Holiday Gift Bag: Showcases and Essentials

Time for one more look into our gift recommendations for comics fans and people who want to be comic fans. Today, we’re going with an old favorite around here…


Let’s talk about Marvel’s Essentials and DC’s Showcase Presents. I’ve recommended these every single year, because they’re some of the very best, easiest gifts you can get for someone who loves comics. What are they? These are very thick collections of old comics — usually over 500 pages long, black and white printing, on inexpensive paper. They sell ’em for cheap, too — between $15-20 each. That’s cheaper’n spit, man, especially for huge books like these.


These collections can be divided between early works, like the first appearances of Green Lantern, the Avengers, the Legion of Super-Heroes, or Spider-Man, and rarities that haven’t previously been collected because they’re not in high demand, like “Moon Knight,” “The Creeper,” “Dazzler,” or “Dial H for Hero.” There’s a huge variety of comics offered this way — superhero comics, war comics, Westerns, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and more. You get major characters and minor characters, and some of the greatest artists and writers in comics history.


The economy is still pretty rotten, and lots of folks need to be able to get good gifts for not a lot of money. These are perfect for that — they’re amazingly affordable, and they’re stuffed full of enough comics to keep any fan reading along for weeks. You don’t even have to get these on special order — most comics shops and large bookstores are going to have a ton of these on hand, so you can stop in, shell out a little cash, and walk off with an easy last-minute stocking stuffer. The comics fan on your list gets some classic stories they’d never get to read otherwise, and you get a nice little break for your pocketbook, too.


Marvel’s Essentials and DC’s Showcase Presents. Go pick some up.

No Comments

  1. Todd Gray Said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 6:44 am

    I’ve been pushing these puppies for years, dude. Good choice!

  2. Scott Slemmons Said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 7:12 am

    Thanks — it’s weird how few comics fans know about how great these are…

  3. ROBERT Said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 11:15 am

    love the Garcia-lopez artwork.

  4. swampy Said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

    The Rampaging Hulk was cool because I never got to read the original mags when they first came out

  5. VoodooBen Said,

    December 22, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

    I am TWO essentials away from owning every Marvel Essential (minus the X-Men ones, which I mostly have in singles). Sorry, wanted to brag.

    Yeah, these are the bee’s knees. I too have never figured out why they aren’t more popular.