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Forces of Geek 2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Top of The List

These are among out most coveted items of the year, and would be appreciated by any true pop-culture aficionado.


The Art of Rick Baker by J.W. Rinzler


This deluxe two-volume set explores seven-time Academy Award–winner Rick Baker’s 40-plus-year journey as a special makeup effects artist. Features a foreword by John Landis, a preface by Peter Jackson, and an introduction by Rick Baker.

Rick Baker: Metamorphosis chronicles the career of the legendary special effects and makeup artist, best known for his creature effects and designs. This deluxe, two-volume set, replete with more than 1,600 four-color images and original sketches, covers the makeup artist’s forty-plus-year journey, from his early days as a young “monster maker,” creating body parts in his parents’ kitchen, to his more than seventy film and television credits, which resulted in seven Academy Awards, one Emmy, and three BAFTAs, among numerous others.

From the gory zombies of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the staggeringly lifelike Bigfoot in Harry and the Hendersons to the creative builds in Men in Black and the groundbreaking effects in An American Werewolf in London, Rick Baker’s special effects, makeup, and prosthetics count among some of Hollywood’s most enduring legacies.

Why you need it:  For a generation of cinegeeks, seeing Rick Baker’s credit on a film represented a mark of quality and creativity often leaving you questioning: “how did he do that?”  Wonder no more.  Not only is Metamorphosis an absorbing biography, but also a treasure trove of magic and nostalgia as this iconic artist’s entire career is presented in two oversize volumes.  If you love movies, you love Rick Baker, and if you love Rick Baker, you need this book.



Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240


With Jackery’s Explorer 240 portable power station, you can easily stay charged while on-the-go and living the outdoors life.

Charge smartphones, tablets, laptops, small appliances like electronic blanket, mini cooler, etc. Take the lightweight Explorer 240 with you on cottage trips, excursions, or anywhere you might need power. Be the life of the party at the backyard barbecue or tailgate.

Recharge the power station with AC outlet and compatible solar panel, whether used as a camping generator, or emergency power supply during an outage, this all-in-one power station has you covered.

Why you need it: Nerds love tech.  From computers to video games to e-readers to mp3 players to tablets.  And what every single thing those devices share in common is they require electricity.  Jackery’s Explorer 240 portable power station is an incredible back-up for those tech heads who are less than optimistic to find power when they need it.  If you’re an outdoor person, this unit is great for camping, cooking out, providing power for a medical device, or having as a backup power supply.  A compatible solar panel is also available making this unit even more indispensable.



Marvel: The Golden Age 1939-1949


In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics #1, The Folio Society has joined legendary Marvel editor Roy Thomas to form a super-powered team-up of their own. Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 presents five specially curated comic books, including a meticulous facsimile of the comic that started it all back in 1939. Thomas’s selection includes Sub-Mariner #1, Human Torch #5, Captain America Comics #10, and All Winners Comics #19, and showcases the founding characters, debut appearances, famous battles and signature talent that helped define the Golden Age of American Super Hero comics.

To recapture and preserve the spirit of the Golden Age, The Folio Society has scanned these comics from original newsprint titles, valuable rarities sourced from either the Marvel vaults or a discerning collector. While Folio has ensured that the authentic facsimile of Marvel Comics #1 maintains its original dimensions, the four titles collected in hardback have all been enlarged to a treasury format to best appreciate each detail. Every minute aspect of all five books has been preserved, from crinkles and creases in the grainy newsprint to the vintage adverts and short fiction. Even glitches, including original spelling errors and colouring overlaps, have been preserved.

A true work of art, the 272 page 10″ x 17″ book features bound in screen-printed and metallic foil blocked cloth with lettering by Ian Jepson and with endpapers printed in metallic ink with a design by Marco D’Alfonso in a slipcase which also includes a reproduction of Marvel Comics #1 and an exclusive print featuring an illustration by D’Alfonso printed in 4-colour on Natural Evolution White 280gsm paper

Why you need it: I love so many of the restored stories now available, but seeing these issues photographed “as is” is reminiscent of looking at actual Golden Age books and to a certain extent, the long forgotten microfiche’s that were often used for preservation purposes.  The book itself is gorgeous (as is the slipcase and print), and the reproduction of Marvel Comics #1 is a wonderful addition to the package.  Featuring such iconic characters as The Sub-Mariner, The Human Torch and Toro, Captain America and Bucky, Miss America. Ka-Zar, The Angel,  and The Whizzer, Marvel: The Golden Age 1939-1949 captures the earliest days of the medium and preserved as originally presented.  History has never been quite so much fun.



Abbott & Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection


All 28 films produced during the height of their popularity at Universal Pictures are here in one collection in high definition for the first time. Featuring their most popular movies, such as Buck Privates, Who Done It? and Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein, this collection is filled with some of the most hilarious routines of all time, including “Who’s on First?”! Loaded with hours of bonus features and an exclusive collectible book, this is the ultimate tribute to two of the funniest and most enduring comedians of all time!

Why you need it:  Somewhere between the highbrow Marx Brothers and the lowbrow Three Stooges are the inimitable Abbott & Costello.  Establishing themselves on stage, radio, film and television, the comedy team’s sharp dialogue and onscreen antics made them the top box office stars in the country in 1942.  I, personally, fell in love with the duo with their timeless film, Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein, which still ranks among one of my absolute favorites.  This set includes all of their Universal films and exhaustive extras making this a comedy geek’s dream collection.



Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films (1954–1975): The Criterion Collection


In 1954, an enormous beast clawed its way out of the sea, destroying everything in its path—and changing movies forever. The arresting original Godzilla soon gave rise to an entire monster movie genre (kaiju eiga), but the King of the Monsters continued to reign supreme: in fourteen fiercely entertaining sequels over the next two decades, Godzilla defended its throne against a host of other formidable creatures, transforming from a terrifying symbol of nuclear annihilation into a benevolent (if still belligerent) Earth protector. Collected here for the first time are all fifteen Godzilla films of Japan’s Showa era, in a landmark set showcasing the technical wizardry, fantastical storytelling, and indomitable international appeal that established the most iconic giant monster the cinema has ever seen.

Why you need it: If you have to ask then you really don’t get it.



Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray


Rage and revenge for his father’s murder motivate Terry McGinnis to steal Bruce Wayne’s high-tech Batsuit. And then a greater purpose and sense of justice keep him wearing it. Across three seasons and 52 episodes of this highly acclaimed series, he patrols the streets and skies of Gotham City with Bruce as his guide. Get in on the exciting and explosive partnership between an ex-crime-fighter and his apprentice in the animated series that catapulted the Batman legend to new justice-seeking heights, in beautiful High Definition. Also included is a exclusive metallic Funko POP, commentary and featurettes, and the animated film, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

Why you need it:  The mantle of Batman is so inherently tied into the character of Bruce Wayne, the thought of a teenage caped crusader borders on insanity.  Fortunately, wiser minds and talents prevailed, and Batman Beyond reimagined the Batman mythos to introduce a teen crimefighter who serves under the tutelage of an older, jaded Wayne.  Unable to physically fulfill the role of Batman, Terry McGinnis dons the costume and fights both new and classic villains who vie for control of the now futuristic Gotham City.  With Kevin Conroy once again voicing the Dark Knight and Will Friedle as McGinnis, Batman Beyond is a must have for Bat-fans who love anime, solid writing, and fantastic animation.


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