Comics

AICN COMICS: Looking for comic book gift ideas? The @$$Holes put together another Ye Olde X-M@$$ List: 2011 Edition!!!

Published at: Dec. 13, 2011, 9:11 a.m. CST

 

Ye Olde @$$HOLE X-M@$$ List!

Hey folks, Ambush Bug with Ye Olde X-M@$$ List 2011 Edition! There’s still time to buy something for that comic geek in your life, or hell, just buy it for yourself. Here’s what the @$$holes came up with as gift ideas for those of you who like comic-centric gifts!
 

 

Lyzard’s X-M@$$ List!

I wanted to give a variety of comic-related Christmas gifts, so instead of listing 3-5 items, I am listing 5 categories.

First up is the obvious--COMICS:


Anyone that has been keeping up with my reviews knows that I fell in love with the series KILL SHAKESPEARE. I am certain that it will be nominated for at least one of my @$$ies, if not more. There are two volumes of KILL SHAKESPEARE available. The first covers issues 1-6 and the second finishes with issues 7-12.

My next pick is AMERICAN VAMPIRE. Tired of hearing about the soap opera/melodrama TRUE BLOOD or the migraine-inducing TWILIGHT? Then this comic will be the very cure for your vampire appetite. This Vertigo series is written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King (whose SALEM’S LOT is one of my favorite vampire stories). All three volumes are now available.

The next category is similar to the first, but I am not including graphic novels in my choice of BOOKS:

1001 COMICS YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU DIE is exactly what someone like I, who hasn’t kept up with the comics world or read much prior to my birth, needs. Not only does it include classic mainstream comics such as ALL STAR SUPERMAN and BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, but it also includes famous indie comics as well like MAUS and PERSEPOLIS (two comics I highly enjoy), along with some manga--for example, AKIRA.

I know this is an oldie, but READING COMICS: HOW GRAPHIC NOVELS WORK AND WHAT THEY MEAN is a goodie. I received a copy of this when I was a film journalist in a gift bag from, believe or not, the studio producing HAMLET 2. After reviewing their film, I was given the opportunity to interview the cast and crew at Comic-Con. Before my trip to San Diego, they sent me a box filled with Comic-Con essentials. The only two items I found of any use were the HAMLET 2 messenger bag (which I have used at every Comic-Con since).

Speaking of Comic-Con, many people love to cosplay. However, creating your own costume takes time, money, and skills. So for those that lack any or all of those, try these comics APPAREL:

One of the most impressive costumes I see at San Diego Comic-Con is the Tony Stark/Iron Man creations. The key is to get the chest reactor right. The Tony Stark Light up LED Iron Man Shirt is available from Think Geek.

Also from Think Geek, there are the Marvel Superhero Hoodies. The original Spiderman one is sold out, but the black version is still available. Then there is the new Captain America hoodie.

Superhero films have become box-office gold, so the next category is MOVIES:

SUPERMAN: THE MOTION PICTURE ANTHOLOGY, 1978-2006 [Blu-Ray] provides more special features than most box sets (though the boxed set of LOTR may surpass it--the DVD, not the Blu-Ray that I sadly lack). The only problem I find with this set is the inclusion of SUPERMAN RETURNS. There are varying prices on the internet, so do your research before purchasing.

WATCHMEN is one of the best graphic novels every written, hands down. However, Zack Snyder’s film did not live up to my expectations set forth not only by the source material but also by the incredible trailer. However, the straight to DVD release of TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER surpassed the main film. I would recommend purchasing the Blu-Ray version as it contains multiple special features.

I’ve covered most of the ground concerning comics-related Christmas gifts, but I have one more category up my sleeve, GAMES:

BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY is incredible, just like Christopher Nolan’s filmic adaptations. Better than ARKHAM ASYLUM, ARKHAM CITY was Game Informer’s “Game of the Month” with a perfect 10 rating. The trailer featuring the “Joker’s Carnival” nearly convinced me to pick up the game, despite lacking a game system for four years. I guess watching my boyfriend play will have to suffice…for now.

Growing up, I always enjoyed the fighting style of the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat games. ULTIMATE MARVEL VS. CAPCOM makes me nostalgic for the games of my childhood. An improvement over MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3: FATE OF TWO WORLDS and cheaper, this version of the Versus series contains several of my favorite characters from both sides, including Doctor Strange and Vergil from Devil May Cry 3.

