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The Outhouse gets together to help you find that special gift for the geek on your holiday list!
It's Black Friday which means you probably did most of your shopping at Target yesterday at 8PM. Let's just pretend that you still need to buy a gift or two and maybe one of those presents is for a geek. A big geek. I mean, PHENOMENALLY big.
Have no fear. The Outhouse Staff is here to help you! Below are some personal selections from the best the Outhouse has to offer. Even so, it's a pretty good Wish List. Honest!
Let's get to it!
The Manhattan Projects, Vol 1- Science Bad
-By Jonathan Hickman
- cool historical fiction which has enough well known names like Einstein and FDR to keep non-comic readers interested. Nice gateway comic for people who enjoy fiction and are curious about comic books.
-Why isn't everyone reading comics digitally? Suggestion... read a digital comic before you go to bed in the dark. It's like giving the power of a movie watching experience to reading. Changed my life.
Well, I'm hardly ever home and a lot of good TV is right on top of each other, so Hulu Plus is my life saver. Plus, they have Misfits which is my obsession right now. I watch every Monday night with my roomie.
If the gaming geek in your life has already rightly bought this game, pick them up some X-Box Live Points or Playstation Network Credits so that they can pick up one of the two $10 DLC Expansions or the $10 Mechromancer Character DLC.
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, Vols 1 & 2
As a Transformers and comic book fan, comics that FEATURE Transformers is like a double bonus. The fact that the comics are ACTUALLY GOOD is a TRIPLE BONUS. That's three bonuses, people.
These two books are damn good and look great on any geek's bookshelf. They pulled me right back into the Transformers Universe after a year or so break. They're new reader friendly but loaded with easter eggs for long-timers. And they aren't even OBNOXIOUS easter eggs!
I am a long time comic fan and I've come to a conclusion: Comics take up WAY too much space. And it's just growing every week. As you can see, I'm giving links to both physical and digital copies of comics this year. I love trade paperbacks but there's something very cool about bringing a massive collection of digital comics anywhere with my Kindle Fire.
So check out ComiXology. You can gift comics easily and they have a pretty nice selection. If none of our selections will do it for you, do a quick search and see what you can see.
My folks bought this for me for my birthday. It's easily the most awesome present I've ever received. With over 1300 pieces and 8 minifigures, this is the ultimate Lord of the Rings gift. It also lines up nicely with the release of The Hobbit in a few weeks.
A television remote shaped like the Doctor's famous tool. Well, his other famous tool (the "other" being his TARDIS, of course). The site got into a little bit of trouble with this when it was first announced, so I feel that we need to pimp it now.
If you're looking for a cool shelf porn gift, these beauties are the way to go. Not only are they a great way to read the popular zombie series, they look great on shelves, too! 95% of each sale goes towards Robert Kirkman's planned purchase of Kentucky, so buy some for all your friends!
Gary Panter's gorgeously ambitious Dal Tokyo deservedly received the full-on Fantagraphics treatment earlier this year, and it's frankly stupendous. Panter's bizarre vision of a megacity synthesized by the combining of Dallas and Tokyo (and placed on Mars) is a brilliant treatise on urban sprawl, the role nostalgia plays in art, and how society functions in a (barely) working city. It's at once action adventure strip, philosophical meandering, and a place for awe-inspiring expression of the self. On the other hand, there's so much going on in these pages that the book moves far beyond a simple Freytagian narrative. Ultimately, with its abstract imagery and eye-popping visual style, Dal Tokyo is one of the purest and most exciting examples of comic book formalism at work.
Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Once Upon a Time in Anatolia was something of a sensation in world cinema-viewing circles in the US when it made the most of a small American theatrical run. It starts with police officers searching for a buried body, but the film goes far beyond its crime story promise. What unfolds over the course of Anatolia's ample running time is an extraordinary look at life, death, and everything in between. The film is wonderfully existential and impressionistic, with a deliberate, almost mesmerizing pace that truly sucks you into a specific time and place. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, which was released on DVD this past summer, is a real strong point in Turkey's increasingly exciting film industry.
