Trouble with Comics

ADD’s Holiday Gift Guide

I don’t think I’ve ever really done one of these before, but with comics and graphic novels more in the public eye than they have been since, what, the 1940s? — and as the Winter Solstice draws nearer, I thought I would weigh in with what I think would make some nice gifts this holiday season for that special someone in your life. You know, that person you are pretty sure won’t give you the stinkeye when they open up their present and it turns out, it’s comics?
The Winter Solstice, the reason for the season.
To keep this list to a manageable length, I set forth a few rules:

1. The gift must be at or under $100.00.
2. One gift suggestion per publisher.
3. They must be more than just “a good graphic novel,” they have to have something special that makes them truly gift-worthy.
4. They must have mainstream appeal.

And away we go!

Alec: The Years Have Pants HC (Top Shelf) — Eddie Campbell’s extraordinary life’s work in autobiographical comics makes a fantastic gift in hardcover. This mammoth slab of witty, whimsical and brilliant comics will keep your loved one amazed and entertained for the many weeks it will likely take them to read it. I can’t imagine a better way to get through the winter than being warmed by these charming and game-changing comics.

Castle Waiting Vols. 1 and 2 HCs (Fantagraphics) — These two huge hardcovers can currently be had for less than 50 bucks, and offer up a whole new world of wonder. Perfect for anyone who loves to be transported to another place and time.

H Day HC (Picturebox) — Renee French welcomes you into her head (literally) in this mysterious and gorgeous hardcover. More challenging than her previous efforts, but the rewards make the journey worthwhile.

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Box Set (Oni Press) — If they loved the movie, get ‘em the comics! I can’t imagine a better combo gift, too, than giving both this box set and the DVD of the great movie adaptation.

Star Trek Countdown HC (IDW) — For the Trek fan in your life, there’s no better comics offering than this. Countdown tells the story of what happened before JJ Abrams recreated the Star Trek universe, bringing in characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation to explain some unanswered questions about the 2009 movie, and it all ties into the new continuity flawlessly. As a huge Trek fanatic, I absolutely consider this story canon, and would dearly love to see it adapted as an animated film to come out ahead of 2012’s next chapter in the newly-revived franchise. It’s a classy, exciting and entertaining comic, and this hardcover edition would make a great gift.

Wilson HC (Drawn and Quarterly) — Dan Clowes is one of those cartoonists that really invites the reader’s eye whether they are already ensconced in comics reading or not. Wilson offers up a wealth of opportunities for discovery, both in terms of the oblique angles of its story and the mysterious way comics can unveil its wonders.

Yuggoth Cultures HC (Avatar) — Alan Moore’s Neonomicon (with artist Jacen Burrows) is the best new Moore title in years, but it’s not collected yet. So why not give this beautiful hardcover collection of eerie and strange Moore tales (definitely adults only) to satisfy the horror fan in your life?

Those are my suggestions! Leave your recommendations in the comments, and happy holidays!