It seems like each holiday season is accented by a new, heavily researched American history novel. We'd venture a guess that it's because they sell well as Christmas presents, usually given to the mom or dad that simply "likes history." What else are you going to buy these folks, a time travel device? So each year we see a new book about a president, or a battle or whatever, and this year is no different. Fortunately, comic nerds can get in on the action this year, too, with a pricey volume from DC Comics. We've got all that and more after the break.
5. Mascots by Ray Fenwick Mascots isn't your usual graphic novel. There isn't much in the way of a narrative here, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, it's an impressionistic, often humorous set of images in Ray Fenwick's unique style. Each piece of art is it's own miniature narrative, whether that means Cthulhu sitting around or a character having freak-out. Sometimes it's even just text. No matter how you cut it, this is one of the best looking and interesting collections of art around.
4. Gran Turismo 5 (PS3) We probably don't really need to say much here. Either you've been waiting for the release of Gran Turismo 5 for five years, or you haven't. If you wasted away your youth driving simulated cars in the original, you know what to expect here: ridiculously high-quality visuals, incredibly realistic driving simulations and enough customization to make a grown man cry. Fortunately, you still don't have to go in and replace that busted alternator yourself.
3. The Expendables (DVD, Blu-Ray) The Expendables comes in a long line of meta-action flicks. Just like Last Action Hero before it, this is an action film that doesn't take itself seriously by any stretch of the word. It's nice to see gigantic explosions, ridiculous car chases and stupid dialogue all compacted into a less-than-realistic box, even if that means the self-reference borders on navel-gazing sometimes. It's enjoyable, to be certain, even for folks destined to walk the aisles of high-art and high-concept films.
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2. 75 Years of DC Comics What happens when you compact a history of one of comic books' longest-running imprints into one book? Well, a $200 price tag for starters. Aside from that, you'll get a 700 page collection of art, essays and interviews. You'll be able to trace the roots of DC from pulp to the graphic novel with a stop off in the land of digital publishing. It's an absolutely beautiful sight to behold. Bonus: since it comes in weighing a hefty 15 pounds, it might give geeks a chance to do some heavy lifting.
1. Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris Theodore Roosevelt was a bit strange in relation to other presidents. His popularity and fame didn't have a true impact on the world until he was out of office. Edmund Morris has cut his teeth researching Roosevelt through two books already, so it's safe to say that there isn't a more qualified person to take on his later life. This book doesn't just look at Roosevelt the president, it looks at him as a person.