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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #1, by Dave Johnson

Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #1, by Dave Johnson

Welcome to the first of hopefully many editions of “Food or Comics?”, the spiritual successor to our “Can’t Wait for Wednesday” feature. As we did in CWFW, we plan to share what new and notable comic books we’re excited to see in shops every Wednesday, but with one twist — a price limit.

Every week we’ll tell you what comics we’d buy if we had $15 to spend, if we had $30 and if we had some “mad money” (like a gift card) to blow on what we’re calling a “Splurge” item. Admittedly, this was a tough exercise, much tougher than I thought it would be, and a reminder as to why I buy my books from a place that offers a discount.

To see what Kevin Melrose and I would spend our hard-earned money on, keep reading …

Kevin Melrose

If I had $15, I’d buy …

Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #1 ($3.50)

I admit that I’m picking this up as much for Dave Johnson’s cover as I am for the story, which recounts one of Abe Sapien’s first B.P.R.D. assignments: searching for an ancient relic in a sunken Soviet U-boat. It’s by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Peter Snejbjerg, so it’s well worth the $3.50. (Dark Horse)

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Could The Last Airbender actually turn out to be decent?

This has little to do with comics, beyond those issues of Nickelodeon Magazine, but I’m such a fan of the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series that I couldn’t resist posting the first official teaser for M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action adaptation.

The movie has at least three things going against it: the difficulty inherent in making the leap from animation to live action; the casting, at least initially, of white actors in the four central roles; and Shyamalan’s spotty track record.

But I admit that this 1 minute and 41-second teaser looks, well, if not promising then … not awful. I never thought I’d say that.

Derek Kirk Kim on The Last Airbender‘s cast

Comics creator Derek Kirk Kim comments on the casting choices for the The Last Airbender movie. While the setting of the cartoon the movie is based on is “wholly and inarguably built around Asian (and Inuit) culture,” white actors have been cast in the roles of the four main characters:

Avatar

Avatar

Before I go any further, it behooves me to spill some information on “Avatar, the Last Airbender” for those people who have no idea what it is. 1) It’s the greatest, most ambitious animated action adventure TV series ever hatched in the U.S. A cartoon series for kids in which one epic story actually spans 3 entire seasons. A kid’s show in which the characters actually grow and change and evolve! A cartoon which actually respects a kid’s intelligence and vast imagination. Imagine that! 2) It’s wholly and inarguably built around Asian (and Inuit) culture. Everything from to the costume designs, to the written language, to the landscapes, to martial arts, to philosophy, to spirituality, to eating utensils!—it’s all an evocative, but thinly veiled, re-imagining of ancient Asia. (In one episode, a region is shown where everyone is garbed in Korean hanboks—traditional Korean clothing—the design of which wasn’t even altered at all.) It would take a willful disregard of the show’s intentions and origins to think this wouldn’t extend to the race of the characters as well. You certainly don’t see any blonde people running around in “Avatar.” (I’m not saying that would have necessarily been a bad thing, I’m just stating the facts of the show and the world in which it is set.)

Read Kim’s entire statement at his site.

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