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 things out with Wolverine and the X-Men #11 (Marvel, $3.99). I was worried this series’ intersection with Avengers Vs. X-Men might put this book in a tailspin, but from the preview it looks copacetic. Aaron has real amazing grips on these characters despite being less than a dozen issues in, and Nick Bradshaw has quickly come from being a surprising follow-up to Chris Bachalo to arguably being more in line with the book than Bachalo himself. Next up for me would be Walking Dead #98 (Image, $2.99), the low march toward #100. After that I’d get FF #18 (Marvel, $2.99) for something arguably better than its parent book Fantastic Four. I hope this title lives on past Hickman’s run on the book, because it’s succeeded in being more than the stereotypical kids team book. After that, I’d snap up Supercrooks #3 (Marvel/Icon, $3.99). Leinil Yu is on a real high here, doing art that goes up against his great High Roads and Silent Dragon era work. Mark Millar’s story is really optimum Millar-style work, but Yu’s storytelling and rendering here are the best in some time.
If I had $30, I’d buy one additional thing: Empowered, Vol. 7 (Dark Horse, $16.99). Adam Warren has really blossomed since his days doing Dirty Pair, and Empowered is a great second act showing the seedy side of superheroes. Adding to that, Adam Warren keeps up a great online presence over on DeviantArt and releases all sorts of magnificent process sketches to go along with the book.
If I could splurge, I’d spend my grocery money this week on Batman: Death By Design (DC, $24.99). Like some sort of Mister X meets Dark Knight crossover, this book is an interesting work especially in contrast with the day-to-day of DC with New 52. I still think of Chip Kidd more as a designer than a writer despite reading his first novel, but I hope this breaks that in my mind and allows me to see him for both his creative avenues.
I’m not sure if it’s lethargy after the holiday weekend or what, but I’m finding this week’s list fairly dull from the “What would I buy?” point of view. If I had $15, I’d grab Angel and Faith #10 (Dark Horse, $2.99), not only because I’ve been enjoying the series all along, but also because I think this is the Chris Samnee-illustrated issue and, well, you can’t go wrong with Samnee, really. I’d also grab the second issue of The Bionic Woman (Dynamite, $3.99), because I loved the first so much.
If I had $30, I’d indulge my nostalgia by picking up the new US edition of Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu Earth (Simon & Shuster/Rebellion, $19.99). I remember reading the serialization of this Gerry Findley-Day and Dave Gibbons strip when I was a kid, visiting my aunt and being so sucked in by FutureWar that I didn’t even finish my angel cake. How could I turn down a chance to revisit those days?
When it comes to splurging, I’m definitely curious enough about Fredrik Stromberg’s Black Images in the Comics (Fantagraphics, $19.99) to pick it up; comics’ early racism is often ignored, so I’m looking forward to learning more, and then getting depressed about it.
If I had $15, I’d pick up a pair of comics by two cartoonists that best represent the self-publishing movement, Dave Sim and Jeff Smith. Sim’s Glamourpuss continues its odd yet fascinating journey between conjectures about Alex Raymond and lame jokes about fashion models, while Smith is close to wrapping up Rasl, his sci-fi noir tale that seems if nothing else to be an attempt to go to dark places that Bone only hinted at.
If I had $30, for me the book of the week is Singles Theory, the new Monsieur Jean book by Dupuy and Bebarian, and courtesy of Humanoids. I’ve been a fan of the series ever since Bart Beaty raved about it two decades ago in The Comics Journal — I even own a couple French volumes, bought before Drawn and Quarterly published the bulk of the series in English as Get a Life. It’s been ages since the duo has joined forces to return to Jean’s harried life and I’m eager to find out how he’s been doing.
Splurge: Smurf fans and those with an interest in Eurocomics in general (and I fall under both categories) will want to check out Peyo: The Life and Work of a Marvelous Storyteller, a $50 book about the Belgian cartoonist that examines his most famous small blue creations and beyond. It doesn’t look like there’s a lot of copies of this one so if you’ve got the cash and interest I’d snap it up quick.
If I had $15, I’d grab a bunch of single issues starting with Exile on the Planet of the Apes #3 ($3.99), because at this point it just has to have Planet of the Apes and the BOOM! logo on it and I know I’ll like it. Roger Langridge’s Snarked #8 ($3.99) is another easy choice from the same publisher. I’m marathoning X-Men Legacy in order to get caught up with it right now, so issue #267 ($2.99) will go on the pile as well. And finally, I’m very excited to check out Superman Family Adventures #1 ($2.99) to see if this is the Superman comic I’ve been waiting for.
With $30, I’d add some more single issues. Magdalena #12 ($3.99) and The Bionic Woman #2 ($3.99) are both part of my Women of Action experiment, so I need those. I’m always up for new BPRD, so I’ll also grab BPRD: Hell on Earth – Transformation #1 ($3.50). Then I’d finish up with Rocketeer Adventures 2 #3 ($3.99) and its Darwyn Cooke story.
There’s a lot I’d love to splurge on this week, but I’m most excited by Batman: Death by Design ($24.99). It looks and sounds fantastic. I love the weird, pulpy noir-ness of it all.