Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
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.
As we’re heading towards the middle of August, it’s no surprise that curiosity is getting me to pick up more than a few DC books just see how particular series “end;” I’d be getting Justice League of America #60 and Legion of Super-Heroes #16 (both DC, $2.99) anyway, because I’ve been following those series for awhile, but I’m likely to add Batman #713 (DC, $2.99) to the pile as well, if only to see the explanation as to why Dick quits being Batman before the big relaunch. But it’s not all endings for me with my $15 this week; I’d also make a point of grabbing Daredevil #2 (Marvel, $2.99), because the first issue was just breathtakingly good, and the series became a must-read before I’d even reached the last page.
If I had $30 this week, I’d add to my list of DC final issues with Supergirl #67 (DC, $2.99), which Kelly Sue DeConnick has talked up in interviews as being the highpoint of her short run to date and a great capper to the series as a whole. I’d also check in with the third issue of David Hahn’s All Nighter (Image, $2.99), as well as see if Nick Spencer’s Iron Man 2.0 is worth a look with the mini-collection of the first three issues, Iron Man 2.0: Modern Warfare (Marvel, $4.99).
Splurging this week is tough. On the one hand, there’s the hardcover Secret Society of Super-Villains (DC, $39.99), but there’s also the We3 Deluxe Edition with brand new story pages (DC, $24.99) and also a rescheduled release for the Alex Toth book Setting The Standard (Fantagraphics, $39.99). Any one would be good comics, but I’m probably going to plump for the SSoSV. What can I say? Read something as an impressionable pre-teen and it stays with you…
If I had $15, I’d borrow a dollar (or, more precisely, 98 cents) so I can afford my top two picks: vol. 16 of Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys ($12.99), possibly the most awesome manga ever, and Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #4 ($2.99), continuing the charming and action-packed saga of a school for super villains.
If I had $30, well, call me fickle but I think I’d hold off on 20th Century Boys until next week and pick up the Elephantmen, Book 2: Fatal Diseases ($24.99) instead. I’m still reading the first volume, but I’m intrigued by this quirky comic.
Splurge: The Smurfs book from Abrams looks tempting (I can’t believe I just said that!), but my love of all things retro is going to lead me to Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising ($29.99) from Fantagraphics instead. And if my splurge could extend to one more book, it would be the seventh volume of the Library of American Comics collection of Little Orphan Annie, a steal at $49.99.
If I had $15, I’d carve off half of it to get the awesome line-up inside DC Comics Presents Teen Titans #1 (DC, $7.99). Seriously, Bob Haney, Mike Allred and Jay Stephens? They seem ideal candidates for DC’s Retroactive titles; hell, I’d love to see them mastermind more. Next up I would get my two long-term serials, DMZ #68 (DC, $2.99) and Walking Dead #88 (Image, $2.99); both are bleak as hell, but they offer some redeeming qualities in their humanity.
If I had $30, I’d double-back and get a trio of Marvel titles: Avengers #16 (Marvel, $3.99), Daredevil #2 (Marvel, $2.99) and X-Men Schism #3 (Marvel, $3.99). I’m particularly interested in Daredevil #2 to see what Waid, Rivera and Martin continue to do on this; can they keep being as good as #1? Last up I’d get the Image one-shot Deadlands: Death Was Silent (Image, $2.99). I have some serious admiration for Bart Sears, and this is the latest in an all-too-rare fix for that.
If I had a chance to splurge, I’d get the long-delayed 99 Days (DC/Vertigo Crime, $19.99). Writer Mateo Casali and artist Kristian Donaldson are two up-and-comers, and I’m anxious to see more of them. I’ve read the story solicitation but couldn’t tell you what it’s about; I’m buying this strictly for the creators involved.
If I had $15, I’d start with Supergirl #67 ($2.99) to finish the fun story Kelly Sue DeConnick’s been telling there. I’d also grab the latest Deadlands one-shot, Death Was Silent ($2.99) by Ron Marz and Bart Sears, as well as Heap #1 ($3.99), because if there’s anything cooler than comics about swamp creatures, it’s comics about Nazi-fighting swamp creatures. To round off the ticket, I’d grab Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero ($3.99) based on Graeme’s recommendation.
If I had $30, I’d put back Soldier Zero for another day and use that money toward Mr. Murder is Dead ($19.95). Artist Brent Schoonover is a friend of mine, but don’t hold that against him. He’s a fantastic artist and the perfect one for this whodunit homage to Golden Age comic strips. And since it’s from Archaia, you know the package is going to be beautiful too.
I have way too many splurge items this week, from the latest volume of B.P.R.D. ($19.99) to the special editions of We3 ($24.99) and Elephantmen Vol. 2 ($24.99). But if I had to pick one thing it would be Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan ($39.99) for the same reason that Graeme’s getting The Secret Society of Super-Villains: ten-year-old me couldn’t get enough of that stuff.
I guess I’m the opposite of Graeme in that, with the exception of the titles I was already reading, I find myself less intrigued by what DC is doing this month as storylines are wrapped up in preparation for the relaunch in September. So this week I find myself DCU-less, though there are a couple of Vertigo books I’m considering. In any event, I do know four books I am eagerly awaiting for Wednesday — Captain America #2 ($3.99), Butcher Baker Candlestickmaker #2 ($3.99), Daredevil #2 ($2.99) and X-Men Schism #3 ($3.99). As a longtime fan of Ed Brubaker’s run on Cap, as well as The Boys, those first two were easy. And like Chris and Graeme noted, Daredevil #1 was pretty great, so I’m looking forward to the next issue. Schism actually kinda surprised me; over the last few years I’ve bought the big X-events as trades, usually well after they were over and at a decent discount. I’m an old-school X-Men fan, but in recent years my interest has waned. I ended up downloading the first issue of Schism via Marvel’s iPad app (as it was available on the same day it hit shops) and was really impressed with it.
That eats up my first $15, so if I had $30, I’d also get the weirdest Fear Itself tie-in and possibly one of the weirdest Marvel titles I’ve read in awhile, Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #3 ($2.99). It features Howard the Duck, Man-Thing, Nighthawk, She-Hulk, Frankenstein and like 10 different artists doing the art. Well, not really, but so far it’s featured artwork by Ryan Bodenheim (more or less the regular artist, or at least the guy who has drawn most of it so far), Michael Kaluta (he’s also doing the covers), friggin’ Simon Bisley, and this issue will feature Flint Henry. But wait! There’s more — it’ll also include the New Fantastic Four (Wolverine, Spider-Man, Hulk and Ghost Rider) plus the Psycho-Man! It’s been part crazy throw-in-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink fun, part train wreck, but I’m reluctant to look away at this point.
Wow, I kind of went long there, so I’ll be quick and say I’d round out my week with Fables #108 ($2.99), Walking Dead #88 ($2.99) and Avengers #16 ($3.99). And finally, for my splurge, I would probably also go with 99 Days ($19.99).