While we know some saints who have their shopping almost finished, for most of us, holiday shopping starts NOW! And to aid in your quest for the perfect gift, here’s our 2019 version of our Gift Guide. This is a by no means exhaustive list of cool books and swag for the folks on your list, but hopefully it will at least start the shopping juices flowing.
Please note: Our picks are independently selected and curated by the editors, but if you buy something we link to on our site, The Beat may earn commission.
Graphic Novels and Books
For someone looking to unlock their creative side: Lynda Barry’s Making Comics is a workbook with the same kind of startlingly evocative writing Barry is known for, and exercises that will have you thinking in ways you never did before, and maybe putting your story down in a new form.
For younger journalists: Raina Telgemeier’s Share Your Smile: Raina’s Guide to Telling Your Own Story is a younger version with journalism exercises and advice.
In case they get carried away, we are slightly biased here as Kriota is a Beat Contributor, but Draw Stronger: Self-Care For Cartoonists and Other Visual Artists is a brief essential guide to self-care for everyone who spends all their time sitting down.
For young readers: While you’re at it, in case the youngling in your life is new to Raina – or if, as is more likely, they’ve read their copies to pieces – thisboxed set of Smile, Sisters, Ghosts and Drama will get them hooked.
Marvel has it’s own merch page, led by three dart boards, but maybe your young reader would like Black Panther The Young Prince a YA novel by Ronald L. Smith that tells of the Wakandan prince’s youthful deeds.
DC’s young readers line has been a huge sales hit, but our pick is Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass for it’s strong story by Mariko Tamaki and stunning art by Steve Pugh, as well as a story that gives Harley an origin that isn’t dependent on being dependent on The Joker.
And two from Garth Ennis: The Boys Omnibus Vol. 1 will appeal to anyone who likes their superheroes served dark.
Night Witches by Ennis and Russ Braun is a different kind of tale, based on the little known true story of the Russian pilots who had amazing adventures during World War II.
For the humor enthusiast: Acclaimed political/nonfiction website The Nib has been putting out print editions for a bit – you can gift a four back of Death, Empire, Family and Scams or pick one.
If you’re doing the “one for me” thing, the upcoming Be Gay, Do Comics: a queer comics anthology is up on Kickstarter now.
For anyone really: IDW still has a limited supply of the $75 signed & numbered edition of They Called Us Enemy, This edition is signed by all 4 members of the creative team (George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, & Harmony Becker) on a deluxe exclusive bookplate sewn into the hardcover. It’s available exclusively on the IDW web store. A timely tale signed by a living legend? Everyone will like this.
For Indie comics enthusiasts:
RatTime by Keiler Roberts is her latest droll look at family life and interior life, and also, whether a rat is a good gift.
Dejects, by Jay Stephens is still available on Fundrazer. It a collections of odds and ends from the creators of the animated series Jetcat, Tutenstein, and The Secret Saturdays, Stephens is a way ahead of the curve creators whose all-ages style and whimsical approach to comics is timeless.
Fantagraphics has it’s own gift guide you may wish to consult, but here are our own two picks, both definitely for…those of unique tastes.
Free SH*t by Charles Burns, a mini-comic sized treasury of cool art that will look great sitting around anywhere in your home.
Vivisectionary by Kate LaCoeur, as disturbing as it is beautiful as it digs into bodies.
Ahoy Comics tells us the PLANET OF THE NERDS collection is “For Nerds Everywhere” but all of their books are good reading. In PLANET OF THE NERDS, by writer Paul Constant and artists Alan Robinson and Felipe Sobreiro, an experimental cryogenics device, only to be revived almost 40 years later, accidentally freezes three high school jocks in the 1980s. They awake in today’s computer-driven, superhero movie-loving world— in an era ruled by nerds.
We can hardly pick from all the enamel pins out there but these Diesel Sweeties pins celebrating pride and our Nerd icons will do for a start.
DC’s seven pieces Batman Black & White collection remains a marvel of design, and this set celebrates the art of Jae Lee, Brian Bolland, Chris Uminga, Carmine Infantino and the late Norm Breyfogle. These will look good on any desk, workstation or survival bunker.
At The Beat we looooovvvveee everything Uniqlo and they have some pretty cool manga collaborations, including a brand new Dragonball series. Who doesn’t like a little Toriyama inspired art on their torso? The latest styles, designed by Kosuke Kawamura are pretty tasteful, but this long sleeved hooded sweatshirt should serve everyone and comes in sizes from XXS to 3X.
Acclaimed LA comics shop Secret Headquarter has a bunch of cool merch and books, and a card game called Florida Man. Don’t worry, there is also a Florida Woman version.
For big spenders: Insight Editions has some deluxe editions of various nerd themed stuff, but how about the Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report ($325) Co produced by Sideshow, the book is designed to look as if it has been wrapped in the skin of the Xenomorph and has all the info you will ever need about the series.
Finally, Lego’s 1989 Batmobile set isn’t available until tomorrow, but bookmark so you can order when it goes on sales. This gift may very well be for you, but share with others!
Keep it locked on the Beat for more Gift Guides and Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday shopping guides!