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Forces of Geek 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

 

Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy

Tom Batiuk spent several years as a middle school art teacher before creating the comic strip Funky Winkerbean in 1972. In 1999, Lisa Moore, one of Funky’s friends and a main character, discovered she had breast cancer. Batiuk approached the topic with the idea that mixing humor with serious and real themes heightens the reader’s interest. The Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy collects three volumes – Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe, the collection of strips of Lisa’s battle with breast cancer, as well as Prelude, the collection of strips about Lisa’s courtship with Les, and The Last Leaf, which shows how Les and family cope with Lisa’s death and continue their lives.

 

Green Valley


The knights of Kelodia are the finest in the land, but they’ve never faced a POWER like the one that resides in the Green Valley. Now they’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime—to stop a wizard and slay his dragons—but there’s no such thing as magic or dragons…is there? Eisner-nominated writer Max Landis (Chronicle, Superman: American Alien), artist Giuseppe Camuncoli (Amazing Spider-Man) and Eisner-nominated colorist Jean Francois Beaulieu welcome you to the world of Green Valley…where nothing is ever what it seems.

 

Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition

The road to Doomsday Clock begins here, with the invasion of the Watchmen into the DC Universe! Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition is the prelude to this epic story, featuring the all-star creative team of writers Joshua Williamson and Tom King alongside top-tier artists Jason Fabok and Howard Porter.

During the unforgettable events of DC Universe: Rebirth, Batman found a mystery he can’t even begin to solve—a strange bloodstained smiley-face button embedded in the Batcave wall. All analysis suggests the button is not of this universe…so where did it come from? And who left it here? These are questions only the Flash can help answer.

When the button is stolen by Reverse-Flash, Batman and Flash follow his trail to a parallel world, a twisted alternate timeline that shouldn’t exist. Someone is sending the heroes on a bizarre trip through reality, showing them glimpses of fallen loved ones and forgotten friends—but who? Wally West warned the Flash of an unseen force influencing our world—distorting histories, pulling the strings, watching all—and the strange yellow button could be the key to finding it.

 

Mangasia: The Definitive Guide to Asian Comics

An exhaustive and visually engaging account, Mangasia charts the evolution of manga from its roots in late nineteenth-century Japan through the many and varied forms of comics, cartoons, and animation created throughout Asia for more than one hundred years.

World authority on comic art Paul Gravett details the evolving meanings of the myths and legends told and retold by manga artists of every decade and reveals the development and cross pollination of ideas between manga artists throughout Asia. He explores the explosion of creativity in manga after the Second World War and highlights how creators have responded to political events since 1950 in the form of propaganda, criticism, and commentary in manga magazines, comics, and books.

With maps, timelines, and reproductions from Japan, China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh, this book is the first to explain the significance of key themes, the meanings of embodied myths, and the connections between various manga traditions.

 

Behaving Madly: Zany, Loco, Cockeyed, Rip-off, Satire Magazines

When Mad was turned into a magazine in 1954, every publisher and his uncle came up with his own version, often using the same talent. Behaving Madly presents 200 pages of never reprinted material by Bill Elder, Jack Davis, John Severin, Al Jaffee, Joe Maneely, Jack Kirby, Ross Andru, Joe Kubert, Russ Heath, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand, Basil Wolverton, Steve Ditko, Lee Elias, and many others.

This coffee table art book is produced by comic strip historian Ger Apeldoorn and Eisner-winner Craig Yoe.

Looking for a little more excitement in your life? Get mad and get Snafu, Lunatickle, Cockeyed, Crazy, Thimk, Frenzy, Frantic, Loco, Panic, and Zany, too!

 

Zegas

Neorealism and the visually impossible collide to make the perfect heart beat in Michel Fiffe’s Zegas! Zegas details the surreal urban adventures of the recently orphaned Zegas siblings. The ambitious Emily and her moody brother, Boston, are young adults who confront their new relationship dynamic in the face of a family tragedy that never gets talked about. The world of Zegas is set in a hyper-stylized landscape, but the down-to-earth characters and their conflicts are what anchor the story. At its core, Zegas is a collection of interactions that map out Emily and Boston’s most primal concerns: survival, sex, and mortality.

 

Marvel’s The Black Widow: Creating the Avenging Super-Spy

Explore the greatest art from five decades of Marvel’s Black Widow comics with this deluxe art book.

