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Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide 2023

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

We're making a list, checking it twice, and finding the best gifts for the comic book obsessive in your life.

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide

We come from the retail trenches. We know how incredibly stressful and chaotic Black Friday and the Holiday shopping season can be for folks. Whether you're shopping for a comic book fanatic in your family or you're the comic book fanatic and you need some assistance in communicating your passion to your loved ones, we hope our Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide can lend some assistance.


Undoubtedly, you've already browsed a few shopping guides this season. We certainly have. It's always frustrating when you find a Holiday Gift Guide for the Marvel fan in your life, and no comic books can be found inside. Ugh. Yes, you'll find trinkets and knick-knacks below, but our primary focus is comics.


Except for one or two selections, these items were released during the 2023 calendar year. We already own a few, and we're hoping Santa will bring the rest down our chimney. We divided the Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide into three categories: Inexpensive (Under $20), Affordable (Under $60), and Expensive (Over $60). We wanted to highlight our favorite artists and a few books that slipped below the mainstream's radar. You'll find new stories, new collections of old stories, and box sets that could break the bank.


Gifts are meant to be a bridge or an extension of a hug. The item should be something that you both would like. It certainly shouldn't be something that you wouldn't want to have. Nor is the gift an opportunity to force your tastes on the other person. That never works out.


The gift reveals that you were thinking about the other person and the bond you share. It should represent the point where your tastes in objects overlap. Seeing someone's eyes light up and hearing them say, "What the heck is this?!" is beautiful and full of potential. We aim for every item below to be a conversation or passion starter.


Let's also take a moment to acknowledge the wonderful art that accompanies our Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide. Brad and Lisa as Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel, illustrated by Adam Reck for our Patreon Holiday Card last year. We loved it so much that we couldn't imprison it for a singular use.


One of our favorite treats is to commission artwork from our friends. It's something that you could consider too. We would certainly recommend Adam's services. We're not totally sure if he's available at the moment, but you can seek him out here. If he cannot accommodate you so close to the holidays, you should contact the other artists you follow on your favorite social media platforms. The prices are far more affordable than you might imagine.


Without any further blathering, it's time to dive into our Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide. If you do purchase anything from it, we'd love to hear how the gift giving goes. Email us cbccpodcast@gmail.com or hit up our socials @CBCCPodcast.

 

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide - Inexpensive (Under $20)

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Skybound Entertainment

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1 Facsimile Edition ($3.99)


If you've spent any time with us this year, you know we're more than a little excited about everything Skybound is doing with the Transformers and G.I. Joe licenses. Void Rivals from Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo DiFelice just wrapped up its sixth issue and its last few reveals uncorked something severe in our imaginations. Daniel Warren Johnson already has us in tears after that second Transformers issue, and we're itching to see what Joshua Williamson and Tom Reilly do with Duke next month.


However, apart from the rapidly expanding Energon Universe, Skybound published Larry Hama and Chris Mooneyham's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #301 last week. Hama has been writing Joe comics consistently for over forty years, no matter which publisher holds the license. He's a storytelling machine and maintains tremendous enthusiasm for these characters, which carries over to his readers. But we're not putting #301 on the Holiday Gift Guide. Although, you should totally slap it in your pullbox too.


The item you must get for the Joe maniac in your life is the reprint Skybound released alongside #301 - the first issue. Not only does the book return Herb Trimpe's original pencils to glorious Newsprint, but it also does so for Tom Reilly's Duke preview pages. You'll immediately wish Skybound was publishing all the Energon books in Newsprint, but alas, no such luck.


You may have difficulty tracking down a physical copy at your local comic book shop. If your area is anything like ours, it sold out instantaneously. Have no fear; Omnibus currently has a digital copy waiting for you on their site. Happy to report that 41 years later, the comic still rips.


P.S. We'll have an interview with Larry Hama and Chris Mooneyham on the site next week.


 

TMNT Stranger Things Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 IDW Publishing

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things ($5.99)


This year, IDW Publishing didn't just give us one all-time great comic book crossover; they gave us two! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: Wherewhen was our most anticipated comic of the year, and it delivered on our boundless franchise excitement. What we didn't predict was how much we enjoyed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things. Look, we appreciate the Netflix series as much as the next eighties nostalgia addict, but it's not a series that propels us to collect all the tangential material. On the other hand, TMNT does fuel overspending. So, we had to get this event too.


