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Food or Comics? | Stelle or Steed and Peel

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.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Showcase Presents Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld, Volume 1

Graeme McMillan

It’s an odd one for me this week; if I had $15, I’d probably just grab two of DC’s Zero Month books (Batman Incorporated and Flash, both $2.99) and then skip straight to the $30 portion of the week so that I could pick up the Showcase Presents Amethyst, Vol. 1 collection (DC, $19.99), if only to reassure me that the original series was good after last week’s revival.

If I were to splurge, I’d step outside of DC’s purview and go for IDW’s Joe Kubert Tarzan Artist Edition. I was one of the many people who didn’t really “get” Kubert as a kid, but his linework won me over as I got older, and the chance to see some of his best-looking art in “real size” is something that I’d love to be able to embrace.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15, I’d get Batman Incorporated #0, probably the only DC zero book I’ll get, and Vol. 11 of Yotsuba&!, because I could use some irrepressibly cute manga about an adorable green-haired girl right about now.

If I had $30, I’d put away Yotsuba&! and get Barbara, Osamu Tezuka’s manga about a would-be artist who takes in a lovely but strange homeless woman, only to become convinced that she is his personal muse. I know there was a bit of grumbling that DMP went the Kickstarter route in getting this published, but honestly, I’m just happy to have more Tezuka in print.

What constitutes a splurge purchase? How about six, hardcover, slipcased volumes of Robert Crumb’s sketchbook work, priced at about $1,600, courtesy of the fine folks at Taschen? Yeah, I think buying that would be a “splurge purchase.” It would also constitute sheer madness and a one-way trip to the poorhouse, but at least you’d have all those nice Crumb books to keep you company. I’m sure they’d make a fine pillow.

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DMP launches manga for the Nook

I’m not sure, but I think this is a first: Digital Manga Publishing is publishing manga on the Nook, Barnes & Noble’s proprietary e-reader. (Like all smart e-readers, the Nook is available not just on the device itself but also as an iPad, iPhone and web application.) There are only a handful of graphic novels available for the Nook, mostly indie material; the best known is probably Mike Jasper and Niki Smith’s In Maps and Legends, which started out as a Zuda comic.

Digital, which has been in the vanguard of, well, digital manga publishing, with their eManga website and Digital Manga Guild, will launch with Vampire Hunter D, in both color and black-and white-versions, divided into two parts for $3.99 each. It’s also available on Kindle for $7.95, and the cheapest way to read it is on the iPhone/iPod Touch, where each of the six chapters in volume 1 is priced at 99 cents. You get what you pay for, though—I read the first volume on the small screen, and it doesn’t adapt well. This is a book that needs a little breathing room.

What Are You Reading?

Beasts of Burden #3

Beasts of Burden #3

Like the Sunday newspaper, it’s time once again for another round of What Are You Reading. Our guest this week is Ryan Sands, who can be found over at the Same Hat blog, recommending and even translating (Tokyo Zombie) some great, and occasionally bizarre manga (and I mean that in a good way).

To see what Ryan and the rest of us are reading this week, click on the link below. Then let us know what books you’re enjoying and want to recommend (or not) in the comments section.

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Straight for the Art: ‘Swallowing the Earth’

From 'Swallowing the Earth'

From 'Swallowing the Earth'

DMP will be publishing one of “God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka’s more interesting and perhaps controversial works, Swallowing the Earth, in June, and they’ve got a 25-page preview of the manga up on Here’s a brief synopsis of the plot:

One of Tezuka’s most adult series, Swallowing the Earth treats the use of female sexuality as a weapon, and the abuses of women in human history. Zephyrus, a mysterious, icy seductress, uses her power over men to snare them into aiding her scheme to overthrow the world order in order to avenge the wrongs done to womankind over the course of history. The only one immune to her charms is young Seki Gohonmatsu, a Neanderthal-like perpetually-drunken sailor whose only goal is to drink all the liquor in the world, a crass parallel to Zephyrus’ schemes to swallow the Earth with her revenge.

So, yeah. There’s nothing exceptionally R-rated at the link, but depending on where you’re employed, you may want to consider it NSFW.

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