Fifty Fashionable Gift Ideas That A Comic Book Reader May Be Wanting For Christmas

comics-grandville-noel-artwork

What to buy the comic book reader in your life for Christmas? Well, here are a few thoughts. Feel free to pass this around to those seeking a clue…

  1. The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier HC by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, now available with the vinyl record by Alan Moore. Available for the first time by mail order from Gosh Comics.
  2. Building Stories by Chris Ware may have been last year's gift of choice, but this year Amazon UK has discounted it so significantly that it may be this year's as well.
  3. Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples – the best ongoing comic around, the first couple of years in one big oversized book with plenty of extras in the back – script, sketches and process.
  4. Grandville: Noel – the latest in Bryan Talbot's gorgeously rendered anthropomorphic steampunk detective thriller, that merges the French and English influences into a Christmas tale. With a junked up unicorn who believes he is Jesus Christ, religion vs science and ethnic cleansing of humanity. So, not for the youngest kids, probably. Not unless they are really good.
  5. Ciudad by Ande Parks, Joe & Anthony Russo and Fernando Leon. You liked Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie, here's what else the directors have been up to, in a very different version of Taken, with a kidnappee and her would-be rescuer trapped in a corrupt city with no way out.
  6. Here by Richard McGuire – a corner of a room, and nothing else, over a thousand years. One for a more thoughtful, contemplative Christmas.
  7. Silver Surfer Epic Collection: When Calls Galactus by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Collecting the pair's original Silver Surfer stories from a variety of comic books. Get ahead of the game wit a dip into the past and see the moment that Marvel Comics grew up.
  8. Pride of Baghdad Deluxe Edition by Bryan K Vaughan and Nico Henrichson. Since you love Saga so much, see where Vaughan really made a name for himself and topped the bestseller list in this new edition of the story of a pack of lions at the Baghdad zoo during the Iraq War – and how their whole world was blown open, as was ours.
  9. Arkwright Integral by Bryan Talbot collecting the complete Luther Arkwright stories in one form, with multi-media inserts. Read the comic that everyone ripped off, just as it was reframing the work of Michael Moorcock
  10. Winsor McCay, The Complete Little Nemo 1905-1927 – it will break your postman's back, but this wonderful Taschen collection collects all the Nemo strips in full size with an additional volume that explains why they re all so brilliant, with a full history of McCay's life and work. Amazing  – though it's far too big for any stocking.
  11. 75 Years of Marvel Comics: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen – and if your postman has any strength left, this will finish him off. Again from Taschen a massive look at the history of Marvel Comics with emphasis on the very early years. Even bigger than Nemo and enough to keep anyone transfixed for weeks.
  12. Hellboy: Weird Tales by people who like Mike Mignola. A collection of Hellboy tales from John Cassaday, Eric Powell, Roger Langridge, Jason Pearson, JW Williams Jim Starlin and more.
  13. Marshal Law by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill. The paperback collection of this anti-superhero screed in lurid technicolour, dipped in mud. For those who both love and hate heroic fiction.
  14. Deceivers by Steven Grant and Jose Holder collecting the Boom! comic about American con men plying their trade in Europe, to be tapped by the CIA to do their bidding.
  15. Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague by Joyce Brabner and Mark Zingarelli. As AIDS hit, this graphic novel tells the story about artists determined to do something about it, and their plans to smuggle untested drugs across the border to help cure their friends. Which means dealing with a new kind of person, prejudices and pharmaceutical practice.
  16. Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday by Jim Lee. Jim's non-WildCATS Wildstorm comic book, gets a new printing (and a new trademark) – is a film on the way? An ordinary guy discovers he's suddenly not so ordinary – through mathematics!
  17. Through The Woods by Emily Carroll. Missed this one? Miss it no more. Five of Carroll's stories collected together, charming and unnerving. Fairy tales that have gone spectacularly wrong – or right? Something closer to a grimm Grimm.
  18. Disenchanted Vol 2 by Si Spurrier and German Erramouspe. Might as well get Vol 1 as well, this webcomic
  19. Enigma (New Edition) by Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo – a decade or two before having gay lead superhero characters was a thing, this was Enigma. Reprinted by Vertigo so as to keep the rights to it, it is still an essential comic book read.
  20. The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks and Canaan White, the story of World War I from a black American soldier perspective, facing a country that has all but disowned them.
  21. Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book – recreating this early graphic novel prototype, as Harvey Kurtzman dought to find a new audience for comic books. Fifty years later, he's done it.
  22. The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple. An oppressive future, a gang of child challengers, and a boy from our time travelling forward to the time of the Wrenchies. It's one way to find your future fast…
