20 Dec, 2013

Last Minute Tips When Shopping For A Comic Book Fan

Posted by Raphael in Blog

Midtownies! The Holiday Shopping Season is well underway! Having worked at our Times Square location for the past six years, I get a lot of people who aren’t comic book fans who want to shop for a friend, family member or loved one. Here’s some tips and suggestions for what to get the comic book fan in your life. This guide will not only help you during the holidays, but for any other occasion you find yourself in a comic book store thinking “What do I get for (enter name here)?”

Question: “He/She’s a big (fill in the character name) fan, what comic book should I get?”

Answer: This is easily one of the most commonly asked questions I ever get. Not just during the holidays, but year round. The answer really depends on a few things: Do they read currently? Do they have a lot of comics?

Quick do’s and don’ts:

DO NOT: Buy them the latest issue of a comic series. The prevailing idea of comics is that each book is a standalone story and that you can pick them up at any time. That’s truer for certain books, particularly books for young readers, but not for the vast majority. Avengers by Jonathan Hickman is just wrapping up its first epic arc, and the second one will derive directly from the first. There’s just no way to jump onto issue 22 without first reading the previous 21. Another problem is, if the person is already a big fan, and reads consistently, they may already have the issue. Having two copies of issue 22 is redundant and kind of a waste.

DO: Focus on graphic novels and trade paperbacks. They are complete stories, so you can pick them up without having to worry about the next issue. It makes hunting for issues a non-issue, and allows the giftee to sit down and read a whole story in one sitting.

DO: Ask your giftee what comics they like. Ask them their favorite titles or characters, just to get an idea. Don’t be afraid to ask, use it as a frame of reference.

DO: Find a common ground series. A common ground series is something that might interest you as well as the giftee. I recommend this particularly for couples, because it’s something you can share as a couple. My girlfriend was not much of a comic reader, but she knew a lot thanks to the movies and other media, I’ve since introduced her to things we both enjoy. Do we both read Superman? No, but we both enjoy Walking Dead, Fables and a few other titles.

DO: Ask for help. We here at Midtown Comics pride ourselves on our customer service. All of our employees read comics in varying amounts, and read a wide variety. If you happen to come into our stores, we will help you in any way we can, and try to find something your giftee will enjoy. If you’re not fortunate enough customer reviews on internet sites are helpful, and our website does have descriptive blurbs (hopefully your local comic shop is helpful too).

DO: Think outside the box. From action figures to statues to glassware to T-Shirts, there’s all kinds of related merchandise you can find and give as a gift. Especially with the superheroes and major fictional characters (Doctor Who, Star Wars) there’s tons of stuff to choose from.

So those are some quick suggestions. This advice is helpful not only for Christmas, but any other occasion you find yourself shopping for someone who loves comics. If you’re in New York, feel free to shop in any of our locations, or knowledgeable staff will help you with any gift giving ideas. You can also check our website, and remember, a gift is best when it’s shared. Make comics a shared experience.

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