2016 CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
The great thing about being an Overstreet guy is that I’m never too worried about whether something is still in print or not when it comes to gift lists – being great doesn’t mean something’s in print or we would have had a Nathaniel Dusk, Private Investigator trade paperback from DC a decade ago – so while most of my list is readily available, I make no guarantees.
Regardless, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and good luck with the gift-hunting!
IDW Publishing; $24.99
I’ve been a fan of Walter Simonson’s art and storytelling since… well, for longer than I’d care to admit, but even with that I wasn’t prepared for the detail, power and grandeur of Ragnarok. Best known for his epic (EPIC!) run on Marvel’s Thor, this volume contains the first six issues of the writer-artist’s creator-owned version of the character.
If you take your time with the material and savor it, you’ll get no further than the spread on pages two and three from the first issue before you’ll find yourself just stopping and staring. The detail and sense of epic adventure are staggering. Not content with that, just a few pages later, Simonson switches to a much more intimate portion of the story without skipping a beat. And that’s just the first issue!
As Thor finds himself in the post-Ragnarok world, there’s a mystery driving the series: What happened? Simonson has delivered a thunder-and-lightning-packed tale richly seeded with mythology as Thor and the reader take the journey of discover together.
My usual complaint – my only complaint – about this series is that it takes too long between issues, but this collection is a great answer to that. It’s a big chunk of great stuff in a beautiful presentation.
The MLJ Companion
TwoMorrows Publishing; $34.94
This wonderful history of Archie Comics’ superhero characters is a must for superhero fans who want to get beyond the Big Two. While Archie and the gang deservedly get most of his namesake company’s focus, The Shield, Black Hood, Hangman, The Fox, The Fly, and others are definitely worthy of the attention this volume offers. Ranging from the Golden Agent (the Shield, the first patriotic super-hero, pre-dated Captain America by a year) and going on through the Impact line at DC Comics, and their more modern incarnations, it’s all in this book. Great interviews and insights, it’s a delight to read. It’s written by Rik Offenberger, Paul Castiglia, and Jon B. Cooke, who clearly know their stuff.
Classic Comics Press; $59.95
Kelly Green: The Complete Collection makes a superb way to kick off your holiday gift-giving list if you know a crime comics fan, particularly because the title has been so overlooked for many years.
Originally issued by Dargaud International Publishing as a series of graphic albums in the early 1980s, the title character was the creation of writer Leonard Starr (Mary Perkins On Stage, Little Orphan Annie) and artist Stan Drake (The Heart of Juliet Jones, Blondie). In the first of the graphic novels, The Go-Between, we meet Kelly Green, a cop’s widow, who takes on the role of a go-between, walking the line separating the straight and criminal worlds. The first story is a little bit clunky, but it sets up the series very well.
This volume also includes One, Two Three, Die…, The Million Dollar Hit, and The Blood Tapes, comprising the other three stories previously published in English.
It also includes, for the first time in in English, The Comic Con Heist, which is set at the 14th San Diego Comic-Con and features cameos by Jack Kirby, Milton Caniff, Will Eisner, Burne Hogarth, and even convention founder Shel Dorf. It is well and truly steeped in the love of comics.
Stan Drake’s work on Kelly Green is as beautiful as his fans would expect, and he and Leonard Starr delivered a strong female protagonist well ahead of the curve for mainstream comics in that day. The work is engaging – it’s presented in black and white and really benefits from that – and really enjoyable. It would be worth the cover price just for The Comic Con Heist.
The oversized (8 1/2″ x 11”), 272-page hardcover includes a 16-page color gallery at the end of the book.
TwoMorrows Publishing; $39.95
How good is Michael Eury’s character history of Captain Action? When the first edition of this book came out, I wasn’t even a fan of the character. That’s how good.
When I reviewed that first edition, I called it a virtual ‘how to’ guide to doing a character-centric reference book. It reached longtime serious collectors, turned casual Captain Action fans into die-hard enthusiasts, and brought many new fans to the character through its comprehensive approach to documenting the character’s origins, its innovative licensing of both Marvel and DC costumes, and more.
It remains a guide for anyone attempting a character-specific book, and it’s great reading on top of that. A wonderful addition to the library of any serious collector, whether they know it now or not!
American Mythology; $19.99
Shameless pug department: For 20 years Billy Bob Driwahl has known they were coming. His only mistake was letting people find out he knew. Now the people who ostracized him for two decades have turned to him to save them. Can he do it? And what about the zombie Chihuahuas? At the end of the world, the zombie proofing business is thriving. Collects the original three issue mini-series, the one-shot, and more.
This one is mine. I wrote and co-created it with artist Vincent Spencer. If you like your zombie action violent but think your characters might still have a few bits of humanity and even humor left in them, give it a try. It’s a love letter to director George Romero, and it’s actually a fair amount of fun.
J.C. Vaughn is Vice-President of Publishing for Gemstone Publishing, home of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. In addition to his more-than-full-time activities there, he also co-writes Stargate Atlantis, the upcoming Stargate Universe, McCandless & Company, Zombie-Proof and Bedtime Stories For Impressionable Children for American Mythology Productions and The Flight for David Lloyd’s digital anthology Aces Weekly.
I’ll admit it – I like giving stuff but I also like getting stuff! Here are my Holiday Gift Suggestions for 2016:
IDW just published Ragnarok: Last God Standing. It’s a collection of the first few issues of the ongoing Ragnarok comic, featuring Thor, the last of the Asgardians. More than just a new comic, this is a fresh thriller by a comics master, and perfect for a gift or for your own bookshelf! List price $24.00 and it’s available at comic shops everywhere!
