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Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Graphic Novels

It’s that time of year. There’s a nip in the air, holiday music has started playing over the radio, and the race to find the perfect geeky gifts is on. Well, Fanboy Comics is here to help with its annual Holiday Gift Guide! This being Fanboy Comics, it is only appropriate that we start off with graphic novels. The medium has been constantly pushing the boundaries of storytelling, and 2013 was no exception. Enjoy our recommendations for a few of the new titles that caught our eyes and some old favorites, as well.
     – Kristine Chester

Anomaly dd5Anomaly
Published by Anomaly Publishing
Written by Skip Brittenham
Art by Brian Haberlin
Recommended by Tony Caballero

My pick is Anomaly, a coffee table graphic novel that’s almost the size of a coffee table itself.  Clocking in at 370 pages and over 21,000 panels, this massive work was my surprise discovery at San Diego Comic-Con this summer.  While telling a somewhat familiar story of evil corporations and depleted resources and a quest to right the world’s wrongs, what raises this above other works is not only the lush artwork from Geirrod Van Dyke and co-writer Haberlin, it’s the augmented reality that makes up 50 or more pages of the book.  By downloading an app to your phone or tablet and aiming it at certain pages, characters and story come to life on your device with cinematic action and sound.  And, the beauty of a work like this is that more augmented pages are being constantly added to the app, meaning that content will continue to grow, even though traditional publication is complete.  Show your mundane friends this when they ask why you read comic books and watch their mouths drop open.

Saga 1 ad0Saga Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Published by Image Comics
Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
Recommended by Barbra Dillon

One of the most popular comic book series of the past two years, hands down, has been Saga.  Described by creator Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) as “Star Wars for perverts,” the series tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers from opposing extraterrestrial species as they race across the galaxy to protect their newborn child Hazel from a myriad of assassins and aliens. The monthly comic book series from Image Comics features the amazingly stunning (and often tantalizing) artwork of Fiona Staples (Womanthology, Mystery Society) and the engrossing and identifiable characters for which Vaughan is famous.  Saga’s creators masterfully keep their readers on the edge of their seats with every new issue, as no character is safe from heartbreak or harm.  Plus, let’s just say that things get a little sexy now and then . . .

Image has released two trade paperbacks collecting the first 12 issues of the series.  No matter if you are shopping for a seasoned comic book reader or a relative newbie, you will not go wrong by picking up both of these trades this holiday season.

Luther Strode 3fbStrange Talent of Luther Strode Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Published by Image Comics
Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro
Recommended by Tim Palmer

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode is a book I read a while ago and still excitedly pass on to my friends.  A six-issue miniseries from Image Comics, writer Justin Jordan, artist Tradd Moore, and colorist Felipe Sobreiro create a visceral, bloody tale that catches you unaware and doesn’t let go until the final panel.  Just like Luther’s world, the story explodes and the art and colors vividly bring to life the take-no-prisoners violence and terror as Luther finds himself battling evil incarnate.  Now, you can also pick up the recently collected Legend of Luther Strode and make it a two-part gift.  

Transmetropolitan 02aTransmetropolitan
Published by Vertigo
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Darick Robertson
Recommended by Max W. Beaulieu

“A hardboiled Gonzo journalist struggles against a bureaucratic nightmare to dig at the truth no matter what the consequences.”

Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s character Raul Duke, the main character of this series, Spider Jerusalem, is the hard-talking, risk-taking, drug-pumping anti-hero that his dystopian future needs but doesn’t particularly want. Set in the far future, Transmetropolitan is a character-driven orgy of stimuli. Transmetropolitan satirizes an alien world that is most disturbingly, yet entirely relatable to our own. A great pick for any indie comic book reader over the age of 18, especially those with a political or journalisticic interest.




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