The Holiday season is a time for people to come together which is why we’re getting the band back together. That’s right Henchman 21 and MK2Fac3 are back to fill your stockings with comics joy.
What we’ve got for you is a round-up of some of the best comic book collections of the year that will make a sweet gift for yourself or maybe you could give them to other people. Because that’s totally the Holiday spirit or something. Let’s get to the books.
Recommendations by Henchman21
Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus
Do you have a Marvel junkie in your family and a large chunk of money to spend on them? Well, the Marvel 75th Anniversary hardcover may be just the gift you’re looking for. This thousand page tome features a wide variety of some of the best stories from Marvel’s catalog. All of the big names from Marvel’s past have a story collected here, from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to Matt Fraction and David Aja. This is a great celebration of Marvel’s history, and a must buy for any Marvel fanatic.
Lazarus Deluxe Edition, Volume 1
For fans of dystopian sci-fi stories, Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark is about a near future where corporations have become the ruling families in the world. Each family is protected by their own near-immortal warrior known as a Lazarus. Forever Carlyle is the Lazarus of the Carlyle family, but there’s more to here past than she knows about. This collection has the first 9 issues but more importantly has more of the back ground info that went into creating the world, and this is a world that I just want to learn more about after each issue.
Casanova–The Complete Edition, Volume 1: Luxuria
Casanova holds a special place in my heart as the book that first introduced me to Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon, three creators who have gone on to make a lot of fantastic comics. Casanova is their bizarre tale of Casanova Quinn, famous thief and black sheep of the Quinn family. He gets sent to a parallel reality where he is a master spy. Or maybe he’s a double agent. Or maybe he really is a good guy. I still think this is some of the best writing Fraction has ever done, and Ba’s artwork is fantastic throughout with a style like no one else’s. You’re in for a treat if you’ve never read the series before, and fans will want to get it again thanks to this editions larger size.
Usagi Yojimbo Saga, Volume 1
Usagi Yojimbo remains a great comic for readers young and old and this new edition is a great entry for new readers, as it collects over 600 pages of Usagi’s adventures. Usagi Yojimbo is a comics masterpiece and one of the most enjoyable comics you can buy. Stan Sakai‘s art is simple yet expressive and unlike anyone else’s art. Usagi Yojimbo is not a flashy comic, it is just a well told story that is an entertaining read. It’s just as simple as that. New readers will love this, and if you are or know a long term fan, you’ll want one of the limited edition $80 hardcover versions of this book to give and or receive.
Southern Bastards, Volume 1
Okay, so Southern Bastards might be the comic least likely to fill you with Holiday cheer, with its dark story of corruption in a small southern town. However, what Southern Bastards does have going for it is one of the best four issues of the year. Writer Jason Aaron has created a world steeped in the South like good sweet tea, full of strength and weakness in different forms. It is simply good a comic book.
Seconds: A Graphic Novel
Bryan Lee O’Malley‘s Seconds captures all the charm and humor of his earlier standout work on the Scott Pilgrim series but Seconds has a different approach to it. Seconds is a different kind of story about growing up, but this feels a bit more mature. Seconds is the story of a young cook who finds a magical way to correct her mistakes. There’s still the typical O’Malley magic and humor in this story, but it’s definitely not a retread of his earlier work.
Silver Surfer, Volume 1: New Dawn
If you have a Doctor Who fan in your family that already has too many sonic screw drivers and more bow ties than they know what to do with, get them this first trade of Dan Slott‘s Silver Surfer, which is the best Doctor Who comic not actually titled Doctor Who. Slott has given the Surfer a charming companion to join him in his travels around the universe, and has created new worlds and aliens for the Marvel U in just a few issues. This is a joyful comic that is enhanced by Mike and Laura Allred‘s pop inspired art.
The Fuse, Volume 1: The Russia Shift
For the hard sci-fi fan in your life, The Fuse is about a homicide investigation on a space station in the future. It can best be described as the Law part of Law & Order, but in space. The creative team has created a sci-fi world that feels very lived in and a mystery that makes sense once everything is revealed. This is great for anyone you know who likes a solid mystery or just a realistic science fiction story.
Daredevil, Volume 1: Devil at Bay
If someone you know wants the best comic book Marvel is producing right now, or if you just want a good comic in general to give to someone, give them Daredevil. Mark Waid‘s Daredevil is everything that is good and right about superhero comics and it’s a book I think anyone who is mildly interested in comic books can pick up and enjoy. It’s a perfect gift for basically anyone who doesn’t already own it.
Recommendations by MK2FAC3
Locke and Key, Slipcase Edition
One of the greatest comic book series of all time, Locke and Key, came to a conclusion over the past year, and it’s only fitting that there would be a full series collection, and for now, this is it. The collection is a hard slipcase with all six collected editions in paperback, which is completely awesome, but the kicker is that it’s seriously less than $70. That price simply cannot be beat, especially considering the quality that lies inside. This is a quality gift for anyone that loves comics.
75 Years of Marvel Comics: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen
I’m a sucker for collected publications focusing on the history of comics and their evolution into modern day, and this retrospective of the history of Marvel does just that. One of the most compelling things about Marvel is how they adapted their characters to the successful powerhouse that is Marvel’s movie line. A Comprehensive look at how they got there promises to be a fantastic read. I’m not even that big of a Marvel guy, but I need this in my library.
The Complete Peanuts (1991 – 1994); The Complete Far Side
This entry and the following one are not actually comic books, but they’re collections of two phenomenal comic strips that defined many people’s childhoods. First up is The Complete Peanuts (1991-1994), a comic strip that simply can’t be explained in words. If you are unfamiliar with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang, I don’t know what to say. Both this and Gary Larson‘s innovative and avante garde Far Side have been collected this year in gorgeous collection, so if there are any collectors on your holiday gift list, these would be great addition.
The Wake has been heralded as one of the best horror comics of the modern era, and with guys like Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy behind it, I’m not surprised at all. I’ve yet to read The Wake, but it’s definitely on my list. And I hope someone in my life is as cool as you are for getting this for your favorite horror comic fan.
Dust Covers: The Collected Sandman Covers
Sandman has been one of the most culturally significant comics since it’s inception, and it’s influential art from the likes of Dave McKean has proven to be a group of all time classics, and all of his covers are being collected in this beautiful hardcover edition that you can give to any Sandman fans or simply fans of some really cool art.
Saga: Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1
Lastly but not leastly, we have Saga. Saga has been almost universally heralded as one of the best comics currently being published, and this over sized mega edition collects the first two volumes for a nice holiday gift for those that appreciate space operas and just some really cool comics and fantastic storytelling.