It is that time of year again: time to buy stuff for that geek in your life. But, what could you possibly buy for them that would make them happy?
Let's help you out. The best and brightest from the Outhouse staff has picked out the gifts that'll help you get through the holiday season with at least one fanboy or fangirl satisfied.
John Lewis Hawk
Writer/Artist: Paul Pope
Publisher: First Second
For fans of: great comic books, Pixar, Batman: The Brave & The Bold, Justin Biebler, Thor: The Dark World, Bone.
This stars a child protagonist and has no cussing, limited violence, and no sex in it so obviously it's just for kids, right? NO.
Battling Boy is the story of a young superhero/god adapting to teenage life and the city he's going to protect reeling from the death of their most beloved superhero. Much like Batman: Year 100 and 100%, Paul Pope kills it art-wise but he also flexes his writing skills by channeling such storytellers as Jeff Smith and Gene Leun Yang.
This is a different kind of comic book. It's cool, artistic, and great for any one of any age.
$15.99 at MacMillan.com.
For fans of: locavores, working class people, watch afficiendos, and people who are just sick of ios7 but not Apple
I have been on a watch fix lately so for my second pick, I'm going with the Runwell from Shinola. What makes it great is that the watch is manufactured in Detroit and made using Swiss movement. It has the movement that you want in a watch while being able to get something that's American made.
It comes as a chronograph, in a 41mm or 47mm watch case, or with a leather band or stainless steel bracelet. I'm partial to the 41 mm watch with the green leather band as the gold hardware combined with the green leather gives it an unique, vintage look.
The Shinola Runwell is simple, beautiful, and American made. What's not to love?
$500 to $1000 at Shinola.com.
Les Revenants By Mogwai
For fans of: The Walking Dead, movie soundtracks, experimental, World War Z
Everybody is getting in on The Walking Dead craze, even the French. Les Revenants (The Returned translated) is a TV series about a group of zombies who return to their hometown and behave like normal humans but that's not the full story. The producers of the show contacted Scottish post-rock/experimental band Mogwai to do the soundtrack for the TV show. Mogwai did such a good job that the Revenants crew played their music during shoots to perfectly capture the unsettling tone needed.
This is not your typical horror soundtrack. The mood is less scary and tense and more unsettling and unnerving. It sounds nice but you know it isn't actually nice. With the TV series being about zombies, this is really the perfect music to listen to when you've listened to too much Christmas music and would rather be fighting zombies than mall-goers.
Also available as a CD and vinyl record. However, Amazon.com is only offering those as imports thus they're much more expensive.
$9.49 (mp3) at amazon.com.
I recently upgraded my phone, and they don’t have any sliding keyboard cases for it and I hate all touch screens. So, this little handy bit would be very helpful when I need to type out something longer like an email but don’t have my laptop with me. Yes, I know everyone has a tablet nowadays but I don’t. Besides, a smartphone can do pretty much everything a laptop/tablet can anymore.
$99.99 at Brookstone.
So for those of you who don’t know what a subscription service is, I’ll break it down for you. Every month, you pay for a box with a bunch of (hopefully) awesome stuff that the company has put together for you and all the other subscribers. Some things can vary, but most of them have at the very least a similar theme. Nerd Block is one of the newer kids to join the subscription crowd, but there are two key things that made me really interested. There is a guaranteed T-shirt every month and it’s $19.99 including shipping. Just the shirt alone can be $10 or more if you were to buy it yourself. So, you get a really good value for what you pay.
$19.99 at nerdblock.com.
Frame & Scroll 12-Piece Set
I like to do photography in my spare time and I am always struggling with ways to display my work that doesn’t make my walls look like a complete mural/collage. This is both beautiful and inexpensive. Win all around.
$29.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Doctor Who Limited Edition Gift Set
For any fans of the Doctor, this is the set for you just in time to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who. The set contains the complete Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith years all in one lump case. Add the fact this is Blu-Ray and neither the 9th or 10th had all their adventures available in high definition.
Of course, the set is also packed with a treasure trove of extras that range from the holiday specials, commentary, documentaries, the music of Doctor Who, and your very own sonic screwdriver. Okay it's a remote controller, but it's still an awesome add-on.
Why aren't you buying this already?
$299.99 at amazon.com.
Spider-Man: Roger Stern Omnibus
One of the greatest creative runs from Roger Stern on Spider-Man all in one lump book. This one has everything the writer ever wrote on Spidey. It's got 'Nothing Stops the Juggernaut', The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man', and this small time story nobody ever probably heard about called 'The Hobgoblin Saga'. The stories have a range of emotions and drama all of which are top tier Spider-Man stories.
$96.99 at amazon.com.
I Come in Peace/ Dark Angel
Looking for a Christmas movie that isn't your normal fare, as in the vein of Die Hard, Gremlins, and Batman Returns? This is the movie for you as Dolph Lundgren takes on an alien drug dealer during the holiday season. Add several 80s/90s action movie cliches and the usual stars (it ain't a good action flick until you spot universal henchmen played by Al Leong).
