Fear not, geekdom, we are not done offering suggestions for Christmas gifts yet!
The big day is little more than only a WEEK away now, and if you haven’t yet, you need to get going on the Christmas shopping! As always, we campaign for the banishment of congested mall parking lots and consumer fist fights in front of an Orange Julius, and propose you do it like we do it: online!
This particular guide is all about the reading materials and musical selections. From graphic novels to actual novels; anime to books showcasing the making of and art work of your favorite films of this past year! And let us not forget about the music. Never ever forget about the music. The Beatles, Spinal Tap, and the Star Trek soundtrack are just a few of the featured tunes you’ll discover below.
Oh, and don’t forget: if you’re not looking for music or books, you can also wander the words of our Holiday Geek Gift Guide â€™09: Wii Sports Accessories, our Holiday Geek Gift Guide â€™09: Specialty Christmas Gift Suggestions, the Holiday Geek Gift Guide â€™09: Video Game Edition, and of course, our Holiday Geek Gift Guide â€™09: DVD & Blu-ray Edition.
By all means, don’t let us keep you any longer; head on over to the other side to check out our Holiday Geek Gift Guide â€™09: Books & Music Edition!
Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight Pick
Remember the original Amazon Kindle, how bulky it was? Well, if you are one of those people who were waiting for it to improve, then now’s the time to get in on it because the new Kindle is amazing. Wait, what’s a Kindle, you say? Ok, well, check this out: The Kindle is a handless wireless reading device that allows you to purchase and read digital versions of books right from the device. The Kindle is only 10.2 ounces, a just over 1/3 of an inch thick, and holds up to 1,500 books, which are loaded on the device within seconds of purchase; you can also purchase the books through Amazon’s site (also loaded to the device within seconds afterward). And, if you’re worried about glare on your screen while you’re reading, fear not! I own a Kindle and trust me, it reads with NO glare and with ease of scrolling and page-flipping. There’s also a built-in dictionary; a Text-to-Speech feature, which has the Kindle read books aloud to you (where available); and a built-in PDF reader. Basically, this was the best gift anyone has ever given to me, and if you need an awesome gift for an avid reader, you can’t go with wrong with the Kindle.
Trym’s Journey, Book 1, The Elves Of Nessa
Promising new writer J.L. Morv offers up a fantasy adventure in this tale of a Viking chief, Trym the Brave, who during a great battle begins to have visions of a woman calling to him for help. From this Trym sets out on a quest to find the beautiful yet uniquely featured woman, who is an elven princess of Nessa, a land under seige by the an evil rival king’s army of Bonewarriors. Unlike typical 1,000-page fantasy tome’s, Trym’s Journey is a fast-paced succinct page-turner, and its insertion of a Viking warrior into elven culture is a delightful combination. Think Lord of the Rings meets Elric Saga with Vikings.
Star Trek: The Art of the Film
Remember that person who watched the new Star Trek a million times and listens to the film’s soundtrack score all the time? Yeah, that person drools over the Star Trek: The Art of the Film book. This 160-page hardcover coffee table book by Mark Cotta Vaz takes you through the journey from concept to screen for the film by way of concept art and storyboards to full-color promo images and action shots. Know someone who like Trek? Bam! Here’s their gift.
The Art of Up (Pixar Animation)
We all know that no one makes movies quite like Pixar Animation, and no one has such an impressive streak of critically-praised films.
What’s just as amazing as their films, is the work that goes into each one of the productions. With The Art of Up, you have the chance to take a little journey through the creation of their latest and possibly greatest film, Up. In this book, you’ll be showered with works of concept art, storyboard drawings, sketches, digital prints, and other goodies that were used to put this movie together and eventually bring it to life. You’ll also be able to check out some color scripts, and read quotes from many of the brilliant minds that worked on the film.
In the finished product, Up tells the story of an elderly man at the sad, depressing end of his life who embarks on an amazing adventure of self-rediscovery around our beautiful planet.
The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox
This is a wonderful companion book to Wes Anderson’s wonderful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book. The book details the painstaking process of bringing this wonderful story to vivid life. It is must have for anyone interested in the technical wizardry required to make a film of this magnitude. There are plenty of photos, storyboards, script pages and interviews with cast and crew. Plus, it is always a pleasure to see how someone like Wes Anderson makes a film.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Deluxe Edition
The living dead “Unmentionables” are ravishing the English countryside in search of brains to feast on. The young Bennett sisters have little time to spend on finding husbands as they are tasked to help rid the country of the zombies plaguing it. Thanks to their special martial arts training, the Bennett girls kick major zombie ass in Grahame-Smith’s alternate version. This mash-up of the 1813 classic Jane Austen novel with zombie horror, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a smash hit upon its initial release earlier this year. Now, it’s out in a Deluxe Heirloom Hardcover Edition with all-new full-color illustrations and 30 percent more zombie action — totally worth getting your hands on.
