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).
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.
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.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.A prestige-format release of the great Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey comics. A gorgeous book of gorgeous comics. My 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.
If 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.
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.I 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.
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.
Comedian 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.
A 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).
I think this is the only new CD I bought this year, but it’s cool, and Skinner Man did a sweet cover!