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 what we call our “Splurge” item.
This week is a busy week for me -– I count 13 single issues I’d buy if I was a rich man, but with only $15 I’d narrow it down to four things. DMZ #62 (DC/Vertigo $2.99) looks to be really amping up the series for it’s final year. I’ve enjoyed this series’ long run, and the way he’s built up this world only to tear it down seems amazing. Second in my bag would be the closest thing to a modern Moebius at Marvel, Shield #6 (Marvel $2.99). This secret history of the Marvel U has been really eye-opening, and Hickman’s bold reach really takes some big brass ones. This in line would be Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force #5 (Marvel $3.99). Remender’s done some solid modern-work while trying to not be outshone by Jerome Opena’s star-turn, but in this issue it’s got guest art by Esad Ribic. Ribic’s work has always carried this sense of gravitas without being stuffy like some painters, and I’m interested to see how he does these visceral heroes. Last up would be Brightest Day #20. On paper, a book with a league of b-list heroes seems like a non-starter, but I really like what the team have done on this, especially the Martian Manhunter and Firestorm threads.
If I doubled my money to $30, I’d pick up Jason Aaron’s Wolverine #6, which has a new artist, Daniel Acuna. Aaron’s seemed to have found his character in this series, and it’ll be interesting to see what Acuna does. I’ve been a big fan of his for years, but it seems he’s never gotten the right book to show it off. Second would be Alex Toth Adventures: Jon Fury In Japan Special Edition (Paul Power, $11). I buy each of these Toth collections has they come out, despite the uneven print quality I’ve seen. I hope this is something special -– although I kind of wish someone like IDW or Image would do a series of Alex Toth volumes collecting everything one by one.
My splurge this week would be the new Finder graphic novel Finder: Voice (Dark Horse, $19.99). I’m excited to see what Carla is doing now that she can focus less on self-publishing and more on cartooning.
If I had $15:
The new issue of The Boys is out ($3.99) but for me the must-grab item of the week is the fourth issue of Jordan Crane’s always excellent Uptight from Fantagraphics ($3.95). It’s kind of fascinating to me how Crane has become one of the few indie guys to still be plugging away at the semi-regular pamphlet series, when so many of his peers and direct influences have given up on that format. I’m not sure what, if anything, it means, but he’s cranking out some of the best stuff of his career in these pages, let me tell you.
If I had $30:
I’m kind of curious to check out Dark Horse’s first collected volume of Carla Speed McNeil’s much lauded Finder ($19.99). I’ve only read her work in bits and pieces and haven’t really gotten a feel for it yet. I know there are many who really appreciate her work though, so I’d like to check it out (plus, she’d probably be a great Comics College entry somewhere down the road).
I can’t think of a better book to splurge your hard-earned money this week than on than the $75 Captain America by Jack Kirby Omnibus. Collecting all of Kirby’s great ’70s Cap material, including the history-warping Bicentennial Battles, this is great stuff that any Kirby or Cap fan should get their hands on if they don’t already have it in some other form.
If I had $15:
I’m a complete-story kind of reader, so I’ve been waiting until it’s all done to dig into Kill Shakespeare, but the 100 Penny Press edition of the first issue ($1) is awfully tempting. Meanwhile, Josh Fialkov is one of the sickest (in a good way), most inventive minds in comics and I can’t imagine a more surprising thing for him to be writing than a one-shot about the early days of Marvel Girl ($2.99), which of course makes me want to read it that much more.
Meanwhile meanwhile, my disinterest in what Straczynski was doing with Wonder Woman is rivaled only by my extreme desire to read Phil Hester’s writing that series. It’s these in-between issues like this week’s #607 ($2.99) that are killing me: not only does Hester have to ease himself and us out of Straczynski’s plot, but in order to understand it, I’m going to have to go back and read the Hesterless issues too. I wouldn’t do that for many writers, but I’ll do it for him.
Rounding out the #15 pile would be Flash Gordon: Invasion of the Red Sword #1 ($3.99) and Jennifer Blood #1 ($3.99). Flash Gordon’s an easy choice for me at any time, but Garth Ennis’s new series is outside of my usual range. I have a very limited tolerance for Ennis’ kind of storytelling, but it’s been a long time since I’ve indulged and the vigilante housewife concept sounds fun.
If I had $30:
I’d add Brian Clevinger’s Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet ($14.99). I’m looking forward to seeing what the Atomic Robo writer does when he’s cut loose in the Marvel Universe.
I’d finally check out Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder series via the new printing of the first volume from Dark Horse ($19.99). I’m embarrassed by how long it’s taken me to do that.
If I had $15 this week, the majority of it would go on the first collection of Nick Spencer’s Morning Glories (Vol. 1: For A Better Future, Image Comics, $9.99); I’ve heard good things about the series and liked Spencer’s writing elsewhere, but this passed me by when it was first released, so I’m looking forward to trying it out. I’d also pick up IDW’s GI Joe: Cobra II #13, to see what happens after the previous issue’s death of Cobra Commander. I’m a sucker for things like that, I admit.
That said, if I had $30, I’d probably tradewait for Cobra II, and pick up Finder Vol. 1: Voice (Dark Horse, $19.99) instead. I’ve read some of Carla Speed McNeal’s great sci-fi series before in borrowed collections from friends, and so have been anxiously awaiting the roll-out of Dark Horse’s new line of collected editions to have them for myself.
When it comes to splurging, it’s between two choices for me this week: DC’s Bayou Vol. 2 TP ($14.99) continues the print edition of the former Zuda webcomic, while the Captain America By Jack Kirby Omnibus (Marvel Comics, $74.99) contains some of the best and weirdest Cap comics ever made. If only I had a lot of money to imaginary splurge with…