Now some additional possibilities for shoppers who haven't quite finished yet:
Published in her spare time, no doubt
Pajama Diaries is Terri Libensen's strip about a graphic artist working at home with all the distractions and conflicts that arise, and now she's put together a collection, "Having It All," which pretty well sums up the futility at the center of her sense of humor.
It's interesting to note that, while "female-driven domestic comedy" seems to have become a genre in strips, there is quite a variety of approaches.
Libensen maintains focus on her doppelganger main character, Jill Kaplan, and does a nice job of keeping her frustrated without having her become overly cynical, saving most of her venting for clueless clients and an overly-organized, overly-perfect mom-pal, while unleashing on her kids only the usually quick-storm moments all parents have.
Except her overly-organized, overly-perfect mom-pal, of course.
Dan Thompson's got a new Rip Haywire book out, which is good news for fans of hard-boiled crimefighters but bad news for hard-boiled yeggs.
"Rip Haywire" is a spoof of adventure heroes, complete with his affectionate (well, off-and-on) moll, his sort of faithful dog, a plucky young sidekick, and enough stupid metaphors to make Micky Spillane giggle.
By happenstance, TCM recently aired the classic Raymond Chandler film, "Murder My Sweet," in which Dick Powell plays Philip Marlowe, and then, a few nights later, the Jean Luc Godard/Francois Truffault masterpiece, "Breathless," with Jean Paul Belmondo as a car thief on the run and Jean Seberg as his lover/accomplice.
Rip Haywire isn't anything like either of them.
Blue Light Special
I make no secret of my affection for "Retail," not simply because it's a well-crafted strip but because I like having, in its lack of blockbuster status, such a blatant example of how cloth-eared editors are killing their own newspapers by not running strips that target a desireable demographic.
If you, or someone you buy presents for, is in a desireable demographic, here's good news: Norm Feuti has published the first year's strips -- dailies and Sundays -- in "This Is So Bogus My Head Hurts."
That first year was 2006, and the crew from Grumbel's Department Store has gone through some development and maturing in the year's since, but, while it remains one of the best strips out there, there was an anger in the first year that makes this collection doubly welcome.
Norm was just busting free from several years in the mushroom factory himself and he had a lot of very pointed jokes on the tip of his tongue.
Speaking of Angry Young Men
And don't forget Matt Bors' self-published collection, "Life Begins at Incorporation," a collection of cartoons and musings and insights from an up-and-comer who is getting a little tired of being described as an up-and-comer.
However, he's going to have to deal with it, unless he would like to go ahead and mellow out early into middle age and begin doing editorial cartoons about pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey (with labels!) and beloved dead people at the Pearly Gates.
And, if he accomplishes that, you'll be happy to have this book, so you can hand it to people and say, "Yeah, but look at what he used to do" and shake your head in dismay.
For the Coffee Table and the Mind
Kal Kallaugher is one of the premiere draftsmen in cartooning, and isn't it nice that he couples that sharp pen with sharp wit?
And isn't it also nice that enough people realize this that, when he ran a Kickstarter to publish a collection of his work, it was quickly, strongly over-funded, so that he was able to produce the most beautiful contemporary collection of the year?
"Daggers Drawn" is a stunner, with a combination of production values, fine artwork and sparse, telling insights that make it a contender for "Least Likely To Be Kept On The Shelf."
Granted, it probably helps if the reader has some idea of who people like Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Angela Merkel are.
But I think that simply means that it's a compliment to give someone this book, making it a "thoughtful gift" indeed.
The banjo man has been temporarily tied down
Friend of the blog Richard Thompson took a bad fall and broke a hip yesterday. He is scheduled for a replacement today and we'll try to keep track of what is going on with him.
Which might be an opportunity to plug "The Complete Cul de Sac" collection except that it won't come out until May. Of course, a pre-order and a card would make someone very happy.
Or you could get them a copy of the "Team Cul de Sac" book now and help support research into the Parkinsons that brought the banjo man low in the first place.
It's not only a good cause, but the art and commentary by other cartoonists will let you know why they rallied in the wake of Richard's diagnosis -- he's not only one helluvan artist but a very, very nice guy, too.
As for prognosis on this latest misadventure, I'm optimistic: I've had a couple of friends get hip replacements and bounce right back more quickly than any of us expected.
And they weren't nearly as hip to begin with.
1. Don't forget to have a look at the "Independent Publishers" section in the right rail here, and, if you have an independently (non-Amazon) collection of your own work for sale, please feel free to list it there. That's also a good place for e-comics, since their coming out too fast for me to keep up with.
2. And remember that using the Amazon link helps support the blog, no matter what you're buying from them. There is a good selection of comic collections linked directly on the rail, and you can, of course, search for more once you're in.