We nerds spend an awful lot of time complaining about the things we hate (Revolution, anyone?). So, I’m going to run through a list of things I have really enjoyed lately.
In comics, I am currently in love with the works of James Stokoe and Brandon Graham. Stokoe has this amazingly insane style of art, really detailed and complex, featured in books like Orc Stain and Godzilla: The Half-Century War. I only know Graham so far from his stellar work in King City. The two artists couldn’t differ more; where Stokoe goes hyper-detailed, Graham is more impressionistic, but both love to fill their panels with stuff that doesn’t pertain to the main thrust of the story. Background world stuff that opens up new avenues of imagination; I can’t wait for more. Also worth mentioning is The Manhattan Project by Jonathan Hickman. Basic premise: what if all the Manhattan Project scientists were evil mad scientists? It’s not firing on all cylinders just yet, but I suspect it’s going to go to great places. Nightly News blew my mind when it first hit, another by Hickman, so I will always be willing to trust him.
In television, well, the only show consistently working for me is New Girl, which isn’t about the titular “new girl” much at all, but more about the trio of man-children roommates living with her. The writing on this show consistently cracks me up in a way no other sitcom does.
In video games, I’ve had a glut of very enjoyable games hit lately. I have really enjoyed Guild Wars 2, at least up until I unlocked everything cool for my character. Torchlight 2 and Borderlands 2 are equally entertaining in small doses, both hitting that loot sweet-spot in a Diablo-esque way. It was X-COM, however, that really took over my life for a week. I named my squad members after various college classmates, and kept them all up-to-date on Facebook as to their fates. Saving the world from alien invasion in a turn-based manner is more fun than it has any right to be.
In film, I pretty much adored Looper. Is it perfect? I guess not. But science fiction that doesn’t devolve into nothing but a long string of action sequences is hard to come by lately.
I’m afraid I haven’t been reading nearly enough long-form prose lately. I enjoyed the latest Sandman Slim book from Richard Kadrey, Devil Said Bang. Also, vN by Madeline Ashby is totally worth a read, especially if you enjoy stories that grapple with artificial intelligence concepts. Finally, The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford is one of the best books I have read in years; it is Dandelion Wine for less wistful adults.