Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top 10 Graphic Novels for Christmas Gifts

Here are Brian's suggestions for 10 great graphic novels to give as gifts this holiday:

Top 10 Graphic Novels to give as gifts
1.        Saga Vol. 1:  A great gift for fans of science fiction or fans of compelling characters combined with great art and storytelling.  It has been showered with awards and is, in my opinion, the best comic currently available.

2.       Scott Pilgrim Color Edition Hardbacks:  The top choice for the video-game fan in your life.  This new edition has been colored gloriously and presented in quality hardback form.

3.       Gunnerkrigg Court:  Based on the award winning web-comic series, it has also been praised by Neil Gaiman.  It mixes Science Fiction and Fantasy into a wonderfully understated mystery set in the enigmatic Gunnerkrigg Court.  Great for fans of Harry Potter.

4.       V For Vendetta with Mask:  Make the political activist in your life happy with Alan Moore’s eponymous series about a corrupt fascist government being brought down by a lone revolutionary hero.  This edition also comes with a Guy Fawkes mask!  Great for any budding anarchist.

5.       Star Wars:  The Shadow of Yavin:  This Brian Wood series follows the Rebel Alliance after the battle of Yavin IV as they try and re-group and evade the Imperial navy.  It focuses on Princess Leia coming to terms with the destruction of Alderan and her new leadership role in the Alliance.  We also see Luke have to deal with his new status as one of the Alliance’s greatest heroes.  On the Imperial side, we see Lord Vader dealing with his failure to prevent the destruction of the Death Star and the Imperial officers who would take advantage of this to improve their position in the eyes of the Emperor.  This would be a wonderful gift to any Star Wars fan especially those who have shied away from the daunting expanded universe.

6.       Girl Genius Book 1:  Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank:  This introduces the reader to an alternative Victorian Europe, ruled (badly) by Mad Science.  We follow Agatha Heterodyne, the lost daughter of one of Europe’s greatest heroes as she struggles to find her destiny in a chaotic collection of city-states kept from controlled by the fearsome Baron Wolfenbach.  Ignorant to her famous lineage, she discovers that she, like her parents, possesses the “Spark”, the ability to create impossible feats of science.  Though This series borrows a lot from Steampunk, it’s creators describe it as “Gaslamp Fantasy”.  It is full of Heroism, Adventure and Romance, a must for any fan of Alternate History, Victorian Adventure, or Steampunk.

7.       The Massive Vol. 1:  Black Pacific:  This near future tale is set after “The Crash”, a combination of Social, Economic and Environmental collapse.  World governments dissolve, countries splinter into factions, weather goes haywire, economies crash and all of the side effects push the world past the breaking point.  We follow the crew of the Kapital, members of the Environmental Direct Action group, 7th Wave, as they search for their sister ship, the Massive with which they have lost contact with.  They must carefully find their way through a new, frightening world that is emerging in the “Post-Crash” world.  How can they save a world that has already been destroyed?  Can they hold on to their ideals is a world gone mad?  This is a thrilling story that hits very close to home and would be a great addition to the library of the Environmentalist in your life.

8.       Maus:  Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer award winning book gives not only the harrowing account of his father’s experience surviving the Holocaust, it is a detailed study of his relationship with his father as he puts his story to paper.  One of the most notable features of this award winning book is the way he depicts the different ethnicities;  The Jews are depicted as mice, the Nazis are cats.  As enthralling as his father’s survival story is, the story of the long-lasting effects are just as gripping.  Probably one of the most important works of graphic fiction ever, this is a must for anyone looking for a powerful story of humanity, survival, and family.
9.       The Walking Dead Compendium 1:  Collecting the first 48 issues of the hugely popular zombie apocalypse series, this would be a great gift for zombie fans of all types, especially fans of the AMC television series.

10.   Mouse Guard:  Fall 1152:  This heroic tale follows members of the Mouse Guard, a group of brave mice who guard the roads between the independent mouse city states and protect the settlements from the barbaric weasels and all sort of predators.  Written and beautifully illustrated by David Petersen, readers young and old, will fall in love with the brave, tiny heroes trying to protect the innocent and each other in a big, dangerous world.  A great gift for fans of heroic fantasy and beautiful artwork.

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