Monday, December 12, 2011

Comic Book Gifts for the Kids

This weekend I stopped into my local comic shop, The Comic Bug, and searched for a few comic books to give as Christmas gifts. I was specifically looking for a couple of comic book tales for children. Two of my co-workers have a child who is starting to get into comic books, so as the office comic book authority I took it upon myself to their child some good reads. I already get their son the individual Reed Gunther comic book issues, but this is Christmas for Christ's sake (literally)! It's time for some trades.

Bad Island - 365 Days of Comics
Bad Island
Bad Island

The first trade I grabbed was a book I was not familiar with, however, Greg (a Comic Bug employee and friend) suggested some great books by the popular author Doug Tennapel. Tennapel may be best known for his character Earthworm Jim, who later starred in his own video game.

The Doug Tennapel selection I picked up was a trade titled, Bad Island. From what I could tell by looking through the wonderfully illustrated story, Bad Island features robots, monsters and of course...a bad island. I can't wait to hear how Bad Island turns out. Plus, I'm looking forward to asking a 9 year old if I can borrow his comic book.

The Incredibles - Family Matters - 365 Days of Comics
The Incredibles - Family Matters
The Incredibles - "Family Matters"

The second trade I picked-up had to have some characters I assumed their young buck would recognize, so I went straight to the Disney section and grabbed the Mark Waid Incredibles story, "Family Matters." I had read somewhere that this little trade was highly entertaining, and that even older readers would enjoy Waid's story. Mark Waid is one of the premier comic writers in the industry, so I knew I couldn't go wrong with this second comic book trade selection.

I hope my co-worker's child enjoys these comic books and that one day, thanks to my contributions, he may enjoy comics as much as I do...if not more.

Were these pretty good selections for a 9 year old? What comics would you get a little guy or girl on your list?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

5 Comic Book Gifts for X-Mas

Come Christmas time many comic book enthusiasts have a Hardcover or two on their gift lists. The list has the comic book items carefully typed-out and described in detail, so that dear old mom and pop won’t somehow come home with a Twighlight trade paperback.

“What? Isn’t this what the kids like…teenage vampires?”

Assuming you haven’t given your fifth Christmas list revision to your family and friends, I have come up with a list of 5 comic books you should ask for, for Christmas. Oh, and if you already have these, be a pal and get them for your friends.

Zombie DickHeads
Zombie DickHeads
Zombie Dickheads

The Walking Dead has thrust zombies into mainstream pop-culture in a way not seen since Michael Jackson’s thriller video. But rather than getting everyone to buy a sweet red leather jacket, The Walking Dead has gotten people to watch zombie media and buy zombie comic books. So what’s a Walking Dead TV show fan to do over the mid-season break? Simple. Buy a zombie comic book. I recommend buying the fun and inventive, Zombie Dickheads.

Written, illustrated and generally completely created by Chris Moreno, Zombie Dickheads follows a group of non-flesh eating zombies who have retained their intelligence and speech. The odd group of zombies has been forced into hiding, after the zombie Apocolypse, by humans who want to blow the heads off of ever zombie on Earth. Zombie Dickheads features vulgar language, hillbillies with guns and a zombie make-out that only adds to your adult brain’s begging to be devoured by Moreno’s world o’ zombie.

Recommended for Ages 16 and up – Cover Price $10:

Thor The Mighty Avenger
Thor: The Mighty Avenger
Thor: The Mighty Avenger: Volumes 1 & 2

Have you been nudging a non-comic book reading person into comic books? Is your friend a kind, slightly innocent, individual who enjoys Pixar films and light-hearted humor? Also…did they see the movie Thor? If you answered “Yes” to at least one of those questions than Thor: The Mighty Avenger: Volumes 1 & 2 are perfect for your pal, guy or gal!

Thor: The Mighty Avenger features illustrations by one of the best visual storytellers in the business, Chris Samnee. The Mighty Avenger tells the story of Thor, a fallen God of Thunder who must come to terms with his anger while banished to Earth. He discovers kindness, through goofy friends, romantic charity rides, and brawls with Britains in bars. Thor: The Mighty Avenger is a wonderful all ages adventure filled with multiple Marvel special guests and smile producing moments. Buy both volumes for the complete story!

Recommended for All Ages! – Cover Price $14.99 Each – Your Local Comic Shop may have these in-stock

All-Star Superman
All-Star Superman
All-Star Superman TPB (The Complete Series)

Unlike in 1939, today’s comic books have a hard time giving readers a sense of wonder and awe. Superhero stories have been done to death by this point, and in some cases even stories about their deaths are unoriginal and without impact. For one character in particular, interesting original tales have been hard to come by since he is basically unmatched in strength, speed and hair. Superman has suffered through many a ridiculous and poor comic book adventure in his day, and unfortunately, the comic reader has suffered with the man of steel.

Suffer no longer, comic book fan! Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely breathe new life into a character who has seen and done it all. Morrison writes a story depicting why Superman is the world’s greatest hero by giving readers pages of super-powered feats; but more importantly, All-Star Superman shows readers that it is his heart and determination that makes him the legend he is today. Plus, Frank Quitely’s delightful character designs instantly pull eyes and minds into a universe where a man can fly. All-Star Superman made me feel like I was reading the first comic book I have ever read. And that wonder and awe that comes with reading a comic book in 1939…it suddenly feels obtainable, 70 plus years later.

Recommended for Ages 10 and up – Cover Price $29.99 - Your Local Comic Shop may have this in-stock

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection Volume 1

New parents sometimes ask, “What do I use to shape a child into an awesome individual?” To this I simply respond with the items that shaped my childhood and crafted me into the radical dude I am today: a pair of sais, katana blades, nunchucks and one bow staff.

For anyone who has ever shouted cowabunga and enjoys comic books, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection Volume 1 is the perfect gift. The original Ninja Turtle comic books have finely been reprinted and collected in a huge 300 page addition that lets us in on the phenomena of the Ninja Turtles before they were the Fab Four of children programming.

Fear Agent
Fear Agent
Fear Agent Volume 1: Re-Ignition TPB

With the final issue already printed and release in book stores, I’d say it’s about time you get your Fear Agent trade paperback collection started. Fear Agent comes from the mind of the extremely talented writer, Rick Remender, and follows the drunken Texan Heath Houston on an adventure filled with aliens, sexy women, jet packs and more comic gore and foul-mouthery than you can shake a stick like object at.

Readers may know Remender from his more recent Marvel runs on popular titles such as Uncanny X-Force and Venom, but Fear Agent is among one of his creator owned series that has sky-rocketed him to new heights on the list of current industry greats. Oh, and did I mention that Fear Agent Volume 1 was illustrated by the amazingly talented Tony Moore? Well, it is…and holy shit does Fear Agent look out of this world for it. Opena’s art is so unique and panel perfect that a motion to change the $100 dollar bill to just a Moore panel is often heard in the U.S. Congress. The only reason the motion doesn’t pass into law is because representatives feel the value of the Moore panels are much greater than a $100. Get this book for yourself, or buddy, today!

Recommended for Ages 16 and up – Cover Price $9.99…I think