We probably could have predicted our delight if we had given just a few thoughts to the concept before turning the page of the first issue. Stranger Things is an eightes story, which means the turtles they meet must be the eighties turtles - the Mirage Studios turtles. Of course! And artist Fero Pe perfectly invokes Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's turtles. The effect is even more profound when you read the Director's Cut of the first issue. There are even moments where we fooled ourselves into thinking we were reading an old back issue. Just too cool.

 

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide Diane Noomin
Image Credit © 2023 Fantagraphics

The Buildings are Barking: Diane Noomin in Memoriam ($7)


Bill Griffith and Diane Noomin had forty-nine years together. Last year, uterine cancer stole Diane away. We can't imagine the loss, although we obsessively fret over it. Who would Brad be without Lisa? Who would Lisa be without Brad? The answer is grotesque. The question is even more so. The Buildings are Barking is cartoonist Bill Griffith's attempt to honor, celebrate, and continue to love his wife. It's a punishingly beautiful and heartbreaking work, easily one of the best comics produced this year, and impressively contained in a short paperback outburst from Fantagraphics.

 

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide Jack Kirby Star Warriors
Image Credit © 2023 Image Comics

Jack Kirby's Starr Warriors Starring Adam Starr and the Solar Legion ($9.99)


Image Comics sells this one as "Jack Kirby like you've never seen him before." And they're right. Kirby's original Star Warriors strip ran for only three issues in Crash Comics Adventures, published eighty-three years ago. It's about as fresh a Kirby comic as you'll find, but even in this extremely early endeavor, you can see evidence of the King Kirby will become.


Now, along comes Kirby maniac Tom Scioli, and he tears the Star Warriors strip apart and rebuilds it as a modern one-shot issue. In doing so, Kirby's dynamism screams from the page. This comic came and went, but we're here to tell you that it demands your attention, especially if you nerd on Kirby as much as we do or as much as Scioli does. Well, can anyone nerd on Kirby as much as Scioli? Probably not, but it's important to have aspirations. Also, if you want to get the jump on what other weird and rad projects Scioli is cooking, we'd recommend subscribing to his Patreon feed. His followers over there are always one step ahead of the curve with his comics.


 

Comic Book Couples Counseling Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Comic Book Couples Counseling

CBCC 5th Anniversary Poster by Karen X-Men Fan ($10)


Shhhhhh! This one is top secret. December 1st will mark Comic Book Couples Counseling's fifth anniversary, and we're looking to throw quite the podcast party. We've commissioned K Czap (aka @karen_xmenfan) to illustrate our epic bash poster, but we're only ready to reveal a slice of it now. However, stay glued to our socials as we'll unveil the whole beautiful thing at the start of next month. Honestly, it's ridiculously cool, and since it's so cool, we thought a few of you might want a copy for yourself. We've printed a limited run of K Czap's CBCC poster. If you're interested in one, email us at cbccpodcast@gmail.com. We're selling them for ten bucks plus shipping. We've been commissioning pieces from K Czap for almost as long as we've been doing this podcast (see our website banner art and podcast show poster), and their work keeps getting better and better. Find more info about their rates here.

 

Warrior Pins Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Warrior Pins

Splinter Pizza Rat Pin ($12)


We love Warrior Pins. They're massive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans, and you can find them scurrying around any convention where rad turtle artists like Ben Bishop and Kevin Eastman are slinging comics. If you fly to their website ASAP, you'll discover that all their enamel pins and stickers are 50% off through November 26th. Their work is incredibly cheeky but always achieved through a profound love for their subjects. We're highlighting the Splinter Pizza Rat pin because it's the one speaking the most to us in this minute, but we implore you to browse through their site. It's doubtful you'll come away without a purchase.

 

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide Bone More Tall Tales
Image Credit © 2023 Warrior Pins

Bone: More Tall Tales ($12.99)

In August, during the middle of his cross-country book promotion, Jeff Smith suffered a massive cardiac arrest. Thankfully, after a long, strenuous rehab process, he recovered. Unfortunately, the self-care demanded that he pull out of convention appearances and various promo opportunities. Professionally, this came at a terrible time as Scholastic had just published Bone: More Tall Tales, the long-awaited return to Smith's most famous cousins. Some Bone fans may have missed this epic news, and we cannot allow that.


