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My Fav’s of 2012 Part 3 – Movies

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I know a lot of people find these list exhaustive and repetitive but I love them.  Most of the year I stick to my personal tastes and recommendations but at the end of the year when all the lists come out I find so much that I missed or hadn’t even considered.  Every year I find an album or  a comic I hadn’t heard of that completely blows my mind or makes me rethink the possibilities of what is capable in that medium.  Stand outs from previous years would be the comic Daytripper or the album Sonic Mass by Amebix.

The other reason I love these lists is it gives people the chance to share all the wonderful things they saw, read or heard that year.  There is no end to the awesome stuff that comes out every year and that stuff was made to be seen, heard and read.  The idea is that maybe some of these things are new to you and you may find the same enjoyment in them as I did.

With that being said these lists are a collection of my favorites from comics, webcomics, movies and music from 2012.  I am not going to take a stance and say these are the best things of 2012 because I don’t believe I have the authority or know how to proclaim that.  These are simply lists of things that affected me in some way or the other or I just simply enjoyed the heck out of in 2012.

I didn’t get to see as many smaller and indie genre films as I would have liked to this year.  Most of my movie viewing was like everybody else, at the theater and I think most people have seen or heard of all of these so I am not going to post a trailer except for the last one which may have slipped by some folks radar.

5. Avengers

Damn near perfect superhero movie.  They managed to make a lot of complex pieces fit nicely into one cohesive story.  Sure I had my nerd knit picky complaints but overall and fun ride that balanced the elements of a movie with the elements of comic books in a near perfect cocktail.

4. Cabin in the Woods

I hadn’t had this much fun in a movie theater since I saw Grindhouse so many years ago.  A send up and love letter of horror movies that oozed with all the gory delight and standards we horror fans love but turned it on its head with an interesting and humorous take.  The two control guys steal the show as well as all the monsters.

3. ParaNorman

Amazing visual storytelling, amazing animation, amazing design amazing all around.  ParaNorman reminded me of all the great all ages horror movies I loved as a kid that weren’t afraid to add a little extra bite instead of playing it sage for the kids.  Gems like this don’t come around to often.

2. Legend of Korra

I know this was a tv show but it was heads and tails ahead of everything I saw in the theaters this year.  I was a bit nervous as to whether or not the Avatar team could strike gold twice but they sure as hell did.  Korra (and Avatar) showcases some of the best characters and storytelling captured anywhere in any medium.  It should be taught in master classes on story telling (and acting for that matter) and hailed as the triumph that it is.  Disguised as a children’s show it is that and all more and makes everything else seem inferior by comparison.  I cannot wait for the new season!

1. Indie Game

I watched this documentary two times in a row I was so taken with it.  The idea that people want video games to be more than shoot em ups or simple action games and that they can be personal stories amazes me because I have always wondered the same.  The designers they focus on are so in devoted to their craft (sometimes to a fault) and so passionate it pours out of the screen.  You could easily replace the subject of this documentary with indie comic creators.  I think the same struggles apply almost 100% across the board.  Amazing movie for anybody who is curious about the creativity and work that goes into a passion project or for creatives looking to see what it takes to actually make it in an industry you love.

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My Fav’s of 2012 Part 2 – Comics

No Comments on My Fav’s of 2012 Part 2 – Comics

I know a lot of people find these list exhaustive and repetitive but I love them.  Most of the year I stick to my personal tastes and recommendations but at the end of the year when all the lists come out I find so much that I missed or hadn’t even considered.  Every year I find an album or  a comic I hadn’t heard of that completely blows my mind or makes me rethink the possibilities of what is capable in that medium.  Stand outs from previous years would be the comic Daytripper or the album Sonic Mass by Amebix.

The other reason I love these lists is it gives people the chance to share all the wonderful things they saw, read or heard that year.  There is no end to the awesome stuff that comes out every year and that stuff was made to be seen, heard and read.  The idea is that maybe some of these things are new to you and you may find the same enjoyment in them as I did.

