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Food or Comics? | Caviar or Cavalier Mr. Thompson

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.

Conan the Barbarian #8

John Parkin

If I had $15: Whoah, another tough week to narrow things down. Is every Brian Wood-written title required to come out the same week of each month? Do Dark Horse and Marvel get together and plan it that way, so that people who only buy Wood comics only have to go to the store once a month? I think more than half the DC titles I buy come out this time every month, too. So yeah, lots to pick from …

Anyway, I’d start with one of those Brian Wood comics, Conan the Barbarian #8 (Dark Horse, $3.50), which features Vasilis Lolos on art. Lolos drew one of my favorite issues of Northlanders, “The Viking Art of Single Combat,” so it’s cool to see the two of them working together again. I’d also get a comic I’m sure will be popular with a few of my colleagues, the first issue of the new Stumptown miniseries by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth (Oni Press, $3.99). Next I’d get Manhattan Projects #6 (Image, $3.50); this issue turns the focus from America’s secret science program to Russia’s secret science program. Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra are having a lot of fun with this one. Finally, I’d get Uncanny X-Force #31 (Marvel, $3.99), which really picked things up last issue … and this is a comic that’s usually running on twice as many cylinders anyway.

If I had $30, I’d also grab two finales from DC Comics — Shade #12 and Resurrection Man #0 (both $2.99). Honestly, I never expected to see a Resurrection Man comic again, much less by the guys who wrote the original, so the fact that we got a good run of 13 issues is a pleasant surprise. Shade, of course, was planned as 12 issues from the beginning, and was a nice return to the Starman-verse by writer James Robinson. That leaves me room for three more $2.99 comics, which means I’m going to bypass X-Men, The Massive and Avengers Assemble this week (let’s assume that I’ll one day spend my splurge money on the trades) and instead go with Chew #28 (Image, $2.99), It Girl and the Atomics #2 (Image, $2.99) and Demon Knights #0 (DC Comics, $2.99).

Splurge: Assuming I wouldn’t spend my unlimited gift card on single issues, I’d be looking at the first Bucko collection from Dark Horse ($19.99) and Fantagraphics’ Is That All There Is? trade ($25).

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Rich Tommaso turns to Kickstarter for new project

Rich Tommaso is the latest comics creator to turn to Kickstarter to fund one an ambitious graphic novel. Tommaso, who won an Eisner and two Glyph awards for Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, has been publishing his indy graphic novels at his own website Rich Tommaso’s Web of Comics, and he is also busy re-coloring the Carl Barks comics that Fantagraphics is publishing in glorious archive editions.

Tommaso’s Kickstarter project The Cavalier Mr. Thompson is something that has been, well, kicking around in his head for about 10 years. Here’s the gist of it:

The Cavalier… is a story loosely based on the life and works of hard-boiled crime writer Jim Thompson, who was raised in West Texas during the 20’s and 30’s. At the same time, Cavalier’s story is very much my own; the cast of characters, their family backgrounds, their motivations, likenesses, personalities–were all my creation. The breakthrough on this project came about when I was reading a biography of Jim Thompson and I discovered how his relationship with his father uncannily mirrored mine with my father. It was this personal connection that spurred me on and got things rolling on Cavalier. The story is set in Big Spring, Texas during a time in America when things were slowly sliding toward what would come to be known as The Great Depression. So, The Cavalier Mr. Thompson is one part American History, one part American Crime Novel.

If that piques your interest, check out the 75-page excerpt he has up on his site. The Kickstarter is to pay the printing costs of the book, which will be distributed by Fantagraphics; interestingly, it looks like the book is being published in the usual way in France and Spain. And check out the goodies for donors, which include everything from a watercolor print to a scene from the graphic novel rendered in Sculpey clay.

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