New York Mets pitcher RA Dickey recently won the 2012 National League CY Young Award, which is given to the best pitcher in that league. His win made history – Dickey is the first ever knuckleball pitcher to win the award. That may drive interest toward Knuckleball!, the documentary by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg that premiered in the spring of 2012 at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film, now out on DVD, traces the evolution of the "junk pitch" in baseball, and how it's still so often seen as kind of a joke. Stern and Sundberg followed Dickey and Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield during the 2011 (which turned out to be Wakefield's last), all the while tracing the ups and downs of the career of a knuckleballer. The knuckleball, characterized by its lack of rotation and unpredictable trajectory, is hard even for a pitching coach to understand, causing knuckleballers past and present to form something of a fraternity within the game (retired greats like Phil Niekro and Charlie Hough also appear in the film). Full of game footage and testimonials from figures in and around the game of baseball, Knuckleball! will appeal to fans and non-fans alike. It's a baseball story sure, but it's really a compelling story about gaining stardom while living on the fringes.
Looking for something cheaper to gift around? Stocking stuffers? These little guys are a good option. They cover a variety of different subjects from Super-Heroes to Star Wars, Fantasy and Horror Movie characters, Music groups, cartoon characters, and more.
America's Team inarguably boasts the world's greatest cheerleaders and this year's calendar of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders is one I definitely must have. Not just because I'm a huge fan that loves their CMT show and tireless efforts on behalf of various charities but also because my favorite squad leader, Cassie Trammell (one of my coolest mutual twitter followers), is leaving the DCC after this year making this the last calendar she'll be a part of. [Price = $17.99] http://www.calendars.com/Work-and-Sport ... 300001206/
Famed Lakers Center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of my all-time heroes not just for his greatness in sports but also for his thoughtfullness and social activism. I own a number of his books and would love to find his latest illustrated title, What Color Is My World?, among this year's holiday gifts. [Price = $17.99] http://www.amazon.com/What-Color-World- ... 763645648/
Another of my greatest influencers, particularly in the fields of music and social consciousness, has been poet-rapper Chuck D of the multi-platinum selling hip hop/rap group Public Enemy. I've been blessed to not only benefit from his powerful words and music, but, also by being among his twitter family. I'd be very pleased to find this super-cool Chuck D tee under the tree this holiday! [Price = $18.95] http://www.publicenemy.com/store/produc ... featured=Y
Katrina Hill (a.k.a. Action Flick Chick), creator and star of Geeks and Gamers Anonymous, recently published her very first book which coincidentally happens to be about one of my most favorite subjects, action movies. Covering over 100 bombastic action flicks and complete with a free DVD this book would be a kick-ass addition to anyone's blood 'n guts gift bundle and I'd definitely dig finding it in mine. [Price = $22.99] http://www.amazon.com/dp/1440232083?tag ... JHCK2SZC#_
And last on my wishlist is this 11" x 17" Post Apocalyptic mini-poster that'd make a most welcome stocking stuffer, depicting gorgeous "Geek Girl" icons of Team Unicorn. This attractive combat-oriented image reminds me of one of my favorite girl-power films (Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch) and would look great on any wall - especially one in my bedroom. [Price = $12] http://store.teamunicornftw.com/post-ap ... ini-poster
Not being a girl, Her Universe doesn't really sell products for me, but female sci-fi fans would be crazy not to check out Ashley Eckstein's awesome geek chic gear and jewelry. Take a look at her new holiday items here and don't forget to follow Her Universe on twitter. Show you're strong in the ways of the Force by sharing the holiday in the sci-fi spirit with Her Universe.
Staff Writer & OH Moderator
Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray] (2012)
Do I really need to "sell" this to you? All (depending who you ask) 22 Bond Films on Blue Ray! BOOSH!
