2019 was an amazing year for comic books and graphic novels, as well as the franchises they spawned. Sequential art is a medium unlike any other and it appeals to a certain type of person. If you happen to be shopping for just such a person, then this list is sure to help you find the perfect gift this holiday season! There are so many choices to be had, though. We have Batman, John Wick, Hulk, Conan, Stranger Things, and even Lucifer from which to pick. Whatever your decision may be, just know that these were lovingly hand picked to be the best we found this past year. Sure, there are a few reissues, but many folks are discovering these titles for the first time anyway. Why should you not be the one to introduce your friends and relatives to some spectacular content?
So please dig into our Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2019: Comic Books and Graphic Novels below for our favorites from this year. We did all the hard work so you don’t have to!
Recommendations by Waerloga69.
The Magicians: Alice’s Story (Archaia)
A renewed look at the original book from a slightly different perspective. Fans of the literary series will adore this while I think fans of the television series will find it slightly off from what they know of the characters. One of my favorites of 2019 and one that I have loaned out any number of times. A deeper view into the character Alice and how her perceptions colored her actions. I suggest any fan ask for this or go get it themselves as it is spectacular regardless of what your connection to the franchise might be.
Newbury & Hobbes: The Undying (Titan Comics)
It’s Victorian England, though not the way you might remember it from the history books. Imagine a steampunk version of it with a distinctive and refined gothic feel to it. That said, we follow the main characters in their pursuit to uncover what is ailing their country. With enemies who refuse to die and dead ones that can be killed repeatedly, the plot thickens and twists like a milkshake in a crazy straw. Loads of fun is to be had in this first comic from a book series that I have come to adore. Perfect for fans of pretty much anything I just mentioned!
Bone Parish: Volume 1 (BOOM! Studios)
Everyone wants to be a star and with the new drug Ash, you actually can feel like you are one. But what one person builds up, another wants to take from them. And family is always going to try to help family, even from beyond the grave it seems. Hauntingly poignant, this series evokes a sense of dread and excitement whenever I read it. Writer Cullen Bunn is fast becoming one of my favorite current authors, his work is second to none. Horror fans will clamor for more and thank you for it.
John Wick Volume 1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Want to know how John Wick became who he is today? Well, this little graphic novel compiles the five issue mini-series to tell you all about it. Readers get a first hand look at his early years and get to see that Wick always seems to land himself in a worse spot because he is a killer with a conscience. reading this makes me want more comics and more films. This is a book that has lots of violence and destruction that will appease the action flick fan in your life.
The Boys Omnibus Vol. 6
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Occult Edition
Savage Sword Of Conan: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Conan the Barbarian Vol. 1: The Life and Death of Conan Book One
Stranger Things: SIX
The Witcher Omnibus
The Umbrella Academy Library Edition Volume 1: Apocalypse Suite
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Just War
Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy
Recommendations by Henchman21.
Die Vol 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker (Image Comics)
Possibly the best new series of the year, Die follows a group of friends who are sent into a D&D style role playing game, only to escape and then forced to return years later. You can feel the passion writer Kieron Gillen has for Die, especially since he wrote his own RPG to go along with the book. Artist Stephanie Hans kills it with every page, bringing to life this fantasy world and making sure we never lose track of what the characters are feeling. If you have a friend who is into RPG’s, they will love this book.
Ice Cream Man Vol 1: Rainbow Sprinkles (Image Comics)
Do you have someone in your life who likes their comics on the weird and creepy side? Then buy them the best comic on the stands you’re not reading. Ice Cream Man is a Twilight Zone-esque anthology series with a loose continuity going on that will keep you coming but each issue is generally an unsettling look at people dealing with emotional issues. The art by Martin Morazzo is fantastic and the creators are really doing interesting things with the comic format. Just buy it and watch as your loved one thanks you for giving them a gift they didn’t know they wanted.
Absolute Batman: The Black Mirror (DC Comics)
Comics super-star Scott Snyder jumped onto the scene with this modern classic story of Batman and now one of the writers greatest work has received the over-sized Absolute treatment. The story herein is very good, but the larger pages are best for showing off the art by Jock and Francisco Francavilla, and boy howdy is the art worth it.
