It’s less than a week before Christmas and you may have a few (or like me, several) gifts left to purchase. The gift certificates and pre-paid credit cards hanging on the wrack at the grocery store check out lane are looking more tempting with each passing day. “Who doesn’t like scratch-offs and chocolate?” you ask yourself. These gifts, void of deeper meaning and rarely descried as thoughtful, can still be avoided. Say it with me now, you still have time. Many of our readers are likely to make one more shopping visit for themselves in the next week, and that is to a local comic shop. Picking up the last batch of new comics for the year doesn’t have to be your only reason for visiting. Here are a few reasons why your nearest comic book store will be the perfect last stop for your holiday shopping.
Buy What You Want, But For Someone Else
This is always a good standby for those on your shopping list that are proving difficult. Really digging the new Greg Rucka series Lazarus? I am sure there is someone on your list that enjoys futuristic dystopian tales featuring kick ass women. And if they don’t yet read comics….
Share Your Hobby
The holidays are a perfect time to convert your friends and family into comic book fans! Take this opportunity to show them why comics deserve your expendable income by giving them critically acclaimed books. You might not make a lifelong fan of them yet, but you can surprise them with a comic that challenges their preconceptions of the medium (I.e. not a superhero title or one that has been adapted for film / television). Consider how you yourself came to love comics. Someone probably gave you one, right? Be that person for someone else by picking a book that speaks to their interests and that you yourself can get behind. And if you need help making that decision…
Comic Store Clerks = Personal Gift Shopper
You have in your local comic shop a resource that you likely utilize every week: the employees! Whether you are buying for an old comic fan or trying to make them into one, these hard-working individuals love the opportunity to provide suggestions. Be sure to tell them what books, movies, and television shows your loved one enjoys. Think about what interests them outside of entertainment – do they enjoy the outdoors, or love traveling? Together with your local comic shop you can find the perfect comic to give.
Find Unique Gifts
The thing about comic book stores is that they have shelves, and sometimes things sit on those shelves a lot longer than they would in a digital storefront. Comic shops purchase directly from individuals too, meaning new product is always coming and going. For both of these reasons, you will have a greater chance of finding something truly unique that you may not have even thought of buying as a gift. Perhaps a stuffed Ewok or some Star Trek trading card stickers from the early 90’s? These gems are waiting for you to find them in comic shops around the world.
Comic Shops: Not Just For Comics
It is true of most comic stores these days that they offer many more products than just books and toys. One can even find practical items such as mugs, wallets, seasonally appropriate apparel, all likely to be adorned with characters from various beloved fandoms. Totally unnecessary and outlandish product tie in’s may also jump out from the shelves, such as superhero branded chili sauce (a real thing according to our WWAC’s own Claire Napier). You can find something for even your most casually nerdy family member.
Shop For The Young & Old
Take care of the children and adult family members in one place! Adventure Time comics will be enjoyed by both.
Because You’ve Already Given Amazon So Much Money This Year
As your shopping funds dwindle the online shopping route beckons, with deep discounts and expedited shipping. If you see something in store that you want to purchase but wait to price compare online, you’re essentially using the local vendor as a showroom for your online purchasing. If you appreciate their service and what they offer to you throughout the year, a polite thank you won’t cover their wages. Help ensure that they will be around next holiday season by buying a gift or two while you shop for yourself.
Now that we’ve convinced you to pick up a few more gifts from your local comic shop, check our our last minute gift guide for books and comics and our list of stuff and things (many of these gift suggestions are handmade but you can still find similar items in stores). Let us know what unique presents you find this year.