The past few years have been an amazing time for comics. So much so that there’s so much you can be getting your friends and family for the holidays this year, especially if they’re completely new to comics. Luckily, I have a few recommendations of where to start, both for newbies and passionate comic book fans.

Book Specific Recommendations

Comics for Lovers of Sword and Sorcery with Strong Women

  • Princeless Vol. 1: Save Yourself, Vol. 2: Get Over Yourself, and Short Stories by Jeremy Whitley and various artists – Princeless is probably one of the most important comics I’ve read in the past year. Following a princess named Adrienne as she decides to rescue her sisters from tower imprisonment, the story is a fun adventure for all ages. Get caught up before the third volume The Pirate Princess debuts in January.
  • Princess Ugg Vol. 1 by Ted Naifeh – If Princeless, the Lioness Quartet series by Tamora Pierce and Brave combined into one property, Princess Ugg would be it. Naifeh describes it as a barbarian princess attending Disney princess finishing school and he’s not wrong.

Comics for Lovers of SPAAAAAACE

  • Saga: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – I don’t know what could be said about Saga that already hasn’t been said. If you have a fan of Star Wars in your life, shove this comic into their hands. Especially if it’s the new hardcover edition that collects the first three volumes with the gorgeous Fionna Staples cover that is also a huge middle finger to everyone who complained about Alanna breastfeeding on the cover of #1.
  • Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher, Faster, Further, More by Kelly Sue Deconnick and David Lopez – What happens when Carol goes into space to be with the Guardians of the Galaxy for a while? Amazingness. Definitely a fun introduction to Captain Marvel in our post Guardians of the Galaxy world.

Comics for Teenage Girls

  • Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona – If you ever wondered what would happen if a superhero fangirl became an actual superhero, Ms. Marvel may be your answer. Focused on Kamala Khan of Jersey City, No Normal tells an origin story worthy of praise and love and reminds teenage girls of all types that they are capable of amazing things.

Comics for Lovers of Kick-Ass Women Superheroes

Comics for Music Lovers

  • Phonogram: Rue Britannia and The Singles Club by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson – Okay, yes, this category is only two writers, but for good reason. No one else manages to combine music and comics the same way Gillen and Way do. For Phonogram, it’s a story about music lovers and how it affects their lives…
  • The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson – …and for WicDiv, it’s what happens when you transition from the world of fandom to the world of making art. Gods are rockstars and we are their lowly worshippers.
  • The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, and Becky Cloonan – Based on Danger Days, the final studio album by My Chemical Romance, Way closes the chapter by telling a story about the Girl who wandered the desert with The Killjoys along with a story about two robot lovers and a killer gone soft. It’s a moving story, especially if you were a fan of that album.
  • The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite and Dallas by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba – I don’t know how to properly describe this book. It’s about superheroes, family, zombie Gustav Eiffel, and time travel to the Kennedy assassination. It’s brilliant and insane, just like Way himself.

Comics for Adventurers

  • Shutter Vol. 1: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Luca – If Saga is the Image Comics answer to Star WarsShutter is the answer to Indiana Jones. Following former adventurer Kate Kristopher as she gets thrown back into the life with a million new secrets to uncover, Shutter is a fantastic new series and I can’t wait to read what happens next to Kate.
  • Pretty Deadly: The Shrike by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios – The best way I’ve described this series is, “Weird west by way of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.” The haunting tale of Deathface Ginny and her hunt for revenge against her father was my first official introduction to the work of Kelly Sue Deconnick. If you have a fan of westerns in your life, definitely introduce them to this one.
  • Lazarus: Book 1 by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark – If Game of Thrones is just a bit too medieval for your pals, throw this book their way. From 2/3rds of the same team that brought us Gotham Central (more on that in a bit), Lazarus takes the focus on families at war and shifts it to a post-apocalyptic society not too different than the one from The Hunger Games. It’s dark and kind of extremely messed up in some ways, but oh my god, is it good.

Comics for Sexual Adventurers

Comics for fans of Gotham

  • Gotham Central, Book 1: In the Line of Duty by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, and Michael Lark – Even though it’s not a beat for beat adaptation, Gotham owes a LOT to the award winning series by Rucka, Brubaker and Lark. Focused on the Gotham Central Police Department dealing with various members of the Rogues Gallery, the series gave us a more human look at the life of the police of Gotham. The republished books also collect the arc “Half a Life,” the famous arc where Renee Montoya is outed in the department.

Comics for fans of The Wolf Among Us

  • Fables Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Bill Willingham and Mark BuckinghamFables is one of those series that is a lot to jump into if you don’t have a proper introduction. However, if your friend has already played the prequel game The Wolf Among Us, I’d say they have a pretty damn good start. Start them on the deluxe edition that combines the first two story arcs and don’t tell them about “Storybook Love.” Not yet.

For Hardcore Comic Book Fans

Stuff for DC Readers

  • Batman Fleece Robe from ThinkGeek – I am justice, I am the night, I… just got out of the shower! For the Batman fan in your life that likes to keep cozy (and maybe a little silly), this is the perfect gift. If they want something a little different, they also carry Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman robes.
  • Wonder Woman Sleep Tank from Undergirl – Speaking of Wonder Woman, now you too can pull off your best Linda Carter impression with this caped sleep tank. Undergirl also carries tanks of the Robin, Batman, and Superman variety.
  • LEGO Batman 3 – While not as epic as The LEGO Movie, the third installment in the LEGO Batman series does its best to get the series out of Gotham and put in some fan favorite DC characters in the mix. And also Kevin Smith for some reason. Hey, your guess is as good as mine.

Stuff for Marvel Readers

Stuff for Indie Readers

And failing all else, a Comixology eGift Card never hurts.

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