By Hunter Camp
Friday, November 29th, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Sleigh bells ring are you listening? In the lane, something’s glistening, a beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, because we’ve got some comic book gift suggestions! That’s right guys and geeks, “The Hench” and “The Fac3” have reunited (and it feels so good!) for the sole purpose of giving all of your crazed souls a nice long list of comic books for everyone on your holiday gift list. This one’s going to be hefty, so make sure to pull out that list of folks you’re giving gifts to this holiday season, compare it with our list of all of this year’s top releases, and give Santa a head’s up on what everyone should be getting. Speaking of “should be getting,” should we be getting this list started? Yes. Yes, we should. Also, speaking for “The Face,” I’m pretty sure you could also get these for us. I’m just saying…
Collecting the first 11 issues of the breakout Marvel series of the year. People love Hawkeye for the humor and action that fills every issue as well as the fantastic art by David Aja. If you’ve never read the series or just want to read it again, this is the volume to pick up.
We start off with a book that is great for kids and adults. Kids will enjoy the exciting story of a young god who is sent to Acropolis, a city besieged by monsters and other villains. Battling Boy gets his power via a set of t-shirts that have a different animal totems on them that lets him take on the characteristics of each animal. It’s a smart, fun story with tons of imagination. Adults will also have fun with the story, but will also get the added enjoyment of writer/artist Paul Pope’s unique art style.
S.H.I.E.L.D. by Jim Steranko: The Complete Collection
It’s been a pretty good year for Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. with the new TV show and everything. If you know someone who is enjoying the show, you can give them the comics that made the organization what it is, and also read some of the most important comics of the last 50 years. Jim Steranko’s run on Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. not only established most of the main characters, but also influenced a generation of comic artists.
One of the best new series of the year, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark give us the story of a dystopian future where the world is ruled by rival families who are protected by near immortal agents. Forever Carlyle is the lazarus for her family, and in the first four issues collected here, must deal with all kinds of family strife. Great for sci-fi fans and it also has a solid female lead.
Another one of my favorite new series of the year, this is a unique blend of western and post-apocalyptic action as the horseman Death sets out to get revenge in a world very different from our own. Writer Jonathan Hickman excels at the kind of world building on display here and artist Nick Dragotta pulls out all the stops.
This is some great pulp action and is perfect for someone who doesn’t know they want to read comics. Francesco Francavilla creates a new hero that feels like he’s been around for years. Francavilla also uses his dark, atmospheric style to great use here.
If you or someone you know enjoyed Thor: The Dark World, these are the gifts to give them this year. Writer Jason Aaron crafts a time spanning adventure that teams up three different versions of Thor to take on a vicious enemy who is trying to kill off all the gods in the cosmos. It’s a fun story, especially seeing the way the Thors are different from each other and how they interact with each other.
A book for the art lovers out there, Solo collects the 12-issue series from DC that featured a different world class artist in each issue. The line-up of artists includes Tim Sale, Darwyn Cooke, Michael Allred, Paul Pope, Howard Chaykin, and many more. This is simply a gorgeous book and a collection of some of the best artists working today.
These new collections of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin present the retelling of the original Gundam saga by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko in beautiful hardcovers. The story of a terrifying future war between the inhabitants of space colonies and the Earth-bound Federation still holds up after more than 30 years, and Yasuhiko’s art is dynamic and captures both the men and machines of the war with perfect clarity.
This is this year’s volume collecting Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, so if you’ve ever bought any of the other editions for someone, your choice of gifts for this year is easy. If you’ve never read Hellboy before, these Library editions are the definitive way to read the series. These oversized hardcovers look great on a shelf and collect amazing comics.
Another great manga series, this time re-collecting one of the absolute classics. This is the lyrical story of a wandering former samurai and his young son, as they travel feudal Japan in a bid to get revenge on those who betrayed him. There is a reason this is considered one of the greatest series to ever come out of Japan, and any manga fan will enjoy this, even if they’ve already read the series.
If you want a book that will mess with your head, check out Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT. The book is about a woman trying to track down what happened to the passengers of a flight where everyone lost their memory. From there, we are introduced to a world of psychic government agents with a wide range of powers. It’s Lost meets the X-Men, and uses the comic form to great effectiveness.
Matt Fraction and David Aja teamed up to create one of the most exciting (creatively) and fun comics of the past few years with their take on the non-powered Cliff Barton by showing readers what an Avenger does when he’s not avenging. Sometimes he saves people from floods, sometimes he steals videos, and other times he attends rooftop BBQs and adopts dogs. This series is easily one of my favorites, and it’s been extremely popular amongst most comic readers not named Chris McDavid, so if you’re looking for a nice collection for almost anyone, Hawkguy is the way to go.
