We geeks, we nerdy few, we followers of cult films, TV, comics, games, and all the things that surround them are not the easiest people to shop for. There is, really, too much awesome out there, too many variations and extravagant bits of shiny for neophytes to navigate without incurring our adorable wrath.
And so for those who love or like us, and for those amongst us who want to bestow Festivus gifts upon ourselves, we present to you the Geek Holiday Guide, a two-part look at the season’s very best and most essential cult and geek collectibles, toys, apparel, DVD’s, Blu-Rays, comics, books, video games, and other cool stuff that you absolutely must possess.
Enjoy, shop, and be sure to pass the guide on to all those people who help feed your blissful stuff addiction.
DVD / Blu-Rays
Warner Brothers is participating in a Disney Vault-ish marketing, lets call it a plan, because “scheme” sounds too harsh. Now what this means is all Potter DVD’s and Blu Rays go away on December 29th so if you’ve been waiting for a rainy day to catch up on the boy wizard and all his magical friends, you had best hop upon your broom and go. That was nauseating, I apologize.
JJ Abrams’ cinematic tribute to Steven Spielberg’s Amblin days and films like E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Goonies. Super 8 isn’t going to attain the same timeless status as those films, but it’s a fun popcorn film, and it might be worth the investment.
From Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost comes Spaced, quite possibly the most underrated sitcom in history. You think Community is wonderfully weird? Spaced is the architect, mixing a very trope-y setting with countless sci-fi, zombie, horror, and pop culture references, flashbacks, and cutaways. This is what the Shaun of the Dead crew did before SOTD.
For all their visual improvements, modern cartoons just don’t do for me what the classics do. If you’re similarly in that sad, stunted state of immaturity and retro-longing I highly recommend catching up with the original Thundercats. Sure Cartoon Network put together a respectable re-make, but nothing compares to the original, and the series has aged well. Alas, the same can’t be said of some of the other mid-80′s animation dominators like G.I. Joe and those lascivious Care Bear Cousins.
After a long wait the extended cuts of Lord of the Rings have finally made their way to high definition. With the two Hobbit films currently in production, this likely won’t be the last release of the series, but hardcore fans will want to pick up this set to pass the time.
This one is a bit controversial due to ALL the alterations Mr. Lucas made to the classics. Purists will likely be disappointed in it, but casual fans will get a lot from the set, which offers all six films in high definition supported by a wide range of bonus features.
From the makers of Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police comes this little slice of monster/zombie post apocalyptic magic. What to do when an alien gas drives half the country into an un-dead, lawless frenzy? Build a big fucking wall across the whole of Japan and go “Michone” on the bad side of the divide.
Cult TV stars Alan Tudyk (Firefly) and Tyler Labine (Reaper) portray two dim country boys aiming for a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately a group of yuppie teens screw things up as the movie flips the “Cabin in the woods” trope on it’s side, then it kicks it in the nuts, sleeps with it’s Momma, and laughs an evil laugh of evil.
You know that feeling of shame and sadness that comes over you when your friends reference a classic cult film that you haven’t seen yet, and you nod along in agreement? A phony, foisting a canard upon your unsuspecting peers. You’re a horrible person if you do that. Which is why you should buy Repo Man so you know the bliss of this punk, cult classic. It’ll also help you understand why people say “Ordinary fucking people” every once in awhile. They are not talking about the Tim Hutton movie, you mongrel.
An anthology series featuring pulp horror tales and a black as night sense of humor. Tales from the Crypt is my generation’s Twilight Zone. Add to that an undead, cheeky master of ceremonies, a laundry list of late 80′s and early 90′s half stars, and I don’t really understand how you haven’t already clicked the link.
Join the ranks of the greatest generation…of couch warriors, and get your hands on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. That’s right, you too can fight the war against mouthy 13-year-olds with mutant-like hand-eye coordination and the ability to ALWAYS BE RIGHT THERE AS SOON AS YOU FUCKING RE-SPAWN! Also you can fight the war on productivity and WIN! Weeeee!
The sequel to the insanely popular Batman: Arkham Asylum is bigger, better, and badasser than the original. This time, Batman’s a prisoner and the Joker’s plaything, making it urgent that he get the hell out of Dodge. Fans will be relieved to learn that the dead eyed Maggie Gyllenhaal is not a playable character.