I hope you enjoyed my comics-related Christmas list and find more in your stocking and under the tree than I will.
 

Vroom Socko’s X-M@$$ List!

For the person that thinks he's a tough guy: PARKER: THE MARTINI EDITION. Parker isn't a man, he's a force of nature. The creation of Donald Westlake (under the name Richard Stark,) the first two adaptations of the Parker novels illustrated by Darwyn Cooke held a special spot on my bookshelf--until I saw this edition. It is gorgeous. With bonus material out the wazoo, including a 10 page story based on The Seventh, this deluxe slipcase is the perfect gift for any comics fan. Well, it's the perfect gift for me at least.

For the person who's obsessed with Zooey Deschanel: GINGERBREAD GIRL. Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover are responsible for some of the funnest comics on the market. This story is about a night in the life of Annah, as seen by a whole host of narrators. Annah has a twin sister, or rather she has a clone that was grown from a piece of her brain. Or she's crazy, it's hard to tell. What I can tell you is that this book is not only full of charm, not only does it look fantastic, but it's also an exceptional meditation on the nature of personal identity. It also gets bonus points from me for being set in my hometown of Portland.

For the person who's been occupying Wall Street for the past few months: SCARLET VOL. 1. And now for a less lighthearted book set in Portland. It's hard to believe that this collection came out before the Occupy movement started. There are scenes in this comic of rallies in protest of corruption and power run amok that line up rather boldly with what the OWS is acting against. In fact, I've been told that a rally in the forthcoming issue #6, that was plotted and illustrated this past summer, takes place in the very park that Occupy Portland used for their protest. This freaked out Bendis to no end. But the main reason this book should be given as a gift this year is that it's a Bendis/Maleev collaboration, the team that shook up DAREDEVIL like nobody's business. It's also the best work Bendis has done since ALIAS.

For the person who STILL thinks comics aren't art: ONE SOUL. Ray Fawkes is more than a writer, more than a comic book artist. He's a poet. This book explores humanity, history, and life in a manner that would be impossible in any other medium. It's beautiful. It's the best comic to come out this year. It's the sort of book that changes perceptions, changes lives. Get this for your friends. Get this for family. Get this for yourself. It's a masterpiece. No, actually it's better than that.
 

 

The Writing Rambler’s X-M@$$ List!

So I’m cheating here a little as I’m clearly including two books as one gift, but they both really need to be read together to get the full story of (spoiler, though by now if this is a spoiler there is no one to blame but yourself) Peter Parker’s death and its impact in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. Bendis’ run on Ultimate Spider-Man is the thing of legends and he gives us one last great Peter Parker story that even the most hard-hearted of SPIDER-MAN fans will find themselves a little teary eyed by. Besides the great story you’re given here it also is the set up for the new ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN series, which has already become my favorite superhero series in a long time (and that’s coming from someone who usually likes his coffee with a side of DC in the morning). These two collections give Peter the respect and farewell he deserves in the Ultimate universe and are a must read for any SPIDER-MAN fan.

For that person you still haven’t been able to convince that comics are the greatest thing ever/ your friend who you can’t stand listen talk about Call of Duty for another second: BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY (Xbox 360/PS3/PC).

Yeah, so if I wasn’t cheating before than I am definitely cheating now. Granted, this is not a book in any way, though I will argue that this may be the greatest visual interpretation of a comic book character I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY is more than a comic book based video game; it is getting the opportunity to become BATMAN in the comfort of your own home. I dare to say this game trumps even the fantastic movies we’ve had by Christopher Nolan. No movie could contain the depth and character list that this game does without failing miserably. ARKHAM CITY is a joy to experience for any BATMAN fan and a damn good game for even those who could care less about comics in general. There are not enough great things I can say about this game. Buy it. Love it. Give it to a friend. If someone owns a video game system and they don’t have this as part of their collection already, I dare say it’s your responsibility as a fan to share this game with them.
 

 

Humphrey Lee’s X-M@$$ List!

HABIBI is a strange duck in that it should be a book for everyone, but I’m not exactly sure I’d recommend it as a gift for all. Essentially, this tale about two orphans intertwined with some Qur’an parables/teachings, is highly accessible to all given the themes it plays with: love, loss, desperation and the thrills of living and how life can take you down all those paths and back again. I imagine the aesthetic to some may be off-putting, but for your more indie-centric loved ones, this should be a no-brainer as a gift. The size and scope of the store and the volume itself combined with a great price point for the quality and quantity makes it one of the best comics out this past year--a great deal if you think you have a grasp on the receiver’s tastes.

