The Inevitable Year in Review, Part One

Y'know, as bad as it sounds, part of me was a bit bummed the Mayans got it wrong. Saying this wasn't a great year is like saying Sandy was a light drizzle. But bygones - we've got an end of year list to do! And I have actual Best Ofs to do, too!

Best TV Show: The Legend of Korra. Holy shit, what a perfect show. This is the kind of work O can only dream of making. You had a heroine who wasn't drawn to look like a fashion doll, you had a conflict that addressed heavy themes, and you had use of taboo subjects on one of the last networks that I ever expected to even broach them. Couple it with an endearing cast, an already rich mythology, and sumptuous animation, and you have a perfect show. Anyone bitching about the ending (and sadly, they're out there) missed its entire point and really be better sticking to something simpler, like Ninjago. I'm curious where they'll take things next season, as this seemed to be a perfect compact package; and if they mess it up somehow, it still will be.

Best Movie: Marvel's The Avengers. This movie stands nicely on its own but works best if you're like me & saw every other Marvel movie. It does a shockingly good job of building a shared universe between them but is also so well-built that seeing everything isn't necessary. A solid cast (not to mention handsome), a fun setup, and a sense of gravity have helped bring others who'd never dream of setting foot into a comic shop into the fantastic world of super heroics (more on the reaction to this later, sadly). It's rare nowadays that you can look at a summer movie, say it is genuinely good, and see that it has started a paradigm shift. And I hope either Ant-Man & The Wasp or Carole Danvers make an appearance in the sequels.

Best Comeback: Valiant Comics. I didn't much care for most of the original Valiant; it reeked of Shooter's assholery too much, which I was allergic to even then. And my favorite book of the VH2 line, Quantum & Woody, has been damned to comicdom's comedy ghetto. But the two books I've read are taking the icky stuff, tossing it, and replacing it with gold. Archer & Armstrong reads like a crazy parody of the dueling mind sets that actually like screaming media pundits, while Harbinger sets about making Shooter's Marty Stu hero more than just a righteous alpha jerk & Harada more than a mustache-twirling baddie. Also, Faith isn't just there for nasty fat jokes, which I REALLY appreciate. They're well reviewed and hopefully selling well enough to stay around.

Worst Sharp Decline: DC's New 52. You shouldn't have cancelled OMAC, guys. You cursed your line with an endless string of joyless filler around annoying "family" crossovers and boring grimdarkness as a result. The only books I still genuinely enjoy are two digital-first titles and The Flash, and I really wish the latter would put the gorillas back on the shelf for a bit. Add to it gimmicks like that half-assed state flag stunt and drama like the abrupt firing & chagrined forced rehiring of Gail Simone, and it's just a sad situation. I've drifted away from a universe I loved because the creators & editors seem very disorganized.

Saddest Failure: The PS Vita. I am the last person in America who still plays their PSP, and when I saw the launch line up & specs for the Vita, I was excited. But then I learned it severely undersold in PSP-friendly Japan. And then I saw the price. Sony was always going have a struggle with their handhelds, but between the family friendly DS line, the multitaskers of tablets & smartphones, and their own obliviousness, they have doomed a solid console. I can only hope they realize it soon for me to buy one at a good price & enjoy Disgaea 3.

That's part one - and part of my experiment in typing an entry on my awesome new iPad. Join me soon for part two, when I really get cranky. Worst Ofs, here we come!


  1. That's part one - and part of my experiment in typing an entry on my awesome new iPad.


    Do it here to get it free (still works I think):

    If not, I still have a code they just sent me. Which might work. Haven't tested it for fear I'd waste it.

    Easily one of the best time-wasters I've played. It's solitaire with golf stuff added to make it unique (it works better than it sounds, trust me).

    I think Punch Quest is still free too, and awesome. Forced side-scrolling beat 'em up. Easy to learn, hard to master etc.

    Oh, if you like listening to the radio, you could do a whole lot worse than "Tune-In Radio" (also free). I wrote a love letter to this on my blog, but it's one of the best radio stream/search things I've seen, since you can search stations by almost anything. Genre, region, artists, sports teams, political parties etc.

    1. Fairway Solitaire & another one (it's a magic-school theme) are on my short list of ones to buy when/if I get an iTunes gift card (along with a few other games & some Monkeybrain books). Typing on the iPad isn't really practical, but dang if it's not awesome for everything else.

  2. Oh god wondrous ipad app news.

    Go to the store (and if it's still there) download Grimlee. It's basically a silly little vintage arcade (possibly just an homage) game, but it comes with MAME secretly packed in. It takes some effort to get roms into it, but it's possible to play old arcade games on it without jailbreaking.

    There's a whole thread about this on touch arcade:

    Man, if this thing runs WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game properly, then no sleep for me in the foreseeable future.


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