It’s that time of year when we are bombarded by marketing campaigns telling us how and where to spend our holiday shopping budget. With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, to can be difficult to decide where and how to spend your money. Below are a few suggestions for holiday gifts for you and your nerdy friends that you can feel good about while supporting small businesses and creators.
Jill Thompson’s recent DC book Wonder Woman: the True Amazon was one of the most inspiring origin stories I’ve read in quite some time. Painting in watercolors, I’ve seen Thompson’s work first hand at the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo and am in awe of the softness of the colors against the hardness of some of the subject matter. From kids books like Scary Godmother to the supernatural horror stories of the Beasts of Burden, Thompson offers something for all ages. Her watercolors translate well to fabric, which is why you may want to get the comic book lover in your life a cute Santa drinking cocoa throw pillow or a Krampus duvet to ensure no shenanigans all year round. Be sure to check out her Threadless Store for clothing options as well as home and accessory items.
I’m not one to pick up on fashion trends, but one thing I did notice this year was enamel pins are making the rounds again. Not only are they trendy, but they make small, inexpensive gifts (including shipping costs). This year, Mondo, a Texas company which creates screen printed posters, vinyl movie soundtracks, toys, and apparel in their unique minimalist, eclectic style, is also offering a wide variety of comic book related pins. Some can be purchased in sets for $35 and individual pins are $10. Characters range from the Dr. Strange film characters including Dr. Strange, Dormammu, and Baron Mordo, and classic X-Men like Colossus, Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Beast, Jubilee and Storm. Be sure to check out their website to find the perfect enamel pin to deck out any lapel or sack.
At every convention, after walking artist alley and the writer’s booths, I find one author or artist I’ve never heard of and buy their work. It’s a great way to support comic book creators and explore something new. Last year I picked up Jeremy Bastian’s The Cursed Pirate Girl, a story about a father girl who goes on an adventure to find her pirating parent. The story was excellent but what really kept me engaged was Bastian’s extensive art work, all done in ink, which looked more like engravings than hand drawn images. The reader can truly tell this story is a labor of love because each page must take an extremely long time to create. If you have someone who loves the Victorian Gothic ascetic on your Christmas list, these $20-$45 one of a kind tea stained prints by Jeremy Bastian will have eyes lit up like lights this holiday season.
Want to buy a comic related gift while supporting comic book creators and shop owners around the world? Consider buying a gift from the CBLDF, a non-profit group dedication to protecting the First Amendment rights of comic creators. Through legal support and education, the CBLDF has defended hundreds of comic book creators and brought many censorship issues to the spotlight. By purchasing from their store, you help to ensure the rights of creators and consumers are protected. If you are willing to spend a little bit more, you can even get a signed comic personalized or bid on numerous rare item for auction on eBay. Feel good about your gifts this year and buy from the CBLDF.
These are just a few places to go to support comic book creators during the holiday season. Make sure to Google your favorite creator to see if they have work available for purchase. What gifts are you buying for the comic book lover in your life this year?