With American Thanksgiving done for another year, the holiday shopping season has definitely arrived. Whether you’re filling out the rest of your Hanukkah offerings, gearing up for Christmas or just looking to score a deal on some cool comics-related merch, CBR is here to help!
Below you’ll find the latest installment in our annual Black Friday Gift Guide –Â including some choice online sales and a full list of gift ideas to get your comics friends, clue your family in to what you’re looking for or convert those close to you to the comics lifestyle.
And stay tuned over the next few days as we continue to update this list with last-minute deals, Cyber Monday specials and other shopping tips in conjunction with coverage over on Robot 6!
Sales! Sales! Sales!
These days, it’s easy enough to get most of your holiday shopping done without even leaving the house, and that’s certainly true for comics in the digital age. A number of publishers and platforms hit the ground running today with special deals for comics in digital form in print.
Leading digital comics provider comiXology has a wave of deals hitting across the weekend on comics. From their DC Comics catalog, the service has a whopping 56 Volume 1 collections from the publisher’s New 52 initiative on sale for $4.99, including “Batman: The Court of Owls,” “Earth 2: The Gathering,” “The Flash: Move Forward” and “Wonder Woman: Blood.” On the Marvel Comics side of the equation, comiXology offers up the full “Avengers Vs. X-Men” saga for $19.99, with all individual issues from the mega event going for $0.99. Image Comics is not to be outdone on the platform with an across the board sale on collected editions of some of their biggest recent releases including $5.99 for the early volumes of “Fatale,” $4.99 for “Saga” and “Prophet,” $3.99 for the likes of “Revival,” and much more. These deals only last through Monday, Dec. 2, at comiXology.com.
Meanwhile, Dark Horse Comics is getting into the sales spirit as well with both Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials on their own digital platform. For this weekend only, the publisher is putting up a massive collection of “Star Wars” material from “The Clone Wars” to “Legacy” to classics like “Crimson Empire” –Â 150 issues in all — for $100, which is over $300 less than the comics would go for individually. Then on Dec. 2, everything in the Dark Horse digital store will be 50 percent off when readers enter the code “dhdcyber2013.” The sale only lasts 24 hours, with full details at digital.darkhorse.com.
BOOM! Studios is covering the print side of their business with a number of sale specials. Throughout the entire weekend, the publisher is offering free domestic shipping on all orders from their web shop over $25. For Black Friday, orders from the store from $60 to $99.99 will receive an additional 25 percent off, while anything over $100 will receive 35 percent off. Then, for Small Business Saturday, the publisher is taking 50 percent off all the leather-bound hardcovers from its Archaia imprint, with 25 percent off all other Archaia collections. Finally, for Cyber Monday, BOOM! will be giving away bonus mystery gifts with all orders as they run a two-for-one sale on single issue, with a raffle entered by anyone who spends $50 or more.
Of course, you can always use the holidays to expand your own comics horizons as well, and a number of publishers are offering up sales to help you do just that. Acclaimed alt comics publisher Drawn & Quarterly is offering up a 40 percent discount on anything in its web store through Dec. 2, including recent works like Gilbert Hernandez’s “Marble Season,” Rutu Modan’s “The Property,” Brian Ralph’s “Reggie-12” and Anders Nilsen’s “Rage of Poseidon.” Meanwhile, UK publisher Titan Comics is holding an all-weekend, all 99-cent sale through comiXology of their newly launched series including “Death Sentence,” “Everybody Loves Tank Girl,” “TomorrowLand” and more.
UPDATE: More sales have been rolling out across the day, including Image Comics own web store sale where the publisher’s DRM-free versions of everything from “The Walking Dead” to the new “Black Science” from Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera and Dean White offered at 50% off discounts. Check that out at imagecomics.com all weekend long.
Additionally, Archie Comics is offering up specially priced bundles and a general 30% discount at its own web store through December 1.
