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, I’d be tempted to blow it all on the recolored Death of Superman collection for the ’90s nostalgia. But then I’d probably flip through it and come to my senses, and instead get something new like Fatale #12 ($3.50) by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, which looks like it’s going to be a trip, flashing back to Medieval times but self-contained as a good entry point for new readers. That’s smart comics. Speaking of smarty-pants, I’d probably get The Manhattan Projects #9 ($3.50) by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra. It’s the first part of a two-part story about scientists trying to take over the world. There will probably be lots of words that leave me dizzy. I likely wouldn’t be able to resist Matt Wagner writing The Shadow: Year One #1 ($3.99) because, you know, The Shadow knows. I haven’t been following IDW’s G.I. Joe universe but G.I. Joe #1 ($3.99) by Fred Van Lente and Steve Kurth seems like a good opportunity to try it out. And I’d finish it off with Cyber Force #3 by Marc Silvestri and Koi Pham because it’s free.
With $30, I would add to the above. Darkhawk is on the cover of Avengers Arena #4 ($2.99) by Dennis Hopeless and Alessandro Vitti, so I’d be compelled to buy that. I’ve been meaning to check out Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening’s Ghostbusters since I hear it’s real fun, so the relaunched Ghostbusters #1 ($3.99) is a perfect opportunity. Morning Glories #24 ($2.99) by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma seems too intriguing to pass up. I am so behind on the X-books, but I’d be real tempted to try Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo’s Uncanny X-Men #1 ($3.99).
My splurge item would be tough. I’d be real tempted to get either the Iron Man Omnibus collecting the entire run of David Michelinie, Bob Layton and John Romita Jr., including the famous alcoholism story, or Counter X: Generation X – Four Days by Brian Wood. But I’d probably end up instead getting the Daredevil By Mark Waid, Vol. 1 hardcover for $35. I don’t know, do I need to justify this purchase? It’s probably the most beloved superhero comic of last year, maybe for the last couple of years. It paved the way for similarly rejuvenating series at Marvel like Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, and Young Avengers. The art by Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin is swoon-worthy. And it wants to be on my bookshelf, dagnabbit!
Dismissed as a fad 10 years ago, big-screen adaptations bring comic book characters to millions of people every year. Just when you think they’ve peaked, out comes another blockbuster that tops the previous one. Sure, there are also the moderate hits and outright stinkers, but then there arrives an Iron Man or a Dark Knight or a Walking Dead or an Avengers. They’ve long passed the point of being a fluke. They even influence the collectors’ market, with optioning deals causing spikes in sales of back issues and original art, most recently demonstrated by the crazy prices people are willing to pay on eBay for The Walking Dead #1.
So if going from comics to film and television is so great, why is the reverse so rarely true? Comic books that adapt stories from other media (TV, film, video games, books, etc.) are only sometimes great and rarely garner the same kind of enthusiasm and attention. Someone who’s better at Photoshop than me should whip up one of those “said no one ever” images because no one has ever said, “I can’t wait for my favorite blockbuster movie to get adapted into a comic.” And yet most of us could barely keep our composure over the prospects of seeing Marvel’s The Avengers.
Digital comics | George Gene Gustines takes a quick trip through the landscape of digital comics, dropping in on Mark Waid, comiXology’s David Steinberger and Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men Infinite Comic. Much of this is familiar territory to regular readers of this blog, but hey, it’s The New York Times noticing digital comics! [The New York Times]
Digital comics | FreakAngels writer Warren Ellis looks at three recent digital comics, noting how they all limit themselves to “two-tier storytelling”: “Accepting and exploiting new limitations is always part of a new format. These three projects, though, can’t produce even a full-page spread without some serious scheming and dancing.” [Warren Ellis]
IDW’s Chris Ryall teases something that I’m sure will be discussed at this weekend’s WonderCon — the launch of a monthly Ghostbusters comic. It looks like the teaser is by Dan Schoening, who has worked on the Ghostbusters: What in Samhain Just Happened special as well as the Kung Fu Panda comic.
IDW Publishing has announced its crossover event Infestation is not only infecting comic stores, but has also found its way to Apple’s iTunes store. This unique zombie-fied crossover among IDW’s licensed titles Transformers, Star Trek, G.I. Joe and Ghostbusters has been coming out with a series of one-shots and miniseries over the past few weeks, and IDW’s new Infestation app offers all of the titles of the event in one place.
“We’re excited to bring out Infestation as a stand-alone comics app,” Jeff Webber, IDW’s director of ePublishing, said in the press release. “While all of the issues are also available in our IDW Comics app for our regular readers, creating a stand-alone Infestation Comics app allows us to introduce the whole event to fans of the individual brands. This way, casual readers of Transformers, Star Trek, G.I. Joe and Ghostbusters digital comics can see what this big comics cross-over event is all about!”
In addition to offering digital equivalent to the stories in print, IDW has also teased a special “TOP SECRET digital-only crossover” for the app. The press release murkily teases that, saying: “This will be one huge surprise for comic fans everywhere. All we can say right now is, bring a life vest!”
What could it be? Maybe the undersea-born Godzilla, which IDW recently started the license for? Maybe. Or it could be the launch of something new … maybe zombies vs. Jaws?
IDW manages to find something new to do with two of comics’ favorite subjects this year, with Infestation breaking new ground for both zombies and crossovers. The story that starts in Ashley Wood and Chris Ryall’s Zombies Vs. Robots reality before crossing into the universes of Ghostbusters, GI Joe, Star Trek and Transformers begins this month with a first issue written by fan favorites Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with art by David Messina. Click through for a preview.
Artist Salgood Sam recently drew a Valentine’s Day-themed Ghostbusters one-shot for IDW and shares some art from it on his blog. As a part of the project, he drew some new gear for the crew, including what appears to be an arm-mounted proton pack.
The Ghostbusters Holiday Special: Tainted Love is due in February.