Movie News

Quint's 2007 Holiday Shopping Guide, Part 2! Books! Comics! Toys! Video Games!!

Published at: Nov. 23, 2007, 6:36 a.m. CST

2007 HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE PART 1 - DVDs, ELECTRONICS and CLOTHING!!!



BOOKS


CHEAP ($24.99 and under)

Holy crap! It's finally out! In my travels I haven't made it to a comic shop to pick it up, so I just might have to put my order in on Amazon. Their first batch of Alan Moore's return to the world of LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN sold out, but they have more in stock November 27th. I absolutely can't wait to read this. $17.99 at Amazon.

This is another one I haven't read yet, but I've been reading Kevin Smith's online blogs years. In recent memory he's been using MySpace. While his blogs are never boring, as the title of his book suggests, they are filled with such intimate detail (and I mean intimate... the man is totally honest, even about his masturbation habits). Hilarious, frank and even a little illuminating on the process of working in Hollywood. You can get it for $10.17 on Amazon or, if you really want to give someone a good gift, head over to the Jay and Silent Bob Yahoo Sales page and get a copy autographed by Smith for only $14.95!

Joe Hill's debut full length novel hit this past year. He got a lot of press for being the Son of Stephen King, but honestly I think that's short-changing the great work he did here. Heart-Shaped Box is a great horror novel about an aging rock star who is being stalked by the eye-less ghost of an old man and it feels like one his old man would have written in the early '80s. I highly, highly, highly recommend this for any King fan or any fan of genre literature. $14.97 for the hardcover at Amazon.

I'm going to list off the complete three book series that Charlie Huston wrote about an average New Yorker named Hank Thompson who gets caught between the Russian mob, some dirty cops and a shit-ton of cash that he had no part in stealing. Huston's voice is one of my favorites in modern fiction. His Thompson is this era's Parker. He's pretty badass, but goddamn does Huston like to run this guy through the wringer.

Huston's series runs all over North America and in each novel we get new characters, all various shades of grey.

The most interesting thing for me in each book is seeing the progression of Thompson, seeing how each injury, each betrayal, each loved one lost hardens him and changes his soul. Fantastic character work here in three of the most fun books I read this year. A cheap $11.97 each. Click on each cover for each book.

I just finished Naomi Novik's fourth book in her Temeraire Series and I can state it's one of the best so far. It's called Empire of Ivory and it follows our heroic pairing of Will Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire, in an alternate history where Dragons existed and were used in battle during the Napoleonic Wars, as they race to find a cure for a disease that is essentially the black plague for dragons. All the books in this series are great reads and if you need any further vouchers, Peter Jackson has optioned the series to adapt into feature films. A cheap $7.99 for each book if you haven't read any of them. Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 and click the above cover for the latest book in the series.

Jae Lee's artwork in this series, based on King's fantastic book series, married with Richard Isanove's great color work has made this one of the more visually striking books to come out of Marvel. It's not what I had in my mind, exactly, but it's a fascinating interpretation of Roland's world. At $16.49 for the hardback, this one's a must have for any Dark Tower fan, casual or hardcore.

Let's keep the comic book wave going. The Walking Dead is my favorite book put out by any publisher. Black and white, with a strong emphasis on character work Robert Kirkman's series is like the zombie story George Romero never told. There are 7 Graphic Novels out now, with the latest (above) signaling the beginning of some very bad times for our group. All Walking Dead Books can be had for around $10 at Amazon. Book 1, $9.99. Book 2, $10.39. Book 3, $10.39. Book 4, $10.39. Book 5, $10.39. Book 6, $10.39. Book 7, $10.39.

When I was on the set of THE MIST, I was introduced to Eric Powell, who writes and draws THE GOON. I got along with the dude really well and I ended up picking up a ton of Goon books this year, absolutely loving the hilariously batshit insane world that Powell invented. He just came out with a new Goon TPB called CHINATOWN and it's a cheap $13.57 at Amazon. If you like EC style humor and creatures, pick up some Goon. Volume 1: Nothin' But Misery, $10.85. Volume 2: My Murderous Childhood and Other Grievous Yarns, $11.16. Volume 3: Heaps of Ruination, $10.36. Volume 4: Virtue and Grim Consequences Thereof, $11.53. Volume 5: Wicked Inclinations, $10.17. Rough Stuff, $10.36.