With that being said these lists are a collection of my favorites from comics, webcomics, movies and music from 2012.  I am not going to take a stance and say these are the best things of 2012 because I don’t believe I have the authority or know how to proclaim that.  These are simply lists of things that affected me in some way or the other or I just simply enjoyed the heck out of in 2012.

Locke & Key

Teenage Love Zombies
I got the first collection of Locke and Key last Christmas and really enjoyed it.  It took me until the middle of this year to get the next three collections and read them.  Once I started I couldn’t stop.  It rapidly has become not just one of my favorite horror comics but one of my favorite stories ever.  Joe Hill is on top of his game and Gabriel Rodriguezs’ art compliments it perfectly.  The issue where he did the Calvin and Hobbs tribute were so incredible I thought Bill Waterson came out of seclusion.  Masterful work being done here and if you haven’t read Locke & Key you are surely missing out on how great storytelling is done.

Punk Rock Jesus


Sean Gordon Murphy knocked this one out of the park.  Long have been waiting for him to do his own creator owned book and I was not disappointed.  It reminds me of the great Vertigo books, ones that pushed the boundaries and dared to make comics about more than spandex.  It is written and drawn as if it were a punk song, loud, violent, fast and in your face with Sean’s amazing black and white toned and inked work.  A thing of beauty.

Legends of the Dark Knight


I bought an iPad this year and it has completely changed my reading habits when it comes to comics.  I feel weird saying but it has replaced completely my need to go to a store anymore and has given me more freedom to check out new stuff.  One of those was a digital only, weekly installment Batman series.  I started with the three part Steve Niles story and was hooked immediately.  First off, Steve told a story that I can’t believe hadn’t been told before proving that in the right hands Batman still has gold to mine.  Secondly, these comics were free of continuity and designed to let creators have free reign over the Dark Knight.  Every week you get a Batman comic, boiled down to the true essence of the character.  It is refreshing to see  that Batman can still be fun.  At $0.99 it is hard to pass on every week.

Prophet


I imagine Prophet was a hard sell.  A cheap 90’s Rob Liefeld character given a second life where it left off in the 90’s but the new Prophet series is some of the best sci-fi I have ever read.  The first arc, takes only the bare minimum of the Prophet back story to drop you right in the middle of a far distant future devoid of humans.  There is no explanation as to what anything is but is written like you should know.  It completely immerses you in this strange alien future  doesn’t even seem concerned if you are confused.  It all works brilliantly and is one of the great comic character reinventions.

Satan is Alive: A Tribute to Mercyful Fate


Satan is Alive is truly a wonderful book.  Mostly a collection of comics with pinups and interviews peppered throughout it is a wonderful love letter to the masters of evil.  The stories and art are all top notch, the interviews are fascinating and the the contributors are amazing.  The love and care from this book radiates from it as you flip throughout pages making it a prime example of what a truly great comic and project can be.  Hail Satan is Alive!  You can pick up a copy over here.

Barbarian Lord


Matt Smith’s Barbarian Lord caught me by chance.  I saw another artist on Facebook liked it and thought the title was intriguing so I followed his “like” to the page and boy am I glad I did.  Barbarian Lord is an incredible comic.  The art is so unique and wonderfully drawn that is seems like the genre was created so that one day Matt Smith could make Barbarian Lord.  Based just on the Facebook page I ordered the books he had available and waited with bated breath for them to arrive.  When they did arrive they came loaded up with drawings on the inside and even a reference to a brief conversation I had with Smith on Facebook regarding one of our favorite bands.  If all comic buying experiences were like this the industry would be way better off.  Buy a copy of Barbarian Lord Tales over here.

Batman


Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman book has been overall pretty good for a Batman book.  The Court of Owls storyline was interesting but it seemed like it was lacking something and I never quite got comfortable with it.  It was Batman but it didn’t seem like Batman.  The new arc which reintroduces the Joker has been Batman all over.  Back are the members of the bat family as well as the Joker, as twisted and evil as we have ever seen him.  A little darker than I like my Dark Knight but you can’t deny the story telling chops on display here.