Crisis on Infinite Earths Box Set (DC Comics)
Are you one of those people from the commercials who gives cars for Christmas? A) Can we be friends and B) Can you buy this 3,752 page monstrosity that combines material from six older collected editions with eight new collections, and features every possible tie-in issue to DC’s seminal 1986 mini-series that changed everything. And then you get a giant box with new art by George Perez to display them all in. Sure, it might be a bit on the pricy side, but you could make me your new best friend.
Avengers: Earth Mightiest Box Set (Marvel Comics)
Do you want the same thing as above, but instead of a DC fan, you know an Avengers fan, and you have too much money? Looks no further. This box set has 11 hardcovers stored in a fancy box featuring some of the best stories across the whole of the Avengers history, from their earliest adventures as told by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to their modern day exploits as told by Jason Aaron.
20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition (Viz Comics)
One of the best manga series of the recent past gets a nice hardcover edition collecting the first few volumes of an unforgettable story about friendship, music, and the apocalypse. Naoki Urasawa’s master work is a perfect entry for anyone looking to get into manga, with beautiful art and a story that is accessible and intriguing at every turn. And even if you already own the series, you’ll want this new edition.
The Immortal Hulk Vol 1: Or Is He Both? (Marvel Comics)
After so many years, there are a lot of comic book characters that you can’t really do anything new with, but that’s okay, so long as you do it well, and that’s kind of what writer Al Ewing has done with his run on Immortal Hulk. The idea of the Hulk only emerging at night stems from the characters early days, and exploring the Bruce Banner’s past to find out why he became the Hulk has been done to death. However, the craft with which Ewing explores the character and the unique way he comes at the Hulk is something you probably haven’t seen before. The Immortal Hulk is more of a horror comic than it has been, with the Hulk acting as a kind of avenging monster that is coming to punish you for your sins. It is a great take on the Hulk and Banner, and the art by Joe Bennett perfectly captures the mood that Ewing is going for.
Cosmic Ghost Rider: Baby Thanos Must Die (Marvel Comics)
File under “Things that shouldn’t work but great googly moogly does this work”. Imagine a story where the Punisher becomes Ghost Rider and then decides to go back in time to kill Thanos in his crib before he can become a monster. Now stop imagining and just buy the book already.
House of X/Powers of X (Marvel Comics)
Jonathan Hickman’s relaunch of the X-Men gets collected here and you should prepare yourself for a dense and challenging superhero comic that is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from Hickman. The story here is just the start of what is sure to be a long and involved story, so don’t expect a complete story here. The 12 issues here are just a prelude, but there is a lot here to sink your teeth into. I know this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this version of the X-Men is unique, and complicated and begs to be read several times, and it just makes me look forward to the next part of the story. And that is what makes for great comics.
Recommendations by Empress Eve.
The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe (Volume 1) (Hocus Pocus Comics)
In my opinion, one can never get enough Edgar Allan Poe. In this first volume of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe, the classic horror writer has lost his love and now possibly his mind as he ends up in a nightmare world of his mind’s own creation that’s filled with mythological gods and monsters. Cat Winters, who penned the Poe-themed YA novel The Raven’s Tale (a recommended pick in our Books gift guide), wrote the foreword to this graphic novel.
Watchmen (2019 Edition) (DC Comics)
Now an HBO series adaptation, the Watchmen graphic novel from writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons was reissued by DC Comics this year. Dubbed the “2019 Edition,” this 416-page release has a higher quality printing and has the recolored pages from the Absolute Edition. Aside from being a great gift for any comics lover who hasn’t already come across this masterpiece, completest-type existing fans will want this for their collection. If you happened to be the latter (like me), you can snag the Kindle edition for only $4.99 right now.
Firefly Original Graphic Novel: The Sting (BOOM! Studios)
In this original story by Delilah S. Dawson set in the Firefly universe, scheming Saffron returns with a proposition for the women of the Serenity crew, who don’t exactly trust the backstabbing thief. But Saffron promises that the reward will be great; plus, she doesn’t really give the ladies much of a choice but to go along with her heist. A great, all-female action-adventure story that digs deep emotionally into the Serenity crew’s hopes and dreams.
At the Mountains of Madness Vol. 1 (SelfMadeHero)
At the Mountains of Madness Vol. 2 (SelfMadeHero)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Graphic Novel based on the novel) (Nan A. Talese)
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 directly to you or to the recipient.