Here’s some top picks for 2014.  I read and saw a lot of old stuff this year, but am keeping my choices limited to 2014 releases (with a couple cheats).

Comics:

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This comic’s the first cheat on my list, as it technically came out in 2013, but I didn’t get my paws on it until 2014.  Short comics stories that alternate between deeply sad and affecting, and funny.  Beautifully drawn and written stories from a cartoon school pal.Humans_01_cover

Ape Biker gangs brawl over turf and keep human slaves in this crazy comic series.  LA cartoonists Keenan Keller and Tom Neely seem to have hit a collective nerve with this super-fun comic, published by Image Comics.51+UYnb9SwL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_As a long-time wrestling fan, I was super-curious about this book since I heard about it.  Brown balances warm human moments, less-than-flattering moments in Andre’s life, and anecdotes from colleagues to paint a full picture of an amazing man’s life.Sock-Monkey-Treasury-postA prestige-format release of the great Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey comics.  A gorgeous book of gorgeous comics.  GT4_20Front_WEB_400wMy cartoon pal Ben makes the funniest goddamn comics, and Grump Toast 4 is no exception.  As long as there is new Grumptoast, it will likely make my year’s-best list.

Movies:

  11177655_800If you had told me last year that a movie based on a toy property would be one of my favorites of 2014, I would not have believed you.  But here we are and there it is.  It was funny, had amazing computer animation that I didn’t hate (all looked like legos) and really captured what’s fun about digging through a bin of bricks and making stuff. 

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A fast-paced, funny (IMHO funniest) and beautiful Wes Anderson film.  One of my favorites of his, felt denser and more packed with jokes (and amazing set pieces) than all previous. The-Raid-2-DVD

If you enjoyed the first Raid, you know the eyeball-bruising style of fight scenes.  This sequel is markedly longer, and also has a much more complicated plot (not hard to do, the first one’s essentially a side-scroller).  Beautiful cinematography and several of the finest action/fight scenes you’ll ever see.ernest-celestine-poster-1I scoured LA for months, looking for a screening of this Belgian import.  I finally got it on DVD, and loved it.  A sweet story, wise English voice casting (Forrest Whitaker as the bear, Ernest, is inspired), and lovely animation, which blended classic hand-drawn techniques with digital.

TV:

lead_largeVery nice to see the hilarious Andy Daly get a show, and a funny one at that!

I also watched The Shield and Southland this year, both of which I really enjoyed, but were not in 2014.  Honorable mention to the Christian music video that they showed instead of the end of Sons of Anarchy.

Vic_Mackey3-10-Graduation-Day-Stills-southland-19846087-2560-1707Podcasts:
I listen to a lot of these when I’m working and able, or drawing at home, beats thinking my thoughts!

Dollop-Poster-1a_1024x1024Comedian Dave Anthony (formerly of Walking the Room) reads about American history to other comedian Gareth Reynolds.  They are hilarious and usually dark, and I’ve learned more about a range of topics than I have from school or TV.

serial-social-logoThis one was no secret, but its meteoric rise was deserved.  Well-produced, compelling insight into a possibly trumped-up murder case from 1999.

NeverNotFunny_1600x1600_Cover_Final-300x300A pioneering comedy podcast hosted by quick-witted Jimmy Pardo, and a supporting cast plus guest, this show joined the great Earwolf network, and now releases full episodes for free (you used to just get excerpts).

ADPPP_Cover_A1-1024x1024A different Andy Daly character submits a pilot episode of a podcast each week in this insane, hilarious treasure trove.  Bonus: I saw Andy Daly do Improv with the swarm at UCB this year too!

Music:

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I think this is the only new CD I bought this year, but it’s cool, and Skinner Man did a sweet cover!

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