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20 Great Gifts for Every Geek on Your List

Cover art for the graphic novel Space Trash featuring three girls in spacesuits sitting on the surface of the moon, leaning against a chain link fence

Let’s be honest. Geeks know about books months before their publication dates, follow television series through every stage of production, and see new movies in theaters the Thursday night before release. We memorize the minutiae of all our favorite stuff. So finding the right gifts for your geeky friends can be a challenge, especially if you want to surprise us with something we didn’t already pre-order months ago. For the 2022 installment of our Geek Gift Guide, we ventured off the well-worn holiday shopping path to find something for every kind of geek on your list!

Cover art for the graphic novels Space Trash, Shuna's Journey, and Swim Team
(Oni Press / First Second / Harper Alley)

For the comics geek

Space Trash by Jenn Woodall

Space Trash, the debut graphic novel by illustrator and zine-maker Jenn Woodall is one of the wildest and most re-readable comics of the year. It takes place in a dystopian near-future where an all-girls high school is constructed on Earth’s moon because the planet itself has become uninhabitable. But this high school has more in common with a carceral institution than a place of learning. Woodall creates characters that are as cute as they are badass, and infuses her story of teen ennui and femme solidarity with queer feminist themes, then adorns her pages with punk rock, slacker fashion, and classic sci-fi motifs. Her clean line drawing and muted candy color palette presented in a large format Euro-style hardcover make Space Trash an absolute treasure. 

Shuna’s Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

Written and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki, and originally published two years before Studio Ghibli was founded, Shuna’s Journey is finally available in an officially licensed English translation. A small fantasy story that suggests a more vast world, Shuna’s Journey shares its pencil and watercolor style with Miyazaki’s manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and its design elements with Studio Ghibli’s feature film Tales from Earthsea. First Second Books increased the trim size of the original for this hardcover edition, which makes it all the more beautiful.

Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

Swim Team is a middle-grade graphic novel written and illustrated by Johnnie Christmas (Angel Catbird, Firebug, Tartarus). And it’s the first comic featuring a Black girl in a realistic setting—learning to swim! Christmas invites readers to dive into (pun most definitely intended) a story that balances cute dialogue with real history and poignant moments. But things never go off the deep end (this will be the last swimming pun, promise) into sentimentality because this is a story about trusting yourself, finding friendship, and attaining excellence you never knew was possible. Available in paperback or in hardcover, this is a perfect gift for comics readers of all ages.

A pink gaming headset with light-up kitty ears and a the cover art for the board game Wingspan
(Razer / Stonemaker Games)

For the gamer geek

Razer Kraken Kitty Edition gaming headset

If there’s a cuter and more comfortable PC gaming headset on the market right now, we have yet to find it. This lightweight aluminum headset comes in quartz pink or matte black with cooling-gel ear cushions and stream-reactive lighting on the kitty ears and earcups. Choose between a wired USB version with a retractable, active noise-canceling mic, or a wireless Bluetooth version with internal beamforming mics. Gamers using a Windows 10 64-bit processor get THX 7.1 spatial surround sound. But everybody gets the Razer Chroma lighting!

Wingspan by Stonemaker Games

Wingspan is a card-based board game elegantly designed by Elizabeth Hargrave and gorgeously illustrated by Natalia Rojas and Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo. An engine-building game recommended for one to five players, Wingspan will appeal to amateur bird watchers, professional ornithologists, and tabletop gamers alike. The setup is easy and the gameplay is consistently engaging.

Binoculars, red light flashlight, and sky map from Celestron
(Celestron)

For the astronomy geek

According to Astronomy Cast, the podcast produced by the Planetary Science Institute in collaboration with Universe Today magazine, the best way to start stargazing is with … binoculars! Telescopes are complicated pieces of equipment that start at $200 and can cost as much as $30,000. Not only do telescopes cost a lot, but for an aspiring astronomer, they also take a lot of time to set up. But with a good pair of binoculars, you can start navigating the night sky right out of the box. Celestron offers high-quality supplies including binoculars, a red light flashlight that won’t mess up your night vision, and of course, spiral-bound sky maps.

Cover art for the Criterion Collection DVD of WALL-E and a gingerbread house kit inspired by the movie Hereditary
(Criterion Collection / A24)

For the film geek

A Criterion Collection DVD

So far in 2022, Criterion has released Exotica by Atom Egoyan, Lost Highway by David Lynch, Eve’s Bayou by Kasi Lemmons, In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar Wai, and WALL·E by Andrew Stanton. Take your pick of these limited edition DVDs or gift a geek with a $10.99 monthly subscription to the Criterion Channel so they can stream some of the best films ever produced.

Pretty much anything from the A24 shop

Like A24 itself, this online shop offers a strange rainbow of options that you absolutely cannot get anywhere else, including an “Auditor of the Month” trophy candle from Everything Everywhere All at Once, needlepoint keychains, embroidered snapbacks, perfect bound screenplays, and soundtracks on colored vinyl. Prices range from a $6 fanzine for Frenemies to a $195 Moonlight Deluxe Five-Year Anniversary Box Set.