Great f'n comic book for all ages (ok, 12+) that has been optioned by Disney, so get the book before its cool. Its a WWII era period piece about a boy who is kidnapped by The Boogey Man and his stuffed animals who travel to The Dark, the Boogy Man's Kingdom, to rescue him. Almost perfect art complementing a creepy, heartfelt, beautiful story.
Love Nintendo or hate them, the company lives and breathes games. This year, Nintendo gave birth to a brand new home console, the Nintendo Wii U. A successor to 2006 smash-hit Nintendo Wii console, this new console brings with it all the fun of a Wii, plus a more modern internal architecture, upgraded graphics, more network aware software, and a brand new controller with motion control and a touch screen. Wii U is also backward-compatible, able to play your previous Wii games (including WiiWare and Virtual Console) and works with previous Wii Motion Plus controllers (it better, since it currently only supports one Wii U GamePad). Why the Deluxe Set? For only $50 more, you get more internal storage and a copy of the game Nintendoland. Plus, it's a cooler black.
For anyone who loves the art of animation or fantasy, several good "Art of" books were released this year. Regardless of what you may have thought of the films, these books offer up a great behind-the-scenes look at the development of the visual design and aesthetic of the movies. It's often wonderous to see the thought and craftsmanship behind characters and environments that go into a film. Some good examples include:
MAD's Greatest Artists: Mort Drucker Five Decades of His Finest Works
This art book features tons of content by the extremely talented artist and caricaturist, Mort Drucker. Most well known for his work in MAD Magazine, his caricatures of celebrities are spot on and hilarious. Many, many pages of strips and just great art from his MAD Magazine career fill this book.
Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson's
In 2009 cartoonist Richard Thompson was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease which led to the September 2012 retirement of his daily comic strip, Cul de Sac. Though a relatively new strip (started in 2004), Cul de Sac gained a good following for its quirky humor and characters. Thompson's fight against Parkinson's inspired other comic artists to take up their pens (and other art implements) and created "Team Cul de Sac" to raise money for Team Fox (Michael J. Fox organization for Parkinson's Disease Research). One of the results is this book, which has various artists (eg. Sergio Aragones, Jim Davis, Cathy Guisewite, Stephan Pastis, Jay Stephens, Bill Watterson, and much more) display their unique takes on the denizens of Cul de Sac. A really fun look at these characters and done for a good cause.
America and our allies have been in a perpetual state of war for the last 12 years. Israel and Gaza are even going at it again. The difference now is that we actually have to see the bodies of dead kids on the news. It's kind of a downer as we go into the holiday season. Usually war is an abstract thing that safely goes on off camera. Now that even Barbie Dolls come with cameras embedded in their chest, it's hard to escape seeing the horrors of battle. Despite all the violent movies and video games we use to try to desensitize our selves, seeing real blood, guts, and people screaming while clutching the mutilated bodies of their loved ones is still horrifying to the non sociopath. Having to face the cold realities of the world tends to have a negative effect on how much useless crap people want to buy and ask people to buy for them. So for the sake of our economy, I ask for Peace On Earth.
A New Drug
Since we aren't likely to get Peace On Earth until we leave the planet and start fighting in space, my next wish is for some thing a little more selfish. As much as I would like to be the Hank Rearden type of man from Atles Shrugged, injuries have given me a bad back and migraines. Thus literally making me part of the 47% that feels like a victim and is dependent on the government. None of the physical therapy, medical treatments, or medication I've tried has really worked. That is why I am asking for A New Drug!
