The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below. Welcome to part one of ComicsAlliance's Best Comic Books of 2013.
The holiday gift-giving season is in full swing, and as you may have noticed, we here at ComicsAlliance are doing our level best to point out what we think are some great gift ideas for comics readers. There's a good reason for that: At one time or another, everyone who reads comics has had that one weird present from someone who means well, but just doesn't get it. Whether it's a book about supervillains full of information that you've known since you were five ("Catwoman is a villain... but also a love interest?!") or a baseball cap with an off-model Spider-Man logo, we've been there.
That's why we've put together a list of don'ts to go along with our ongoing list of dos, as we count down ten of the worst gifts you can give to someone who loves comics.
If you’re like some of the ComicsAlliance staff, you’re a fetishist for expensive hardcover books that are available only in absurdly limited numbers and packaged in exquisite slipcases and loaded with supplemental material and artwork. With the gift-giving season rapidly winding down, people like us are looking for those last-minute gifts that are so expensive and so impressively large that they could never actually seem like you totally forgot to get your shopping (or blogging) done in a timely and responsible manner. The best sort of gift along those lines is of course the deluxe edition comic or art book, and I’ve put together a list of some great ones that you can still find at your local comics stores and online booksellers before the clock runs out on the season.
NOTE ON PRICES: We have included the list prices for each item. Because of holiday sales, you will very likely find discounts at your local comics shops, Amazon and elsewhere.
The American version of Thanksgiving is this week, and whether you celebrate the holiday as a gathering of family or a get-together for friends, the day can always be a mixed bag in terms of the quality of people who show up. Sometimes they're family members you're obligated to invite, sometimes they're friends of friends, but somehow there's always someone who makes the day memorable, but not necessarily in a good way. Here are ten characters who might rain on your Thanksgiving Day Parade.
As a kid, I used to love springing from my bed and scrambling to the living room every Thanksgiving morning to catch Macy's annual balloon-filled parade. Why, one of my most cherished Thanksgiving memories is my mom yelling for me to hurry back from a bathroom trip in 1993 to see a massive Sonic the Hegehog balloon snag on a tree or something and deflate. These days I live out west, so by the time I'm able to stumble from sleep into the kitchen to brew the first of what will add up to be about 15 cups of coffee, Twitter and Tumblr have already spoiled the entire New York City-scheduled event for me. I don't blame those in another time zone for their enthusiasm, but there's no way I'm waking up at 6 a.m. on a holiday to hear intern-scrawled soundbytes stuttered in saccharine tones by whoever's hosting from The Today Show along with them. I just want to set a DVR and skim the greatest hits between brewing some coffee and taking my pug out to poop. Forunately, after years of mediocrity, the Macy's website has finally yielded a solid lineup of what to expect this year. We dug in to pick out the baloons, floats and balloonicles (BALLOONICLES!) that comic book fans are going to want to look for, whether they're awake from 9-10:30 a.m. EST or not. Plan your annual viewing after the jump.
“We are going to access Marvel’s full world of Spider-Man characters, so be on the lookout for new heroes and villains.” Those were Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal's words of reassurance to investors during a media conference call last week.
It's no surprise to hear that Sony has big plans for its Spider-Man movie franchise. Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theatres in May 2014 with Andrew Garfield reprising his role as Peter Parker, and further installments are planned for 2016 and 2018. But the success of Marvel's own "cinematic universe" makes the expansion of Sony's Spider-Man universe seem inevitable, which leads to the question: where might Sony take the franchise next?
Earlier this week, Warner Bros. reportedly registered a bunch of domains that could indicate the official title of the next Man of Steel movie, currently referred to as "Batman Vs. Superman." As titles go... they hit about the way "The Phantom Menance" did for Star Wars fans circa 1999.
The domains are hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-streetlamp thematic, and translate to titles like "Man of Steel: Black of Knight" and "Man of Steel: Beyond Darkness." There's scads of knight/night puns, Batman references and loads of DARKNESS. So we started thinking, why not come up with some titles of our own? There are so many possibilities, and so many puns involving "knight" that Warner Bros. seems to be leaving on the table. Hit the jump to enjoy our 18 alternatives. We even made graphics for them!
Next week Americans will gather 'round their respective tables with friends and family to reflect on all of the things they're thankful for. Delicious food is generally what folks focus on, sure, but it's important not to forget about a Thanksgiving table's all-important centerpiece. After all, how are you supposed to add depth to turkey/tofurkey Instagram photos without some extra pilgrim-looking jazz around? With this in mind, we've collected a few action figure options that can help transform your day off from work from "perfectly acceptable" to "more pilgrim-ed than average." Hit the jump for four pilgrim action figure recommendations to spice up your Thanksgiving.
Knowing what to buy anyone during the holidays can make for a pretty dicey season of giving. But toy collectors with discerning tastes? That's usually gift card territory. But it doesn't have to end that way! We're here to help with a guide breaking down some of the most awesome action figure and toy options for the young and young at heart (mostly the latter). Whatever your articulated plastic budget is this year, we've got recommendations sure to please. Hit the jump for ComicsAlliance's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide to Awesome Action Figures.
Toys are basically a no-brainer as pieces of ancillary merchandise for comic books: ideally, they help fire kids' creativity as they imagine themselves in the roles of their favorite heroes and villains, sculpting scenarios that could develop the minds that will one day shape the future of our favorite characters' fictional lives; more realistically, they look okay standing up on shelves in the basements of thirty-somethings, next to their 1/6 scale statue of Faye Valentine. But not everyone who pops up in a comic stands out as an obvious candidate for the translation to the medium of plastic. Here are ten characters, obscure or otherwise, who will make you scratch your head when you see them on the rack at Target.