Welcome to the second part of /Film’s Ultimate 2014 Film Geek Holiday Gift Guide. We hope we can help you find gifts for your pop culture-loving friends and loved ones. (Or maybe even for yourself.)
This guide includes a ton of cool gifts, including a wide range of books, graphic novels, toys, collectibles, music, movies, games, art and other fun gifts, the majority of which were released this year. I’ve also tried to include a wide range of prices, from small stocking stuffers to blu-ray box sets to huge expensive collectibles for most of us to drool over. Everything included in the guide is something I either recommend, have been recommended by trusted friends, colleagues and readers, or something that just looks damn cool.
Yesterday we published the first installment which focused on books, if you missed it you can read it here. We’ll be posting the rest of the installments spread over the course of this week. There was just too many items for one post — so check back each morning for more. Today we bring you a look at some of the coolest graphic novels released this or last year that your pop culture-loving loved ones and friends might enjoy as a gift this Holiday season.
I haven’t found time to read as many graphic novels this year as I have in the past, so most of these entries were compiled through recommendations of friends, colleagues and readers. Some of the books are deluxe editions of trade paperbacks from years past that I loved. Again, all links go to the hard copy version, but if you look around you can usually find a link to a digital edition if thats the way you want to go.
Note: All prices mentioned are rounded to the nearest dollar and were accurate on the week this feature was published.
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal $12: With Marvel Studios finally announcing a Captain Marvel movie, here is your chance to read the latest reboot of he character in the comics before the big screen version shows up. (Which may be sooner than you think.)
Marvel Comics presents the all-new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either. But she’s comin’ for you, New York! It’s history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (Runaways)! COLLECTING: MS. MARVEL 1-5, MATERIAL FROM ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE
The Bunker $15: Another comic I have not read but it comes highly recommended — the time travel hook sounds cool enough to spawn a possible television series.
On their way to bury a time capsule, five friends – Grady, Heidi, Natasha, Daniel, and Billy – uncover a metal bunker buried deep in the woods. Inside, they discover letters addressed to each of them… from their future selves! Told they will destroy the world in the very near future, the friends find themselves, over the next few days, growing further and further apart. Though they’ve been warned against making the wrong choices, how do they know what the right ones are? Can the future really be changed, or will an even darker fate engulf the world? Collects the first four issues of the The Bunker ongoing series.
The Universe Verse Book by James Dunbar $22: I’ve always been a space geek, and I love that James Dunbar was able to kickstart a scientifically-accurate rhyming comic book about the origins of the universe, life on Earth and the human race. I cant wait to check it out.
The Universe Verse is a scientifically-accurate rhyming comic book about the origins of the universe, life on Earth and the human race. It introduces and illuminates the most fundamental features of our existence in a way that is engaging and accessible to a wide audience, including young children. This book contains most major scientific milestones known to humanity, all in one rhyming comic book. Including, but not limited to: energy, space, time, the four fundamental forces, matter, particles, atoms, elements, fusion, stars, E=MC2, supernovae, galaxies, planets, solar systems, Earth, planetary crust, atmosphere, water, life, variation, reproduction, survival, evolution, cells, DNA, genes, sex, biodiversity, the food web, bacteria, photosynthesis, extinctions, respiration, eukaryotes, endosymbiosis, chloroplasts, mitochondria, multicellular organisms, tissues, organs, perception, nerves, brains, aquatic, terrestrial, flying creatures, fossils, dinosaurs, mammals, primates, humans, consciousness, language, agriculture, civilization, math, writing, books and science!
Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1 Hard Cover $32: Y: The Last Man co-creator Brian K. Vaughan‘s Hugo Award-winning series is collected in a deluxe hardcover. I’ve read most of Vaughn’s other work and have loved most everything he has done. I have yet to start on Saga (its on my Christmas wish list) but the series has been highly recommended to me by almost everyone I know.
At long last, a deluxe hardcover of the Hugo Award-winning Saga is finally on its way! Collecting the first three trade paperbacks (issues #1-18) of the smash-hit series, this massive edition features a striking new cover, as well as special extras, including never-before-seen sketches, script pages, and a roundtable discussion with the creators about how Saga is really made. Altogether, this hardcover contains over 500 pages for less than fifty bucks! Written by Eisner Award-winning “Best Writer” Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, The Private Eye) and drawn by Harvey Award-winning “Best Artist” Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40) Saga is the story of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Now, Hazel’s fugitive family must risk everything to find a peaceful future in a harsh universe that values destruction over creation.