And we’re not done yet! Dynamic Forces is also offering up major sales through Cyber Monday of rare and autographed comics from the likes of Stan Lee, John Romita, Sr., Greg Pak, Jeff Parker and more up to 65% off. Check out their web store now for all the info!
Comic Shop Stop
When it comes to comics there’s nothing like heading to the local shop, and many stores across the country are joining in on the Black Friday madness with sales of their own. For example, east coasters near Maryland can check out the sales offered up by Third Eye Comics while west coast and online powerhouse retailer Things From Another World has marked down tons of comics product in their web store.
Odds are that a local comic shop near you is having a similar sale, so why not look a few up using CBR’s own Comic Shop Locator at FindAComicShop.com?
Best Bets For Spreading Comic Book Love
If you’re the type of comics fan who’s always trying to turn friends and family on to the medium or if you know people who’ve dipped a toe into comics without ever fully committing to reading, there are a ton of projects that can help light the fire of fandom this holiday.
For example, you may know one of the millions of viewers who tune in each Sunday for a new episode of AMC’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman and company’s “The Walking Dead.” And from the looks of it, many of those viewers have gravitated towards the graphic novel collections as well. But if you’re looking to surprise such a fan of the undead world, a smart buy may be “The Walking Dead: The Covers” –Â a hardcover collection of Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard’s color presentations of Rick Grimes and company over the years of the book’s run. At $24.99 in the Skybound shop, the book is a great addition to any fan’s coffee table, and a good conversation starter to boot.
If your friends are looking for the next potential TV hit, you could do worse than ordering them a copy of Image’s “Peter Panzerfaust Deluxe HC.” This edition of Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins tale of Peter Pan in World War II is the perfect starting point on a cool series currently in development for television. Of course, for a more holiday-flavored offering from Image, check out the publisher’s new hardcover edition of “Deadpool” writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s “The Last Christmas.” You’ll never be able to see Santa Claus kill like this when CBS reruns “Rudolph” for the 10 thousandth time this year, but you may want to!
In other offerings, there’s no better way than to celebrate the return of Neil Gaiman‘s landmark series than by picking up a copy of Vertigo’s “Sandman Omnibus.” Individually, both Volume 1 and 2 of the acclaimed series run $150 retail, but both books present the complete original “Sandman” saga which for years has turned non comics readers on to the joys of the artform with its literary gothic style. And if you want to go all in, there’s the deluxe “Silver Edition” slipcase containing both volumes for $499.95. Plus, catching up friends with this run is the perfect entryway into making them a comic shop regular now that “Sandman: Overture” is underway from Gaiman and J.H. Williams III.
For the family member who’s more of a movie hound, Marvel has got things covered coming and going with this season’s big Marvel Studios tentpoles. For fans of “Thor: The Dark World” who want to know more about the cryptic mid-credits teaser scene, they can catch up with a new edition of the classic “Infinity Gauntlet” saga by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim.
Or for those looking out for the next installment of the “Captain America” film franchise, there’s no better book to buy than the new hardcover of “Captain America: Winter Soldier” by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and company. The book presents the full origin of the titular assassin and will have them ready to go when the film arrives next year.
And for the distinguished literary reader in your family who somehow still thinks comics are kid stuff, blow their minds with Congressman John Lewis’ acclaimed graphic novel “March” from Top Shelf Productions. Created in collaboration with Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, “March” is the perfect way to celebrate the history of the Civil Rights movement over the holidays, and for a limited time, Top Shelf has a number of signed copies available through their web store.
For The Hero-Loving Kid
Everyone knows that kids these days are crazy for superheroes and action in general, but what’s the best way to convert that love into a love of reading comics? Well, you could do a lot worse than turning the young ones in your family on to the fun kid-centric titles published by DC Comics and Marvel. Your DC go-to should be “Tiny Titans Vol 1: Welcome To The Treehouse” by Art Baltazar and Franco. Not only is it the favorite comic book of loads of kids everywhere, but the series is set to return to funnybook form next year. On the Marvel side, the House of Ideas is about to put out an all new “Mini Marvels: The Complete Collection” trade bringing together Chris Giarrusso’s beloved wacky take on the Marvel U.
