Wedding season is in full flush. One way to survive it is by hunting down fun romance-themed gifts. Here are a few suggestions of wedding gifts for comic lovers, if your loved-up loved ones are comic geeks.
Marvel Weddings by Roy Thomas, Bill Sienkiewicz, Fabian Nicieza, Steve Englehart, David Michelinie, John Buscema, Jim Shooter, Gerry Conway, John Byrne, and Stan Lee
I gifted this to one of my first friends to get married, and he mentioned afterward how much he loved it. Every time I visit, I still see it on his bookshelf, which gives me a warm (and probably not at all smugly self-satisfied!) glow. It’s a compilation of wedding sequences from various Marvel properties: Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Avengers. Superheroes on their wedding days…they’re just like us.
Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine
The relationships in Adrian Tomine’s fiction are often dogged by doubt and insecurity. So it’s nice to have this stocking stuffer-sized nonfiction book about planning for his upcoming wedding. It’s a light read that comments on the many ridiculous little details of wedding planning, but it’s suffused with (non-mawkish) warmth. Tomine made this as a wedding favor for his and his bride’s guests, making me wish I were friends with a cartoonist.
The Archie Wedding by Michael Uslan and Stan Goldberg
This book—originally published as Archie #600–605—has a winning premise. It imagines two futures for Archie: one where he marries Veronica, and one where he marries Betty, which lead to different career and general life circumstances. But the book has its problems. As Women Write about Comics has perceptively written, the milestones covered in each book are bland and unimaginative; surely there’s more to married life than a wedding, followed swiftly by a child. One woman’s personality flattens out in her storyline, making it very clear which woman Archie is ultimately more compatible with. And the gender relations are retrograde, of course, while the humor is often groan-worthy. Jughead and Reggie joke about not being trapped by girls, while parents worry about how Archie will support his wife in each scenario.
Still, for a nostalgia hit that takes a “Sliding Doors”/The Post-Birthday World approach to imagining how the course of a life hinges on a single romantic decision, this is compelling stuff. And haven’t you been wondering how the most enduring love triangle of the modern era would play out?
Vintage Romance Comic Book Covers Coloring Book by Craig Yoe
The couple that colors together stays together. This collection of ‘50s and ‘60s comic covers (think square jaws and victory curls) offers black and white images, with thick lines, to color in. Perhaps a post-wedding activity for the newlyweds, during the boring bits of a wedding video?
If you want to go bold and gift some sexy reads, here are some other suggestions: