ALBOTAS.COM’S 2013 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Looking for some fresh gift ideas? No worries! We got you covered.
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brownkidd’s picks

CRITICAL HIT SHOT GLASS
Perfect for dungeon raids with friends, duels between planeswalkers, or just sipping solo by the fire.
Price: $12

BREAKING BAD: I AM THE DANGER
This visual companion to all five seasons of the greatest scripted drama in television history is the perfect way to relive the best moments from the series if you don’t have time for a Netflix marathon.
PRICE: $12

TREATS! MAGAZINE
Think of it as a more highbrow, artsy-fartsy version of Playboy. Each issue of this quarterly fine art periodical features beautiful photographs of gorgeous women and so much care is put into the design of each issue that it’s more like a coffee table book than an actual magazine.
PRICE: $40 print / $10 digital

SONY SMARTSHOT DIGITAL CAMERA LENSES
Turn your smartphone into a legit cameras with the QX10 and QX100 lenses from Sony. The lenses sync wirelessly to your iOS or Android device and will make all your selfies and cat pics look super pro. Considering the QX100 features the same sensor and lens as Sony’s RX100MII and is a few hundred smackers less, we’d say these give you plenty of bang for your holiday buck.
PRICE: $250 (QX10) | $500 (QX100)

PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE: ONE MAN’S FUNDAMENTALS FOR DELICIOUS LIVING BY NICK OFFERMAN
From the official product description:

Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman—who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson?

'Nuff said.
PRICE: $16

POCKET WATERCOLOR KIT MADE FROM AN ALTOIDS TIN
You can never go wrong with cool handmade shit for the holidays. There’s a buttload of tutorials showing different ways to turn an Altoids tin into a watercolor paint box, but if you’re a bit more adventurous when it comes to crafting, the Altoids Survival Kit, mini flashlight, and portable BBQ are all pretty impressive.
PRICE: Like a few bucks.

HOBONICHI TECHO 2014 DAILY PLANNER
Forget Moleskine, the new go-to cult favorite stationary for creative types is the Hobonichi Techo. This daily planner is fully customizable with heaps of sweet accessories and covers available - and it was designed by Shigesato Itoi, the creator of the Earthbound/Mother series which is also a cult favorite!
PRICE: $25

MOONRISE KINGDOM BLURAY/DVD/DIGITAL COMBO PACK
Wes Anderson is by far the most stylishly unique film directors alive today. While this may not be the best Wes Anderson story, it’s easily his most well-crafted film to date. The characters and setpieces are brilliant, the genius pacing of the story is accompanied by a pitch-perfect score that crescendos into an mighty explosion in the third act. Moonrise Kingdom is a must-have for anyone who appreciates the arts of acting and film making.
PRICE: $35 $20
marc’s picks

AKIRA 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION BLURAY/DVD COMBO
Akira is 25 years old and still looks amazing. The 25th Anniversary Edition Bluray is the best you’re going to get, short of viewing the movie in a theater.
PRICE: $25

S.H. FIGUARTS GREEN RANGER FIGURE
The original Power Rangers toys were incredibly well done for their time. And they were huge, too! This series has even more intricate details and articulation and comes with all sorts of accessories. Currently, the Green Ranger, Pink Ranger, and two versions of the Red Ranger are available, with the rest of the team arriving in 2014.
PRICE: $30


¥3,000 PLAYSTATION NETWORK CARD
There are so many great vintage games on the Japanese PSN. If a game isn’t quite awesome enough that I want to have a physical copy in my collection - or i the physical copy is just too damn expensive — I’ll just pick it up here for way cheaper.
PRICE: $50

(image credit)
1Q84 BY HARUKI MURAKAMI
If you ask me, Haruki Murakami is the best living fiction author. His most recent story sounds as trippy as ever. Put aside some time though. This one clocks in at nearly 1,000 pages.
PRICE: $13
kevin’s picks

ANYTHING FROM HARI KARI
I mean, this is my clothing company. I’m kinda trying to push sales here. If you could buy that one shirt called “The Burger Shirt,” that’d be really cool. Andrew “Angimoto” Douglas, who also works pretty close with Mega64 and Math the Band, made our last batch of shirts and he did an awesome fucking job with them. Seriously, they look incredible in person and they feel great on your body, so it’d be pretty neat if you guys bought a couple of shirts this holiday season for yourself and/or others. And keep in mind I don’t sell shirts at dumb prices so people can afford them, so feel free to buy two Hari Kari shirts for the price of one Supreme garment.
Price: $15-$30


