SEAN: ‘Tis Christmas, and a young child is looking under the tree for a manga that’s bigger than the average tome, one that has a gorgeous design and feel, and one that can amuse, delight, and possibly scare the pants off of them. Yes, that child is looking for Kitaro from Drawn and Quarterly, which is my pick for Christmas gift this holiday season. It’s a true classic whose influence is massive, it has Nezumi Otoko, one of manga’s truly great Dirty Cowards, and it’s just a giant pile of fun. Give your kid the gift of vintage manga! (And also a PS4, so they don’t whine.)
MICHELLE: At first I thought it would be very difficult to come up with the one gift I’d give a manga fan this Christmas, but then I remembered the one manga I simultaneously adored and was mightily impressed by—Taiyo Matsumoto’s Sunny! Sad, charming, uplifting, introspective, a page-turner… all of these adjectives apply. And if you were feeling really generous, you could pick up volume two as well!
ASH: For manga fans, or even general comics fans, a gift that I think will have broad appeal is Makoto Yukimura’s Vinland Saga. Kodansha’s first deluxe hardcover release looks great on the shelf, too. The series has badass Vikings, exciting battles, great art, and fantastic characters. And lots of snow; that’s seasonal, right? Also, if you get them hooked, the second omnibus will be on its way soon!
ANNA: If you are all nestled snug in your bed with visions of giant robots dancing in your head, there is no other book I would recommend than Gundam: The Origin. Any volume in this series comes with Vertical’s always excellent production values, the hardcover design makes it extra special, and the revisited first story of the Gundam saga is both epic and human in scale, as the great action in the space battles is balanced by the human trials and tribulations the human pilots go through.
MJ: I personally love Christmas for the sake of two of its particular attributes: beauty and nostalgia. And what manga embodies these glorious concepts more completely than the works of Moto Hagio? My gift pick this year goes all the way back to January’s highly-anticipated release of Hagio’s The Heart of Thomas. Lovingly translated by Hagio aficionado Matt Thorn, and gorgeously produced by the folks at Fantagraphics, this luxurious hardcover edition is undoubtedly the loveliest jewel in my personal collection—and for a fan of classic shoujo, that’s saying quite a bit. It’s the kind of manga that’s so pretty, I’d content myself with simply gazing at its artwork, were that all it had to offer. Fortunately, there’s a lot to love all around. A year later, it’s still my favorite new release of 2013.
What are your manga gift picks for this holiday season?