Having first appeared as an enemy of Tony Stark in the pages of Tales of Suspense #52 in 1964, Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, has gone on to become one of Marvel Comics’ best-loved characters and a key member of the Avengers. Fearless, deadly, and unstoppable, Black Widow is known for her formidable espionage skills as well as her crimson hair and iconic costume. This deluxe book explores the creation and evolution of the character through interviews with the writers and artists who brought her to life over the last fifty years, plus a jaw-dropping selection of art that showcases why she is one of the most dynamic characters in the Marvel Comics Universe.

 

Justice League by Geoff Johns Box Set Vol. 1

The first three collections of Geoff Johns’ stellar run on Justice League are here in Justice League by Geoff Johns Box Set Vol. 1, a slipcase collecting trade paperbacks from the all-star creative team, including legendary artist Jim Lee and fan-favorite Scott Williams.

Includes:

Volume 1: Origin
In a world where inexperienced superheroes operate under a cloud of suspicion from the public, loner vigilante Batman has stumbled upon a dark evil that threatens to destroy the earth as we know it. Now, faced with a threat far beyond anything he can handle on his own, the Dark Knight must trust an alien, a Scarlet Speedster, an accidental teenage hero, a space cop, an Amazon Princess and an undersea monarch. Will Superman, the Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Aquaman be able to put aside their differences and come together to save the world? Or will they destroy each other first?

Volume 2: The Villain’s Journey
The Justice League is the greatest force for good the world has ever seen. But not everyone sees them that way. Their never-ending battle against evil results in casualties beyond its super-powered, costumed combatants. The League’s attempts to safeguard innocent lives cannot save everybody. Unbeknownst to Earth’s greatest champions, their greatest triumph may contain the seeds of their greatest defeat.

For heroes are not the only people who face tragedy and are reborn as something greater than they were before. Villains can take this journey, too. And once they start out on this dark path, the road could lead straight to the destruction of the Justice League….

Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis
When Atlantis is struck by a U.S. Naval missile gone awry, Atlantis–led by Aquaman’s brother Ocean Master–attacks the East Coast of the United States flooding its major cities such as Boston, Metropolis, Gotham City and several others.

The Justice League comes together to help Aquaman turn back the tide, but they soon learn that they are woefully overmatched by the Atlantean Army, and must find a way to save the world from total annihilation.

 

The Art of Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn made her comic book debut in The Batman Adventures #12 and soon became one of the most popular characters in the DC Comics pantheon. From there, Harley made regular appearances in multiple series, eventually getting her own ongoing comic in 2001. This deluxe art book provides the complete history of Harley Quinn comic art, detailing the creation and evolution of the character through exclusive interviews with the writers and artists who have brought the character to life. Packed with the most iconic covers and panels in Harley Quinn history, The Art of Harley Quinn is the ultimate visual guide to one of the most beloved villains in comic book history.

 

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: The Completely Ridiculous Edition

The definitive collection of the popular cult-classic series Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever. Two men. Two myths. One legend. The greatest love story ever told has finally been released in graphic novel form, featuring 20 short stories about the domestic life of “Henry” and “Glenn” and sometimes their neighbors “Daryl” and “John.” Glenn deals with issues with his mother while Henry, “a loud guy with a good work ethic,” shows his darker side and indifference to a fan as he drinks black coffee and bonds with Glenn over their distaste for their own bands. These are two men who truly suffer best together.

 

How Comics Work

The artist behind juggernauts like Watchmen and The Green Lantern, Dave Gibbons is here to teach you scriptwriting, page layouts, lettering, cover designs, and more, and he’s doing it with scans of original artwork and rarely seen workings to illustrate his personal creative processes.

How Comics Work covers both Gibbons’ hand-drawn and digital design techniques in depth. An early adopter of computer design in comic creation, all his lettering is digital, and he even has his own ‘hand-lettered’ font. This is your chance to gain insight to Gibbons’ digital work, from his computer coloring and 3D modelling with Angus McKie on Give Me Liberty, to his work on The Originals using digital greytones. You’ll learn how he layers text for editing, creates effects such as flares and neon glows, and prepares artwork for print and online.

