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Holiday Gift Guide 2014: The Comic Book Collector

Sweet mother of Mxyzptlk! Black Friday may be right around the corner, looming like a spectre on the horizon of Thanksgiving Thursday, but first we have to make it through Comic Book Wednesday, and by “make it through,” I mean “escape this glorious day with our wallets intact.” Still, if you’re going to be heading to your local comic book shop this week anyway, you may as well kill two birds with one stone by picking up some choice cuts for your pull list and taking care of some holiday shopping for the comic book fan in your life at the same time. But you’re not Batman (are you?) — you don’t already have a contingency plan for each and every person in your life. Fortunately, we do and we’ve been using Brother Eye to geo-locate the perfect gifts for you and yours this holiday season.


Batman: Arkham Asylum 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition hardcover: It’s hard to believe that Gotham’s Dark Knight turned seventy-five years old this year — ol’ Brucey Boy barely looks a day over thirty. With ten different Bat-books in DC Comics’ current lineup, it can be difficult to tell where to start for diehard Bat-fans, especially since DC is rolling out scores of awesome Batman comics. Although it’s widely considered a classic in the modern canon, Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s Arkham Asylum is a no-brainer. The beautiful, hardcover 25th anniversary deluxe edition is the best way to experience the harrowing tale of what happens when the inmates of Arkham Asylum take control of the infamous center for the criminally insane. Forced to face his worst enemies and his inner demons, Batman is put through the ringer in this seminal story. Be a hero to your friends and family by making sure this winds up in their stocking.

Marvel Vehicles - Guardians of the Galaxy Ship

Marvel Vehicles: Owner’s Workshop Manual: Apart from the sprawling soap opera storylines, larger-than-life villains, and colorful cast of heroes, one of the coolest elements of the Marvel Universe is the awesome arsenal of vehicles. Over the years, we’ve seen heroes tool around in Helicarriers, spaceships, motorcycles, and even cherry red flying convertibles. Now, thanks to Insight Editions, they’re collected in one convenient hardcover book with blueprints, detailed annotated histories, and commentary from author/master Marvel mechanic Alex Irvine. At long last, you can settle the bet of whether or not the Punisher’s van has a Hemi.


Elizabeth Rose Star Wars comic book shoes: If the shoe fits, wear it. If the shoe happens to be a pair of super comfortable custom Toms wrapped in vintage Marvel Star Wars comics covers, then do unspeakable things to wear them. Many Bothans died to bring you this information, so make sure the Star Wars fan in your life makes their way to Etsy’s Elizabeth Rose Shoes so their sacrifice wasn’t in vain. Plus most places require you to have shoes to enter the premises, so you may as well step out in style.

BOOM! Studios Original Series Bundle

BOOM! Studios 2014 Original Series Bundle: While it’s easy to point to companies like Image Comics as a bastion of creator-owned comics, BOOM! Studios has been quietly killing it with compelling, well-crafted, wonderfully inventive original series. Now, they’re helping you bring yourself up to speed with a a 5-volume digital comics bundle that collects the first trade paperback volumes of The Woods, Dead Letters, Day Men, Hit: 1955, and Six-Gun Gorilla for $54.99. The only thing missing from this awesome assembly is their seriously slept-on horror comic Curse — but with all the money you save on the Original Series Bundle, you won’t have any excuse not to grab just one more…


Batman: The Animated Series – Wave One Action Figures: Sure, sure, technically Batman: The Animated Series is a TV show and these figures might be better suited for our TV lovers’ gift guide, but Batman was a comic book hero first and these are too rad not to share. These 1/12th, six-inch scale figures were designed using the original character lineup sheets employed by the animators and pack in a surprising amount of detail. For example, Batman not only looks that damn good, but he has 24 points of articulation. Retailing for $24.95 apiece, the first wave includes Batman, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, and Catwoman, and there’s plenty more on the way. C’mon — you know you need something to do with your hands while you read Batman: Reanimated.


Marvel Unlimited subscription: Did all the announcements of Marvel’s Phase III with characters like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, the Infinity War, and the Inhumans have your head spinning? Well, you’ve got plenty of time to read up on the source material and you won’t even need a whole other wing to your house to store all those individual issues. For $9.99 a month, a Marvel Unlimited subscription gives you access to more than 15,000 comics — both new and old — at the touch of a button on your iOS and Android-enabled devices. For fans that want a bit more, the Unlimited Plus membership gives you an exclusive Rocket Raccoon figure, limited edition variants of Skottie Young’s Rocket Raccoon comic, discounts on digital comics and Marvel merchandise, and more.


Saga Book One hardcover: It’s no small secret that I am a rabid Brian K. Vaughan fan, but when you pair the Y: The Last Man writer with artist Fiona Staples, something magical happens: Image Comics’ Saga. Wildly inventive, laugh-out-loud funny, and poignant, Saga tells the story of Hazel, a child born amidst an intergalactic war to two parents from opposing factions, and her parents’ quest to provide her with a better life. This new hardcover collection contains the first 18 issues, which is over 500 jaw-droppingly good pages of space opera goodness. Go ahead and tell me you don’t want this bad boy. I’ll get Lying Cat out here to call you on your malarkey before you can say “Prince Robot IV.”


Serenity: Leaves on the Wind hardcover: While Firefly may have come and gone, leaving scores of Browncoats at cons across the land to hope against all hope for its return, it is not forgotten. In fact, it lies on over at Dark Horse Comics in the form of the excellent Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, written by Zack Whedon and illustrated by Georges Jeanty. A follow-up to the vents of Serenity, Leaves on the Wind finds the crew coming out of hiding after exposing the Alliance’s sinister plans in order to rescue a captured comrade. This hardcover collection brings together all six issues of the mini-series and will fill that Nathan Fillion-shaped hole in your heart in no time flat.


All You Need is Kill Omnibus: In case you didn’t see this summer’s Edge of Tomorrow, it’s okay; I don’t blame you, especially considering how many times they renamed the damn thing. However, before it was a Tom Cruise-starring, Emily Blunt yoga vehicle, Edge of Tomorrow was based on a light novel called All You Need is Kill. Now, that novel is adapted into a a 500-plus page omnibus manga adaptation courtesy of Viz Media. With a compelling twist on standard sci-fi/war movie tropes, All You Need is Kill offers a harrowing look at the horror of war and the lengths to which one man will have to go in order to save the day.


Ant Colony hardcover: Earlier this year, cartoonist Michael DeForge penned one of the single best books I have read all year. Ant Colony is a darkly existential, ferociously funny, and exceedingly charismatic story about the day-to-day lives of ants living in an ant colony. Playing out like Tao Lin’s version of Antz, DeForge’s book takes us inside the inescapable ennui and malaise of being a drone in a massive ant colony, but also taps into issues of identity, race, and war in intensely relatable ways that make this an essential read for any comic book fan.

What else is on your list this year? Let us know in the comments below or tell me on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).

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