The Nerd is the Word: What to Give the Special Geek in Your Life

Welcome back to another issue of “The Nerd is the Word”: Days of Future Past. In this issue, our hero saves the world with his suave powers of suaveness.

What we’re also going to talk about in this issue is the holiday season, specifically around the act of gift giving. When it comes to gifts for geeks, nerds or however they choose to identify, it can be pretty difficult if you don’t share this persons interests. What follows will attempt to alleviate some of the stress the non-nerd gift giver might experience this season.

One of the first things that you need to determine is what kind of nerd this individual is. Do they love tech, comic books or anime? Are they a Whovian, Browncoat or Trekkie? They could be one or all of these things; knowing their interests will make shopping for them so much easier.

Once you figure out what they like, where to shop is the next step. Though the internet will be the place to go for the majority of gifts, stores like Hot Topic, Spencer’s or FYE/Sam Goody occasionally carry good gifts. However, if one exists, I am a huge proponent of shopping at local comic book/pop culture shops. Those who run them are generally good resources on cool things to get nerds.

Gifts can be broken down into a few categories depending on what you want to get and how much you’re willing to spend.

Collectibles:

Collectibles are usually a fun thing that you can get for geeks and they don’t have to be expensive. Input is more important with collectibles to ensure that you aren’t getting something that doesn’t really fit their collection. Now this is more so with comics than more prop/toy type collectibles  Let’s talk about comics really quick. Because characters often have more than one series, figure out what series they are collecting and what numbers they need. They may be a Thor fan, but grabbing them a random issue of a random Thor comic may not be what they need or even want. With collectible comic books, it might be nice to grab two copies if you can (one to keep sealed and one to read) or the graphic novel that contains the issue if it’s available. The same idea can apply to collectible toys. You can get them one to keep sealed and one that they can play with or display in their room/office.

Apparel/Accessories:

With apparel, the general idea is T-Shirts. There are some great websites that do nothing be sell nerdy shirts, I will focus on three that have fantastic deals for limited edition shirts priced to sell out. First, there’s Teefury.com. Teefury partners with artists and designers to have one or two limited edition T-Shirts every day. The shirt is on sale for 24 hours at $10+shipping and then for an extra hour at a slightly raised price of $13+shipping. Shirtpunch.com follows a similar concept with the main difference being that they consistently have three shirts each day and there are multiple formats that you can buy the design in, from short sleeve to long sleeve shirts or iPod/gaming console skins. Prices vary based on the format, but the design is only available for 24 hours. The third main site is Threadless.com. Threadless offers a complete digital store front of many different shirts with many different themes and sell until they’ve sold out (with popular shirts going into extra print runs) and tend to run around $20. The accessories route encompasses watches, wallets, jewelry, etc. Many shows/movies/comics offer these things in their merchandising lines. Prices can run from inexpensive to expensive, depending on the quality of the item. You can buy the plastic, digital watch for $10, but there are also higher end options that exist if you want.

Books:

There are a huge range of books for nerds, fiction and non-fiction. Find out what they like for novels and a good, knowledgeable book store employee can help you further. If they haven’t read them yet, the A Song of Ice and Fire series or The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are good ideas for any fan of reading. When it comes to non-fiction, there is a slightly larger range of books. Memoirs, behind the scenes accounts, biographies, autobiographies, the sky’s the limit. See if they have a favorite actor, director, writer, etc, then find out if they’ve written a book. Chances are, the nerd in your life will love it.

If you still are having trouble, gift certificates are always a nice go to. They say “nothing says I don’t know you” like a gift certificate, but you can still put the same kind of thought into where it can be used. Most comic book shops offer them, Thinkgeek.com is a great place, and for an even wider range, Amazon.com is a good one as well. Hopefully this helps you make this holiday season special for the nerds in your life, no matter what their interest.

Now, kids, it’s that time again for this week’s Pull List (for the week of Dec. 12)

The Walking Dead #105 (Image): The first non-Marvel book to grace the pull list comes from perhaps the biggest comic book series being written right now. With the success of the television show, the comic sales have skyrocketed. If you haven’t read the book at all, pick up the paperback collections (collecting 6 issues a piece) or the better deal are hardcover editions. Hardcovers collect more issues (regular at 12, omnibus at 24 and compendium at 48) plus extras. Since the “Something to Fear” story line came to its conclusion a couple issues ago, the group is not the power house it once was. But Rick has something up his sleeve, and I cannot wait to watch it unfold.

Batman #15 (DC): Although it says Batman on the title, this part will look at the whole Bat-Family with the crossover event “Death of the Family”. The Joker is back, the scariest he’s ever looked, and reenacting old crimes. Now he’s coming after Batman and his cohorts, but this time, he knows their secret identities. This story line is, so far, the best Batman story that I’ve read since Hush. The Joker has his face held on with a belt around his forehead and wires around his mouth. We’ve gotten past the Court of Owls and have brought back the biggest bad in Batman’s Rogues Gallery with amazing results. I am on the edge of my seat with each issue. This story line is crossing over into all the Bat books, so for the complete story line, snag anything with a “Death of the Family” header.

Ian Hand reminds you that this holiday season, be good to each other and geek on. Follow him on Twitter @IanHand253.

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