The 2017 PopCult Gift Guide is in the books, and today we’re bringing you the master list of every item we featured.
Be advised that we ran really long and late this year, so if you plan to order anything on this list (that is still available) you’d better rush and do it now. This list goes live on the very last day that many retailers guarantee delivery by Christmas using regular mail. Amazon Prime customers can probably wait until next Tuesday, but that’s still tempting fate a bit.
Each year in the PopCult Gift Guide I strive to provide a list of gift ideas that you don’t get anywhere else. I don’t sell spots on the list like most of the mainstream publications do, and I tried to avoid the really obvious gift ideas. The whole point is to tell you about new stuff that you don’t already know about. I think this year there are only one or two “ringers” in the batch.
I would also like to address a couple of points of criticism that this list has had pointed its way. First is that I do not honor “the reason for the season,” and that most of my picks are examples of the crass commercialization of Christmas. That’s a fair point. PopCult covers pop culture, and much of that is a celebration of crass commercialization. This is a secular blog, and it’s not my job to preach or convert. If something that truly celebrates the spirit of Christmas comes my way, like Billy Tucci’s beautiful Nativity graphic novel of a few years ago, I will rush to include it. This year nothing like that really struck me as being special and underexposed enough for the list.
Likewise, I had far more criticism for not including any Star Wars stuff in the list this year. It’s true that Star Wars is pretty much the biggest force in pop culture at this very moment, however, it really doesn’t need my help. There is a ton of cool Star Wars stuff out there, and I’m sure that if you’re interested you already know about it.
So with those points addressed, here is the entire list of the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide. Note that the links are descriptive, and may not be the actual titles of the books, comics or movies listed.
Cryptid Cinema, by Steve Bissette is the first in a promised series of books about horror movies. This one addresses the creepy critters of the big screen.
Daily Inspiration for Progressive America is Danny Kuhn’s book of helpful words to help intelligent people deal with living under our current president.
85 North by Bobby Nash is a collection of witty and clever short stories in a variety of different genre.
The Story of Brian Pillman explores the life of the late, controversial wrestler.
The Johnny West Library is a series of books by Tom Heaton that dish out all the details about Marx Action Figures.
Toybox Time Machine is an amazing collection of ads and promotional artwork for toys and cool things that never really existed.
Sticks ’n Stones ’n Dinosaur Bones is a children’s book that recounts the late 1800’s “Dinosaur Wars.”
The Art of Oliver Hibert is a collection of work by the man whose work covers albums by The Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus and more.
Let’s Get Monster Smashed is a guide to what drinks best go with cheesy horror movies.
Examining the Monkees’ Songs in this in-depth book with a very long title, every song by The Monkees is put under the magnifying glass.
Last Girl Standing is the engrossing and fascinating autobiograph of legendary underground comics artist and writer Trina Robbins.
How To Write Cheesy Movies is a guide that tells you how to write bad movies, written by TV’s Frank from Mystery Science Theater 3000, who certainly knows the topic well.
Adventures in Pop Culture is a collection of essays on pop culture by my buddy, Thomas Wheeler.
The Walking Dead Cookbook tells you how best to chow down in the post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland.
George Harrison In His Own Words is an updated and expanded edition of the closest that Harrison ever came to writing an autobiography.
Inside Full Moon Entertainment Studio, is a book about Charles Band and his epic low-budget movie empire.
The Marx Brothers on Stage is a history of the famed brothers before they hit the silver screen.
Brooklyn’s Sweet Ruin is a photographic document of an abandoned sugar factory, days before it was demolished.
The Book On Vintage Transformers by J. E. Alvarez is virtually a bible for fans of the robots in disguise.
Barbie’s Battles Against Bratz are depicted in detail in this book by a noted legal scholar.
Behaving Madly an incredible collection of top-notch material culled from 1950s imitators of Mad Magazine.
The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays is a graphic novel history of the early days of the Fab Four.
Wonder Woman: The True Amazon is Jill Thompson’s amazing, award-winning story of Wonder Woman before she came to “man’s world.”
The Dimensioneer is Dan Reed’s super-fun superhero comic.
Sax Rohmer’s Dope is adapted as a graphic novel by Trina Robbins.
Josephine Baker is a lengthy and detailed bio of the legend, told in comic form.
The Walking Dead: Here’s Negan is the origin story of the chief bad guy from The Walking Dead, collected in book form.
Jack Kirby’s “The Demon” collects the entire run of Kirby’s rhyming Demon with ties to Merlin in an affordable format.
Classic Popeye books collect the work of Bud Sagendorf, in ten hardcover volumes of spectacular comic bookery.