Bone: More Tall Tales is the sequel to the equally excellent Bone: Tall Tales. As with the first collection, alongside new Jeff Smith comics, we get several adventures crafted by his peers. Longtime collaborator Tom Sneigoski is back, joined this time by cool cats like Stan Sakai, Katie Cook, Matt Smith, and Scott Brown. As he told us just a few weeks ago, the Bone story is done. However, he can't resist returning to the cousins now and again. So, maybe some More More Tall Tales will be in our future, too. Until then, we have this excellent collection and the recent Thorn Kickstarter.


P.S. The Thorn campaign is over, but there's still a chance to score yourself a copy. CLICK HERE.


 

Housecat Trouble 2 Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Random House Graphic

Housecat Trouble 2: Lost and Found ($13.99)


Whenever we're called upon to present a gift to a child, we rush to the occasion with Housecat Trouble. The first all-ages comic from Mason Dickerson ranked as one of our favorite comics from last year, and its sequel, which came out in January, deserves serious conversation regarding this year's Best Of lists. Housecat Trouble 2: Lost and Found sees Buster in a better, braver headspace, and after building some serious confidence during his first adventure, he's now asked to be the hero for a tiny lost kitten. Dickerson's art is obviously flippin' adorable, but the book's heart and proactive self-reflection propels Housecat Trouble beyond the usual cute cat comics for youngsters.


 

Amazing Spider-Man Spider Signal Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Marvel Comics

The Amazing Spider-Man Spider-Signal and Web of Technology ($14.95)


Here's an essential stocking stuffer for you this year. I know you're looking at that photo above and thinking the Spider-Signal seems chintzy. You're not exactly wrong, but chintzy is not a negative term regarding stocking stuffers. They're little joy bursts, appetizers on the way to the more significant gifts. And the Spider-Signal is a smokescreen for the actual rad element within this item. The book Web of Technology is written by a friend of the pod and Dear Watchers co-host, Guido A. Sanchez. It's a quick forty-eight-page tour through Spider-Man various gadgets and an explainer on how, when, and why the wall-crawler might deplore them.

 

Chef's Kiss Watsons Autumn Spice Mix Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Oni Press

Chef's Kiss: Watson's Autumn Spice Mix ($14.99)


Ben and Liam's romance in Chef's Kiss, by Jarrett Melendez and Danica Brine, is warming and sweet with just the right amount of spice, making me want to taste it. Don't you want to taste it? Well, now we can, thanks to this savory collaboration between Oni Press and the Curio Spice Co. Reading romance comics should be a full sensory experience, and some of the beautiful panels of what Ben and Liam are up to in the kitchen will leave you with a hunger that must be sated. Comic book author and recipe developer Jarrett Melendez has concocted this signature blend that will remind you of the pages of Chef's Kiss, bringing color to your cheeks on a brisk autumn day. Perfect for mushroom barley soup or roasted butternut squash.

 

Holiday Comic Book Gift Guide Monstrous
Image Credit © 2023 First Second

Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story ($17.99)


We met Sarah Myer at this year's New York Comic-Con. As the colorist and current illustrator on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Saturday Morning Adventures, they were a central figure during the IDW panel we moderated. Prior to the event, we were unfamiliar with their non-Turtle work, but after watching them dominate the room with their cheer and passion, we knew we had to correct that immediately.


Monstrous is Myer's memoir. It details their childhood struggles with the everyday racism and aggression perpetrated against them at school and how they escaped into cartoons, anime, and art for relief. The hate they experience bubbles into an internal rage, and Monstrous sharply communicates the generally unseen war Myer fought to become the totally rad person they are today. Not just intensely emotional, Monstrous is sumptuously beautiful. Myer's cartooning is magnificent and expertly matched with their paneling. Published this Fall by First Second, Monstrous is a book you must read before the year ends. Also, stay tuned for a CBCC podcast exclusive interview with Sarah Myer. We get into it.


