2016 is one of those years where the holidays have conspired to crowd around each other. It’s a scheme that leaves no breathing room. Keeping that in mind now is the perfect time to hone those shopping survival skills for those who love to celebrate everything.
Doctor Strange is one of the best films of the year. As an origin story it’s concise, grabs you by the throat and makes you believe in the Supernatural – truly believe. However, there’s no way that it will be out on DVD or BluRay in time for the holidays. Instead, there’s a little gem, an over thirty year precursor to the successful film. Dr. Strange is what some may call a busted pilot. This 1978 two hour film was supposed to be a launching series for the Sorcerer Supreme, but it was never picked up. Because of the success of the recent movie it has been rereleased to DVD. For decades it was an urban myth. Very few saw this show of a man who lived in a brownstone and attempted to protect the earth plane from nefarious demons. Many who saw it believed it to be horrible. And no this may not be Benedict Cumberbatch, still it has its moments. Believe it or not there are a few who have it on their Christmas list. If nothing else tuck a gift card in so that special someone will understand the joke and will download the latest version when it comes out in early 2017.
Speaking of gift cards there’s nothing wrong with them. Gift cards are perfect for those who just don’t know what a person likes but knows where they love to shop. Take for instance those big bookstores. They don’t just sell books anymore. They’re even pushing vinyl records. Those large discs are making a comeback. Let them indulge in the new releases, no matter what they might be. For those who insist on getting someone a gift alongside the card there’s the recently published Neil Gaiman. He’s written everything from the novel ‘American Gods’ to an episode of ‘Doctor Who’ so his latest effort ‘A View From the Cheap Seats’ (a collection of essays) is an amazing gift for those who are waiting for the television shows based on the worlds he’s created to come to the small screen. One of the more outstanding sections is ‘Music and the People Who Make It.’ There’s commentary on singers from Tori Amos to Lou Reed, giving new meaning to the idea of a well-read writer. Apparently you need to also have an eclectic ear. More importantly this nonfiction work gives insight into the man who made Lucifer a complex, likeable character.
Books may be a great gift, but comic books may be even better. Getting a friend hooked on a new series or a character is perhaps one of the best gifts. They can enter a world, revel in it for 22 pages then leave. The ‘Ultimates’ with Carol Danvers and Black Panther fighting a threat that could be cosmic in nature is riddled with humor and good dialogue. In this first issue you also have a mix of well-known characters and new ones with interesting back stories. There’s also an appearance by Ms. America (America Chavez) that will have you anticipating the next issue. There’s also the new series ‘Savage’ from Valiant Comics. The first few panels will leave you wondering just what have you gotten yourself into.
The best gift of all is the gift of gaming. Get that gamer you love a gift card from their favorite console. Doing this is a must. Most games such as ‘Batman: Telltale Series’ have downloadable content. Very few people purchase the CD anymore. It’s much more convenient to preorder a game and when it downloads you’re instantly immersed into the gameplay. Also because many games such as ‘Final Fantasy XV’ are already out. Don’t be that friend or loved one who’s so out of touch with what’s happening today and don’t be cheap either. Intense games with a history and social media gaming components such as the Final Fantasy series costs serious money. And you may find yourself going along for the ride.
Being a good gift giver is something worth bragging about. No that isn’t what the holidays are about. Still no matter the motivation what’s important is that the receiver loves what they get. So break out of that box of giving bad perfume and underwear and get them something they won’t be ashamed to showcase.