VERY CASUAL BY MICHAEL DEFORGE
In a world where everyone is all too familiar with superheroes like The Hulk, Iron Man, and Batman, it’s hard pushing the idea of originality in comics for folk who don’t read them. I love showing people the weird and insane comics that are constantly being created and take full advantage of the comic book medium altogether, and if I had to choose one staple from 2013 that did just that, it’d be Very Casual by Michael DeForge. This is a gift I’d give to someone who appreciates art and storytelling with an open mind for oozing creativity and sickening unique fantasy, sprinkled with superb black humor.
Price: $13


ZIIIRO SATURN GUNMETAL DIGITAL WATCH
Ziiiro makes a ton of badass watches, but this one uses the word “gunmetal,” to describe its color. Holy shit that’s hot. It looks super future and its digital segments around its face tells you the hour, while the tiny lines toward the center shows you the minutes. If I were a super rad wife, I’d get this for my husband, but I’m not so I’m probably going to get it for myself this holiday season.
Price: $230

…LIKE CLOCKWORK BY QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
The entire year had some amazing music releases from Kanye West, Earl Sweatshirt, Deafheaven, and so many others, but Queens of the Stone Age released an absolute masterpiece called …Like Clockwork back in June that needs to be forever remembered. There’s a really nice double LP set that includes lyrics, and artwork from illustrator, Boneface, for every single song on the record. It looks insanely nice. I grabbed it earlier this year and it’s an absolute essential for a music aficionado that collects vinyl.
Price: $30



HEX GALLERY 13” CONVERTIBLE SLEEVE
Yo this shit is sexy as FUCK. This baby has a pocket for your Macbook Air AND your iPad. It keeps its rectangle shape and it doesn’t ever appear bulky, granted you actually have stuff to put in it. This is the perfect backpack for everyone who wants covert comfort for their electronics and pocket items, as well as having some sleek style to still mack on bitches while wearing a backpack.
Price: $60


MINDSPLOITATION: ASININE ASSIGNMENTS FOR THE ONLINE HOMEWORK CHEATING INDUSTRY BY VERNON CHATMAN
This year, I got really into Wonder Showzen and PFFR, the dudes behind Adult Swim shows Delocated and Xavier: Renegade Angel. Vernon Chatman, a member of PFFR who currently writes and produces for Louie and used to write Wonder Showzen, wrote a book this year that perfectly captures PFFR’s humor and concepts. The book is called Mindsploitation: Asinine Assignments for the Online Homework Cheating Industry and it is absolute genius. Vernon emails these homework websites that write essays for students and asks them to write the most insane shit he could possibly think of, like a eulogy for the dead grandma he always hated and a love letter to the teacher he’s turning his essay assignment to. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve read all year and I highly recommend gifting it to weirdo friends with a great sense of humor. 
Price: $13


GOD IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU BY MARK RUSSELL
Well, the other thing I read this year that I thought was absolutely hilarious is a book called God Is Disappointed In You, which was written by Mark Russell and illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist, Shannon Wheeler. It’s a sharp, witty rewrite of the entire Holy Bible, giving rules and stories from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The book is profane and excellent prose, giving some solid satire and cutting the unnecessary fat out of the Bible’s stories to provide some comedy gold.
Price: $20



HEAVYWEIGHTS ON BLURAY
Yeah, I’m putting this on my list, fuck you if you don’t like this movie. Everyone always talks about Good Burger and no one ever talks about Heavyweights and it’s upsetting. Grab the Blu-ray edition of this Disney beauty for reasons explained here by yours truly. You have no soul if you don’t enjoy this flick.
Price: $15



WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT: 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION BLURAY
This is actually my favorite Disney movie. It’s now released on Blu-ray and its two-discs are packed with new commentary, a documentary on Roger Rabbit, a couple of shorts, and some other sweet extras. An absolute classic.
Price: $15


HIP-HOP FAMILY TREE BY ED PISKOR
If there’s anything I’ve learned about Ed Piskor, it’s that he does his research. Hip-Hop Family Tree conveys that perfectly. This is an essential graphic novel for hip-hop heads and comic book readers everywhere — it’s accurate and shows the stories of some of hip-hop’s earliest rap stars. A great gift for music lovers who also appreciate the arts.
Price: $15

ALBOTAS.COM’S 2013 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Looking for some fresh gift ideas? No worries! We got you covered.

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Clever Bookmarks For Classic Novels

Turkish designer Ethem Onur Bilgiç concocted this gorgeous set of themed bookmarks for Penguin’s All-Time Classics 1984, Moby Dick, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories. Rad bookmarks: just one less reason to own an e-reader.

