November 25th, 2009 BEN WATERHOUSE | Special Section Stories
 

...A Modern Geek

Declare your allegiance to all things arcadian.

     
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Long before he was blowing away the geeks of America at Detective Comics, JH Williams III created a truly bizarre superheroine series with lunatic comics writer Alan Moore (Watchmen). Promethea started out weird, full of cynical jabs at modern culture, and got weirder, eventually deteriorating into a stunningly beautiful but unintelligible series of rants about ritual magic, mythology and Kabbalah. Now the entire series is being collected in oversized editions, starting with the first 12 issues in Absolute Promethea, Volume I. $99.99. Floating World Comics, 20 NW 5th Ave., floatingworldcomics.com.

There was a time when hovering over a beeping arcade console, staring slack-jawed at the screen while quietly humping the controls, was the domain of pimply teenage boys and almost no one else. That time is over—the geeks have grown up, and we’re still hammering the machines. What better way to declare your allegiance to all things arcadian than with this sweet shirt from Portland’s palace of 8-bit entertainment? $17.75. Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch St., 796-9364.

Undeniably the most successful Web comic ever, Penny Arcade now boasts more than 2 million readers, a staff of eight, a moderately successful video game spinoff, a hugely successful conference and a million-dollar annual charity campaign. Compared with all that, the new Penny Arcade: The Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games seems like small beans. But these are fun beans—a fast-paced blur of hilariously violent cartoon combat, played like a simplified, cheaper and hugely cooler version of Magic: The Gathering. If you weren’t confused by any of those sentences, this game’s for you. $24.95. Guardian Games, 303 SE 3rd Ave., 238-4000, guardiangamesportland.com.

You can’t walk a block in Portland without running into some sort of zombie walk, or ride, or prom or fashion show. It’s time to start fighting back, and you can practice with these sweet Zombie Ammo targets from Minnesota-based Law Enforcement Targets. They come in a variety of flavors, including hipster zombie, sexy zombie and, our favorite, Nazi zombie. Take aim. Learn up. Then let’s bring a hard rain down on these undead bastards. $2 each. Airsoft Outlet NW, 9348 N Peninsular Ave., 517-8857, airsoftoutletnw.com.

Powell’s Books launched Indiespensable in March 2008, and fiction fetishists went wild. Every six weeks, subscribers receive a box containing a hardcover first edition of a new book, often from an independent publisher, often signed, along with other goodies like chocolate, chapbooks and short-story collections. It isn’t exactly cheap at $39.95 per shipment, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Powells.com/indiespensable.

 
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