WALTER SIMONSON THOR OMNIBUS. Now this, this volume is a little easier to predict the reception of by your target. Do they like superhero epics? Do they enjoy this aspect of the Marvel Universe – the gods and monsters type material – and would they like to see it played out to the nth degree? Do you think they would enjoy simply one of the best runs the Marvel/Thor Universe has ever seen? Well, here it is, impressively bound in this tome and ready to break the bookcase of those involved. Obviously you have to really like/love this person to get them such a dedicated and pricey volume, but it’s so worth it if you think they are.

100 BULLETS HARDCOVER VOL. 1On the one hand, I really hate to recommend the first of what will probably be six or seven volumes as a gift. Basically you’re saying “fuck you, go spend some of your own money on the rest of them” to the recipient. But, on the other hand, fuck me if this wasn’t one of the best (crime) comics ever to see print. This format is absolutely a great showcase for Eduardo Risso’s art and has a good bit of heft to it to get your hopeful initiate, well, initiated. And, to be fair, it really isn’t THAT pricey for them if they decide to keep with it, or it will make for a good default gift to get someone as the years and volumes keep coming. Killer book, killer format, killer price, and a killer gift for those who like their comics gritty and dense.

INFAMOUS 2. Okay, so it’s not an actual comic book. And, yeah, we already have another superhero (licensed even!) video game property on this list (I think, anyway--that’s what we have editors for, folks!). But, y’know what? This video game series continues to be the one I feel most acutely handles the idea of superpowers. While the new Batman series from Rocksteady fantastically gives you a grasp of what it is like to be Batman, INFAMOUS, I think, gives you the best grasp of what it is like to be a badass that can hurl cars, blow shit up and smack some baddies around with your electric powers, and either cause mass havoc or be a force for good in the world. Yeah, the good and evil stuff is a little binary, but the powers, the physics and the traversal mechanics are top-notch and the story itself is an enjoyable one to tie up the package. Obviously, if you have a huge Batman fan to buy for ARKHAM CITY is your no-brainer move, but if you have someone who enjoys their superheroics and video games, don’t overlook this title. There is even a bundle of it out there if you plan on going full-bore and getting your loved one a PS3 for the Holidays, for convenience sake.
 

 

Optimous Douche’s X-M@$$ List

For the coma victim in your life: DC NEW 52 OMNIBUS. Seriously, any comic fan that did not read at least one title from the 52 blitzkrieg either has no access to a comics shop or is currently listening to the sweet sweet sounds of a respirator. This omnibus collection is for that fan or the fan that no longer imbibes their comics in weekly floppies. Every title is here and that includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s the thing with the New 52, though--what you thought would be ugly turned out pretty damn good (I’m looking at you, BATWING). What we thought would be bad was actually a lot of fun, and I tip my cap to titles like SUICIDE SQUAD, MEN OF WAR and JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK. And what we expected to be good turned out to be fucking awesome--thank you ACTION, DEMON NIGHTS, and WONDER WOMAN. There’s no denying that the new 52 brought a lot of new people to the shop, which left a lot of us regulars SOL unless we were at the store the minute opened. This collection is for you. While the supplemental material is light, there are more than enough stories here to keep you reading through all of that holiday vacation time, plus the gorgeous stock and hefty weight legitimizes this as a more than acceptable coffee table book for even the most judgmental and fastidious of wives.

For the time traveler from 2003: INVINCIBLE COMPENDIUM VOLUME 1 TP. Ahh, the simpler times of a forgotten age…war was still good, the economy was merely soft and comics were still in the infancy of correcting the wrongs wrought by the 90s. Part of comics’ redemption, you can tell your time travelling friend, came in the form of INVINCIBLE. This title showed us that a superhero can be all-powerful and doesn’t need to walk around aimlessly or shun those powers to be interesting. Kirkman proves that the drama of the human spirit is a much better hook than silly contrived plots; he did this with zombies in WALKING DEAD, and INVINCIBLE continues that fine tradition in spandex. I’ve been hard on recent issues of INVINCIBLE, and after reading this omnibus I now know why. What made the nine trades collected in this omnibus (yes that’s 9 TPBs) was the fact that INVINCIBLE was still trying to be a normal college kid as he became the most powerful being on earth. It was an age of discovery, humor and heart. Put down the remote, dear time traveler; come back to the WALKING DEAD TV series after you get caught up on this other Kirkman title.

