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Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Deluxe Edition Comics And Art Books

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If you’re like some of the ComicsAlliance staff, you have a great affection for deluxe edition books that offer historical overviews of various pop culture topics, reprint the great works of the comics medium, and/or collect classic storylines (and supplement them with all kinds of bonus material)… And with the gift-giving season now in full swing, you're likely looking for the perfect gifts for your follow geeks (or possibly, wanting to give your relations some suggestions for things you'd like this year, in lieu of another ill-fitting sweater). So as a public service, we've compiled this list of some of the best expensive, large, and mind-blowingly ornate titles that you can find at your local comic shop or from online booksellers.

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Past Lives And Violent Futures Collide In Fred Van Lente’s Excellent ‘Resurrectionists’ #1

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I've been a fan of Fred Van Lente's comics work for almost ten years now, and the one thing that I love more than anything else about his work is that every time he starts up a new series, it almost always feels like something completely different. You can draw parallels between books like Incredible Hercules and Archer & Armstrong, of course, but neither one of those feels quite the same as G.I. Joe or Taskmaster. The one thing that really unites them, and the one thing that comes through pretty clearly if you ever interview that that guy about his work, is that there's a lot of research that goes into everything he writes, and it's research that comes through in very strange ways.

Case in point: Resurrectionists, a new ongoing Dark Horse series from Van Lente, Maurizio Rosenzweig and Moreno Dinisio that provides a pretty amazing vehicle for delivering that research directly to the reader, and does it with one of the biggest, weirdest high concepts I've seen in a long time.

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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): October 2014

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A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.

Fear, passion, beauty, love, and monsters. There's a feast of wonders in the best of October's comic book covers, with exceptional work from Becky Cloonan, Jorge Molina, Megan Hutchison, Kyla Vanderklugt and more -- taking us to some extraordinary places, and showing us some incredible sights.

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Halloween Humble Bundle Adds ‘Afterlife With Archie,’ ‘Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer’ And More

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The Humble Bundle continues to be one of the best values in comic books, and as you might expect, this week they've turned their attention to the morespoooooky side of things. And by that, I mainly mean comics where Pinocchio uses his endless wooden nose to stab vampires.

In addition to several books without pictures -- which I find strange and frightening -- the current Horror Book bundle added a bunch of horror comics today, including The Mocking Dead by Fred Van Lente and Max Dunbar, a volume of Valiant's Shadowman by Peter Milligan and Roberto de la Torre, the first omnibus of Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, the first two issues of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla's Afterlife With Archie, and more.

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Alex De Campi & R.M. Guera Get A Head Start On Christmas Scares In ‘Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out’ #1 [Preview]

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I love Halloween, but if we're going to be honest with each other -- and I think that's important if we're going to remain America's Most Beloved Comic Book News And Opinion Website™ -- then I'll have to admit that my favorite thing about October is seeing Christmas decorations pop up in stores. Yes

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Dark Horse Has A Humble Bundle, Too, And It’s All ‘Star Wars’ Comics

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Marvel Comics is taking over the Star Wars franchise, but not until next year. So why shouldn't the longtime steward of the franchise, Dark Horse, have some fun with it and help out a worthy cause while it can?

Dark Horse is the latest in a long line of publishers to offer up a Humble Bundle comics package, but unlike the others, its offering is themed: strictly Star Wars books. Among the titles up for grabs are the first volume of the Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago (which collects the classic Marvel series from the '70s), the first volume of the Empire series, the entire Darth Maul: Death Sentence miniseries, and a lot more.

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Groo, Goon, And Horror For All Ages In Dark Horse’s NYCC 2014 Announcements [NYCC]

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With the exception of perhaps Marvel, Dark Horse Comics may have been the publisher that broke the most news about its upcoming books at New York Comic-Con this year. That includes new stories from Eric Powell and Sergio Aragonés, the latest adventures from the Eisner-winning Itty Bitty team, prestige collections of Kabuki and Pistolwhip, brand new horror tales from some of the masters of the form, and much more.

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Jughead Ain’t Got Time To Bleed: Archie & Dark Horse Announce ‘Archie Meets Predator’

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It was just the other day that I was writing about how I never really understood why comics were always crossing over with the Predator, but today, I have officially been convinced that it's all worth it. Archie Comics and Dark Horse have announced Archie Meets Predator, coming next spring from writer Alex De Campi and artist Fernando Ruiz.

The Predator, an alien from space who comes to Earth in order to hunt the deadliest and most skilled humans alive, will join The Punisher, KISS and the cast of Glee in the illustrious and growing roster of unlikely Archie crossovers, and while Frank Castle took a few shots at our redheaded hero, it seems like the Predator is the one most bent on doing violence to our Riverdale pals.

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Correcting the Post-Colonial Story: Identity And Belonging In Sam Humphries & Dalton Rose’s ‘Sacrifice’

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Right from the start, Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose's Sacrifice is identifiable as a work of passion. It was self-published – a risky proposition in the direct market – and it was a story of personal importance to the author. Humphries has epilepsy, and Sacrifice is the story of a boy whose epilepsy isn't only a source of frustration and anguish, but also a superpower that propels him into an adventure at the zenith of the Aztec civilization – and perhaps also provides the ultimate key to his agency.

That's not the only source of passion evident in Sacrifice, though. The premise of the series – a suicidal Joy Division fanatic has a seizure that sends him back in time to before Cortés' invasion of the Aztecs – provides a venue for Humphries to spit fire over how profoundly outrageous and angering the perception and purported 'history' of the Aztecs is. As someone fascinated by and familiar with the truth about the Aztecs, Humphries uses the series' bedrock of time travel, violence, and destiny, to help readers take a step towards that truth.

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‘Predator Vs. Judge Dredd Vs. Aliens’ Is Exactly As Awesome As It Sounds [Review]

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There are a lot of things that happen regularly in comics that I've never really understood, and chief among them has been the sheer number of superhero crossovers with Aliens and Predator. I mean, I understand wanting to see Aliens and Predators fight each other because they're both these mysterious, lethal alien enemies, where one's a cunning, vicious hunter and the other's an almost mindless biologically driven killing machine, a natural contrast that makes them cool opponents for each other and a deadly combination for anyone who gets trapped between them. The thing I don't get is why you'd want to throw Superman or Batman in there, if only because of the sheer amount of storytelling gymnastics you have to do to make it work. And yet, they happen all the time, and I have long since accepted that it's Just Not My Thing.

And then I read Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens, and now I get it. Mostly because the first story in this collection ends with Dredd taking off his shirt (while leaving his helmet on, of course), and fighting the Predator with a knife.

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