Yep! It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is on Thursday, which means dutiful consumers are already preparing for the Holiday Shopping Season. If you think you’re exempt from that, think again. Either you know a fellow horror fan (or family member) in need, or you want something for yourself! You can take this as advice for what to buy, or what to ask for.
This second installment is all about comics and books. From graphic novel box sets, to standalone comics to actual novels. There’s something for every horror-giver and recipient alike. Some of this stuff is on the expensive side and some of it is dirt cheap, and it’s all just a click away from being at your doorstep (and in someone’s stocking). You can also check out yesterday’s FILMS & TV LIST.
The Dark Man poem is one of Stephen King’s earliest published works and the first to feature the villain Randall Flagg. King wrote it during his college years, and it was later featured in a small press journal in 1969. This year, artist Glenn Chadbourne took it upon himself to illustrate the poem with about 80 pages of stellar artwork. A must for King fans.
I recently dug up some of my Junji Ito collections, and his brilliance is more apparent now than ever. Perhaps none of his work is more horrific than the insane “Uzumaki”, a bizarre tale about a town that become obsessed with spirals. If you’re looking for a truly horrifying comic, “Uzumaki” is your book. VIZ Media just released the three-volume work in one big, beautiful, black an white collection.
“Blackest Night” is essentially an epic Green Lantern zombie story in which you get to see some of your favorite heroes return from the dead in an attempt to destroy the emotional spectrum. Geoff Johns’ work on Green Lantern is a staple of modern superhero comics, and the “Blackest Night” event is at the apex of his long run with the series. This 576-page Absolute edition is an oversized beast, showcasing the cosmic scale of the superhero horror story like never before.
What I love so much about Guillermo del Toro his dedication to the horror genre. Not just in terms of film, but he is so well versed in roots of the genre. This year, del Toro teamed up with Penguin Publishing to curate a six-volume series of classic horror novels from the master of the genre. Each book comes with an introduction by del Toro.
Animal Man is a strange hero. Despite having one of the silliest names in the DCU, Grant Morrison managed to create one of the most memorable and groundbreaking series of the 90s. “Animal Man” touches upon important social issues like animal rights while simultaneously functioning as a crazy post-modern comic that could only come from the mind of someone on copious amounts of LCD. DC put Morrison’s entire run together in a huge volume, collecting issues #1-26.
Neil Gaiman’s infamous comic book that really launched his career is getting more attention now than ever. Not only has Gaiman returned to the King of Dreams with the new prequel series, “Sandman: Overture”, but it seems the TV show may finally get off its feet in the next year or so. If you haven’t enjoyed the masterpiece that is “The Sandman” series, these Omnibus editions are perfect. Volume one holds issues #1-37 and volume two holds #38-75 for the complete series.
We talk a lot about modern horror comics here on Bloody-Disgusting, but I know a lot of people will tell you that nothing compares to the banned horror comics of the 1950s. There is some seriously demented and twisted goings on in these short stories, coming from the best creators the comics industry has ever known.
Stephen King returns to “The Shining” territory and a much older Danny Torrance, in the sequel to one of his most beloved books of all time. While I have yet to read “Dr. Sleep”, I know King fans have been gobbling it up. You can snag a copy on Amazon, but I’ve also seen the hardcover edition heavily discounted in bookstores recently.
It may have taken Joe Hill a while to break in to the world of fiction, but he’s one of those writers who continues to evolve with every novel. The book takes place over several time periods, but the horror stems from the man, Charles Talent Manx, who abducts children with his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith, with the license plate NOS4A2. Many are calling Joe Hill the best horror writer of our time, and I can’t say I disagree. .
Guillermo del Toro exudes passion. This is a man who said that he would die for every film he makes. Regardless of the project he undertakes, you can tell it is a labor of love. “Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities” is the published journal of the famed director/writer/artist that includes his vague musings, production notes, and concept drawings. It’s rare that we are afforded the opportunity to look into an artist’s creative process, but del Toro gives us the chance to see into his wonderful mind.
What was Hellboy like in his younger years with the B.P.R.D.? “Hellboy: The Midnight Circus” harkens back to the loveable red demon’s childhood in one of the best Hellboy stories in recent years. This stand-alone graphic novel is heavily influenced Bradbury’s classic novel, “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” making it a real nostalgic ride, and perfect winter reading.
“Five Ghosts” is the definition of pulp adventure. The story follows Fabian Gray, a treasure hunter who is haunted by five different spirits who he can channel in order to perform various abilities. It’s insane in the best possible way, and a story that utilizes the comics medium to the fullest. At under ten bucks for the first five-issue arc, it’s a steal.
Jeff Smith is best known for creating the masterwork of children’s comics, “Bone”. However, over the past few years he dove into much darker territory with a crazy book called “RASL”. The story follows an art thief who jumps across universes to snatch his paintings. The series was finally collected in one big hardcover edition this year and it’s well worth the time of any sci-fi fan.
There are so many comics out there and I know you all have very different tastes. If nothing above struck your fancy, or if you’re just looking for more sales, head over to TFAW.com because they are having a huge Black Friday sale. You can grab select graphic novels for up to %60 off.
If you happen to live near a “Things From Another World” in Oregon, you’ll want to rush to the store early because they’ve got some doorbusters that you probably don’t want to miss out on.
“Whether or not you loved the screenplay for ‘Prometheus’, you sort of have to admit that it’s an incredibly striking film in visual terms. So if you hate the story (or even if you love it), cut out the middle man and get right to the heart of the designs in this book by Mark Salisbury. It’s worth it.” ~ ED
“I know this book is six years old, but with Flynn’s “Gone Girl” being a cultural phenomenon these days, I thought I’d direct you to this earlier book to pick up as a stocking stuffer for any fan of her newer book. It’s way more twisted, bloody and sickening than I thought it would be.” ~ ED