 

Neon Visions: The Comics of Howard Chaykin

In the 1980s, Howard Chaykin broke new ground in American comic books with a series of formally innovative, iconoclastic works that turned the traditional action-adventure tales of mainstream comics into a platform for personal expression, political engagement, and aesthetic experimentation. His original creations American Flagg!, Time², and the notorious Black Kiss, along with his reshaping of familiar titles like The Shadow and Blackhawk, generated acclaim and often controversy as they challenged expectations of the visual design and subject matter permissible in popular comics. Today, Chaykin remains a vital and prolific artist, but despite the original and influential nature of his work, he receives scant critical attention.

In Neon Visions, Brannon Costello offers the first book-length critical evaluation of Chaykin’s work and confronts the blind spots in comics scholarship that consign this seminal artist to the margins. He argues that Chaykin’s contributions are often overlooked because his comics eschew any pretensions to serious literature. Instead, Chaykin’s work revels in the cliffhanger thrills of heroic-adventure genres and courts outrage with transgressive depictions of violence and sexuality. Examining Chaykin’s career from his early successes to compelling contemporary series such as City of Tomorrow, Dominic Fortune, and the controversial Black Kiss 2, Costello explores how this inventive body of work, through its evolving treatment of the theme of authenticity, incisively investigates popular culture’s capacity to foster or constrain individual identity and political agency.

Challenging prevailing assumptions about the types of comics deemed worthy of scholarly attention, Costello reveals that the work of an artist as distinctive as Howard Chaykin demands a nuanced reading―one that confronts his unique approach to the comics medium, his blending of autobiographical themes and genre trademarks, and his engagement with comic books as artifacts of consumer culture.

 

Fiction House: From Pulps To Panels, From Jungles To Space

A Yoe Books release! From sexy jungle girls to even sexier ray gun toting space women and beyond, Fiction House Comics had it all! Now for the first time the entire history of Fiction House, the leading purveyor of Good Girl art during the Golden Age of Comics, is told in a single volume! Stuffed with breathtaking cover reproductions, original artwork and full length stories, Fiction House: From Pulp to Panels tells the story of one of the most successful publishers through the works of legends such as Matt Baker, George Tuska, Lou Fine, Bob Lubbers, and Lily Renee.

 

Slugfest: Inside The Epic, 50-Year Battle Between Marvel and DC

The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes book treatment of the rivalry between the two comic book giants. They are the two titans of the comic book industry–the Coke and Pepsi of superheroes–and for more than 50 years, Marvel and DC have been locked in an epic battle for spandex supremacy. At stake is not just sales, but cultural relevancy and the hearts of millions of fans. To many partisans, Marvel is now on top. But for much of the early 20th century, it was DC that was the undisputed leader, having launched the American superhero genre with the 1938 publication of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel’s Superman strip. DC’s titles sold millions of copies every year, and its iconic characters were familiar to nearly everyone in America. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman–DC had them all.

And then in 1961, an upstart company came out of nowhere to smack mighty DC in the chops. With the publication of Fantastic Four #1, Marvel changed the way superheroes stories were done. Writer-editor Stan Lee, artists Jack Kirby, and the talented Marvel bullpen subsequently unleashed a string of dazzling new creations, including the Avengers, Hulk, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Iron Man. Marvel’s rise forever split fandom into two opposing tribes. Suddenly the most telling question you could ask a superhero lover became “Marvel or DC?”

Slugfest, the first book to chronicle the history of this epic rivalry into a single, in-depth narrative, is the story of the greatest corporate rivalry never told. Complete with interviews with the major names in the industry, Slugfest reveals the arsenal of schemes the two companies have employed in their attempts to outmaneuver the competition, whether it be stealing ideas, poaching employees, planting spies, or launching price wars. The feud has never completely disappeared, and it simmers on a low boil to this day. With DC and Marvel characters becoming global icons worth billions, if anything, the stakes are higher now than ever before.

