The RROY REPORT Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Another year, another RROY REPORT Holiday Gift Guide. Get your Visa and MasterCard warmed up, operators are standing by.

Books

Matt Fraction and David Aja’s award-winning hawkeye comic came to an end this year, so those of you who have been trade-waiting are in luck. The 22-issue series is available in a variety of formats.

Hawkeye Vol. 2

Hawkeye Vol. 2

For the cheap skate, the run is available in 4 paperback volumes: 1) My Life as a Weapon; 2) Little Hits; 3) L.A. Woman; 4) Rio Bravo. The paperbacks usually cover 6-7 issues each.

Your second option is two hardcover volumes: Vol. 1 covers the first 11 issues while Vol. 2 wraps things up. Vol. 2 goes on sale Dec. 22. which is going to make it hard to give for Christmas, but it would be worth waiting for if you have to get it later.

For the completest, the Hawkeye Omnibus collects the entire run in one hardcover. Normally, I don’t approve of Omnibuses (Omnibii?) because they’re too big and unwieldy and would break your lap if you sat down to read one. A 22-issue omnibus probably wouldn’t be that hard to handle.

51hpM3ZLYaL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder is, in my opinion, the best run of Thor comics ever set to print (sorry, Simonson fans). It’s available in two hardcover editions and three paperbacks: 1) The God Butcher; 2) God Bomb; and 4) The Last Days of Midgard. Volume 3 (The Accursed) doesn’t feature Ribic’s art which is a letdown but it’s still a decent story.

Aaron’s story covers the scope of Thor’s life — as a reckless youth hanging out with the vikings; the modern-day; and the far future where Thor is ruler of an Asgard in ruins. Good stuff, and Ribic’s art is worthy of a god. 

11393239_10204413656169007_541491465855502009_nFor those who like books without pretty pictures (I’ve heard there are people like that out there. Weirdos) I guess I’ll give one more plug to my friend Susan Sagarra’s debut novel, Cracks in the Cobblestone.

It’s a mystery story in a familiar setting (if you’re familiar with St. Charles) with a supernatural element and a connection to the Titanic that I never figured out.

It’s a cracking good yarn, as they say, and no, I don’t get a commission. But I should.

Music

unnamedIt turns out that most of my go-to musicians all put out albums last year so this year we have to turn to something different. The only new stuff I can recommend is the stuff I talked about back in April: Lost on the River by the New Basement Tapes and Tomorrow Is My Turn by Rhiannon Giddens.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 12.44.46 PMThe first is a collection of tunes based on unfinished songs that Bob Dylan wrote during the Basement Tapes era. Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford (Mumford and Sons), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Taylor Goldsmith (D
awes) and Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) were brought together by record producer extraordinaire T. Bone Burnett and given the task of turning Dylan’s snippets into fully formed songs. The results are impressive. Gidden’s solo album is another fine collection of tunes that encompass a variety of styles.

Movies

avengers-age-of-ultron-alternateOnce again, Marvel Studios delivers the goods. Avengers: Age of Ultron is the densely plotted, action-packed sequel to the greatest superhero movie of all time. I enjoyed it as much as the original but I can understand why others didn’t. Joss Whedon probably stuffed in too much material for the movie’s own good, but he handled it pretty well. It’s certainly a movie that benefits from repeated viewing, which is the whole point of owning it.

 The surprise success of Ant-Man is well deserved and somewhat amazing given the film’s long, convoluted path to the multiplex. And think of what an awesome Christmas Day double-feature that would make.

 Apparel

10363432_hiGood news for those of you not lucky enough to have a wife who bought you the Hawkeye hoodie two years ago. There is a new Hawkeye hoodie based on his Avengers: Age of Ultron makeover.

It’s more red rather than the traditional purple and best of all it has the Avengers logo instead of the S.H.I.E.L.D. one.  Most people I run into don’t recognize the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo — they think it’s some sports team.

I believe this one also has the removable sleeves which is a nice feature, I suppose. I’ve never taken the sleeves off mine. Why would you wear a hoodie with no sleeves?

hawkeye-mighty-fine-logo-knitted-sweaterAnother neat item I discovered while surfing the internet was this sharp looking Hawkeye sweater at the Marvel.com site. I don’t wear sweaters like I used to but I’d make an exception for this. I bet it would keep you warm. And of course most people wouldn’t even get that it’s a nerd shirt.

Uh oh, this is listed as “almost sold out” at the welovefine.com website, so you’d better act quickly before it’s gone.

And now for something completely different

Roy —

I’ve been reading your gift guides for 17 years now and they’re pointless! It’s all superheroes and the same bands over and over! And your Hawkeye obsession is frankly disturbing. Anyway, you never suggest gifts for real people. It’s all nerd stuff. How about recommending something a real man would want?

Fair point, Darren. Here’s a handful of items sure to please non-nerds and possibly nerds as well.

DR600PWRThe Duracell Powerpack 600 Pro pretty much does it all. It will start your dead car battery. It will inflate your flat tire. It will inflate balls, air mattresses and other inflatables. It will charge up your cellphones, laptops and tablets. It’s rechargeable battery can power up many electronic devices and small appliances. Did I mention it can pretty much do it all?

t700_ec03b848af622051eda450212ce64764The ComeUp Cub 3 Powersports Winch will get your ATV out of many a tight spot. It has a 3,000 pound line pull, mechanical load holding and dynamic brake, full metal three-stage planetary gear train and 800 w / 1.0 hp 12V permanent magnet motor. It’s controlled by a handlebar rocker switch and freespooling clutch with sliding pin and ring gear. I could go on, but really, what are the odds you’ve understood any of this so far?

a20791d12ad0480e0c49d0_l__99671.1414789018.220.290Don’t leave you hitch hole exposed to the elements. A hitch cover will keep rain, dirt and dust from building up in your hitch opening and prevent rust and general gunk buildup. Hitch covers are available in a variety of styles — professional sports teams, college sports teams, patriotic, religious, humor — there’s a hitch to match your any mood or interest. Don’t forget a locking pin to keep it safe (sold separately).

Now you may be asking, “Where can I find all these fine gifts?” Lots of places, probably, but may I suggest http://etrailer.com? They specialize in all kinds of automotive accessories and more. The company is well-known for its customer service, on-site experts to answer your questions, and the finest product descriptions on the internet.

And that’s a wrap for this year. Happy shopping. And holidays.

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One response to “The RROY REPORT Holiday Gift Guide 2015

  1. I said that? I’m a horrible person.
    The critique of past gift guides does ring true, however…

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