Christmas is JUST around the corner, and the outhouse is here to help you get gifts for the geeks in your life.Jude Terror's Judeo-Christian Holiday Gift Guide for Posersand Jerkoffs
Hey everyone, hope you're having a good time this holiday season, and byholiday season, I mean Christmas, motherfuckers, or at the very leastChchchchchauanauauckckcauauhauauh. I refuse to recognize any other made upfucking holidays, you godless heathens. Christians + Jews BFF!
In any case, I thought I might give you readers a few suggestions for gifts togive your friends, family members, co-workers, or lame acquaintances who haveuncomfortably initiated a gift exchange tradition with you despite it notreally being necessary for your current level of intimacy. Of course, whengiving a gift, you don't want to give someone some fucking bullshit, even ifbullshit is what you think they'd like.
For instance, maybe you are trying to find a gift for a self-proclaimed musiclover, and said music lover is a complete fucking poser and would prefersomething like the latest transexual romp from Lady GaGa or some equally bad pretentiousart rock like the Decembrists. It is your duty as a friend to ignore thisperson's idiotic desires and get him or her something that is actually good.
Now, this year we've seen very few good albums come out, because the musicscene today is a wasteland of hipster garbage and cheesy tripe. However, onealbum did come out very recently that remembers how to rock like it's 1975, andthat album is
the self titled debut of Them Crooked Vultures. Of course, youcan find my review of this album in my Can Jude Terror Save Rock N' Rollcolumn, but to sum it up for you, this band features the musical talents ofJosh Homme (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age - Awesome), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, FooFighters - Lame, but better than nothing) and John Paul Jones (Led FuckingZeppelin). The album is an amalgamation of pretty much every awesome rockinfluence ever. You hear Cream, the Doors, David Bowie, Zeppelin, The Beatles,and just about every other musical influence that reminds you of how greatthings used to be and how much they blow today.
In any case, this album rocks in a time when nothing rocks, so do someone youcare about a favor and force it on them. They'll thank you once they'verenounced their poser ways.
Alas, music lovers won't be the only misguided fools you'll be shopping forthis season, so you might need something to give to a younger audience, orperhaps even to a friend with children. Well, I've got the perfect family giftin mind: The New Super Mario Bros. game for the Nintendo Wii. Yes, the Wii isan abomination of a system, both defying the natural purpose of video games byrequiring more than sedentary couch-bound button pressing, and also by cateringto an ignorant, non-gaming market, but it does have a very valuable purpose,and that is for playing old school Nintendo games.
Pretty much every awesome old Nintendo game is available on the Wii's virtualconsole, and that was a big selling point for my fiance and I when we picked upa Wii, supposedly for my daughter (we live in sin) to play Dora the Exploreron. However, while playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on an HDTV does fulfill one'scraving for 8 bit nostalgia, even I have to admit that it doesn't quite hold upin today's world.
Well, Nintendo has solved that problem by releasing New Super Mario Bros., aSuper Mario Bros. game done in the 2D, side-scrolling style of the classics,but with updated graphics and mechanics for the modern age. It is fuckingawesome. Relive the glory of your youth, stomping goombas and koopas with anethnically offensive plumber, pass on the joy of old school platform gaming toa new generation, or enjoy this game with the whole family as it allows forfour player simultaneous multiplayer. If you are buying a gift for a videogamer this year, don't get them some generic war game bullshit like Call ofDuty. Give the gift of Mario.
Finally, there is the chance, albeit very slight, that you actually knowanother human being who is into comic books. In this rare instance, youprobably want to celebrate your geekshame by trading comic-related gifts withthis loser, and luckily for you, Jude Terror shares your geekshame as well, andcan recommend the perfect gift. Say it with me: X-Men Forever.
That's right, this is the comic series that takes legendary creator ChrisClaremont, who had
a 16 year run on Uncanny X-Men that defined not only theseries but comics as a whole, and puts him right back where he left off twentyyears ago, telling the stories he would have told had he continued with thebook. This isn't revolutionary stuff, sure, and it's not ZOMG SERIOUS BUSINESSgroundbreaking comic snob indy bullshit, but it is a legendary creator doingwhat he does best, providing old school comic book fun for the non-jaded fanboywho can still enjoy things without dissecting them for the purpose of engagingin pathetic manrants on internet message boards. The first trade of this seriesis available in stores now.
Well, that's it assholes, Jude Terror has saved your asses once again bytelling you what you can do to be a better giftgiver this holiday season.Please enjoy the misguided suggestions of my fellow writers, but remember, youcan't go wrong by listening to Jude Terror. Royal Nonesuch, on the otherhand...Punchy's Holiday Gift Guide
I suppose a good place to start a Gift Guide would be aComics-related Item I've actually bought as a gift for someone this Christmas,which is Dread & Superficiality: Woody Allen as Comic Strip
byStuart Hample. You may or may not know this, but back in the 1970s, Woody Allenwas the star of his own syndicated Newspaper comic strip, featuring snippets
ofthe Director's own stand-up and other material, and this year Abrams Comicarthave released this fine new Hardcover collection has been released, featuringthe best of the strip's 8 year run. I've got this for my brother, who is notonly a comics fan, but also a big fan of Woody, and from what I've seen, it'svery funny indeed, featuring Allen's glorious wit, if you like his 'early funnymovies' or are reading those big-ass Peanuts collections, this could go with itnicely.
Other good gifts for the Comics fan in your life include TheComplete Essex County
By Jeff Lemire. This Volume collects all 3 EssexCounty Novellas, and tells the complete story of a small Canadian Community andhow families entwine. Haunting and beautiful, this is one of the best comics ofthe decade. Lemire also has The Nobody
from Vertigo available.
Darwyn Cooke's Parker: The Hunter
from IDW is ofcourse fantastic, as anything Cooke puts his pen to. A retelling of the RichardStark's original novel, it's a classy 60s Noir, with amazing artwork. The crimecomic is in a resurgence lately, so Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Criminal
come highly recommended, there are 4 Criminal
trades (or the kick-ass Omnibus, collecting 3 of 'em) and 1 trade of Incognito
.Jason Aaron and RM Guera's Scalped
is also an amazing crime book, 5trades are available.
For the superhero fan amongst you, there's a plethora ofawesome new collections. You can help them bridge the gap between Capes andother genres with Bendis and Oeming's Powers
(3 HCs should be out byChristmas, and there's loads of trades) or Rucka, Brubaker and Lark's GothamCentral
(2 HCs). Both juxtapose the world of superheroes with the PoliceProcedural, yet both are very different, and equally amazing. Moretraditionally, there's Robert Kirkman's Invincible
, which is simply oneof the best superhero comics going, and the Starman
Omniboo, which areup to Volume 3, and count to one of DC Comics' greatest achievements. I alsoheartily recommend Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Wolverine: Old Man Logan
hardcover. There were complaints about the series' timeliness, but none aboutthe story, which was an accomplished blend of Unforgiven and Wolverine, and wasprobably the most fun you could have in comics in 2009, and how good willMcNiven's art look in over-sized form? Too good!
And as we all know, both DC and Marvel have big eventsgoing on at the moment, Dark Reign
and Blackest Night
, you couldcatch your loved ones up with Norman Osborn and the Rainbow Corps in a varietyof collections. Nothing says Christmas like dead superheroes slaughtering allaround them, and a world in the control of a madman!
If you don't want to push comics themselves too hard,there's always movie adaptations and other ephemera, the Watchmen
movieultimate cut is out now on dvd and blu-ray in the US (but not the UK, fuckers),and adds in all the deleted stuff, and even the Pirate story. A must-have forfans of the biggest comic book movie of 2009. I suppose there's X-MenOrigins: Wolverine
Merry Christmas mofos! Royal Nonesuch
The recent spate of newspaper stripcollections have served as an effective time capsule, bringing readers to abygone era marked by relevance. Few strips were more relevant in the 1980'sthan Bearkley Breathed's Bloom County.
Frequently topical and
was amongst the best of the format, and IDW's Library ofAmerican Comics imprint gives the strip the attention it deserves. Bound byIDW's famously high production values, Bloom County: The Complete LibraryCollection Volume 1 1980-1982
collects the first three years of the strip,under Breathed's supervision. In addition to the annotated strips (a lot ofthese references may be lost on younger readers), the collection presents manynever-before-reprinted rarities and personal touches from the creator himself.