(via The Coolector)

Pop Up Funk - A Stylish Pop-up Book For Grownups

Pop Up Funk is a collaboration between comic artist Jim Mahfood a.k.a. Food One and designer Rosston Meyer featuring pop-up versions of Mahfood’s well-known works as well as all new pieces created just for the book. Each one comes signed and numbered by the artist and only 100 exist. Scoop it here.

Audiobook Author Headphones

These illustrations were designs created by Indian artist Talha Nazim to promote a series of Penguin audiobooks. The concepts were created from the idea of audiobooks were similar to hearing stories from the author directly. Above, we’ve got Nazim’s illustrations for William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Oscar Wilde.

The Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia

Capcom, the creators of Mega Man, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and countless other games you grew up with, will be releasing a hardcover encyclopedia on October 21 full of art and info on over 200 characters from the Capcom universe. Retail price is $16.99, but you can pre-order it on Amazon for just $10.19.

Buy:
Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encylopedia$16.99 $10.19
Marvel VS Capcom: Official Complete Works: $44.99 $34.56
SF20: The Art of Street Fighter: $39.99 $29.98

Weekend To-Do List

  1. Play: The Last of Us and Earthbound. One is a PS3 post-apocalyptic survival horror/stealth/action game that critics are praising as one of the best games of this console generation. The other is a Wii U Virtual Console download of the quirky SNES retro RPG that fans have been begging Nintendo to re-release in some form or another for years. Interestingly, both of these games start off with you playing as kids who have been awoken in the middle of the night due to a strange unnatural occurrence.
  2. Read: The Last Policeman by Dan H. Winters. “What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die? Detective Hank Palace has asked this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. Several kilometers wide, it’s on a collision course with planet Earth, with just six precious months until impact.” This is the first in a trilogy and it’s already been optioned as a TV show. The sequel, Countdown City, just dropped a few days ago and looks to be just as bananas as the first one.
  3. Watch: Pacific Rim. Fan favorite Guillermo Del Toro’s big budget love letter to giant robots and Kaiju monsters. Sadly, this flick didn’t stack up against -of all things- family comedy Grown-Ups 2. Hopefully it takes number one this weekend and restores our faith in humanity.
  4. Listen: Volume = FF by Double Hex. Boston based chiptune artist does chiptune covers of songs by local Boston bands and even shares the profits with them from the record sales. Preview the 4-track EP on Bandcamp where you can buy it for just $4.

Have an awesome weekend!

Tarantino Films Imagined as Penguin Books
You guys remember how those old Penguin books used to look? Artist Sharm Murugiah does, as he used that style to merge Quentin Tarantino films into those books, with these super clean mock-book covers. Love the idea.
Check it: More Quentin Tarantino on AlbotasBuy it: Tarantino XX Film Collection

Tarantino Films Imagined as Penguin Books

You guys remember how those old Penguin books used to look? Artist Sharm Murugiah does, as he used that style to merge Quentin Tarantino films into those books, with these super clean mock-book covers. Love the idea.

Check it: More Quentin Tarantino on Albotas
Buy it: Tarantino XX Film Collection
Fahrenheit 451 Concept Book Cover
Huge pun on the word “matchbook,” here. So believe it or not, some of us on this blog like to read books. Fahrenheit 451 is one of those pieces of literature that is appreciated in this “book” category, so this concept design by artist Elizabeth Perez really screams out to us.
For those who don’t know, Fahrenheit 451 is a novel about a dystopian future in which books are outlawed and firemen must set fire to books and the houses that hide them.  This concept design has a match in the “451,” of the title and matchbook striking paper on the book’s binding, so the book itself could be burned. Really awesome concept.
Check it: More books on AlbotasBuy it: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 Concept Book Cover

Huge pun on the word “matchbook,” here. So believe it or not, some of us on this blog like to read books. Fahrenheit 451 is one of those pieces of literature that is appreciated in this “book” category, so this concept design by artist Elizabeth Perez really screams out to us.

For those who don’t know, Fahrenheit 451 is a novel about a dystopian future in which books are outlawed and firemen must set fire to books and the houses that hide them.  This concept design has a match in the “451,” of the title and matchbook striking paper on the book’s binding, so the book itself could be burned. Really awesome concept.

Check it: More books on Albotas
Buy it: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Rad Video Game Books At IndieCade East

Museum of the Moving Image in NYC has a pretty awesome gift shop with a hefty selection of books on all sorts of stuff the typical Albotian would be in to: movies, art, and of course, video games.

I had a pretty tough time deciding on which book to get, but I wound up going with Nintendo Magic mainly because I like the face Satoru Iwata is making in the picture up top. I kind of regret the decision because it’s only $7.98 on Amazon (only 2 left in stock as I write this!), but whatevs.

Any readers out there have any of the other books pictured? If so, let us know how they are in the comments.

