Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means there's only a month of shopping left in the holiday season. However, while this can be a scary realization for many people, you don't have to worry — because we've got ideas for the geeks on your list (or anyone else you want to convert to a life of geekery) covered.
This year, we're giving you the next best thing to actually buying the gifts for you. Your friendly neighborhood Splash Page team has come up with a wide-ranging list of books, games, toys, music and various other things to buy for everyone on your list — from the hardcore fanboys and fangirls to someone who's still learning the difference between Green Lantern and Green Hornet.
In the end, we tried to avoid some of the most obvious comics-related gifts this year and give you a mash-up of our own wishlists and the items we're planning to buy for our own friends and family. Here's hoping you find it helpful when it comes time for you to start dropping your hard-earned money on manufactured holiday joy.
If you're buying gifts for someone new to comics or in need of a familiar name or title to catch their attention, how about "The Dark Tower" graphic novels (based on the popular Stephen King novels) or Dark Horse Comics' "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Serenity" comics (based on Joss Whedon's fan-favorite television series)? They all feature original stories that unfold within and expand the world each one is based upon. There's also IDW Publishing's critically praised "Parker" graphic novels based on the crime-noir novels of Donald Westlake (which also inspired such movies as "Point Blank" and "Payback"). "The Hunter" and "The Outfit" are available now, and they're as beautiful to look at as they are to read.
If you're shopping for someone who loves music almost as much as comics, why not pick up an album by nerd rockers Kirby Krackle? It's filled with ridiculously cool, addictively sing-able tunes about comics, gaming, love, and, well... everything else that being a geek is all about. My favorite track? An ode to Green Lantern titled "Ring Capacity." It's brilliant. Also worth checking out is "Zero Day," the latest album from nerdcore rapper extraordinaire MC Frontalot (named the "rapper laureate" of the massively successful "Penny Arcade" webcomic), as well as the awesomely indie soundtrack for this year's hit film "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World." Oh, and if you're looking to give someone a nostalgia-inducing trip down memory lane, snag them a copy of "The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection." It's a collection of popular and little-known jingles (who knew "The Atom" had a theme song?) featuring DC characters.
If you're shopping for young readers, pick up a copy of "Tiny Titans/Lil Archie." The books combine all-ages superhero fun with classic Archie characters and sensibility. You might also want to check out Boom Studios' "Muppet Show" comics and Archaia Studios' "Fraggle Rock" comics. Both of these series are just as good as the television shows they're based on, and to be honest, you'll probably enjoy the heck out of 'em, too.
For older readers, why not pick up a few novels written by and for comics fans. Matt Myklusch's "Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation" is a great novel that feels a lot like the "Harry Potter" series, except instead of magic and wizards, it deals with superheroes and supervillains. There's also "Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die," featuring a bunch of stories written (and occasionally illustrated) by some of the biggest names in the webcomics world, including "Dinosaur Comics" creator Ryan North and "Wondermark" creator David Malki.
Looking to help someone prep for next year's slate of comic book movies? Ryan Reynolds name-dropped "Green Lantern: Secret Origin" as one of the books that inspired the upcoming movie, so it can't hurt to revisit Geoff Johns' origin story. On the other side, Marvel's upcoming slate of movies all draw heavily from the publisher's line of "Ultimate" comics, so picking up the first volume of "The Ultimates" (the "Ultimate"-universe version of The Avengers) will get readers ready for what's to come in 2011 and beyond.
Buying for a comics fan with some gaming tendencies? You can't go wrong with "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" for various systems, which gives players the opportunity to web-swing as several different incarnations of Spider-Man over the years. There's also the downloadable game based on "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" for the Playstation Network, and the all-ages friendly "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" for the Nintendo Wii. All three games are bunches of comics-inspired fun.
Beyond the normal DVD and Blu-Ray suggestions of "Iron Man 2," "Kick-Ass," "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" and other recent big-screen adaptations, you might want to consider some outside-the-box selections like "Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods," a documentary about one of the comics industry's most celebrated writers of the modern era. There's also "Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist," which puts the spotlight on one of the greatest creators ever to craft a comic. If documentaries aren't exactly what you're searching for, pick up a copy of "DC Showcase Collection." It's a collection of the excellent animated shorts DC and Warner Bros. have included on their larger animated features the last year or so, focusing on lesser-known characters. Every one of them is animated gold.
If you know someone who enjoys the latest television series based on comics like "The Walking Dead" or "Human Target," why not introduce them to the source material? Image Comics' "The Walking Dead Compendium, Volume 1" collects the first eight chapters of the comic in one hefty book. And though it doesn't quite match up with the comic, Vertigo's "Human Target: Chance Meetings" collects several great storylines from writer Peter Milligan's celebrated work on the series and offers a nice example of why the character is so popular.
On the toy front, we'd be fools not to point you in the direction of Hasbro's awesome Iron Man 2 helmet. It's made to fit just about any head, and is both ridiculously cool and surprisingly comfortable to wear on a regular basis (trust me on this). Of course, if you're buying for kids, you might as well complete the package and buy the Iron Man 2 3-in-1 Repulsor and Iron Man 2 Arc Light — just for the sake of completion. (Note: Star Wars fans, there's a Boba Fett version of the helmet, too.)
And finally, if you're looking for something that will look great on a bookshelf and is as much a status symbol as it is reading material, DC's "Absolute Planetary" hardcovers come with a hefty price tag but are well worth the price. If that's along the lines of what you're looking for, Image Comics' "Spawn Origins Collection" hardcover is another book that will not only be appreciated by whoever receives it, but will make you look that much cooler for picking it out.
And that's about it for the first-ever MTV Splash Page Gift Guide. Here's hoping it gives you some shopping suggestions for the geeks on your list (especially if you're one of them).
Happy shopping, and an early Happy Holidays from MTV Splash Page!