 

Doctor Who: Once Upon A Time Lord ($17.99)


Sometimes, it's just nice to see a nerd win. Us benefitting with a rad story is a bonus. As long as we've been following Dan Slott, he's made his passion for Doctor Who known quite proudly. Our favorite superhero romance, Norrin Radd and Dawn Greenwood, is often labeled as a spin off from the Doctor and Companion relationship. While we'll argue that's a basic oversimplification dismissing what makes Allred and Slott's Silver Surfer series so utterly fantastic, we will concede that the parallel is present.


So, when Slott finally got the chance to craft an official Doctor Who story alongside artist Christopher Jones, we were almost as giddy with excitement as he must have been when he got the assignment. Once Upon a Time Lord puts Slott's exuberant nerdom right there on the first two pages. So many Doctors! The book is bursting with love for the franchise, and it swells around the reader like a comfy blanket or a warm 4th Doctor's scarf.

 

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide - Affordable (Under $60)

X Amount of Comics 1963 Don Simpsons Holiday Gift Guide Comic Book
Image Credit © 2023 Fantagraphics

X-Amount of Comics: 1963 Whenelse?! Annual ($20)


After Image Comics successfully lured Alan Moore over, the great bearded one got to work on a series of books set within a Silver Age comics riff. The comics were illustrated by several heavy hitter collaborators: Steve Bissette, John Totleben, Rick Veitch, Dave Gibbons, Don Simpson, and Jim Valentino. The series was supposed to climax with a massive annual penciled by Jim Lee, but it never came to fruition. The reasoning behind its failure to launch quickly became legendary.


Moore's 1963 comics are some of our favorite nineties gems, and you can usually uncover them in dollar bins. That it was never finished always festered in our imaginations, and we never in a million years thought we would see it completed. But here we are. Sorta. Thirty years later, original Moore collaborator Don Simpson has crafted an outrageous parody of what might have been. X-Amount of Comics: 1963 (Whenelse?!) Annual is an absurdly funny send-up of what Moore was attempting, but also a whole heap more (pun intended). There's anger within these pages. There's joy. It's a cartoonist screaming and laughing into the void, but we're that void. The book is a nineties old-head must, presented exceptionally by the good folks at Fantagraphics.

 

Tea Dragon Society Card Game Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © Oni Press

The Tea Dragon Society Card Game ($21.99)


Based on the Oni Press series by Kate O'Neill, The Tea Dragon Society card game is a delightful way to keep a party or family gathering going while also encouraging a deeper connection with the larger narrative. The goal is to create a bond between you and your Tea Dragon as the seasons progress. Each deck represents a player's dragon, and as the game moves along, you increase your abilities and build forever memories. It's the literal cutest. Now, the game is a touch old, and some shops may no longer carry it on the shelves. However, we recently purchased ours from a local Barnes and Noble, and it is currently available on their website.

 

Cook Like Your Ancestors Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Silver Sprocket

Cook Like Your Ancestors ($29.99)


Ever since we discovered Yummy: A History of Desserts, we've been suckers for food-based comic books, especially comic cookbooks. Mariah-Rose Marie's Cook Like Your Ancestors is an exquisitely concocted beginner's guide for the curious, enthusiastic, and maybe a little shy, wannabe chef. It worries little about teaspoons, grams, and degrees, encouraging your gut and trusting you to make the impossibly delicious quite possible. Cook Like Your Ancestors builds on what came before, lifetimes of culinary genius ready to be tapped by the beginner. The art is warm, welcoming, and magical, packaged elegantly by the always reliable Silver Sprocket.

 

Aquaman Andromeda Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Silver Sprocket

Aquaman: Andromeda ($29.99)


We understand that some of you don't like the treasury-sized comic book. Something about them needing to fit neatly in your longboxes. You do realize they make magazine-sized boxes, right? They're worth treating yourself with - AND! That box will open your universe to classic black-and-white magazine comics. Savage Sword of Conan, yo! Heavy Metal! Creepy! Eerie! There are so many good comics in your future. But we're getting sidetracked.


If you skipped out on Aquaman: Andromeda due to its inconvenient size, then you gotta pick it up now that it's presented in one glorious hardcover collection. Yes, it's still massive, but it fits neatly on your shelf. No problem.