 

The Case of the Missing Men (Hobtown Mystery Stories)

The Case of the Missing Men is the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller set in a strange and remote East Coast village called Hobtown. The story follows a gang of young teens who have made it their business to investigate each and every one of their town’s bizarre occurrences as The Teen Detective Club (a registered afterschool program). Their small world of missing pets and shed-fires is turned upside down when real-life kid adventurer and globetrotter Sam Finch comes to town and enlists them in their first real case—the search for his missing father. In doing so, he and the teens stumble upon a terrifying world of rural secret societies, weird-but-true folk mythology, subterranean lairs, and an occultist who can turn men into dogs. The Case of The Missing Men is at turns funny, intriguing, eerie, and endearing, and is beautifully illustrated in a style reminiscent of classic children’s pulp series like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

 

Monograph by Chris Ware

A flabbergasting experiment in publishing hubris, Monograph charts the art and literary world’s increasing tolerance for the language of the empathetic doodle directly through the work of one of its most esthetically constipated practitioners. For thirty years, writer and artist (i.e. cartoonist) Chris Ware (b. 1967) has been testing the patience of readers and fine art fans with his complicated and difficult-to-comprehend picture stories in the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times and other charitable periodicals—to say nothing of challenging the walls of the MCA Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art with his unevocative delineations and diagrams.

Arranged chronologically with all thoughtful critical and contemporary discussion common to the art book genre jettisoned in favor of Mr. Ware’s unchecked anecdotes and unscrupulous personal asides, the author-as-subject has nonetheless tried as clearly and convivially as possible to provide a contrite, companionable guide to an otherwise unnavigable jumble of product spanning his days as a pale magnet for athletic upperclassmen’s’ ire up to his contemporary life as a stay-at-home dad and agoraphobic graphic novelist.

Shrewdly selected personal photos distract from justifiably little-seen early experiments littered among never-before-seen paintings and sculptures, all padded out with high-quality scans of original artwork publicizing jottings, mistakes, blunders and, especially, Mr. Ware’s University juvenilia via which the reader can track a general cultural increase in tolerance for quality’s decline since his work first came on “the scene.” Expensive, heavy, and fashioned from the finest uncoated paper and soy-based ink, this thigh-crushing book is certain to cut off the circulation of all but the most active of comics boosters.

 

How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels

Everything that you need to know about reading, making, and understanding comics can be found in a single Nancy strip by Ernie Bushmiller from August 8, 1959. Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden’s groundbreaking work How to Read Nancy ingeniously isolates the separate building blocks of the language of comics through the deconstruction of a single strip. No other book on comics has taken such a simple yet methodical approach to laying bare how the comics medium really works. No other book of any kind has taken a single work by any artist and minutely (and entertainingly) pulled it apart like this. How to Read Nancy is a completely new approach towards deep-reading art. In addition, How to Read Nancy is a thoroughly researched history of how comics are made, from their creation at the drawing board to their ultimate destination at the bookstore. Textbook, art book, monogram, dissection, How to Read Nancy is a game changer in understanding how the “simplest” drawings grab us and never leave. Perfect for students, academics, scholars, and casual fans.

 

The Collected Neil the Horse

Neil the Horse ran 15 issues in the 1980s. With its tagline, “Making the World Safe for Musical Comedy” it is the world’s only musical comic book. It is a totally original hybrid influenced more by Carl Barks and Fred Astaire than by the underground comics of the time. Originally produced under the name Arn Saba, Neil’s creator transitioned to Katherine Collins after the last issue.

Neil and his friends Soapy and Mam’selle Poupée are a struggling song-and-dance act. Neil is a happy-go-lucky horse with a mania for bananas. Mam’selle Poupée is a romantic and lovelorn living doll from France, whose wooden body is jointed with hinges. With red circles on her cheeks, curly blonde hair, and large bust, Poupée appears to be a cross between Raggedy Ann and Dolly Parton. Soapy is a street-wise and cynical (with a heart of gold) orange alley cat, a cigar smoker and a drinker, who serves as the brains of the operation. Their magical and absurd adventures take them to outer space, the past, and the future in a mix of slapstick, romance and show business. The book includes brand-new commentary by Collins, rare art, sheet music to accompany the stories, and reprints of early syndicated newspaper strips.

 

Beyond Watchmen and Judge Dredd: The Art of John Higgins

Watchmen, Judge Dredd, Hellblazer, Before Watchmen, Razorjack: John Higgins has been the artist or colourist on some of the most iconic comic books of recent years. Here, collected together for the first time, is the best of Higgins breathtaking work. Alongside never before seen preliminary drawings of now iconic characters, the book includes insights into the career of the comic book artist. Beyond the Watchmen and Judge Dredd is partly an essential book for all enthusiasts and partly an instruction manual for those wanting to understand just what it takes to land a contract with DC Comics.

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