ENTERTAINMENT: My Nerdy Christmas Wishlist 2017

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So, I live in Anchorage, Alaska, and every October I sit around and worry like hmmm....I wonder when the first snowfall's gonna be? Well, to the groans and car accidents of Anchorage citizens everywhere--most, anyway--today was it. The first snowfall in Anchorage, Alaska was today!  

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Needless to say, it looks, feels, and smells like Christmas. With that in mind, and in honor of the first snowfall of the year in my home city, I might as well hit you hard already with my nerdy Christmas wishlist!! We all have one, don't try to act better than me you dweeb. I'll cry.

 

TELEVISON: Gundam Wing Ultra Edition Collection

 Picture courtesy of rightstufanime.com

Picture courtesy of rightstufanime.com

I just need to get this out of the way first. This is my childhood wrapped in a box, a high-definition memory encased in a physical medium that, for once, doesn't leverage or commodify the exigency for an online streaming service. Not that I have any sort of problem watching Gundam Wing HD on Hulu, but it simply isn't the equivalent of acquiring ownership of something you're proud of, adding it to the library of discs and special edition casings you pray to God your toddler doesn't find and casually obliterate. The giant robot anime of a lifetime, the Gundam series never goes overlooked in my nerd's periph, nor in business or legacy, and I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to own this set that includes the entire 1995 television series, the 1996 three-part sequel, the 1997 special theatrical edition of said sequel, and the Odd and Evens short episodes that were never released in America on television, video, or even online. And....a lot more.


VIDEO GAME: Cuphead on Xbox One

 Picture courtesy of techradar.com. 

Picture courtesy of techradar.com. 

I've been waiting for this video game my entire life. I was raised on simple but challenging vertical and horizontal shooters, the idea of which is to play as a plane or spaceship of some sort, shoot enemies in front of you, and collect power-ups to make your weapons. This a genre of classic I played as a kid: from Solar Striker on the Game Boy and Darius Twin on the Super Nintendo, all the way to Raiden Fighters Jet in the arcades and Dodonpachi Resurrection on the Xbox 360. Run-and-gun variants like Contra, Mercs, and the G.I. Joe arcade game completely corrupted my youth in the best way. Cuphead, an indie run-and-gun/horizontal shooter, however odd a mixture of gameplay and inspiration it is, has the honor of being the most authentic video game (period) I've ever seen this side of Dragonball FighterZ. It feels like the 1930's surrealist cartoons inspired by the work of Max Fleischer, with the cleanest jazz soundtrack since the fighting game SkullGirls, and an insane level of difficulty to boot. The art style, mixed with the difficulty of older SNES games and the heart of a completely independent title make Cuphead one of the most highly anticipated video games in 2017. There's a reason it sold over a million copies within a week of its release! I need this. I don't own an Xbox....but I'd buy one just to try this. It may not stack up on Steam.     


GRAPHIC NOVEL: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan.

 Picture courtesy of wired.com.

Picture courtesy of wired.com.

Brian K. Vaughan's work should be known to any modern-day comic book readers. I'm currently familiarizing myself with it, through his work on titles like Runaways, and his own title Saga. Paper Girls seems to have an interesting time travel context to it, with a dash of 80's nostalgia to boot which might tickle the retro bone of any Stranger Things fan. Plus, any indie graphic novel series that stars women in a fun, positive light is worth the attention of any nerd. I've been looking for some new content to read and I think I've found it in Paper Girls. The designs of the series are wonderful and exuberant, and although I haven't read any issues all the way through, I have zero qualms taking a risk and adding this new series to my collection. It genuinely has my attention. 


BOOK: The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair 

 Picture courtesy of near.st.

Picture courtesy of near.st.

So this one is quite interesting too. I just saw this at Barnes and Noble, and I'm exceptionally curious about it. As a former arts major in college, we spent a lot of time studying the history of general art and, furthermore, the theory of colors and their appropriate hues and shades. This book appears to be an anthology of tied-together tales that "star" colors across time. It's a bold approach to storytelling, even to an art enthusiast (or whatever...art is my life but I switched majors so...) and I would think that these tales are hilarious, heartbreaking, informative, and riveting. I'm very interested in author Kassia St. Clair's execution--the cover art alone would have me sold. It does.    

Alright. Now that I've told you mine....tell me yours. GO.