First and foremost, 2016 was pretty much the year of the Reaper, since it claimed so many lives of notable public figures (especially musicians) and the lives of the innocent (such as those in Aleppo) that a hearty and proper
FUCK YOU, 2016
is very much in order. Now, with that out of the way . . .
A moment of silence for all of those we lost in 2016.
Books – Notable Reads of 2016
Some of these are re-reads. My reading focus kind of took on a crime spree for a large part of the year. I owe a large part of my noir voice and style to both Elmore Leonard and John Ridley, thanks to the specific novels in this list.
Comics Series/Graphic Novels – Notable Reads of 2016
A couple of these are a few years old that I finally got around to. In 2016 my comics buying habits got rather ridiculous and my yet-to-read stack hovered around 100 issues all year long. I still predominantly avoid superhero comics from DC and especially Marvel, but I found myself reading the relaunches of both Superman and Wonder Woman series (not pictured). The absence of both Sex Criminals and Southern Bastards for much of the year was disappointing. My favorite writers in 2016 are easily Ed Brubaker (Criminal), Greg Rucka (Lazarus) and Brian K. Vaughan (Saga). Jaime Hernandez (Love & Rockets: The Love Bunglers) is a life-time-achieving favorite comics creator.
Movies – Notable Flicks of 2016
If my increased attendance to the cinema is any indication, then 2016 was one of the better years in movies for me. NOTE: I still have not seen Arrival, nor Passengers, nor so many others (I’m an old man with a family, I don’t get to the theater much), and then there’s Star Wars: Rogue One. That one is still pending and should be taken care of this week. I suppose my ranking–sans Rogue One–would breakdown like this:
- The Secret Life of Pets
- Captain America: Civil War
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Trek: Beyond
- Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Suicide Squad
- Doctor Strange
Music – Most New Spins of 2016
Like movies, I don’t spend a lot of time in search of new music and it’s been said that by the time you hit your mid-30s (I’m in my early 40s) you tend to become less adventurous in your musical quests, likely due to a cynical jadedness of “been there, heard that”. I can attest that’s mostly true. I definitely tend to stick to many old favorite artists that I likely discovered in decades previous, although I did discover both The Weeknd and BANKS this decade.
TV – Most Compelling Scripted Series of 2016
With television, a medium where you’re inviting casts of characters into your living room on a regular, mostly weekly basis, the primary criteria has to be your general endearment of the characters. After the 2015-16 season ended I decided to drop Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Gotham and Sleepy Hollow for various reasons. For me, the most endearing, charming characters with the most compelling stories are what’s going to keep me coming back week after week. From my perspective in 2016, that played out as follows:
- The Flash
- The Walking Dead
- Fear the Walking Dead
- This Is Us
- Shades of Blue
- Game of Thrones
Honorable mention should go to Luke Cage, which would have made this list but lost out to Supergirl due to its more endearing ensemble cast.
Well, that’s a wrap. Maybe I should do another one or two of these yearbooks to list the actual entertainers and notable events of 2016.