There’s only two short weeks until Christmas and we’re here to tell you what to buy for your undeserving loved-ones and stingy-ass self.
WALLET NINJA 18-IN-1 MULTI-PURPOSE TOOL
The more years I collect under my disgustingly fat belt line, the more I’ve been interested in crafting, building, and furnishing my own life (metaphorically, too). I’m becoming more of a DIY man. The Wallet Ninja is the essential partner in crime for anyone who feels like they always need tools on hand, but know how impractical always having a toolbox on you is. It does a lot for such a slim design and small price.
SECONDS BY BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s follow-up to the beloved Scott Pilgrim series is nothing short of great. While it’s different from the hugely popular Pilgrim series, Seconds still manages to captivate the creativity and wonder of Lee’s cartoonish world, giving readers a concise story on relationships and maturity.
YES PLEASE BY AMY POEHLER
Last year, Robby recommended Nick Offerman’s book, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living. This year, I’m choosing to nominate fellow Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler and her hilarious collection of essays, advice, journals, memoir bits, and stories: Yes Please. It’s absolutely everything Poelher has to offer — it’s funny, brilliant, candid, and incredibly well written, and it’s undoubtly one of this year’s best books. Pick this memoir up for the Parks and Rec fan or anyone who appreciates good humor and great stories.
RUN THE JEWELS 2
The incredible combination of Killer Mike and El-P have released the best album of 2014, hands down. Run the Jewels 2 delivers some of the harshest, brutal, hardest raps you’ll hear all goddamn year. Nothing beats El-P’s production, and both Killer Mike and El’s raps are so cartoonishly hilarious you can’t help but smirk at how brutish the duo can be. Own the record on vinyl before it’s all gone again.
EDGE OF TOMORROW
There’s a huge amount of movies I’ve devoured this entire year and I don’t believe anything really deserves your purchase quite like Edge of Tomorrow does. The film, now called Live Die Repeat didn’t do so well in theaters thanks to its name (which is why it’s now Live Die Repeat) and similiarity to other films out at the time, but I promise this film is absolutely worth a purchase and multiple viewings. The film revolves around Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) caught in a time loop in a futuristic alien invasion of Earth. The film itself isn’t hard to follow, but its executed so well it very much demands your attention.
TRILLIUM BY JEFF LEMIRE
The imaginative Jeff Lemire created one of the best and innovative comic books this year. Trillium is a love story and sci-fi at its best, pushing all boundaries with the comic book medium and literally providing readers with a thoughtful new way of reading comics. Do yourself a favor and read Trillium. It’s worth it.
THE BEER JOURNAL
Moleskin makes a beer journal, and while it’s a solid hard cover book, it has too much wasted space focusing on glasswares and pouring tips. That’s cool and all, but it uses a ton of the pages in your book. Chris Wright’s version of The Beer Journal is definitely what you’d want as a beer drinker: 272 pages dedicated to jotting down notes on each new beer you drink so you can keep a collective log of brews you enjoy or even hate.
A BURN BOX SUBSCRIPTION
There’s an oversaturated market of monthly subscription gift boxes out there. From gaming items, to beer boxes, pop culture, horror, snacks, exotic foods, clothing — there are far too many boxes out there to know whcih are worth getting. Burn Box is definitely one to pay attention to if you’re a smoker. You can get a box dedicated to glasswares for those who enjoy pipe smoking, or a box just for papers for folks who enjoy the traditional art of rolling. Each box comes jam-packed with various blunts, papers, accessories like rollers, glass pieces like pipes and bubblers, or even matches and eye drops. You can take a look at past Burn Boxes right here. Prices range from box, but they’re worth the value monthly.
FARGO SEASON ONE
This is the greatest television series to ever be created in the year 2014. Don’t fuck up and NOT watch this show. Your life depends on it. It’s incredible and everything you could hope for. And more.
BREAKING BAD CUTTING BOARD
Let’s face it: cooking dinner after a hard day at the office can be soul crushing sometimes. Treat your homies and loved-ones with a handmade bamboo Heisenberg cutting board from LetsEngraveIt so they can imagine themselves all badass like Walter White next time they chop up some veggies for stir-fry.
RAT QUEENS VOL. 1: SASS AND SORCERY
Longtime Albotas readers know that I’m obsessed with this Rat Queens. It’s Dungeons & Dragons-esque high fantasy with sex, drugs, and good humor. An animated series is in the works, I interviewed the former artist Roc Upchurch (who is no longer on the book after being arrested for domestic abuse), and one look through the Rat Queens tag on Tumblr will give you a small idea of how much of a cult following the book has gained. This is a perfect gift for the friend who wants to get into comics, but doesn’t know where to start.
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION STARTER SET
This is hands-down the most definitive and comprehensive version of D&D to date. It’s easy enough for first timers to pick up and play, but there’s still plenty of depth for veterans. The starter set comes with everything you’ll need including dice, pre-made (and blank) character sheet, and a short campaign to run through. This version takes the game back to its roots and then kicks it up a few notches. This is closest you’re going to get to that one episode of Community without actually attending Greendale.
ADVENTURE TIME: FINN THE HUMAN
Sixteen Finn-centric episodes of the greatest cartoon show ever created and the DVD comes with a sweet replica of Finn’s backpack. ‘Nuff said.
SAGA DELUXE EDITION HARDCOVER: VOL. 1
Often described as Game of Thrones meets Star Wars, Saga is a tough book to sum up thanks to its many rich characters, themes, and subplots. That being said, if you know anyone who likes either Game of Thrones or Star Wars, there’s roughly a 99.9% chance that they’ll instantly fall in love with Saga. It’s the most successful indie comic out right now that isn’t called Walking Dead and the hype doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. This fancy hardcover edition collects issues #1-18 and includes extra goodies like never-before-seen concept sketches and roundtable discussions with the creators.
COWBOW BEBOP: THE COMPLETE SERIES ON BLU-RAY
One of the most stylish and influential anime series of all time finally gets a Blu-ray release. Perfect for anime fans, film buffs, artsy types, or pretty much any semi-cultured person with particularly good taste in things. Not for the average weeaboo whose anime diet consists primarily of hyper magical high school kids who fight each other which is pretty much all anime these days.
THE WES ANDERSON COLLECTION BY MATT ZOLLER SEITZ
Wes Anderson is without a doubt one of the single most unique directorial voices of our generation and now fans can get behind-the-scenes looks at his work through this collection of essays, interviews, artwork and photos.
MARVEL 75TH ANNIVERSARY OMNIBUS
A crash course in all things Marvel, this hardcover omnibus features some of the greatest and most iconic stories ever to come from the House of Ideas. Packed with first issues and first appearances, the Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus is definitely a must-have for long-time Marveltes as well as the newer generation of fans getting sucked into the awesome world of comics through movies and television.
INFINITY GAUNTLET COIN BANK
Because only losers store their change in piggy banks and empty 5-gallon water jugs, not would-be rulers of the cosmos.