All You Need is Kill (manga): 2-in-1 Edition $10: Read the original manga that inspired the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt movie Edge of Tomorrow. (correction: “All You Need is Kill manga ran in Shonen Jump, early ’14. The film was based on the novel that proceeded it.”)
When the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his fifth iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally—the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?
Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1 $25: Read the most recent incarnation of the Marvel comic book series which helped spawn the hugely popular Marvel Studios film.
With the fabric of the universe torn, all that stands between us and invading horrors is a team of cosmic misfits. Led by Star-Lord, the newly-minted Guardians of the Galaxy include a who’s who of the mightiest -and most bizarre – protectors the stars have ever seen! Rocket Raccoon, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Gamora, Adam Warlock, Mantis, the all-new Quasar, Cosmo the telepathic space dog and more take on the universe’s most dangerous menaces…and have fun while doing it! COLLECTING: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2008) 1-12
Letter 44 Volume 1: Escape Velocity $15: Another recommended graphic novel that sounds cool, mixing science fiction with real world political allegory.
On Inauguration Day, newly elected President Stephen Blades hoped to tackle the most critical issues facing the nation: war, the economy, and a failing health care system. But in a letter penned by the outgoing President, Blades learns the truth that redefines “critical”: seven years ago, NASA discovered an alien presence in the asteroid belt, and kept it a secret from the world. A stealth mission crewed by nine astronauts was sent to make contact, and they’re getting close – assuming they survive the long journey to reach their destination. Today, President-elect Blades has become the most powerful man on the planet. This planet!
Pride of Baghdad Deluxe Edition Hardcover $19: I first read this book after discovering Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man. While it is not as amazing as Y, it is still a beautiful story and a great unusual comic book concept.
The startlingly original look at life on the streets of Baghdad during the Iraq War inspired by true events arrives in a stunning new softcover edition. In this provocative graphic novel, superstar comics writer Brian K. Vaughan examines life on the streets of war-torn Iraq. In the spring of 2003, a pride of lions escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during an American bombing raid. Lost and confused, hungry but finally free, the four lions roamed the decimated streets of Baghdad in a desperate struggle for their lives. In documenting the plight of the lions, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD raises questions about the true meaning of liberation: Can it be given, or is it earned only through self-determination and sacrifice? And in the end, is it truly better to die free than to live life in captivity? This moving graphic novel is inspired by true events. This new Deluxe Edition hardcover presents the original graphic novel, plus developmental art and more.
Seconds: A Graphic Novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley $18: You probably know Bryan Lee O’Malley as the creator of Scott Pilgrim. His newest book Seconds has been praised by nearly everyone I follow on twitter. Its on my Christmas wish list and I can’t wait to read it myself.
The highly anticipated new standalone full-color graphic novel from Bryan Lee O’Malley, author and artist of the hugely bestselling Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over: 1. Write your mistake 2. Ingest one mushroom 3. Go to sleep 4. Wake anew And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions. From the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.
Yoda: The Story of a Cat and His Kittens Hardcover by Beth Stern (Author), Devin Crane (Illustrator) $11: An illustrated children’s book by Howard Stern’s wife Beth Stern, about their cat Yoda (named after the Star Wars character) who found an extra life in the married couple’s foster kittens. Not only is it a sweet story, but all Stern’s proceeds from this book will be donated to North Shore Animal League. The illustrator, Devin Crane has been an animator at all of top studios including Disney, Sony, DreamWorks Animation, and Paramount Pictures for the past eighteen years.
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Oh My Dog comes the true story of Yoda, a very special cat—and adorable Instagram sensation—rescued by Beth and Howard Stern. When Beth first met Yoda at the animal shelter, he was skinny and his fur was matted. He hid in the back of his cage and wanted nothing to do with anyone. But Beth chose Yoda. She took him home, cleaned him up, and gave him love. Beth fosters kittens, too, and before long Yoda discovered them—and his life purpose. Now he’s happy, and fluffy, and very, very busy. He makes sure the orphan kittens eat, he keeps them safe, and he even cleans up after them. Yoda acts like a father and mother to the foster kittens that fill his home, and taking care of others has helped him too: even though Yoda has a serious heart condition, he’s made a miraculous turnaround, and is healthier than doctors thought he could be. To further the important work that Beth does on behalf of animals, all of her proceeds from this book will be donated to North Shore Animal League America’s Bianca’s Furry Friends campaign.