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 this week, I’d avoid Marvel and DC altogether and go for some more independent offerings. Top of the pile would definitely be Prophet #21 (Image, $2.99), Brandon Graham’s much-anticipated revamp of the Rob Liefeld book from the mid-90s, recreated (with artist Simon Roy) as some kind of Heavy Metal fever dream; I’m a massive fan of Graham’s, and excited to see what he can come up with when he tries to play it (relatively) straight. I’d also grab Dynamite’s Kirby Genesis: Dragonbane #1 ($3.99), another spin-off from the Busiek/Ross/Herbert series this time focusing on the almost Thor-analog warrior, and IDW’s Memorial #2 ($3.99), continuing the urban fantasy series that I enjoyed so much last month. Lastly, I’d grab the cheap relaunch for Antony Johnston’s Wasteland (#33, Oni, $1.00); I’ve really enjoyed this post-apocalyptic world building book for awhile, but this relaunch – which will return the book to a monthly schedule as well as debut new artist Justin Greenwood – looks set to be a good jumping-on point for those who’ve never sampled its charms before.
If I had $30, I’d be likely to put Dragonbane back on the shelf and try out Marvel’s Fear Itself: Journey Into Mystery Premiere HC collection ($19.99) instead. Not having been a fan of Matt Fraction’s Thor, I skipped the first few issues of this and then, by the time I kept hearing great things and realized I actually really enjoy Kieron Gillen’s writing, it was far enough into the run that I knew I’d end up waiting for the collection. Color me cautiously optimistic.
When it comes to splurging, my love of comics from around when I was born rears its ugly head again, and I find myself drawn to Marvel Firsts: 1970s Vol. 1 TP (Marvel, $29.99). This is possibly my favorite era from the House of Ideas, so the idea of an anthology of some of its weirdest hits sounds right up my alley.
If I had $15, I’d join the crowd and put $3 for that new, Brandon-Graham version of Prophet. I’ve yet to read King City (I know, I know) and I know nothing about the Prophet character, but I like the little bit of Graham’s work I’ve been exposed to so far and I’m curious to see how he handles this type of sci-fi/superhero tale.
If I had $30, I’d put back Prophet, snatch an extra $3 and change from my wife’s piggy bank (shhh, don’t tell her) and nab the eighth volume of Kramers Ergot, the latest edition of the mind- and genre-bending, cutting edge anthology from editor Sammy Harkham (this time published by Picturebox). This one runs a bit counter to past Kramers. It mainly features longer, more direct stories in a smaller, more standard book-size format. Contributors include CF, Gabrielle Bell, Dash Shaw, Frank Santoro, Gary Panter, Chris Cilla and others. Oh and there’s a generous helping of “Oh Wicked Wanda,” Penthouse’s answer to Little Annie Fanny for those who care to remember it.
My splurge this week would probably be Bill Griffith: Lost and Found, an “odds and sodds” collection of work by the Zippy creator, mostly done prior to that strip’s creation. I’m not actually certain what’s included in this book, but a good deal of Griffith’s non-Zippy material is pretty great, even better than the strip in some cases.
If I had $15, I’d lead off this week’s haul with my most anticipated book in some time: Prophet #21 (Image, $2.99). I am an immense fan of Brandon Graham’s work, so seeing him segue into writing is interesting… but I also admit to being a fan of Prophet. I remember trying to draw like Dan Panosian did in an early issue of this title. Next up would be Uncanny X-Force #20 (Marvel, $3.99), for Remender, for incoming artist Greg Tocchini, for X-Force, and for the entrance of Captain Britain. Rounding my Marvel haul would be Daredevil #8 (Marvel, $2.99); excited to see guest artist Kano on this. Last up for my $15 haul would be Batman #5 (DC, $2.99); on paper I like Wonder Woman more, but when it comes down to it I’m more enjoying Snyder and Capullo’s story in this. Oh wait, I have some money laying around… Wasteland #33 (Oni, $1) is it for a dollar.
For $30, I’d double back and get Wonder Woman #5 (DC, $2.99); for me, Azzarello’s story seems like a slow burn and I’m hooked in. I’m interested to see how Tony Akins handles filling in given Cliff’s one-of-a-kind art. Next up I’d get a Marvel 3-pack: Avengers #21 (Marvel, $3.99), Avenging Spider-Man #3 (Marvel, $3.99) and Uncanny X-Men #5 ($3.99). Then finally, I’d get my second $1 book of the week, Lord of the Jungle #1 (Dynamite, $1.00). More books should consider going their first issues at $1, especially ones that are lesser known and less likely to be tried.
For my splurge, I’d happy fork over the bills for Steve Canyon HC Vol. 1: 1947-1948 (IDW, $49.99). Milton Caniff is a titan, and being able to read the previous Terry & The Pirates collections and then lead into this, in the original order they were published, is amazing; it’s like being there to see how Caniff developed.
If I had $15, I’d make it unanimous by also grabbing Prophet #21 ($2.99). Brandon Graham is always interesting, but I’m in it as much for Simon Roy’s art as Graham’s story. I had the pleasure of working with Roy on an extremely short story for Panels for Primates and he’s an awesome artist. Then I’d grab a bunch of superheroine comics that I’m enjoying: Wonder Woman #5 ($2.99), Supergirl #5 ($2.99), Birds of Prey #5 (2.99), and Fear Itself: The Fearless #7 ($2.99) featuring Valkyrie.
If I had $30, I’d quickly add Planet of the Apes #10 ($3.99) to that pile and try to think of new adjectives to convince more people to read it. Speaking of primates, I’d also check out Dynamite’s Tarzan of the Apes adaptation, Lord of the Jungle #1 ($1.00). After that, I want to see what’s up with Danger Girl: Revolver #1 ($3.99). I’ve never read a Danger Girl comic, but it sounds like the kind of thing I’d enjoy. Jumping into IDW’s new mini-series is a cheaper way to try it out than getting one of the collections and catching up. Finally, I’m curious about the reprint of Grant Morrison’s Steed and Mrs. Peel #1 ($3.99) from Boom!. I don’t know much about the TV Avengers, but I dig groovy, ’60s spy adventures.
If I only had a little to splurge with I’d check out Danger Girl: Danger-Sized Treasury Edition ($9.99), but I’m hoping for a nice windfall so I can join Chris A in Steve Canyon, Volume 1: 1947-1948 ($49.99). I’ve read some of those stories from when Checker reprinted them and they’re cool enough that I want them in the nice hardcover.