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The gift guide for the Comic-Con set

Whether your taste runs to 'Fringe' or 'Harry Potter,' sci-fi or superheroes, it's a good time to be a geek this season.

November 25, 2009|By BY GEOFF BOUCHER

Whether you are a Muggle or a Jedi, a Twi-hard or a Trekkie, Marvel-lover or a Bat-fan, this is a golden age to be a geek. The fanboy culture is in full blossom at the box office and beyond, and this holiday season there's a mountain of gifts and gadgets that speak to the Comic-Con constituency. Here are some of the best.

'Fringe: The Complete First Season'

"Fringe" may be the best sci-fi show on television right now, which is saying a lot considering the crowd of competitors. The series was impressive from its very start for its production values, casting and cerebral ambitions, but early on it was missing a certain something. I didn't stop watching and I'm glad, because by the middle of the first season, the show found its groove (in part by finding a defining rhythm not beholden to a rigid single-episode procedural pace). Like "The X-Files" (yes, it's hard not to compare the two, considering the starting-point premise of FBI investigations into the paranormal), this show has an intricate and still-unfolding mythology. It's not too late to jump on board, especially with this polished Warner Home Video collection of the first season on seven discs with extended scenes, loads of commentary, featurettes on special effects and the science of the show, a "Deciphering the Scene" feature for true "Fringe" students, a gag reel and more. The Blu-ray is worth the extra money, the features are even better and the show's cinematic approach lives up to the format. You can find it at retailers everywhere or directly from Warner Home Video. Want to read more about the show? Check out the Hero Complex ( visit to the show's Vancouver set.

$60 for DVD, $80 for Blu-ray;

Tauntaun sleeping bag

This may be the best nerd gift of the year. Originally made as a one-of-a-kind spoof for April Fools' Day, the sleeping bag is an irresistible bit of "Star Wars" that takes us all back to the icy slopes of Hoth, where frosty Luke Skywalker was saved by his quick-thinking pal Han Solo, who was resourceful enough to eviscerate a dead tauntaun (think of a cranky snow camel crossed with a llama) and shove the desert-planet kid inside to keep warm. Hmmmmm, cozy! This sleeping bag is made of polyester, and it won't save you from hypothermia on the frozen tundra (it's not for outdoor use), but it's a crackerjack gift and even has a light-sabre zipper so you can slice your furry friend open just as Han did.


'Terminator 2' Limited Edition

We don't know whether "Avatar" will live up completely to its billing as "a game-changer" for special effects, but director James Cameron certainly pulled that off with his 1991 film "Terminator 2" and its then-startling quicksilver CG effects. I'm a bigger fan of the first movie in the franchise (better story and none of Ed Furlong's petulance), but this limited-edition packaging of the sequel is too sweet to ignore with the 14-inch skinless, glowing eyeball bust of the T-800. A great gift, too, for any friends in the Schwarzenegger administration who are spending their last Christmas in Sacramento.


'The Hunter'

Here's one of the best graphic novels of the year and a killer gift -- Darwyn Cooke's sublime adaptation of the hard-boiled antihero created by Donald Westlake. The handsome book boasts Cooke's spare and stylized artwork (think somewhere between the vintage-cool of "Mad Men" and the storytelling flair of Milton Caniff's "Steve Canyon" comic strips) and the 144-page tale from IDW Publishing is a meticulously faithful adaptation of the 1962 novel of the same name that introduced the scowling Parker.

$16.49; published by IDW Publishing,

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