December 21, 2010 at 11:39 am By:

Happy Holidays, everyone!  In today’s installment of our ‘Holiday Gift Suggestions’ I’ll go over a few of the Indie and Genre books that would make great gifts for any discerning comic fan.

1) Xenozoic Complete Collection TP

How can I talk about great genre books this year and not mention this book?  Xenozoic collects Mark Schultz‘s classic Xenozoic Tales, complete with cadillacs, dinosaurs, guns, adventuring men, and beautiful women.  This is a perfect gift for the action-loving comic reader, and more than deserves a place in anyone’s comic library.

2) What It Is

While this isn’t a new publication, it’s worth reminding people about this holiday season.  With this book, writer/illustrator Lynda Barry created what could rightly be called the best comic-themed text book to be published since Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics.  This book isn’t quite a ‘how to’ book, but goes into the process of how one discovers and refines their artistic tendencies over time.  Plus, there are thought-provoking exercises that aren’t unlike the Artist’s Way books.  Beyond What It Is, if you know someone who already read and enjoyed that, don’t forget that Barry’s most recent book Picture This is also available at Heroes.

3) Acme Novelty Library vol. 20 HC

Chris Ware is the ultimate comic book formalist/historian who manages to continually push his own creative limits with each new volume of Acme.  Volume 20 is Ware at his most cinematic as each page of the book represents a single year in the life of the formerly secondary character Jordan Lint.  You want to see an artist at the top of his game continue to push his own artistic boundaries?  Turn to Acme Novelty Library to see how that’s done on a consistently entertaining basis.

4)  James Sturm’s America: Gods, Gold, and Golems HC

Here’s another older collection that bears another mention. James Sturm is a much respected comic creator and educator, and this handsome hardcover collects three of his most appreciated works.  Though the book maintains an earnest historical tone, it’s very much a series of three entertaining pieces that should appeal to fans of the American past.

5) Parker: the Outfit

There are a plethora of reasons why Darwyn Cooke regularly finds his works in almost everyone’s ‘best of the year’ lists. This second book in a series of Richard Stark’s Parker adaptations finds Cooke continuing to draw upon his animation background to great effect, while doing an even better job of boiling down noir to its most basic and essential elements.

6) Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Ever wonder why comics don’t include more elements of math and philosophy?  Okay, even if you’ve never wondered that, this book will at least give you evidence that such an undertaking can be worthwhile. European creators Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou do a superb job of telling the story of philosopher Bertrand Russell and his perilous search for the absolute truth found in math and philosophy.  Though that might initially seem like a heady topic for a comic book to tackle, the creators make it as fun as it is educating.  If you like comics that make you think, look no further than this great sleeper book.


Filed Under: DISCUSS, Opinion, Reviews