So I sat down to try and list the best comics of 2014…
and it was boring.
Here’s the thing. I got married this year. Weddings cost money.
A lot of money.
It was well worth it but between that and a few other things, it didn’t leave much in the way for comics outside of what I was already buying. If you’re a regular reader of this site, you already know the books that I read and it makes for a boring column. So instead I figured I’d do kind of a summary of 2014 in my Geekdom: good, bad and whatever.
Crossovers still suck. DC and Marvel are doing their best to get me to buy less and less of their books every year. Right now in both trade and floppy (of new material) I get Daredevil, Hawkeye, Guardians of the Galaxy from Marvel and Wonder Woman from DC.
Daredevil is still going strong and seems to skip the crossover nonsense but Hawkeye and Guardians may not survive my pull list much into 2014. Hawkeye appears to be ending and Guardians, while having the best dialogue, goes nowhere. I’ve come to the conclusion that if the current Planet of Symbiotes storyline doesn’t put excitement into the book, it’s done. With Wonder Woman switching creative hands and becoming more ingrained in the DC Universe proper, that too is off my pull list. Going forward, DC currently isn’t offering me anything of interest in terms of a new book but I know Jill Thompson has something there so I’ll pick that up. Marvel however… unless you count Miracleman, has nothing new that I want to pick up.
Marvel is doing a great job of reprinting Miracleman. I was kind of surprised that it’s held up so well over the years but it’s still a great read. My only complaint is the price point. I’m sure a retailer could maybe explain it to me but Marvel trades and hardcovers are ridiculously priced compared to everyone else. That being said, I can’t resist these books and I’m a sucker for throwing my money at it. I’m really curious to see what happens when Marvel catches up with the original publication.
As of this writing Miracleman #13 is out, which means we’re at the halfway point. Now we know issues #24 and #25 were completed but never actual saw print, so we can assume those will be pretty ready to go. We also know Neil Gaiman has said that he is going to finish the story that he began so many years ago. Has he already finished the scripting or does he move on to that after Sandman Overture? I’m hoping for a smooth roll out.
Which brings me to an interesting spot. For the first time in ages I will have only one new current book from either of the big two. So it will be IDW, Boom, Dark Horse and Image taking over those slots. Mainly Image.
Not to put the other companies down but the sheer amount of amazing, diverse books that are coming out from Image is incredible. Southern Bastards, Lazarus, Sex Criminals, Rat Queens, Pretty Deadly, Velvet and Saga are all on my pull list. You’d be hard pressed to compare any of them to one another but yet all of the titles I mentioned are filled with solid art and great writing.
Probably my favourite discovery from Image this year was Rat Queens. As an old school D&D player, this comic hits the spot.
Boom sucked me in with Jack Burton.
Big Trouble in Little China wasn’t a book I thought I was going to stick with at first but by issue 3, I was completely hooked. Eric Powell and John Carpenter have been doing a great job. IDW’s TMNT still has me throughly hooked and Dark Horse is the home of Hellboy, Beasts of Burden and Shaolin Cowboy so they will always have my money.
It was an ok year for geek movies. Winter Solider is my favourite of all the Marvel films so far and Guardians of the Galaxy was really solid. Big Hero 6 was predictable but in a good way and I enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past. The Lego Movie was amazingly good. But we had some weird missteps.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For was surprisingly not good. Despite a great cast and the same directors as the first one, it just seemed off. To be honest with you, that’s how I’d sum up a lot of movies this year: not particularly awful, just not very good. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the exception as it was lazy filmmaking at it’s finest and a giant turd of a film. Listen to my full rant about it here.
I think this will be a year that’s largely forgotten in terms of film. There were some excellent films but on a whole, the amount of mediocre movies to hit the big screen was huge. Movies like Hercules, The Maze Runner and the like were not terrible but will anyone remember them in two years? Probably not.
When you work around the music industry, you eventually hear something like the following phrase a lot:
“There isn’t good music anymore”
To which I say bullshit.
There was a ton of good music released this year. Unfortunately, it just tends to be hard to find because now you have to dig through so much of it. I think Mastadon’s “Once More ‘Round The Sun” was interesting. Weird Al put out one of the best albums of his career this year and did it in a completely modern and innovative way. Hell, Robert Plant put out an album worth giving a listen.
In terms of the music industry, I think, in some ways, the dams are starting to break a little. The realization that the old way of doing things is pretty much dead is starting to finally sink in.
A new category for me to write about but let’s be honest, wrestling appeals to a lot of nerds, myself very much included. Especially when you consider that wrestling is just behind HBO when it comes forward thinking television.
Yes, pro wrestling.
The WWE launched an online network this year (well online in the States. Rogers grabbed it in Canada) and while a lot of the industry is calling to the hills that it’s a failure due to subscribers, the fact of the matter is a lot of television is going to go this way in the next few years. Do I think the WWE jumped the gun? Yes. Throwing out the pay per views on the network for free was a bit foolhardy but in the end, I think this is a gamble that will eventually pay off. If it wasn’t, the UFC and New Japan Pro Wrestling wouldn’t have taken similar routes (but to be fair, they didn’t go all in like the WWE did).
In terms of actual content, most of WWE has stunk with the occasional bright spot. Except for NXT. NXT is the WWE’s training ground and they have been putting on some of the most consistently good shows on of the WWE’s line up. The NXT “PPVs” are far and above better then the rest of their programming.
In terms of pro wrestling in general, New Japan and Ring of Honor have grabbed me something fierce. There’s a reason why WWE has been grabbing a ton of these guys for NXT. If you get a chance, both companies are returning to Toronto in 2015. If you like pro wrestling, you should make every effort to go to these shows.
2015 In Geekdom
2015 is going to be an interesting year in geekdom which brings up a lot of questions. If you look at film for instance, are we reaching our geek movie saturation point? There are a ton of comic book, sci-fi, reboots, sequels, etc. Are some of these films, no matter how good and how awesome, going to collapse just due to the sheer amount of the films coming out?
Will Image continue it’s slow march to domination in comics or will we see an implosion of late shipping and collapsing books?
Personally, the thing I’m looking the most forward to… and I hesitate to say this because I’ve been burned before… is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I can’t help it, especially with Star Wars: Rebels being so good. That teaser sucked me in and I will be there opening day.
I just pray that it doesn’t suck.
That’s it for 2014. In 2015, I hope that if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!