The holiday gifting time is here and the Beat crew stands ready with some suggestions for the comics lover, comics curious or even comics oblivious – there’s something for everyone out there.
Copra Subscription 2017: Michel Fiffe’s Copra and new companion series Copra Versus, has been consistently excellent. Copra is a government team of weirdo filled with ex-convicts and volunteers fighting monsters and deadly threats from parallel universe. Inspired by the early Suicide Squad, Fiffe uses Copra to explore his interests as an artist and as a fan of action and superhero comics. It’s a visual feast and an incredible reading experience. These issues tends to sell out quickly, a subscription guarantees you 6 issues to be released during 2017 and a packed mailbox all throughout the year.
Shortbox Winter 2016: Another gift that is guaranteed to wow when it arrives in the mail. Shortbox is an international comic box curated by Zainab Akhtar, with support from Clark Burscough, who aims to showcase emerging artists and just generally good comics. They’ve announced their latest line-up with comic books from Bianca Bagnarelli, Nuria Tamarit, K.L. Ricks, Seekan Hui, and Molly Mendoza, an art zine from Sophie Franz, and a print by Eleanor Davis. I’m normally reluctant to jump into these kind of boxes, but the curators have proved they have an eye for spotting excellence and I trust them to bring forward a great package of comics. Shortbox can be preordered until November 30th. It’s a bit pricey, but a truly unique gift for comics enthusiasts.
Sir Alfred 3 by Tim Hensley: Tim Hensley’s Sir Alfred 3 is a fantastic biography of Alfred Hitchcock. An oversized work of art about the master of suspense done in an interesting way. Told through vignettes and anecdotes, strips and or longer narrative, Sir Alfred 3 paints a portrait of a man whose personality has undeniably marked the history of cinema. It’s one of the standout comics of 2016 and it’s available in limited quantities over at Fantagraphics. Although, the last remaining copies are apparently damaged, it remains a tremendous addition to anyone interested in biographical comics, Alfred Hithcock and comics as an exploration of people and their personality.
I.D. by Emma Rios, Ancestor by Malachi Ward & Matt Sheean or Habitat by Simon Roy: I think one of the great anthology currently running is Island, over at Image Comics. Brandon Graham and Emma Rios curates this anthology and they’ve begun releasing some of the completed stories in individual collections. Each of these titles have been sublime and would make a worthy and unusual addition for any comics enthusiasts. I.D. is the tale of three people in a dystopian future considering their identity and the prospect of a “body transplant” where they’re transferring their consciousness into another body. Ancestor is set in a near future, where technology has integrated every facets of our lives, a man explores the limits and potential and eventually pain of the overabundance of technology. Habitat is about a man joining the rank of the Habsec, the rulers of his planet/orbital habitat. He accidentally finds a forbidden weapon from the past which puts him in direct conflict with the forces of Habsec protecting his home and society at large and, thus begins a civil that may destroy his world. All these titles are solid work from talented creators. Highly recommended
Philippe Leblanc is a Canadian comics journalist. In his regular life, he improves Canadian medical education, and is the co-host of the Ottawa Comic Book Club. He reads alternative, indie and art comics at night and write about them for the Comics Beat.