Our deep dive into comic book collections as a holiday gift guide continues!
Earlier this month, we listed some of our favourite collections that were published in 2018 – ones that we think would make for fabulous gift giving to friends, family and loved ones over the holiday season. Best of all, they were all quite affordable! If you missed that particular column, you can read it right here.
Today, with a weekend of shopping still ahead of us, we start to look some of the more expensive comic books and comic book-related art books that might tickle a holiday fancy. Let’s get started!
Dreadstar, the far-flung, space-adventuring hero created by comic book legend Jim Starlin was one of the first comic books that I took a deep dive into way back in the early 1980’s. It was a time where Starlin was honing his craft, both as a writer of sweeping sci-fi adventures and as a visual storyteller. During a hall-of-fame career, he brought science fiction opera to Marvel Comics via his Captain Marvel and Adam Warlock comics and by either creating or co-creating characters such as Thanos (the main antagonist in the recent Avengers films), Drax the Destroyer and Gamora among many others. He crossed the New York aisle and worked with DC Comics on Cosmic Odyssey and Batman.
The Art of Jim Starlin: A Life in Words and Pictures reads like a sit-down conversation with the writer/artist. He takes you through the entirety of his memorable career in comics and includes detailed memories of all the highs, downs and frustrations that the industry doles out. Its must reading for any fan of Starlin’s work, but it’s also compelling for lovers of art or comic book historians.
You can find The Art of Jim Starlin: A Life in Words and Pictures at better comic book shops or bookstores or via Amazon for approximately $47.
We here at Biff Bam Pop! love the work of the dearly departed artist Bernie Wrightson – a legend among legends in the halls of comic book and visual horror lore! Frankenstein Alive, Alive, written by the acclaimed Steve Niles and illustrated by Wrightson is an epitaph to an awe-inspiring career.
Originally, Frankenstein Alive, Alive was to have been a 13-issue series, a sequel to Bernie Wrightson’s early 1980’s acclaimed adaption of the Mary Shelley Gothic novel. But illness slowed Wrightson’s work considerably, even though he kept at his craft until he passed away in March 2017, having completed only three full issues of the series and some of the fourth. In this hardcover collection, Wrightson’s unfinished fourth issue work is completed by master Gothic artist Kelley Jones. Together, Frankenstein Alive, Alive: The Complete Collection concludes only a full chapter of what would have been an epic series. Still, the book is a testament to the wonderful work, imitable handicraft and artistry that was Wrightson. a dark, but joyous series of visuals to behold!
Right now, you can find the 104-page hardcover compilation of Frankenstein Alive, Alive: The Complete Collection at comic book shops or bookstores – or on-sale at Amazon for about $17.
Written and illustrated by the legendary team of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan and first published by DC Comics in 1982, Night Force is a horror/mystery/adventure series staring a myriad of strange characters including the granddaughter of Van Helsing from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a reporter, a parapsychologist and an ancient warrior for the time of King David. Led by the mysterious (and filthy rich) Baron Winters, the team battle against the darker, more sinister elements of our world – and others!
Night Force is a throwback to early 80’s horror comics – fun and riveting action, where creators regularly attempted to side-step the Comic Code Authority! As fun as the stories are, Colan’s masterful artwork is the real draw here, full of shadows and sketchy line work that is brooding and fully cinematic in scope. It truly is wondrous – a master artist in all his power!
The 396-page hardcover of Night Force by Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan: The Complete Series collects all 14 issue of the title’s original run. You can find it at better comic book shops and book stores or on Amazon for about $23. Perfect for a comic book lover of the weird and horrific in your life!
You can make “one bad day” into a grand celebration for the Batman fan in your life with the Absolute Batman: The Killing Joke 30th Anniversary Edition!
Earlier this month, BBP’s regular contributor, E.A. Henson, gave one of his holiday gift guide suggestions as being anything from the pantheon of the DC Absolute Edition library. You can read that entry here. Mr. Henson, is, ah-hem, absolutely right!
The Killing Joke, written and illustrated by the near-mythical team of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, is one of comicdom’s finest literary moments. Sure, you or someone you know, might have the story in one of its many already-published formats, but you done’ have it in this Absolute format, here in 2018 – the year of the publication’s 30th anniversary.
Clocking in at 152-pages, a somewhat small figure for a hardcover, slipcased “Absolute” book, Absolute Batman: The Killing Joke 30th Anniversary Edition none the less of full of visual glamour and heavy reading. Here, you get the original version as well as a recolored version, as well as other Batman-related works and sketches and background material that were illustrated by Bolland. But the real draw here is Alan Moore’s full Batman: The Killing Joke script!
Absolute Batman: The Killing Joke 30th Anniversary Edition isn’t that an expensive of a purchase either. You can find it at comic book shops or better book stores or on Amazon for around $30. This is classic, must-have reading for a Batman fan, a Joker fan, a Bolland fan, or a Moore acolyte. Plus it looks great on the bookshelf!
Check back with us this weekend for the final installment of our 2018 Gift Guide as it relates to comic book collections published in 2018 – with the books that are the premium of the premium, meant for those that really deserve your comic book love!