You can find the first part of our trilogy of lists here, which showcases a number of more affordable trade paperback collections.
Last week, the second installment focused on hardcover collections, although slightly more expensive. You can find that list right here.
Today, we’re getting into the crème-de-la-crème of comic book collections. Save these for someone you really care for…or for even someone like yourself! Who wouldn’t want these tomes wrapped up?
With only a few days to go before Christmas, and without further ado, here is the final installment of our list of comic book collections for the 201 6holiday season!
Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series
I got into the Alien film franchise right after James Cameron’s seminal 1986 Aliens film. And it was comic books that fed me what I wanted – a visually horrific sequential art sequel to that cinematic sequel. So I, along with many, many other comic book fans, have fantastic recollections of the Dark Horse Comic book 6-issue miniseries, Aliens, that picks up directly after Cameron’s flick and follows the further adventures of the Hicks and Newt characters.
The Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series is a beautiful compendium collection of the Mark Verheiden and Mark A. Nelson story. Beautiful and frightening, this hardcover reproduction is oversized and unabridged and full of extras. This is where you get to see the origins of the space jockey before the Prometheus film was ever thought up!
Whether you’re a comic book fan, or just a lover of the Alien film series, this book is a must have! Find it at your local comic book shop or an Amazon for $25.30.
Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks and Collections
Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks and Collections is a scrapbook of sorts inside the dark fantasy imagination of the man. Here you’ll find extracts from his journals, clippings, his ideas for stories and his vast collection of art and pop culture. It’s a book of a man’s creativity that you can’t help but be inspired by. And it’s a perfect companion to the current travelling art exhibit which started at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and will make it’s way to my hometown of Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario. (Any of you want to meet me there in late 2017?)
If you have a friend or loved one who is a fan of del Toro’s work, the dark or the fantastical, this is the book to get them this holiday season. Find it at your local bookstore or on Amazon for $19.49.
The Art of Atari
If you’re a pop culture fan, or a gamer, or a lover of art, or marketing, or a lover of those late 1970 and early-to-mid 1980 video games from Atari like Asteroids, Missile Command and Centipede, you’re going to love the Art of Atari.
This is an exhaustive tome that looks at the art process for crating all of those fantastic early video game covers as well as the stand-up machines that those of us of a certain age spent quarters on at local pool halls during grade and high school. Full of behind the scene details and artist showcases, it’s a wonderful recollection of a burgeoning entertainment industry featuring the titan gaming company of the time.
Find the Art of Atari at your local bookstore or at Amazon for $25.46.
The Flash By Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato Omnibus
When DC Comics launched their much-ballyhooed “New 52” series of publications a few years ago, few titles were as successful as Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato’s monthly series of The Flash. Here was, finally, a great return to form for the character of Barry Allen, police scientist transformed into the world’s fastest man! Perhaps even more interestingly, the series also provided the means to watch writer/artist Francis Manapul (A Toronto-based Canuck, it must be said!), grow into such an acclaimed talent. It’s in these pages that Manapul pushed the visual boundaries of comic book storytelling – every page is a wonder, every panel is a treat and the 480 pages that make up this hardcover omnibus is a tale of growth as much for the fictional protagonist as it is for the real-life storyteller.
The Flash By Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato Omnibus is a wonder for any comic book fan – and would make a wonderful gift this holiday season. You can get a copy at your local comic book shop, bookstore that carries collected comics or on Amazon for a great price of $59.68.
Flash fact: this book should be flying off of store shelves…in a flash!
Gotham Central Omnibus
But that’s not going to stop me from suggesting (and totally wanting!) this brand new hardcover omnibus collection of the entire award-winning Gotham Central comic book series!
At 957 pages, this is the one to have on the shelf! Just make sure you reinforce that shelf!
Written by the acclaimed Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka and illustrated by Michael Lark, Gotham Central tells the story of two sets of police shifts in Gotham City and the very human face of how they deal with crime in a town where Batman exists.
It’s absolutely compelling reading. Get this for yourself and for a loved one this holiday season!
You can find the Gotham Central Omnibus at your local comic book shop, better bookstore or on Amazon for $69.17.
Absolute Wonder Woman By Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang Vol. 1
I already mentioned that the “New 52” re-launch of various DC Comics series a few years ago wasn’t entirely successful over a sustained length of time. One of the best titles from that endeavor was already listed in this column. Let me now turn your attention to one of the other great “New 52” series: Wonder Woman, as written and illustrated by the acclaimed team of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang.
This is a completely different and entirely fresh take on the Amazonian hero, steeped deep in Greek mythology but still contemporized for a modern time. At 484 pages, the Absolute Wonder Woman covers the fist eighteen issues of the monthly series. It’s oversized, which really lets Chiang’s visuals breathe, and is chock full of nearly fifty pages of character designs, sketch material and much more.
2016 is the 75th Anniversary of Wonder Woman. If you have a loved one in your life who loves that character, myths or super heroics, you can’t go wrong by wrapping up and giving the Absolute Wonder Woman By Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang!
Again, you can find it a your local comic book shop, bookstore or on Amazon for $100.
So that’s it for comic book gift guide lists this year! Remember, all of these books are great for friends or loved ones… but remember to always look for number one! If not today, then how about on Boxing Day when the price discounts hit? If you live in the North American snow belt, I understand that the winter of 2017 will be a cold and snowy one…best stay indoors, reading!
If you’re in sunnier climes, why not do the same?
Regardless, happy holidays and happy reading!