Starstruck: Old Proldiers Never Die by Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta continues the story of Harry Palmer and his search for his…friend.
Mind Melter Coloring Book presents the work of cult artist Dirty Donnie Gillis, in colorable form.
The Burlesque Coloring Book puts the “adult” into “adult coloring book.”
These are self-explanatory, except where noted.
The HESS Toy Truck is sold out as of two days ago, so never mind on this one.
Back to the Future Electric Slot Car Race Set (this has been marked down to half price from AutoWorld)
The Johnny West Library (same listing as in books, but listed here as well, since it’s books about toys)
Lucky Cat (locally made)
Teddy Ruxpin (new and Bluetooth-compatible, so there’s no tape player inside of him)
The Book On Vintage Transformers (same listing as in books, but listed here as well, since it’s a book about toys)
Nintendo Classic Edition Wireless Controllers give you the old-school feel on the Wii
Ice Cool is the award-winning board game.
Ultra Dash is an electronic game that will have kids running all over the house.
Accentuate is a party game where you get to talk funny.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, is a DVD/CD combo of the retro Swing Band in action.
Rick Wakeman’s Gastank DVD collects an early 1980s British show where rock musicians talked and jammed together.
The Films of Anna Biller are incredible. Buy and watch them.
ASIA in Bulgaria is a DVD/CD of the band performing in an ancient Roman arena, accompanied by an orchestra.
Batman vs. Two-Face presents the final performance of Adam West as Batman, going up against William Shatner as Two-Face in this new animated epic.
Justice League Action collects the first half of the first season of the unjustly-overlooked cartoon.
The Company Stores “Little Lights” Powerful and electic music from the local powerhouse band.
The Sgt. Pepper Box Set A deluxe collection of the Beatles’ classic, remixed by Giles Martin, and with tons of previously unreleased bonus material.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy See the listings for DVD/ Blu Ray
Rick Wakeman’s Gastank DVD See the listings for DVD/ Blu Ray
Byzantine “The Cicada Tree” World-shattering music from Charleston’s Earth-conquering metal legends.
Scarlet Revolt “Cold Town” Dark and heavy new music from one of Charleston’s hardest-working bands.
Seal “Standards” The R&B singer turns his attention toward standards, and even manages to swing a little.
Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers Bluegrass music with intelligent and amusing lyrics by a comedy legend.
Dhani Harrison “IN//Parallel” The son of the “quiet Beatle” unleashes a debut solo album that proves he follows his own musical path.
Chuck Berry “Chuck” The worthy swansong from the late grandfather of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Emerson Lake and Palmer “FANFARE” Everything the progressive legends ever recorded in one box, with hours of unreleased live material and a book.
YES “Topographic Drama” The first recorded document of this incarnation of YES, following the death of founding member Chris Squire.
ASIA in Bulgaria See the listings for DVD/ Blu Ray
Ringo Starr “Give More Love” The bright new solo album by Ringo, with tons of guest musicians and positive vibes.
Todd Rundgren “White Knight” The Runt collaborates with a wide variety of guests to create yet another fairly epic new album.
The Rolling Stones “Their Satanic Majesties Request” box set presents the controversial Stones album in a deluxe box set that restores the 3D cover.
The Music of Louis Prima Jr.The son of The Wildest is pretty wild himself, killer retro Swing.
Ian Dury and the Blockheads “New Boots and Panties!!” The legendary album presented as a box set forty years after its release.
Thirteen Local Bands This is a list of thirteen more great albums by local musicians. Most are download-only, so you don’t have to worry about shipping or wrapping.
SHOLDIT is a scarf, but it’s also a wallet. Pretty sneaky, sis.
Guide To Cool Online Retailers Prepared for Cyber Monday, it may too late to order from them for Christmas, but you can always try your luck.
Power AirFryer XL A kitchen gadget to die for. French fries cook up crispy without oil.
Woody Numbers Tribute Shirt You can pay tribute to a fallen comrade. Miss you, Woody.
And that wraps up the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide. At some point this weekend I will post a shorter list that just includes the local gift ideas, but for now your PopCulteer is going to kick back and try to rest a bit. Next year we will change the format of the PopCult Gift Guide (once again). The plan is to start it earlier, run five items a day, seven days a week for three weeks, and be done with it by the Monday after Thanksgiving. That way you will have plenty of time to order any gifts that can’t be found locally and not have to panic about them getting here on time.
I hope everyone has a terrific holiday season, regardless of what you worship, and rest assured, PopCult will be back with its regular features starting tomorrow.