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

John Byrne's Next Men

Welcome once again to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy based on certain spending limits — $15, $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we call the “Splurge” item. Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Michael May

If I had $15:

There are a lot of great periodicals coming out this week, so I’d have some hard choices to make. With only $15, I’d concentrate first on those with the cheapest prices: the first issue of Dark Horse’s new Mighty Samson ($3.50), Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #2 ($3.50), and Mouse Guard: Black Axe #1 ($3.50). I’m already a huge fan of both Atomic Robo and Mouse Guard and – based on its concept and vague memories of stories I read as a kid – hope to become one of Mighty Samson too. I’d spend the last of my money on Northern Guard #1, because I’m a sucker for Canadian superheroes.

If I had $30:

I’d add Doc Macabre #1 ($3.99), John Byrne’s Next Men #1 ($3.99), and Strange Tales 2 #3 ($4.99). “Doc Macabre” is an awesome name and I love Steve Niles’ pulp stuff, I’ve been waiting 16 years for that Next Men issue, and the Strange Tales book has a Kate Beaton story in which the Avengers go to a carnival. I’d pay five bucks just for Beaton’s deal, but it’s also got a Thing tale by Harvey Pekar (and yes, Harvey Pekar is in the story).

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Cutting out the middleman

op-nsib-coversmall-2Meredith Gran has a big announcement about Octopus Pie: Villard will be publishing a 272-page print edition, which collects the first two years of the webcomic in a single volume, along with an exclusive bonus story. In typical webcomicker fashion, Gran talks directly to her readers and gets right to the point, encouraging them to buy the books directly through her site:

This is a crucial time in the success of Octopus Pie. The sales of this book will do a lot to determine whether or not future books can be made. If you love the comic, but have never ordered OP merch before, this is a fantastic way to show your support.

She also points out that if you buy the book directly from her site, at $16 for an autographed edition, or $24 for the same book with a personalized drawing, she gets a cut. The price through online retailers Barnes & Noble and Amazon is $10.80, and it will be interesting to see if readers are willing to pay more in order to directly support the artist (and get the personalized copies). Gran has already self-published three volumes of the comic, which chronicles the adventures and misadventures of two twentysomething Brooklynites, but the Villard edition presents the same material at a lower price, so it’s already a better deal.

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