I am a veteran of the comic book game... I have been collecting since I was four (just over 28 years) and I have tons of comics/graphic novels to prove it. I, along with many of my fellow 80's baby comic geeks, were way ahead of the current comic book movie craze and have read ALL of the source material that is making the summer blockbusters the masses are devouring at a record pace. But what if you have to buy a gift for the person who is just getting started with comics? Here is a list of a few of my personal faves that will give any comic fan, new or old, a smile on their face. These will even work for a hardcore fan, even though a true comic book head SHOULD have in their collection (both in issue format and collected versions...lol). Click after the jump for my suggestions...
Watchmen by Alan Moore & David Gibbons-
Why do I start here? Well, to put it simple and plain, this is THE GREATEST GRAPHIC NOVEL EVER WRITTEN!!! Period. Nothing to discuss. Pure fucking genius. Didn't like the movie? Doesn't fucking matter... if you read the source material, you will forget there even was a movie (even though I thought the movie was wonderful). Alan Moore is one of the greatest comic writers of all time, and David Gibbons drew one of the greatest comics ever. A good story and great images... what else does a comic need. The best part is that this is a self contained story in its own universe, which for all you non-comic heads means you don't need to know any back story to enjoy it. It's all there in this beautiful black and yellow covered comic... click here to buy the softcover version or here to buy the fancier hardcover.
Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale-
Who doesn't love Batman? Not anybody I know, especially after Christopher Nolan did his thing on the past few Dark Knight movies. With the third film coming next summer, why not get somebody into the Batman groove? Now this is where most comic nerds would point you to Frank Miller's Batman: Year One (which is a solid choice and a great gift as well, but I digress)... but I have chosen to go in a different direction. Loeb and Sale revisit the early years in this Batman story that took place over 13 issues and is focused on Gotham Cities mafia families as well as all his colorful rouges. The gang is all here, from Joker to Riddler to Two Face... and the story is magnificent. Published back in 1996/97, it helped jump-start interest in DC Comics and The Bat for a whole new generation. I have my own copy signed by both Loeb and Sale, and it may very well be my favorite Batman story ever. This 384 page collection will definitely inspire more trips to the comic store for stories of Gotham's shining knight. Click here to order.
Wanted by Mark Millar & J.G. Jones-
Listen, I liked the movie as much as the next guy. James McAvoy is great as the loser Wesley Gibson, Angelina Jolie is perfect as Fox. Not to mention that sexy shot of her naked and soaking wet leaving the healing tub... nerd boner!!! But the movie, dope as it was, really has very little to do with Millar and Jones's original work. There is a shell of a story in the movie, but not at all like the one that is in the book. If you thought the movie was twisted, wait till you see this book. This one also takes place in a self contained universe (no complicated back stories that you need to know), but in this universe the bad guys won. All the way. And they have killed off EVERY SUPER HERO in the world. All of them... and brutally. These bad guys mind-wiped the rest of the world's memories of these heroes, and they rule the world free to rape/pillage/murder with impunity. And they do just that... a lot. Cursing, innocent people getting maimed and killed, rape for fun... yeah, it's a bad guys dream world. But bad guys can't play by the rules, so it's only a matter of time before one tries to overthrow the rest. Then it's bad guys vs badder guys, which can never be bad. Click here to order this one...
Start with these three, and then if all else fails try these other winners: