You know what we're talking about. We're talking about geeks. We all have one. Most of us ARE one. But they are in your life and you can't be rid of them. So you might as well buy them gifts. But what could they ever like?
For this and only this, the Outhouse has your back. We're here to help. Because if we help YOU, we actually help OURSELVES. These our your favorite Outhousers* and their favorite holiday lists.
* "Favorite" might be inaccurate. Some of you might be speaking ye olde queen's englishe. In that case, we would be your favourite Outhouser. As long as we get some love, we're cool.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl continues to be one of my favorite reads each month. It is not like other superhero titles on the shelves, as the main character is loathe to use her fists, is full of humor and quirky characters, and you can pick up some computer programming tips as well. The most recent volume, #9 collecting issues 32-36, starts a kind of new era for the title, as original Unbeatable artist Erica Henderson left the title as of #31. If you want to read the last issues of that, pick up volume 8, My Best Friend's Squirrel,
I love art books for movies and games, so I always have recommendations for this.
Avengers: Infinity War was a pretty epic tale that hit theaters earlier this Summer. It took a while for the art book for the movie to hit the bookstores, but it finally arrived. The book showcases a lot of the concept art, which also gives fans a view of what could have been in the movie.
The art for Disney animated movies always display a good amount if imagination, style, and skill. Along with some interesting notes, the art book for the Wreck-It Ralph sequel offers an exabyte of all of that.
Oh snap. I recommended the art book for this, but the movie was good too (if you are reading this site you likely have seen it). You can watch it over and over again 'til the conclusion hits theaters in 2019. Plus there are extras.
Not a new series, but finally re-released in hopefully widespread release of the 2012 reimagining and modernization of the famous 1974 Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers TV series. This is part one of the series (episodes 1-13). Part two, completing the series, was also just recently released. If you are not familiar with the series, it is the story of a lone space battleship, on a mission across the galaxy to retrieve a device that will save the Earth from destruction from the Gamilas and their planet bombs. It's a reimagining done right.
Gathering all the characters from previous Smash Bros games, adding more, and a new adventure mode the game will be packed with content. Super Smash Bros Ultimate certainly looks to be the ultimate version of the party fighting game, Super Smash Bros.
I'm a Nintendo console owner so naturally have a Nintendo game as a recommendation. For comic fans who own a PS4, Spider-Man has been highly rated, Though not exclusive to Xbox One, Red Dead Redemption 2 seems to be getting good words as well.
Got leftover money, or extra Christmas cash as a gift? Consider contributing to the Outhouse Patreon to help keep the site up and running.
So alright, we have this line of Transformers in their Cybertron modes. The thing that scratches my major G1 itch is how damn freaking cool looking every single toy from this line looks. I mean, look at freaking Voyager Class Optimus Prime and Megatron. They look freaking amazing! The detail on them, the sculpts, and transformation from bot to vehicle on these figures are freaking nuts! Then, you have a Leader-Class Ultra Magnus and Shockwave who are equally impressive? One simply cannot stop at just one figure in this line. ALL MUST BE COLLECTED! ALL OF THEM!!!
During my anime binging in the 2000s, besides Gundam and Big O, one other mecha series made me hungry to eat up anything it had to offer and that was Patlabor. Cops who pilot giant mechas while on cases is freaking awesome. This set basically has A TON from the series. Two series, two OVAs, and three movies which in all is A TON of hours of mecha policing. This collection just quenches my Patlabor thirst.
Oh, hey remember that good ole Rebirth relaunch that brought back a bunch of favorite characters, before DC went back to grim/grit? Well, this run was one of the best things Rebirth gave us (other than Superman). You have basically all, but one volume now that collects James Tynion IV's run on the series. Everything you loved about the series is here. The art by Eddy Barrows and Marcio Takara to the amazing characters (seriously who thought when this run began that Clayface would be so revered?). Add the resurgence of other characters who needed it with Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake. You get an edition that has all the things that made you fall in love with DC Comics, before you know, they broke your heart and ended it.
The Transformer of the year, ain't even an official Hasbro/Takara mold. An amazing take on Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Megatron, yeeeeeeessss this gorgeous figure is the crown jewel of any fans of that series. The bot mode is freaking gorgeous and its insane beast mode is just freaking gorgeous as well, yeeeeesssss.
Staff Writer/ Editor
This year is the reverse of last year. Last year, I lamented a lack of quality end-of-the-year titles, making it difficult to find something worth having in your collection. My exception was Assassin's Creed Origins. Which was freaking amazing.
This time around, we have ALL THE GAMES. It was actually hard to narrow it down to one game that is a total must buy. But this is it, folks. Super Smash Bros Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch.
Smash is a celebration of video games: their history, their characters, and their lore. It's a fighting game, of course, but it's also a huge crossover event featuring all the Nintendo icons you love (or at least recognize), as well as big name characters from Capcom, Konami, Square, and Sega. The music is amazingly presented. The stages are lovingly crafted. This is a labor of love by series director/ designer, Masahiro Sakurai. Nothing has my kids and I more hyped than this game.
List Price: $59.99 (available December 7, 2018)
If you aren't buying something for a Switch owner, it's a bit more difficult to narrow down your options. But you can't go wrong with Assassin's Creed Odyssey. It takes place in Ancient Greece, includes the ship battles you loved from Black Flag, and takes on more RPG elements than ever before. That means a more robust equipment menu but it ALSO means dialogue options and some minor branching story options that'll customize your gaming experience. It's pretty stellar.
You can even choose a male or female character in this one but, unlike Assassin's Creed Syndicate, you are locked into your choice for the entire game. No switching between protagonists in this one.
Classical Egypt was a pleasant surprise in Origins, mixing in Greek elements with an Egyptian culture. Odyssey goes full on Greek, taking place during the Peloponessian Wars between Athens and Sparta. Travel around Ancient Greece in your customizable ship! Take in the sights! Kill a bunch of people! All's fair in love and war. :D
List Price: $59.99
The Transformers story in the IDW universe is all done as of this writing but that doesn't mean you can't go an collect some of the best stories from it! The Wreckers Saga is exactly what I'm talking about.
In this 308 page collection, you get the first mini-series, Last Stand of the Wreckers, the second mini-series, Sins of the Wreckers, and the oversized one-shot, Requiem of the Wreckers.
The story is mostly by Nick Roche. He also provides a majority of the art. Aiding him in the first mini is co-writer James Roberts. Because of this, Last Stand is one of the lead ins to James Roberts' More Than Meets the Eye series. It's not ESSENTIAL to understanding MTMTE but it provides some context to some of the things that happen in that series.
Roberts also writes a number of non-comic stories in this book that help bookend Last Stand of the Wreckers. They're pretty awesome.
I know I'm gushing over Last Stand and that's because it's one of the best IDW Transformers books you could ever read. That isn't to say that Sins and Requiem aren't also worth your time! Roche takes on full writing duties for the follow up stories and it's a quality read throughout. The entire Wreckers Saga stretches the definition of what a Transformers story can BE. You get some serious emotional moments, great payoffs, and just well written stories throughout.
And that Nick Roche can DRAW, too. It's a beautiful book. Josh Burcham colors this thing and proves his talent on every single page. If you've got a fan of Transformers on your gift list, this book should make them very happy.
List Price: $29.99
I wish I could recommend some new X-Men adventures but... they aren't all that great. So I reached into a past and grabbed this guy. Now, don't worry about availability! This is a brand new collection coming out on November 27, 2018. But it features stories from the late sixties.
Marvel's Epic Collections are awesome because you get a big chunk of comics in full color for a pretty decent price. This book is 512 pages long, collecting X-Men #46-66 as well as some related books like Ka-Zar and Marvel Tales. If it's like previous Epic Collections, it'll have bonus material like house ads, character sketches, and uncolored pages.
Now, I know I just complained about modern X-Men comics not being all that great. That could EASILY apply to some of these stories because it doesn't start out all that well. These are comics from the late sixties and early seventies and they have a different mentality from today's books. These are also the last stories from the original X-Men team before the title was thrown into reprints for the next couple of years. This didn't happen for no reason. The book had issues.
But, at the same time, you get some of the defining X-Men stories from Roy Thomas and Neal Adams. The book goes out with a bang, featuring some beautiful artwork by Adams and memorable storylines by Thomas. Before you get to these excellent adventures, you also get some comics by legendary artist Jim Steranko. There are some weird stories in here but it's still a wonderful collection of classics. And oddities! You get the good with the bad.
List Price: $39.99 (but Epic Collections are frequently discounted)
Editor in Chief
I like to pimp Skelton Crew at every opportunity, as putting out the best comic-adjacent items around. Whether its replica keys from Locke & Key or plush chogs from Chew, Skelton Crew has the coolest stuff. They also have a deal with Mike Mignola and Dark Horse to make Hellboy replica artifacts. Their most recent is Edel Mischrasse's Key, which is a necessary piece if you're putting together your own homunculus.
Signed for only $36.00
The Wonder Years entire career has been building up to this album. Their angst from their early albums has matured into longing and wisdom that can only come with age. With their sixth album, the band sees themselves as cohesive as ever and better yet, more relevant than ever.
On black vinyl for $20.
Bo Burnham has long-time been one of my favorite comedians, thanks to his unique brand of anxiety and absurdity. Not every comedian can make the jump to movies successfully (see Pootie Tang), but Eighth Grade expertly captures all the awkward and hilarious aspects of Bo's stage work, shown through the lens of the troublesome and uncomfortbale age of 13.
Rent it on Amazon for $4.99.
That's our show for this holiday season. I hope you had fun and maybe learned something. Maybe you even got inspired by our gift selections and have your holiday shopping all figured out! Good job, you!
Have a happy and safe holiday season!