Here are the graphic novels I have bought since last time. (I'm not normally in the habit of keeping records of every purchase I make, much less the price; this is a year-long endeavor to check the effectiveness of my New Year's resolution to buy less.)
Maus I - $7
Maus II - $7
Bought at Half Price Books, where there truly is treasure everywhere. These two volumes are, of course, Essential Obligatory Musts. (I had owned them before this, but a few years back my father gave them away to his students for some goddamn reason.)
Although I've read them many times, as soon as I got home from the store, I read them cover to cover in one sitting. Every time I read these books, I am astounded by Vladek's courage, resourcefulness, and determination; I am blown away by Spiegelman's sheer creativity, and his mastery of the form in telling this awful, amazing story; and I am saddened by the hideous tragedy of it all.
Justice League Unlimited v. 2 - $7
Justice League Unlimited v. 3 - $7
I paid full price (at Zeus, which is not the best comic store in town, but easily the most pleasant to shop at) for these digest-size "books." Each one contains five fun, one-shot stories, nothing too special, but surprisingly well-crafted. I hate buying digest-size; the art is meant to be viewed at regular 7" x 10" format. But this is all that's available.
New X-Men: New Worlds - $7.50
New X-Men: Here Comes Tomorrow - $5.50
The Hiketeia HC - $12.50
Bought at Virgin Records, which is closing and thus having a half-price clearance. The two X-Men volumes, written by Grant Morrison, are okay, but I doubt I'll keep them. It's the usual dazzling Morrison madness and miracles --- oh, well-written enough, but sometimes it feels like it's all flash and no real fire. I enjoyed his scene-shifting pyrotechnics when I wrote JLA, but not enough to buy and keep every story arc he did. And I care more about those DC characters than the X-Men. Though, I have to say, he gives the characters foibles and recognizable tics, making them a lot more sympathetic and interesting than I'd found them previously. Sex, drugs, saving the world. That madcap Morrison!
As for Rucka, who wrote the Wonder Woman one-shot, he can do no wrong. No wrong I tells you!