Alone, Ram V and Christian Ward are masters. Together, they're god-tier good. Aquaman: Andromeda is a cosmic plunge into Arthur Curry's domain. Narratively, it has all the hallmarks you want from an Aquaman book, but it's an Aquaman book that looks better than the series ever has, and the script continuously subverts your expectations. It's like the Barbie movie. If you're an Aquaman diehard, you'll dig it. If you hate Aquaman, you'll dig it. Also, it will whet your appetite until you've got Christian Ward's hardcover Batman: City of Madness in your grip.


 

Grendel Devil by the Deed Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Dark Horse Comics

Grendel: Devil by the Deed Master's Edition ($29.99)


We can't resist a creator re-working an iconic creation. Matt Wagner became Matt Wagner through Hunter Rose and "Devil By The Deed," but for all its magnificence, it's a pretty short tale. Decades later, Wagner returns to the story and expands it into this hefty Dark Horse Comics hardcover. The result is uncanny, but the queasy sensation is the appeal. Wagner is in conversation with his younger self, and as he writes in his afterward, he can't do what that guy did, but that guy can't do what he can do now. The tension between them is evident and exciting. We wouldn't recommend this comic as your first Grendel story, but we would desperately want to talk to the person who made that choice, whether on purpose or on accident.

 

DC Kodansha Manga Holiday Comic Book Guide
Image Credit © 2023 DC Comics

DC Kodansha Manga Titles ($30, or $10 each)


Finally. DC has brought three Kodansha manga series to America: Joker: One Operation Joker, Superman vs. Meshi, and Batman: Justice Buster. The third book is absolutely solid and worth your time—good, kinetic action. One Operations Joker is essential. Bruce Wayne is transformed back into a baby, and Joker tasks himself with caring for him. Come on, ya gotta read that one, right? Superman vs. Meshi is simply Clark Kent flying around and stuffing his face with the most delicious treats. Super food porn. Yeah, ya need that too.

 

Richard Corben Den Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Dark Horse Comics

Den Volume 1: Neverwhere ($34.99)


Richard Corben's Hellboy comics were not our first Richard Corben comics, but they were the ones that cracked something in our brains. After Hellboy's trip through Mexico, we went rushing to the back issues and out-of-print collections, nabbing whatever Corben we could find. In our Richard Corben education, it became clear that we needed his Den stories in our lives, but they proved rather difficult and expensive to apprehend. Then along comes Dark Horse Comics, publishing Corben's bizarre Murky World earlier this year before unleashing Den Volume 1: Neverwhere. We devoured it the second we got this book home, and we're positively vibrating for the next volume to release. No one created comics like Corben created comics, and we can understand why many consider his Den stories to be the top of the mountain.

 

Batman Year Wha Holiday Gift Guide Comic Book
Image Credit © 2023 100 Percent Comics

B^tm^n: Year Wha?! Color & Noir Editions Together ($40)


What do you get for the comic book aficionado who has two of everything - one for reading and one to keep pristinely sealed away, never to be soiled by human hands? You definitely can't get them Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. They totally already have that. But you can get them B^tm^n Year Wha?! from 100% Comics! This bootlegged lovechild parody is the result of over 92 artists coming together to emulate pages of one of the cornerstones of the Batman mythos. Contributors include LISA GULLICKSON, who draws infrequently, making comics containing her work very rare and, therefore, valuable. Technically, both volumes are sold out, but we're just so stinkin' proud we had to include it. We also bought a ton of copies, so you can hit us up if you're dying for one.

 

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide Simpsons
Image Credit © 2023 Abrams Comic Arts

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Ominous Omnibus Vol. 2 ($39.99)


Bless Abrams Comic Arts for gathering The Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors comics within two oversized ominous omnibuses. These collections are comic book secret weapons, allowing some of the most iconic cartoonists on the planet to unload their genius upon Matt Groening's pop culture titans. In this latest volume, you'll find Kyle Baker, Hilary Barta, Gerry Duggan, Glenn Fabry, Pia Guerra, Peter Kuper, Terry Moore, Bill Morrison, Steve Niles, James Robinson, Scott Shaw!, Dave Stewart, Jim Valentino, Len Wein, Jim Woodring, and a ton more. And if you think you know how a Treehouse of Horrors segment basically goes, we're here to tell you that these comics go in viciously variant directions. It's astonishing that some of these stories exist at all. Simpsons fanatics will eat it up, but even if you're not all that into the sitcom family (kinda like us), you'll gorge yourself sick on these tales.

