This is probably the angriest Holiday Gift Guide you’ll read this year. I’m leaving ugly full URLs up cause I’m in a “people are stupid and won’t understand what to click through” mood.
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard: I heard “The Walking Dead was a comic book first!?!? too many times recently both at work and at family gatherings for Thanksgiving. Neither the show, nor the book is my cup of tea anymore (But Paul, you LOVE zombies and you used to like this book, you flip flopper! Shut up. I don’t like either anymore. Go get me a drink.), but if someone you know is into this, buy them the first volume or two to check out. They’d read almost any prose book that a show or movie was based on, right? So why not put a comic book in front of their face and show them that comic book doesn’t always mean “funny.”
Buy it in print: http://www.amazon.com/The-Walking-Dead-Vol-Days/dp/1582406723/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1353888562&sr=8-13&keywords=the+walking+dead
Gift it digitally: http://www.comixology.com/The-Walking-Dead-Vol-1-Days-Gone-Bye/digital-comic/FEB041347
Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples:
I’ve written about Saga a bunch of times here. It gets me most of my site hits, as this is a popular new series, and people are looking for intelligent places to discuss it. Sadly, when they land here, they get me yelling at people to read a series, while barely being able to write about it coherently. “It’s awesome, Star Wars, Fantasy, blurghrgargle of enthusiasm” – Paul DeKams But, yes, if you’ve got a friend or family member on your gift list that is into epic tales that blend genres, buy the first volume of Saga for them.
Buy it in print: http://www.amazon.com/Saga-Vol-1-Brian-Vaughan/dp/1607066017/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353888769&sr=1-1&keywords=saga+volume+1
Buy it digitally: http://www.comixology.com/Saga-Vol-1/digital-comic/AUG120491
Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips: For those who are into crime and or pulpier stuff. I should stress this is NOT for your Sue Grafton/James Patterson mystery enjoyers. This is for folks who have enjoyed anything made by creators like Tarantino, Chandler, Leonard, Hammett, or Ellroy.
Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido, Matt Hollingsworth, Chris Eliopoulos:
YES. I am recommending Hawkeye yet again. Because it is great. This is for anyone who enjoyed Joss Whedon’s Avengers. For anyone who is into detective-y folks getting punched in the face repeatedly while trying to solve a mystery. It’s probably got some crossover with the people who would enjoy Criminal.
Buy it in print at your local comic book store.
Buy it digitally: http://www.comixology.com/Hawkeye/comics-series/8445
Special Batman section!
Christopher Nolan’s Batman series had some serious cred with mainstream audiences for being so serious…so…real (I disagree with both simplistic mis-readings of the films, but enjoyed them immensely). Well, here’s some Batman books that are in a similar “real-worldy Batman” vein.
Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli:
The definitive origin for Batman. An obsessed man who achieves his physical and mental peaks through practice and hard work, beginning a mission to root out corruption in Gotham City. Nothing super hero-y about this tale.
Buy it in print: http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Year-One-Frank-Miller/dp/1401207529/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353890220&sr=1-1&keywords=batman+year+one
Catwoman by Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke:
This is a good buy not only for those who have enjoyed the Nolan films, but also the animated series from the 90s, as Cooke’s artwork is very similar to that show. Another simple concept series: a former criminal (Catwoman), seeks to do right and live a better life.
Buy it in print: http://www.amazon.com/Catwoman-Vol-1-Trail/dp/1401233848/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353890365&sr=1-1&keywords=catwoman+brubaker
Buy it digitally: http://www.comixology.com/Catwoman-2002-2008/comics-series/201
Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Michael Lark:
The Wire with Batman.
Buy it digitally: http://www.comixology.com/Gotham-Central/comics-series/3035
I’ll probably follow up with some more holiday gift recommendations, including…books about comics! WHAT? So, spread some holiday and comic cheer, and stay tuned for more. If you’re reading this, and think none of these recommendations really apply to the people in your life, drop a comment about what you’re looking for, and I’ll see if I can come up with anything.