This RPG is the latest chapter in, but not the direct sequel to, other Elder Scrolls games, so virgins rejoice, even noobs can tuck in to fight dragons and assist wizards while exploring the ever-expanding game world. You’ll be sorry when you have to return to a comparatively lifeless reality.
Velociraptors are still evil and must die. Fight them and other dinosaurs never seen in the first movie, while new characters attempt to covertly slip iconic lines from the hit film series into conversation. No word on the Jeff Goldblum expansion pack but I assure you, if it does arrive it will be, uh………..off-putting.
Think Left 4 Dead on a tropical island with more booze. You can’t go wrong with a game that begins with a hangover and ends fighting zombies. Still, having to use cash to procure goods amidst a zom-attack feels – needless. We would never condemn looting (for purely legal reasons) but I am leaving home with the Amex at the first sign of a zombie uprising.
Stab demons and shoot arrows at monsters in the latest Zelda installment. By using the Wii’s motion controls during combat, your angle of attack matters just as much as your timing. Enjoy the last Zelda title before the Wii U is released next year.
Settlers of Catan – $34 (Board game)
The award winning strategy game is a great group board game for those days where you just want to unplug. Trade resources and develop your settlements to attempt to win. The game supports 3-4 players out of the box or extended to 5-6 with an add-on.
Return to the underwater city of Rapture and fight abominations against man and God in this creepy action packed first person shooter. This game may be a couple of years old but it’s a great value for the price. Refresh yourself with the sequel before the steampunk-filled Bioshock Infinite hits next year.
Tired of self-important shooters? Investigate murders in the Lovecraftian town of Greenvale with your alternate personality in this horror-comedy survival game.
If you’ve already read this novel and its sequels, there probably isn’t much left of that paperback you bought two years ago. So get between the pages of this elegant, slipcased edition and read on. If you’re a new reader? This will help your nerd-cred catch up in a flash.
Drew Struzan: Oeuvre – $32
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Goonies, Back To The Future. These are just a few of the iconic posters that Drew Struzan has crafted, which are collected in this career spanning retrospective. Makes a fantastic coffee table book, but does it have fold out legs to make it a coffee table? No, no it does not.
A collection of over 700 band posters from GigPosters.com that showcases the stripped down, imaginative nature of young musicians trying to sell an audience and drive interest. Fans of graphic design and indie art will love showcasing this unique work that shows the endlessly unique work of these unknown artists.
Risk and Battleship may be getting their own movies, but Catan is keeping it classy and CGI-free with its very own novel. Following the pattern of the game, the book chronicles growing civilizations as they vie for dominance on the island. However, you can expect more high-brow content than the usual table-talk. I bet the phrase “rules lawyer” doesn’t even come up once.
If you’re obsessed with the show but don’t want to dive head-long into a back issue bin at the local comic shop or spend $10-$15 on each volume, Compendium 1 may be your perfect excuse to catch up with the Eisner Award-winning comic and learn the basis for the show.
All of Toiken’s LOTR masterworks are here in this weighty paperback that introduces neophytes to the wonders of the ring, the shire, and the Hobbits.
All 6 volumes of Bryan Lee O’ Malley’s fantasy slacker epic are contained in the Precious Little Boxset, follow Scott as he takes on Ramona’s 7 evil ex’s in the theater of war. This edition also comes with a new poster from the mind of O’Malley.
An authorized yet hands-off biography of the now departed tech genius, Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson’s book culls numerous interviews with Jobs, his family, and friends to paint a picture of a man many revered as a God. There isn’t one person who takes advantage of the myriad of technical advances we have seen over the last two decades that doesn’t owe Steve Jobs some measure of gratitude, this is his story.
Mike Mignola’s clever homage to the old Universal monsters, House of the Living Dead pits Red up against Werewolves, Vampires, and of course an approximation of Frankenstein monster. Staged in Mexico in the world of Lucha Libre, the book showcases the enviable art of former Heavy Metal artist Richard Corben and is a quick, fun read.
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Written by Jason Tabrys (@jtabrys)
The former editor-in-chief, Jason still reappears in the rafters of our fair site from time to time but he now spends his days leaping from one place to another, trying to put right what once went wrong. You can still find his words across the toxic constellation that is the… More »
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