 

Holiday Comic Book Gift Guide Mobilis
Image Credit © 2023 TKO Presents

Mobilis: My Life with Captain Nemo ($29.99)


Juni Ba had a spectacular Fall, releasing The Unlikely Story of Felix and Maccaber and Mobilis: My Life with Captain Nemo. Your impulse should be to buy both and any and every comic Juni Ba ever produces. His arrival shook the comics scene, and anyone who knows anything has their eyes trained on his drawing table. If you want to bring more to the fold, Mobilis is a great bet and would look fantastic wrapped in some glossy present paper.


When TKO Presents published Ba's Djeliya, they did so with a pleasant handheld digest. It felt great in the mitts. Mobilis is a widescreen post-apocalyptic adventure challenging our literary notions of Captain Nemo and Peter Pan. It's a big story and TKO presents it BIG. 9 x 12 inches. The art slaps the reader, with Ba delivering utterly untouchable page-turns. It's new-reader-friendly, and eager to call the young toward our beloved comic book cult.


 

Timothy Truman Art Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Clover Press

The Fantastic Illustrations of Timothy Truman ($45)


We need art books. It's good to soak in an creator's work. To hang out with their illustrations and paintings and absorb some of that creative energy. We came to Tim Truman through his Jonah Hex stories done in collaboration with everyone's favorite East Texan, Joe R. Lansdale. They're weird, gnarly, and viciously captivating. What you get in The Fantastic Illustrations of Timothy Truman is more of that, but communicated through lush commercial and personal work. It runs through Truman's entire career, so you can see the artistic evolution in progress and discover stories you may have missed but definitely need to track down. Clover Press also brings a lot of love and admiration to the collection, which leaves the Truman fan feeling warm and fuzzy.

 

Do a Powerbomb Shirt Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Daniel Warren Johnson

Do a Powerbomb Tee - Long Sleeve ($45)


While you're scrambling to purchase gifts this year, browsing your favorite creators' online shops is always a wise choice. This year, Daniel Warren Johnson has developed some groovy merch to accompany Do a Powerbomb! and we're seriously vibing with this particular long sleeve tee. We look forward to attending our next comic convention, rocking our matching Do a Powerbomb! shirts and spotting another DWJ fan wearing the same thing. We'll give each other the nod and know we're the cool kids.


 

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide - Expensive (Over $60)

Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide Jonna
Image Credit © 2023 Oni Press

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters Deluxe HC Slipcase Edition ($60)


To slipcase or not to slipcase, that is the question. It's the holidays; ya gotta go all out. Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters is one of our heart comics. We knew it would be so almost immediately after reading the first issue. Married couple Chris Samnee and Laura Samnee steal inspiration from their children and build a thrilling adventure story about siblings, found families, and monsters. So many cool monsters. The three digest editions were routine gifts for friends throughout last year and this one, but now we're graduating to the massive Oni Press hardcover. And no, it's not just because the back contains a review quote from us right alongside Jeff Smith. Too flipping cool. We're losing track of how many times we've read Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters. It's a comfort, but it's also one of those books that will uncork new thoughts and ideas as you return to it. As you grow with it.


 

Usagi Yojimbo Hoodie Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © Dogu Publishing

Usagi Yojimbo Hoodie ($62)


Stan Sakai's website is another one you'll want to get acquainted with this year. It's filled with Usagi Yojimbo goodies, from original art to stickers to socks. We want it all, but choices must be made. The hoodie was an easy one to pull the trigger on. One, it's rad. Two, Brad pretty much wears nothing but hoodies throughout the winter and was in deep need of replacing some ratty duds. We've spent the last month testing it out, and we're happy to report that it's keeping him nice and warm and starting cool conversations with cool people.


