I’m starting to think we need to stop letting pick Saga every month. But who am I to be such a killjoy! PLUS! Mark Waid makes his picks! And lotsa love for Howard the Duck!
Mark Waid, Alter Ego Comics, Muncie, Ind.
Saga #24, Image. The closest thing we have to a comics shop staple at this point, flat-out. Readership comes and goes for everything else, but no one stops reading Saga.
Southern Bastards #5, Image. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour sell consistently in our store, especially with this tale of darkness in a sleepy Southern town. At least, it seems sleepy. Evidence is mounting to indicate that I may be mistaken.
Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1. A terrific celebratory one-shot that features, among many other highlights, Bruce Timm‘s adaptation of Stan Lee‘s very first Marvel story AND a beautiful, beautiful James Robinson/Chris Samnee short story filled with Marvel Easter eggs — one that’ll be remembered again come awards-ceremony time.
Aimee LoSecco, JHU Comic Books, Manhattan
Saga! Bob’s Burgers! Rachel Rising! Final endings! Holiday gifts! I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.
Wonder Woman #35, DC Comics. In the longest story arc in the history of ever, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang bring us the action-packed ending we’ve waited more than three years for!
Groo vs. Conan #4, Dark Horse. In the second longest-awaited ending, we find out which barbarian stands victorious, and if the comic shop is saved or shut down for good!
Green Arrow patina statue, DC Collectibles. Did you miss out on this gorgeous Tim Bruckner sculpt when it came out like 10 years ago? Classic Oliver Queen (swoon!) swathed in a swanky metallic patina! This ain’t your kid’s Green Arrow, it’s your daddy’s Green Arrow!
Howard the Duck Omnibus, Marvel Comics. More than just a cameo at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy and a crappy cult classic movie (Lea Thompson as the sexy chick?!) Howard the Duck was a comic character who told it like it was. Probably the closest Marvel ever got to producing an underground comic in the 1970s. Howard the Duck also showcased the first appearance of an incredibly important character in the annals of comic history: Groo the Wanderer! You saw what I did there, you like that right? Makes a bitchin’ gift!
Basil Wolverton Weird Worlds Artist Edition, IDW. One of the most influential artists since Kirby and Ditko, Wolverton’s distinctive style has graced the pages of Life magazine, Kurtzman-era Mad, the Bible, you name it. This edition covers a wide range of his work: apocalyptic illustrations, weird and zany characters, Powerhouse Pepper and Spacehawk. Makes an unexpectedly awesome gift that no comic buff would refuse.
Menachem Luchins, owner, Escape Pod Comics, Huntington, L.I.
Stray Bullets Vol. 1, Image Comics. When Image revived David Lapham’s Stray Bullets I asked them if they were only printing the gigantic Uber Alles edition of the original 40 issues or if they would slowly re-release the books as trades for people who like their comics weighing in under the 20 pounds line. Their answer was evasive but I guess I got my answer. Here it is, the noir/crime/slice-of-life/coming-of-age comic that has no parallel, right from the start. GET IT.
Thought Bubble Anthology 2014, Image Comics. The annual comic festival in Leeds, UK, is an epic meeting place of great comic creators, and for the last half decade they’ve been giving us these awesome anthologies of work by their guests that never fail to disappoint in their awesomeness.
Year of the Beasts, Square Fish. I’m a sucker for “real life” comics and I’m also pretty much down for anything that experiments with what the comics medium can do. So, yeah, Cecil Castellucci & Nate Powell have got me hooked. Two sisters at the summer carnival un-chaperoned for the first time ever go through all sorts of intense drama and challenges in a book that alternates prose and comics every chapter. How can you NOT want this?
Tim Finn, Hub Comics, Somerville, Mass.
Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck by Don Rosa Vol. 2: Return to Plain Awful, Fantagraphics. You must think I’m a broken record by now. Any time a Carl Barks or Don Rosa book of Donald Duck or Uncle Scrooge comics is released, I get all excited. Because they’re great! I’m not kidding! Also good for jaded fans too cool for kids’ comics.
Showa 1944-1953: History of Japan Vol. 3, Drawn & Quarterly. Looking forward to the next entry in Shigeru Mizuki’s account of Showa-era Japan. This volume covers the lead-up to World War II and the first few years of the Pacific War, when Japan wanted to conquer the world and would not be stopped.
Dimitrios Fragiskatos, manager, Midtown Comics’ Grand Central location, Manhattan
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, Perfect Edition Vol. 2, Viz Media. For those who missed the first go-around, I invite you to pick up the Perfect Edition of Monster, which re-collects the series in larger volumes. Doctor Tenma was one of the best surgeons, but he was constantly hindered by hospital politics. When he has the opportunity to save one of the only two survivors of a murder scene, a young boy, over a senator having a heart attack, he takes it. The hospital board suspends him for letting a donor die. The following day the board is entirely murdered. Years later, a discredited Doctor Tenma has lost everything and is in constant suspicion of murder, looking for the boy he saved. One of the most beautiful “cat and mouse” chases I’ve read, I invite fans of Death Note to check out this masterpiece.
Scott Tipton, Co-Owner, Blastoff Comics, North Hollywood, Calif.
Little Nemo in Slumberland #2, IDW Publishing. Maybe the book I look forward to the most these days. Shanower’s handling of the Nemo mythos is spot on, and Gabriel Rodriguez’s art is astounding.
Howard the Duck Omnibus, Marvel. Howard’s cameo appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy has gotten him back on people’s radar, and the original run of Howard comics were some of the best material Marvel put out in the ’70s, so it’s great to have these back in print again.
Saga #24, Image. Still the most eagerly awaited book in our store, both in single issues and in trade. All hail Vaughan and Staples.
Ted Alexander, manager, Midtown Comics’ Downtown location, Manhattan
Southern Bastards #5, Image. I picked up Jason Aaron’s Southern Bastards trade paperback after hearing some great things about it from my employees and the customers in the store. I wasn’t disappointed one bit in the story about a man returning to his hometown to see that it wasn’t what it once was. No spoilers here but what happens after the first four issues is going to be a fun, violent, and heartbreaking ride.
Dredd Uprise #1, Rebellion. It’s well known that anyone who saw the movie Dredd knows that it is begging for a sequel. This series will be the closest we get to the continuing adventures of that Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson for now. f it keeps the tone of the movie then it will be a great read for sure.
Saga #24, Image. Saga has just won about every award that is available for comics and it deserves it. It’s the best-drawn and -written book on the shelf hands down, but you knew that. Wrapping up the fourth story arc means that it will be going into a bit of a hiatus so Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples can catch their breath before jumping on the next arc, but if there is anyone that can get away with that, it’s those two.