Four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves … welcome to day three of our holiday gift-giving guide, where we ask comic pros:
1. What comic-related gift or gifts would you recommend giving this year, and why?
2. What gift (comic or otherwise) is at the top of your personal wish list, and why?
A great big thank you to everyone who helped us out this year, including the ones who’ll be showcased tomorrow. Be sure to come back then for our big wrap-up!
1. The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis. Leela helps Maggie deal with school bullies. Homer and Bender go drinking. England invades the USA. Come on, you need this.
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery. The most ludicrous and wonderful supporting character from Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol got his own miniseries, and it’s just now being reprinted for the first time. I loved this miniseries when it first came out, and I’m gearing up to love it all over again.
Starstruck. The great Lee/Kaluta sci-fi epic, now between two robust hard covers. I should declare an interest: I wrote the intro. But I did that because it’s awesome beyond the feasible limits of possible awesomeness.
2. A Very Peculiar Practice, season 2. Wow. Just how much of my life right now is ’80s nostalgia? I think I need to get some professional help. Probably from Duran Duran.
Mike Carey has written numerous comics (and a few novels) over his career, including Lucifer, My Faith In Frankie, Ultimate Fantastic Four and Hellblazer. He currently writes X-Men: Legacy and The Unwritten.
Kelly Sue DeConnick
1. Boy, Parker: The Martini Edition looks amazing, doesn’t it? That would make a tremendous gift for, well, any crime fiction lover.
The Criminal: Last of the Innocent trade would be a less-expensive gift for the same lucky recipient.
And have you seen the Super Powers Charts from Pop Chart Lab? GREAT gifts for DC/Marvel devotees.
2. If someone could package up the time for me to workout and get enough sleep, I’d be eternally grateful.
1. I just read last year’s It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi and would recommend it. Not really cheery holiday stuff, though. Along the same theme is the Blazing Combat collection which also came out last year. I liked Lewis & Clark by Nick Bertozzi and Mister Wonderful by Dan Clowes. Sam Hiti’s Death Day might be a unique gift, as it’s not distributed and you can only get it from the artist. And maybe for mom, a 3/4 scale Juggernaut bust or something.
2. I’ve started looking more often at Heritage Auctions for original illustration art. A Dean Cornwell painting would be nice, as far as things on personal wish lists go. For something more reasonable, I’m hyped for Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: A Career Retrospective, which comes out in a few weeks.
1. If you love someone who loves comics, give them an iPad. They need one. If they already have one, give them a pat on the butt for being so smart.
2. Personally, I’d like to find some copies of IDW’s Wally Wood and John Romita Spider-Man Artist’s Editions beneath my Chanukah Bush.
I’ve been reading Darwyn Cooke’s Parker: The Martini Edition and the thing’s just masterful. If you know someone who doesn’t have it, I don’t think you can go wrong fixing that grievous hole in their library. It’s an amazing work by a man at the top of his game and working on a story that fits him perfectly. The book is just so pretty, too. (Full disclosure, my book, Love and Capes, is published by IDW. But don’t hold that against them.)
If you’ve got an artist who’s past the How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way level of learning, there aren’t a lot of good books out there to improve someone past the basics. One of the great exceptions to that is the excellent Drawn to Life series of books that collect Walt Stanchfield’s Disney master class lessons. I liked this book so much I couldn’t read it fast enough. I wanted to put it in a blender and drink it to get it in my brain faster. If you look at issue #12 of my book, hopefully you’ll see those lessons taking hold and pushing me to a new level. Of course, as Mark Waid wrote, you don’t get to the top of the ladder, you get to the bottom of a whole new ladder.
And, if you’ve got a writer who’s a Doctor Who fan, the Writer’s Tale collecting the notes of Russell T Davies last season of Doctor Who and subsequent four movies is not to be missed. It’s such a great behind the scenes look of how things get made and why things happen the way they do. And there’s a lesson in the writer not always being write, too. That kind of humility is important to teach.
For me, because of my travel schedule, I’d love to have a TiVo hard drive expander to catch all the things I miss, and maybe some Southwest Airline gift cards. Hey, “bags fly free” is a big deal when you’re schlepping books from one end of the galaxy to the other. And I wouldn’t mind a secret decoder ring from Thrilling Adventure Hour. I tragically neglected to buy one when I was in LA seeing the awesome retro-40’s radio show.
Oh, and peace on Earth, too. That’d be nice.
Thom Zahler‘s Love and Capes: Wake Up Where You Are, collecting the 2010 FCBD issue and IDW’s Love and Capes: Ever After, is available in stores now. And there will be a follow-up six issue miniseries in 2011. Oh, and he has a nice smile. Not enough people mention the smile.
1. Royal Historian of Oz TPB, SLG. It’s beautifully drawn, intelligently written and amazingly finds some fresh ground to explore in the land of Oz.
Owly, Vol. 1-5 and Friends All Aflutter. No matter who you’re buying for, but especially if it’s kids, you can’t go wrong with Owly.
Homeland Directive. Rob Venditti is the smartest writer in comics. Matched with Mike Huddleston’s experimental (in a good way) artwork, that’s a big win.
Infinite Kung Fu. The collection of Kagan McLeod’s epic was my favorite book from 2011. It’s everything awesome smashed together, but in a completely logical, smart way.
2. I’m a total Pinocchio nerd, for obvious reasons, so no big surprise that my wish list is topped by the Kikkerland Honest Boy Pencil Sharpener and the Pinocchio graphic novel by Winshluss. This isn’t really comics, but with the NBA locked out, I need to fill my basketball needs with Free Darko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History.