Tag Archives: V-day

Guest Post: Sam Kusek’s V-Day Gift Guide for Comic-Loving Lovers

Whether you are in a romantic relationship or are just single and loving it, Valentines Day can be an important day for all of us. It’s good to let people know how to you feel about them, showing them that you care deeply. Heck, I still get a card from my grandma every year! For those of us who are heavily invested in comics and manga though, we’d like to add our own personal touch to our gifts and good wishes! I know that I love introducing my friends to manga & comics, helping them understand the art form and I can’t think of a better opportunity to give out some good books!

1. Red Snow by Susumu Katsumata; Published Drawn & Quarterly – This anthology of short stories about life in rural Japan and its mythical folklore is sure to impress any history buff you may have in your circle!

2. Pluto by Naoki Urasawa; Published by Viz – I can’t recommend this series enough. Not only is it a stunning reinterpretation of a great sci-fi tale, it is emotionally touching! A must read for anyone with a soft spot for robots!

3. Swallowing the Earth by Osamu Tezuka; Published by Digital Manga Publishing – Even with all the crime dramas on television, you can’t beat a classic noir story! Tezuka keeps us on our toes at every turn as he explores the complex relationships between men, money, woman and gold!

4. GoGo Monster by Taiyo Matsumoto; Published by Viz – Gogo Monster may not be the most straightforward story (it really makes you think and rethink your opinions), but its certainly got its charm! If you have any artsy friends or someone looking for a “deeper” meaning in life, pass this along to them.

5. Cyborg 009 by Shotaro Ishinomori; Published by Tokyopop – Thought hard to find, this series really is worth searching for. Starting its original run in the 60’s, Cyborg 009 deals a lot with race relations and unity, as nine strangers from around the globe have their lives changed forever as they are changed into machines of war!

6. Nana by Ai Yazawa; Published by Viz – The quintessential girls comic. The story of two utterly different girls who share the same name and pretty soon, the same apartment. It’s an amazing series and a great read for any girl who is going through some big life changes.

7. Cat Eyed Boy by Kazuo Umezu; Published by Viz – If you are a horror fan or know someone who likes a good scare, look no further. CEB is a great example of all Japanese horror, getting under and into the skin of the reader. Not only that, but the main character is cute enough to hit a warm spot with anyone.

8. Earth X by Jim Kreuger and Alex Ross; Published by Marvel – Marvel has some great characters under their belt, but how great can they be when they are put to the ultimate test of just being a face in the crowd? Check out this exciting first of 4 books that makes you question everything you thought you knew about Marvel.

9. Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Perez; Published by DC – In a similar vein to Earth X, this book changed the DC universe forever, giving birth to some new great heroes and eras but bringing death to some of the most beloved. It’s an essential read for understanding the DC universe today.

10. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud; Published by Harper Perennial – Finally, this is for anyone who truly wants to make comics a profession, whether as an artist, marketer or whatever. McCloud is a visionary, touching upon perception and the way the human mind works to explain everything you could ever think of (and not think of) about comics all across the world!

Thanks and I hope that you and your loved ones find some good things to read!

~Sam Kusek


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Love Via Comics

It was just a little over a year ago that my boyfriend and I started dating. The romance started off  slowly for me and we’d already gone through some tough personal issues before Valentine’s Day rolled around. Seeing as we’d only been dating for a little over a month, I didn’t get him much — just  a little toy. I gave him my gift at midnight and then he pulled out Scott Pilgrim volumes 1-5.

I was floored. Not only was it an awesome gift and something that I had wanted to read for years, but I had mentioned  wanting it once in conversation to him weeks before. So in reality, it was not just the gift of a terrific series, it was thoughtful. It was totally romantic, he earned tons of brownie points and really made me think: I sure picked The Right Guy. He clearly came out way ahead.

So guys, here’s my one and only Valentine’s Day tip:  be thoughtful and pay attention. Johanna Draper-Carlson of Comics Worth Reading shared with me that her husband drew in their first date into an issue of Legion of Superheroes and then gave her the original art on Valentine’s Day. How amazing and thoughtful is that? It really shows how much Mr. Carlson still thinks about that first date. Totally romantic! What woman wouldn’t feel happy after such a gift? It really says a lot about the strength of couples who nerd together too.

For more Valentine’s Day gift giving ideas, you can either check out my article on “What to Get Your Special Otaku” at Tokyopop.com or our VERY FIRST guest post by Sam Kusek of Manga ReCon “V-Day Gift Guide for Comic-Loving Lovers” right here on All About Manga.  A BIG thank you to Sam for that!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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