Help me choose a gift
August 2, 2012 9:41 AM   Subscribe

What should I get my boyfriend for our anniversary?

I am a terribly uninspired present-giver and I really need some ideas! Our anniversary is in two days and I have no idea what to get him. I've tried asking him and the only thing he can come up with is an Olly Moss poster which retail for like $500. My budget is not over $100.

He is really into comics (like Batman, Superman etc), he likes cooking/food, and technological stuff (most of which I can't really afford). He is a UX designer and we are both in Brooklyn. We are moving in a week so some sort of print would be good because he could hang it in our new apartment. He is 26 and has a very active social life (we are always out and about). I was thinking maybe an "experience" type gift but he is already taking me out to dinner for our anniversary so I would want it to be more unique than that.

I asked here before about presents for him and ended up getting him an iPad case, which he uses every day. I've gotten him cookbooks/restaurant guides in the past, which haven't gotten as much use. I've bought him pajamas, which he wears a lot in winter, and I've baked things for him but I am not the best cookie-baker.

Any help is much appreciated!
posted by queens86 to Human Relations (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A DC Comics Absolute Edition is one of those amazingly extravagant things every comics fan wants but few will actually go out and purchase for themselves (because, again, extravagant.)
posted by griphus at 9:44 AM on August 2, 2012

How about a cooking class (or maybe even one to take together)? You can take some for specific types of food, or techniques, like a knife skills class.
posted by amarynth at 9:46 AM on August 2, 2012

(I would personally recommend either All-Star Superman, Crisis on Infinite Earths or Kingdom Come, depending on where his tastes lay.)
posted by griphus at 9:46 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I got a Wireless meat thermometer as a wedding gift, and I absolutely love it. It's cooking + technology, and my pork roasts finally don't come out dry!
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 9:46 AM on August 2, 2012

He actually mentioned an Absolute Edition! He seemed to be wavering on whether he really wanted it or not, since he said he's read everything in them so it's kind of useless, but I think he kind of does want one, just would never purchase it for himself...
posted by queens86 at 9:47 AM on August 2, 2012

If he's ever mentioned the Crisis on Infinite Earths one specifically, I'd say go for it. The art in that book is really, really dense and, in my opinion, benefits the most out of the format.
posted by griphus at 9:50 AM on August 2, 2012

>> he kind of does want one, just would never purchase it for himself...

Isn't that the sine qua non of a good gift? It's worth pointing out that really good comics will bear the occasional re-read. Also nthing class suggestions - a knife skills class would be great, especially if he has a decent set of knives. (If not, you're wisely setting him up for next anniversary's knife-gift...)
posted by Hylas at 9:58 AM on August 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

My landlord has read everything in them, but still has Absolute Watchmen, Dark Knight, LoEG and V for Vendetta - he might have Sandman as well. I'm too scared to touch them. (More so now I've looked up the price and seen they are indeed an extravagance - exactly the kind of thing I would lust over, were I a DC person, but could never bring myself to spend out on.) He's really into his comics so I think they'd make a great present.
posted by mippy at 10:05 AM on August 2, 2012

Absolute Editions are the best! I made my ex / parents buy all the Sandmans for me over a few years. Yes it's silly to spend that much money on a comic book when you have them already, but owning your favourite thing in the best format it will ever be printed in is incredible. Go for that!
posted by yellowbinder at 10:09 AM on August 2, 2012

A friend highly recommended this Chelsea Market food tour, if you want to go with the experience gift.
posted by chickenmagazine at 10:11 AM on August 2, 2012

I think he kind of does want one, just would never purchase it for himself...

Then an Absolute Edition sounds perfect. It kind of says "I know you well enough to know you really wanted this but would never get it for yourself, and I love you enough to believe you deserve it."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Super Heroes & other geekery


Various pretty weirdness =c)
posted by pyro979 at 10:45 AM on August 2, 2012

I love the Absolute Edition idea!

If however you want to go down a different path and know enough of what he has and doesn't have yet, here are some regular trade paperback and graphic novel suggestions! Think of it like a grab bag! PlutoniumX's theory of gift giving: Lots of little awesome and/or meaningful things over something big!

All Star Superman Vol 1
Also available in the Absolute edition.

Superman: Earth One - Sequel is coming out soon, and I just re-read this last weekend because I picked up...

Batman: Earth One I liked the Superman version better, but it was a good read.

Superman: Secret Identity One of my favorite Superman stories of all time, and it's not even about *our* Superman. Imagine being a kid from Kansas named Clark Kent, imagine everyone made fun of you for that, because of the FICTIONAL Superman. Now Imagine one day you woke up and had that fictional characters powers.

Superman Red Son - Seems to be out of print.

I could go on all day here, but one last suggestion, if he does Marvel at all.

Fantastic Four - Hickman Vol 1 This is my current go to "What should read?" suggestion, as well as the start of one of my absolutely favorite runs for the FF.

As a comic nerd and a fan of the hooch, I'd probably also love some nerdy themed Bar ware, pint glasses, etc. If he does nerdy tshirts, throw one of those in that you like. You can stretch $100 into a lot of goodies.
posted by PlutoniumX at 11:14 AM on August 2, 2012

What about a nice pan set for cooking, or a knife set? It would be cool for your new place.
posted by katypickle at 11:47 AM on August 2, 2012

If he's a fan of cooking like you say, and a bit of a geek, these molecular gastronomy kits from Molecule-R are really fun. They're a bit sciencey, they're great for having friends around because it's bizarre and entertaining, and if you're into cocktails you can do some wonderful boozey things. (These are the same ones that are available on ThinkGeek, but cheaper direct from the manufacturer.)

I got my fiancée the cuisine kit and it was a definite hit. Especially the "balsamic caviar".
posted by themadthinker at 12:11 PM on August 2, 2012

OMG you need to get him a Pop Chart Lab poster!! They have several food and drink options, music/sports/tech/gaming posters, as well as "The Myriad Monikers of Gotham's Villains" and (my all-time favorites) "The Illustrious Omnibus of Superpowers" Parts One and Two.

They're made and sold in Brooklyn!
posted by mon-ma-tron at 2:41 PM on August 2, 2012

Bat-Manga! by (legendary book designer) Chip Kidd is a beautiful book on its own merits, which deals with an obscure part of Batman history.

Aesthetically, these bamboo, laser-etched iPhone/iPad cases are lovely and customizable.

One of the best nerdy cookbook's is Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking., which goes into food science and history to explain how and why parts of cooking work.

If he has favorite bands, you could try looking for some cool gig posters to frame.

You could get him some weird ingredients to play around with. One in particular that comes to mind is the Sichuan Button. Or Miracle Fruit. Those are sort of an experience. More useful "everyday" ingredients could include Truffle honey, Harissa, or Ras al Hanout.

Does he have a cast iron skillet? If not, that's an easy gift for food people -- cheap, relatively-universal (unlike, say, chef knives), useful, delicious... As a designer or technologist it's a humbling reminder about old, simple solutions.

Wall-mounted corkscrew, if you guys drink a lot of wine.

Good luck.
posted by spanishbombs at 2:46 PM on August 2, 2012

Taschen's 75 Years of DC Comics looks like the ultimate gift for a DC fan. It's a bit over your budget though ($118), so otherwise I'd suggest Absolute New Frontier, which is my favourite take on the DC universe of recent years.

You could also throw in a copy of Supergods, Grant Morrison's love-letter to all things spandexy.
posted by permafrost at 3:59 AM on August 3, 2012

I went with the Absolute Edition of Long Halloween, and it was well-received :) Thanks all!
posted by queens86 at 7:59 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

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