Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Gift Graphic Novel Recommendations

By Corey Shroeder

The holidays can be a stressful time for shoppers and part of that is knowing, exactly, what to get someone without tipping your hand TOO much so the surprise can remain intact. Worry not, stalwart shopper, for Two Cats Comic Book Store has you covered. This is a list of comics for people with specific, discerning tastes, or just anyone looking for a great read over the season.

Chew Vol 01 Trade Paperback (978-160706159)- A massive avian flu outbreak not only killed millions, but made the FDA the most powerful organization in the US, giving them power to arrest and even use lethal force in the line of duty. Jon Layman's tale follows Agent Anthony Chu, a being dubbed a "cibopath," who can interact in strange, unique ways with food. Specifically, anything he eats (besides beets) gives him a strong, psychic imprint of how it came to be. This includes humans, leading to some grotesque humor. The book could have been a dark, dramatic tale, but instead is played almost solely for laughs, thanks to over-the-top cartoonish art by Rob Guillory. This is a perfect book for someone who likes their humor a little bit dark and a lot gross, but with plenty of wit and...BITING satire.

More Holiday gifts, after the jump!

Elephantmen Vol 01 Trade Paperback(978-1607063377)- Treated as second-class citizens, the Elephantmen were genetically engineered to be super soldiers with the genetics of animals. While the backdrop may sound high science fiction, the execution is much closer to something like Blade Runner with the focus close to the streets with equal parts grime and moral gray-areas. Richard Starkings has created a world from the ground up that might take place in the future but still, like the best sci-fi, has plenty to say about the modern world. Various artists work on the title and they're all absolutely fantastic. The art is as much a selling point as the writing with spectacular visuals and this is a fantastic book for people who like their sci-fi dark and street-level rather than in the stars.

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Trade Paperback (978-0785144618)- The 90s were an odd time for comics and few people realize, and relish, in that absurdity like writer Warren Ellis. Along with artist Stuart Immonen, he created a standalone title that focused on some of Marvel Comics' most obscure characters, brought them together on a team, and proceeded to send them up against some of the most bizarre threats to reality imaginable. The book can be enjoyed on its own merits, though some familiarity with superhero tropes enhances the humor greatly, and the art captures the absurd spectacle absolutely beautifully.There are even enough background jokes to keep you reading and rereading time and again.

American Vampire Vol 01 Trade Paperback (978-1401229740)- Before he was revitalizing the DC's Dark Knight, Scott Snyder teamed with Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque to create a whole new kind of vampire tale. Non-traditional would be the way to describe the story of the sadistic Skinner Sweet and the noble Pearl Jones, both a new breed of "American Vampires" in a universe where the place of a vampire's creation influences their abilities and weaknesses. The different volumes chronicle different time periods, from the late 1800s up to World War II and are excellent at melding horror, humor and action. The perfect gift for someone fed up with the new "woe is I" pontificating, lovey-dovey vampire stories, but still wants to read about everyone's favorite bloodsuckers. Dark and grim but never humorless, American Vampire strikes a fantastic balance, with absolutely incredible visuals, that are easy to get genre fans on-board with.

Go forth armed with knowledge and shop anew! Or just come on in and ask any of our Mega Sales Associates* (may resemble ordinary sales associates) about a personalized recommendation.

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