Do you have that one person or maybe a handful of folks you're not sure what to get but you know something comic book-related would be the ideal gift?
Well, Newsarama is here to help. We are going to take you through the minefield of shopping for comic book fans, where, in most cases, all you have to do is add it to your cart.
Where do you start though? Let's start with the basics of comic collection: storage.
Comic book boxes & storage
Long boxes are the staple of comic storage, with BCW being the go-to name in that department. The BCW long box usually store about 250-300 comics depending if they're bagged and boarded as well. They're stackable and pretty durable with double-plied handles and bottom.
If you're not into that, the Billy bookcase from IKEA is obviously pricier, but exponentially more stylish with single issues or your trades, or even collectibles.
If you're looking for something practical and on a budget, BCW is the way to go.
Original comic art
If you're looking for truly a one-of-a-kind gift, look into original art. Small commissions, sketches, full-blown (maybe even cover quality) pieces are always a good bet.
Artists aren't difficult to find for the most part, usually have some social media presence and contact information to initiate the creative process. For example, long-time Archie Comics artist Dan Parent and the company offered a custom caricature of a person in the Archie style - joined by some of Riverdale's finest.
If you're looking for a specific artist or maybe even a specific page, check out artist groups such as Felix Comic Art, Essential Sequential, or Cadence Comic Art, and a rep will assist you to the best of their abilities to make sure the piece is just right.
Not sure where to begin on collecting comic art? Check out our expert's guide to collecting original comic book art.
Digital comics subscriptions
While you may know where your local comic shop(s) are, if you're buying for someone they may not know, making digital comics are always the next best thing.
Apps like Comixology Unlimited, Marvel Unlimited, DC Universe Infinite, or even Shonen Jump deliver your favorite comics or books right to their device. They cost about $5-6 a month or about $69 a year. Free to download and huge libraries to access take with you on the go.
That being said... not sure the best way to read those digital comics?
Tablets to read comics
If you're looking for something bigger than your phone to read your new digital comics, definitely look into Samsung tablets.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro has a massive 12" screen which allows you to zoom in on the page, but if you want something more compact, the Tab S4 or even S3 has an outstanding resolution. But if you have a high budget and want the brand’s trust and a multipurpose device then these are the ones you should go with.
The latter are more high-end for just a reading device, but easily one of the top multi-devices out there.
If you're looking for just reading though: Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8. The price point is hard to top for what you get with an 8" screen and functionality.
Comic store gift cards / gift certificates
If digital comics aren't their thing, comic stores across the country sell gift cards or certificates.
You can use comicshoplocator.com where you can find nearby comic stores and check if they ship, but not sure what your recipient has in their collection, a gift card is the way to go.
Protect your most valuable comics
Getting comics graded and slabbed with a company like Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) has been popular among collectors for decades and even more popular in the past five years.
Getting comics officially graded and certified is a painless process that could be just the thing for that budding collector in your life. Fees range from free to $300, each with different benefits and how deep you are into the collecting world.
This one might seem a bit obvious, but if you have a young reader who has only experienced characters from the movies, or maybe video games and you want them to see the origins and stories of those characters they've already fallen in love with. See what they're into and try to expand their library.
Were they into the Netflix shows? Try picking up some Daredevil or Alias trades.
Super into the Injustice video games or the Justice League cartoons? DC just released the JLA by Grant Morrison Omnibus.
Books about comics
If you think your comic book-loving person might want to know more about how comics or made or maybe the process behind them, there's plenty to choose from.
For those budding comic book writers out there, Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels by Brian Michael Bendis.
For history buffs, there's the great Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe.
Comic Classes and experiences
The step after that would be maybe a class on how to create comics yourself. There are a few options for those who are serious about learning more about the craft.
The Kubert School, Coursera, Comics Experience, and the Jacob Krueger Studio all have classes you can sign somebody up so they can learn from pros about the construction and basics of writing a comic script first hand.
While 2021 might have been a horrible year for conventions, comic shops, and even publishers with *gestures at everything* going on, but as conventions return, you'll want to be ready.
Most every major convention has dates planned in the next six months, and here's hoping we can all hang out again under extremely better circumstances. Why not gift your friends and con-going loved ones with a pass to their favorite convention?
Prices range from whatever your local convention charges to ReedPop shows that can go for over $100 for all four days. Obviously, you can also purchase day passes for the shows if that's what you're able to do, but being with friends again is what's important.
Are you shopping for a gamer in your life? Check out an expert guide to the best gifts for gamers from our friends at GamesRadar.