Now that we are deep into the frenetic shopping season, with Christmas right on the horizon, we thought we would finally put together the real “must haves” for 2015’s Christmas season. Comics are one of the most difficult gifts to actually shop for since it is hard for non-readers to really know what is out there, what the person you are shopping for really wants, and really, just how to get started. We kept this problematic nature in mind and brought together a stellar list of very gift-oriented comics that are going to be good for both the casual reader and the hardcore fanatic. We have also put together a range of price items, both large gifts and stocking stuffers.
Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1
This massive tome may seem like an expensive and dense gift, but what it really is is the first three trades of one of the most groundbreaking works of comic fiction in years. From comics heavyweight Brian K Vaughan, Saga is a mash-up of different genres into a Space Opera like Star Wars blasted into a world of sex, love, family, and intense action. Saga stands as a perfect crossover book, great for deep comic fans and people who just want a fictional work filled with rich characters and superbly drawn, fantastic worlds. This will also work for a fan who has been reading the book from the start since it provides so much extra content that will keep them happy, and it is the perfect way to read the first eighteen issues.
The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition
Keeping in the theme of hardback “deluxe” editions, the full collection of the recent Sandman prequel miniseries from Neil Gaiman is finally out and the quality of this presentation is perfect for the beautiful J.H William artwork. This tells the story of Dream before the first issue of Sandman, but with interlocking issues that play a different tone and trajectory than the regular series. This is again a perfect entryway to the character and world, as well as a must-have for long-time fans.
Ms. Marvel (Trade Paperbacks #1-3)
Now that Marvel’s big relaunch is over, it would be good to get the cape-fan in your family the first three trade paperbacks of Ms. Marvel to get them on board. Though this book is perfect for younger fans, this is a true “all ages” book as the younger characters are handled with such honesty and care that every page is a real revelation. The series became a landmark for its inclusion of a Muslim character, and it continues to break open boundaries and mark a new inclusiveness and quality in comics. You also do not need a long history in the continuity of Marvel Comics, which is why it is perfect to read on its own if you prefer.
Kid Eternity Deluxe Edition
For the older comic fan on the list, Kid Eternity marked a cutting edge turn for DC comics in the very early 1990s. Written by legend Grant Morisson, the book takes superheroes into a land of psychedelic magic and myth, and stands out as a literary classic in the world of early Vertigo comics. The new deluxe edition was just released and you are likely to not find someone who has this in a collected edition, and even the single issues are not incredibly common any longer.
Not Funny Ha-Ha
Looking at two women going through the process to get the abortion, Not Funny Ha-HA forgoes all sense of judgement and instead takes a step back and looks from a distance. An incredible indie work that needs to see representation in this period of increasing political tension.
Black River by Josh Simmons is a post-apocalyptic story where our characters look for civilization, both in the world and in each other. The book feels strongly in the horror genre, yet shifts into moments of comedy that really break the tension. This is one of the most wonderfully toned Original Graphic Novels of the year, and a perfect crossover point for many readers not as familiar with graphic fiction.
Paper Girls #1-3
This is a little bit different than the collections and OGNs on the list, but Paper Girls is standing out as one of the best books of the year. By Christmas, the first three issues will be released and will make a great stocking stuff for almost anyone, but especially young women looking to find a great female-oriented comic to start following. The story looks at a few paper girls in the mid-1980s who are out on their bikes when what appears to be an alien invasion begins. Fun, funny, and incredibly engaging, Paper Girls is going to be one to get started with by this Christmas.