I’m not done my Christmas shopping yet. I know, I know, I am cutting it pretty close. I’ll probably have to beat other shoppers with a candy cane to force my way through the crowds at the mall. I’d tell you all where I’m going, but my wife reads these and I don’t want her to know what she’s getting.
It can be hard to shop for geeks sometimes. Other than just buying out the entire stock of ThinkGeek, you can get kind of stuck. Luckily for you, I have come up with a short list of stocking stuffers for the comic book fans in your life from one to ninety-three.
This might seem like a no-brainer. Pick up a comic book for the comic book fan, right? Okay, which title? Trades or monthlies? Which issue are they on? Which edition? Unless you happen to have the whole catalogue of their collection in front of you, this is dicey gifting territory. I offer two solutions: a gift card (some of the local comic book shops will issue them, or online gift certificates to Amazon will also work) or, if you don’t want to go that route, check out buying them a subscription to one of the major titles. If you know they’re into, say, Teen Titans, a year’s worth of unreleased monthlies can go a long way.
Comic books are cool right about now. With so many mainstream movies hitting theatres from Marvel and DC, you can find everything from chocolate bars to anti-virus software emblazoned with Iron Man or Batman. If you have an idea of your giftee’s favourite characters or series, you can pick up a t-shirt, belt buckle, wallet, keychain, etc. Comic book shops often have a good stock of these, especially for the less mainstream characters. You can also check out novelty stores and specialty t-shirt shops – I was in one the other day and was severely tempted by a Deadpool tee.
HeroClix and Action Figures
All my action figures are lined up on top of my bookshelves. They occasionally sneak onto my Christmas tree. For a quick, campy gift as desk decor, check out toy stores, comic book stores, and gaming stores. If you don’t want to brave the crowds, Amazon even has a healthy stock of figurines. HeroClix are actually part of a tabletop gaming system – another possible gift idea – but amount to small figurines of a wide, wide range of characters from the major publishers.
If you don’t want to try and figure out what particular trade or monthly you want to pick up for that special comic book lover in your life, you do have other literary options. Both Marvel and DC occasionally release ‘history of’ books around their flagship character. There are half a dozen Batman books of this kind. Some of them are drafting off the latest movie, but the more substantial ones can be full of classic or previously unreleased artwork and behind-the-scenes info. There’s also books like The Marvel Encyclopaedia, Obsessed With Marvel, The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z, or The Batman Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual. These companion books can show that you listen and care without stepping on collectors’ toes. Plus, train them how to be Batman. You can find them at your local comic book store, any large bookstore like Borders or Chapters, or online through Amazon or other book retailers.
If it works, let me know.
What else would you suggest for the comic book lover in your life? Have you had success with gifts for them before? Any spectacular failures?