Looking for just the right titles to make your store nerd-friendly during the holiday shopping period? Over the next few pages we've singled out a selection of books that show off the range of the comics medium—from anthologies and art books to graphic novels and encyclopedias—and also look great under the tree.
300by Frank Miller (Dark Horse, $30)With a film coming in 2007, Dark Horse has gone back to press for this 1999 graphic novel about the Spartan King Leonid and the ancient battle of Thermopylae.The Art of Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play
by Yuu Watase (Viz Media, $19.99)
This handsome collection of artwork from Watase's popular manga series also includes an interview with Watase.
Popeye Vol. 1: "I Yam What I Yam"
by E.C. Segar (Fantagraphics, $29.95)
Segar's goofily inventive strip, which ran from 1928 to 1930, is showcased in this oversized hardcover.
An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories
edited by Ivan Brunetti (Yale Univ. Press, $28)
Cartoonist Brunetti edits an anthology of cutting-edge comics by Chris Ware, Jaime Hernandez and many others.
Ode to Kerohito
by Osama Tezuka (Vertical, $24.95)
A doctor investigates a strange disease in this 832-page fictional masterwork by Tezuka, Japan's "god of manga."
Marvel Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the Marvel Universe
by various writers (DK, $40)
Everything—and we mean everything—you need to know about Spidey, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and all the rest of Marvel's classic characters.
Ninja: Brian Chippendale
by Brian Chippendale (Gingko Press, $34.95)
Both a densely illustrated experimentalist graphic novel and an oversized art book collecting Chippendale's extraordinary drawings.
Coffin: The Art of Vampire Hunter D
by Yoshitaka Amano (Dark Horse, $39.95)
Amano's dazzling illustrations are joined by an original Vampire D short story by writer Hideyuki Kikuchi.
by Neil Gaiman and various illustrators (DC, $99)
This deluxe slipcased edition of Gaiman's acclaimed supernatural series is the definitive version, with remastered coloring and a trove of bonus materials.
Beasts! A Pictorial Schedule of Traditional Hidden Creatures
edited by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics, $28.95)
A cryptozoological event featuring illustrations of a host of dubious creatures by 94 cartoonists, including Craig Thompson, Dave Cooper, Anders Nilson and many others.
by Linda Medley (Fantagraphics, $29.95)
A new-wave sleeping beauty, a horse-headed knight and a group of bearded nuns are just a few of the delightful characters in Medley's update of a classic fairy tale epic.
The Sweeter Side of R. Crumb
by R. Crumb (MQP, $30)
Crisply illustrated blues and jazz musicians, evocative Parisian street scenes and funny portraits of his wife, Aline, highlight this collection of drawings by the inimitable Crumb.