A LOOK INSIDE HYRULE HISTORIA [VIDEO]
Our copy of Hyrule Historia finally arrived at Albotas HQ and I can personally attest that it is, in fact, freaking awesome. It collects 25 years worth of Zelda history, trivia, and unseen concept art within 250 pages bound in a gorgeous hardcover.

Pick up a copy from Amazon. No Zelda fan should miss out on this.
Oh, and the chiptune track in the video can be downloaded from Chipmusic.org for free.
Check it: More AlbotasTVBuy: Hyrule Historia

A LOOK INSIDE HYRULE HISTORIA [VIDEO]

Our copy of Hyrule Historia finally arrived at Albotas HQ and I can personally attest that it is, in fact, freaking awesome. It collects 25 years worth of Zelda history, trivia, and unseen concept art within 250 pages bound in a gorgeous hardcover.

Pick up a copy from Amazon. No Zelda fan should miss out on this.

Oh, and the chiptune track in the video can be downloaded from Chipmusic.org for free.

Check it: More AlbotasTV
Buy: Hyrule Historia
Katana Sword Bookends
Designed by the clever peeps at Mustard. Bookends: just one more reason real books are a gazillion times more rad than eBooks.

Katana Sword Bookends

Designed by the clever peeps at Mustard. Bookends: just one more reason real books are a gazillion times more rad than eBooks.

(Source: hiconsumption.com)

Street Fighter x Sanrio Gift Book & Sticker Book

Just in time for Xmas comes two books that combine the badassery of Street Fighter with the adorableness of Sanrio.

Street Fighter x Sanrio: World View features Sanrio playing the parts of Street Fighter characters sharing the wisdom they’ve learned from countless battles across the world. The Street Fighter x Sanrio Sticker Book contains a mix of colorful bumper stickers, paper dolls, and more.

Now they just need to make a Street Fighter x Sanrio game so I can play as a shoto-ized Badtz Maru and chuck fireballs at Hello Kitty’s mouthless little head.

Monster Hunter Beginner’s Guide From Culty
I’ve never played a Monster Hunter game in my life. Always wanted to, but they just seem too huge and daunting. After checking out a sample of the 60-page Monster Hunter Beginner’s Guide from Culty, I’m 100% prepared to begin ignoring my loved ones and adult responsibilities to dive into the epic world of Monster Hunter.
The guide is available in a few different ways:
Digital Download — $9
Print copy  with exclusive Felyne Roll Call print — $35
Happy Combo featuring an additional Felyne Roll Call print of your choosing — $35 (limited time only)
The Monster Hunter Beginner’s Guide was written by Roy Blakely from Kotowari.org and is chock full of adorable art by Sarah O’Donnell, creator of Rumbirds. Together they host the podcast My Fair Hunter. Check them out because they do pretty rad things.

Monster Hunter Beginner’s Guide From Culty

I’ve never played a Monster Hunter game in my life. Always wanted to, but they just seem too huge and daunting. After checking out a sample of the 60-page Monster Hunter Beginner’s Guide from Culty, I’m 100% prepared to begin ignoring my loved ones and adult responsibilities to dive into the epic world of Monster Hunter.

The guide is available in a few different ways:

The Monster Hunter Beginner’s Guide was written by Roy Blakely from Kotowari.org and is chock full of adorable art by Sarah O’Donnell, creator of Rumbirds. Together they host the podcast My Fair Hunter. Check them out because they do pretty rad things.

Nintendo’s History In A Gorgeous Screen-Printed Book

U.K. designer Adam Benton made this beautiful Nintendo book with an embossed cover for a screen-printing and book-making brief. It features a timeline of Nintendo console releases in the U.K., people of note like Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi, and an overall history of the company. To keep in line with Nintendo’s rich Japanese history, the book is Japanese stab bound and printed on rice paper. There’s even an accompanying embossed folder with additional prints.

Note: The page with N64 controllers is from a separate book which features Benton’s personal work and sketches, but we figured it looked nice in this gallery, so yeah.

Buy: iam8bit: Art Inspired by Classic Videogames of the '80s
Check it: 7 Fun Facts About Pokemon Creator Satoshi Tajiri

Albotas Review - Service Games: The Rise and Fall of SEGA

I was expecting some light reading. But when my review copy of Service Games: The Rise and Fall of SEGA showed up on my doorstep, I found a text book. The nearly 400 page book details every step of Sega’s foray into the console industry, both in America and abroad. The amount of information in this book is staggering. And even though you know how Sega’s fate unfolds, you’re still rooting for them the entire time.

Hit the link for our full review of Service Games: The Rise and Fall of SEGA.

Read More

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