For the comic book/Shakespeare/Cheesy 50’s monster movie Fan: DEAR CREATURE. I’ve never been much of a fan of the immortal bard or any movie, TV shows or Broadway plays pre-1974, but what I can’t ignore is an original comic book. Author and illustrator Jonathan Case has created something truly magical with his juxtaposed protagonist with the soul of a poet and the appetite for human flesh. Not only does the creature speak in iambic pentameter within every word bubble, but Case was smart enough to understand that most people have a shut off valve for this flowery way of speaking. To circumvent the boredom-meter Case has filled DEAR CREATURE with a chorus of crabs that keep Creature’s appetite for poetry in check as they play shoulder devils getting him to imbibe more humans. Case also conjured up a great supporting cast that embodies every summer beach movie of the early 60’s. Clocking in at close to 200 pages, this is an original, fun, and dare I say educational masterpiece.

For the comic fan that needs a good serious Dicking: BATMAN: THE BLACK MIRROR. I love Dick, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I love Dick so much that for the entire year Bruce Wayne was bouncing through time I repeatedly wished in my reviews that he would meet a nice girl and settle down in whatever time period wasn’t the present. There were two books during this time period that made me feel this way. First was BATMAN & ROBIN, where the dichotomy between Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne showcased a relationship of depth and growth for both characters with each issue. The second proof point for Dick Grayson as a top-notch Dark Knight was the work of Scott Snyder and Jock on DETECTIVE COMICS. Well, as fortune and cleverly timed marketing would have it, the entire DETECTIVE run can be found in this gorgeous collection. While the main mystery of an unknown force terrorizing Gotham, the Batfolks and Commissioner Gordon is good, the back-up story in each issue was fantastic and was an actual honest-to-God supplement to the main story. Jock was simply at his finest, creating panel designs and page layouts unseen in comics history. As for the hardcover, it has all of the wonderfulness I just mentioned along with a peer into Snyder’s brain pan to see how he creates such wonderful stories. I know I’m a DC whore by nature, but I can say with absolute certainty every comic fan will enjoy this run.
 

 

Jinxo’s X-M@$$ List!

Jinxo's Fun With Action Figures: I have been away from reviewing for awhile. This summer I got married, which has changed my time and money priorities away from comics for the time being.

But my wedding inspired a gift recommendation for this year I had to throw out there. When it came to getting my groomsmen gifts I wanted to do something cool. Key chains, flasks, silver inscribed flash drives...those work, but I wanted something crazy cool that I knew they'd hold onto and that they would never forget. So I went to a little site called thatsmyface.com and checked into making each of them a custom action figure with their face. Now, this is not a cheap gift, but not insanely expensive either. As a test, and because really I wanted one, I had them do an action figure of me and my bride-to-be. Figured at the very least we'd get cool cake toppers out of it. When the figures arrived I was really amazed. They looked amazing. The proof to me was when I showed my me-as-Superman figure to a co-worker and without a word he got that it was me. Then I was off to the races. Cost be damned, I was doing it. And, seriously, they were huge hits. Not just the groomsmen, but everyone who saw them, were knocked out.

A couple of notes: really, what you are paying for is a custom head which you then use to replace a standard figure’s head. This is actually a plus. You can buy the head and figure from the site but, even better, you can get just a head and then shop around yourself for the figure, which gives you so many more options. Plus, if you get the figure from there you don't get the packaging the figures in stores have. So buying the figures on your own allows you to get the packaging, finangle the figure out of the packaging, switch heads and then sneak it back into the box. Hard to do it perfectly, but having the figure in the real box is a fun touch.

The site lists all you need to do but the starting point is you do need to get front and profile pictures of your friend. Kind of hard to do without raising suspicion but, really, they will likely not guess you are action figuring them. My guys assumed I was making some sort of mugshot poster. And, really, its fun whether it comes out good or bad. For example, my friend Kent's Green Arrow figure (I went Justice League for my figures) looks amazing. He makes a great Green Arrow. On the other hand, my friend Dan makes for an odd Batman. But it was so wrong it was right. Dan was quite amused by the idea that he had clearly mugged Bruce Wayne and made off with the suit.

Lots of options. You can get heads for different sized dolls. You can tweak the look of the head to beautify your friend, change his/her race, age, hair. The turnaround on the figures is such that you might not be able to get one in time for Christmas but, seriously, jot this site down for future gift giving. If anyone has any questions I'll try and keep my eye on the Talkbacks. I have to say, though, these figures were some of the best gifts I have ever given.


