My aim for these holiday gift guide pieces is to help you take your gift giving to the next level for that special nerd in your life. For this entry I’m setting my sights on a little something for the comic book fans.
If you’re anything like me, you dream of having your own personal library at home. Floor to ceiling bookshelves with all your favorite first editions and a comfy chair in which to read them. Over the last decade or so, I’ve largely parted ways with physical media with the notable exception of books and comic books. There’s nothing out there that can beat the feeling of having a nice book in your hands.
DC Comics has taken the chocolate and peanut butter of comics and fancy books and come up with their Absolute Editions of many of their essential collections. These are oversized hardcover slipcase editions of books like Watchmen, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Sandman, and on and on that are an absolute (I know) dream to read.
The larger format of the collections is like experiencing some of your favorite comics in an entirely new way. The closest thing I could compare it to is like seeing one of your all time favorite films that’s been remastered in 4K. The artwork in the books has been remastered and color corrected, and there’s usually some bonus materials in the back of the books that are exclusive to these editions. Expect to see artists sketches, interviews with the creators, and other bits of ephemera.
I’ve manage to add a few Absolute Editions to my bookshelf over the years and I completely adore them. I feel like I should be putting on white gloves whenever I decide to take one out of its slipcase…they’re that nice. I once let a friend borrow my copy of Absolute Planetary Vol. 1 and I don’t think I slept right until it was returned home to me.
Since it’s the holiday season now would also be a good time to show your local comic shop some love. Any shop with a halfway decent graphic novel selection should be able to get whatever Absolute Edition you’re after if they don’t already have it in stock.
You should expect to spend about $100 to $150+ for one of these (some comic shops do give member discounts) and they’re SO worth it. I like to throw around the term “EPIC TOME” and these are truly the tome by which all other tomes should be judged if they are to be deemed epic. Think of them not as a coffee table book but rather a book that is also a coffee table.
So if the comic book fan in your life has a favorite DC character, there is going to be an Absolute Edition for them. They’ll absolutely be glad you got them one. I’m not even sorry for that one.