Food or Comics? | Winter squash or Winter Soldier?

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.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Graeme McMillan

Congratulations, Dark Horse: You pretty much own my first $15 for the week, with Dark Horse Presents #8 ($7.99) and Star Wars: Dawn of The Jedi #0 ($3.50) both being my go-to new releases for the week. DHP has the new Brian Wood/Kristian Donaldson series The Massive launching, as well as more Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson and new Skeleton Key by Andi Watson, which is a pretty spectacular line-up, and the new Star Wars book coincides with the latest flare up of my irregular longing to check up on that whole universe's goings-on. Apparently, I'm keeping it local this week, who knew?

If I had $30, I'd add Action Comics #6 (DC Comics, $3.99) and OMAC #6 (DC Comics, $2.99) to that pile -- I'm particularly treasuring the latter before it goes away, although I have to admit that the time-jumping nature of these Action fill-ins has gotten me more excited than I should 'fess up to -- as well as a couple of Ed Brubaker books, Winter Soldier #1 (Marvel, $2.99) and Fatale #2 (Image Comics, $3.50). I wasn't bowled over by Fatale's debut, but it intrigued me enough to want to give it another go, while the noir + super spy sales pitch for the new Marvel series pretty much guarantees my checking the first issue out at the very least.

When it comes to splurging, there is nothing I would buy - were I rich enough -- more quickly than IDW's John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man Artist Edition HC ($100), because … well, it's classic Romita as the pages originally looked on his drawing board. How anyone can resist that (other than the price point), I don't know.

Chris Mautner

There's not much I'm interested in at the $15 level this week, so I'll likely keep it to the issue #63 of The Boys.

If I had $30, I'd put that issue of The Boys back on the shelf and pick up Action! Mystery! Thrills!, a colorful collection of comic book covers from the Golden Age edited by Greg Sadowski. It's not as insightful as some of Sadowski's other books like Supermen!, but it's still a clever pop-candy tour through comics' yesteryear.

Almost defining the term splurge this week is the Madman 20th Anniversary Monster, a $100 tribute to Mike Allred's creation featuring new work by folks like Kyle Baker, Peter Milligan, Peter Bagge, Dave Cooper, Dean Haspiel, Paul Pope, Craig Thompson and many more. And a new Madman story from Allred. I doubt in reality I have the cash to justify this sort of purchase, but hey, I'm splurging, right?

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15, all but a penny of it would go to one book, vol. 6 of Cross Game ($14.99). Viz is releasing this baseball/drama series in delicious, double-sized volumes and the sweet story and easy-to-digest artwork make it one of my favorites.

If I had $30, I'd mix it up a bit with a stack of floppies: Ice Age: Iced In ($3.99), a lighthearted, all-ages comic from KaBoom; Sergio Aragones Funnies #7 ($3.50), because someone was just commenting on how funny Aragones is; Terry Moore's Rachel Rising #5 ($3.99); and with what I have left, I'll try out Dynamite's Lone Ranger #2 ($3.99), which looks kind of cool. That's a little over budget, but maybe I'll get a deal on one of these.

Usually the splurge category is where I go for thick, colorful books of classic comics, and while that fourth volume of Dark Horse's Archie Archives is calling out to me, this looks like a Fantagraphics week, with two compilations that span opposite ends of the love spectrum: Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics ($29.99), and The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat ($19.99). That's a whole lotta reading for $50.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd start with a series I'm following that has a new issue this week, Fear Itself: The Fearless #8 ($2.99) and then I'd add some new things I want to try. I've said before that Winter Soldier #1 ($2.99) is the closest thing we're going to get to a Black Widow series for a while, so -- while that's sad -- I'll take it. I'm also cautiously curious about Image's nasty-sounding Alpha Girl #1 ($2.99) and Zenescope's Jurassic Strike Force 5 #1 ($2.99). I don't have a lot of confidence in Zenescope's brand, but dino-soldiers from space need looking into.

If I had $30, I'd add some more expensive comics to that pile, starting with Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #4 ($3.99). I'm also looking forward to seeing if IDW can do the same thing with Magic: The Gathering #1 ($3.99) that they did with their Dungeons & Dragons comics (ie make it really good). Then I'd circle back to the Boom rack for Ice Age: Iced In ($3.99) - because my son loves those movies and will love that comic - and check out Dynamite's John Carter/Gullivar Jones mash-up, Warriors of Mars #1 ($3.99).

If I'm able to splurge, I'm always interested in the new Dark Horse Presents ($7.99), but especially when it has new BPRD and Beasts of Burden stories. And since that's not a huge splurge, I'd also grab the Xombi collection ($14.99), which coincidentally comes out the same day as Static Shock #6.

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