  23. The Rise of Aurora West (Battling Boy) by Paul Pope, JT Petty and David Rubin. Kamandi may have been the Last Boy, but this continued reworking of a failed DC Comics pitch gives us a brand new lead, and a brand new artist, without much a change in tone.
  24. Superman Unchained: Deluxe Edition by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee. A rewriting of history with a new proto-Superman discovered responsible for Nagasaki. And there are plenty of lessons to be learned by the more recent Superman. Expect a big figt….
  25. Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie Omnibus – as we pointed out, this comic ended up giving us the first mainstream all-LGBT superhero team by hook and occasionally by crook, as well as growing Loki up to be a man again. And for an aperitif, why not The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1?
  26. Complete Quantum and Woody Classic Omnibus by Priest and MD Bright. One of the best superhero comic books of all time, complete, goat and all.
  27. Red Rover Charlie Vol 1 by Garth Ennis and Michael Dipascale . It's a zombie plague end of the world scenario – but who are looking after the dogs?
  28. Citrus, Vol. 1 by Sabaro Uta. Every now and then you need to read the bestselling yaoi on the market right now.
  29. Sugar Skull by Charles Burns. Dark, depressing deep pages with ink and colours that swallow you whole. A concluding chapter of Burns' stories about Doug's journey…
  30. X-Men: Inferno Prologue by Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, oh loads of people. When you need a little eigties crossover nostalgia.
  31. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz Chast. Already a firm favourite for the best-of-the-year books, it's a losing-your-aged-parents book, which always seems to happen at Christmas. Be prepared.
  32. The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains: A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of All Kinds by Neil Gaiman and Eddie Campbell – the book of the performance.
  33. Seconds: A Graphic Novel by Bryan O'Malley. The creator's first major work since completing Scott Pilgrim. Essentially poignant.
  34. Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zach Whedon and friends. The fourth book to follow the long eparted TV show and movie.
  35. Original Sin by Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato and friends, Marvel's big conspiracy thriller from the summer that changed the Marvel Universe – forever! Or until the next films come out…
  36. Kill My Mother: A Graphic Novel by Jules Fiefer. What is it about parental death this Christmas? There's a lot of it about…
  37. The Best American Comics 2014 – it does exactly what it says on the tin.
  38. Rocket Girl Volume 1: Times Squared – catch up before series two.
  39. Peter Pan by Regis Loisel – now available in the USA, an adult reworking of Peter Pan that manages to avoid stepping on Lost Girls' toes.
  40. To End All Wars from Soaring Penguin Press, an anthology of war stories timed to commemorate the beginning of the First World War. Don;t go looking for derring do, this is the tragedy of conflict, writ large.
  41. Verity Fair by Terry Wiley. My favourite comic book series-of-series, the latest Sleaze Castle iteration and quite possibly my favourite comic book of the last few years. Make it yours as well. A mid-life crisis for a struggling middle aged actress who may be being proved by aliens. Full of comedy, pathos and alcohol.
  42. Locke & Key Slipcase Set by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez – the mystery of the mind, unlocked, a children's adventure amongst serial killers with a very nasty mystical history. Complete, for you…
  43. Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK by Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning – the book of the British Library museum that looked at how comic books both reflected and actively changed a country.
  44. Pictures That Tick Volume 2 – containing one of Dave McKean's true masterpieces, Coast Road is a story of a woman truing to find a very specific man, through the art that he leaves behind, originally shown as a pseudo-real gallery exibition of artifacts, and recently turned into a short film. But here it is, in its true narrative form, comic books – and more besides.
  45. Loot Crate subscription – pulling ahead of its competitors, the Canadian Loot Crate subscription scheme provides plenty of geekness every month for a measly sum. And an exclusive Pop vinyl coming in this month's crate.
  46. The Funko Pop Smaug – I don't know what this is doing in this list. I think the eyes hypnotised me.
  47. The latest Walking Dead volume. Time to get caught up.
  48. Guardians of the Galaxy (3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital Copy) Ah, go on, you deserve it. 3D oooga chukka chukka chukka.
  49. Just The Tips – you already have Big Hard Sex Criminals, now its time to live the live with the sex manual the comic book inspired.
  50. Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight Volume 2 from Alex De Campi and friends is out, just in time to clean away the Christmas chintz with its balls-nailed-to-the-wall camp. And why not pick up Vol 1 while you are at it? A double donkey punch to the back of the neck…

Okay that's a nice round fifty… but what are you wanting this year? And will you just have to go out and buy it yourself?

 

 

 

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

twitter   facebook square   globe