I'm a little late to the picnic with this series, but this year I devoured it and am caught up in the single issues now. Brain K. Vaughn's book follows a geek named Yorick who just so happens to have survived a plague that wiped out every single man on the planet. His true love is in Australia and he's in New York and his mission is to find his girlfriend as the world falls apart. Funny, moving, unpredictable. This is a great series. Book 1 is up above and you can get all 9 volumes at Amazon for just around $10 a pop. Volume 1, $10.39. Volume 2, $10.39. Volume 3, $10.39. Volume 4, $10.39. Volume 5, $10.19. Volume 6, $10.39. Volume 7, $10.19. Volume 8, $10.19. Volume 9, $10.19.

I'm in the middle of reading this one right now, actually, and I'm loving it. Colbert's sarcastic humor and tempo of hilarity translate fantastically into the written word. This book is really nice, actually, complete with a big ribbon built in to hold your place and it even has stickers. Without a doubt one of the safest bets for a holiday gift on this article. $16.19 at Amazon.

This was one of the more suggested items when I placed my call to arms for help in building this guide, so I have included it here. It seems to be going for over $20 from second hand resellers, but if you click the above link you'll go to Barnes and Noble's website, which has it for $9.99. I've never read the original book, but I dig the flick so maybe I'll get around to it soon.

To round out the Cheap portion of the books section, I have a couple of suggestions for gifts for the younger geeks. The Encyclopedia Horrifica is something I never would have found on my own, but after my post announcing the Holiday Guide this year, I was sent a copy of this book and it awoke my younger self. I ate books like this up when I was a kid. Anything with monsters, especially "real life monsters" was devoured. This is a pretty full book, detailing everything from Giant Squid, Vlad the Impaler, ghosts, goblins and ghouls... and all their real life origins or at least where the myths began. Be the cool Uncle this year with this one. $10.19 at Amazon.

You'll be the coolest Uncle in the world if you bundle the Encyclopedia Horrifica with this awesome sounding Star Wars Pop-Up Book. Everything I hear about it makes me want to run out and pick it up. It's getting 5 star reviews everywhere and the idea of a great Star Wars pop-up book makes my inner child wipe away his scared tears and smile through his misery. $19.72 at Amazon.
MODERATE ($25.00-$70.99)

There are a lot of cool books and a lot cool STAR WARS stuff on the list this year, but this is probably the coolest mix of the two. It's a massive book, absolutely huge, heavy hardbound book with thousands of behind the scenes pictures, many of them never-before-scene, and a detailed step by step of how the film came to be, complete with copies of original Lucas notes, treatments, etc. It's an amazing book. $47.25 at Amazon.

To Infinity and Beyond: The Story of Pixar was another big recommendation from you guys. I just finished watching the great Pixar documentary THE STORY OF PIXAR by Leslie Iwerks and their story is a great one. I can only imagine this book is a fascinating read with tons of great art. $47.25 at Amazon.

Another great overview book is THE MARVEL VAULT, giving a full history of Marvel Comics. No good geek should go without this one. Tons of reproduced memorabilia from the long Marvel history.$32.97 at Amazon.
EXPENSIVE ($71.00-$499.99)

I grew up on MAD Magazine. What, me worry? This is a damn nice set, that feels a little like the great Calvin and Hobbes hardcover books that came out a couple years ago, even if the humor within the nice packaging is going to be a little more... base. This set focuses on the great Don Martin's work at the Magazine, featuring every piece of art he did from 1957-1987 in over 1000 pages. $94.50 at Amazon.

We covered the kids with the pop-up books, now it's time to get something for pops... or that life-time bachelor Uncle or brother in law. Starting with Marylin Monroe they include every single centerfold in the history of Playboy, over 600 women. I haven't seen this personally, but it's gotta be interesting to see how sexuality progressed over the decades. It's not a cheap book, but it looks really well put together. $315.00 at Amazon.


