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.
If I had $15, I’d start with Demon Knights #1 ($2.99) and Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #1 ($2.99). I’m excited about a lot of the DC Dark corner of the New 52; especially these two. Frankenstein is a continuation of the only Flashpoint series I stuck with and features one of my two favorite characters from Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory. I wasn’t that interested in Demon Knights at first, but I was impressed by Paul Cornell’s chasing down a female fan after a panel at San Diego to pitch the series to her as something that people who are looking for great, female characters will enjoy. And I’ve been wanting to dig deeper into Cornell’s work anyway. On the Marvel side, I’m still thrilled about how well Alpha Flight is doing (creatively, I mean, but I guess it must be doing okay in sales too), so #4 ($2.99) is a must-buy for me. And I can’t wait to see how Mystery Men ends with #5 ($2.99). That’s been one of the high points of my summer, comics-wise. Finally, I’d grab X-Men Legacy #255 ($2.99) to dip my toe a little deeper into the X-Men world after being away from it for a while.
If I had $30, I’d add All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #11 ($2.99) for the Batman/Jonah Hex team-up and Korgi, Volume 3: A Hollow Beginning ($9.95). I’m a volume behind on Korgi, but the first one was wonderful (I love wordless comics and the art’s amazing) and I’d like to catch up. If I could borrow a dollar from someone (I’ll buy you a pop later), I’d also add Bonnie Lass #1 ($2.99). I’ve already read it online and will buy the eventual collection, but it would be nice to have a copy to pass around to friends.
I’ve got two splurge items this week. I’m very into Sherlock Holmes lately, so I’ve been eager to read Moriarty ($14.99). I’ve already read Kody Chamberlain’s Sweets ($14.99) in single issues and loved it (though it drove me crazy with how much Kody’s color palette made my mouth water for warm, chewy pralines). I don’t want to choose between these two, but if forced, I’d go with Sweets partly because I’m a big fan of Kody’s work and partly because I’m a little parched.
It may be week three of DC’s New 52, but the book I’m most looking forward to this week is Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9: Freefall #1 (Dark Horse, $2.99); the last series ended with enough of an uptick after a run of dull issues that I find myself optimistic about its return, and if I had $15 this week, I’d start with that. Then I’d probably go for Optic Nerve #12 (Drawn & Quarterly, $5.99), because it’s apparently Adrian Tomine’s return to the multiple short humor story format after his extended stories of recent years, and I always preferred his earlier stuff (I think my Portland Hipster cred might’ve accidentally been boosted by that statement. Sorry). To round out the haul, I’d grab Batwoman #1 (DC, $2.99) and Daredevil #3 (Marvel, $2.99), two near-sure things based on previous installments of the characters by these particular creators.
If I had $30, I’d stock up on some New 52 books after all, grabbing Demon Knights #1, Green Lantern #1, Grifter #1, Legion Lost #1 and Mister Terrific #1 (All DC, $2.99). I’ve got various levels of hopes for all of these, although I’ll admit that last week’s Stormwatch debut harshed my Paul Cornell love a little bit, and the Mister Terrific optimism is based as much on the character’s potential as the creators. But we’ll see how the books end up…
When it comes to splurging, I’m going to plump for the potentially surprising choice of Archie: The Married Life Vol. 1 (Archie, $19.99). I had a chance to read the first episode of one of the “Married Life” stories this weekend, and enjoyed it much more than I would’ve expected, and knowing that there’s a trade coming out justa few days later… Well, it almost seems like bad manners to pass that up.
If all I have is $15, life is very simple: I pick up the ninth volume of Twin Spica ($10.95), the wonderfully drawn drama about Japanese teenagers at astronaut school, and the latest issue of Life with Archie ($3.99) so I can follow this engrossing soap opera, and I put up my feet for a couple of hours and read.
If I had $30, I’d pile on more floppies. I haven’t been following Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the first issue of Season Nine ($2.99) seems a good place to jump on. I’m taking a bit more of a chance diving in with issue 2 of Baltimore: The Curse Bells ($3.50), but I have always liked Mike Mignola’s storytelling. For some all-ages fun, I’ll add Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #5 ($2.99) and Super Dinosaur #4 ($2.99), both from Image. That’s a good size stack, and I’m still under $30, which is just as well.
Because this is a great splurge week. The first volume of DC’s Sugar and Spike Archives ($59.99) is my first choice; the Sugar and Spike comics I read in Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly’s Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics got me hooked on this classic little-rascals comic by Sheldon Mayer years ago, and I’m happy to see more. I’d love to see the second volume of Dark Horse’s Archie Archives ($49.99) as well. With those two tucked under my arm, I won’t feel so bad about leaving the slipcased edition of the Mad Fold-In Collection 1964-2010 ($125) on the shelf; it’s a great idea, but after paying over a hundred bucks for a book, I’d be reluctant to deface it by actually folding the pages.
Man, $15 just isn’t going to go a long way this week. I’d probably start with Pigs #1 ($2.99), the new Image title from Ben McCool, Nate Cosby, Breno Tamura, Chris Sotomayor and Rus Wooton, which is about a second-generation KGB Cuban sleeper cell that’s activated and assigned to overthrow the U.S. government. And I agree with Michael on Frankenstein, which was one of maybe two or three Flashpoint mini’s that was ultimately satisfying. So I’m on board for Frankenstein, Agents of SHADE #1 ($2.99). I’d also mirror Graeme and Brigid in getting the new Buffy series ($2.99), then I’d round it out with the latest issue of Fear Itself ($3.99).
If I had $30, I’d also grab Daredevil #3 ($2.99) and Alpha Flight #4, two of my favorite new titles. I’d round it out with four new #1’s for $2.99 each — Resurrection Man #1 (Abnett and Lanning! Wohoo!), John Carter: A Princess of Mars (Roger Langridge? Sold) and Batwoman #1 (It’s been a long time comin’).
For my splurge, again, there’s a lot to choose from, but ultimately I’d grab either The Complete Major Bummer Super Slacktacular ($29.99) or the new release of God Somewhere, as I’ve heard both are worth checking out and I haven’t read either of them.