Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor, and the co-creator of the comics blog Girls-Gone-Geek.com.
In some ways, a local comic shop looks no different from any other store this time of year. Business is up, the halls are decked, and customers new and old are on the hunt for the perfect gifts for loved ones.
But while any store can put up a Christmas tree and generic holiday decor, some comics shops mark the season with geeky flair.
At Austin Books & Comics in Austin, Texas, the tree is outfitted with Funco plushies, Dr. Who knicknacks and, of course, a Superman tree-topper. Walk into the Kissimmee, Florida, Coliseum of Comics branch, and you’ll be greeted by a 9-foot fiberglass Red Hulk statue wearing a Santa cap. The Man of Steel is the Christmas tree-topper there as well.
Another sign of the gifting season at the comics shop? The newbies. Some shop owners and managers say there’s a definite spike in traffic in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and it’s not just the faithful who make the weekly pilgrimage to collect their new books. This time of year, there are more novices coming in to find the right gift for the comic book and gaming lovers in their lives.
A comics veteran can walk into any shop and quickly find his or her way around. But someone entering that world for the first time might feel adrift in a sea of graphic novels and role-playing games. Brandon Zern, general manager of Austin Books & Comics, can usually spot the uninitiated right away. FULL POST
Geeks and gadgets tend to go hand in hand. If the geek in your life loves tinkering with computers and all things digital, this is the gift guide for you.
Most nerds have a desire to rule the universe, either for the forces of good or evil. One way to earn real pointage with the geek in your life is to give him or her the ability to harness the awesome power of the sun. This Piggyback Solar Powered Gadgetbag is the first step to making this happen.
A flexible, portable solar panel that attaches to a backpack, the Gadgetbag soaks up the sun and converts rays into 1000mA at 5.6volts. For cloudy days, the bag also stores power in a lithium ion battery pack. Geeks can also connect their gadgets into the panel via USB for direct charging. The back has two pouches, big enough for a Kindle and iPad, granting your geek the power of even more space.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility, so don’t be shocked when souped-up geeks start fighting crime with solar-powered supersuits.
You’re wandering through the mall, intent on spreading holiday cheer and looking for gifts that suit the subculture nerds in your life. The last friend on your list without a check next to their name wears goggles in public and makes a show of checking their pocket watch as moving cogs and wheels adorn their Victorian era suit.
Or perhaps they roll on thick black eyeliner, hammer their own swords in the backyard on Sundays or give anime characters a run for their money by bringing impeccable costumes to life.
Editor's note: Bonnie Burton, geeky crafter and "Star Wars" fan extraordinaire, is the author of "The Star Wars Craft Book." She is a proud member of the geek craft community and presents her crafts online as well as at fan conventions such as GeekGirlCon.
Jedi Masters have to build their own lightsabers. The Doctor created his sonic screwdriver from scratch. Even Cylons, Replicants and Robocops were all projects by crafty humans who wanted to make something extra special. So it's not too far fetched to imagine an extensive community of geeky fans who love to use their crafting skills to make a life-size TARDIS, or a giant AT-AT treehouse or their own Godzilla costumes.
When I wrote the book "The Star Wars Craft Book," I already had amassed a large collection of crafts I'd made for fun, including a Jabba the Hutt Body Pillow, an AT-AT planter, a bean art portrait of bounty hunter Bossk and Mos Eisley Cantina patron finger puppets. But I also wanted to feature crafts such as the Millennium Falcon bed, R2-D2 crocheted beanie hat and a Star Wars T-shirt quilt made by talented fans.
The geek craft community grows faster each day. What was once an underground group of geeks who love to crochet Spider-Man masks or make steampunk ray guns has now turned into a bona fide craft movement full of thousands of geek "craftsters" who converge at comic book conventions, craft meet-ups, science fairs and of course, online. All geek craftsters have their own passion that drives them to make a sci-fi homage from scratch. FULL POST
It's been a banner year for book-reading nerds. Finally, books written for nerds, by nerds are making their way into the popular culture, and the nerds are squeeful. This makes the job of holiday shopping for the nerd in your life easier than ever. Here are a few great ideas along those lines, from your friends at CNN Geek Out:
Several of the most famous geeks out there have written personal books in the past year or so, foremost among them, "Shaun of the Dead" and "Star Trek" star Simon Pegg.
"Nerd Do Well" sees Pegg sharing many personal stories about his rise in Hollywood, but he doesn't let you forget his genuine nerd cred. The man can talk "Star Wars" trivia with the best of them.
Similarly, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, known for "Ratatouille" (not to mention a memorable guest spot on "Dollhouse"), tells of his time growing up in Virginia and his many, many hours logged playing "Dungeons & Dragons" in "Zombie Spaceship Wasteland." Oswalt represents angry nerds everywhere, and this book lets you get to know him better. FULL POST