Plus this has so many great character actors. You've got Sherman Howard (Blight on Batman Beyond, the Collector on Superman: TAS, and Bub from Day of the Dead) Sam Anderson (Angel, Lost, Justified, and numerous other stuff).
It's a cheesy late 80s early 90s action movie that is also given the five-star treatment of glorious high-definition transfer and a load of extras. If that doesn't ensnare you maybe the trailer will:
$14.96 at amazon.com.
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Volume 5
As a Transformers and comic book fan, nothing makes me happier than good Transformers comics. They're rarer than I'd like. More Than Meets the Eye is good. It's VERY good. Volume 5 contains all five issues of the Remain in Light storyline as well as the aftermath issue (so that's six issues for you math experts). This book is the payoff for the previous four volumes so it MIGHT be a good idea to start at the first volume.
But if you absolutely can only get one trade paperback, I'd get this one. It's awesome.
$13.14 on amazon.com.
Super Mario 3D World
I don't own a Wii U. I've been waiting for that one special game that would make owning that system worthwhile. This is that game. Y'know. If I had money.
I'm a sucker for Mario games but even if I weren't, the temptation to play a four player game with my family would sell me. Sure, we've had a couple side scrolling Mario games that were four player but the top down perspective looks like it makes things more manageable.
So pick up Mario 3D World, a couple extra Wii-motes and have a party.
$59.96 at amazon.com.
Give the Gift of Digital
Comics are awesome. Storing comics is not. The boxes are ugly and don't even TRY to grab a book at the bottom of a stack of five boxes. You'll throw out your back!
So do yourself or that geek on your list a favor and pick up your books digitally at ComiXology. You can even go the gift card route!
Outhouse Review Team Member
My missing back issues-
So, Andy, (my LCS owner) is a great guy, but over the years I have missed a few pulls here and there, and subsequently, I have about a dozen plus issues of Valiant I am both scared to death to read, and infuriated I cannot. So, after leaving a horse head at the foot of Andy’s bed, I am no longer allowed to receive my pull box from there but I did receive a lovely parting letter entitled, “CajunBean’s restraining order”. If any of you want to stop by my LCS for me, tell Andy you are picking up Daniel’s pull file. Please and thank you!
A freaking Valiant Gold Issue-
So, one of these babies you have to earn. Sure, I could go to e-bay and maybe snag one there but that feels wrong. It requires creativity or the capacity to mug a fanboy proper. Due to a shortage of creativity (and my paralyzing inability to get shot down by the Valiant overlords after displaying my mad crayon prowess), I opted to mug a fanboy. I camped out all night at my LCS, net in one hand, bat in another, blaring my Scooby Doo soundtrack. Long story short, those restraining orders are not a laughing matter and I am still trying to get my discman out of evidence.
I recently found out Valiant has released golden ticket issues and if anyone knows where Dinesh lives, I have resigned myself to a restraining order collection to snag me one of those!
OK, up next is… oh hell. So, apparently, SuperginraiX is threatening me with a restraining order if I don’t fall back into the format and post at least one legitimate gift. I probably should not have put that crippling fear out there for the world to mock... Wait? Three?! Apparently, being as ass on the internet is now grounds for a restraining order, and the world can now rejoice.
The console wars are on and everyone will choose their camp. I am not a big game junkie, just not one of my things, but I have a never ending weakness for Nintendo and their cast of loveable rapscallions. Who doesn’t want to play a mute elf or a slightly obese plumber with a severe case of Herpetophobia?
$327.89 on amazon.com.
Super Mario 3D World-
OK, now Jude is filling a stocking with lumps of coal and giving me the Full Metal Jacket crazy eye… moving onward! This game has been getting fantastic reviews! Wii U has had a rough start but this title aims to be its first stellar success, and I pray its just first in the long stream of many more. I look forward to aiding Mario (and his much cooler brother Luigi) in their xenocidal quest to rid the mushroom kingdom of anything with scales!
$59.96 on amazon.com.
Zombie Survival Kit-
I have always enjoyed the age old Zombie survival battles and I (like many of you) seem to think I should survive the bloody thing! Now, with the acquiring of this handy dandy bit of redneck candy, I might even make it through a week! With axe in hand, I should probably be able to keep SuperginraiX and Jude from bludgeoning me with Christmas props. I am sorry, I will play along better next year!
$199.99 from basspro.com.
Podcast Host Emeritus
My inner child wants all the stuff that no one would buy for me when I was an actual child. My parents would say the toys I wanted were just a bunch of cardboard and cheap plastic. To paraphrase the Ramones, it was the right cardboard and cheap plastic!
Star Wars Death Star Space Station
As an adult I realize that Star Wars is a composite of a bunch of great things that had come before it. As a child it blew away everything I had known and opened my imagination to new possibilities. I didn't want the story to end with the credits. I had no idea that there would be sequels to the greatest movie I had ever seen at that point in my life. With the toys, I could keep the world of Star Wars alive!
