Ian Clark's Pop Culture Club: What to get the geek in your life for the holidays
With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, the holiday shopping season is officially in high gear.
That means it's time for my fifth annual wish list to help you cross off the geek on your shopping list. Here are some cool items that might fit the bill.
-- Chewbacca messenger bag ($87, amazon.com): A practical messenger bag that just happens to look like the famous wookiee's bandolier? Yes, please. This faux leather bag looks like the one Chewie carried in Star Wars and the strap is designed to look like the ammo cases he carried as well. All I need is to somehow stretch two feet taller and get a bit hairier and I'm there.
-- Hero hoodies (prices vary): If you want to complete the Chewbacca look with the messenger bag, you can purchase one of these hooded sweatshirts that replicate Chewie's hairy hide.
There are also lots of superhero ones to choose from, including Spider-Man and Captain America and they come complete with "mask" hoods. The prices range from $55 on up and they are available online and through numerous local comic book shops.
-- Comic books: A great stocking stuffer clocking in at just $10 is the first volume of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples' excellent comic book "Saga." This volume collects the first six issues of the epic tale like nothing else you've ever read.
The story centers on two soldiers from opposite sides of a galactic war that have fallen in love and have a baby together. Pursued by several organizations that want to get their hands on the child, the family must go on the run.
Be warned that "Saga" is not for kids due to violence and sexual content, but the story is outstanding and writer Vaughn is crafting another amazing run that looks as though it could surpass his "Y, the Last Man" comic. This first volume is a steal at $10 and is available at Harrison's Comics.
Other recommendations for trade paperback collections would be the current "Batman" and "Detective Comics" books as well as "The Walking Dead," especially if you have someone on your list who loved the TV show but has never read the book.
-- Games: It takes a little bit of an investment to get enough ships together to make the game really shine, but the end result is worth it for the "Star Wars: X-Wing" miniatures game ($40 for the starter set, available at Target).
The starter only comes with two TIE fighter and one X-wing ship (plus all the other stuff you need to play) and the expansion ships are not sold at Target (but local hobby and game stores carry them for $15 each).
But the game is excellent and can be enjoyed by kids as well, so it's worth the investment of time and money to track down a few extra ships from the original movie like the Y-wing and Darth Vader's TIE Advanced ship.
-- Movies: The Indiana Jones movies (all four...so yes, you do have to get "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" as well, but no one says you have to watch it) are available on Blu-Ray disks in one box set and they look absolutely amazing. The set retails for $100, but you can get it for half that on amazon.com.
So there you go, some suggestions to help you get through the crazy shopping of the next month. Look for me at the mall, I'll be the one who looks like Chewbacca's little brother.
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Ian Clark's Pop Culture Club appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Check out his podcast "Nerdherders" on iTunes or at www.3nerds.us. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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