Write or Wrong: A Writer's Guide to Creating Comics
Since Food Stamps and SSDI benefits haven't been keeping up with inflation, being a Welfare Queen isn't a viable career option any more. I tried podcasting on Bludcast Radio on ITunes, but now I'm getting too old and cranky to stay up late enough to host the show. Now I think I might try to find fame and fortune writing comic books! I have an Idea for a parody of the above referenced Atlas Shrugged: Hostess Shrugged! (Trademark and Copyright pending) Inspired by the recent bankruptcy of said company. In place of the rail roads and steel industry, I'll replace it with the creation of the perfect junk food and the legalization of marijuana. The villains being the out of control FDA and the corporations that want to get weed out of the hands of private farmers that can grow a better crop. And that's just based on the third of the book that I've read so far.
Those are a lot of heavy ideas to squish into a comic book. My inclination would be to spend years writing an Omnibus. Unfortunately I need to make a living now. Fortunately, independent comic book writer Dirk Manning just published a book that is teaching me how to write a comic book that I'm likely to actually finish making. Write or Wrong: A Writer's Guide to Creating Comics is in stores and available at Amazon.com now!
Your old pal Jude Terror is forever going on about the digital age, so it should be no surprise that I think you should buy things for your friends and family that will help to drag them, kicking and screaming, into this wonderful new world.
First up - get a fucking iPad. This may sound hypocritical, because I myself do not own one. I bought a first generation Kindle Fire - preordered it when it first announced - and while the seven inch tablet was a great entry into the tablet world, it's just... too small. Size matters. Especially when you want to do something like read digital comics. On a seven inch tablet, that means you have to hold the device in landscape orientation to be able to read comfortably, which means you have to scroll down the page. It's not ideal. An iPad's 9.7 high resolution screen is the perfect size for a comic book page.
So why an iPad instead of an Android tablet? Well, you can blame my new bay area buddy Liam Sharpe for that - only iOS allows you to get the Madefire app and read exciting new comics created for the digital medium by creators like Sharpe, Dave Gibbons, Bill Sienciewicz, and others.
Next on Jude Terror's ultimate gift list is a gift for the smokers in your life: an electronic cigarette. If you've never seen one of these, it's a small device that uses a heated coil to vaporize liquid containing nicotine and flavor, producing an effect that feels like smoking, delivers nicotine to your addicted cells, and tastes like... well, just about anything. You can get traditional tobacco flavored liquids, but you can also get flavors like Spiced Apple Cider or Boba's Bounty. The vapor contains none of the cancer-causing tar, carbon monoxide, or thousands of other chemicals tobacco companies put in analog cigarettes. E-cigs are still too new to have extensive testing done on the long-term effects of using them, but they couldn't possibly be worse than real cigs, and are almost certainly a lot safer.
When you're considering picking one of these up, don't sabotage your friend or family member's opportunity to give up the harmful effects of smoking analog cigarettes by getting them one of those weak-ass models they sell at convenience stores. Those things don't produce enough vapor to satisfy a real smoker. Instead, get one of these deluxe models that hit like a bong and look badass. Once you've got your friend hooked on these, they can become a new hobby as well, as there are tons of models and juice flavors to collect.
So once you've got your tablet and your e-cigarette, what else can you do to fully embrace the digital age? The answer is obvious - transfer your consciousness into a machine. Immortality is the greatest gift one can give during the holidays. Well, immortality, or fine whiskey. But until they make digital whiskey, you're going to have to live with digital human consciousness. According to this article, transplanting a human brain into a robot is already well within our reach, so can moving our thought patterns to a computer be far behind? This reporter thinks not, but without forward thinking gift-givers like us, society may never invest the research into making this happen.
So buy your friends and family members iPads, e-cigarettes, and any other manner of digital replacement for an analog item you can think of. It will help create a better future, one that will almost certainly mean the end of human civilization as sentient robots take over the world and exterminate the human race.
And that's about it, folks! Hopefully we've given you some things to think about and maybe some good gift ideas for you or your geek friend. Whatever the case, we at the Outhouse wish you the best holiday season!
(keep in mind that any of the prices we listed may only be good for a limited time... if you're reading this five days before Christmas, you will probably get a different price. So read us now instead of then!)