The greatest of all the Star Wars toys (before Empire Strikes Back came out) was the Death Star Space Station play set. It was a little slice of the Death Star that still managed to be a massive four stories tall. It had a big laser cannon at the top, the retracting bridge you could swing over, a trap door that dropped into a working trash compactor, and an elevator connecting it all. I had friends that had this set. They would get annoyed with me for wanting to play with it every time I came over to their houses. Why would they want to go outside and play when they have the greatest toy ever made (before the AT-AT came out). I guess I might have known why if I had one of my own long enough to get bored with it. Guess I'll have to go to a vintage toy store like Toy Vault http://www.thetoyvault.com/ to get a hold of this baby.
G.I.Joe Air Craft Carrier, the U.S.S. Flagg
What could possibly end my obsession with Star Wars? Turns out it was G.I.Joe, A Real American Hero! They were the first US Military toys that were a big hit with kids and parents would buy since the Vietnam war started. These weren't just your nameless, faceless army guys. These were the best of the best from everything! They included all branches of the military, ninjas, pro wrestlers, movie stars, and even had women in active combat. It wasn't just the solders that made me proud to say the pledge of allegiance (it was this poem we would say when we got to school every day until the 1990's). The vehicles that the Joes would use were amazing.
The biggest of the vehicles was the U.S.S. Flagg. It was an Air Craft Carrier. It was to scale with the action figures; making it over 6 feet long. You could actually land the large scale Sky Strikers on the deck. It even had an elevator for the planes to take them to the lower deck. The command tower had a working mega phone.
You would be hard pressed to find this baby in a store. eBay is the place to go for this giant. Though the shipping might cost more than the ship!
Book on Book
It's a little overpriced, but still very cool for the book lover in your life. "Book on Book" is a big clear acrylic paper weight you can place across your book as you read. All that ¥ in the price I believe is around $60.
Available at buddy-tools.jp.
This was probably on my list last year, but they always have new stuff and they simply make a great stocking stuffer. For ten bucks you can probably find one that fits an interest for someone you know. From Marvel to DC to Star Wars. From TMNT to Game of Thrones to Walking Dead. They have Pops for all sorts of interests. New stuff coming this year that I've noticed so far are Sons of Anarchy, another set for Game of Thrones, Thundercats, WWE wrestlers and probably more I haven't seen yet. A pretty fun little gift for ten bucks.
Available at funko.com.
Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister
Another fun stocking stuffer that isn't too expensive (around $10), something for that Game of Thrones fan in your life. The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister is a simple little coffee table style book with art and quotes by... you guessed it, Tyrion pulled from throughout the novels.
$10.56 on amazon.com.
2014 Vintage Marvel Comics Calendar by Asgard Press
Asgard Press does a wonderful job in producing high-quality vintage calendars. It's Vintage Marvel Comics Calendar features a selection of classic 1960's-era Marvel covers, including Iron Man #1, Silver Surfer #1, Uncanny X-Men #28, and more.
The company also offers a wide selection of calendars featuring game program cover art from a wide selection of college football teams.
$21.95 at Asgard Press.
Billie Joe + Norah - Foreverly
Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong teams up with Norah Jones to record their interpretations of the Everly Brothers 1958 album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. Like the title suggests the Everlys' original album featured traditional folk and country & western music taught to them by their father. Decades ahead of it's time, the album foresaw the Americana movement of the 90's and early aughts.
$11.88 CD, $24.48 vinyl on amazon.com.
Avengers Vol,1: Avengers World and Vol 2: The Last White Event
Take the opportunity to introduce yourself or a loved one to the roots of the epic Infinity event with the first two collections of Jonathan Hickman's amazing Avengers run. Vol. 1 features the newly reorganized team's first meeting with with Ex Nihilo, while Vol. 2 sees the team dealing with the consequences of the cosmic "gardener's" Origin Bombs on Earth, and the birth of the new Star Brand emerging out of Earth-616's own White Event.
$18.98 and $18.74 hardcover or $15.20 and $15.19 in TPB on amazon.com
Under Armour Alter Ego Superman T-shirt
Under Armour introduced it's interpretation of the Superman logo t-shirt for its new line of super-hero t-shirts and apparel this year. The shirt is made from the company's UA Tech wicking material, and is perfect for workouts, casual time, or leaping over tall buildings in a single bound. And yes, there's a compression shirt version available if you really must go for a skin-tight version. Batman, Captain America, and Spider-Man shirts are also available.
$34.99 at underarmour.com.
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy holiday shopping schedule to check on what the Outhouse for gift ideas. I hope we were able to help. At the least, I hope we didn't hurt.
Please have a happy holiday season and come on back to the Outhouse. We'll keep the lights on for you. Or something.
And, hey, if you've got your own items to add to our wishlist, why not leave them in the comments section?