Asking what to gift the Edgar Allan Poe fan who has everything is like asking what to gift the Disney Parks collector who has everything (hint: Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World): How do you know what he has? What he doesn’t? What would be absolutely perfect and is so unique he’d never think it even existed?
This year, Poe seems to be haunting more Christmas lists than in the past—probably since the Baltimore Poe House has lost its funding and the attention has brought him back to the forefront of everyone’s awareness. Since I’ve quite an extensive Poe collection, I thought I’d help out a few friends who have no clue what to get the Poe fans—or novices—on their lists. I’m confident this year’s picks are bound to boost any Poe lover’s bounty.
Bust of Edgar Allan Poe after George Julian Zolnay
I’m sure any Poe fan would agree this is better than a “pallid bust of Pallas.” This replica of Zolnay’s 1898 bust stands eight inches tall and proceeds benefit thePoeMuseuminRichmond,Virginia.
Poe Museum Store, Richmond, Virginia, $49.95
The Death of Poe DVD
Directed by and starring Mark Redfield—a really great guy (I’ve met him) with an enormous amount of passion for Poe—this 2006 film was shot on location in Baltimore, Maryland, and examines Poe’s last days through a blend of reenactments and imagery alluding to Poe’s scariest pieces. This is a movie—not a documentary—and while I thought it could have been tad more frightening, I still think any Poe fan should own it. Disc 1 contains the movie and Disc 2 contains a couple of documentaries and silent films. The Bonus CD contains Mark Redfield reading several of Poe’s works. For a preview, check out the trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmW09_LMpDU
Funko Edgar Allan Poe Wacky Wobbler
There are many Poe “Bobble Heads” out there, but this one, in my opinion, is the highest quality for the money—even the artwork on the box is cool. I discovered mine at Rock and Shock in Worcester, Mass., earlier this year, as it seems to be the most popular model sold at horror and writing cons.
What Would Poe Do? Toiletry Bag
This unisex bag is guaranteed to attract a few comments—especially if using it the morning after a night on the town. While not as large as I’d like, I find it’s perfect for a one-nighter, and the quality’s pretty good, too. My only objection is the price—I think it should probably be half the cost—but hey, sometimes you’ve just got to have what you’ve got to have. And I can almost guarantee that Poe fan you know doesn’t have it…yet.
Café Press, $48.50
TellTale Heart Wall Clock
There’s nothing more clever—or creepy—than a “Tell-Tale Heart”-themed clock.
If I don’t have my copy of the story on hand, it’s easy enough for me to turn out the lights, fire up a candle…and listen to the damn thing tick. Shivers!
Café Press, $15.00
Poe for Moderns
Any Poe lover shouldn’t be without this rare, out-of-print CD/Vinyl album. (Wanna laugh? In our house we have two copies—on VINYL). Buddy Morrow’s odd, interesting blend of 1960s jazz and Poe’s works should have that fan of yours sipping martinis in no time. The Beatnik-esque version of “Ulalume” happens to be my favorite, although I can never resist “The Raven”—it sounds like a 1960’s “let’s go to the concession stand” drive-in ad. Priceless.
Amazon.com, used in vinyl and 2004-CD, several copies ranging from $9.89-$79.95
The Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection
These unabridged tales and poems read by Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price are available in CD and MP3; the sound quality is wonderful on the CDs we own (I can’t speak for the MP3), but either format will give you the privilege of hearing these masters lend their talents to the likes of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat,” and more. What I especially love about this set? It contains the less-common pieces—like “Morella,” “Eldorado,” “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” and “The City by the Sea.” A fine accompaniment to a glass of Amontillado.
Amazon.com, ranging in price from $11.25-$19.77
The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback)
While this isn’t the much-touted multi-volume Mabbot text that scholars consider “the one to own,” this Doubleday 1984 edition was its 39th printing and is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a complete works. I have at least four or five different printings of this edition (I think the earliest version of this that I have dates to the 1960s–it seems they update only the covers, not the text), and it’s always been my top choice for gifting: it’s a reasonable size and the pieces are grouped by such headings as The Poems, Humor and Satire or Tales of Mystery and Horror, so it’s easy to match mood. It’s available in Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback.
Amazon.com, ranging in price from $.99(Kindle) to $26.99 (Collector). Brand new Hardcovers run $16.49.
Poe Signature Coffee Mug
Poe’s Signature Coffee Mug looks great on any breakfast table or desk, and if your fan’s a writer—especially of horror—who’s to say chugging some coffee out of it while at work won’t bring a little extra boost?
Poe Museum Store, Richmond, Virginia, $7.00
Edgar Allan Poe “The Raven” T-shirt
I own several Poe T-shirts, and while I don’t have this one yet, it’s definitely on my list. If your fan’s on “Team Poe,” then he should certainly be in uniform.