True confessions: I am not a Christmas person. Nope, Halloween is my holiday! It’s not that I don’t enjoy ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, there are genuinely some aspects of the holiday season that I love: homemade butter cookies we make with my Great Grandma’s antique cookie press, hot chocolate in front of a fire, decorating a big bushy pine tree, hanging out with my siblings… Making my dog wear adorable sweaters! (Cute dog+cute sweater is like my kryptonite!) But when they start putting Christmas items in stores before October has even begun and airing commercials for Christmas sales it kinda makes me wish I was a necromancer or mad evil scientist so I could unleash the zombie apocalypse the day after Thanksgiving on all the insane ‘Black Friday’ shoppers. I despise how commercial Christmas is, and hordes of holiday shoppers are practically zombies already… Yes, I know, it’s practically Grinchy! (Maybe if I put Santa hats on all the zombies?) If it was left up to me, I’d totally skip the nightmare of holiday shopping and I’d stay home enjoying a big cup of tequila spiked hot cocoa (add a pinch of cayenne for an adult version of Mexican hot chocolate!) and binge watch every Christmas horror movie ever made, starting with that perennial favorite, “Silent Night, Deadly Night.”
Not being a super fan of the holiday, it can be a real challenge for me to come up with ideas of what I’d like for Christmas when people inevitably ask me. Add to it, I live in a small apartment, so a lot of ‘stuff’ isn’t something I want or need. So when someone asks me what I want for my birthday (which is also in December) or Christmas, I inevitably draw a blank that spans well into the New Year and makes my entire family insane. Well, this year I’ve started early and come up with a few things that I would actually love to get as a gift! Maybe some of my ideas will also inspire you? Stranger things have happened!
- Ghost of Hoppers ($13.50)
If you’ve never read any of the Love and Rockets books, by god, get thee to a library and start today! These books are so good it’s hard to describe them without just gushing all over the page. The characters are beautiful, multifaceted, deep, and their stories are told in a way that’ll make you laugh, cry, and swoon for more. Oh, and did I mention the story arcs span decades? You get to literally see the characters grow up, get older, and change over time, which is something truly rare in comics where no one ever seems to age a day. Maggie is one of the best comic characters ever and usually I keep up on new stuff from Jaime Hernandez, but somehow one of his newer books, Ghosts of Hoppers, slipped under my radar. I did, however, read the whole thing at the book store and it’s AMAZING!
- Lumberjanes Tee ($25)
It probably comes as no surprise that I love me some Lumberjanes! A comic about fun lovin’ bad ass gals tackling whatever the woods can throw at them that also happens to be drawn well and written beautifully is simply irresistible. This tee shirt speaks to my inner camper. (I’ll take mine in black please!)
- Harry Potter Socks ($9.99 per 2 pack)
What can I say, I still love the Harry Potter series. Like, LOVE IT. More than one really ought to. Except for the ending. The ending was bullshit, and I’m gonna pretend that didn’t happen. I mean, not the part where they finally defeat Voldemort, that was fine! The flash forward where they all have kids and stuff, who needed that? Besides, I like the HP universe much better when Hermione realizes she’s madly in love with Luna Lovegood and… Well, socks are great. I actually have a gigantic collection of knee high socks, which is just what I need to go with my shameless Mary Jane shoe collection. Accio Ravenclaw socks!
- Re-Animator Shirt ($15)
So, I wear a lot of horror movie t-shirts. Like, most of my wardrobe is horror movie t-shirts, somehow, but I’m a big horror fan, so I guess that makes sense. This puts some people off, and one person actually asked me if I worship the devil because of the shirts I wear, but how does being a fan of zombies equate devil worship? I’ve yet to figure that out! (For the record, I do not worship the devil!) Anyway, Re-Animator is a great little movie! It’s Lovecraft, its 80’s, it’s one of my favorite horror-comedies ever, and this t-shirt is super cute! Also, I look good in black. Lots of black! No devil worshipping required!
- Walking Dead Compendium Three ($37.25)
The 3rd giant installment in everyone’s favorite zombie series, The Walking Dead, is being released on 10/15/15- just in time to order it online and have it wrapped and ready to go by Christmas! I’m a huge zombie fan, ever since the first time I saw (and was terrified by) Night of the Living Dead at the ripe old age of 6, so needless to say I love me some Walking Dead. True confessions time: I don’t actually read it issue by issue, though. I wait for the compendium volumes to be released and then I devour them in one giant binge-read. The horror-survival genre just sucks me right in and I can’t stand waiting for each issue to come out month by month. Yes, the waiting sucks, but its well worth the hours and hours of enjoyment I get from reading them all together at once. This is basically a must have for any zombie fan.
