Last Minute Gift Ideas

December 16, 2005


Adrian Tomine’s comic Optic Nerve #10 was just released and continues the saga of Ben Tanaka, a movie theater manager stumbling through romances. This is the second installment of three, which will eventually be published together as a graphic novel. Buy Adrian’s work at Drawn and Quarterly.

Real life doesn’t get any more visceral than Hamburger Eyes. This photo zine serves as an outlet for a new generation of documentary photographers who carry on the traditions of National Geographic and Life magazines.

Debbie Huey’s graphic novel, Bumberboy Loses his Marbles, is one great adventure. You don’t have to be an avid comics fan, or know diddly about marbles to be swept into Huey’s universe, cheering for Bumperboy and pal Gordy, as they vie for Bubtopia’s grand marble tournament title.


Carol Young’s Undesigned clothing for women has an organic, fluid feel. Her skirts, tops and pants flatter with a look of modern and urban elegance.

Chudo Loo’s 70six offers T-shirts for men and women with an Asian flavor. How about a shirt with a Warhol-like drawing of Nissin's Cup Noodle? Why? Because Cup Noodle hits the spot better than Campbell's Tomato Soup.

Want to make your mark? Get custom monogramming at China Doll which has shirts for the ladies, onesies for the babies, and even tees for your dog.


Founded in 1991 by Philip Lee and Thomas Low, Lee & Low Books is one of the few Asian American-owned publishing houses in the United States. With more than 100 books in print, they specialize in multicultural children’s books for everyone.

Real Kidz are dolls for a real world, a world that is diverse. Each of the Real Kidz’s 17-inch bi-racial dolls is named after a street in a Brooklyn.

Sanjay Patel’s Little India books and posters explains Hindu mythology in the cutest drawings you’ve ever seen. Inspired by Indian miniature painting and influenced by a retro-chic illustration style, this is a who’s who of the Hindu pantheon.


With a flirty touch, Anita Lin and Sara Schwittek handcraft earrings, necklaces and more at Shy Siren. (Use the code HYPHEN to get 15% off!)

Hovey Lee seamlessly combines uncommon elements: ebony wood, purple freshwater pearls that look as if they were shards of a lost volcano, and pieces of coral caught on a silver web. In her designs for men, delectable carnelian ovals and hammered steel settle against the hollows of a masculine throat.

Be prepared to splurge! Jane Ko’s Linea Nervenkitt pairs the Italian word for style with an archaic German term for brain cell. Her collection of jewelry offers necklaces of uneven, delicate chains, and show-stopping earrings of rutiliated quartz, smoldering briolettes and irregularly shaped nuggets.


We all need a little beauty in our lives. Fortunately for us, there are several little beauties in each box of chocolates from Jin Patisserie.

As a surprise Christmas gift one year, Sun-Min Kim created a plush toy version of her boyfriend’s drawings. And so the Uglydolls were born. Now you can surprise someone yourself with one of these cute monsters.

Poketo wallets are limited edition creations by some of the hottest names in the art scene and the music world. Poketo has collaborated with the Shins and Postal Service, just to drop a few names. Each piece of art is covered with clear vinyl and stitched into a one-of-a-kind billfold. They also have onesies, tees and other wearables with original artwork.

Lin Ong’s Linoleum Bags are a study in texture. Get carried away with one her stylish bags.

Go retro in Kitschnglam aprons, which are form-fitting with flared skirts, sassy sashes and gravity-defying halter tops. In styles with saucy names like “Ivy League,” “Mochi,” and the tongue-in-cheek “Melon Patch,” these aprons invite you to bend over and throw some pre-frozen cookie dough into the oven.

What could be more relaxing than an island-inspired line of yoga-lifestyle clothing? Lily Lotus Hawaii bridges both the whimsical and the ageless, from tees emblazoned with the spiritual Third Eye (in velvet) to “Buddha Is My Om Boy.”

Words by Melissa Hung, Han Phan, Sita Bhaumik, Nish Nadaraja, Cheryl Locke, Eva Chao, Lisa Ko & Jane Liaw


Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. A native Texan, she lives in California. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.