A rejected bank loan extension may seem like an unlikelyinciting incident for a horror film, but when Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell
was released earlier this year, it was hailed as something of a return to formfor the director. After three Spider-Man films, Raimi returned to hishorror/comedy roots with a budget and production values much higher than hisfamed Evil Dead
trilogy, but with all the sensibilities that made thosefilms so charming and so much damn fun. The scares are legitimate, and thelaughs are absolutely riotous. This is Raimi doing what he does best, and theresults are a blast.
Few writers had the chance to view the rock 'n' roll scenefrom inside quite the way Robert Palmer did (and no, he's not the same RobertPalmer who sang "Simply Irresistible," so please don't make that joke).A one-time musician and producer himself, Palmer seemed well versed in theglobal implications of blues and rock music,
and often brought his vastknowledge to his critical essays. That knowledge and experience led to himbeing chosen as the first rock critic at The New York Times, a seat he occupiedfor most of the 1980's (this after spending most of the 1970's chroniclingblues and rock for Rolling Stone magazine). Always eminently readable, Bluesand Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer
is a representative, if notcompletely comprehensive collection of his best and seminal work. Anyone withan appreciation of the deeper roots of rock 'n' roll would truly marvel at thisbook.
Though JG Ballard tends to get listedas a science-fiction writer, that classification is somewhat problematic sinceit doesn't tell the whole story, but also brings to mind visions of aliens andspace battles. The worlds Ballard, who passed away in the spring of 2009, wroteof were always rather close to our own. He always packed as much into a storyas he could, thus making genre classifications look pretty arbitrary. Ballard'swork was at once mysterious, political, historical, harrowing, depressing,psychosexual, and always interesting while infused with the hallmarks ofpostmodernism. With apparent influences ranging from Jonathan Swift to GabrielGarcia Marquez (and certainly far beyond), he was one of the most singularauthors of his time. A somewhat intimidating, though nearly exhaustive primerto his work is The Complete Works of JG Ballard,
a 1,200 page (!!!)anthology that brings 98 short stories under one cover.
Every once in a while, a comic book comes out that defies yourexpectations in the most hilarious way. There's plenty of that in thefive issues that comprise John Layman's Chew vol. 1: Taster's Choice.Chewis a truly warped look at the future of humanity and its relation tofood-borne illness. It's a bizarre premise, but one that Layman worksto the bones and succeeds greatly with. The book has a great mysteryand is packed with plot and character, and anyone you give this book toas a gift will be genuinely surprised.Mr. Black’s Gift Guide for Your Inner (or Outer) Geek
It’s the holiday season once again, which means it’s time to dig yourself outof that pile of Cheetos bags and empty Red Bulls, put on your Green Lanternshirt, and venture out into the bright light of the real world to buy gifts foryour loved ones, err, internet friends. Here are a few suggestions whichwill please your equally geeky friends, and even the ones who pretendotherwise.Comic Related:Peter and Max: A Fables Novel ($22.99 retail)
It’s hard to call yourself a comic fan if you’re not reading Bill Willingham’sexcellent Fables ongoing, so this should appeal to almost any geek. Thisnovel focuses on the trials and tribulations of one Peter Piper and his rivalrywith his brother Max, and while the transition from comic-writing tonovel-writing is a bit clumsy, Willingham still turned out a very entertainingbook. No prior knowledge of Fables is needed to enjoy this novel, so thismight even appeal to a non-comic fan who appreciates modern fantasy. Onewarning: the story does give away some plot points from the Fables series, sothose who are in the midst of reading the trade paperbacks of the comic maywant to hold off on this book until you finish with volume 8 of the trade paperbacks.Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers hardcover ($24.99 retail)
For the younger comic fan, or someone who appreciates a truly FUN comic book,Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers is the way to go. This hardcover, whichcollects the four issue miniseries of the same name, follows Lockjaw, companionof the Inhumans, as he collects the Infinity Gems to keep them from fallinginto the wrong hands. Along the way he meets several other Marvel “pets,”including Frog Thor (or “Throg”), Redwing (the Falcon’s, umm, falcon), Lockheedthe dragon, Zabu the sabertooth tiger, and Ms. Lion (just a dog), who aid himin recovering the gems. The series will not offend the delicatesensibilities of younger readers, but references enough of Marvel’s richhistory to please longtime readers. A great gift for any Marvel fan.Supergod (5 issue miniseries with issues #1-2 out now; $3.99 per issue)
