But this column is for the real deal loves in your lives – the ones who you’ll go to the ends of the earth in order to get that perfect comic book gift. We’ve got bigger books here in part three of our Comic Book Collections Holiday Gift Guide. And that generally means pricier books.
I know there are those out there licking their lips to get one of these in their stocking this year.
And hey! If no one you know has been good enough…I know you have!
Let’s get to the holiday shopping list, shall we?
We’ve focused on the Saga: Compendium One release once before on this site – in the Wednesday Run column from this past August 21.
I’d say it’s the preeminent science fiction, family-life, comic book story out there right now and definitely one of the best reads of the past decade…and maybe in the history of comic book publishing. Yeah, it’s that good!
This Saga: Compendium One is a big book that compiles the first 54-issues of the series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – so you better have some muscles. It makes the perfect gift for the sci-fi, story-driven, family-loving, reader in your life. Just make sure you wrap up a box of tissue alongside it. They’re gonna need it.
You can find the Saga: Compendium One at better comic book shops and bookstores or via Amazon for about $44. Not bad for 1,328 wonderful pages!
Revisit (or visit for the first time) the place where publisher Vertigo Comics and mature, sophisticated suspense was born: the Louisiana bayou and the swamps that host the muck-encrusted mockery of a man, the Swamp Thing!
Back in the mid-1980’s Alan Moore revitalized the flagging Swamp thing monthly horror comic book and turned its protagonist into an ecological warrior that displayed more humanity than most men and women. But Moore, along with artists Steve Bissette and John Totleben, never left the title’s familiar horror roots behind. No, they kept the terror front and center.
Now, captured in the fantastic “Absolute” hardcover format, the Absolute Swamp Thing by Alan Moore Vol. 1 (the first of three volumes) celebrates that story from thirty-five years ago – and showcases how relevant it remains! If you have someone in your life that loves the kind of horror story that stays with you, long after the reading, this is the perfect gift!
You can find the Absolute Swamp Thing By Alan Moore Vol. One at better comic book shops and bookstores or via Amazon for about $72.
Dark Horse Comics
A fairy tale for grown-ups. That’s what Moonshadow was billed as, and it lived up to that mid-1980’s billing!
First published as a twelve-issue miniseries from Epic Comics (a subsidiary of Marvel Comics), Moonshadow was one of the first, fully painted, mature readers, comic books. Writer J.M. DeMatteis and illustrator Jon J. Muth, pulled off the incredible: a boundary-pushing science-fiction and fantasy story, both in text and in visual terms, leaving a legacy work that is more revered today than when it was first published. And believe me, Moonshadow had many wonder-struck eyes on it back in the ’80s.
This version, published by Dark Horse Comics, was first referenced in the Wednesday Run column, which you can find here. It’s a wonderful hardcover for a wonderful story, full of bonus material that any gift-getter will absolutely adore.
You can find Moonshadow: The Definitive Edition at better comic book shops and bookstores or via Amazon for about $30.
DC Comics– HC $53.86
With a larger format, the Absolute edition allows for comic book artwork to really breathe. With the right artist, full-page spreads are immersive and stories become more encompassing to readers.
That’s what you get with the Absolute Batman: The Black Mirror. Superstar artists Jock and Francesco Francavilla join fan-favourite writer Scott Snyder for one of the more memorable takes on Batman this columnist has ever read. But this Batman isn’t the Batman you know.
Gone is Bruce Wayne. In his place is Richard Grayson, ex-Nightwing. Ex-Robin.
How does a new, and very different, Batman live up to the legacy of the original Dark Knight Detective? Grayson will find out, as he struggles with mind-numbing mysteries and deadly villains the like of which no Batman can or should experience. This is a really special tale, published in a special format, by three creators who are working at their peak powers. You, and the Batman fan in your life need to experience it!
You can find the Absolute Batman: The Black Mirror at better comic book shops and bookstores or via Amazon for approximately $55.
Well, we’ve seen this one before, haven’t we?
It must be a Prisoner holiday, as we featured the trade paperback of a late 1980’s miniseries (sequel to the 1960’s television show) in part one of this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. But this is something a little bit different.
The Prisoner: Jack Kirby and Gil Kane Original Art Edition is an over-sized publication of a long-lost, never published, comic book based on the famous television series about spies and secrets. It’s over-sized by design – to showcase the actual life-size drawings of two of comics’ greatest illustrators.
This is a book for a lover of The Prisoner, the art of “King” Jack Kirby, and the art process of comic book publishing itself!
You can find The Prisoner: Jack Kirby and Gil Kane Original Art Edition at better comic book shops and bookstores or via Amazon for around $55.
Speaking of Jack Kirby…
When “King” Jack Kirby left Marvel Comics unceremoniously in the late 1970s, he moved to the open arms of DC Comics, where he created a number of revered comic book titles and characters.
Some of those publications have been compiled in various Omnibus formats (like his amazing Fourth World and Kamandi tales), but the DC Universe: Bronze Age Omnibus By Jack Kirby, collects a whole host of short-run and obscure stories by the master creator – all for the first time! Here you’ll find peculiar and hard-to-find publications from the 1970s and early 1980s like Days of the Mob, Spirit World, the Demon and Super Powers!
This is the perfect book for anyone who loves Kirby or comics, who was a child of the Bronze Age, or is a historian of the art form.
You can find the DC Universe: Bronze Age Omnibus By Jack Kirby at better comic book shops and bookstores or via Amazon for around $100. At 1,472 pages of Kirby greatness, it’s a big book.
Speaking of big books…
Wallets will live. Wallets will die. And Christmas will never be the same!
Back in the mid-1980’s DC Comics revamped their line of publications with the now-famous twelve-issue monthly series, Crisis On Infinite Earths. That story, by writer Marv Wolfman and artist, George Perez, shaped the DC Universe for years to come. Fervent monthly readers of DC comic books are still feeling (and reeling from) the reverberations of it today, even if they don’t know it!
Crisis on Infinite Earths Box Set does exactly what you think it might: it boxes the entire series into a hardcover…but goes a number of steps further by including EVERY crossover in every 80’s DC publication during that one-year Crisis run. That means you get every Crisis chapter from Swamp Thing to Infinity Inc., to Blue Devil, to Amethyst, to Omega Men and more, plus the 1960’s and 1970’s comics that set the stage for the parent title. Add in the long out-of-print, 2-part History of the DC Universe that aimed to lay the historical boundaries of DC’s new status quo following the Crisis publication. All in multiple hardcover books.
This box set collects it ALL. And is one great, heartfelt gift for a lover of comics and comic history, to be sure.
You can find the Crisis On Infinite Earths Box Set at better comic book shops and bookstores or via Amazon for around $325. It’s a lot, I know, but it’s soooo worth it!
That covers us for another year of gift-giving. All the best to you and your loved ones during the holiday season…and enjoy all of your four-colour comic book reading joy!