Steampunk is fun again 

Everyone has that one friend or relative who is a little nerdy and difficult to shop for. You know, that cousin who is obsessed with comic books and wants to spend hours arguing over whether or not Marvel is still relevant after the horrible, strange decisions they’ve made lately … but I digress.

Take a leap of faith — and earn some major cooler-than-you-look points — by introducing your clever cohort to the metallic, anachronistic world of steampunk with Rivals.

Rival Vinyl toys and accessories are made by Wheelhouse, a design company based in Edmond (rivalvinyl. com; 2300 S. Broadway Ave.; 919- 0688). The Nautilus and Cogs are at war, and Algernon ChiffChaff (a Nautilus) and Theodore P. Stevedore (a Cog) are the first to jump into the fray. Rival Vinyl also offers posters, T-shirts, and DIY Rivals figurines and weapons — so there’s a good possibility yours will be the gift that keeps on giving this season.

If you want to browse through a variety of toys and collectibles for your alt-cultured loved one before selecting the perfect gift, head to Atomik Pop (7884 S. Western Ave.; 635-0848). As its name suggests, it’s a haven for manga and memorabilia, as well as comic books and graphic novels. I’ve even heard a rumor that they just received a shipment of items featuring everyone’s favorite feline, Hello Kitty, and they’re expecting even more throughout the holiday season. But I didn’t hear it from Chococat, so you’ll have to pop into the shop to be sure.

If you’re looking for vintage or rare comics, check out All-Star Comics (comicbooksoklahomacity.com; 6900 N. May Ave.; 842-7800). It carries new comics as well as vintage issues from as far back as the ’40s. Its enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect gift that will fit your friend’s quirky personality. And who knows? Maybe you will leave the store with a newfound appreciation for the art and an issue or two for yourself.

To find the perfect gift for the diehard board- or card-gamer in your life, head to Little Shoppe of Games (5109 N. Shartel Ave.; 463-6565). From classics like The Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne and Magic: The Gathering to newer standouts like Munchkin and Firefly: The Game, Little Shoppe has it all. Join in an ongoing game in the store during your visit and see what the fuss is all about.

New World Comics (newworldcomics.net; 6219 N. Meridian Ave.; 721-7634) is also known for its large selection of games, as well as being the go-to OKC shop for lovers of comic books and graphic novels for over 30 years — that also means it has 30 years of experience helping newbs like you pick out gifts. It even holds a Superhero School so kids can dress up and learn about superheroes from, er … bigger kids dressed up like superheroes.

But, really, who doesn’t like dressing up as a superhero? Maybe it’s normal to own both a SuperWoman and a Catwoman costume; you don’t know! And why are you raiding my closet anyway? You’re supposed to be shopping.

Let’s get geeky, OKC!

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