2018: Best Comics as a Limited Series

It’s another day in December and another end-of-year best-of 2018 list goes live. This time it is one of mine and it counts down my top ten favorite limited series in comics.

Some of these were previously ongoing but have found an end to their story recently so my consideration for their importance lies with the similar and smaller ones.

I had a lot of fun reading these over the last several months and I hope my recommendations fall on eager ears looking for something new and fresh to read.

Enjoy.

Cheers 🍻

10 | Days Of Hate

Story by Aleš Kot

Art by Danijel Žežlj

Published by Image

The year is 2022 and the world has gotten steadily worse; people have become desensitized to it and this controversial story tackles the inevitable pessimistic premise that starts off by saying “America first”.

9 | Punks Not Dead

Story by David Barnett

Art by Martin Simmonds

Published by IDW

Sid Vicious is back.. well, sorta. Not much else needing said other than that his ghost is ferociously attached to a mild mannered misfit outcast named Feargal Ferguson. Read this with your favorite punk LP spinning in the background.

8 | Descender

Story by Jeff Lemire

Art by Dustin Nguyen

Publisher by Image

I really didn’t want this story to end. Descender is that story you read and immediately feel drawn to the characters as you push and pull for the varying pathways that the story takes you. This comic, now a fully completed story, comes with personal high recommendations. Read this before Spielberg attempts his cinematic take on it.

7 | Hungry Ghosts

Story by Anthony Bourdain & Joel Rose

Art by Alberto Ponticelli, Vanessa Del Rey, Mateus Santolouco, Leonardo Manco, Paul Pope, Sebastian Cabrol, Francesco Francavilla & Irene Koh

Published by Dark Horse

One of my favorite fictional haunting stories of the year is paired with something non-fictionally tragic as well. Anthony Bourdain managed to add to his lasting legacy before he departed us with a miniature anthology of food themed stories inspired by classic Japanese tales. What was Anthony not capable of?

Rest In Peace, friend.

6 | Kill or be Killed

Story by Ed Brubaker

Art by Sean Phillips & Elizabeth Breitwesier

Published by Image

This is an inventive perspective of a story that follows a man on a mission. That mission is murder and, believe me, it is so much more captivating than it sounds. It shares intentional themes of divine right, mental illness and personal demons as the story unfolds itself and leads to an ending that you won’t see coming.

5 | Abbott

Story by Saladin Ahmad

Art by Sami Kivelä

Published by BOOM!

Abbott is a book that is so dense with social commentary that you may forget that you are reading something about supernaturally provoked crime. This is quite an intense read and I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but if you enjoy stories that involve crimes committed by the divinely intervened.. then this’ll be a total hit.

4 | Cold War

Story by Christopher Sebela

Art by Hayden Sherman

Published by Aftershock

Ok. Full disclosure. I’m a sucker for Hayden Sherman art. His illustrations are raw and organic and are so gritty that it fits this story perfectly. Christopher Sebela is one of the more offbeat writers in the industry right now and this story is no exception.

3 | Batman: White Knight

Story & Art by Sean Murphy

Published by DC

I’m a huge Sean Murphy fanboy. (Is that still ok to call yourself a fanboy at the age of 38?) I’ve recently grown tired of cape and cowl comics, and more specifically with Batman ones. It just seems that they don’t really have much more to offer other than just some more of the same; recreating an already drawn out character design. Hold up! White Knight turned my head, along with so many others and decided to make Joker the protagonist and Batman the antagonist. If this has been done before, someone please share with me the time.. because this version of Batman is one of the best in a very long time.

2 | She Could Fly

Story by Christopher Cantwell

Art by Martin Morazzo

Published by Dark Horse

One of my favorite stories in comics of the year was one so vulnerable, so painful, so descriptive in nature, that it had me gripping the pages so tightly as I read it. Christopher Cantwell tells such a haunting tale in She Could Fly that it comes at much surprise that it’s premise is driven by his own personal struggles with mental illness. I really enjoyed this story, and I think anyone reading my thoughts here would also.

1 | Doctor Star & the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows

Story by Jeff Lemire

Art by Max Fiumara

Published by Dark Horse

It is literally surprise to no one that Jeff Lemire is my favorite comic creator. This story is a spin off to the ongoing, Black Hammer, and is so touching and heartbreaking that it is instantly a classic in my mind. This is a love story of a father and son. If the last page does not bring you a tear.. then you’ve probably ought to seek out a plumber because you’ve got a duct clogged somewhere.

2018: Top Ten Albums

I obviously haven’t listened to every album that’s come out this year (let’s be real.. no one has), but these are the records that found their way to my ears and in some way or another were written especially for me. The following are my personal favorite albums from the past year with a few extra honorable mentions that I couldn’t fit in, but still wanted to notate as worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Cheers 

Honorable Mentions

El Ten Eleven | Banker’s Hill | Topshelf Records

Favorite Tracks:  Phenomenal Problems, Reverie, You Are Enough

Shame | Songs of Praise | Dead Oceans 

Favorite Tracks:  One Rizla, Tasteless, Concrete

The Drowns | View From The Bottom | Gunner Records

Favorite Tracks:  Eternal Debate, Take Me Back, Where’s Bobby?

