Saturday, December 31, 2022
Friday, December 30, 2022
Top Ten Albums 2022:
Baggage ejected; can't wait for the next record!!!
My elevator pitch for this band is meant to evoke honor, and yet I realize it essentially sells the Mysterines short. "PJ Harvey singing for BRMC" is enough to convince folks to give this band a chance, but having listened to the record countless times and seen them live (my first post-vaccination show), a comparison like that does nothing to convey the raw gifts on display in Reeling's perfectly tight 13 songs. This is Rock n' Roll that lives and breathes with a confidence and cool that places it right up there in the lexicon of bands that will live forever - Iggy, Bowie, the aforementioned PJ and Motorcycle Club. A lot of that is owed to singer/guitarist Lia Metcalfe, who emotes a conjuration somewhere between Nick Cave's mystic knowledge and PJ's "Fuck U" attitude.
Thursday, December 29, 2022
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Sunday, December 25, 2022
The first Christmas in our new house! Amidst predictions of a blizzard hitting Chicago this past Thursday, my parents left the South Side a day early to beat the snow. Imagine their consternation when Thursday night Tennessee received a good inch-and-a-half of White Christmas! I love this; this is a bonafide dream come true for Kirsten, and it fills me with joy to see her reaction to something I began taking for granted a long time ago (she's renewed it though...)
Anyway, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. And hey, maybe after Home Alone, throw on that new Joe Begos Christmas flick, Christmas Bloody Christmas!
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Back when Joup was up, I used to always do a "Favorite Comics" list at the end of every year. I got away from that for some time until last year I decided to resurrect the practice.
And let me get this out of the way at the top: The two Reckless HC GNs that came out this year would be at the top of this list, however, since Reckless just destroys the curve, and since I included it in last year's favorites list, I'm placing it in a class by itself.
The same caveat applies to Michael Walsh and company's ongoing Horror Anthology The Silver Coin. I love this series so much, it would just be unfair to place it in the Top Ten again this year because, at this rate, it would hold a perpetual spot. So let's just say these two stand alone in their exemplary storytelling.
With that out of the way then, let's get to that list.
My Favorite Comic Books of 2022:10) Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin:
9) Pentagram of Horror:
8) What's the Furthest Place from Here:
Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss's it's the end of the world and we don't know it story is as unique as the other books we've seen these guys do, whether together or apart. The whole damn thing is one big 'Gottasee,' and any details we learn about the larger world usually just open up wonderful new questions. Plus, I don't think I've seen a book that possesses this much Punk Rock spirit since Teenagers From Mars!
7) That Texas Blood:
For this page alone, Cody Ziglar & Justin Mason's Spider-Punk series lands on this list! I'm still not over the absolute joy of seeing a Michael Graves-era Misfits-inspired TaskMaster show up! Beyond that, overall, I really enjoyed this quick, five-issue series, and look forward to seeing Hobart Brown and his friends return.
4) Sandman Universe - Nightmare Country:
I know last year I gushed about Joe Hill's Sandman/Locke And Key series, saying how it was the closest thing to having a new Sandman series. Well, apparently DC took that as some kind of challenge because this year we get James Tynion IV on Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country and this... shit man, this actually is the Sandman series. Not like a modern take, but it feels just like I'm reading old Sandman issues, and it's awesome. Awesome not just because of nostalgia, but because the story centers on the Corinthian, but Tynion does that wonderful trick where the main characters are not the lead characters, just like Neil Gaiman used to write the original series. I'd say main human protagonist Madison Flynn definitely shares some storytellers' DNA with Rose Walker, and Misters Agony and Ecstasy definitely bring the 80s Clive Barker vibes. All in all, a very welcome addition to Gaiman's mythos, more so than any of the other Sandman Universe books I've taken a chance on and largely nixed.
3) Do A Powerbomb!:
2) Deadly Class: A Fond Farewell:
1) Immortal X-Men:
Honorable Mentions:Honorable mentions go to Strange, the series that placed Clea Strange as the MCU's Sorceror Supreme. This one has just been delightful surprise after delightful surprise, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every issue.
The Elseworlds/One-Possible-Future TMNT: The Last Ronin mini-series follows the single surviving Turtle (still not gonna spoil which one it is!) as they attempt to avenge their siblings' deaths in a techno-dystopian future that calls to mind Frank Miller's classic Ronin (see what they did there?) Begun in 2021, I purposely left Last Ronin off my 2021 iteration of this list because I knew it would finish this year. This one definitely evoked those old-school, Black-and-White Explosion 80s comics I cut my teeth on in my youth, and I enjoyed it immensely because of that.
What a fantastic year for comics! I will say, it surprises me that so much Marvel has snuck in, but that's an appetite for nostalgia and comfort the last few years instilled in me, and Marvel's top-tier creators continue to reinvent their stable of characters in ways that DC surely must envy. Sorry DC, but putting "Metal" in front of the title of every book just doesn't cut it.