss Roger. I'd also grab Joe Lansdale and Sam Kieth's 30 Days of Night: Night Again #1 ($3.99). I'm cautious about 30 Days of Night stories that aren't by either Steve Niles or Ben Templesmith, but I'd buy a Lansdale/Keith book no matter what it was about. Then - thanks to Brigid's pointing it out - I'd also add Donald Duck #366 ($3.99) for the pirates and the nostalgia. And finally, because I've got some money to burn, I'd grab Flashpoint #1 ($3.99). I'm far more interested in some of the side-series (Frankenstein, Lois Lane, and the stuff with Wonder Woman for example) than in the main story though.

Splurge: Geez, DC. Birds of Prey #12 comes out this week and you're just now releasing the hardcover collection of the first six issues? I've been waiting for it, so I'm grabbing Birds of Prey, Volume 1: Endrun ($22.99) to finally see Gail Simone's return to Black Canary and the girls, but can you please speed that process up some?

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