EXCL. PREVIEW: "Avatar: Smoke & Shadow" TPB Threatens the Fire Nation
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, Casanova: Avaritia #4 would be the first thing I’d pick up. I’ve been enjoying Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba’s return to their dimension-hopping super-spy immensely and am looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up.
If I had $30, I’d make the difficult choice between two top-notch offerings from Fantagraphics this week. One: New York Mon Amour, a collection of Manhattan-themed stories by the one and only Jacques Tardi, including the Kalfkaesque “Cockroach Killer.” The other would be the third volume in the ongoing Mickey Mouse collection, High Noon at Inferno Gulch. I’m an unabashed Floyd Gottfredson fan, so the Mickey book would probably win out. But I’d be sure to save my coins for next week so I can get the Tardi book then.
Assuming I don’t blow all my splurge dough on the Tardi book, there’s a number of solid options here: Out of the Shadows, a collection of Mort Meskin’s early non-DC work; Bill the Boy Wonder, a new prose biography of Batman co-creator Bill Finger; and a Challengers of the Unknown Omnibus featuring Jack Kirby’s run. If I were in a charitable mood, however, I’d likely snap up Team Cul de Sac, the anthology/art book/tribute to Richard Thompson’s delightful comic strip featuring contributions from folks like Lynn Johnston, Mort Walker, Gary Trudeau and even Bill Watterson! Proceeds from the book go to help fight Parkinson’s disease, which Thompson unfortunately suffers from. It’s hard for me to think of a more worthy – or potentially enjoyable – book to spend your money on this week.
I’m not really feeling this week’s new releases for the most part, so if I had $15 I’d blow it on nostalgia: the Judge Dredd: The Day the Law Died digest (Rebellion, $11) — reprinting a story I haven’t read in literally decades, but can’t resist at that price point — and a more recent old favorite, Memorial #6 (IDW Publishing, $3.99), to see how the story wraps up.
If I had $30, I’d add Saga #4 (Image, $2.99) to the pile, because it’s been a joy so far. I’d also grab Casanova: Avaritia #4 (Marvel, $4.99), despite having run hot and cold on the series to date; I loved the initial arc, less so the second arc and this third one has felt worried-over and unhappy in a way that I’ve found uncomfortable as a reader. I’m sticking around to see how it turns out, but I’m not sure I’ll be back for the fourth go-around.
Should I find myself compelled to splurge, I’d likely do it on the Alpha Flight: The Complete Series by Pak and Van Lente TP (Marvel, $29.99). I admit it, I have a more than sneaking love for the Canuck Champions of the North, and I skipped out on this series in individual issues. Insert your own “eh?” punchline here.
$15: I’d start with a higher-priced book this week, Dark Horse Presents #13. At $7.99 the anthology takes more than half my budget, which is why I don’t typically choose it in our weekly exercises here in Food or Comics?, but I’ll make an exception this week because it features Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto’s Ghost revival. I’d also get Saga #4 ($2.99) just because it is awesome, and the second issue of Grim Leaper ($3.50) because I really dig the concept of it.
$30: I’ve really enjoyed the Glory relaunch by Extreme Studios; Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell are creating a fun story. So I’d grab issue #27 ($2.99). And I couldn’t pass up the latest issue of Daredevil, issue #14 ($2.99) or Winter Soldier #7 ($2.99). I don’t see a lot of people talking about Winter Soldier, but it’s got a coolness factor to it that I like. Speaking of which, I’d end my weekly purchases with The Secret History of D.B. Cooper #4 ($3.99).
Splurge: Like Chris, I’d go with the Team Cul de Sac book — great creators, great cause.
With $15, I’d pick up the next issues in some series I’m loving: Planet of the Apes #15 ($3.99), Roger Langridge’s Snarked! #9 ($3.99), and Godzilla #2 ($3.99). The first issue of the new Godzilla series fixed most of what I didn’t care for in IDW’s first attempt at an ongoing. The previous version had too much going on and didn’t spend enough time developing the only couple of characters I cared about. In the most recent issue, Duane Swierczynski spent some time creating a character whom I’m as interested in spending time with as Godzilla himself. And he managed to put in some good stomping at the same time. I’m behind on Wonder Woman, but I’d finish up my allowance by grabbing Issue 10 ($2.99) in hopes of catching up with it.
If I had $30, I’d quickly add Dark Horse Presents #13 ($7.99). Like JK, I usually let the price keep me from including DHP on my list each week, but Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto’s Ghost story makes this a must-have for me. I’d spend the rest on a couple of other series I need to catch up to: Supergirl #10 ($2.99) and Glory #27 ($2.99).
My splurge for the week would be the Godzilla: Legends collection ($19.99). I trade-waited it and it’ll be a nice companion to Godzilla #2 this week.