More Christmas list ideas

December 13, 2006 at 12:55 pm (Comics)

Ahhh, the bitter pangs of greed. In the first version of my list, I put only a very few books, in part because I left out any/all comic books that I might want. Let’s face it, my love of comics (or graphic novels, as people trying to get them taken seriously these days insist on calling them), especially the “horror” and “fantasy” genres, is a guilty pleasure that I’m semi-ashamed to admit. After some reflection, however (plus Heather telling me that she wasn’t going to buy me any comic books for Christmas), I decided that I should make that wish list public knowledge. Also, seeing some ho-hum paintings of sunken airplanes gradually being turned into reefs in Hawaii reminded me of my love of sunken ruins, which in turn reminded me of that picture in A Natural History of Skull Island, in which the rays and dinosaurs are swimming through a sunken arch, and I decided that I needed to hunt that book down. So, a quick trip to later, here are a few other potential Christmas-related tomes that I might enjoy:

  • The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island. This book was put out by Weta Workshops at the same time that Peter Jackson’s King Kong came out, and consisted (as far as I can tell) of them trying to repurpose all of the conceptual art of the film by turning it into a guide to the plants and animals of the island. I have to confess, I love the technique in fiction of pretending that a work is nonfiction, as long as the reader is aware that this is simply part of the story; good examples include Bram Stoker’s Dracula, in which the story is written as a collection of journal articles, news reports, recordings, etc. collected together, or Lost Horizon or A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, in which the story is ostensibly based on a unique manuscript furnished to the author, which the author then transcribed, before the original manuscript, or any other proof of the story, was irrevocably lost. Based on what I saw of the work when I perused it in a bookstore a year or so ago, I put this work in that same category. Plus, the art is really cool (especially that picture of the sunken city!).
  • Any of the recent Dark Horse Conan comics. While flipping through some of these at a bookstore the other week, I realized that (a) the story quality in them is quite high and (b) that I thoroughly enjoy them. I know, a guilty pleasure even among guilty pleasures, but there you go. A search at Amazon for “Conan graphic” will reveal six or eight Conan graphic novels, all for under $15. A trip to the local comics shop will probably reveal more, although at a higher price. Especially, any in the “Chronicles of Conan” series will work.
  • The Wicked West Volume 2. I loved the first volume, which was a very well-written vampire/Old West crossover tale. It’s easy to screw up vampire-infestation stories, especially when cowboys are involved, but that was easily one of the creepier comics I’ve read. I’m hoping for was much from the sequal, which is much longer and has many different artists/authors involved.

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