Robot 6

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

Valkyrie #1

Welcome to another installment of “Food or Comics?” Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join Brigid Alverson, Michael May and me as we run down what comics we’d buy if we only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad” money to splurge with.

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

Michael May

If I had $15 …

As a life-long Defenders fan, I’m excited about all the attention Valkyrie’s getting lately. I’m usually a trade-waiter, but with $15 in my pocket I’d gladly check out the Valkyrie one-shot ($3.99) by Bryan JL Glass and Phil Winslow. I didn’t read “Avengers Disassembled” and didn’t know that Valkyrie was supposedly dead before she started showing up in She-Hulk, so this is more about Viking warrior action for me than continuity fixing.

With the rest of my money, I’d pick up the Marvel Adventures Spider-Man: Amazing digest ($9.99). I don’t really need a separate reason to buy Paul Tobin’s writing Spider-Man, but if I did, a Shang-Chi guest-appearance would do the trick.


If I had $30 …

I’d add Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword ($15.95). I mentioned in “Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs” last month that I’m curious about Orthodox Judaism, which plays a large role in this story. I’m also interested in dragons and witches and young girls who fight them, and Hereville has those, too.


Thanks to the awesome Gold Key Comics! blog, I’ve fallen in love with the old Gold Key stories. And since Dark Horse is reprinting so many of them, I’ve picked a good time for it. This week sees the release of The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor Archives, Vol. 1, ($49.99) with fun, spooky stories by Donald Glut and fantastically groovy art by Jess Santos.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15 …

I’d borrow another dollar so I could get Barry Deutsch’s graphic novel Hereville ($15.95). Deutsch’s story is written for pre-teens, but his art and storytelling are sophisticated enough to make this beautiful graphic novel interesting to adults as well.

Massive Awesome #1

If I had $30 …

I’m up for a little escape reading, so let’s add Vol. 6 of Pet Shop of Horrors Tokyo ($10.99) to the cart. This (and its progenitor series, Pet Shop of Horrors) is an odd but very readable manga about the mysterious Count D, who owns a pet store, and the fates of his customers and the pets he sells them. There’s a Twilight Zone vibe, but it’s much weirder. And keeping with the crack-comics theme, I’ll spend my last three bucks on Massive Awesome #1 ($2.99), by Jesus Hates Zombies creator Stephen Lindsay, because it sounds like a lot of fun.

If I were splurging …

Even for splurges, it’s a tough choice this week, because there seem to be more than the usual number of big, beautiful, expensive books on the shelves. I liked the first volume of Carol Tyler’s You’ll Never Know, the story of her father’s experiences in the war, but it left me wanting more, so I definitely want to read the second volume, Collateral Damage ($24.99). And having grown up with MAD Magazine, I really want to read Al Jaffee’s Mad Life: A Biography ($27.99). And I’m very tempted by Abrams’s Archie Marries deluxe edition ($24.95), even though I have already read the story.

Kevin Melrose

If I had $15, I’d buy …

Star-Spangled War Stories ($3.99)

DC concludes its month-long series of classic war one-shots with William Tucci and Justiano’s story starring Mademoiselle Marie, the French Resistance fighter created in 1959 by Robert Kanigher and Jerry Grandenetti. (DC Comics)

Chew #14

Chew #14 ($2.99)

The surprise hit of the past year continues with Part 4 of the “Just Desserts” storyline, by John Layman and Rob Guillory. (Image)

Captain America #610 ($3.99)

Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice bringing us the finale of the showdown between Bucky Barnes and Zemo doesn’t really require further explanation. (Marvel)

Valkyrie #1 ($3.99)

Like Michael, I’ve enjoyed the character since her Defenders days, even if I have little idea what’s been done with her lately (and by “lately” I mean “in years“).  (Marvel)

That brings me to $14.96!

If I had $30, I’d also pick up …

Image Firsts: Godland ($1)

I’m a little ashamed that I’ve never read this series. (Image)

Namor: The First Mutant #2

Namor: The First Mutant #2 ($2.99)

Two words: Atlantean vampires. (Marvel)

Fairy Tail, Vol. 12 ($10.99)

I’m woefully behind on Hiro Mashima’s addictive fantasy adventure about Lucy Heartfilia, Natsu Dragneel and the members of the magical Fairy Tail Guild. (Del Rey)

And with that I’m at $29.94.


Heralds hardcover ($19.99)

At $20 it’s not very “splurgy,” but I definitely have my eye on this collection of the five-issue miniseries by Kathryn Immonen, Tonci Zonjic and Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic. It casts a spotlight on the heroines of the Marvel Universe, specifically Emma Frost, She-Hulk, Agent Abigail Brand, Hellcat, Valkyrie, Monica Rambeau and Sue Storm. (There’s that Valkyrie again.) (Marvel)



Hereville is a surprisingly charming and fun comic, one that was apparently created entirely for my wife, who relates very much to the main characters, since she wanted to be an Orthodox Jewish troll hunter when she was 12. It’s also a very accurate, very positive portrayal of the sort of home that she and I grew up with.

I’m thrilled with the love for Hereville, it’s such a wonderful, quirky, fun story. I can’t wait to share this with my students, who are enjoying the graphic novels I’m taking to school.

If I had $15 I would buy:

– Action Comics #893; Paul Cornell’s super-villain story just keeps getting better, plus, it’s the debut of Chloe Sullivan on DC continuity, how can I miss it? ($3.99)

– Star Spangled War Stories One Shot; the final of DC month-long war specials, so far they have been an excellent read, I’m looking forward to more experiments like this, or at least a handsome Hardcover collection, what do you say DC? ($3.99)

– Wonder Woman #603 ($2.99); so far JMS’ Wonder Woman story proves the new costume was just a hook, once you get into the story you won’t be thinking about the costume all that much, not that I’m complaining. ($2.99)

– Wetworks Mutations #1 ($3.99); one of the final comic’s from the Wildstorm Universe we will see for a while, I have to confess I have never read any Wetworks comics before, but I really liked the preview that came along with Telara Chronicles last week. ($3.99)

If I took $15 more from my girlfriend I would buy:

– Teen Titans #87; it’s the final issue before the new creative team comes to play, even so I have really liked this story so far, a shame we will not be able to watch any further developments about some of the female cast, but maybe somewhere else along the way we will have a backup or something. ($3.99)

– Justice Society of America #43; an epilogue for last month JLA/JSA crossover, and an unannounced Brightest Day tie-in, but I guess it brings balance, as last weeks JLA didn’t carry the BD banner despite being promoted as such. ($2.99)

– Detective Comics #869; while I have encountered feelings about the story Scott McDaniel’s are is always nice to look at, dynamic and very characteristic. ($3.99)

– First Wave #4; Brian Azzarello’s noir universe continues to take form, and a nice form it is, really glad he started writing Doc Savage this month as well, we can forgive him for giving Batman two guns. ($3.99)

For my splurge item(s):

Although the American Vampire HC ($24.99) is really worthy of your time, this week I will go with Dark Horse’s The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor Archive Vol.1 HC ($49.99) and Eerie Archives Vol.4 HC ($49.99), I have been really enjoying this reprint projects of comics from way before I was even born, Dark Horse’s format really makes it a valuable addition to your library, plus a lot of classic stories from when the world knew better than to dismiss a comic.

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