 

 

BottleImp’s X-M@$$ List!

For the diehard Marvel Zombie on your list:MARVEL COMICS IN THE 1960S: AN ISSUE-BY-ISSUE FIELD GUIDE TO A POP CULTURE PHENOMENON and MARVEL COMICS IN THE 1970S: AN ISSUE-BY-ISSUE FIELD GUIDE TO A POP CULTURE PHENOMENON. Everyone knows that Marvel changed the perception of comic books with Stan and Jack and Steve’s groundbreaking titles in the 1960s; here’s an in-depth analysis of what they did and how it came about. These books are filled with details about the creators, the characters and some of the most well-known stories from these early years. The second volume follows Marvel into the ‘70s and looks at the friction caused by Kirby’s departure, the branching out into new genres beyond superheroes and the bold, sometimes failed experimentation Marvel took in following the pop-culture trends. Great for those long-time Marvel readers or for those new readers who might be interested in seeing how it all began.

For that non-comic reader who grudgingly read that copy of MAUS that you pressed on them and now wants to learn more: METAMAUS: A LOOK INSIDE A MODERN CLASSIC, MAUS. Art Spiegelman’s MAUS is one of those rare graphic works that broke free of the stigma of being “just a comic book” and is rightly regarded as an important piece of literature. This new book details the process of creating the groundbreaking work with biographical notes, sketches, early concepts and more. Also included with the book is a DVD-R with even more supplemental material, including interviews with Spiegelman. A must for anyone who likes a peek behind the curtain to see how magic is made.

For fans of “Golden Age” comic characters:THE QUALITY COMPANION: CELEBRATING THE FORGOTTEN PUBLISHER OF PLASTIC MAN. Most casual comic book readers might recognize these characters as belonging to DC’s pantheon of heroes, but there are those who know that Plastic Man, the Blackhawks and Uncle Sam were all bought by DC when their original publisher, Quality Comics, went out of business in the 1950s. The moniker “Quality” was no joke—these comics had some of the best artists of the time drawing their adventures--artists like Reed Crandall, Jack Cole and Will Eisner. This book is perfect for those fans of the Justice Society and the All-Star Squadron, or for anyone who simply enjoys the 4-color classics.

And finally, for that fan who just won’t stop whining about how much they miss Abnett & Lanning’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (such as yours truly):MARVEL UNIVERSE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ACTION FIGURE SET. Though their series is no more, the ragtag group of spacefaring misfits can still bring a bit of holiday cheer in their plastic incarnations. This set includes team leader Star-Lord, heavy hitter Drax the Destroyer and one character I never thought I’d ever see in action figure form--Rocket Racoon. As an added bonus, the set includes a tiny shrubbery-sized Groot! So even though half of this set is (at present) dead and gone in the Marvel Universe, you can still have a physical reminder of how wicked awesome their comic was.


 

 

Henry Higgins is My Homeboy’s X-M@$$ List!

NEW X-MEN OMNIBUS. During the last few weeks, I've been rereading Morrison's work of the last few years. And while it's not perfect, NEW X-MEN is one of the most enjoyable runs with the mutant team in recent memory. And within one of the best collected editions I've seen in a while, a definite choice for X-fans.



ETSY MINAMILIST X-MEN POSTERS. The recent wave of art deco superhero pictures have proven an interesting little industry. And of all the ones I've seen, these especially look fantastic. The Rogue one in particular is great, but something has to be said for all of them.



BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY (Xbox 360/PS3/PC).

This is a game where you're Batman, and you punch out a shark.



FABLES: The Deluxe Edition Book One. Easily one of the greatest comics I've ever read, this series deserves all the attention it can get. If you haven't read it, buy it. If you have, reread it. Get whatever missing FABLES trades you're missing, give them to your friends, your family, your coworkers. This series is brilliant.



BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES Complete Set. I've been trying to get this thing for fucking years. It's amazing. Just look at it! It's one of the coolest looking sets I've ever seen. It's full of special features, alongside being one of the most universally loved adaptations of a comic book in television history. It's fantastic.


 

 

KletusCasady’s X-M@$$ List!

AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES VOL.1-4. This cartoon surprised the shit out of me. At first I didn’t like the animation, and any modern cartoon I usually turn my nose up at because not many (if any) new cartoons can hold a candle to 80/90s cartoons, but damn this cartoon does it! This series has lots of cameos from various corners of the Marvel U and the stories and how the villains and heroes come together on both sides is a tight, well-knit story written mostly by Chris Yost. Hell, I’d say the episodes in this cartoon are better than a lot of the Avengers stories over the past decade. I wasn’t able to find season 1 in its entirety in one package, so I guess for now you have to buy them separately. Tony Stark’s voice will be annoying at first, and the theme song is terrible until you get about three episodes in; then you’ll be singing it to yourself in the shower. A must have for any Avengers fan!

BATMAN- ARKHAM CITY.Do I even need to say why? If you know someone who likes Batman, has a game console and doesn’t have this game yet…you may want to check in on what they are doing with their spare time…cause they might be building a bomb, torturing the neighborhood pets, or kidnapping people and keeping them in their basement. There’s really no other reason why they wouldn’t have this game. BUT if you are friends with or close to someone who doesn’t have this game…this would be the absolute best thing you could by them, that is BATMAN related, this year (at least in my opinion). The game is great, the graphics are awesome, and the replay value is stellar. Trust me--if the person you are buying this for doesn’t already have this…they will thank you endlessly. P.S.--tell them to play it on hard, it’ll last longer.

NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS VOL. 1. This is something I would like for Christmas. While I’ve never read this run all the way through, every issue I’ve found has been great. I love the art, and the stories are gritty as hell, plus I’m a big fan of Robin and he’s a badass in this series.

Even though my best friend Jamie had to beg George Perez to sign my NEW TEEN TITANS comic at Megacon and even though he mumbled and grumbled for the entire three seconds he took to sign it…I’m still a huge fan. This would be a great edition to my bookshelf and I’d love to read all these stories in order at my leisure…Lady Kletus, you seeing this? I’ve been good (ish), right?!?! Ah, whatever--if I don’t get it, I’m buying it for myself and skimping on someone else’s gift. It could be yours LK, it could be yours…unless you’re gonna get it, in which case I’m only kidding.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER DVD. I don’t agree with the DVD cover saying this is ‘the best comic book movie ever’, but I do think it’s a pretty damn good movie, and one that can be appreciated by anyone. I’d even go as far as to say this is a great family movie. I don’t think this is the best MARVEL STUDIOS movie, but I think it’s close to the top. I was really impressed by what Joe Johnston, Chris Evans and co. did with this movie. I’ll admit, I didn’t think Chris Evans could pull it off, but man, did he prove me wrong. He did a great job, especially considering the roles he had usually played leading up to this movie (at least the ones I saw). I’ll say it here to set the record straight, Kris you were right about Chris…and I was wrong, BUT FAST & FURIOUS 2 is horrible and I will never give in. Seriously, though--this movie is good and would be a great gift for any movie lover. Now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get this for Momma Kletus.

WONDER WOMAN PAJAMA SET and BATMAN SLIPPERS (yeah, I put two in one). While I was browsing Amazon for possible gift ideas, Lady Kletus happened to be sitting next to me, peering over my shoulder and as soon as this popped up on the screen she exclaimed, “ooh, I WANT THAT!” So I decided to include it on my list as something for the ladies. Actually, she was more excited by the Wonder Woman panty set, but I told her that it would be kind of creepy for Ol’ Kletus to suggest that as a gift…so I’m suggesting this…with a subtle nod to the panty set if you have a significant other that’s into that sort of thing. This is a great gift for anyone who digs WW stuff, or if you want to get your grandmother something (not the panty set) other than those lame JC Penny pajamas you get her every year.

Seriously…who wouldn’t wear these slippers? You could get ‘em for Gramps, Grams, Pops, Mae-mas, BFs, Ma dukes, li’l sis, big bros, BFFs, creepy cousins, drunk uncles, pals, homies, lady friends, lovers, kissin’ cousins, or just get them for yourself and make your other dorky friends jealous...or at least mildly envious.
 

 

Ambush Bug’s X-M@$$ List!

Out of all of the books available, these are the ones that I think would make any self-respecting comic book/horror geek a happy camper this year.

