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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year at Comic Book Galaxy -- As the old year winds down, the final day of 2009 includes a winter storm where I live in upstate New York, a Chris Ware-type whiteout that is pretty to look at and pretty tough to drive in. It also includes a look at some of my favourite moments here on Comic Book Galaxy over the past year:

* My review of Batman: The Black Glove by Grant Morrison and J.H. WIlliams (and unfortunately, Tony Daniel).

* My look at keeping my collection down to the bear essentials.

* My review of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1910.

* My reflections on the Baxter Paper period (Part One; Part Two) of corporate superhero comics.

* The release of my eBooks Anhedonia and Conversations with ADD, which received some very nice reviews, especially this one by Graeme McMillan.

* My review of Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life.

* My review of Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams.

* My thoughts on Marvel acquiring the rights to Marvelman/Miracleman; and some more of my thoughts.

* My thoughts on Borders.

* Some thoughts on the best comics of the decade.

* Thoughts on comics retailers actively trying to sustain and grow their businesses.

* My homegrown shelf porn.

* My review of Abstract Comics, an anthology published by Fantagraphics Books.

* Some new Five Questions interviews: Eric Reynolds, Tom Spurgeon, Tony Isabella, Chris Ryall and Ron Marz.

* My review of The Library of America's mammoth H.P. Lovecraft collection.

* My bittersweet farewell to the periodical version of The Comics Journal, a magazine that literally changed the course of my life.

* Some thoughts on creators rights.

* My profoundly disappointed review of AMC's Prisoner mini-series.

* The posting of my comic strip Carver/Hopper.

* And of course, the launch of Trouble with Comics, the Galaxy's new group blog featuring Chris Allen, Matt Springer, Marc Sobel, and other great writers sharing their socks and feelings about comics.

Wow, it was a busier year than I thought! Hopefully 2010 will feature even more writing about comics and other important matters, both here on the ADD Blog and over at Trouble with Comics. Happy New Year, my friends.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Feeling Really Old Department -- I'm amazed it was ten years ago today that I first met and interviewed Barry Windsor-Smith. As I type these words, exactly ten years ago I was in the middle of a marathon 12-hour recording session that taught me more about comics than any other year's worth of study could ever have provided. The transcript as posted here on Comic Book Galaxy is just a fraction of the total interview, but worth checking out for Barry's insights into the fascinating text pieces in his Opus books for Fantagraphics, as well as a good laugh or two.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Double Dose of Vitamin C-A -- Couldn't let today go by without pointing you to two great Christopher Allen pieces -- his year-ending Breakdowns ramble, so good and so dense I want to cut off a slice and freeze it to enjoy later, and his long interview with Tom Spurgeon on the topic of Powers by Bendis and Oeming. Tons of insight from Chris Allen, one of the smartest people ever to write about comics, and truly a great friend.

Posting of substance here is unlikely before New Year's Day, so if I don't talk to you before the new year, Happy New Year, already.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009: The Year without a Best-Of -- I'm not entirely certain, but I think this is the first year in all my online comics writing that I won't be posting a best-of-the-year list. I think A Drifting Life (Drawn and Quarterly) is the only book that comes immediately to mind as really deserving any kind of call-out as the year's best effort, so I do encourage you to read my review if you haven't already, and read the book for yourself, as it is quite an accomplishment.

I did read a lot of comics I liked this year -- as far as floppies go, Buffy (Dark Horse), Conan (Dark Horse), Godland (Image), Criminal (Marvel/Icon) and The Umbrella Academy all entertained me mightily, but I never seemed to find the time to write about any of them. New League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Top Shelf) by Moore and O'Neill did get my keyboard cooking, and I loved the hardcover reissues of Captain Canuck (IDW) and Alan Moore's Swamp Thing (even despite DC's monumental goof on the most important page of Vol. 1), and of course Fantagraphics continued to make life better with its ongoing Complete Peanuts collections, and their Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 was also one of the treasures of the year, filled with tons of the master's weird and wonky comics. (IDW's Art of Ditko also rocked my world).

I also loved but have not yet found the time to write about Top Shelf's two astonishing late-in-the-year hardcover collections, The Complete Essex County and Alec: The Years Have Pants. Two awe-inspiring bricks of great comics that should be on everyone's shelves, and both also available in more affordable softcover editions if you're so inclined.

But my absolute best entertainment of the year was not found in comics in calendar 2009; Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams, knocked my socks off in ways I no longer even thought possible. It recaptured the wonder of Trek in ways I haven't felt since The Next Generation's Best of Both Worlds Part One, and was so thrilling and entertaining that it even eventually won over my Trek-hating Star Wars-obsessed 14-year-old son Aaron. Him finally breaking down and watching it with me on DVD (after refusing to see it in the theater with me and truly breaking my heart just a little bit) and actually loving it was literally the best moment of my year. So thanks to J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and all involved for giving me back something very important and personal that had been missing from my life for quite a few years.

Well, I said I wasn't going to write a best-of, and technically I don't think I have, but I did want to share with you my thoughts on the year in comics (and Star Trek) as I experienced it, and there you have it. I hope you and yours are enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season, and I wish you all the best in the year ahead.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

What Am I Reading?!? -- Thanks to Chris Mautner for asking me to participate in this week's What Are You Reading? at Robot 6.






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