Robert Altman: The Oral Biography
An oral biography of one the most visionary directors of American cinema is a must have for any film fan. This book is like being a fly on the wall as P.T. Anderson, Tim Robbins, James Caan, Julie Christie, Bud Cort, Warren Beatty, Buck Henry, Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, Sissy Spacek and many more talk about Robert Altman. This book is essential in anyone library. If you enjoyed the oral histories, Please Kill Me and The Other Hollywood written by Legs McNeil, than this book is for you. It serves as the ultimate primer on Robert Altman.
The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition
This heavily anticipated IDW collection reprints the original Rocketeer comics (newly re-colored by Laura Martin), as well as a ton of never-before-seen artwork by creator Dave Stevens. Anyone with fond memories of the 1991 Disney movie should go nuts for this collection. (Click here for a sneak peek at some of the interiors.)
For those who are looking to save a little money on their holiday spending, there is also The Rocketeer: Complete Collection, which is half the price of the Deluxe Edition and only collects the stories, without all the bonus content, in a regular sized format. Either one should be an ideal gift for a fan of the character or comics in general.
The great American graphic novel. Using every trick in the comic creatorâ€™s tool kit — as well as making up a few new ones — David Mazzucchelli tells a story that is at once tragic, funny, intensely personal, startlingly relatable, and ultimately hopeful with an intelligence and grace few artists in the world are capable of. The perfect gift for the artist, the skeptic, and anyone who likes to read.
The death of the Dark Knight was the biggest story to hit Batman fans ever. Itâ€™s a defining moment in the 70th anniversary year of the Caped Crusader and Grant Morrison weaves another masterfully dark tale about Bruce Wayne which just gets better with every read. This glorious hardcover would sit comfortably on any graphic novel fanâ€™s book shelf.
Saga of the Swamp Thing, Vol. 1, Vol. 2
All comics fans know that Alan Moore is one of the best writers ever, and here is a chance to see some of his earliest work. In these issues, Moore takes the third tier horror character of Swamp Thing and recreates him as an Earth Elemental. Iâ€™m reading these for the first time, and I can honestly say these are some off the greatest stories Iâ€™ve ever read. Groundbreaking stuff, and these hardcovers make for a decent presentation of the material.
Preacher, Vol. 1
Similar presentation to the Swamp Thing Hardcovers, this one presents Garth Ennisâ€™ modern classic story of a man on a quest to find God and bring him to task for forsaking man kind. Even if youâ€™ve read these stories before, this hardcover is a good excuse to go back and read them again. The art by Steve Dillon has some of the most expressive characters youâ€™ll ever see. If youâ€™ve never read the series before, you have to pick these up.
The Complete Essex County Hardcover Edition
One of the most acclaimed indie series of the last few years, the Complete Essex County collects three Graphic Novels written and drawn by Jeff Lemire. Smart, touching, and filled with some of the most identifiable characters youâ€™ll read this year. This is the kind of indie work that Iâ€™m looking for, and fans of more personal stories will find a lot to love here.
Chew Volume 1: Taster’s Choice
Another acclaimed indie sensation from this year, Chew tells the story of Tony Chu, a psychic detective unlike any youâ€™ve seen before. I was totally amazed by this book when I read it and it totally lived up to all the hype around it. The art by Rob Guillory gets better with every issue, and is some of the best and most unique Iâ€™ve seen all year. Without a doubt, the best new series of the year.
Wolverine: Old Man Logan
The team from Marvelâ€™s Civil War reunites to bring a story that is equal parts Mad Max and Unforgiven. Mark Millar gives a story of a future Wolverine who has to travel across an America where the villains have won. Itâ€™s a very fun story, and you also get the great art of Steve McNiven, who is at the top of his game here. The oversized format of the hardcover is a great showcase for the art. Another one of the best stories from this year.
Criminal (Deluxe Edition)
If you have a friend who doesnâ€™t read comics, and youâ€™re looking to give them something to get them in, look now further than Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillipâ€™s Criminal. This Hardcover collects the first three storylines, and is some of the grittiest comics you will ever read. Brubaker creates a world of believable characters and some very tense action that make this a real page turner. Thereâ€™s a reason this is one of my favorite series and this is a great entry level comic for people who think they wouldnâ€™t like comics.
The Batman Vault
Have a loved one who loves comics but you are not sure what to get them? Well, look no further than Running Press’ The Batman Vault. This comprehensive museum in a book chronicles the life of the Dark Knight himself. From his inception in the late 1930’s to his prosperous life in the movies, television, and beyond, this book provides the reader with a linear history of the Caped Crusader. It also touches on his infamous rogue gallery, his many allies, as well the good (Batman The Animated series), the Bad (Batman television show), and the ugly (Batman and Robin) that comes along with the popular hero. It is a must have for any Batman fan! (Running Press $49.95, out now)
Blade of the Immortal Volume 1
One of my favorite manga series is brought to life and I couldnâ€™t be happier about it. Manji is a master swordsman who has been cursed with immortality, and now has to kill a thousand bad men so that he can rest in piece. If youâ€™re a fan of sword play and bloody violence, this will be right up your alley. I canâ€™t wait for more of this series to be released state side.
