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.
Well done, DC: For the second time, I’m suckered in by your wave of new launches. This week, if I had $15, I’d drop a chunk of that on Dial H #1, Earth-2 #1 and Worlds’ Finest #1 (All DC, Dial H and Worlds’ Finest both $2.99, Earth-2 $3.99). What can I say? I really love the DC Multiverse as a concept, and I’m curious to see what the new Dial H is like.
If I had $30, I’d add some more new launches in there: Jim McCann and Rodin Esquejo’s Mind The Gap looks like a lot of fun (Image, $2.99), as does the first issue of New Mutants/Journey Into Mystery crossover Exiled #1 (Marvel, $2.99). On the recommendation of many, I’m also going to grab The Spider #1 (Dynamite, $3.99) to try out David Liss’ writing; I had a lot of people say good things about his Black Panther, so I’m looking forward to this new book.
Should I feel the urge to splurge, DC have again won the day: Spirit World HC (DC, $39.99)? Genre stories by Jack Kirby from my favorite period of his work that I’ve never seen before, including some that have never been reprinted before? Seriously, there’s no way I couldn’t want this book.
$15? I’d first go after Daredevil #12 (Marvel, $2.99). Mark Waid and the artists involved have really built up a great series here, and after some artistic missteps a few issues back the publisher seems to be looking to bolster the title for year two with the awesome introduction of Chris Samnee. I’m interested to see how Samnee bends his style here and there for this, as well as to see who’s coloring it. Next up would be DC’s new launch of Dial H #1 (DC, $2.99). I have a lot of affection for this property, and China Mieville and Mateus Santolouco sounds like an ambitiously casted attempt to get this title to finally live up to its promise. After that, I’d get the final issue of Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega #5 (Marvel, $3.99). Leaving aside the cumbersome title, this has been a fun little miniseries mixing old school Brian Wood fun with couriers and alt futures, new X-Men badboy Quentin Quire and the reformed bad boy Wolverine. It’s been excellent at showing how Wood can work inside the framework of a superhero universe, and shows just how much DC missed out on when they didn’t bring him into New 52. Finally, I’d get X-O: Manowar #1 (Valiant, $3.99). I’ve always dug this origin as an updated Captain America story (or updated O.M.A.C., updating Cap Story), and I’m super-plussed to see Cary Nord drawing this.
If I had $30, I’d get all of the above and add to it with the May 2012 edition of Heavy Metal ($7.95). Heavy Metal has always seemed like the odd-man out in American comics, doing many of the things ardent comics fan pine for but never getting the recognition for actually doing it. This issue looks to have the final part of Enki Bilal’s Animalz story, as well as some shorts from the likes of Prado, Moebius and Frezzato. After that I’d get two more of DC’s new number ones – Earth 2 #1 (DC, $3.99) and G.I. Combat #1 (DC, $3.99). I’m intrigued by the Earth 2 concept, especially in relation to the New 52; I have a feeling I’m either going to fall for this one like some teenage wet dream or shuck it off like a dirty t-shirt, but I have to buy it to find out. The draw in G.I. Combat #1 for me is the story of the Unknown Soldier by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Dan Panosian – that’s a great little team-up, and I’m excited to see where they take the masked man. And I should note: I would have gotten World’s Finest #1, but those costumes really turn me off; I think my years running Project: Rooftop have made me a costume snob.
Should the urge to splurge come over me, I’d gladly join Graeme in shelling out my sheckles for Jack Kirby’s Spirit World (DC, $39.99). The original edition of this has been on my pages-long list of must-have comics going back to the ’90s, and I’m glad to finally be within hours of reading them. I’ve never been able to really see Kirby’s non-superhero work, and this looks like the ideal introduction.
If I had $15, I’d likely get The Boys #66, since the series is winding down now and I’m anxious to see how everything wraps up.
If I had $30, the pick of the week has to be Fallen Words, the latest collection of short stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. These are set in Edo-era Japan, but will no doubt still contain the angst, despair and sexual repression and frustration that the author has become so well known for. Good times.
Splurge: I’ll join the growing chorus and throw my lot in with that Jack Kirby Spirit World collection, though I’m equally interested in Kiki DeMontparnasse, a fictionalized biography of the famed model/singer/muse by Jose-Luis Bocquet and Catel Muller, courtesy of the British publisher SelfMade Hero. I flipped through a copy at MoCCA, and while I didn’t pick it up there, it’s on my list of books to buy.
At the $15 level, it looks like a good week for floppies. I’ll start with Life With Archie #19 ($3.99), which starts up some new storylines for the grown-up Riverdale crowd. Then I’ll join Chris in picking up Daredevil #12; I like this series to begin with, and adding Chris Samnee as the artist clinches the sale. From Dark Horse, I’m going to pick up Skeleton Key ($3.50), a charming one-shot by Andi Watson that continues his classic series about a lost girl and a fox spirit who wander around getting into random places with their skeleton key. And there’s no way I’m going to finish this week without picking up the much-hyped X-O Manowar. After hearing the Valiant folks talk about it at their panel at C2E2, I’m anxious to see the final product.
If I had $30, I’d add Sarah Leavitt’s Tangles, which is just reaching the US after being published in Canada and the UK. I’m not so sure about the art style, but the subject matter–it’s a memoir of dealing with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease–is something I have a personal interest in, having been through it with my father.
Splurge: I’ll join Chris in picking up Kiki de Montparnasse ($24.95), because I’m a sucker for rebellious girls and Bohemian artist types.
If I had $15, I’d start with Fury MAX #1 ($3.99), because Garth Ennis writing Cold War Nick Fury in a MAX book sounds like exactly the kind of Nick Fury I’m itching to read. Next I’d grab Mind the Gap #1 ($2.99) because I loved Return of the Dapper Men and am anxious to see what else Jim McCann can write. Because Black Widow is my favorite Avenger (and because Fred Van Lente is writing it), I’m awfully interested in the movie tie-in Avengers: The Black Widow Strikes #1 ($2.99) as well. And finally, I wasn’t thrilled with the most recent Huntress mini-series, but I love the idea of women taking over World’s Finest #1 ($2.99), so I’ll be checking that out as well.
If I had $30, I’d add Andi Watson’s Skeleton Key: Color Special ($3.50) because Andi Watson, and I’d check out David Liss’ version of The Spider #1 ($3.99). I loved what Liss did with Mystery Men for Marvel, so I’m in for another pulp story by him. I’ll need to cover Avengelyne for a future Women of Action column, so I’d also grab #8 ($2.99) of that series, then I’d finish off the pile with X-O Manowar #1 ($3.99). I missed the Valiant craze in the ’90s, so I don’t know anything about this character, but I’m intrigued by Valiant’s relaunch.
With lots of splurge money, I’d get collected volumes of several series I’ve already read or am trade-waiting. There’s a lot of them coming out this week, including Planet of the Apes, Volume 2 ($14.99), Roger Langridge’s Snarked!, Volume 1 ($14.99), American Vampire, Volume 2 ($17.99), Locke and Key, Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom ($19.99), Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, Volume 3 ($17.99), and Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom ($12.95).