Well, this is my final H&V Gift Guide entry for this year and if you’re reading this on the date of publication and you’ve still not finished with your gift shopping you are officially in panic mode. Luckily for you I’ve got a couple of recommendations that should be easily obtainable at your local comic shop and save you from combing through a gift card kiosk at your local drug store for one that’s “just right.”
I just finished my annual tradition of watching the Batman: The Animated Series holiday episodes (“Christmas With The Joker” and “Holiday Knights” respectively). It’s something I’ve done every year since getting the episodes on DVD (and later on the highly recommended blu-ray) and the episodes are solid and reliable for those of us who long ago burned out on Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown.
December has absolutely flown by this year and I’m hoping to find the time to work in some viewings of my other favorite nonconventional holiday films. I’ve already crossed Batman Returns off the list and I’ve got my sights on the sublime Krampus film that’s been recently added to my rotation.
That’s enough out of me…here are a couple more Gift Guide recommendations for you procrastinating shoppers out there.
Tom King (W)
Jorge Fornes (A)
Tom King (W)
Evan “Doc” Shaner, Mitch Gerads (A)
Yes, you read that right; it’s TWO books by Tom King and company, both of which hit the stand last week and both collecting the full 12-issue run of their respective limited series. Rorschach and Strange Adventures are part of DC’s Black Label imprint which is geared towards more mature subject matter so they would be perfect for the discerning comic book fan on your list.
I was late to the party on King and Gerads’ highly praised Mister Miracle book so when these two titles were announced I had them added to my monthly pull at my local comic shop. Having read them as serialized stories I will say that my personal preference is to have the option to read them all in one go. The issues functioned well on their own but reading them as a collected graphic novel is where it’s at.
Let’s take a look at them blurbs:
It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias dropped a giant interdimensional squid on New York City, killing thousands and destroying the public’s trust in heroes once and for all. And since that time, one figure in a fedora, mask, and trench coat has become a divisive cultural icon. So, what does it mean when Rorschach reappears as a gunman trying to assassinate a candidate running against President Redford? Who is the man behind the mask, and why is he acting this way? Now it’s up to one detective to uncover the identity of this would-be killer and expose a web of conspiracies that will change the world forever. Collects Rorschach #1-12.
Adam Strange is the hero of Rann, a man famous throughout the galaxy for his bravery and honor. After leading his adopted home to victory in a great planetary war, Adam and his wife Alanna retire to Earth, where they are greeted by cheers, awards, and parades. But not all is as happy and nice as it seems, as the decisions Adam made during battles on Rann come back to haunt his family and threaten the entire DC Universe. Now his fate rests in the hands of one of his fellow heroes, Mr. Terrific, who must choose between saving Adam or the world. Collects Strange Adventures #1-12.
Neat stuff, right? As for my two cents, Rorschach was an interesting for me, not due to its Watchmen connection, but because I connected more with its meta textual elements on comic books, their creators, and what becomes popular escapist culture in a world
where blue gods walk around with they dongs out where superheroes actually exist.
Strange Adventures is yet another book by Tom King in which he takes a DC character you’ve probably never thought much about and crafts an intimate and compelling story with them. It’s easily accessible and not mired in any current DC continuity so if you can tell your Batman from a Superman you’re already well-equipped to pick up and enjoy this book.
That’s it for me! I’ll be back…in some form…next week to wrap up the year that was!