With Further Ado #227: Ed’s 2022 Annual Gift Giving Guide – Part 1

Ok, I may not have been perfect this year, but I promise I’ll be really good for the rest of this year and all of 2023.

Yeah, yeah – you’re right. I’ve been telling Santa that line for quite a few years. I don’t think he’s buying it. I hope you’ve been able to behave this year, though, because there’s so much wonderful stuff out here! And that’s just what this Annual Gift Guide is for – to help you put a few things on your radar. Items that would be wonderful for gifting ..or suggesting to your loved ones as gifts for yourself. Let’s jump into it, shall we?

Frazetta Book Cover Art: The Definitive Reference
By J. David Spurlock and Frank Frazetta

Publisher :‎ Vanguard
Language ‏:‎ English
Hardcover :‎ 168 pages
ISBN-10 ‏:‎ 1934331848

Clear some room on that coffee table, Vanguard has a new book out and it’s a beauty! This lovely volume chronicles artist Frank Frazetta’s book and paperback covers. Each cover is packed with dramatic tension and skilled artistry. And just about all of the covers are moody and memorable.

I’ve been a Frazetta fan forever, and our our trip to the Frazetta Museum fueled my fanboy flames. Author J. David Spurlock shares his knowledge of and respect for Frazetta in an entertaining and enthralling manner. A book like this is magnificent to flip thru once, twice or a million times.

Here’s the official sell copy for this brilliant book.

This new 2022 Frazetta book follows last year’s hit, Fantastic Paintings of Frazetta and is similar to Vanguard’s earlier Frazetta Definitive Reference book…this new book is devoted solely to the artist’s single, most beloved venue, Book Cover Art. By focusing on this specific area, the book boasts room enough to feature every single one of Frazetta’s famous and highly collectable illustrated book covers, beautifully and authentically reproduced at a larger size on a page to itself. All are presented in chronological order which, gives readers a unique ability to follow Frazetta’s evolution as an artist. Accompanying text includes commentary, original publication titles, publishers, dates, and rare quotes from the artist himself. For this Definitive Reference to feature the Complete Collection of Frazetta’s decades of book cover illustrations, in a single beautifully produced volume, is a dream come true for Frazetta fans, art and book collectors and historians alike.

I’m don’t think I’m usually that big a fan of slipcovers, but in this case I am. This slipcover is sturdy and durable, and it shows off a lesser-known book cover – and it’s exceedingly fantastic.

The Gift of Original Art – Glenn Whitmore

The gift of original art instantly becomes a memorable and thoughtful gift- and the recipient can enjoy seeing it on a wall for years and years. Might I suggest the wonderful sketches of Glenn Whitmore as a place to start? He’s a longtime comics professional who I first admired during his days on DC’s Comics. Now you can find his amazing sketches for sale here..

“With every sketch I make,” says Glenn, “ I strive to capture a nostalgic simplicity that evokes the styles of the Golden and Silver Ages and uses color in a bold way. I like to make sketches that appeal to a wide age range. I am always available for commissions at Catskill Comics; which also include cover recreations. Whether you are a long-time comic art collector or a young fan of a particular character, there is something for everyone at my Catskill Comics webpage.”

Glenn also has some gorgeous color keys- essentially the planning document with notes – for many DC comics. They are a unique item for fans!

Word Balloon Podcast Subscription

John Siuntres has served up the best comic/ pop culture interviews for years. His long-running Word Balloon Podcast is always insightful, delightful and fresh. Somehow John books all the top talents in the industry and then gets them to share their thoughts, visions and backstories with no holds barred. And somehow – I’m not sure how he does this – John makes the listener feel like she or he is a part of it all, rather than just an eavesdropper.

Word Balloon is free – it will always be free – but there are plenty of costs involved and a subscription is the best way to support this fine work. And what could be better than a gift subscription for the fan in your life?

More deets at WordBalloon.com or wherever you get your podcasts!

Rayguns, Rocketships & Rian Hughes

I recently showcased this amazing collection of UK science fiction covers. Designer/artist Rian Hughes has created an impressive and enticing collection -it’s a treasure that demands multiple readings.

Title : Rayguns & Rocketships
Written by : Rian Hughes
Publisher ‏:‎ Korero Press
Language ‏: English
Hardcover ‏: ‎456 pages
ISBN-10 ‏: ‎1912740044

The Return of Batman Returns

I remember it was kind of weird that the second Batman of the modern age, Batman Returns (directed by Tim Burton) debuted in the summer of 1992, but the film took place at Christmas time. I’m kind of glad it did now, because it’s given publisher Insight the opportunity to hire Ivan Cohen (one of my favorite Batman writers) and produce a children’s book an all-ages holiday storybook.

Batman Returns: One Dark Christmas Eve, The Illustrated Holiday Classic is a fun romp for this yuletide season. JJ Harrison is the artist working with Ivan, and he creates whimsical illustrations, evocative of every Christmas book you ever read.

Title : Batman Returns: One Dark Christmas Eve, The Illustrated Holiday Classic
Author : Ivan Cohen
Artist : JJ Harrison
Publisher :‎ Insight Editions; Illustrated edition
Language ‏:‎ English
Hardcover :‎ 32 pages
ISBN-10 ‏:‎ 1647227542

Planning for 2023

Ok, I’ll admit it – I do most of my calendaring (I can’t believe I actually use that verb) on my iPhone. That’s just the reality of the situation. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a few wall calendars too.

And the one I’m really looking forward to is Greg Hildebrandt’s American Beauties. It’s a stunning calendar created by the fine folks at Heavy Metal.

And you have learned about it in the long interview I had with Hildebrandt earlier this year right here in With Further Ado.

Title : Heavy Metal Presents American Beauties
Publisher ‏:‎ Heavy Metal Entertainment (October 4, 2022)
Language ‏:‎ English
Calendar ‏:‎ 28 pages
ISBN-10 ‏:‎ 1955537348

Ok, gang, go easy on the eggnog until next week – we’ll have more suggestions in Part 2 of the Annual Holiday Gift Guide!