#Year’s Best 2013
A week ago, I went out to dinner with a group of my friends. It was a memorable time, but it brought my year into focus—or rather, brought out its relative indistinctness. One friend, whom I hadn’t seen for a year, sat next to me during this festive occasion, and of course, having not spoken much to each other in some time, we decided to catch up. The problem was I didn’t have much to offer, so we were close to being caught up from the get-go. (It’s a wonder how I have any friends to begin with.)
The most pertinent conversation went like this:
“Hey, Eduardo! It’s great seeing you! So what have you been up to?”
“Ya, same old, same old, really.”
“I haven’t seen you in a year and nothing new has happened? I find that hard to believe.”
“Well, I’m a year older than I was the last time I saw you, so I guess that’s something.”
So 2013 is in the rearview, but what a year for comics, am I right? While Marvel had an impressive and diverse publishing initiative in Marvel NOW, DC alienated fans across the board with bland updates to their characters (save for Batman & Wonder Woman, maybe) and business practices that would seem right at home in the mid 20th century. Meanwhile, Image released a flood of new titles that only continued to improve their brand as the go-to company for independent, creator-owned fare. Paul Pope dropped his long awaited Battle Boy, comic legend Gilbert Hernandez dropped five new books, and we got another issue of Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve. We even got some “Event” books that weren’t half-bad. Hit the jump and check out what we here on Spaceship Omega thought was the 13 Best Comics of 2013, and make sure to agree/disagree with our rankings in the comments section!
2013 is no more. The New Year’s Day hangover has worn off, the world keeps turning, and the universe cares not how we mark the time. Nevertheless, we are here to reminisce, and the past year for me was pretty good, I gotta say. I’d describe it in detail, but I’m saving this shit for my autobiography. I can’t spoil the goods now, ya know? Let’s just say it was epic. Like “ripping Conan the Cimmerian from fictionspace, injecting him with bath salts and letting him loose during a live taping of Big Bang Theory” kinda epic.
What I can divulge to you all is the stuff that I really loved about the pop culture of 2013, and there was a lot to love, to be honest. Television has never been more bountiful, comic books had a banner year, and I bought more music in 2013 than I have in quite some time.
So, without further ado, and because I’m a goddamned list-maker/lover at heart, here’s some of my favorite stuff from the past 365.
2013 is a landmark year for me in that it’s the first year on record where I am leaving it feeling genuinely bitter and downtrodden. Fuck 2013, man; full of disappointment, heartbreak and embarrassment. It’s the year in which I even turned my back on my beloved games industry, having to quit writing about it because I just couldn’t think of anything positive to say anymore.
Still, amongst the disappointment and fatigue, my natural optimism managed to shine through: finding joy in vinyl toys, the odd game, book or movie and of course plenty of good music. It wasn’t all bad, so let’s start off 2014 as I mean to go on – fucking pumped, bro! PROTEIN BRO!
Let’s get the apology out of the way first. To the crew and passengers aboard the ship, I’m sorry for being so unacceptably neglectful of my duties. However, I’ve been building you all a present. Come down any time you want and visit me just off the engine room in our brand-spanking new Dreamatorium. Not as technologically advanced as a Holodeck, but it works in an overly imaginative pinch.
Holy smokes — it’s the final day of 2013.
Reflectin’ on the last twelve months, I have to say that it was a pretty solid year. Am I without financial concerns? Do I wield enough agency to do whatever I please? Have I achieved all my goals? No. No. And no.
But as far as relative simple lives go, mine is a goddamn blessing. I’m surrounded by righteous friends. My zany family has my back. I live with the absolutely babe-tacular Bride of Frankenstein. I’ve got a job I believe in. And I don’t have to travel to a rival village, murder an elder with a rock, and steal the water supply.
Also, they still let me navigate Spaceship OL!
So with my love of life intact, let’s meander through some of my personal favorites from the year TWO-ZERO-ONE-THREE!
Like OL magistrate and chief jester Caffeine Powered, 2013 was a bit of a banner year for me. Overwhelming change in my personal life — from a return to postgraduate education, to a complete re-invention of my career and life direction, to the advent of a serious, life-changing relationship — it’s been a year of serious upheaval for me, and one that I now realize deeply affected the entertainment I enjoyed.
I promise, I ain’t full of shit when I say this – what you do, and who you do it with has a huge effect on what you partake in and what you’re drawn to. My new career has me in Communications and Public Relations. It’s no coincidence then that my great fascination this year in the nerd sphere was the amazing PR landmarks and media fiascos that accompanied the console gaming space. E3 in particular was THE shitshow of 2013, a spectacularly-enjoyable ride for gamers everywhere, and one that meant so much more to me now that my mind was tuned to the Comm/PR-perspective on everything. The way a business conducts itself publicly, the way it announces its products, the way it does damage control – these things fascinate me. They rocked me. I loved every second, and this year more than any, was aware of my own consumer agency as I allowed myself to partake in the stories businesses were trying to weave and tell to their audiences.
Here’s what captured me this year:
As 2013 comes to a close, I look back on a rather lackluster year for myself. I feel like I’m standing still, stuck in the mud, and need a kick in the ass to move forward. While I didn’t hate the year, it will soon be forgotten and added to the long list of unremarkable events that make up my back story when I become a hero lion tamer that moonlights as a vigilante. Here’s a list of things I might remember from 2013.
2013 was a bit of a benchmark year for me in the realm of my personal life. Over the course of the last twelve months I have: successfully not shit my pants (time left), moved into my first official apartment with my girlfriend (I was squatting in hers), spent hundreds of dollars on caffeinated products, proposed to said girlfriend and begun planning a wedding, played far too many hours of Borderlands 2, stared at far too many asses on Tumblr, taught my first classes (I love it), and hung with the Gang Omega far too little.
The drawback of a boomin’ personal life is that pop culture has flowed through my brain with far too little interaction this year. What I perceive, I half perceive. What I enjoy is fleeting. Worse still, I’ve ventured very little out of my comfort zone. Indie games, comics, movies, and fetish sites have been largely ignored due to want of time.
As a result, my list is a pedestrian collection of my favorites from a very sad little slice of what arrived onto the scene this past calendar year.
Admittedly, I don’t get out much. More often than not I can be found in the bowels of Spaceship Omega, hiberbating in my nanotumblr chrysalis-tomb, forever scrolling through pictures of Kate Upton and 80’s pop-culture ephemera. Time well spent, to be sure, but it also keeps me well behind the game – the game in this instance being knowledge of all the greatest media the current year in pop culture has to offer. Oh sure, I know about the Sagas, Infinities, Prophets, and X-Menonites, they big guys, but what have I let slip through the cracks? What great funnybooks have I failed to verse myself in, and in turn, failed bringing to you guys? These past couple weeks I’ve shed the nano-skin, hopped in actual clothing and went outside to the local brick and mortar to find some of the best and brightest books I was missing out on in 2013. Wanna know what I found? Hit the jump and read on, kids!