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Super Blogged Up Holiday Swag Brag!

Greetings, Super Blogged Uppers! Welcome to the first SBU of 2011. I hope your New Year’s celebration was a safe, happy, and fun one, and that you didn’t punch a girl in the back of the head while playing Xbox Kinect like, um, I heard that some dude who I don’t know did. Video games can be dangerous, folks.

This week I thought we’d do something fun here at Super Blogged Up, because everything else we do is so serious and we’re getting a little tired of The Joker asking us that same silly question over and over. We’re so serious because we like to be, Jokester! This week, instead of writing about super heroes or Super Knocked Up, I’ll be (and hopefully Jeff’ll be too) sharing with you what Santy Claus dropped off at my residence a few weeks ago in celebration of Jesus’s birthday. Then, ya’ll can go ahead and brag about your swag in the comments section. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, write about what you received for Hanukkah. If you don’t celebrate that, surely you got some Kwanza Swanza. And if you don’t celebrate any religious holiday that you only look forward to because you get presents that day, then write about what you got on your last birthday. And if you don’t have a birthday then stop reading this, because you shouldn’t be alive and you’re scaring the unitard I’m breaking in off of me.

Alright, here it is.

Mark’s Holiday Swag Brag

1.  Clothes. Borrrrriiiiiing. No one wants to hear about those. Moving on.

2. Zombies for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead by David Murphy. My dad knows I like zombie movies. Or maybe he thinks I’m turning into the undead because my brain seems to be decomposing with each passing day. Either way, he got me this fun little satirical riff on the “_____ for Dummies” series. Zombies for Zombies makes a nice companion piece to Max Brooks’s The Zombie Survival Guide.

3. The 20th Anniversary Ultimate Edition of Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell.” Pantera was a band that had a huge influence on my musical tastes, and “Cowboys From Hell” was an album that changed my little 13 year old life. Deadly riffs, primal drumming, laser-beam solos, a rhythm section that’s tighter than all get out, and vocals from the seventh level of hell itself. This 20th Anniversary Ultimate Edition of the album comes with a remastered version of CFH, demos and live songs galore, vintage show posters, a T-Shirt, pin, and a 50 page retrospective booklet with insight from all the surviving members of the band.

4. Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-Ray. If I had only received this on Christmas, I would’ve considered the holiday a success. Universal has assembled some fantastic supplements for this collection, with plenty of behind the scenes stuff, trivia, and deleted scenes for even the most hardcore BTTF fan. The first film remains a legitimate classic, with the marriage of an almost perfect screenplay and even better execution, while the next two films are solidly entertaining, even if the quality diminishes over the course of the trilogy. To top off the nice collection of goodies, Universal has done a fine Blu-Ray transfer of the films, which have never looked better. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to by a Blu-Ray player, this (and the even better Alien Anthology) should sway you over to the “yes I need one” side.

5. Preacher, Book 3. Preacher, by Garth Ennis with illustrations by Steve Dillon, is a remarkably great comic book, with a surprising amount of heart for such a blackly humorous story. Book 3 collects issues 27 – 33 of the story of Jesse Custer, his girl Tulip, and their vampire friend Cassidy, as they travel across the country to find, and ask some serious questions of, God. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed as hard reading a comic as I have while reading Preacher, and I hope Book 3 brings the same delight as the first two Books.

That’s pretty much it, folks. Sure there was some odd and end stuff I got, but what’s above is what got my blood flowin’ Christmas morning. Feel free to share your swag below, and may 2011 bring you much happiness and joy!

Jeff’s Super-Awesome Christmas Gifts

Amazing Fantasy #15.  Ha ha, just kidding.  Man, I wish.  For those of you who don’t know, Amazing Fantasy #15 featured the first appearance of Spider-Man in 1962 and is one of the most prized comics of all time.  On a side note, I just read in Wikipedia (so it must be true) that an anonymous donor gave the original 24 pages of art from Amazing Fantasy #15 by Steve Ditko (who created Spider-Man along with the amazing Stan Lee) to the Library of Congress.  Sweet!

Okay, on to what I really got.  Most of it actually superhero related :)

1.  Kinect for Xbox 360

So I already loved my 360, but now I do even more with the addition of Kinect, the new full body motion sensor.  I gotta say I think Kinect is pretty much the greatest invention ever!  It’s a ton of fun and the sensor is very accurate.  It also gives you exercise (but you’re actually having fun while getting exercise – imagine that!).  I love how you can use your hands to change screens, swiping the new page onto the screen.  And the voice commands to play games or movies are sweet!  It’s the first time I’ve felt like we’re achieving all that futuristic stuff, like something out of Minority Report.  If you get it, Kinect Sports is pretty fun.  But Dance Central is the best game so far!  It’ll have you shaking your groove thing in no time and this is from a guy who can’t dance at all :)

2.  Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee

Jim Lee is one of the most amazing artists who have ever drawn for comics.  He and Michael Turner are probably my top two of all time.  So when I saw a collection of his amazing art in a coffee table type book, I had to get it!  Everything Lee draws is amazing but no one draws Batman like he does.  And his Huntress drawings (one of my favorite comic book characters) are freakin’ awesome!

3.  Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

The new animated movie from DC starring Superman and Batman.  Based I believe on the excellent Supergirl intro comic story arc in Superman/Batman from a few years ago by Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner.  Bruce Timm and his crew have done a fantastic job with the DC universe with their animated series starting with Batman in the 90s and continuing with Superman and the phenomenal Justice League and Justice Leave Unlimited.  And it features an amazing voice cast: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Andre Braugher, and Summer Glau.  Kevin Conroy has done the voice of Batman in almost every animated series and movie that’s been released.  And he nails the role.  No one is better.  I mean he is Batman.  So much so that when they occasionally release an animated movie with someone else doing the voice of Batman, I won’t even buy it (and I have no idea why they do this by the way – the fans love Conroy).

4.  Scooby-Doo Meets Batman

I wasn’t expecting this gift, but it was a cool one.  Scooby-Doo is my favorite cartoon of all time!  It rocks!  They did a bunch of episodes (or they might have called them movies) where Scooby and the gang teamed up with others like the Harlem Globetrotters or Don Knotts.  Or in this case, Batman and Robin.  It’s kinda of corny (it is the campy version of Batman and Robin from the Adam West/Burt Ward TV series), but it’s still fun.  Not as good as some of the other Scooby-Doo episodes where it’s just Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby, but with pretty much anything from the classic Scooby-Doo period you can’t go wrong :)

Those were the highlights for me.  Feel free to share cool stuff you got in the comments section below :)  Now it’s time to go play some more Kinect.  But not with Mark, as I don’t want to get punched in the head :)

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