VIDEO GAMES


CHEAP ($24.99 and under)

I played through RESIDENT EVIL 4 on the Wii earlier this year and loved the Wii controls. The aiming and reloading was so much easier than on the Gamecube. If you want an excuse to replay the game or if you haven't given it a spin yet, you have to grab it for the Wii at the cheap price of $24.99.
MODERATE ($25.00-$70.99)

This game is a blast and a perfect fit for the 360. I've played the board game before, but this is the most fun I've had with a SceneIt game. Each game comes with 4 controllers and you get questions that run from super easy to really super tough. There are different games... ones where you watch a clip (everything from SOME LIKE IT HOT to Peter Jackson's KING KONG) and answer questions about it to games where you listen to an audio clip and pick the movie, etc. Great fun, especially with your movie geek friends. $59.99.

Bioshock is one of the best games to hit any console this year. Art deco/sci-fi-y/horror-ish... such a fantastically designed game. You get super powers, guns and ammo and you get to take out genetically altered flappers in creepy Kubrick SHINING New Years masks. How can you go wrong? $56.99.

I was a big fan of CALL OF DUTY 2 and not so much with CALL OF DUTY 3. The same creative team behind COD2 return for this. I must admit I miss shooting Nazis, but the graphics and gameplay on CALL OF DUTY 4 is spectacular. I tried to beat the game on Veteran for the 360 achievement points and got about halfway through before got my ass handed to me. I don't know if I'll be able to pull it out for my extra achievement points, but damn am I enjoying it. $59.99 for both Xbox 360 and PS3.

Stranglehold isn't the best game to hit, but it's pretty badass when you consider it's the official sequel to HARD BOILED and you get to play Chow Yun Fat. And the slow bullet time means you can shoot hundreds upon hundreds of Yakuza assholes in the nuts and watch them grab their package in pain. The game is out on 360 as well (for $58.99), but the cool thing about the PS3 version is it comes with HARD BOILED. The crappy thing is it's Standard Def and not Blu-Ray HD, but still. Not bad for $69.99.

Super Mario Galaxy was the most requested game by the readers. I'm really looking forward to playing it myself... hopefully I'll get the chance over the holidays. I've heard nothing but great word on the game... $49.99 only on the Wii.

Now to downshift from Wii to DS... I finally got a Nintendo DS this year and one of my first game purchases was New Super Mario Bros and it has been the game that has gotten the most play by me. The regular game is great, but what I really love are the side games, including a memory game, a sort of Super Mario poker game and (my favorite) the jumping Marios and you have to use the stylus to draw trampolines to bounce him at different doors. $33.99.

After playing Contra 4 for the DS I totally realized I suck just as much at Contra 4 as I did for the original Contra (without the immortality code, of course). However, this is totally a great addition to the Contra series, sidescrolling and as low tech as you can get to keep the trademarked Contra feel. $29.99.
EXPENSIVE ($71.00-$499.99)

Halo 3 Legendary Edition... this is an amazing set... the Spartan helmet is beautiful and all the extras are worth the money. $129.99 to get all that you see above and $69.99 for the collector's set, minus the helmet. But trust me, you want the helmet. However, the game itself is great, a true sequel to the original (and best) HALO.

I was going to include GUITAR HERO 3 on this guide, but it seems from Amazon to Best Buy and Target they're sold out of the wireless controller bundles, which is the best way to play, so I'm going to overshoot it and go directly to Rock Band, a game I have not lost sleep to (unlike GH3) yet. But it just came out, so give me a few days... Anyway, $169.99 and it's like Guitar Hero, except instead of just Guitar you play drums, bass and sing. This one is sold out most places, but you can put an order at Amazon and get in the queue if you don't want to bust your balls running around town looking for it.

TOYS


CHEAP ($24.99 and under)

Young Jack Bauer with a mullet! Keifer Sutherland from LOST BOYS, from Neca. I have this sucker right by the computer. Great sculpt, much better than the crappy McFarlane 24 Keifer sculpts, unfortunately. $13.99.

It isn't Christmas for any geek worth his or her salt if it doesn't involve Ash. S-Mart Ash from Neca. Only $12.99.

Gary Oldman toy! It's Harry Potter, sure... but how cool is it to get a badass Gary Oldman sculpt? Looks really nice. I have a little collection of Character Actor figures and you better believe Oldman has a place of honor in there... Between $11 and $15 on Amazon.

Alan Rickman toy! Another proud place on my shelf for character actor toys. This is a great sculpt, too. Neca's kicking all kinds of ass at the moment. It's listed at $27.90 on Amazon, but click on the "Used and New" to get it for $19.75 or check out the Spencers and Hot Topics and Suncoasts in your area.