Marvel’s THE DARK TOWER OMNIBUS. Stephen King’s sci fi/western/horror masterpiece collected in one massive hardcover slipcase edition adapted by master comic book scribe Peter David and illustrated by Jae Lee. Do I need to say anything more? THE DARK TOWER comic book is a massive undertaking by Marvel and all involved and it’s fantastic that they have collected the entire series so far into this one big volume. I haven’t cracked this open yet, but this tome will most definitely be my yuletide reading piece for the holidays. So you’ve read the books. And it looks like Hollywood will be jerking our chain about when and whether the book will be adapted into film. Here’s the perfect way to experience one of King’s masterpieces in a bold new way.

Bowen Designs’ Mr Fixit Hulk Statue. Holy crap sammiches! I know what I want for X-Mas this year. For fans of Peter David’s Hulk like me, this massive over-a-foot-tall statue of Mr. Fixit, Hulk’s Vegas bouncer personality is a must have. I can imagine old Fixit staring down at me from atop my desk intimidating me to keep on tapping away at my computer. Bowen’s sculptures and busts are always impressive, but this one takes the cake!

THE HAMMER VAULT. Hammer Horror is often looked at as some of the finest horror films of its time. In this massive hardcover, browse through posters, interviews, photos of rare collectibles, and other snippets of info. No Hammer film is ignored and even someone like me, who thinks himself an aficionado of horror, I found some Hammer gems I haven’t seen and most definitely have to check out soon. I especially loved the chapter dedicated to Hammer films that were never made. This is a truly comprehensive handbook to beat all handbooks on all things Hammer. If you love horror, you’ll really love this book.

Marvel’s THE ART OF MARVEL STUDIOS. For those of you enjoying Marvel’s movie efforts, you might want to check out this massive slipcase hardcover edition of the Art of IRON MAN, IRON MAN II, THOR, and CAPTAIN AMERICA (what no HOWARD THE DUCK?). But despite the omission of HOWARD THE DUCK, no self respecting fan of the films should be without this awesome collection of sketches, early designs, and behind the scenes tidbits that made these Marvel movies the blockbusters they are today. These are simply gorgeous volumes worthy of reserved space on any geek’s coffee table and good for hour upon hour of reading. Highly recommended for those who saw and loved the films.
 


Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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Happy Holidays from AICN COMICS!

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 13, 2011, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Graphic novel REPRINTS are not comics

    by gruntybear

    They're just not.

  • ...and besides, the animation was early-1990's Spider-Man/X-Men-level bad.

  • ...at least the man is consistent(ly bad).

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 9:45 a.m. CST

    The Avengers cartoon is awesome.

    by moonlightdrive

    I can't wait for more (I hope there's more!).

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 11 a.m. CST

    Avengers cartoon

    by KLETUS_CASSIDY

    yeah there's a season 2 but i'm not sure when it starts...i think it has to do with a certain green shape shifting race : )

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 11:06 a.m. CST

    The Spider-Man hoodie is still available

    by Snookeroo

    from Stylin Online (www.stylinonline.com), and there are two different versions of the Captain America hoodie. Thanks Santa.

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    The Dark Tower Comics are Not an Adaptation

    by trevoasisr

    @ Ambush Bug The first five or six issues were an adaptation of the wonderful account of Roland's early days (from Wizard & Glass). The rest were a continuation of that story and were a massive fleshing out of Roland's early adventures only hinted at in the novels. I just didn't want you to have the wrong expectations when you cracked that tome this Christmas.

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    gruntybear

    by trevoasisr

    You're wrong. You just are. Trade paperback and hardcover collections of comics are still comics. And if you're going to get technical, the term graphic novel refers to a piece of graphic storytelling (comics) which tells a complete story and is not constrained by a page count (like an issue of a comic book series). In this sense, Watchmen is not actually a graphic novel as it was originally published as single issues and then later collected. Will Eisner's "A Contract With God" is a good example of a graphic novel.

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Here's my list...which didn't make the cut for some reason...

