Friday, November 23, 2007

SHOPPING LIST :: Seth Peagler Humbly Suggests--

While my work at Heroes usually keeps me in the warehouse, I've been a loyal customer for over 17 years and have been turned on to great books by the staff over the years. So I thought I'd share some of my suggestions for not only the holidays, but also items worth checking out at our upcoming sale (December 1-2 for those who may have forgotten). Similarly to my Heroes colleagues, I thought I'd break down my suggestions into groups and focus on specific genres.

For fans of crime fiction, there's definite worth in checking out any of the "100 Bullets" storylines or trade paperbacks. High on my list is volume 5, "The Counterfifth Detective," my favorite storyline thus far. Also recommended is "Scene of the Crime: A Little Piece of Goodnight." This one's especially a good idea for fans of Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark's current run on Daredevil, as they both collaborate on this book from a few years ago.

For fans of cosmic superheroes, I'd recommend the recently completed "Silver Surfer: Requiem" series. Brought to life by J. Michael Straczynski and Esad Ribic, this mini series follows the pattern of "The End" books that Marvel Comics has released in recent years. Though never overtly called "The End," the story follows the last days of the Silver Surfer and reminds us of the character's greatness and nobility.

Good suggestions for those enjoying comic strips or archival reprints are Drawn and Quarterly's "Walt and Skeezix" compilations. These reprints of the long-running "Gasoline Alley" comic strip feature great art from creator Frank King, and offer an accurate glimpse of day-to-day life in the 1920's. It's also important to point out that this series takes place in real time, so characters age and progress as anyone would over time, something rare for comics and comic strips.

Horror fans should consider looking at "Baltimore," the recent illustrated novel from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and co-writer Christopher Golden. Mignola has long been known for incorporating elements of folklore and classic horror into his work. This novel is no different, and effectively puts a new twist on vampire lore and vampire hunters, while still retaining the gothic tone tone of Bram Stoker's "Dracula."

Western fans are wise to find "Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex," DC's black and white reprints of the early appearances of their famous western hero. Featuring work from comic legends Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams, among others, this affordable collection gets you over 500 pages of classic comics for under $20.00, a deal hard to pass up for any fan of westerns.

Those preferring their comics a little more psychological should seek out Grant Morrison's run on "Doom Patrol." Written before his runs on "JLA," "New X-Men," "Seven Soldiers" and "All Star Superman," "Doom Patrol" follows bizarre characters with strange powers (or situations) as they face threats with names like Mr. Nobody and the Brotherhood of Dada, among other odd creations.

Fans of indy, or non-superhero books might enjoy Alex Robinson's "Box Office Poison," the recent reprints of "Love and Rockets," or any of Chris Ware's excellent offerings from "Acme Novelty Library." While each of these series are very different, they all deal with humans who are neither super nor powered, but all the more interesting because of that fact.

Those are just a few brief ideas for the holidays. Enjoy.

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