I love these Ralph McQuarrie concept toys. I have the above Vader one, the Comic-Con exclusive Obi-Wan and Yoda and Boba Fett. Such a great idea to put out these fascinating designs as toys. You can get Vader between $7 and $13 on Amazon.

Heeeeyyyy, yooooouuu guuuuuyyyssss! The best looking of all the Goonies toys that just came out... and yes, he does come with a Baby Ruth bar. $14.95-17.00 at Amazon.
MODERATE ($25.00-$70.99)

12" David Bowie Labyrinth... and yes, they included his massive package. God Bless 'em. This is a really great figure for any child of the '80s like myself. I have one propped up under the lamp in the living room, complete with crystal ball clutched in his hand. Between $24 and $30 on Amazon.

Dude, nothing is fucked here. I know it's a preorder, but The Dude and Walter will be available this month. Get the pair for $33.99.

Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless? And awesome accurate sculpts, too? I want! He'll save every one of us! And a Max Von Sydow figure will make a nice addition to my character actor toys, won't it? $29.99 for the pair, on preorder for release this month!

Kratos from GOD OF WAR... absolutely kick-ass figure. I don't have it yet, but I've looked upon it with my own eyes and it's fantastic. Between $24 and $30 on Amazon.

Remote Control KITT!!! It talks! So awesome! $49.95 at firebox.com. It's out of stock, but new stock comes in December 7th! Get 'em while you can!

12" Stuntman Mike from Quentin Tarantino's DEATH PROOF. Kurt Russell will laugh at you if you don't pre-order this (it ships January '08). He will laugh heartily. $34.99 at EntertainmentEarth.

Better than a bar of soap or a bowling ball to the nuts! Not as good as a Red Ranger BB rifle, but for $29.99 you ain't doin' too bad. I guarantee you this is a fun one to play with the fam around the yule log... and if you happen to flip the channel to TBS anytime starting tomorrow and ending January 1st, you're bound to be watching the movie while playing the special CHRISTMAS STORY Monopoly board!

2007 HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE PART 3 - COLLECTIBLES, MUSIC, ART and RICH STUFF!!!



Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 22, 2007, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Mini Alan Rickman!

    by IAmMrMonkey!

    I'm getting it!<p>Do you reckon Bruce Willis will buy one and chuck it out the window of his home? Hmmmmm.

  • Nov. 22, 2007, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Best of the list IMO

    by Stalkeye

    How could you go wrong with both Bioshock and RE4? (the mercenaries mini game alone is worth the purchase.)don't care much for action figures or as I refer to them as dust collectors. And odes anyone really give two shits about what Kevin (Smith)writes?

  • Nov. 22, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Stuntman Mike

    by MC-909

    Now you can get all the pussy you want when you proudly display this nondescript guy in a black t-shirt and jeans on your mantle.

  • Nov. 22, 2007, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Otto Preminger bio

    by RenoNevada2000

    Quint, Surprised you missed the Otto Preminger biography that just came out.

  • Nov. 22, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Bioshock should win GOTY and you gave no mention to Uncharted.

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    I know everyone is Mario crazy right now but that does not change the fact that Bioshock was one of the only games to score almost perfect 10's from most game reviews and is without a doubt original. <BR> <BR> Mario Galaxy is a great game but it's nothing new IMO. It's the proper sequel to Mario 64 and again I am not dissing the game I am must saying Bioshock wins in my mind as being the best game this year. <BR> <BR> COD4 is also killing me on Veteran. I am still stuck on "Shock and Awe". Had to give that game a rest. <BR> <BR> Two games you failed to mention there Quint for the PS3 were "Ratchet and Clank Future" and most important "Uncharted". "Uncharted" is the best game out of the PS3 right now and for those of you who love Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider this game is a MUST own. Naughty Dog delivered the goods and made one of the best games this year on any console and it's a shame Quint did not mention it.

  • Nov. 22, 2007, 11:21 a.m. CST

    fuck I hate this site sometimes.

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    the word "must" should be "just". No edit button FTL!

  • Nov. 22, 2007, 11:37 a.m. CST

    ENCYCLOPEDIA HORRIFICA

    by JoshuaGee

    Many thanks for the mention, Quint. Inbetween the geek-tastic THE LAST UNICORN and the STAR WARS pop-up, no less! Paranormally, Josh G.