Blasting beyond the capes and tights crowd, Dark Horse has a new edition of its “Star Wars Omnibus: Adventures” trade which collects its many all-ages offerings from George Lucas’ movie universe by the likes of Matthew Loux, Tom Taylor, Jeremy Barlow and more.
And on the play-along front, power up the little superheroine in your life with one of Target’s many exclusive Justice League offerings in the form of this “Batgirl” dress outfit. And with the gender stereotype-breaking performance of “The Hunger Games” rewriting the rules, you may want to throw in a bow-and-arrow accessory from Nerf’s new Nerf Rebelle line of toys.
For The Tough To Buy For Teen
If you’re looking for some cool comics for the older kid in the family, this year has seen a number of releases that can keep a teen’s interest beyond basic beat-em-up cape fests. Start by checking out Gene Luen Yang’s award-nominated “Boxers & Saints” from First Second. Not only does the two-volume set tell tales of teenagers immersed in dressing up as their own personal heroes in order to fight for their beliefs, it’s also an accurate and illuminating piece of historical fiction. And for something a little more off the cuff, Paul Pope’s all-ages “Battling Boy” is ready and waiting to blow the minds of young teens harder than the first time they’ll hear the Velvet Underground.
For a teen who loves YA novels like “The Hunger Games” to “The Fault In Our Stars,” get them in the comics mood with the new hybrid YA book “Chasing Shadows” by Swati Avasthi. The novel shifts between real world prose chapters featuring modern teens, angst and free walking and comics sections drawn by artist Craig Phillips that take the characters into a surreal land of the dead.
For Fleshing out a Comic Book DVD Collection
For DVD fans, the holiday season of recent years has turned into a smorgasbord of $5 offerings of virtually any superhero or comic-themed film project from the past 20 years. But aside from the scads of cheap repackages, those shopping for either DVD completists or casual movie fans have a few options to help stuff stockings with. For one, Warner Bros. “Man of Steel” recently hit the shelves with a special boxed set Blu Ray edition featuring Superman and Zod action figures if you can track it down.
And to expand out beyond the capes and tights set, the go-to movie grab has to be Universeal’s BOOM! Studios adaptation “2 Guns” which is out on both standard DVD and Blu-ray. The crime tale was a hit in theaters and made for the release of more comics from Steven Grant with the possibility of more BOOM! movies on the way. Spread the love to your friends and tell them you were there when.
If you’re looking for something off the fictional path, the season also holds two documentaries that scratch the fanboy itch in a different way. Tying into September’s Villains Month, DC Entertainment has released “Necessary Evil: The Super-Villains of DC Comics” which takes a company-wide look at bad guys from the Joker to Lex Luthor to Sinestro and beyond. For a slight more academic take, there’s the Blue Ray edition of the recent PBS documentary “Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle” which combines all things superpowered with the narration of Liev Schrieber for some entertaining information.
And while you’re combing the aisles of America’s big box stores looking at all the cheap superhero DVDs, keep an eye out for “Daredevil: The Director’s Cut.” Giving the longer version of Mark Stephen Johnson’s sometimes fun, mostly forgettable take on the Man Without Fear can either get you pumped for the incoming Netflix TV adaptation or tamper expectations for Ben Affleck’s Batman. Take your pick!
For The Borderline Superman Cosplayer
If you’re looking to up the game for anyone you know who owns scores of Superman t-shirts, hoodies and accessories, you could up his game with UD Replicas “Man of Steel” leather jacket, pants and boots set. The ensemble recreates Henry Cavill’s costume from the summer blockbuster as motorcycle-ish street wear, and the company offers two variants including an all-black version of Superman’s gear as well as one based on General Zod. With a price tag around $1,200 and a limited run of 750 suits that won’t ship until after the new year, this is a big gift for completists, but you can still check the specs and dream at http://www.udreplicas.com