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.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

I have a couple of options here. The new issue of The Boys is out ($3.99), as is Vol. 4 of Bakuman ($9.99) and both are currently on my "must-buy" list. But then there's I Will Bite You ($14), a new collection of comics by Joseph Lambert, courtesy of Secret Acres. I've enjoyed the few mini-comics by Lambert that I've read, enough to at least consider putting my other purchases aside in order to get this book instead. There's also what I believe to be the final issue of Alan Moore's Dodgem Logic ($8), which I'd likely ask my retailer to put aside for me for a week when the pickings were slimmer.

If I had $30:

I'd mug the first old lady that crossed my path for another dollar and get Lychee Light Club by Usamaru Furuya ($16.95). I've been interested in Furuya's work since I came across excerpts of his playfully formalist manga Palepoli way back in that Pulp volume of Secret Comics Japan. His work has been frustratingly out of reach for English readers, however, save for the two volumes of Short Cuts that Viz published back in the day. Now Vertical is trying to fix that with the release of this rather edgy horror/comedy tale about a group of male high school misfits that build a robot to help find beautiful women for them with disastrous results. This is probably the pick of the week for me.


Lots of splurge-worthy stuff this week, including a new Alexandro Jodorwsky collection from Humanoids, Screaming Planet ($29.95), a collection of Bat-Boy strips (a la Weekly World News) by none other than Peter Bagge ($17.99) and yet another collection of Archie material, Archie Archives Vol. 1 ($49.99), (Say, how much Archie can this market hold anyway?)

Since I'm all on the Furuya bandwagon this week, however, I think my splurge item will be the fourth volume of his Genkaku Picasso from Viz ($9.99) and I'll pick up the first three volumes in addition while I'm at it.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15, the first thing on my list this week would be the much-delayed, re-named and re-formatted Avengers Academy Giant-Size #1 (Marvel, $7.99). This was originally a three-annual crossover between Avengers Academy, Spider-Girl and Young Allies, and then a stand-alone mini-series, before settling on its current form, but throughout the whole thing it's been a Paul Tobin story with Arcade as the villain, so I was always going to pick it up. I'll also be trying Fear Itself #2 (Marvel, $3.99) if only to find out where the hell Odin was taking everyone when they left Earth in the first issue - I mean, Asgard is on Earth, right? So it's not like they can go back to Asgard... Less confusing but potentially more entertaining, the debut of Gladstone's School For World Conquerors #1 (Image, $2.99) would round out my first batch of purchases - a school for wannabe bad guys? Who could resist that high concept?

If I had $30, I admit that I wouldn't be able to resist the siren song of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's Moon Knight #1 (Marvel, $3.99) - I don't actually expect that I'll like it, but the idea of "He's still got MPD - but this time, his personalities are OTHER AVENGERS!" is either genius or truly horrific, and I want to see how it works in the book itself. I'd also go for Adventure Comics #526 (DC, $2.99), because a recent re-read of the "Legion Academy" issues to date have reminded me just how much I really like Paul Levitz getting all nerdy about the by-laws and rules about the Legion minutea, and DC Comics Presents Son of Superman #1 (DC, $7.99), because the idea of a reprint OGN with JH Williams III art and a Howard Chaykin story for just eight bucks seems too good to pass up.

Splurgewise, it's DMZ Vol. 10: Collective Punishment (DC/Vertigo, $14.99) for me. I skipped out on the early issues of Brian Wood's dystopian love letter to New York (and American politics), but a chance read of a later trade pulled me back in and how; it went from entirely off my radar to one of my favorite series, and reading the collections is definitely my preferred method of wading in. Smart and rewarding stuff.

Michael May

I could get a lot of cool stuff for $15 this week. I've been looking forward to Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #1 ($2.99) and it's finally here. I've also been anxious to read Red 5's take on a Golden Age Wonder Woman-ripoff in Moon Girl #1 ($3.50). Of the various publishers doing modern takes on Golden Age characters, Red 5 seems best poised to deliver the fun and lack of seriousness that I'm looking for in that kind of project.

Speaking of Red 5, Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #5 ($3.50) comes out this week and wraps up that storyline, so it goes in the pile. And finally I'd grab Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #2 ($3.50). Because c'mon.

If I had $30, I'd add Ape Entertainment's Richie Rich #1 ($3.95). This is almost a splurge item for me because of the price, but as long as I've got the money to spend, curiosity overpowers skepticism and I want to see how Richie Rich works as a re-imagined, globe-trotting, boy adventurer. That leaves me almost enough money to grab Tiny Titans, Volume 5: Field Trippin' ($12.99) which I assume features guest-appearances by James Franco and Seth Rogen.

My splurge item for the week is Secret Six: The Reptile Brain ($14.99) because it features a story in which Bane takes a team to Skartaris to ride dinosaurs.

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