The Batman Files
Matthew K. Manning
Andrews McMeel, $100
A vivid assortment of "files" on everything in Bruce Wayne's world — gadgetry, enemies, police records, dossiers — collected by Wayne as a guide for helping his future successor.
Comics for the People, 1940s-2000s
Richard L. Graham
Abrams Comicarts, $29.95
How U.S. government agencies have used comic characters — Lil Abner in the Navy, for example, or Bert the Turtle surviving an atomic blast — to spread information to the public.
The epic story of the lives of two refugees, trapped in a world of dunes and deserts.
Daniel Wallace, introduction by Mark Hamill
A fascinating look at the evolution of Batman's arch-nemesis from clownish criminal to grisly madman with a cadaver's smile.
A lavish deconstruction of his magnum opus, the prize-winning graphic memoir "Maus," on the 25th anniversary of the publication of the first part.
The New 52
DC Comics, $150
A necessity for any fan: DC's reboot of its line of superhero comics comes in a single hardcover omnibus edition containing all of the first issues.
1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die
The Ultimate Guide to Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Manga
Paul Gravett (general editor)
This catalog of comic greats includes not only the expected ones — early Spider-Man or Flash Gordon — but others from around the world, including Les Naufragés du Temps ("Lost in Time") and Kaliman, El Hombre Increible ("The Incredible Man").
Return to Perdition
Max Allan Collins, art by Terry Beatty
Vertigo Crime, $19.99
In this sequel to Collins' "Road to Perdition," a young mob hit man discovers the identity of his grandfather and learns that he can't outrun his family's past.
The Someday Funnies
Edited by Michael Choquette
Abrams Comicarts, $55
A singular collection of comic strips remembering the cultural turmoil and political and sexual unrest of life in the 1960s.
The Spider-Man Vault
A Musuem-in-a-Book With Rare Collectibles Spun From Marvel's Web
Peter A. David and Robert Greenberger
Marvel Comics, $49.95
A comprehensive history of everyone's favorite webhead, accompanied by images and removable features.