For The Fan Who Has Everything

The Gutterball Special Holiday Gift Guide

Here’s an old chestnut (and I don’t mean the one roasting on an open fire): Christmas is about giving, not receiving. Just because everyone says it, doesn’t make it untrue, but it is hard to know how to emphasize the joy of giving, especially with the frenetic pace of the holiday season and the joyless, soulless experience of shopping this time of year. At risk of stating the obvious, what I do to really enjoy my Christmas gift giving (and to better tolerate my holiday shopping), is to buy gifts that I find exciting and interesting. I never ask my family and friends what they want for Christmas, looking instead to share some of the things that I love in a form that I think they will enjoy. At risk of again stating the obvious: what I love, is comics.

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The t-shirt is right – comics are for everybody. (Image courtesy of Comic Book Resources.)

Comics make a great gift, because many people have never thought to buy themselves a comic, usually because they think that comics aren’t something they’re really into. Lots of folks have lots of assumptions regarding comics: it’s all just superheroes, it’s just for kids, it’s catered to the male gaze and objectifies women. If that’s what you think comics are, I wouldn’t blame you for assuming that it isn’t something that interests you, but it’s a little like judging all movies based upon how much you liked The Avengers. Comics, simply, are a storytelling medium, and there are a panoply of different stories told using this medium, and if you’re looking to share your love of comics this holiday season, I am confident that we can find a comic for just about anyone on your list. Continue reading

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Tea & Comics: No Heroes

“Tea & Comics” is a weekly feature here at Gutterball Special, in which my girlfriend Dani and I talk about the week’s new comics over a cup of tea. 

This week, we discuss We Stand On Guard #3, Plutona #1, Midnighter #4, and The Omega Men #4.

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A: Neither of us are drinking tea this time . . .

D: But at least we’re not eating pizza! I mean, we just did eat pizza, but we aren’t currently eating it while we’re doing this, unlike the past two or three Tea & Comics.

A: Pizza & Comics just doesn’t sound as . . . cultured.

D: This is a much lighter week – we’ve only got four comics. Actually, only three are on the pull list, but you added a fourth one last minute.

A: It’s true. Plutona was not on the pull list.

D: But that’s not the first one we’re going to talk about. This is We Stand On Guard, and it’s one that we have mixed feelings about.

A: This is by Brian K. Vaughan, who’s a pretty tremendous name in comics – he writes Saga, he wrote Y: The Last Man. The art on this book is by Steve Skroce, who, fittingly, is a Canadian gentleman. Though he’s done lots of comics work in the past, more recently he’s made a name for himself as a storyboard artist for the films of Lana and Andy Wachowski, who of course directed The Matrix and Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending. So this book comes with pretty high pedigree, which raises the expectations a little. Continue reading