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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.
It’s a week where I’m happily embracing the superhero of it all. If I had $15, I’d go for the fifth issue of Marvel’s Fear Itself ($3.99), mostly because I’m this far in and I’ll probably keep going just to see how it turns out instead of actually enjoying it, as well as the first issue of “Spider Island” in Amazing Spider-Man #667 (Marvel, $3.99) to continue my love/hate relationship with Dan Slott’s Spider-Man run. But when it comes to full-on nostalgia, DC has me in the palm of its hand with DC Retroactive: Justice League of America – The ’80s #1 (DC, $4.99). No joke: The Justice League Detroit era is one of those guilty pleasures that I not only can’t explain, but also can’t resist – Gerry Conway revisiting that failed team for a new one-shot (especially with art by Ron Randall) is something that I literally can’t help myself but pick up.
If I had $30, DC’s nostalgiafest would not only continue, but convince me to put Fear Itself back on the shelf so that I could pick up Showcase Presents: The Trial of The Flash (DC, $19.99). I’ve wanted to read this storyline since I came across random imported issues of it when I was nine years old in the UK, so a cheap reprint of (almost) the entire thing? There is absolutely no way that I can ignore this.
Splurgewise, that $99.99 Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus (Marvel Comics) looks pretty good, I have to admit. But really, I’d more than likely leave it on the shelf so that I could have more time with my Showcase Presents, just to remember how ignoble Barry Allen’s final days were…
This is a tough week, as almost all the books I want are in the splurge category. However, there are two children’s graphic novels that I find really appealing as well.
So if I had $15, I’d put the first $8.95 of it toward Luz Sees the Light, by Claudia Davila. This comic got its start on the Transmission X webcomics site (also home to Sin Titulo and The Amazing Charles Christopher), and in the early strips, Davila showed that she could write a children’s comic about peak oil without coming off as strident, preachy, or no-fun-at-all. I expect this more mature book to be even better. That leaves me with enough money to pick up the second issue of the Kevin Keller mini-series ($2.99), which is technically Veronica #208. Kevin and his family are a bit too good to be true — he could learn a thing or two from Luz‹but there’s still enough to this mini-series to keep me interested.
If I had $30, I’d add in the other children’s graphic novel that has me intrigued, Doug TenNapel’s Bad Island ($10.95). I really enjoyed Ghostopolis, and someone on Amazon described this as being like Lost, if Lost had been totally thought out from the beginning. I’m sold. And I’ll throw in the latest issue of Life With Archie magazine ($3.99) for some soap opera goodness.
A splurge shouldn’t be an agonizing choice, but there’s so much good stuff this week that I could easily blow my daughter’s tuition. There is one book that stands out from the rest, however, and that’s Craig Yoe’s collection of Archie’s Madhouse comics ($34.99). I grew up with Archie’s Madhouse, and Yoe’s combination of complete comics and weird ephemera makes this a must buy for me. If I can hold the landlord off for a little while, I’d also like to pick up the complete edition of Terry Moore’s Echo ($39.99), which I have yet to read. And Dark Horse has the first volume of their Space Family Robinson archives ($49.99), which looks very tempting. It’s almost unfair how many good graphic novels are coming out this week (I’m averting my eyes altogether from Fantagraphics), so I’ll stop here.
If I had $15:
I’d probably get Doug TenNapel’s latest book, Bad Island, which I wrote about briefly in a recent What Are You Reading column, and throw in the latest issue of Criminal: Last of the Innocents on the pile for good measure.
If I had $30:
I’d steal a dollar from someone and get either Nipper Vol. 2, the latest entry in Drawn & Quarterly’s series collecting Doug Wright’s charming family strip, or volume 15 of Black Jack, cause I’m always down for some Black Jack.
I know virtually nothing about Jesse Moynihan’s Forming, except that a lot of people have been talking about it and saying really great things. That’s usually good enough for me.
If I had $15, I’d start with the third issues of a couple of trusty companions, Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3 ($2.99) and Alpha Flight #3 ($2.99). Frankenstein is getting me simultaneously excited for next month’s Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE #1 and a little nervous about the drop of the Creatures of the Unknown from the title. Hopefully those characters will stick around for the ongoing, ’cause I like them all. And Alpha Flight…this is sort of my dream comic. To go with those I’d add a couple of all-ages superhero books. All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #10 ($2.99) is a henchman’s tale and I always like those; Super Heroes #17 ($2.99) is Paul Tobin’s writing Black Widow and Hawkeye and I’m not missing that. Finally, I’d grab Hellboy: The Fury #3 ($2.99) for the big “shocker.”
If I had $30, I’d trade-wait Hellboy in order to afford Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities, Volume 2: The Ghastly Fiend of London ($15.99), because I’ve already been trade-waiting the hell out of that book and it’s finally here. I loved the first volume, or really anything that Kyle Hotz draws.
There are a few cool splurge items this week, but none of them compares to my excitement about the Criminal Macabre Omnibus, Volume 1 ($24.99). Not only is going to help me catch up on Steve Niles’ Cal McDonald series after I lagged shamefully behind, but it also finally completes”Supernatural Freak Machine,” the story that Cal fans have been waiting years for.