Cover art for the book This Woman's Work and the green vinyl edition of the FKA Twigs album Caprisongs
(Hachette / Young; Atlantic)

For the music geek

Essays on music

Edited by songwriter and founding member of Sonic Youth Kim Gordon and critic Sinéad Gleeson, This Woman’s Work (and yes, that is the title of a Kate Bush song) features essays by Gordon and Gleeson along with 14 other women of diverse experience, including Juliana Huxtable, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Yiyun Li—each writing about the effect music has had on their lives. This collection subverts expectations about music writing and whose voices should be amplified in discussions about music history and criticism.

New music on vinyl

2022 has been an amazing year for music, and any music geek would cherish new music on vinyl records. Yes, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift released new music, but there’s a whole spectrum of hip-hop, R&B, indie rock, and electro-pop to choose from, too. Standouts to shop for: Caprisongs by FKA Twigs; Three Dimensions Deep by Amber Mark; Laurel Hell by Mitski; Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You by Big Thief; Motomami by Rosalía; Radiate Like This by Warpaint; As Above, So Below by Sampa the Great; Natural Brown Prom Queen by Sudan Archives; Spirituals by Santigold; and Crybaby by Tegan and Sara.

A pair of red-orange slippers designed to look like the red panda from Turning Red, a Junji Ito manga T-shirt, and a bright orange beanie with the word "gorge" embroidered on it
(Disney / Crunchyroll / Gottmik)

For the fashion geek

Turning Red slippers

When Pixar released Turning Red, one of many criticisms was that the protagonist Mei’s transformation into a giant red panda was a period metaphor, and somehow that was a problem for some audiences who forgot they were watching a story about a 13-year-old girl going through the sometimes scary, sometimes hilarious changes of adolescence. Maybe they just needed to try on a pair of these super plush Mei red panda slippers to be able to relax.

Junji Ito apparel 

For the less cuteness-obsessed geek, check out the officially licensed Junji Ito apparel exclusive to Crunchyroll. T-shirts, hoodies, and even a waterproof anorak are screen-printed with panels straight out of Ito’s manga, from the autobiographical Cat Diary: Yon & Mu to the classic Slug Girl. There’s a sickening design for almost every style-conscious horror manga fan with sizes ranging from S to XXL and prices ranging from $24.95 to $94.95.

Drag merch

For the drag geek on your list, smash the cis-stem with official merch from Gottmik, the first trans man to ever compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race. They have T-shirts, tote bags, stickers, and prints, and their “gorge” beanie fits most human heads.

A highly detailed posable figure of Black Panther in the style of Wakanda Forever, holding a spear with arms outstretched
(Hot Toys / Sideshow Collectibles)

For the high-end collectibles geek

Crafted in luxuriant detail, this one-sixth-scale Black Panther figure based on the character design in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a true showpiece. Part of the Movie Masterpiece Series by Hot Toys, and available through Sideshow Collectibles, this figure features 30 points of articulation, a beautifully accurate head sculpt, a meticulously crafted masked head, seven interchangeable hands, a pair of Vibranium gauntlets, a spear accessory, and a figure stand. It might not actually arrive until January 2024, but this collectible is definitely worth waiting for. And at $264, this is a gift for that very special someone in your life.

You. That very special someone is you.

A waffle maker designed to look like the Millennium Falcon next to a plate of waffles covered in butter, maple syrup, and blueberries, and three aprons designed in the style of R2-D2, Chewbacca, and BB-8 from Star Wars
(Williams Sonoma)

For the Star Wars geek

Perhaps the most merchandized series in the history of pop culture, Star Wars is a gift category unto itself. For the Star Wars geek on your list who has everything from the original Kenner vinyl cape 12-back Jawa (mint on card or go home) to the recent Black Series Ahsoka Tano, this Millennium Falcon Waffle Maker might actually surprise them. And it pairs well with any of the Williams Sonoma Star Wars aprons: Adult size Chewbacca, adult or kid size R2-D2, or kid size BB-8. May the forks be with us all!

Christmas tree ornaments sculpted to look like Neytiri riding a Seze fom Avatar, and Link from The Legend of Zelda
(Hallmark)

For the Christmas geek

Christmas tree ornaments come in a literally uncountable variety of designs, but nothing quite compares to Hallmark’s Keepsake series of licensed likenesses. New this season are the stunningly hand-painted Avatar Neytiri and Seze ornament and the adorably nostalgic Nintendo The Legend of Zelda Link ornament, among many other ornaments, including designs inspired by Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Stranger Things.

Happy Holidays from The Mary Sue!

(featured image: Oni Press)

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Aria Baci is a pop culture critic and comic book script writer who is as passionate about intersectional feminism as she is about science fiction. Her writing has appeared in Design*Sponge, Geeks OUT, and the Mine! comics anthology.