If you didn't spend last night trapped in the living hell that was Wal-Mart, then today marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. From Black Friday to Small Business Saturday and on through to Cyber Monday, plenty of comics companies and retailers are getting in on the sales action. And even if you're not hunting for sale prices just yet, you may be looking for ideas to fill the comics-shaped hole in someone's holiday heart.
CBR is here to help. Today we present our annual Black Friday Comics Gift Guide, covering a wide range of products, specials and ideas for you to knock your shopping out.
So check it all out below, and keep your eyes on Robot 6 today and into Cyber Monday for more deals as they're made public.
Sales! Sales! Sales!
As every year, a majority of the comics sales online this weekend focus on the digital end of the business. ComiXology is offering up their traditional set of weekend sale prices including a run of $3.99 Marvel Comics collections including "Captain Marvel Vol. 1," "Road to Civil War," a number of their "Season One" OGNs and more. Other titles on sale include $4.99 Image Comics collections like the first three volumes of "Saga" and "The Manhattan Projects," the first two volumes of "Lazarus" and "East of West" and more current series. Both Marvel and Image also have a number of $0.99 single issue sale items as well.
Additionally, DC Comics is offering a 750 issues of various Batman comics at a reduced rate of $0.99 to celebrate the character's 75th anniversary including issues of the original "Batman" volume, "Legends of the Dark Knight," "The Long Halloween," "Superman/Batman" and many others. Not to be outdone, Valiant has a selection of bundles at reduced rates including the first 18 issues of "Archer & Armstrong," "Bloodshot" and "X-O Manowar" at $17.99 through the comiXology service. And Dynamite is offering up a fire sale of its "Red Sonja" titles as well.
Meanwhile, Dark Horse is getting in on the action with a smattering of "mega bundles" of some of their biggest franchises. For $99.99, readers can get massive collections of digital comics from six franchises including Star Wars, the various Joss Whedon titles, the Mignolaverse, the works of Robert E. Howard and the Project Black Sky superhero universe. Then on Cyber Monday, the publisher will be cutting much of its digital catalog by 50% or more with a coupon from their e-mail newsletter. For more details, see their online store.
On the non-digital front, manga and anime-inspired publisher UDON is having a 40% off sale at their direct sale website UDONStore.com today only including some previously convention-exclusive offerings and hit titles like "UDON's Art of Capcom" and "Street Fighter IV." Or beyond the comics and book segment of the market, fans can get 30% off select merchandise at toy and statue maker Gentle Giant's online store all weekend by entering the promo code 30BLK2014 at their homepage.
Comic book retailers are in on the game too. On the East Coast, NYC retail powerhouse Midtown Comics is offering 25% off on single issues and 40% off on graphic novel through Tuesday. See more details at their blog. Over on the West Coast, Portland institution Things From Another World is offering up 30% to 70% off on most of their stock through December 1 as seen on their own site.
And as always, you can celebrate Small Business Saturday by heading to a local comic shop and seeing individual in-store deals. Just head on over to FindAComicShop.com to track down the store nearest you.
For The Dedicated Comics Reader
Whether you know someone who is into every comic book under the sun or you yourself are the diehard fan looking to share the medium with a family member, there are plenty of top-selling series and stories to help make your holiday shopping easier.
To get someone in on the ground floor of one of the biggest creator-owned series on the market, look no further than Image's "Saga: Book One" Deluxe Edition Hardcover. This 504-page offering reprints the firs 18 issues of Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples' acclaimed comic for $49.99.
Or if you're looking to terrify someone at a gift exchange, you could do no better than DC Comics' "Batman: Death of the Family" book and Joker mask set. Aside from sharing the best-selling volume of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's run with the Dark Knight, you also get to eat a holiday dinner while wearing a latex recreation of the Clown Prince of Crime's horrific skin mask. Fun for the whole family at $39.99!
Of course, if the person you have in mind seems to have everything imaginable in print, a great go-to gift is a subscription to Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited service for only $9.99 a month. With over 15,000 comics available to read in the service, there are bound to be at least a few things they've never seen before!
For The Comics on TV Fan
Beyond the big ticket items for dedicated fans, there are a number of lower-priced books out there perfect to give to family members who may be just discovering certain characters on TV. With the influx of small screen adaptations of comic characters, the possibilities for proselytization are almost endless.
Looking across DC Comics' multitude of adaptations, fans have their pick of shows and comics to tap into. For CW viewers hooked on "Arrow" or "The Flash," two of the most recent volumes of the characters' New 52 relaunches fit nicely with the tone of either show. Check out "Green Arrow Vol. 4: Kill Machine" by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino or "The Flash Vol. 4: Reverse" by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato at $16.99 and $24.99 respectively.
On the more grim and gritty end of the DCU, you can catch fans of Fox's "Gotham" up with the comic take on Jim Gordon's early years with DC's collected edition of the Denny O'Neil series "Gordon of Gotham" at $19.99. And for fans of NBC's "Constantine" worried there may be no more to come after this season, ease their pain with the first collection of Vertigo's "Hellblazer" series "Original Sins" with its new edition also at $19.99 to remind them there are 300 issues of acerbic British magic awaiting them.
For the fan who's gotten addicted to "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." in its second year, keep your eyes peeled next month for the first issue of Mark Waid and Carlos Pacheco's new "S.H.I.E.L.D." ongoing series. Heck, sign them up for a pull list at your local comics shop!
For The Comics Researcher
The holidays are the best time of year to catch up with the many historical and coffee table offerings centering on the artform, and this year sees two great volumes that fans can use to dig into the Golden Age in a new way.
First up is Jill Lepore's well-received "Secret History of Wonder Woman." This biography of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston ties together the writer/psychologist's...non-traditional romantic life with the proto-Feminism of the early 20th Century. The Random House volume is on sale for $29.95.
For a more traditional look at the early years of the comics, there is no one better to guide you through "The Art Of The Simon And Kirby Studio" than writer and historian Mark Evanier. His new Abrams volume provides a detailed visual history of the work produced by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby throughout their fruitful partnership which brought us Captain America, romance comics and so much more. The oversized volume costs $60.00.
For The Comics Kid
Let's face it. Comics for kids are more fun than a billion stubble-filled tough guy stories. And whether you've got a little one in the family you're looking to buy for or are just in need of some wacky comics to cleanse your pallet, there are plenty of all-ages offerings worth a look at the holidays.
Oni Press is never to be outdone in the all-ages department, and a solid pick from their offerings is Joey Weiser's "Mermin" which has three volumes on sale for $19.99 each. A pitch-perfect take on the "kids befriend a fantastical outsider" genre, the series focuses on a little green visitor known as "Mermin the Merman for Meri" with results that are equal parts adventure and hilarity.
If you're looking for radical comics to share with the little girl in your life, what better choice can you make than BOOM! Studios' best-selling "Lumberjanes" series from Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson and Brooke Allen. The spooky supercamp series is an unstoppable force of pure comics fun, and you can buy a bundle of the first eight issues now for $29.99.
Of course, if you want to go big and classic for the kid in your life, Fantagraphics has you covered with the holy grail of all-ages books in the form of Carl Barks' legendary Donald Duck comics. Of particular interest for this time of year is the "Christmas Treasury Gift Box Set" which features a ton of beautifully crafted duck stories in the holiday spirit for $49.99.
Stay tuned to CBR and Robot 6 across the weekend as we continue to watch for more Black Friday sales items to share!