Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop 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.
If I had $15 this week, I'd continue to support the DC relaunch by picking up Wonder Woman #1, Legion of Super-Heroes #1 and Green Lantern Corps #1 (All DC, $2.99). I'd also grab the first issue of IDW's new ongoing Star Trek book ($3.99), which adapts episodes of the original TV show into the new movie continuity, because I'm nerdy like that.
If I had $30, I'd add another couple of DC books to my pile (Batman and Birds of Prey, both $2.99), as well as Jay Faerber's new crime book, Near Death #1 (Image, $2.99) and the first issue of Dynamite's adaptation of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones ($3.99) - I have to admit that, not only have I never read any of the original books, I've also not seen any episodes of the HBO series, either, so I'm coming to this entirely fresh. We'll see if it makes any impact on me.
For splurge purposes this week, I'm torn between two collected editions of things I've already read: DC has the collection of Brian Wood's New York Five ($14.99) coming out, and Marvel has the collected edition of Mark Waid's recent Ruse revival (Also $14.99). Both are well worth reading, and if I'm really splurging, surely I should be able to pick up both, right...?
If I had $15:
I'm rather excited to see the arrival of Monster Christmas ($9.99) from Papercutz, a Lewis Trondheim book I had heard nothing about or knew was even coming out. I'm pretty much a Trondheim completest, so I'll likely pick this up, even if it is a little early to be thinking about Christmas.
If I had $30:
I'm torn between two books from Fantagraphics. On the one hand there's The Armed Garden by David B. ($19.99) which collects all the short stories that previously ran in early issues of the Mome anthology. I have all of those issues, however, so I'll likely instead go with The Man Who Grew His Beard ($19.99) a collection of short stories by Olivier Schrauwen, most of which also appeared in Mome. Schrauwen's work has appeared in English before, but in some ways this is his big American debut. His stuff is really sharp and witty and daring and deserves to be seen by a wider audience.
I'd probably pick up some of the other Fantagraphics books out this week, including the Mark Twain Autobiography by Michael Kupperman (note: it's not really Mark Twain's autobiography), Prison Pit Vol. 3 and the coffee-table-sized Art of Joe Kubert.
If I only had $15, I'd spend it all on DC. There's a lot of stuff for fans of DC's female characters this week. I'm most excited to see Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang's work on Wonder Woman #1 ($2.99), but thanks largely to Kelly Sue DeConnick's leaving me with a good feeling about her after the last three months, I'm also eager to see the new Supergirl in Supergirl #1 ($2.99). And I'm a Black Canary fan, so I'm also looking forward to seeing how she fares in Birds of Prey #1 ($2.99). I feel like I can't adequately sample the new DCU without reading some Batman and everyone tells me that Scott Snyder is the writer to read, so I'd also give Batman #1 ($2.99) a try. And though what I really want is to read Planet of the Apes #6, it's a dollar out of my price range, so I'd try Legion of Super Heroes #1 ($2.99) instead. I'm not terribly excited to see that concept rebooted again, but I do like some of the characters.
If I had $30, I'd quickly add Planet of the Apes #6 ($3.99) because "wow, that series." And I'd pick up Dark Horse Presents #4 ($7.99), leaving me enough money for a snack or something.
There are three things I'd like to splurge on this week. Hellboy, Volume 11 ($19.99) comes out, encouraging me to catch up on that series. I'm also very interested in returning to Mark Waid and Butch Guice's Ruse with the collection of the Marvel reboot ($14.99) and finally, the collected Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters ($17.99). Godzilla wins because it's something I'll read with my son (though he is developing an appreciation for Sherlock Holmes) and I'll get twice the entertainment that way. Also: Phil Hester.
If I (only) had $15 for this week's comics, it would be a massacre given the number of titles I'm interested in. Making the tough call, I'd put my money first behind Wonder Woman #1 (DC, $2.99); it's easily in my top five most anticipated titles out of the New 52, and the release this week makes it the de facto winner of the week for me - sight unseen. Editors at DC are still just beginning to catch on to how good Cliff Chiang is, and I'm glad he's finally gotten a plum assignment close to his full potential. Next up would be Dark Horse Presents #4 (Dark Horse, $7.99) with the Geof Darrow cover if you’re curious. My passion for anthology titles is one of the few passions I wear on my sleeve, and DH seems to be aiming for my sweet spot with new stories like Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder and a new Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. Plus I’m interested to read the rare Geof Darrow interview – I’ve been trying to talk to him for years! Last up would be Avengers: Children’s Crusade #7 (Marvel, $3.99); Allen Heinberg and Jim Cheung haven’t disappointed me so far, and they’re creatively mixed the needs of this (prolonged) event book with continuing the Young Avengers narrative from their original series.
If I had $30 it’d be a little bit easier on me, as I’d be able to get the Brian Wood two-pack – DMZ #69 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and Northlanders #44 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99). After that, I’d check out Batman #1 (DC, $2.99), as I’m a big fan of Greg Capullo going back to Quasar and Scott Snyder has been great so far with his previous Bat comics. Last up would be the penultimate issue of X-Men: Schism, #4 (Marvel, $3.99). Although it’s more talking heads than I would have hoped, there’s some big wheels turning here and I’m interested to see how they get to X-Men: Regenesis.
If I could splurge, I’d dust off some 80s-era currency and finally buy New Teen Titans: Games (DC, $24.99). I’ve tried to styme my increased expectations of this, but to see this project finally come out is definitely getting the better of me.
And before I pass it off to the next person, I have to relent: there’s a lot of good titles out this week that because of the Food or Comics budget I wouldn’t be able to get. Chalk it up to “too much of a good thing” or “comics are too damn high”, but at these cut-offs I’d be missing out on Red Wing #3, Avengers #17, Captain America #, Daredevil #4, Invincible Iron Man #508, Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #2, Uncanny X-Men #543 and by most missed book, Detroit Metal City Vol. 10. *sigh*