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 had $15, the third issue of Batman Inc. would be a must for me this week [after Chris turned in his picks, DC announced that the issue will be delayed until next month], especially since it features the return of Matches Malone, a character I wasn’t even aware I missed until now. I might also spring for the first issue of Axe Cop: President of the World, a new limited series featuring the hatchet-swinging lawman.
I read very little manga by Moyoco Anno, but what I have read has impressed me and what I’ve read about her has made me want to seek more of her work out. So with $30, I’d almost certainly nab Sakuran, Vol. 1, about a high-priced courtesan/geisha looking to escape her gilded cage.
If I really, really wanted to splurge, I’d plunk $125 down for the second printing of the Wally Wood EC Stories Artist Edition from IDW, of which I’ve only heard wonderful things. If my splurging had to be a little budget-friendly, and I was in a more academic mood, I’d at least flip through Cerebus: The Barbarian Messiah, a collection of critical essays on Dave Sim’s controversial opus.
What if the fictional stories you grew up reading could come to life? Sure, it’d be fun to meet Sherlock Holmes… but what if everything both good and evil came to life? In the upcoming graphic novel Fictionauts from Studio 407, a group of scientists-turned-adventurers is tasked with fighting off the threats from our fiction bookshelves before they make it to our world. Created by Mauro Mantella and Leandro Rizzo, this mixes the fiction-is-real concept from comics like The Unwritten with classic sci-fi-turned-superhero books like Challengers of the Unknown into a raucous looking, punching-Moby-Dick-In-His-Blowhole kind of story.
“[Fictionauts] combines over-the-top pulp action, humor, and high-concept science-fiction with some of the most famous literary characters of all time,” says Studio 407’s Ivan Salazar in a press release. “It’s the lovechild of Grant Morrison and Herman Melville that comic fans never knew they wanted, but won’t be able to live without!”
The titular team at the center of this patrols the metaphysical space between fiction and reality, hoping to prevent these fantastical creations from bleeding over into our reality. In the past they’ve faced off with the aforementioned Moby Dick and traded barbs with greats like Charles Dickens, but when a mysteriously named Agent X attempts to break down the walls completely between fiction and reality the team is pushed to see if they can stop the world from being inadvertently destroyed by the imagination of our most creative prose novelists of all time.