Top Comics: Comics worth giving
Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 00:12
Whether you know a comic book fan or just someone who may actually take the time to sit with a book, you can give comics as a gift. So, to help you out, here are a few suggestions I can make.
"Sleeper: Season One"
From the team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips comes this spy thriller about identity, trust and losing it.
Originally published in 2003, the comic ran for 24 issues and marked the second collaboration for the writer and artist duo. "Sleeper" is dark, sexy, visceral and in some ways, encapsulates everything these creators are about. This is the work that meshed Brubaker and Phillips together and made them the A-team comics-making machine they are today.
Sleeper is thematically engrossing as well as just a solid espionage story. Anyone can pick this up and fall in. A trade paperback collection offers the first 12 issues and can easily be found at you local comics store or online.
"100 Bullets: Volumes 1 and 2"
Another modern classic. Writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso commenced this 100-issue journey in late 1999 and didn't complete it until April 2009.
"100 Bullets'" plot spans many layers as does its themes, but this first volume starts out simply by way of a catchy high concept: what would you do with a suitcase of untraceable bullets?
A masterpiece of a crime story, "100 Bullets" emphasizes structure as well as excellent collaboration in comics. Azzarello channels Raymond Chancellor, and Risso pumps in the visual life.
If you give this as a gift though, I suggest coupling it with Vol. 2. While Vol. 1 is good, it doesn't supply the necessary hints of the bigger picture that really hook a reader.
"Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies"
For some light fun and a wonderful, welcoming look at alternative comics, "Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies" makes the best option.
This is a book of short, carefree stories are combined with unique visual styles and experimental methods of storytelling. Edited by Michel Fiffe and riffing on Erik Larsen's long stay "Savage Dragon," this book sits as one my favorites from the year.
It's comics at their best and most ideal.
"Uncanny X-force: The Apocalypse Solution"
Superheroes and comic books go together, so why not give this tale of heroes crossing the line for favor of the greater good? "Uncanny X-force" spotlights the talents of writer Rick Remender and artist Jerome Opena, and it's easily one of the best superhero comics of the year.
"X-force" takes place in the X-men camp of things, but if you've seen any of the movies, you'll understand this. The book takes the meaning of "epic" to another place as Remender and Opena channel all different ages of X-men comics into this one, beautiful, climatic celebration.
With artwork in the family of Moebius and "Heavy Metal Magazine," this book will keep your eyes glued. Thematically, it focuses on the notion of the greater good, and the book explores such a thing through the base concept of heroes who kill as well as larger plot mechanics. In some ways, this comic questions the entire idea of super heroes as well as progress.
"Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods"
It's not an actual book, but the subject of this documentary is entirely comics. The film explores the life and career of writer Grant Morrison, and it discusses just how he has impacted comics. From director Patrick Meaney and Respect Films, this documentary does a nice job of explaining Morrison for both the outsider as well as the seasoned comics reader.
On top of that, the documentary portrays comics as an actual art form rather some slum, and it even manages to capture some of the cultural nuances. You'll watch this a few times.