Late Entry:

Hellboy in Hell

 

Mignola returning to an ongoing Hellboy story taking place in Hell is so amazing it has to be mentioned even though only the first issue has come out this year.  Few things can be as awesome as this.

tlz_118

My Fav’s of 2012 Part 1 – Webcomics

2 Comments on My Fav’s of 2012 Part 1 – Webcomics

I know a lot of people find these list exhaustive and repetitive but I love them.  Most of the year I stick to my personal tastes and recommendations but at the end of the year when all the lists come out I find so much that I missed or hadn’t even considered.  Every year I find an album or  a comic I hadn’t heard of that completely blows my mind or makes me rethink the possibilities of what is capable in that medium.  Stand outs from previous years would be the comic Daytripper or the album Sonic Mass by Amebix.

The other reason I love these lists is it gives people the chance to share all the wonderful things they saw, read or heard that year.  There is no end to the awesome stuff that comes out every year and that stuff was made to be seen, heard and read.  The idea is that maybe some of these things are new to you and you may find the same enjoyment in them as I did.

With that being said these lists are a collection of my favorites from comics, webcomics, movies and music from 2012.  I am not going to take a stance and say these are the best things of 2012 because I don’t believe I have the authority or knowhow to proclaim that.  These are simply lists of things that affected me in some way or the other or I just simply enjoyed the heck out of in 2012.

Webcomics

5. Ninjasaur  (ninjasaur.com)  Ninjasaur by Jason Horn caught my attention as an iPad app.  I am always curious to see when a comic makes its own stand alone app and I guess the key to Ninjasaur’s appeal for me was the awesome app.  It has one story featured with the ability to swipe two fingers down to reveal the artwork in different states from pencils all the way to completed page while leaving the word balloons intact so you can still read the comic no matter which state you prefer. As if that wasn’t enough the comic ends by taking you to a game that is part of the plot.  It is clever beyond belief and so well executed.  Based on that I sought the comic out and was still impressed.  Ninjasaur is a fun, well designed comic with great characters and a silly premise.  Easy to read and get caught up on great for all ages.

4. Frankenstein Superstar (frankensteinsuperstar.com) – Frankenstein Superstar by John Hazard came to me via recommendation and it was one of those comics I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen before.  It was right up my alley.  The Frankenstein monster and his bride are alive and well and living in New York.   The design on this comic is incredible, a bit of Bruce Timm mixed with old pinup style art with a little Coop thrown in for good measure and you can already start to see the kind of story it is.  Adult only humor but a great read all around.

3. King of the Unknown (kingoftheunknown.com) – King of the Unknown by Marcus Muller hits me on two fronts.  It is a horror comic and the main character is Elvis.  How could I not like this?  Throw in a bit of BPRD and a wicked sense of humor and you have one awesome comic.  Not to mention the art is jaw droopingly stunning.  If you like quirky characters and high concept story telling you may just like King of the Unknown.

2. The Graveyard Gang (graveyardgang.com) Rich Clabaugh’s The Graveyard Gang reminds me of reading comics as a kid and how much fun it was.  The Graveyard Gang is like The Little Rascals and the Monster Squad mooshed together with some Hammer creepiness drizzled on top.  The story is faced past, adventurous and all over fun.  Rich’s Art perfectly compliments the story and with each post blows my mind with his beautifully captured panels and pacing.  All that and Rich is one heck of a nice guy to boot.  Comics done right folks.

1. Thrillbent (thrillbent.com) I have never been the biggest Mark Waid fan.  I like his work but he mostly worked on titles that didn’t interest me.  Once I heard he was starting a digital comics outlet I was immediately interested.  Mark took the position that he isn’t trying to do away with print books but try and think of a new way to approach comics in the ever increasing digital world.  He has been up front about this being an experiment and seeing what works and what doesn’t.  Digital comics and digital distribution is something that is extremely interesting to me and I applaud Mr. Waid for taking that leap and seeing if it floats.  I think he is paving the way for the future of comics and his (and many others) Thrillbent comics are a prime example of what is possible within the comics medium.

tlz_117