Best Movie I Saw This Year: Pacific Rim
Yes, I’m a bit behind on my movies this year, but that doesn’t change my mind. Yes, I saw the “important” films, but they can’t match the sheer happiness I get from this movie. I think the most remarkable thing about Pacific Rim is at no point do I not believe the movie. The effects are barely effects, it’s about as real as I’ve seen. No points of video game visuals, no lead character skateboarding down a robot’s arm… none of that bullshit. The mech is as thoughtfully constructed as it would be in reality, and it shows on the screen. Even when it goes over the top (looking at you Charlie Day and Ron Perlman) it never panders. I’ve seen it in theaters 4 times and countless on my home rig and I always see some new detail. It keeps getting better, too
Second Place goes to The World’s End, possibly just for the Merciful Release tattoo.
Best Book I Read This Year: The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The grand Mr. Gaiman has always written sharp and twisted stories of the underside of the world that we choose not to believe or see, but this one is his best. It’s a magnificent story full of adventure, truth, love and danger. In a year where I read more books than the last 10, this was the best I read.
Second Place goes to Gun Machine by Warren Ellis, a fantastic book until the end when it became pretty bad. Maybe they’ll fix it in the upcoming TV version. Read it tho, it’s better than 90% of crime books out there.
Best Comic Series I Read This Year: Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
Saga, Damn, what a crazy, fun and immersive world I got dropped into with the first issue, and it hasn’t let up but continues to get better, faster and more intricate and enjoyable with every issue. If you haven’t started reading this, go to your local and pick up the collected graphic novels.
Second Place goes to Hawkeye by Matt Fraction. Damn good, almost enough to erase decades of built up Barton lore and the barely interesting version they shoehorned into the Avenger’s Movie.
Best Comic Series I Read Online This Year: Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor
At one point in my life, I considered hip hop to be “Black Punk.” It was the counterpart to American Hardcore that I listened to in my teen years. A bunch of kids making music that was detached from what came before, using their own imagination, skills, belief in themselves and usually crappy gear. It sort of was, and sort of wasn’t, but Ed draws his love of the genre on the screen (and now page) for us all to enjoy and tells a long history of music that was in full swing long before it was near a top 40 station.
Weekly on BoingBoing.net: http://boingboing.net/tag/hip-hop-family-tree
Second Place goes to Diesel Sweeties. I’m only giving it second place to secure my ironic street cred.