If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, Supergod byWarren Ellis and Garrie Gastonny may be the way to go. The story is setin the last days of an Earth destroyed by superhumans, as Simon Reddin, aBritish scientist with a shady past, gives “an oral history of how we alldied.” Supergod tells the story of “superhumans who are no longer humanat all, but something else,”as we see the nations of the world each attemptingto build weapons in the image of God. This, of course, goes awry, and weare treated to the apocalypse as only Warren Ellis can deliver. Twoissues are currently on the stands, with issue #3 set to his stores on January27, 2010. Games:Borderlands (Xbox 360, PS3, and PC; $59.99 retail)
Developer Gearbox managed to take two of the most addictive types of videogames, the multiplayer first person shooter and the loot-based role playinggame, and combine it into one slick package. Borderlands controls like atypical FPS, but contains several RPG elements (experience points, skill trees,leveled enemies), as well an extremely robust weapons system. The gunsare the real draw of the game. Every time you open a chest or steal aweapon from a dead enemy, the game randomly generates the gun based on avariety of stats. In layman’s terms, you’ll never get the same gun twice,and each one presents a unique way to frag the baddies. Pistols thatlight people on fire, alien energy weapons, and shotguns that shoot rockets arejust a few of the guns you’ll find as you play through Borderlands. Amust buy for any hardcore gamer.New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo Wii; $49.99 retail)
If your tastes lean more old school, or if you are a more casual gamer,Nintendo’s latest offering may be for you. Super Mario Bros. Wii takesthe tried a true Mario formula and adds a unique twist: multiplayer. Upto four players can navigate each level at once, either cooperatively or incompetition with each other. Honestly, there’s not much more to say aboutthis one. If you like Mario games (and who doesn’t) and always wanted toplay them with a few friends, this is the game for you.Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS; $29.99 retail)
And now for something completely different. Scribblenauts is not so mucha game as an imagination exercise, with the player solving puzzles usingobjects summoned by writing their names on the touchscreen. The game’sdatabase contains tens of thousands of objects, and the player is limitedalmost entirely by his or her imagination. Need to reach that object ontop of a platform? Sure, you can summon a ladder, but wouldn’t usingPegasus be more fun? Need to wipe out some zombies to reach yourgoal? Yeah, you could light them on fire or use a raygun, but why notsummon a time machine, go back to the Jurassic period, and bring a dinosaurback to do your dirty work? The game’s controls might not be thegreatest, and some objects make puzzles too easy to solve, but the summoningengine is so impressive that it alone warrants a purchase. E_galston’s choices for a a geek filled ChristmasComics: Green Lantern Rage of the Red Lanterns and Agent Orange(24.99and 19.99 respectivelly)
These two hardcovers continue the march to the BlackestNight Event. Each hardcover introduces anew “corps” to the Green Lantern Mythos. The Red Lanterns of Rage areintroduced in Rage of the Red Lanterns, and in the spirit of Christmas, AgentOrange introduces the Orange Lantern s of Avarice (or Greed in plain English)and what’s better for the Holiday season, then Greed. Plus its written by GeoffJohns who is really at his best in the Green lantern mythos (and that’s comingfrom a Kyle Fan). Illustrated by theamazing Shane Davis and Phillip Tan, these two hardcovers are not to be missed.Astonishing X-Men Omnibus (75.00)
This massive collection of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’srun on the X-Men, is not to be missed for an X-Men fan, or a Whedon fan. Focusing on a core group of mutants, this runsees the return of a long thought dead member of the team. This omnibus collects 24 issues ofAstonishing X-Men, as well as the Giant Sized conclusion to the pairs run. Music:Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster (Super Deluxe Set)
This year one couldn’t turn on the radio, or any musicchannel without hearing about Lady Gaga. This musical powerhouse was everywhere. You may say what the hell does Lady Gaga have to do with being a geek,well there really isn’t anything that has to do with being a geek, but she isVERY talented and if my 60 year old partner can appreciate her anyone can. This two disc set includes Gaga’s smash albumthe Fame, and her recent release The Fame Monster. The songs on both albums are very catchy andsometimes cheesy bubble gum pop, but there is NOTHING wrong with that. Glee: The Music Vol. 1 and 2
