2017 holiday gift guide: Samurai Comics staff picks

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Samurai ComicsBooks, of course, make great gifts — but so do graphic novel and comic book trade paperbacks. We asked the crew at Phoenix’s Samurai Comics to recommend some titles for holiday gift-giving.

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

RoughneckAnother moving tale from writer/artist Jeff Lemire. This story is so human and touching that the narrative moves you emotionally with just the cool light blues and whites of Lemire’s water color illustrations. The reader can feel the cold sadness of returning home to the frozen north. Roughneck follows the story of Derek Oulette, a retired hockey goon returning home where he drinks too much and fights too much. When he is faced with the ordeal of the return of his estranged sister who is on the run from an abusive boyfriend, Derek finds himself back in the role of the brute who must protect. Equal parts touching and terrifying, Roughneck is a singular piece of work that will tug at you long after the book is finished.

Rock Candy Mountain by Kyle Starks

Rock Candy Mountain
Rock Candy Mountain

Rock Candy Mountain is a book steeped in actual hobo lore! For those of you who wish you could ride the rails with a bindle as your only friend, this book is for you! Most importantly though, Rock Candy Mountain introduces the reader to a secret underground worlds of the hobo mafia, hobo fight clubs and, well … the Devil himself. Rock Candy Mountain packs action and humor onto each page. It was one that was often lost in the massive amount of new Image titles this year, but it is one not to be missed.

All ages: Calla Cthulhu by Evan Dorkin

Calla CthulhuMilk and Cheese creator Evan Dorkin is back with an all ages book that is fun for kids from 10-42! Recommended for those who have an affection for the stories of HP Lovecraft, Calla Cthulhu centers around Calla, a seemingly normal teenager (with green hair) who shares a connection to the “Great Old Ones” and a familial connection to the nefarious “King In Yellow” who wants her to embrace her true destiny.

Calla Cthulhu channels Buffy the Vampire Slayer, while making winks and nods towards the larger Lovecraftian Mythos that older readers are familiar with. An exciting and fun read for those already familar with Cthulhu and the Old Gods, and a great introduction for readers of all ages who just like a girl who kicks monster butt!

Black (Kwanza Osajyefo writer, Jamal Igle artist)

BlackOsajyefo and Igle’s groundbreaking book Black is a must read for anyone who holds an interest in the growing racial divide in our country. Black tells the story of Kareem Jenkins, who lives in a world not too far off from the one we reside in. After being racially profiled and followed by police, Kareem is shot and presumably killed. However, Kareem finds himself alive and quickly learns that he is just one of many black people who have superpowers.

Kareem is quickly taken underground and learns of a movement he couldn’t have imagined! This book is for the socially conscious. Admirably. where Black could have been heavy handed with a stated political message, instead it daftly weaves a socio-political allegory through a compelling story which has legs to spawn an entire new universe of heroes.

— Stephen Andolfo

Thanks to the staff at Samurai Comics for the recommendations!

No products or services were exchanged in consideration for this content.