- DC Comics Bombshells 2016 Calendar ($10.55) / DC Bombshells Poster ($7.10)
DC has a whole plethora of awesome female characters, and when I was a kid two of my favorites were Wonder Woman and Catwoman! I’m still a massive Catwoman fan, and as a child I realized that the villains had infinitely more fun than the heroes, so it should come as no surprise that I also love Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Wonder Woman is still awesome, of course, but my heart belongs to the dark side. DC released a new series about a ton of their favorite female characters called DC Bombshells, and it looks so good! So many of my favorite gals all in one spot? Yes, please! I haven’t actually read the Bombshells comic yet, but I really should give it a look because the art work is compelling. I love the retro pin-up style these classic heroes and villains have been rendered in. Something I always ask for every Christmas is a new wall calendar. I need one for my work-from-home office, but I always hate buying them for myself. Luckily, there just happens to be a 2016 DC Bombshells calendar, and I’d be beyond happy to have it gracing my walls all next year. Come to think of it, I’d be perfectly happy with the 24×36 DC Bombshells wall poster I saw on Amazon, too. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a villains fan, but has Wonder Woman ever looked better? You can get solo Bombshells posters, too, with your favorite character if you don’t want a big group photo. (The Wonder Woman poster- yes!)
- A History of Horror: The Rise and Fall of The House of Hammer ($71.75)
I LOVE old horror movies!! I’m a big horror movie fan in general, but the older horror films speak to my soul in a way newer films often do not. I guess they give me a weird sense of history, a feeling of where I come from in the way that some people probably get from hearing old stories about their families. See, my mom raised me and my siblings on old horror movies, so for me a classic scary movie IS a little piece of my family history! Oh sure the Universal Monsters are the stuff of legend, and I love the Bride of Frankenstein enough to have a full arm tattoo commemorating her in all her nightmarish beauty, and The Night of the Living Dead LITERALLY changed my life and made me the zombie fanatic I am today… but my favorite classic horror films of all come from Hammer Studios out of England. Oh… what diabolical and delectable treats The House of Hammer served up! Christopher Lee is unequivocally the best Dracula of all time, and Peter Cushing was superb as his nemesis Van Helsing. He also made a damn fine Dr. Frankenstein, too! Honestly, he’s my all-time favorite in the role of Dr. Frankenstein, I just loved the little touch of sadistic glee he seemed to bring to the character. Yes friends, from Brides of Dracula to Twins of Evil, Hammer Studios delivered countless classic tales of horror. So when I was at my local Powell’s Book Store a few weeks back and saw “A History of Horror: The Rise and Fall of The House of Hammer”, by Denis Meikle on the shelves as part of their Halloween display, I was instantly smitten. There have been quite a few books about Hammer Studios, but this one spoke to that sense of history I mentioned earlier. I mean, it’s in the title and everything! It honestly looks really good, though, and it’s definitely something this fan of old campy horror movies would LOVE to find under the tree (or for her birthday!) this December.
- Misfits Poster ($12.96 – $34.98)
I found a totally awesome Misfits poster! Trust me when I say this poster is fantastic! It’s by artist Pipper Diggs, and it has a very 80’s Nagel feel to it. The artwork is great and features all four Misfits in their classic 80’s cartoon look and captures their individual attitudes perfectly. A die hard Misfit fan like me wants it on their wall like three weeks ago! It comes in small (23.2”x11.2”) for $12.96, medium (33.1”x16.0”) for $19.94, or large (46.9”x22.6”) for $34.98. Check out the link below for a look- the Jem/Misfit fan in your life will thank you!
- GI JOE A Real American Hero ($48.99)
Did I mention that I’m an enormous fan of Jem and the Holograms? Like, it’s probably my favorite thing in the world besides zombies. I LOVE Jem! Well, ok, I love the Misfits from the Jem cartoon, but I do love the whole show and now the comic, too. I found this little absurd little treasure that a truly devout Jem (or GI Joe) fan would probably LOVE to have on their wall. (I mean, I know I would!) It’s just so wacky! A battle of the bands versus Jem and the Holograms and Cold Slither? I don’t know about you, but I just look at this and crack up laughing, and they say laughter is the best medicine so it’s perfect for flu season!
