I know that in this year of trade paperbacks, the word on everyone's lips has been Watchmen. It has sold like hot cakes and it is getting a ton of critical praise. While I don't discount the perfection and glory of Watchmen, it is not the first book I would give to a non-comic book reader.
I ask you for a moment to think of Camelot 3000 as an alternative in gift giving. This trade paperback is a collection of the first maxi-series ever done. It is also the first adult themed book and it was printed on heavier paper. Did I mention that it also features King Arthur?
Camelot 3000 is the imagining of the return of Arthur, Merlin, and his knights to the troubled future. Britain has been taken over by aliens, and the world has all but given up. Into that time, King Arthur awakes to put things right. The twist here is in the times and in the reincarnated knights and their own reawakening. This book is truly glorious in every way.
Writer Mike W. Barr and artist Brian Bolland have created a book for the ages. Their collaboration is flawless, as the book has the feel of one mind and one spirit creating it. The dress and the introduction add to the tone of the book, enthralling readers from cover to cover.
I selected this as a gift to non-comic book readers because it is not cut from the typical super hero mode. There is no Wonder Woman, and Captain America doesn't make an appearance. These are iconic characters in their own right, and the legend has been passed down for centuries. Who hasn't heard of Lancelot and Guinevere? Merlin is certainly famous (or infamous) in his own right. This is the perfect book to hand to the person who has seen the movie Excalibur. They will go nuts for it!
When shopping this year, I have hesitated to share the comic book joy, but this is a rare exception. The price is right, and the book is available in multiple formats, ranging from deluxe to simple. If you haven't read it, give it a look and make your own opinion.
While everyone else is reading Watchmen, give the gift of King Arthur.