Eels | The Deconstruction | E Works Records

Favorite Tracks:  Be Hurt, Today Is The Day, There I Said It

Gouge Away | Burnt Sugar | Deathwish Inc.

Favorite Tracks:  Only Friend, Ghost, Dissociation

The Top Ten

10 | J Mascis | Elastic Days | Sub Pop

Favorite Tracks:  See You At The Movies, Web So Dense, Everything She Said

9 | Turnstile | Time & Space | Roadrunner Records

Favorite Tracks:  Real Thing, I Don’t Wanna Be Blind, Generator

8 | Tiny Moving Parts | Swell | Triple Crown Records

Favorite Tracks:  Applause, Caution, Feel Alive

7 | Phosphorescent | C’est La Vie | Dead Oceans

Favorite Tracks:  C’est La Vie No. 2, Christmas Down Under, New Birth in New England

6 | Wye Oak | The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs | Merge Records

Favorite Tracks:  It Was Not Natural, Symmetry, The Louder I Call the Faster It Runs

5 | Kurt Vile | Bottle It In | Matador

Favorite Tracks:  Bassackwards, Rollin With The Flow, One Trick Ponies

4 | mewithoutYou | [Untitled] EP/LP | Run For Cover Records

Favorite Tracks: 9:27a.m. 7/29, Julia (or, ‘Holy to the LORD’ on the Bells of Horses), Winter Solstice

3 | Low | Double Negative | Sub Pop

Favorite Tracks:  Quorum, Fly, Always Trying To Work It Out

2 | Courtney Barnett | Tell Me How You Really Feel | Milk! Records

Favorite Tracks:  City Looks Pretty, Charity, I’m Not Your Mother I’m Not Your Bitch

1 | IDLES | Joy As An Act Of Resistance | Partisan Records

Favorite Tracks:  Danny Nedelko, Colossus, Never Fight A Man With A Perm

2018: Best Creator Owned First Issue

This weekend starts the last month of the year, which also kick starts my annual excursion for looking backwards on things that made the year less sucky.

We all have routines and schedules that get in the way of happiness, and we also have friends and family that assist in moving the pendulum back toward the positive when moments sway too heavy. Read More

Batman’s iPod

Batman spends a lot of his time alone in the cave, brooding about with the many frustrations that come along with being the man dressed in black as a bat alone in the darkness. Some may say the darkness is self-provoked. Others, coincidentally, couldn’t care less.

What does he listen to as he battles the villains of Gotham when he’s not losing himself in his self-depreciating thoughts?

How does he regroup and refocus?

Why does this even matter?*

*it really doesn’t.. I did this to keep my mind off of other more important but rather stressful circumstances.

In the end, we find out that one of The Bat’s guilty pleasures is a terrible nü-metal band from the mid-90s.  Read More

13 essential frightened rabbit

To some, music is a background; a simple nullification of the voidance to silence. To the other some, music is a passion; a collected series of human existence with song to fill that silence. To the few, music is a lifeline; that thread you desperately hold onto so that you do not fall into the void that the first some was seeking avoidance.  Read More

13 essential by the national

Last year began in a way, for me, that could only have been worse if I were in direct impact of one of the many California fires. Things got off to an incredibly rocky start when what turned out to be my last pick from the right side of the debate for commander-in-chief was preparing to be sworn into office. (Kasich was my gop preference, although I would have even taken Rubio or Jeb over the eventual DT.) Read More

Best Albums of 2017 | The Top 10

The holidays snuck up on me this year. I didn’t realize it could be nearly seventy and also the winter solstice. But hey, it’s Fresno. So as we say goodbye to the holidays and to twenty seventeen let me remind you (and the future me) of what my favorite music from the past year was. I’ve already reflected upon the music that impacted me this year beyond my top ten, and here is where I end the conversation.

Cheers🍻 Read More

Best Albums of 2017 | Runner Up Top 10

As promised, here is part two of my three part series of my favorite music from this twelve month nightmare I was told was supposed be called twenty seventeen. I truly hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did putting it together.

Cheers🍻 Read More

Best Albums of 2017 | Honorary Mentions

Hard to believe that twenty seventeen is already almost over.

I specifically remember back in the early-nineties as a preteen imagining ahead to the year two thousand. I would fantasize about things such as what I would look like as I aged, if I’d still be reading comics, and even doing simple math in my head calculating how old I would be once I reached the specific year being imagined. Twelve year old me would be in for a surprise seeing what the me of twenty seventeen has become. Some good, some bad, all of it me, and I am still managing to perfect the style which is able to portray the best version. Often disappointed and sometimes surprised, I am able to take this all in stride while enjoying one of my first loves: music. Read More

13 essential by the ataris

It can be more than a bit embarrassing being caught singing your heart out as you lose yourself in a song by The Ataris when you are as close to 40 as I am. Although the mental venture isn’t as often as it once was I will admit that it does still happen on occasion. Read More