Over the years in The PopCult Gift Guide I’ve recommended many great books written, compiled, edited or presented by comics historian, Craig Yoe. This year we have three great recent releases each of which mayl be the perfect gift for the die-hard lover of comics on your holiday shopping list.
These three books bring back into print some of the finest examples of comic book art, ranging from lost classics to poignant stories of great relevance to just plain fun.
These books should be available from any bookseller using the ISBN number, or at a discount from Amazon.
LIFE ON THE MOON
by Robert Grossman
$39.99 (discounted at Amazon)
In 1835, New York newspaper The Sun published a series of six articles declaring the discovery of life–and even civilization–on the Moon, which the paper attributed to the famous contemporary astronomer Sir John Herschel. According to the Sun, the lunar inhabitants included unicorns, bison, bipedal tail-less beavers, and intelligent humanoids with bat-like wings.
Life on the Moon is a full-length graphic novel capturing this mythical world. Creator Robert Grossman said the book is set in a time when “many of the signal achievements of the 19th century still lay well in the future, Andrew Jackson was president, the steamboat was the summit of technology, and news traveled slowly.” The unfettered novel includes real historical figures such as P.T. Barnum, Jean Jacques Audubon, Lorenzo Da Ponte, Charles Goodyear, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Grossman stated that, “Life on the Moon is meant to be at least partly funny, and has a rip-roaring sci-fi ending.” Grossman concluded, “I read somewhere that William Randolph Hearst insisted that everything he produced had: Tears, laughs, loves, and thrills. Life on the Moon has all that and more.”
“Grossman’s writing is very personal and conversational, filled with historical facts and imaginative whimsy […] There is depth and emotion in his art, and it is worthwhile examining each page as you immerse yourself in the experience.” –Stephen Schnee, Forces of Geek
edited by Mitch Maglio
$29.99 (discounted at Amazon)
Thrill to the adventures of strong women who right wrongs… jungle style! Read all about them in this curated anthology of comic stories from the 1940s and ’50s.
Sassy, brassy, and beautiful, here are the Jungle Girls of the four-color Golden Age including: Tygra, Princess Pantha, Rulah, Fantomah, Judy of the Jungle, Camilla, Jun-Gal, Cave Girl, and of course, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle!
Feast your eyes on the artwork of Frank Frazetta, Fran Hopper, Bob Powell, Everett Raymond Kintsler, Jack Kamen, and last but not least, Matt Baker!
Edited by Mitch Maglio, Jungle Girls includes a revealing introduction by Dr. Sheena Howard, whose book Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation won the 2014 Eisner Award for Best Scholarly Work.
THE UNKNOWN ANTI-WAR COMICS
edited by Craig Yoe
$29.99 (discounted at Amazon)
With its unambiguous title, The Unknown Anti-War Comics is introduced by graphic novelist and musician Nate Powell of March fame and has a foreword by Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary. In addition, Noble Peace Prize Jody Williams endorses the book with her quote, “Powerful and timely!”
An action-oriented medium, comics have long used wars–real and fictional–as narrative fodder, often with a strong message attached. Buried in rare comics published during the Cold War were powerful war, fantasy, and sci-fi stories that strongly condemned war and the bomb, boldly calling for Peace.
While a few comics of the time portrayed the horrors of war, the more blatant anti-war stories were largely unappreciated or so cloaked in metaphor that they went unnoticed by contemporary audiences. Today, we can more fully appreciate the efforts of the fine writers and cartoonists who were crying out for peace in their–and our–time. Journey back with us now, and discover the secret, surprising history of anti-war comics with this marvelously curated collection.
You can visit Yoe Books on the web to find out about more great collections and scholarly works about comics. Any of them will make fine gifts for the thinking comic book fan on your holiday shopping list.
That’s it for The PopCulteer this week. Next week the plan is to bring you The 2019 PopCult Gift Guide Master List.