Another one of my favorite comics of the past few years is Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton. This incredibly clever creative team comes up with a really eerie story about the dead coming back to life, and basically refusing to die. It’s strange and dark, but creatively strong. If you’ve got a reader on your list that gets into horror comics, or strong independent titles, make sure to hand them a copy of this deluxe hardcover. They surely won’t be disappointed.
This isn’t necessarily a safe bet for anyone because you never know who could be offended by certain aspects of a story, but if you’re feeling brave and want to be somewhat sacrilegious on a day that most consider to be the birth of the Christian savior, give your favorite comic reader a copy of Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus. Sure, it sounds pretty rough, but honestly this was one of the more original and thought-provoking comics of the past few years. So, from that and an art standpoint, this black and white tale of a clone of Jesus Christ breaking away from a reality show to protest his stance as this era’s savior by revitalizing punk rock will surely make a great read.
Essentially, this would be a gift for someone like me. I don’t really love Brian Michael Bendis, and I’m not X-Men obsessed. In fact, I’m pretty much intimidated by the weight of how Marvel does their X-Men comics. The line is one of the most dense in both number and continuity, and it’s impossible to just know what is going to be a good read when you’re looking to jump in. Well, Marvel Now’s been doing a lot of good in that aspect, but for me personally, what was difficult was being certain that this comic was something was something I wanted to try out. Sure, on paper it looks good, but do I really invest the time and money in a series that I’m not sure of? No, of course not, that’s what holiday gifts are for! So, give me this comic. I mean, give this comic to someone who’s a little uncertain of trying out something like this. It’s received mostly great reviews, and it’s no risk for the person on your list.
This might be a bit of throwback, as it most certainly did not come out in the past calendar year, but honestly, I think everyone should have a copy of this in their house. It’s a cool, aged hero noir comic with a twist. I love it, and most people probably haven’t given it a read, yet. With a low price point, this comic is pretty much no-risk on your part. It’s a great book with a nice presentation and a low cost. This is a really easy way to impress the comic reader on your list.
Actually, this is yet another one of my favorite comics over the past year or so. Kelly Sue Deconnick, Dexter Soy, and Emma Rios put together a pretty kick ass tale of the former Miss Marvel taking the title of Captain to be basically awesome and providing a fun, positive, and exciting comic book for anyone to read. A lot of dudes tend to shy away from non-scantly clad super heroine lead comics, so give this book to someone who probably needs to be shut up about that sort of thing. Also, it just so happens to be a really positive and encouraging book about a female super hero written by a female, so that’s cool, too! Got a young woman that wants to give comics a try on your list? Get her, or anyone else for that matter, into the Carol Corps!
Ladies and gentlemen, the best person I could say that you should give this to is a Grant Morrison or Darick Robertson fan. It’s super confusing and really bizarre, but this bizarre Christmas tale of a former police officer who’s down on his luck that takes advice from an abducted little girl’s imaginary friend is one for the Grant Morrison shelf, for sure. It’s crazy, violent, and weird, but your Grant Morrison Guy or Gal will love it. It’s last minute, for sure considering it’s late release date, but they will love it.
It’s another late gift considering the release date, but Darwyn Cooke’s newest installment in his adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels is sure to impress like the rest of his library. It’s sure to be a wonderful gift for anyone on your list who enjoys crime novels or fine art. This one’s not just for comic fans, it’s also for your crime books lovers out there.
This is the coup de grace, people. If you want to REALLY impress someone on your gift list, this is the one to get. Most people out there hold a special place in their heart for the boy and his imaginary tiger friend, and this collection presents the entire Bill Watterson library in a brilliant hardcover collection. It’s pricey, but who puts a price on love and fine, fine gifts? Anyway, this could be great a gift for almost everyone. I know I would love it. It’s special, and isn’t this what the holidays are all about? Special times with special people. Awww”¦
AMAZON SHIPPING INFORMATION
If you’re ordering through Amazon.com in the United States, here’s their ordering deadlines for delivery on or before Christmas Eve (12/24) for items in-stock shipped to physical addresses within the United States and marked “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com” or “Fulfilled by Amazon.com.”
– Dec. 17: Free Shipping (non-Prime)
– Dec. 18: Standard Shipping
– Dec. 21: Two-Day Shipping
– Dec. 23: One-Day Shipping
– Dec. 24: Local Express Delivery
– Dec. 25: Email and printable Amazon Gift Cards can be sent immediately, at any time
Remember, if all else fails, there’s also the Amazon.com Gift Card, you can have emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. If you order in enough time, you can get the physical gift card sent to you.