- Infinite Loop TPB ($15.99)
You know what would really make a great gift? The first Infinite Loop trade paper back! I read the first two issues, totally fell in love with the story, and then got swamped with a million other things and side tracked by other fandoms and this one kinda fell by the wayside. However, the first trade paperback is being released on November 18th this year, and that’d be a great way to get caught up!
- Warehouse 13 DVD Box Set ($72.99) / Friday the 13th the TV Series ($34.31)
It’s true that I love the idea of cursed antiques. Anyone who knows me knows that if we’re out and happen to walk past an antique store I automatically assume that all the items are cursed, possessed by evil forces, and otherwise out to wreak havoc. Why, you may ask? Well, it’s all thanks to a little 80’s tv show you may not have heard of called ‘Friday the 13th the Series’, which had NOTHING to do with the Friday the 13th with Jason Voorhees in a hockey mask (though, maybe that was a cursed antique hockey mask?!) and was all about a satanic antique dealer who cursed all the items in his shop and then sold them to unsuspecting customers in order to wrangle up some souls for the devil. This show was super awesome (in a bad 80’s way) and actually was one of the primary inspirations for a little show you may have heard of called Warehouse 13! Well, I actually already own all the Friday the 13th tv series, but I do not have any Warehouse 13, and it was SO GOOD! I mean, they had me hooked at cursed antiques, but Warehouse 13 also manages to be funny, exciting, appropriately sciency, and the characters are wonderfully written. Pete and Myka are the perfect odd couple team, and with Artie, Claudia and Steve they make up a great family of characters. There are also lots of great bad ass female actors that show up, like Kate Mulgrew (Janeway!) and Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman!) and Jaime Murray as the sorta-villain H.G. Wells is a prime example of why I keep watching tv. She’s great in everything she does! I would happily spend a weekend binge watching the hell out of some Warehouse 13, and luckily for me the whole thing was released in a big box set with lots of special features. I might even do a back to back watch with the Friday the 13th tv series! I’m pretty sure all the cursed items from the Curious Goods shop wound up in the Warehouse for safe keeping… and in an alternate universe somewhere there are bound to be cross over episodes where it’s revealed Mickey is really Claudia’s long lost mother or something wacky like that. Endless wonder indeed!
- Hannibal Season 3 ($22.48)
Hannibal came to an end a few months ago, and it left a big gaping hole in my little black heart. I loved this tv show! It was gory, it was profoundly weird, but it was also beautiful and I’m pretty sure every serial killer on this show went to some incredibly screwed up arts and crafts camp before they ever picked up a knife, because dang these killers were creative! Of course, the best of the best was Hannibal himself. Putting the gore back in gourmet, the title character was played skillfully by Mads Mikkelsen, and I do not believe there has ever been a finer screen adaptation of the ever-intriguing Dr. Lecter. I know, I know, everyone loves Anthony Hopkins in the role, and he IS fantastic in Silence of the Lambs, but Mikkelsen brought an air of old world charm and incredible refinement to the character that had not been seen before. Unfortunately, the show is over, but the dvds have been released and that means a three season binge watch is on the horizon! Delicious!
- The Complete Moonshadow ($19.19)
Last but not least on my wish list is the Complete Moonshadow. Moonshadow was a comic I stumbled upon years ago and fell in love with for the lush, subtle water color paintings in it. Originally published in 1985, it ran for two years and tells the story of Moonshadow, child of a hippy mother and an alien, as he grows up. It’s essentially a coming of age story, but it’s so much more than that, too. Each panel was painted by artist Jon J. Muth. Painted in water colors, friends, not colored on a computer. HAND FRIGGIN’ PAINTED. That just doesn’t happen very much in this day and age! Anyway, it’s beautiful and I’ve been meaning to get this for a long time in spite of the alternate ending.
There you have it! I hope my list inspired you or helped you come up with an idea or two to make your holiday shopping a little easier. Well, weirder at the very least! Just remember, it’ll all be over soon, and if nothing else tequila goes really good with hot chocolate! Take care, my friends, and happy holidays!