Two of the most wonderful (which is nerd-code for absurd and silly) comic book stories were based on the idea that Batman had to pack up everything from his Batcave and put in into a giant helicopter. The Flying Batcave is an idea that’s just “. too crazy” for any fan of any age … and that’s why we all love it. And who would have ever thought that any licensee would have the courage to create a toy version? Well, Eaglemoss did as a part of their wonderful Batmobile line. And it’s on sale directly from their store here: https://shop.eaglemoss.com/usa/batman-automobilia/detective-comics-186-flying-batcave-special-edition
I don’t know if your dad likes The Phantom as much as my dad does, but if that’s the case, then Hermes new The Phantom: The Complete Avon Books Vol. 1 should be on your gift list. This new, ongoing series reprints The Phantom’s 60s prose stories. The first one is an origin story by series creator, Lee Falk. And to make a great gift even better, its all wrapped in a gorgeous George Wilson cover.
This new reprint is available at all the cool comic shops or directly from Hermes: https://hermespress.com/products/the-phantom-the-complete-avon-books-volume-1
Did you get your Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide yet? In some ways, it’s the definitive snapshot of comic book prices, but in other ways, it’s an overflowing annual nerd fest filled with articles, columns and more. Each year, J.C. Vaughn outdoes himself with his incredible level of care, insights and respect for the industry. And I was honored to contribute to it this year with a retrospective of the 70s Justice Society of America revival. Available at all the comic shops that didn’t sell out already and directly from the publisher at http://www.gemstonepub.com/the-overstreet-comic-book-price-guide-46-harley-quinn-hc
It’s Captain Action’s Anniversary celebration, so here are a couple of fun ideas for this Holiday Season:
The Captain Action Card Game – is an all-new, but retro-styled, card set featuring top artists of yesteryear (like Murphy Anderson and Wally Wood) and today (like Paul Gulacy, Kerry Callen and jerry Ordway). Based loosely on the Kool Pop Premium pack from the 60s, this amazing card set is both a collectible and a 3-in-1 card game! Available at select comic shops (Like Somerville’s Comicazi) and online at
The CKRT Lab Toys chunky figures are fresh and delightful for both longtime and new fans! And this special 50th Anniversary Edition is a perfect way to celebrate Captain Action’s longtime battle against evil! Available at comic conventions and online via CKRT Lab Toys at:
Have a great Yuletide and be kind to your friends and foes alike!
THE MLJ COMPANION
288-page FULL-COLOR Trade Paperback – by Rik Offenberger, Paul Castiglia, & Jon B. Cooke
THE MLJ COMPANION documents the complete history of Archie Comics’ super-hero characters known as the “Mighty Crusaders”—The Shield, Black Hood, Steel Sterling, Hangman, Mr. Justice, The Fly, and many others. It features in-depth examinations of each era of the characters’ extensive history: The Golden Age (beginning with the Shield, the first patriotic super-hero, who pre-dated Captain America by a full year), the Silver Age (spotlighting those offbeat, campy Mighty Comics issues, and The Fly and Jaguar), the Bronze Age (with the Red Circle line, and the !mpact imprint published by DC Comics), up to the Modern Age, with its Dark Circle imprint (featuring such fan-favorites series as “The Fox” by Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel). Plus: Learn what “MLJ” stands for! Uncover such rarities as the Mighty Crusaders board game, and the Shadow’s short-lived career as a spandex-clad superhero! Discover the ill-fated Spectrum line of comics, that was abruptly halted due to its violent content! See where the super-heroes crossed over into Archie, Betty, and Veronica’s world! And read interviews with Irv Novick, Dick Ayers, Rich Buckler, Bill DuBay, Steve Englehart, Jim Valentino, Jimmy Palmiotti, Kelly Jones, Michael Uslan, and others who chronicled the Mighty Crusaders’ exploits from the 1940s to today! By Rik Offenberger, Paul Castiglia, and Jon B. Cooke. NOW FULL-COLOR THROUGHOUT, WITH 60 PAGES OF KEY MLJ STORIES, and new cover by Rich Buckler and Joe Rubinstein!
Diamond Comic Distributors Order Code: MAY161832
Original Comic Book Art is always great! From your favorite artist is always best, but if you are buying for a friend or loved one, you can find a lot of interesting art on eBay. It makes for a fun one of a kind gift.
“20 pages – Including original Auric illustrations, sneak peaks at characters, How-To draw tutorials and a mock blank cover for you to draw your very own Auric cover!”
It’s the perfect gift for fans of all kinds. People can now choose from 12 different product lines, including anime, apparel, pets and gaming.
Loot Crate, the biggest fan-based subscription company, partners with the world’s top entertainment brands, such as Lucasfilm, Marvel, DC, Disney, and HALO, to deliver themed mystery crates each month to fans worldwide.
Steampunk Star Trek USS Enterprise Desk Lamp
This Desk or Table/Shelf Lamp Features Steampunk Styling using Vintage Parts, New Parts and New Electrical Components. This is not only a beautiful and very functional Desk Lamp, but it is Art!
This Lamp/Desk Art is a Double Light Lamp featuring a mounted USS Enterprise Space Ship. There is lots of brass details, including the weighted Display Stand.
This lamp has many vintage and new brass parts. The twin Light bulbs are Vintage Edison Style Bulbs and make up the ship’s Nacelles (Engines). The Saucer Section is a combination of a large 9″ diameter Vase Cap (top) and a Chrome serving dish (bottom). The display stand features a new Rotating Dimmer On/Off switch.
Steampunk Starfleet Badge
Stardate 1864, These are the voyages of the steamship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new lands, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Taking star trek into the steampunk world.
Measuring 55mm tall this badge is laser cut from laser plywood and hand stained and assembled. It is finished with a protective sealant.
Star – Command
Spiral – Engineering
Semi Circles – Science
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