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 (only) had $15, I’d first pick up Creator Owned Heroes #2 (Image, $3.99). This format is something I revel in, and it doesn’t hurt to have good comics like those from Palmiotti, Gray, Noto, Niles and Mellon. After that I’d get the long-awaited Infernal Man-Thing #1 (Marvel, $3.99). I only found out about this delayed-’80s series in the early 2000s, but I had the chance to speak to Kevin Nowlan about a year back and we talked at length about the book. He showed me some art and I was sold. Third on my list would be Invincible #93 (Image, $2.99). The Walking Dead might be getting all the attention, but if I had to chose between all of the books Kirkman’s written it’d easily be Invincible. He and artists Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley continue to bring their A-game here, and this new format with Ottley and Walker trading pages is great. With the last bit of my $15 I’d pick up Avengers Vs. X-Men #7 (Marvel, $3.99). This has easily become one of the greatest event series since Civil War, and the last issue in particular sold it with the twin stylings of Jonathan Hickman and Olivier Coipel. You might say I have diminished thresholds when it comes to event series, but I see it as a different kind of comic than, I don’t know, Dan Clowes or something. It’s its own thing, and in this case it’s very good at it.
If I had $30, I’d get Mike Norton’s Battlepug HC (Dark Horse, $14.99). Call me a fool for buying a free webcomic in trade, but I missed the boat when this was coming out online. Norton has won me over with his work through the years and I have no problem shelling out $15 bucks to see it in this hardcover format – even if I’m not a dog person.
And for splurging, I’d get Ed Piskor’s Wizzywig HC (Top Shelf, $19.95). This is exactly the kind of book that fits in my wheelhouse, but like Battlepug I missed out on this when it was first published. Like some sort of Hackers movie done right (sorry Angelina!), I want to learn more about this and eschew my status as a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie.
Clearly, I’m too disturbed by the idea of going to the store on July 4th to actually find myself that interested in the books that’re being released this week. If I only had $15, I’d grab Action Comics #11 (DC, $3.99), Earth 2 #3 (DC, $2.99) and Muppets #1 (Marvel, $2.99); the first two because they’re known quantities and I enjoy them month in and month out, and the latter because I’m pretty sure this is the first part of the “unseen” Roger Langridge final arc, which, you know, will be great no matter what, right?
If I had $30, I’d get those three and also Showcase Presents Showcase Vol. 1 (DC, $19.99), and not just for the title alone, as tempting as it may be. This one will be worth its price just for the chance to see what will undoubtedly be some breathtakingly beautiful (pre-)Silver Age artists at the top of their game, in beautiful black and white. Plus, of course, all the classic stories they’re illustrating, but this one honestly appeals as much for the art as anything and everything else.
Were I to prove my independence by splurging, I’d follow Chris and pick up Wizzywig (Top Shelf, $19.95); I also missed out on this one as a webcomic, but it sounds like the kind of thing I have a feeling I’ll end up loving. Technology!
If I had $15, I’d stick with my tried and true monthly purchases, namely Boys #68 and Castle Waiting #17. I might also pick up the third issue of Popeye, as I found myself enjoying the second issue, and I’m hard to please where Popeye is concerned. I’ll probably hold off on that for now, though and instead nab the new Smurfs book from Papercutz, Smurf vs. Smurf, which I believe involves the little blue guys coming to blows over the proper use of the term “smurf” (is it a noun or a verb?)
If I had $30, I’m not a huge Jim Starlin fan, but I’d at least consider putting my other purchases aside in favor of the Dreadstar Omnibus, collecting the first 12 issues of Starlin’s sci-fi epic, originally serialized by, um, Epic. I seem to recall Dreadstar being quite the thing back in the heady period of the 1980s and I’m curious to see if it lives up to my hazy memories.
The most notable splurge of the week for me, and indeed the most curious object on this week’s list, is Paris Soirees, a deluxe, oversize volume of a wordless story by Philippe Petit-Rulet and Francois Avril, concerning life in the city of lights. I know nothing about this work, but the claire ligne style that’s going on in the preview has my Eurocomics Jones itching.
Like Graeme, I’m more inspired by the holiday than I am with this week’s releases, so with $15 I’d skip the single issues and instead pick up DC’s Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors ($14.99), collecting the storyline in which Wonder Woman proves to herself that she’s worthy of rejoining the Justice League after her powerless White Jumpsuit Era. Goofy fun.
With $30, I’d add Mike Norton’s Battlepug, Volume 1 ($14.99). Buzz on this has been great and I’d just as soon buy it as add yet another webcomic to my already full Google Reader.
With some splurge money, I’d add the hardcover collection of Steve Niles and Greg Ruth’s Freaks of the Heartland ($29.99). I’ve already got the single issues, but it’s a gorgeous, moving story and deserves to be in a place where I can not only get to it easily, but also loan it out every once in a while.