Robot 6

Robot 6’s holiday haul

The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics

The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics

The holidays are a time for family, food, fun and, of course, the spirit of giving. I thought I’d check in with the members of the Robot 6 crew to see what comic-related gifts they received this year, along with any they gave as presents. Feel free to share anything comic-related you gave or got this year as well.

Tom Bondurant: I got The Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics (Abrams Comicarts), selected and edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly. A good bit of Carl Barks Duck work, from what I can tell. My parents gave it to me.

Absolute Death

Absolute Death

Michael May: Some friends of mine gave me the Absolute Death. They’ve been giving me the Absolute Sandman volumes for Christmas and my birthday for the last couple of years, so this was a perfect way to cap off that tradition.

I was much cheaper in my comics giving. My nephew is a fan of Coheed & Cambria, so I got him the second volume of The Amory Wars. My youngest brother doesn’t follow any monthly comics, but he does love Superman, so it was All-Star Superman Vol. 1 for him.

Brigid Alverson: My brother went to Ireland this year and he brought me back the modern incarnations of my childhood favorites, Beano and Dandy: Dandy Extreme, which is an amped-up version of the old Dandy, and an anthology of “classics” from a variety of DC Thompson comics. The anthology is interesting because it’s a weekly, which suggests there is a demand for this sort of thing, but of course it’s always a shock to see something from your childhood being presented as if it’s a museum piece.

Sam's Strip

Sam's Strip

Chris Mautner: We focused largely on the kids this year, so I only received two presents from the missus, one of which was Sam’s Strip, a complete collection of the self-referential daily comic strip Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas did back in the early 1960s. It’s full of references to older strips — Happy Hooligan keeps stopping by, as does Krazy Kat and various other classic characters. What’s more the two (and only) main characters are always breaking the fourth wall — directly addressing the readers, getting “cartoon props” out of their storage closet, stuff like that. They don’t go quite as far with the concept as they could, but you can sense the two of them having fun with the possibilities.

My daughter, however, made out like a bandit, comics-wise, scoring the fourth issue of the first Muppet Show mini-series (she already had the other three), a Little Lulu volume, the fifth Bone volume (the Scholastic color version) and the latest Babymouse book.

Thor: Ages of Thunder

Thor: Ages of Thunder

JK Parkin: My sister-in-law gave me the Thor:Ages of Thunder hardcover, which collects several Thor stories by Matt Fraction. She also gave me the recent Neil Gaiman novella, Odd and the Frost Giants, which come to find out is a different take on one of the old Norse legends that Fraction adapted in Age of Thunder. Which was an interesting bit of symmetry.

My wife, meanwhile, gave me the Locke and Key collection by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

Giftwise, I gave each of my brothers a copy of Parker the Hunter this year, and I also gave my younger brother the first Unknown Soldier collection from Vertigo. And my older brother’s girlfriend has been into Jonathan Lethem recently, so I gave her a copy of the Omega the Unknown collection he wrote for Marvel.

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My niece has become an enthusiastic comics reader recently. I’d given her “Batgirl: Year One” when she was younger, and she tore through a copy of “Pride of Baghdad” that I gave her cousin about three years ago, but it was reading Watchmen this past year (before the film came out) that converted her. She’s in college now and seems to love the dark tales. She’d enjoyed some of my old Simone-penned “Birds of Prey,” so I gave her the first trade of “Secret Six.” It’s not Moore, Morrison or Gaiman, but I am sure she’ll love the twisted humor, and the price was right.

p.s. I’ve also been buying her the monthly issues of Detective. Meanwhile, a friend sent me a trade of Kirby’s “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen,” which I’m looking forward to diving into.

I ordered some of SLG’s books during their sale and sent The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks to my older grand-niece (in 6th grade) and Terrabella Smoot to my younger grand-niece (in Kindergarten).

My younger son just reads the comics that are always coming into the house for my work, he reads them every day, so I don’t give them as presents to him. He knows he can always borrow and read my stuff.

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