One Big Post
The end of 2019 was fraught with emotion and busy so instead of making multiple posts looking back at the year, I made one big one. It worked out pretty well. Considering how this year has been I felt like doing another mega-post instead of a bunch of small ones would be easier for everyone involved. Read on for a look back at this year in all its, "Glory," as it were...
Overwhelming Focus of the Year:
Ever since March, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 has been the main thing on many of our minds. It has been less of an issue in countries that handled it somewhat well, but here in America is just keeps getting worse. It is terrible how many people have fallen ill or died with countless morons denying this pandemic is a problem (and refusing to simply wear a facemask to protect themselves and others). 2020 was a pretty miserable year, and one big reason for many of us having such a bad time was COVID-19.
Best New Comic of the Year:
"The Other History of the DC Universe"
It was announced, then delayed, and finally, the first issue came out at the tail end of November. The wait was worth it, however, as, "The Other History of the DC Universe," is a fascinating take on the DC Universe from the eyes of characters such as Black Lightning and other heroes of color. It really is the best thing DC has put out in years and writer John Ridley and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli deserve much praise for their incredible first issue. I can't wait for more.
The Disappointment of the Year:
Warren Ellis is one of the best writers of comic-books to ever exist, and he excelled in other media formats as well from prose to television. Warren Ellis created some of my favorite works I've ever read. Warren Ellis is a genius. Warren Ellis also preyed upon many, many women and female-presenting individuals. He coerced them into sexual situations and manipulated them emotionally in a manner that is disgusting to read about. There are so many to read about too. The joy I felt once looking at my plentiful comics by Warren Ellis was replaced by feelings of sadness, dismay, and disappointment in a, "Hero," of the comics World being revealed as someone who hurt others many times. I sold almost all of my Warren Ellis-written works and the things I kept for one reason or another (his Moon Knight run so that I have a mostly complete collection of anything with the character) are now hidden away as I don't want to see them. As many have observed, Ellis being a creep doesn't undo all his contributions to the field of comics. That said, I personally don't get the same enjoyment out of his work anymore and have zero desire to buy anything else he may ever make in the future.
Food of the Year:
I've been on a bit of a spicy kick this year. Spicy chicken nuggets were a treat, some mild-to-medium sauced wings always made me happy, hot chips sounded good now-and-then, I just was pleased if I could get some heat. Now, I didn't want my food to be incredibly spicy, but a nice gentle burn was appreciated. I'm not sure why I suddenly wanted spicy food this year, sometimes I just get a weird craving, like that year I constantly alternated between craving lemonade and hot chocolate.
Canceled Comic of the Year
It got 10 issues and will have a little, "King in Black," tie-in epilogue, but I still feel like that isn't enough of the current, "Doctor Doom," series which was written with an expert mixture of bleak humor and intrigue by Christopher Cantwell and illustrated by the love-him-or-hate-him Salvador Larroca (I like his stuff usually, myself). Cantwell gave us the story of a Doom who is robbed of the leadership of his nation (Latveria) by traitors and forced to be as resourceful and clever as he always claims to be whilst also being haunted by images of a possible happier World. A Doom who is a bit of a hero and still a bit of a jerk always being undone by his hubris is a more interesting Doom than the kind who simply grumbles about the Fantastic Four, but I guess, "Interesting," doesn't always sell enough comics to spare a book cancellation.
Funniest Comic of the Year
Two trashmen in Los Angeles suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves targeted by a crazy retired actor who has used his millions of dollars and acclaim to form a cult of sorts. It is as weird and silly as it sounds, and manages to be funny in a clever way beyond, "Weird for weird's sake." Only two issues have come out so far, but I can't really think of any other comic this year that made me giggle as much as, "Hollywood Trash," did.
Music-Listening Method of the Year
I got into Bandcamp this year and am quite pleased I did. A wide array of unique and interesting music artists can be found via this website (which also has an app). Plus, unlike most other music options the artists actually are paid decently with Bandcamp. You get to enjoy music and support the people who made it!
Ongoing Comic of the Year
The Department of Truth
When this was originally solicited it sounded underwhelming, "Imagine if every conspiracy were true!" The comic we got was much more interesting than that, however. It brings us a World where there is truth and reality, but there is an issue where if enough people believe in something, it manifests into reality briefly or even permanently and can override the, "Truth," with messy made-up fiction becoming reality. That is where the Department of Truth comes in. They work to stop or destroy anything that threatens reality. They make sure the World stays round, Obama was born in Hawaii, and if too many people believe in Santa Claus with all their heart, they go kill him at the North Pole. It's an extremely clever concept and the four issues that have come out so far have been a fascinating trip down the conspiratorial rabbit-hole.
Game of the Year
It is so, so broken, but I have been having more fun playing it than any other games in a good long while. I am talking about, "Cyberpunk 2077," and my experience with it on the PlayStation 4. It is glitchy, the graphics warp and mutate into ugly ways, certain plot elements leave a bad taste in my mouth, but damn if it isn't fun and sometimes has great writing to counter the iffy stuff. The World sometimes feels fully realized and other times feels like a fake and plastic theme park with a paper-thin facade, but when things are working, I love the sneaking, hacking, interactions with other characters, zipping around on my motorcycle...and then the game crashes. "Cyberpunk 2077," is a big mess, but it is beautiful and keeps getting updates to make it function better and better. I already love it in its horribly shambling condition and know it will only improve. It is so messed-up stores are letting people get refunds for it--no questions asked--and Sony delisted it from their online store. I still am a fan, despite all this. "Cyberpunk 2077," could've never lived-up to the hype, but what we got is pretty damn fun when it isn't falling apart.
Hardest Part of the Year
At the end of 2019, we lost our pregnancy. It was incredibly hard and upsetting. Little did we suspect just what 2020 would bring to add-on to our grief. During this year we lost Samii's Dad, her Mom, and her Grandpa. I was especially close to my mother-in-law, Kim, and continue to miss her deeply. 2020 seemed like it was just loss after loss, with a pandemic thrown in to just make things even more complicated and terrible. 2020 was rough.
Best Part of the Year
Losing so many people in such a short span of time was hard and I am thankful for all the family and friends who have been there to show us support and love. My mother and father have been wonderful, our friends have shown how much they care in a myriad of ways, and at the end of the day, I am still so thankful to have Samii as my wife and Clarkson as my son. 2020 was a Hellish year, but my wife and son inspire me to do my best every day for them, and for myself.