  • Nov. 22, 2007, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Book unluck to miss out

    by hallmitchell

    Soon I will be Invincible. Great read.

  • Nov. 22, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST

    get a free ipod

    by ranma627

    I just starting trying to do this and am still testing if it works or not and I need people to refer. So sign up using this link, http://ipods.freepay.com/?r=41491444 and be sure to complete one of the offers. They have a offer from Disney films, if you're into that but they also have a free trial offer to a place called Great Fun. it's free so what do you have to lose but time.

  • Nov. 23, 2007, 1:38 a.m. CST

    What about MARIO BAVA: ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK?

    by MaxTheSilent

    That book's about 1200 pages and $400. Surely ther highest-end geek-centric book released this year.

  • Nov. 23, 2007, 2:17 a.m. CST

    walking dead

    by ballsxcrew

    such a good book. SCREAMING to be a movie. or even a non-network series. seriously. zombie western? how does it not get better

  • Nov. 23, 2007, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Yeah..

    by meatygoodness

    You missed Uncharted. That mistake is a painful one, because generally the reviews have been amazing - but criticise people like you for ignoring it for rubbish like stranglehold.

  • Nov. 23, 2007, 11:46 a.m. CST

    MASS EFFECT on Xbox 360. Did you forget?

    by JDanielP

    Anybody who appreciates sci-fi should pick it up.

  • Nov. 23, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST

    BioShock and SMG

    by tme2nsb

    BEST GAMES OF THE YEAR. I agree, Mario is the shit, but BioShock is so much better. The PC Version > 360 Version

  • Nov. 23, 2007, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Glad I went with the 360

    by PervOmatic

    Thank god the Falcon chipsets finally came out. The sad little Wii just doesn't have much of anything to play and that goes for the overpriced PS3 as well. I'll probably get a PS3 next year when there are more exclusives worth getting it for. The Wii, on the other hand, is the first home console from Nintendo to be released in the US that I have almost no interest in. Blech....do no want.

  • Nov. 24, 2007, 4:12 a.m. CST

    Contra 4 and Stranglehold

    by photoboy

    Contra 4 is fucking awesome, I'm just about able to beat it on Normal difficulty now with just one continue. It's a brutal game so don't get it if you're not a fan of frustratingly hard games.<br /><br /> As for Stranglehold, I recommend the 360 version. Like most games on both systems the 360 version is smoother and looks a little nicer. The addition of Hard Boiled on the PS3 version shouldn't swing your decision, just buy the DVD separately.<br /><br /> I also heartily recommend Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Ace Combat 6 and Call of Duty 4 for the 360. The Wii has a couple of good titles now, but for me the 360 is totally owning the market with great games this Christmas. If I could only have one system (I own them all) I would have the 360.

  • Nov. 24, 2007, 10:18 a.m. CST

    I'm so ronery...

    by Mel Garga

    The sculptors for Stuntman Mike went a little heavy in the jowels which gives the doll a Kim Jong Il vibe. Add the oversized glasses and a little weight in the middle and it's him.

  • Nov. 24, 2007, 9:14 p.m. CST

    more cool gift ideas

    by mojoman69

    check out www.mojoresin.com for cool garage kits.

  • Nov. 24, 2007, 11:15 p.m. CST

    "Hurry Knight Boat, down that fiord!!"

    by Billyeveryteen

    "Stop shouting Michael, I'm all around you."

  • Nov. 25, 2007, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Isn't Crysis coming out in time for xmas...?

    by Bone-In Foray

    Or is that a strictly PC game? I've played the (PC) demo and it was the most beautiful FPS game I have ever seen/played. Too bad Quint can't venture to the PC side for these gift idea columns. I'm pretty sure we all have computers.

  • Nov. 25, 2007, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Agreed about Bioshock

    by BLWiseass

    It creeps the poop out of me, but i can't stop playing

  • Nov. 26, 2007, 2:35 a.m. CST

    I recommended the star wars vault

    by Schmiggy JK

    But apparently Quint isnt vibing on it. Its a must have for any avid star wars fan in my opinion.

  • Nov. 26, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    The best in reference materials

    by parkandride

    The discerning film fans on my holiday gift list will be receiving Vern's SEAGALOGY.