2012 has been a spectacular year of releases for London’s SelfMadeHero. Ranging from the histrionic visionary account of the People’s Republic of China in A CHINESE LIFE to the triumphant return of SANDMAN alum Glyn Dillon in the breathtaking THE NAO OF BROWN, SelfMadeHero exemplifies the diverse breadth of the graphic novel medium. Their US distributors, the equally fabulous Abrams ComicArts, have kindly shared their holiday spirit by offering up a holiday giveaway package of five releases from this year. One lucky Beat reader can win this   incredible holiday giveaway by commenting below!

To enter to win this SELFMADEHERO giveaway, all you have to do is comment below on your favorite Christmas-themed comic (characters, strip, whatever you fancy!). One winner will be chosen by midnight on Wednesday, December 18th. Please make sure to include your email!

Now here’s a closer look for what’s up for grab:


But I Really Wanted An Anthropologist By Margaux Motin

Meet Margaux: thirty-something mother, geek, style-goddess and red wine drinker. We follow her life, collected from her illustrated blog, as she makes her way as a freelancer in Paris. Anyone who’s ever worn inappropriate shoes to the supermarket or danced around the house in their underwear will be charmed by her irreverent humour.


Chico And Rita By Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba (this will include a DVD of the Academy Award Nominated film as well!)

Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unite them, but their journey – brings heartache and torment. From Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas, two passionate individuals battle impossible odds to unite in music and love.


A Chinese Life By Li Kunwu and Philippe Otie

Already a modern classic, this remarkable book traces a personal journey through modern history, from the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 to the present day. Li Kunwu has created a timely and compelling memoir of state and self that is at once epic and intimate, comic and tragic, in scope.


Kiki de Montparnasse By Jose-Luis Bocquet and Catel Muller

In the bohemian and brilliant Montparnasse of the 1920s, Kiki escaped poverty to become one of the most charismatic figures of the avant-garde years between the wars. Partner to Man Ray, she would be immortalised by many artists. The muse of a generation, she was one of the first emancipated women of the 20th century.


The Nao Of Brown By Glyn Dilon (Extended preview available here)

Nao Brown is a struggling illustrator looking for love whilst living with OCD. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, it comes with the realisation that… dreams can be quite weird. Through meditation, to quieten her mind and open her heart, she begins to understand that things aren’t always black and white. In fact, they’re much more… brown.


Pretty jaw dropping, right? Make sure to enter a comment below, and best of luck!


  1. The reissue of SCENE OF THE CRIME reminded me how good that one-off Christmas story that Brubaker/Lark/Philips did with those characters. Loved it!

  2. The Calvin & Hobbes strip in which both Calvin and Hobbes forget to buy gifts and end up giving each other big ol’ tiger hugs. At the end, Calvin says something like ‘Not so hard, you’ll squeeze my tears out!’

    Really good stuff.

  3. There are many, but my favorite is The Life And Adventures Of Santa Clause by Michael Ploog. Such beautiful art and I’m a sucker for Santa Clause. Close second might be Christmas Spirit by Will Eisner.

  4. Justice League of America #110 stands out for me. Partly for nostalgia, but partly because, at least at the time, it seemed like the JLA really were laying down their lives for their friends in repeated showings of true selflessness.

  5. The Black Lightning Kwanzaa story by Tony Isabella and Eddy Newell in one of the DC holiday anthologies. It was great to see the two team back up after their strong 8-issue run back in the ’90s, and the story and art were both spectacular.

  6. There’s a graphic novel of “Chico & Rita”? How did I not know this?! The film is quite wonderful.

    And for a Christmas themed comic, does “Sin City: Silent Night” count? Talk about Frank Miller at the absolute height of his powers! Love the way he illustrates all the snow in that one. And if that doesn’t count, for something completely different, I always loved the two “Maison Ikkoku” Christmas issues set a year apart: one, after Godai first meets Kyoko, he buys her a present but is too chicken to give it to her, but then the following year he ends up finally doing it. It really spoke to his development as a character in the intervening year in such a simple way, I just loved it. Rumiko Takahashi’s always great for tugging at the ol’ heartstrings…

  7. “The Silent Night of the Batman” from Batman #219. A great Christmas story as well as a great Batman story. And Neal Adams with his trademark fantastic art.

  8. I’ll go with “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” graphic novel by Mike Ploog. The oversized graphic novel is really a wonderful read for kids and adults. I am not sure why hasn’t anyone reprinted this.

    I have 2 of those books – great book, great publisher.

  9. I read a Carl Barks Christmas story every year on Christmas Eve. Christmas on Bear Mountain or Christmas for Shacktown are my favorites. Rosa’s final chapter of Life and Times of Scrooge is a pretty great Christmas tale as well.

  10. Joel Priddy did a very good adaptation of O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi. Nowadays, I read a lot of Japanese shojo manga, and it is common in the genre to include episodes set around Christmas. In Japan, it seems to be considered a romantic holiday for couples, so it’s always fun to see what complications or rewards it’ll bring to the heroines of favorites like LOVE*COM, High School Debut, Kimi Ni Todoke, Otomen, Me and My Brothers, and Itazura Na Kiss

  11. Herobear and the Kid by Mike Kunkl……pure childhood nostalgia and fantastic illustration. Can’t wait to read this to my 4 year old little girl this christmas as she is finally old enough to understand it!

  12. Monster Christmas by Lewis Trondheim. Or Lil’ Santa by same guy which is completely wordless. Anyway, those are my choices.

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