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The 2014 Image Comics Gift Guide

November 28, 2014

Want to give comics this holiday season? Here’s a quick guide to some of Image Comics’ 2014 hardcovers and special editions:

FOR CRAFTY KIDS

HOWTOONS: TOOLS OF MASS CONSTRUCTION by Dr. Saul Griffith and Nick Dragotta
Keep the kids’ hands busy building water bottle submarines, PVC pipe marshmallow shooters, duct-tape raincoats and more. Lively illustrations and cool projects makes what kids learn about science, technology, and art stick.

“Packed with ideas and creative fodder for DIY-minded kids.” –Publishers Weekly

“The comics in Howtoons focus on safety, recycling, and, most important, fun. The bright, somewhat chaotic artwork is designed to capture a kid's attention and imagination.” -Booklist

“I’m not quite sure what we would have done without Howtoons! From the Rola Bola Balance Board to Shake Ice Cream, so many of the projects are so well placed at the intersection of interesting + cheap-and-easy materials + happily challenging.” –Make: Magazine

FOR THE SPECIAL SOMEONE WHO STUFFS YOUR STOCKING

JUST THE TIPS by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
If you think a “sexual guide” by the creators of the smash hit comics series SEX CRIMINALS is going to be a little tongue-in-cheek, you’re in for a treat: this book is a lot tongue-in-cheek-and-everywhere-else. Packed full of tips that you probably shouldn’t follow and sex positions that you probably shouldn’t try, JUST THE TIPS is the gift that keeps on giving.

“... the duo’s ‘Sex Tips’ are hard to top. Good thing they’re releasing a whole book of them.” –Entertainment Weekly

BONUS: Matt and Chip give you their best relationship advice on video at Entertainment Weekly

FOR YOUR FRIEND WHO WON’T STOP QUOTING TARANTINO MOVIES

BLUE ESTATE Hardcover collection by Victor Kalvachev et al
OK, so these friends are kind of annoying, but for some reason, we put up with them anyway. They like highbrow-lowbrow irreverently humorous, violent crime stories? Give ‘em a big chunk of one about crossing the mob and getting away with it.

Blue Estate takes the modern understanding of celebrity and culture to a level that graphic literature rarely sees. And it’s violent and funny.” –PopMatters

FOR THE PUNK IN YOUR LIFE

PUNKROCKPAPERSCISSORS edited by Lee Loughridge
Yeah, consumerism is bad, but you know what’s worse? Not giving your friends holiday gifts, you cheapskate. Keep your cred by with PUNKROCKPAPERSCISSORS, a collection of photocopied flyers from 1980s hardcore and punk shows.

FOR SCI-FI FANS

CASANOVA VOLUME 1: LUXURIA Hardcover by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Bá
Sci-fi spy psychedelia — need we say more? An oversized hardcover, with newly colored art — seductive visuals and a story that seals the deal.

Casanova is a brutally elegant fever dream of science fiction, spy movies and super-heroes, ripped through a hole in space-time specifically to blow your mind.” –Comics Alliance

LAZARUS BOOK 1 Hardcover by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
You haven’t seen a dystopia like this — hard science fiction with the scheming and violence of Game of Thrones. Add to this mix its compelling main character, Forever Carlyle.

“Rucka, who’s written street-level crime sagas (Stumptown) and high-flying superheroics (Wonder Woman), settles into a satisfying and flexible niche of believability, weaving a complex story of intrigue and action in a science fiction setting that may not be fiction for long. Artists Lark and Arcas’s muted and subtle visuals ground the story as well, while handling its swift and violent fight scenes and plotted interludes with consistent skill.” –Publishers Weekly

SAGA BOOK 1 Hardcover by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
SAGA has won a Hugo Award, multiple Eisners and Harveys, and is the darling of comic book critics and readers, reigning on best-of lists since its debut in 2012. It’s epic space opera fantasy and riveting family drama. It’s brilliant characters and amazing art. It’s SAGA, and the deluxe hardcover is a must have.

“Vaughan’s witty dialogue is laced with universal commonalities—the sharp fingernails of babies, burping techniques, love—that ground the alien nature of the characters and heighten the sense that the war between planet and moon and the hatred between enemies is tragically pointless. Staples’s character designs are fantastic—even the weirdest aliens reveal human emotion—and her two-page spreads, whether of battle or of tree-grown rocket ships, are glorious.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

FOR MOVIE BUFFS

KINSKI by Gabriel Hardman
The adorable puppy on the cover is Kinski, named after the German actor Klaus Kinski, famous for his roles in Warner Herzog films. Don’t worry, your movie buff friend will tell you all about him — and about how KINSKI’s tale of obsession and love for man’s best friend gives subtle nods to that actor’s oeuvre. Because movie buff friends use words like “oeuvre.”

Kinski is truly deserving of being called cinematic, an oft-used adjective when describing comics art.” –A.V. Club

NOAH by Darren Aronofsky and Niko Henrichon
Before it was an epic movie, NOAH was an epic graphic novel. This first English-language edition shows Aronofsky’s original vision for the story, from Noah’s first encounter with God to his disgrace in the vineyards.

Noah stands as a fascinating interpretation of a classic narrative.” –Paste Magazine

FOR AFICIONADOS OF THE STRANGE AND SUPERNATURAL

BLACKHAND by Wes Craig
Wes Craig is the co-creator and artist of DEADLY CLASS, and he takes the writing helm in three wicked short stories, collected in this very cool hardcover.

“Craig loosely follows the look of old pulp comics, but he finds all sorts of new ways to approach line, color, style and layout. Virtually every page comes with a creative surprise.” –NPR Books

FATALE DELUXE EDITION VOLUME 1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Lovecraftian terrors meet the femme fatale in this tale of a cursed woman and the men who can't help falling for her. This gorgeous hardcover collects the first twelve issues.

"Graced with a suspenseful plot that has more twists and turns than an alpine road, and deliberately understated artwork, Fatale boasts both intrigue and an atmosphere that feels as densely bleak as a San Francisco mist at the tip of Fisherman’s Wharf at dawn." –Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

MORNING GLORIES COMPENDIUM VOL. 1 by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma

This massive book collects the first seven volumes of the comic your friends who still are mourning the end of Lost will love. Many questions arise in a sinister boarding school, and the answers unravel in an tantalizingly opaque way.

"Nick Spencer is a truly accomplished writer for all the twists and turns that he puts into Morning Glories. Each character is unique and interesting. But he’s a sadist. He wants to torture us all. And we are all masochists dying to be tortured with his next installment." –Capeless Crusader

FOR THE ARTIST

THE WALKING DEAD ALL-OUT WAR ARTIST'S PROOF EDITION by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
This hardcover edition gives THE WALKING DEAD fans a look at the raw pencils of Charlie Adlard, who has been at the art helm of the series for more than 100 issues.