Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget
Welcome once again to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy based on certain spending limits — $15, $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we call the “Splurge” item.
Join Brigid Alverson, Chris Mautner 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.
If I had $15 …
I would get the last issue of The Light ($2.99). I read the first two issues and was very impressed by the art and the characters; I need to catch up on this story and bring it to a close. I definitely want to get issue 2 of CBGB ($3.99), the comic that takes you behind the scenes at the world’s greatest nightclub, and issue 3 of Sixth Gun ($3.99), which promises to reveal some secrets and push the plot along. I’ll round it out with Donald Duck and Friends #357 ($2.99), and Dark Horse’s Usagi Yojimbo ($1), which is an introduction to a series I have long been curious about but never read.
If I had $30 …
I’d toss one of those back, because I really want to pick up the Reading With Pictures anthology, both because it promises to be a great comic and because it’s a fund-raiser for a great cause, an initiative to research how comics can help teach kids to read. The anthology includes recent work by a host of creators, including Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules), Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Eric Wight (Frankie Pickle), and Josh Elder (Mail Order Ninja), who has been spearheading this thing for the past couple of years.
If I was in the mood to splurge …
This would be a good week for graphic novels, especially kids’ graphic novels. I would fill a big bag with The Unsinkable Walker Bean ($13.99), an adventure comic that sounds like good summer escape reading; Goldilocks and the Seven Squat Bears ($14.99), Emile Bravo’s goofy alternative fairy tale; and the latest volume of PS238, When Worlds Go Splat. In a slightly more adult vein, Corey Lewis’s Seedless ($12.99) looks like a lot of fun — it’s about grapes who are really space aliens, I believe — so I’d like to check that out as well.
If I had $15 …
I’ve been digging Fantagraphics’ Ignatz imprint for a while now, so I’m quite happy that Wednesday sees the release of four new books in that line. The two that are absolute must-buys for me (and hopefully for you two) would be the third issue of Zak Sally’s Sammy the Mouse ($7.95) and the fourth and final issue of Sergio Ponchioine’s Grotesque ($7.95). The former is a grubby, disturbingly surreal, anthropomorphic tale involving a surly mouse, drunken duck and reclusive dog, not to mention a number of seemingly nefarious and supernatural elements that turn up from time to time. It owes more than a bit to the work of Al Columbia, but Sally is producing a real sharp, evocative and haunting work that manages to send a delicious chill up my spine upon reading it.
The latter is possibly the most unjustly ignored book in the Ignatz line, just as surreal as Sammy, but more cartoony and cerebral, though no less haunting or effective a work. Constantly adventurous in it’s layout and narrative, it one of those books that can be read multiple times and still make new discoveries.
That puts me a dollar over budget, but I figure I can always shake down a younger relative or co-worker for the cash.
If I had $30 …
I’ve got a couple of options here. I could get the other two Ignatz books, issue #4 of Gabriella Giandelli’s Interiorae and issue #3 of Leila Marzocchi’s Niger, but I may hold off on those two and pick up a copy of McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama Comic Section Tabloid Format ($10). This anthology, part of the last issue of McSweeney’s and designed to look like a traditional Sunday newspaper, features work by folks like Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Adrian Tomine and other alt-comix luminaries. It got drubbed a bit when it first came out if I recall correctly, but curiosity and a big-name line-up like that will make it hard for me to resist nevertheless.
I’d also likely pick up the first issue of The Boys: Highland Laddie spin-off mini-series ($3.99), if for no other reason that I’m simply enjoying the main run of that comic enough to want to pick up the related storylines (which, lets face it, are pretty essential).
They’re not high-ticket items, but both Aaron Reiner’s The Unsinkable Walker Bean ($13.99) and Little Lulu’s Pal Tubby Vol. 1: The Castaway and Other Stories ($15.99) strike me as splurge-worthy. I enjoyed Reiner’s first book, Spiral Bound quite a bit and Bean strikes me as an ambitious step up, being the first volume in a multi-part fantasy/pirates/seafaring saga. As for Tubby, well, as I’ve said before, we’re big John Stanley fans in my house. That book is very likely ending up in someone’s stocking this Christmas, and not necessarily my own.
If I had $15 to spend …
Ex Machine #50 ($4.99)
Chew #13 ($2.99)
Sweets #2 ($2.99)
The Boys: Highland Laddie #1 ($3.99)
Would it be wrong to say I only included Chew #13 in my list because I wanted an excuse to show the cover art? Actually, it would be, because I’d probably have it on my list regardless, but that is a really fun cover. As Chris mentioned earlier, The Boys spin-off miniseries are just as essential as the regular monthly book, so Highland Laddie makes it on my list, along with the second issue of Kody Chamberlain’s Sweets. And finally, Ex Machina comes to an end with its 50th issue, wrapping up the tale of Mayor Hundred by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris.
If I had $30 to spend …
Atlas #4 ($2.99)
Fables #97 ($2.99)
Secret Avengers #3 ($3.99)
The Sixth Gun #3 ($3.99)
The Sixsmiths #1 ($1)
So I’d also pick up a couple of Marvel books — some mandatory Brubaker in the form of Secret Avengers, and the penultimate chapter of the latest Atlas series. I’d also grab Fables, which is close to wrapping up the current Red Rose storyline, the third issue of Oni’s The Sixth Gun and, since I love a bargain, the first issue of SLG’s Sixsmiths, which is only a buck.
And finally, for my splurge item this week, I’d follow Brigid’s lead and go with Seedless by Sharkknife creator Corey Lewis ($12.99). It’s a collection of the webcomic he did for Pink Gorilla Games in Seattle, featuring fruit. “The only thing cooler to me than a fruit is a fruit with a sword,” he told CBR last year. And who doesn’t love fruit?