 

Darwyn Cooke Parker Complete Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © IDW Publishing

Richard Stark's Parker: The Complete Collection ($69.99)


As each Darwyn Cooke Parker comic saw release, we knew at the time they were exceptional. Adaptations are usually dull affairs. The interpretation rarely rises to the level of the original, let alone surpass it. To write that Cooke lept over Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake) borders on blasphemous in certain circles, and my fingers are trembling with nerves as I type, but if you've made it this far, we can qualify each other as friends, right? You won't rat me out to the literati, right? Maybe I'll just safely couch it by saying Cooke's Parker comics are my favorite outings for the character. My respects also to Lee Marvin and Robert Duvall.


The new Complete Collection from IDW Publishing gathers all four graphic novels (The Hunter, The Outfit, The Score, Slayground) and the two short stories (The Man with the Getaway Face and The Seventh). It's a meaty chonk of a book with not a single sour spot. With each story, Cooke takes the reader to school, providing an education that will transform you into a more demanding and ravenous consumer. It's a magnificent gateway book for the uninitiated, or it's the necessary reading copy you've been craving to give your classic hardcovers a rest.


 

Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Z2 Comics

Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound Deluxe Edition ($100)


How do you contain a life like Miles Davis? You hire Dave Chisholm. Whether consciously or subconsciously, the cartoonist spent his whole life building toward this assignment, and once it arrived, he rose to the genius demanded of him by his subject. Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound adapts the musician's own words and challenges them when necessary. Transplanting sound to the visual medium of comics seems beyond impractical. It seems pointless. However, Dave Chisholm miraculously communicates the aural on the page, and we should all be on our feet cheering.


You can purchase a much more affordable edition ($40) from Z2 Comics, but if you want to spend some bread, the oversized hardcover truly elevates the art. The slipcase is nice, as are the accompanying prints and the limited edition Miles Davis split 7" of "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" and "Spanish Key," but it's the deluxe edition size that really gets those eyes watering.


 

Silver Surfer Allred Slott Omnibus Holiday Comic Book Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Marvel Comics

Silver Surfer by Allred and Slott Omnibus ($100)


Without Mike Allred and Dan Slott's Silver Surfer, there would be no Comic Book Couples Counseling. Our desire to delve into Norrin Radd and Dawn Greenwood's relationship started the gears churning on what would ultimately become the website you're currently reading. We didn't launch with their romance, but we built to it, eventually covering their story across four episodes before inviting Slott onto the show to have the Ultimate Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood conversation.


Their saga is a top-five run, and it might actually be our favorite run. Marvel Comics published the omnibus a few years ago, but it ran out of print too damn quickly. We thought it was lost forever, but this year, Marvel resurrected this gorgeous romance and made it possible for so many other people to discover or rediscover these cosmic love birds. It means everything that this book is currently in shops, waiting for new eyes to find it.


 

Batman One Bad Day Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 DC Comics

Batman: One Bad Day Box Set ($159.99)


Honestly, the last thing on the planet we were craving was probably a series of efficient graphic novels paying tribute to The Killing Joke. The Alan Moore and Brian Bolland classic occupied much of our Gotham imagination over the years, but as we grow away from it, its point of view feels less and less compelling. Then along comes a cadre of creators like Tom King, Mitch Gerads, G. Willow Wilson, Ivan Reis, Joshua Williamson, John Ridley, Mariko Tamaki, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Xermanico, etc. These are some of our faves working on our irresistible vigilante crush, Batman. And in two or three of these cases, the comic creators are performing better than ever, providing quintessential takes on Batman's best rogues. The DC Comics box set price tag is steep, but we either buy them all at once or buy them all over a slower period.


 

Scott Pilgrim Comic Book Holiday Gift Guide
Image Credit © 2023 Oni Press

Scott Pilgrim 20th Anniversary Hardcover Box Set ($249.99)


Dear Santa, we'd love for this enormous and expensive box set to appear under our tree this year. We've been good. Certainly better than most years. We hope you deem us worthy cuz we're never paying for it ourselves, but we've eagerly wanted to revisit this series on the podcast. Scott Pilgrim was such a moment. The comics and the movie. It's also exciting to see Bryan Lee O'Malley pop back into the cultural conversation with the recent Netflix adaptation, and we're digging the changes and diversions the show is making from the original text. There's a lot to talk about here, and our paperbacks are shredded from love and too much use. Oh, what's that? The black-and-white and color box sets ship in July of next year. That's A-okay. Our tree accepts IOUs, too. Thanks.

 

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