One of the hardest things to do can be to pick out a great gift for that nerd or geek in your life. There are so many places to look and so many different kinds of things to sift through. Are they Whovians, Trekkies, Leaves on the Wind, or just a good old fashioned tech-head? Do they love comics, collecting military memorabilia, or watching movies? Whether they are a Bat-fan, Star Wars fanboy, or just love to collect things, this list should point you in the right direction for the person in your life who loves to read and is always looking for that new story or experience.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm – This book by Greg Keyes is the official prequel to the Summer Blockbuster, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Interested in finding out what happened between apes and humans in the five years that passed between this film and the first, Rise of the Planet of the Apes? This book gives you the whole story. As Caesar and the apes try to make their home in the giant redwoods, mankind will not stop hunting them, afraid of what might happen because of the events on the bridge at the end of Rise. I really enjoyed Keyes writing and felt that he captures the fear and emotions of both the humans and apes in this tale. What sacrifices must be made to create this new home? What will Caesar have to do to ensure his family’s safety? Also, this book gives us the gory details about the flu that ravages the human population. A must read for fans of the franchise. You can get this book here. My Rating: 4.5/5
Alien Legion: Dead and Buried – Chuck Dixon, Larry Stroman, and Carl Potts created the Alien Legion years ago and Titan Comics is bringing all the great issues of Alien Legion together is some awesome trade paperbacks, just in time for holiday gift giving. Collecting the first 12 issues of Alien Legion Volume 2, this is a hard hitting sci-fi series along the lines of a combination of Star Trek and the French foreign legion. A lot of different races battling for freedom and peace. Be sure to check out my interview with Chuck Dixon here. If you love space combat, alien races, and military tactics, this is a great book to get you familiar with Alien Legion. You can pick up a copy here or ask your local comic shop to get you a copy. My Rating: 4/5
Charley’s War – On January 6, 1979, Battle Picture Weekly or Battle Action published by IPC in the UK, debuted a new war comic within its pages. This comic was titled Charley’s War and was not the typical action comic glorifying the combat fliers or great battles of some of the earlier issues or of their competitors. This comic was more a statement of the harshness of war, the injustices that can be perpetrated during war, and the impact to our humanity. As the introduction states, this is more an anti-war comic in a pro-war publication. This is the tale of Charley, who starts out, as do most military recruits, as naive and hopeful that his actions are serving a higher purpose. As time progresses, he begins to see the consequences of his actions and the terrors of war. Some strips are written as postcards home, some as diary entries, but all serve to tell a story that was, at the time, innovative and risky, and is truly an iconic comic strip in the genre of war comics. If your geek is a war history buff or just loves a good engrossing story with a human component, you might want to check out the collected volume of Charley’s War by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun. You can get your copy here or let your LCS order one for you. My Rating: 4.5/5
Joss Whedon: The Biography – Written by Amy Pascale, this indepth look into the life and mind of one of the biggest names in movie and TV, helps those who know him understand a little better and those who don’t get that up close and personal view of who Joss Whedon really is. Whether you love Firefly, Dollhouse, Buffy, Angel, Dr. Horrible, Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or his early work, Toy Story, Alien: Ressurection, or any other part of the Whedonverse that you claim as yours, this book will be a gift that any geek would love to have. If there is one thing made clear in this book it is that Whedon is no different than the rests of us. He has not had success with everything he has tried, in fact he had a lot of failures before his first big success, but he never gave up because his passion drives him. This book is chock full of behind the scenes stories of how he turned many of those failures into wins in the long term. This is a great book and I really enjoyed the writing, the pace, and stories throughout. You can get your hands on this here or at you LCS or local book store. My Rating: 4/5
Void – By Sean Phillips and Herik Hanna, Void is a story about the Goliath 01, the biggest and most secure prison ship ever created. Like the Titanic before it, this ship is brought down by a force of nature. Now, there is a major crisis on the ship as the commander is killing everyone and the only survivor of this massacre strives to escape the ship. This is an intense and quite trippy story with some great art and some really cool twists in the plot. A great story for any fan of sci-fi, mystery, horror, or survival stories. You can get this book in hardcover here. My Rating: 5/5
Death Sentence Vol. 1 – Montynero and Mike Dowling bring this gritty story about a fatal illness that gives super powers before it ultimately kills a person. There is no cure, and you have to decide how you will use your powers. Of course there are plenty of agencies out there that will choose for you. Collecting this five-issue series in hardcover, Death Sentence Vol. 1 tells the story of three very different people all infected with the G+ virus. This virus will kill each of them in a matter of months. Before that happens, each of them will develop superhuman powers. Weasel, the junkie rocker, gets the power to pass through solid matter. Monty is the pseudo-intellectual… I think the proper term is douche-bag with the power to make people’s heads explode. Finally, there is Verity, a young woman who felt like her life was meaningless, now given the power to channel a powerful energy and mess with people’s minds to draw them into her own little creepy fantasy worlds. Some crazy stuff. It is the power of the titans in the hands of selfish children. A great story, bloody, sexy, full of death and poetry. You can get your copy here. My Rating: 4.5/5
The World According to Batman – Insight Editions puts out some really cool stuff. With this year being the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance, they have published The World According to Batman by Daniel Wallace with art by Joel Gomez and Beth Sotelo. This book really goes indepth into Batman’s view of the world, what makes him who he is, and the secrets behind his philosophy, training, partners, gadgets, and enemies. “From instructions for tackling large groups of thugs single-handedly to tips on escaping from a crashing aircraft, this thrilling journey into the Dark Knight’s world takes you under the cowl like never before.” There are also some really cool removable items within the pages, notes, masks, even Bruce Wayne’s business card. From his sad origin to present day, this book digs deep into the secret files of the Batcave and delivers a solid Bat-experience. You can get a copy here. My Rating: 5/5
The World According to the Joker – You can’t have the good without the bad, just like you can’t have the bat without the clown. Jumping to the dark side, this book take a look at what, if anything, makes the Joker Batman’s greatest enemy. I found this book very funny and more than a little disturbing. Written by Matthew K. Manning with some amazing art by Joel Gomez and Beth Sotelo, this book has some pretty cool inserts including the hilarious Wheel of Dead Robins! My favorite space on this wheel? Really have to pick two, Death by Message Board Comments! and Death by Pants! I must say I enjoyed this one much more than the Batman book. Get a copy here. My Rating: 5/5
Marvel Vehicles: Owner’s Workshop Manual – From the folks at Insight Editions comes this amazing book designed to look like the popular Haynes automotive manuals. You can now see the inner workings of many of the cool Marvel vehicles that you have seen in the movies, TV shows, and comics of Marvel Entertainment. From the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarriers to Thor’s Chariot to the Goblin Glider, this book gives specs and stories surrounding all the great vehicles of the Marvel Universe. Writer Alex Irvine captures the beauty and complexity of this machinery and gives us most, if not all, of their secrets. Get your hands on this cool collectible edition here. My Rating: 5/5
These are all pretty cool books and most any geek would be excited to unwrap this as a gift. Check them out and I hope you find something to appease that hard to buy for person who you may or may not fully understand but still tolerate.