Glee is an extremely well done tv show on Fox, that focuseson a high school glee club full of misfits. Which as comic book readers, we allshould sympathize with. Each episodefeatures the glee club performing various songs, for practice andcompetition. These two albums are the studiorecordings from the cast, (who are either broadway vets, or totalunknowns). The two voices to watch forare Lea Michelle (the lead character Rachel) and Amber Riley ( the powerhouseMercedes). The songs are at timescheesy, but they also can be very moving. My personal favorites would be: Imagine, True Colors, and the two show stoppers,Don’t Stop Believe and Somebody to Love. This would also be a good companionpresent with another pick of mine. TV:Glee Volume 1: Road to Sectionals
This dvd release is one of the best shows this season. At times cheesy, at times VERYemotional. Everyone can sympathize withthe cast of misfits that compose the Glee club, whether it be handicappedArtie, Mercedes, the powerhouse blackgirl, Kurt the gay guy, or even the popular kids who were put in to spy on theclub. Over the course of the 13 episodesyou really come to love this band of outcasts. Plus whats not to love about Jane Lynch’s Cheerios Coach SueSlyvester. Lynch’s part is hands downthe best character on tv right now. Yesthis box set comes out AFTER X-mas, but its definitely worth the wait. Video Games: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
I know this video game came out months ago, butthe company just released a content download pack for the game. Adding to the roster of super heroes andvillains, and adding content, this game is perfect for any Marvel Superherofan. There is really a character foreveryone in this game. Whether you like the big names or the small names. Its definitely a worthy gift for fans of theMarvel Universe. One could also purchasethe Hardcover or Trade paperback of Civil War to give with the game, as thegame is based on that storyline.
ProzacMan's Guide to Holiday Shopping for a Toy Collector
If you need to shop for a grownup that doesn’t have kids but insist onchecking the toy isles every time he/she is in a store, I got some giftideas for you. When it comes to shopping for a toy collector, it is notas easy as you would think. By them at a toy? Unless he/she has toldyou the specific toys he is looking for, chances are that any thing youcould pick as a good gift he/she will already have bought for him/herself the day they put them on the shelf. Better to get some thing thatis toy related to complement their obsession rather than risk givingthem a peg warmer. If you have to ask what a peg warmer is, than youmay need my advice. Comics:
For the toy collector I recommend Shortpacked! Vol. 1 and 2
Shortpacked! Is a sitcom like web comic that mainlyfollows the lives of the people that work at a toy store, but willoccasionally do isolated strips about toys and pop culture. The storylines starts off fairly normal but gets progressively crazy. Eventhough these books will be funny and relatable to most, there are a lotof gags and bits that toy collectors will find especially funny.
The collected strips are available as TPBs at the shortpacked! web sight http://www.shortpacked.com/store.htmlDVD:
G.I.Joe Resolute isthe best cartoon based on a toy property since the 1986 Transformersthe Movie. This is not the cartoon from the 80’s. The $hit gets real inthis one. Soldiers actually know how to aim to kill and not every onecan parachute to safety when their plane gets shot down. It also helpsthat the animation is top quality.
Available on DVD at most major retailers Video Game:
I’m actually going to recommend a game that came out afew years ago, has crappy graphics, has a name you will not remember ifyou don’t write it down, box art that looks noting like the game, anincomprehensible plot, and you will probably find used or on eBay for$30 or less. Despite what I just typed the game is loads of fun andpsychotically addictive. The game is Beautiful Katamarifor the Xbox
360. This is a game that is designed for people that liketo collect things. The object of the game is to roll a ball around andget as much stuff to stick to it as you can. You start by collectingsmall things like pennies and paperclips. As your ball gets bigger, youcan collect bigger objects like small children, pets, and NinjaTurtles. A true master can roll a ball so big that it picks up everyland mass on earth and then fly out into space to roll up the entiregalaxy!
You can find Beautiful Katamari most places were they sell used gamesand eBay. There is also a free playable demo on XBOX Live if you wantto check it out for your self.
Gadget: One thing that plagues toy collectors that like to displaytheir toys out of the
package, is dust. Action figures, statues, andmodels tend of have lots of little crevices, folds, and awkward shapedparts that are hard to clean. I recommend the Swiffer Duster!This baby gets all the tight spots of your toys clean without having toworry about scratching or otherwise ruining the paint applications.Though I would recommend that this be a gift in addition to some thingreally cool that they could clean the dust off of. Cleaning productsdon’t exactly make for aw inspiring gifts in and of them selves.
We hope these suggestions give you some last minute ideas for gifts.
Happy Holidays from the Staff at the Outhouse!!