    by superhero

    If anyone cares... THOR: WALT SIMONSON OMNIBUS: Wanna read some of the best Thor comics ever? I mean EVER? Well, here they are. Yes, this collection’s been out for a while now but if you’ve got a nerd in your life who loved or even liked the Thor movie and wants to know more about the character this is the purchase for you. These are the Thor tales that rocked the Marvel Universe and set the bar for the character that no one’s been able to reach since. No, not even Straczynski. It’s true Odindammit! These are the greatest Thor tales ever told and Walt Simonson rocks Asgard as only Ragnarock should be able to. A must for any geek Christmas! MILK AND CHEESE: DAIRY PRODUCTS GONE BAD: A carton of hate! A wedge of spite! Evan Dorkin’s classic comedy of chaos is finally released in a hardcover version and these comics are as hysterical as they were when they were first published! You need this for your loved ones this X-Mas! Buy it or you will hate yourself...or risk your comic geek hating you for not buying it for them! Celebrate in Dorkin’s mad genius this Christmastime! MERV GRIFFIN!!! FANTASTIC FOUR JOHN BYRNE OMNIBUS VOLUME 1: Forget the crappy movies! THIS is the Fantastic Four that I remember loving as a kid and this collection is a cornucopia of love for John Byrne’s work on the FF. This is a mammoth collection that does Byrne complete justice and beautifully reproduces pretty much every tiny bit of FF related work JB ever touched. If you were ever a John Byrne fan you will love this book and if you are fan of comics that just aim to entertain you will love this as well. Discover why John Byrne’s run is second only to Lee and Kirby’s. Worth every penny of the purchase price and more! NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS VOL. 1: Do you love George Perez? Do you love Marv Wolfman? Sure you do! Then you want this essential gigantic collection of their early work together on another comic title that changed the DC universe and comics in general way before Crisis on Infinite Earths ever happened. This book is the template for everything that’s come since in the DCU. This series made DC grow up and take notice that characterization mattered even when it came to heroes in spandex. This is more superhero fun than you can shake a stick at and it comes packed with some extra little bonuses that will make any Teen Titans fan happy! TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ULTIMATE COLLECTION VOL. 1: It is finally here! A giant and terrifically reproduced collection of the first TMNT comics! I don’t think these have been reprinted for a very long time but even if they had I don’t think any previous edition could match the amount of care that was put into this re-issue. I was never really a big fan of TMNT but I’d always been curious about it. While this hasn’t made me a fan of the brand, it has made me a huge fan of this early run TMNT comics and Eastman and Laird in particular. A must for any geek who ever was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan! THE ROCKETEER BLU-RAY: When I found out about this coming to Blu-Ray I just about pooped myself! Sure, it’s not the best “superhero” movie ever but it is a lovingly detailed cinematic tribute to Dave Stevens’s fantastic Rocketeer comics. I’d rented the DVD of this right before going to see Captain America(being that they are both by the same Director)this summer and the aspect ratio was off for my widescreen TV and the sound quality wasn’t great as it channeled through my surround system. But now with this Blu-Ray I fully expect to once again be wowed by the nostalgic adventures of everyone’s favorite Rocket Man Cliff Secord. Can’t wait for this! ANDREW LOOMIS: FIGURE DRAWING FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH: I reviewed this book a while ago. You can check out my review by clicking here. There’s not much more that I can say about it now. The only thing that I will say is that if you have a budding artist in your family you must, must get them this for Christmas! It would be a crime not to. A must buy for people wanting to learn to draw or improve on being able to draw the human figure. Highest recommendation. And last but by no means least… the thing I personally would love to get this holiday season… THE HAMMER VAULT: I have no idea what’s in this book. What I do know is that it’s supposed to be full of old school horror Hammer movie studio goodness and I, personally, love that stuff! If Titan Books’s previous releases about Hammer Studios are any indication then this baby’s going to be a whopper. Make sure you get a copy while they’re still available as Titan’s Hammer horror books seem to disappear and re-appear from being available on Amazon at random intervals. If I ever get one you will have to pry it from MY COLD DEAD HANDS!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Nobody was interested in INFINITE KUNG FU?

    by kungfuhustler84

    That comic looks like it's gonna be THE SHIT!

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Yeah, The Avengers cartoon kicks ass!

    by Zardoz

    The entire first season is on Netflix streaming, too. I watched the entire series in a marathon weekend and it was awesome! I can't wait for season 2!

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 8:46 p.m. CST

    That Simonson Thor Omnibus is insanely huge in person.

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    You'll need a lap desk.

  • Dec. 13, 2011, 10:37 p.m. CST

    gruntybear. Uhh... comic...

    by Jaka

    ...book? Methinks they are.

  • Dec. 14, 2011, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Hot Toys Chris Reeve is the only gift to get this year.

    by MST3KPIMP

  • Dec. 14, 2011, 8:38 a.m. CST

    New X-Men Omnibus?

    by Doctor Manhattan

    This has been out of print for what, five years now? If you are lucky to even find a copy, it is going to cost you nearly three times the cover price, so a minimum of $250-$300. This is not a good gift recommendation. At least the trade paperbacks are mostly still in print. Recommend those instead.