Evangelion: 1.01 You Are (Not) Alone – Movie
Arguably the most popular anime of the 90â€™s has been re-drawn and given a makeover for the new millennium. Sadly, thereâ€™s no new story here, but what you will find is the same interesting characters and amazing action with much cleaner animation. If youâ€™ve never seen this before, you will find one of the strangest and most thought provoking anime series of all time.
DrawerBoxes are one of the best inventions ever when it comes to protecting your back issues and making them easier to find. Basically they make finding and storing your comics as easy as opening a filing cabinet. Instead of having to move tons of boxes to get to those ones at the bottom, you just open the DrawerBox and there are your books. Trust me, I have a bunch of them, and itâ€™s made it so much simpler for me to store and file my back issues. Pick some up at your local comic store, or go to their website.
The Beatles Mono Box Set
I have to admit and say, I am not a huge Beatles fan by any stretch but The Beatles Mono Box set even makes me drool. We are talking about all every Beatles album, presented in its original Mono format, all in one box set. Plus, there are oodles of extras like an album filled with just EPs and singles, 13 mini films about the band, plus lots of rare photos and reprints of the original album covers. Plus, they come in a variety of versions. There is a remastered stereo version and also an “digital” version. This version places all the albums into one green apple shaped USB drive, giving you the option of uploading all the songs into your MP3 or IPod. This is a must have for any music fan or Beatles fan period.
A true AC/DC fan can never get enough from these Aussie rockers and this beautiful box set provides another stunning compilation of rarities and live tracks to add to their collection. If the 2 CDs are not enough there is also a DVD of videos and bonus features, bringing the Family Jewels collection bang up to date.
Spinal Tap: Back From The Dead
Spinal Tap is back! From the dead! This collection of reworkings of classic â€˜Tap material contains some hilarious surprises like â€˜(Funky) Sex Farmâ€™. The gatefold packaging opens out to form a stage for your Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls figures to rock out on. Every Spinal Tap fan needs this in their stocking this year.
Star Trek soundtrack
Remember that Geeks of Doom staff member who the new Star Trek movie every day? As you can imagine, they’re fan of the film’s soundtrack score as well.
Slayer: World Painted Blood
This is Slayer, you know the drill: the fastest, heaviest metal band out there. If the holiday jingles are just too irritating for you then look no further than World Painted Blood — the only thrash album you need this year. This deluxe edition comes with a DVD of an animated horror short directed by Mark Brooks (Metalocalypse).
Ace Frehley – Anomaly
The people who run this site happen to worship at the alter of former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, so of course, the Space Ace’s new album Anomaly makes it onto this year’s music gift selections. According to said people, this new offering is right up there with the 1978 KISS – Ace Frehley album. In case you think them biased (and they are totally are and they know it, but that’s okay), the album has also been highly praised by critics and fans alike. Interestingly enough, the album has a cover of the Sweet classic “Fox On The Run,” which is a song I always thought Ace based his singing style on. Needless to say, the tunes on Anomaly are totally rockin. If you’re a fan of the Ace or of hard rock in general, this comeback record is a must-have.
Kiss: Sonic Boom
After waiting an incredible 11 years for an album of new material, KISS fans were treated to Sonic Boom in 2009. This album is 11 tracks of KISS back to its best. As if that wasnâ€™t enough, the album includes a second CD of KISS Klassics and a DVD of KISS live in Buenos Aires.
Iron Maiden: Flight 666
2-Disc CD | DVD | Blu-ray
The documentary Iron Maiden: Flight 666 is available on a double audio CD, as well as in extended Blu-ray and DVD formats, and chronicles the legendary heavy metal band on the first leg of an ambitious tour in early 2008. The band and crew embarked on the world tour in a “Ed Force One,” a customized Boeing 757 piloted by Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, and traveled 50,000 miles round the globe playing 23 concerts on five continents in only 45 days. The 2-disc CD is the “soundtrack” to the film — a collection of their most popular tunes like “The Trooper” and “Number of the Beast,” each played before a different audience. The DVD and Blu-ray contain the film and much more as the film crew captures a behind-the-scenes look not only at the band, but at the conditions in which they must play and the fans must endure in the various countries. Every Iron Maiden fan will definitely want this in their stocking this year and any heavy music lover will love this peek at this amazing tour.
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The 2009 Holiday Geek Gift Guide – Books and Music Edition was compiled and written by Empress Eve, Dave3, The Movie God, Henchman21, Neverwanderer, Obi-Dan, JackBauerstein83, and Cinema Junkie.