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.
I have to say, this is an amazingly slow week for me in terms of new releases. If I had $15, I’d pick up the fourth issue of Dark Horse’s Angel & Faith series ($3.50), which has surprised me by turning out to be my favorite by far of the new Buffy series (due, in large part, to Rebekah Isaacs’ artwork, which is superb). I’d also grab the third issue of IDW’s Star Trek monthly ($3.99), in the hope that it’ll be as good as the first two issues; hardcore Trek fans, you should really be looking at this book, if you’re not already. Also on the list to grab: Thunderbolts #166 (Marvel, $2.99), continuing a great storyline from what might be one of the most underrated books from either of the big two publishers. One of the few nice things about Marvel’s recent Cancelpocalypse was seeing so many people speak up about how much they love Thunderbolts, and I’m right there with them; Jeff Parker’s done great things with this book.
If I had $30, chances are I’d put one of the above books – Angel & Faith, perhaps? – back for the week (or try and sweet-talk an extra 50 cents from the invisible budgeting gods who rule this column) and grab Rebellion’s Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks collection ($19.99), which collects all manner of (very) short stories from the Bearded One’s early days in 2000AD, with art by equally young masters like Dave Gibbons, Alan David, Steve Dillon and Brendan McCarthy, amongst others. Borag Thungg indeed, Earthlets.
When it comes to splurging, I’m taking that to mean double-dipping as opposed to buying insanely outrageously expensive items. I’ve already read Mark Waid’s wonderful Captain America: Man Out of Time, but now that it’s available in paperback (Marvel, $16.99), I might be tempted to buy it a second time.
If I had $15, I’d be all over the board but would start with the new Joe Casey/Nathan Fox joint Haunt #19 (Image/TMP, $2.99). I admit I didn’t jump onto the Haunt bandwagon when it first started, and despite seeing Greg Capullo on the book I never found the time to catch up. Seeing Casey and Fox jump on this gives me just the chance to do that. Next up would be Spaceman #2 ($2.99); I applaud DC for keeping the price point at $2.99, and seeing this dramatic divergence from 100 Bullets from Azz & Risso is something I eat up. Last up would be a pair of Marvel picks: Daredevil #6 ($2.99, Marvel) and Wolverine #19 ($3.99, Marvel).
If I had $30, I’d add to my stack starting with the new Thunder Agents Vol. 2 #1 ($2.99, DC). I enjoyed Nick Spencer’s first run on the title, and I’m a big proponent of artist Wes Craig and I’m excited to see what the two of them can do. Next up would be Uncanny X-Men #2 ($3.99, Marvel); stepping past my ambivalence to Greg Land and my appreciation of Kieron Gillen, I’m interested to see this team expand beyond the classic X-Men dynamic and turn into mutant ambassadors/enforcers in a political way. After that I’d get FF #12 (Marvel, $2.99). I love the transition of this book from being “The team formerly known as the FF” to being Marvel’s version of the Goonies, and seeing artist Juan Bobillo join it is invigorating as well as surprising. Lastly, I’d get Thunderbolts #166 ($2.99).
If I was to splurge like I did last Thursday at the dinner table, I would dig into The Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks ($19.99, 2000AD). I’ve read a majority of Alan Moore’s work post-Swamp Thing, but his early British career is woefully underrepresented in my memory. I’m interested to see these stories from a younger Alan Moore, and I’d endorse more publishers to do more creator-centric collections like this in the future (hint hint, DC Comics, Alex Toth).
If I had $15…
I would start with a graphic novel from Papercutz, Ernest and Rebecca: My Best Friend Is a Germ ($11.99), which Jim Salicrup pitched hard to me at NYCC. It’s an all-ages story of a girl who makes friends with a microbe, which helps her cope with her parents’ separation and various other problems. Since that’s likely to give me the sniffles, I’ll cheer myself up afterwards with Archie #627 ($2.99), the first issue of the Archie-meets-KISS arc.
If I had $30…
I’d toss the Archie comic and add in B.P.R.D.: Being Human ($17.99). I like the B.P.R.D. comics but I haven’t really read enough of them; this is billed as a stand-alone volume, so it looks like a good investment.
There’s a new book out from Archaia that caught my eye: Rust, an all-ages superhero story set on a farm during the Great Depression. At $24.95 for a hardcover copy, that’s a splurge, but it’s a manageable one. My other splurge would be Tintin: The Complete Companion ($35), a reissue of a book that came out a few years ago. And since I seem to be going for the Euro-comics this week, I’ll add in the fifth volume of the French fantasy story The Elsewhere Chronicles ($6.95), because I really like this series–it has more of an edge than most kids-in-a-strange-land stories.
If I had $15:
I’ve been reading the series as its been coming out in pamphlet form but if I wasn’t I might likely spend my $15 on the third RASL collection. Not many have said much about Jeff Smith’s current work lately, but it remains a slam-bang, captivating noir/sci-fi saga.
If I had $30:
I’d definitely pick up the Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks collection from 2000AD. I haven’t read much of Moore’s early work apart from Miracleman and really would like to become better acquainted with those stories, if for nothing else than for when I get around to doing a Comics College piece on Moore.
The new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Cabin Fever, would make a perfect stocking stuffer for my daughter …