Thursday, 26 December 2013

The 42nd Post...

As is customary with bloggers with their last blog posting of the year I'll use this opportunity to look back at the films I've seen and books and comics I've read over the year that's just about to come to a close.
I'm not going to label them 'The Best'. They are just the things that I've enjoyed the most and the list doesn't even survive without disagreement within my own house. I stand by this list though, nobody can argue with it apart from me, and if that happens... well, let's just hope it doesn't.
The film of the year for me was actually Now You See Me which was a clever little film about stage magicians and... well, that'd be telling. A great cast, a good story and pretty fast moving, it is certainly a film that I would recommend, and have recommended, to friends.
The best Superhero movie ? Well there have been a few but I agree with my daughter Jemma (a rate thing :o) that for me it was Thor 2 - The Dark World. It had all the action and battles of the others but also mixed in a fair dose of misdirection and the characters, now established, were free to develop. I also enjoyed Wolverine 2 which for me was a massive improvement on the first and the new Superman film had its moments.
My favourite Sci-Fi movie was Star Trek 2- Into Darkness, I'm a bit of a Trekkie and this film was a great follow up to the last one and a clever interpretation of Wrath Of Khan. It's a shame that J.J. Abrams has moved on to Star Wars, but then again if any franchise needed his help then that would be the one.
Favourite Fantasy movie ? Well I think it may have been the only one I saw but The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug was a great follow up to last year's effort and sets the scene really well for the closing chapter. It did leave me feeling that I'd just sat through half a movie and then been asked to leave, but I'll suffer that as I'm enjoying the journey. For those who criticise it for straying too far from the book, well, if you want the book then read the book, if you are going to a movie then expect to see something different.
The film that confused me the most was The Lone RangerJohnny Depp did a good job playing a Native American version of Captain Jack Sparrow but I found that I couldn't laugh at the funny moments that followed a scene where we watched Native Americans get cut down by Gatling guns. Those scenes were just too harrowing, do Directors really expect viewers to be able to flip so easily from one emotion to another or am I just odd? I did however really enjoy The World's End the last in a trilogy of movies from Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. I had absolutely no idea where it was going 40 minutes in and then it took off, good fun but my favourite in still Shaun of The Dead.
TV-wise, I've really enjoyed Ripper Street, Sherlock (I think there was a series of this earlier in the year) and Game Of Thrones. Not much else has really caught my interest as much as these. Dr. Who is still too fast paced for me and I'm hoping that the new Doctor will slow it all down a bit.
I've been watching old Twilight Zone episodes (I'm up to about the middle of Season 3) and have really enjoyed them. Some great stories in there. I have, however, failed to get my daughter interested, as highlighted in my Christmas Card to her this year. OK, I went a bit mad and it was too big for any card I had in the house by the time I'd finished it...
As far as books go, well this year I've been re-reading the old Larry Niven Science Fiction books that I last read a long time ago. I'm really pleased to say that they've aged pretty well, still page turners (for me) after all these years. I did pick up the two issues of The Long Earth from Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett. finding the concept and characters pretty interesting and looking forward to see where it all goes. I've also caught up with Skulduggery Pleasant and really enjoyed the penultimate book, The Last Stand Of Dead Men, in the series. I do hope Derek Landy has plans for what he's going to follow it all up with.
I'm not sure what I'd highlight from a comic book perspective. Getting my hands on a copy of the Zenith hardcover collection was a highlight, but I've still not found the time to sit down and read it yet. I've enjoyed Deathmatch from Boom! studios, I always look out for books from Paul Jenkins, there's always another layer to his comics, and really enjoyed this one. As is usual for me I won't make mention of any small press or independent titles as I know I'll miss something and upset someone somewhere.
So, looking forward then...
  1. I will finish Strange Times Book 2 next year.
  2. I will try to finish that book I've been playing with for quite a few years now.
  3. I hope to publish Has Kane Mesmer Lost His Magic Touch ? with Marleen Lowe's art.
  4. I will publish at least one WesterNoir book, and current plans have it at three new books.
  5. I hope to publish From Super-Zeroes to Super-Heroes with art from myself and Seba Velez, and
  6. I'm really hoping that we get a few issues of Stephenson's Robot in print.
Plenty to go at there...
...and on a personal note, I'm going to look up some old friends and work at keeping some of the newer ones as I move jobs.

I wish everyone a prosperous 2014.


  1. Agree with most of that that Dave - but "The Lone Ranger" was possibly the most interesting film of the year because it refused to be categorized I guess.I actually relished the constant shifts in tone (discuss when I see you).

    Will get to "Now You See Me" - meant to watch it but missed it somehow in relocating again to London.

    TV - OK - but add my new discoveries "Justified" - best thing on TV you haven't seen and also "Psych" - the best thing not on TV that you cannot have seen (Its wot DVD's and Amazon are for I guess)

    Have a good one , see you soonish.

  2. I think I'll need to watch The Lone Ranger a few times before I'm Ok with the constant shift I think, but I know other people who had no such problem. I'm probably just a little too soft :o)

    I recommended Now You See Me to Gary Crutchley and he hated it, but he loved the Conan that I recommended to you and you hated. It's a funny old world :o)

    Gary also recommended Justified so I think I might hunt that one out on DVD, and I've never even heard of Psych .. is that Psycho ? I'll have a google and see what's what.

    All the best for 2014 Chris. Hope to see you more this year and now you're back in London that may be the case as my new job will see me in the Big Smoke a bit I think.