Tripwire Recommends Comic Books For Christmas

Tripwire Recommends Comic Books For Christmas

Christmas Treats

It’s just over two weeks’ away now and here Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden with a little help from its editor-in-chief Joel Meadows recommend eight books (graphic novels, art books and illustrated prose books) for people to buy for the geek in their life…

The holiday season is upon us, and there’s a wealth of books the editors of Tripwire have selected that are certain to lighten up the faces – and fatten the collections – of sophisticated readers everywhere.

Masters of Comics by Joel Meadows, Insight Editions
For decades, Joel Meadows has invited readers to uncover the world of comics and comic book personalities for themselves through his critically acclaimed genre magazine, Tripwire. He continues this venture with Insight Editions’ Masters of Comics – an unofficial sequel to his Studio Space, a book on comic artists and their workspaces published by Image Comics back in 2008.

According to Meadows, “Some of the artists [in Masters of Comics] are my friends, like Walter Simonson, [while] others I have known a number of years like Mike Kaluta, Laurence Campbell, and Sean Phillips. We wanted to offer a range of artists, and my editor, Mark Irwin, was helpful in getting some of the artists on board  – like Milo Manara, Travis Charest, and Dave Johnson.” 

Meadows went on to say that through this handsome edition, “There’s a great range of artists in [Masters of Comics] and they are simply connected by their incredible talent.”

Don’t take our word for it, though. Pick it up and discover that fact for yourself. SCOTT BRADEN

The Wrong Earth by Tom Peyer and Jamal Yaseem Igle, AHOY Comics
Not a hoax or an imaginary story: Take one costumed crimefighter from a sunnier Earth than ours, as well as a darker knight from a grim and gritty version of our world. Now, imagine that they were switched. With that, you have the four-color epic of Dragonflyman and Dragonfly, respectively, as they try to make their way on worlds that are as alien to them as they are to the heroes themselves in AHOY Comics’ The Wrong Earth.

There’s a lot to love about this book. Take the masterful writing of Tom Peyer, whose stellar work reminds one of his incredible exploration of super-heroics in DC Comics’ Hourman. Then, there’s artist-extraordinaire Jamal Yaseem Igle, who readers will remember from his work on the critically acclaimed tomes Black and Molly Danger. As Igle dazzles the eye with his beautifully detailed storytelling, Peyer impresses with his dynamic characterization. Together, these two are a comic book dream team and they have created a series – a sequel of which starts in 2020 – that is a dream come true for longtime comics fans and new readers everywhere. SCOTT BRADEN

Bill Sienkiewicz: Revolution Volume 1, Six Foot Press
Edited by Sal Abbinanti and Chul R. Kim, and featuring an essay by Ben Davis and introduction by Neil Gaiman, SixFootPress’ Bill Sienkiewicz: Revolution Volume 1is a collection of the spectacular. Featuring work from throughout this living legend’s career – from his comics work to his all-consuming artistic craft – this tome features images from the master illustrator’s celebrated runs on Moon Knight and New Mutants to his psychedelic epic Elektra: Assassin, and even sketches and color work from his incredible representations of Marvel Comics’ Tomb of Dracula and DC Comics’ Batman and Warlord.
For fans who want to see Sienkiewicz’s expanse outside of the four-color medium, there is even more. Sketches, paintings, and mixed media showcase the storyteller’s extraordinary talent. It’s a feast for the eyes, this collection – and something that no fan of Sienkiewicz or postmodern art would want to do without. Purchase yours today! SCOTT BRADEN

DC Comics: The Art of Jim Lee Volume 1 by Bill Baker, DC Comics

Written by the late scribe, Bill Baker, this first volume examines the dynamism and raw impact of DC Comics Publisher Jim Lee’s art on the “Distinguished Competition.” Yes, he may have been made at Marvel Comics, but Lee offers up his take on DC’s classic characters with this compilation, as well as his own WildStorm heroes.

From roughs and storyboards to pencils and finished colour art, DC Comics: The Art of Jim Lee Volume 1 showcases every stage of Lee’s creative process and spans his WildStorm and DC career up to the publisher’s seminal New 52 relaunch in 2011, with exclusive commentary from the artist himself. It also reveals the breadth of media that feature Lee’s art, going beyond comics and covers to model designs, merchandise, movies, and into the digital realm.

As an added bonus, this tome includes an exclusive Legion of Super-Heroes story illustrated by Lee and written by acclaimed writer Paul Levitz.  Not bad for a must-have! Dig for yourself! SCOTT BRADEN

Fallen World by Dan Abnett, Adam Pollina and Juan Jose Ryp, Valiant
There’s a revolution going on at Valiant. Fred Pierce – of WIZARD’s heyday – has taken this little comic company and created something wonderful. One of the recent hits for Valiant prior to Pierce’s turn at publisher was 4001 A.D. – a celebration of the comic book universe’s utopian future that builds upon the days of the original Valiant’s non-canonical Magnus Robot Fighter and Rai. Well, coming up with some exciting ideas for its all-new ongoing Rai book (“It’s Samurai Jack meets Astro Boy”), it has bridged this amazing new series with the limited series, Fallen World.

Featuring a preview chapter illustrated by the new Rai penciller Ryp, with the main story marking the return of hot X-Force artist Pollina, the series brings back characters made popular by 4001 A.D. while creating new heroes and situations that ups the ante and marks a new beginning of the exciting Rai comic. An important addition to the future of Valiant, this collection is not to be missed, folks… SCOTT BRADEN

Illustration ©2019 Francis Vallejo from The Folio Society edition of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, Folio Society illustrated by Francis Vallejo. Anansi Boys is a masterful, imaginative and darkly humorous fantasy novel that weaves African legends into a well-realised tale written by Gaiman but with the addition of Vallejo’s beautiful illos throughout, it lifts Gaiman’s prose and really enhances the reading experience. Exquisitely designed with real attention to detail, something the Folio Society has become well-known for, Vallejo is an exceptional illustrator and Anansi Boys is an elegant Christmas gift for the fantasy fan in your life…

Crisis On Infinite Earths 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Jerry Ordway, DC Comics
The granddaddy of all American comic crossovers, Crisis On Infinite Earths is still the most powerful of all of these inter-character epics. Wolfman and Perez take the canvas of the various DC worlds and spin a story that is compelling and exciting. Characters like the Silver Age Flash Barry Allen and Supergirl meet their ends here in dramatic action brilliantly weaved together by Wolfman. It is capped off by the two part History Of the DC Universe, which acted as a great primer for what Wolfman and Perez were attempting to do with this series. This whopping great hardcover also includes pencil pages, character sketches and script pages from Wolfman as well. Crisis On Infinite Earths 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is the ultimate celebration of this seminal series, topped off by a mammoth Alex Ross painted cover as well…

The Green Lantern Volume 1: Intergalactic Lawman by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp, DC Comics
Morrison and Sharp took a much-loved DC icon who was beginning to lose his appeal and shook him up for a modern audience. Taking from the character’s history yet imbuing him with something fresh and new for a contemporary readership, Morrison and Sharp make for a creative team that perfectly compliment each other. Morrison’s crazy ideas are a great fit for the world of Hal Jordan and co and Sharp continually pushes what he can do as an artist with his work here. Green Lantern is a character that DC haven’t always treated well but The Green Lantern is a wonderful take on him displaying the ingenuity of Morrison at his best, teamed with an artist at the peak of his powers…

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