Comic Holiday Shopping Guide 2011, Part 2by Bobby Acosta on Dec. 14, 2011, under Comic Books, DC Comics, Holiday Shopping, Icon, Opinion, Reviews
Last week, we discussed what I believed were some of the best gifts for those on your shopping list. However, there are many more people than those listed in your life. I’m sure you know people outside of a youngster or a fan of the television show “Once Upon a Time”. This week, we’re going to try and be a little more encompassing.
Before that, though, last week I touched upon why I decide to write this article. It’s not only to touch upon what I think about each series and its relevance in media (that is important too), but to perhaps inspire readers to go out and check out any comic I touch upon.
That can be elaborated on later. Let’s get shopping!
For a Fan of Batman (Face it, who isn’t?): The Long Halloween
This is the first series put up that I haven’t actually reviewed. Will I? At some point, perhaps, but I think the fact that it carries with it the amazing credibility of being used as inspiration for “The Dark Knight” is well and good enough. A lot was taken from this Jeph Loeb written and Tim Sale drawn series.
First, it shows the transition from the old mob rule of Gotham into the slow decay and mayhem of the costumed freaks that want to take over the city. This also gives us a fantastic look into the mind of Bruce Wayne was Batman. Many writers have tried this method before, showing the inner thoughts of Batman/Bruce Wayne, but I always believed that Jeph Loeb has is down the best. Again, since I want to keep this short, this is for another time.
Artwork? Amazing. Tim Sale blends classic water brush colors and art-deco looks for an amazing storytelling bonanza. As for the actual story: A killer is wiping out the mafia on all the big holidays. He’s dubbed, The Holiday Killer. As the mob tries to use these new costumed lunatics, like The Joker or The Scarecrow, to stop him, Batman, Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Dent try their best to stop him and are pushed to the edge.
“I believe in Gotham City. I believe in Harvey Dent.” Indeed.
For the Fan of Procedural Crime Dramas that is Sick of Procedural Crime Dramas: Powers
I think everyone has gotten a handle on crime procedural shows. There was a line, from the show “Scrubs” where Chief of Medicine Dr. Kelso says “We get it, the pedophile did it!” That can be used to sum up crime procedural shows.
So, as far as crime comics go, many follow the same formula of grizzled detective and crime too gruesome for television. Character development and quirks are definitely the enticing elements of crime comics, and with that, “Powers” is no different.
Dialogue and action are both main focuses in this Brian Michael Bendis written and Michael Avon Oeming drawn series. Already winner of multiple Eisner Awards, this series is definitely a staple for any serious collector. However, it’s so much more than that. This one of the many series I recommend as breaking the “comics” barrier and is just fantastic literature overall. Snappy, quick dialogue and some of the best character work in any form of media is what keeps me reading “Powers” for so long.
For the Fan of “The Walking Dead” Television Show: The Walking Dead comic
This could be one of the simplest choices on the list. If you know someone that loves the horror, the bizarre life challenges of surviving an impending zombie apocalypse, and the questioning that the show brings to your own life, then this is the gift for them.
Written and helmed by Robert Kirkman, who has been writing the series for near to 100 issues, since its start, and drawn by a select few artists, the comic differs from the show in a some storyline parts. It has to, since comics are a different medium than television after all, but the overall feeling and vibe of the survival-horror story are the same.
You never know who is going to die.
You never know what awful twist is going to occur.
And, the best part, is that it makes you think that you would never know what would happen to you if you were in the survivors spot.
For the Anyone: The DC Comics 52
I wrote at this in major length, for, pretty close to a month and a half. Back in September, DC Comics relaunched their entire line of comics with new #1s. It’s not enough that all the series were placed at #1, but, that the entire DC Universe was reset: New origins, younger appearances, new costumes and, overall, a wider appeal of characters.
They attempted to get rid of the convoluted and often times mixed up continuity that really only appealed to the hardcore fans, and did their best to streamline anything and everything related to their characters.
I hailed this as a wonderful attempt to bring in new readers, something the industry needs in spades. Everything from war comics to superheroes to horror to romance (as horrifying as vampiric romances may be), this was a major push. Any of the new series are still fresh and, at the most, have only reached issue #4, still plenty of time to hop on board and begin reading. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, All-Star Western, Men of War, I,Vampire, Swamp Thing. All series worth checking out.
Every time I write, all I can think to myself is “Even if one person goes out and buys this book, I’ve accomplished something”.
This is a big shopping season, obviously, and I’m hoping that comic books are somewhere on someone’s shopping list. I always enforce the saying “There’s a comic out there for everyone, it’s just a matter of finding.”
Once you do, though, I’m sure you’ll be hooked.
So, Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Celebrate however you may, with whomever you may. But I hope that, if shopping for your loved ones come up, that comics are on the list. Pass this article along and maybe you’ll be helping someone out.
- In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. Contact him at email@example.com