Have you been good this year? I hope not. I strongly suggest you get into mischief all year and then clean up your act during the 2nd week of December. That’s been my operating procedure for years and it always seems to fool Santa. Unless he’s reading this column. Ooops!
Well, regardless, it’s time for my annual gift guide, which many readers automatically subtitle as “stuff I want to buy for myself.” That works too. Let’s not be judgey, shall we?
Did you ever buy a gift for a child, and then decide to keep it for yourself because it’s so wonderful? Don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to all of us. And it will probably happen again with this clever new book from Korero Press.
Kiddie Cocktails has a wonderful retro vibe – it seems like it jumped off the screen of a 1960s Drive-In (during the intermission) and became this incredible book. It’s as if it all starts with Shirley Temples and then just blossoms from there. There are brilliant recipes for all kinds of child focused cocktails, including The Blue Lagoon, The Golden Cadillac, The Dreamsicle and The Elephant Charger. And so many more.
This might just be the book we all need if we all do Dry January again, in fact.
by Stuart Sandler Author, Derek Yaniger Illustrator
Is Superman Circumcised?
I wrote about this engaging book earlier this year, and what most impressed me was author Roy Schwarz’s focused and fan-friendly recounting of Superman’s history. And it wasn’t the straightforward deep dive that entertainment folks often do – this was nuanced and thoughtful. For example, here Superman’s comics history didn’t begin in Action and end in Superman comics. Schwartz thoughtfully explores the character’s appearances in other DC titles like Justice League and World’s Finest.
And it’s just been announced the winner of the prestigious Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of 2021. You can read all about it here.
Is Superman Circumcised?: The Complete Jewish History of the World’s Greatest Hero
by Roy Schwarz
Pac-Man Birth of Icon
I was never that much of a Pac-Man enthusiast. In fact, I remember being impatient with my college pal, Dave Bloom, as he would always try to sneak in a “quick game” of Pac-Man before we’d go to Dunbar’s, our old “favorite bar”.
Likewise, I was perplexed when the new Comic Book Museum announced a Pac-Man exhibit early on. “Who cares?”, I thought. “It’s not really comics.”
After reading Terpstra and Lapetino’s new Pac-Man coffee table book I get it. This is an amazing recounting of the story behind the game. It’s a fascinating history of the video game business back in the day, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit of the developers to do create something new and different.
Pac-Man: Birth of an Icon
By Arjan Terpstra & Tim Lapetino
No Time To Die: The Making of the Film
The newest 007 thriller took so long to get into theaters. I remember showcasing this James Bond/Heineken Ad in class two years ago! Some longtime fans, like my brother Colin and Professor Laurence Maslon, loved this movie. Others…not so much.
Either way- Mark Salisbury’s new book is sure to delight all fans. The pictures are gorgeous, and the insights are.. insightful. It’s always amazing just how much goes into a movie, a piece of entertainment that most of the world just focuses on for a couple of hours. This impressive book helps us understand so many of the twists and turns that happened behind the camera.
This one is a perfect gift for anyone with room on their coffee table. Or maybe your own coffee table. But show a little class and don’t put your martinis on the book. Use a coaster, will ya?
No Time To Die: the Making of the Film
By Mark Salisbury
Build the RMS Titanic
Let’s face it- some folks reading this column have too many action figures littering their homes and offices. And to be perfectly honest (after all, Santa is watching this time of year) I am guilty of that too.
Eaglemoss, the innovative company that you may know for their HeroCollector collections of things like Star Trek ships and DC Heroes, is rolling out something new.
It’s an authentic replica of the RMS Titanic. It’s designed as an accurate 1:250 scale, and this is a build-up. Each month, fans receive part of this massive model, and they build it bit by bit. Eaglemoss also sends a new Titanic magazine with every shipment too.
The site explains how it all works here. I tend to like this kind of gift, as it “keeps on giving” all through the year.
LENGTH: 42.36 inches
HEIGHT (to top of funnels): 11.41 inches
WIDTH: 5.43 inches
MATERIALS: Wood, MDF, die-cast metal, brass and plastic