Since I don’t feel comfortable doing a traditional top ten list, I’m just going to list a few things that I liked in 2018.
When it comes to last year’s movies, my two favorite films were both comic book adaptations. Black Panther and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse both redefined what we traditionally expect from the comic book genre and they worked as both entertainment and as something a little bit deeper.
Among the other films I liked this year, Mission Impossible — Fallout reminded us of just how exciting a good action film can be while Game Night was hands down the best comedy of the year. Deadpool 2 proved itself to be a worthy sequel while Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Three Identical Strangers, Free Solo, and Shirkers made this a great year for documentaries.
David Peisner’s Homey Don’t Play That was a fascinating book about the history of In Living Color, examining both the show’s tumultuous history and how it continues to be relevant today. Also worth reading: Thanks A Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite by Roger Daltrey and Cult City by Daniel J. Flynn.
In a year that seemed to be dominated by adaptations of comic books, it seems appropriate that one of the best comics was about the history of the medium. Written by Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Ryan Dunlavey and Adam Guzowski, Comics For All was the second installment in their Comic Book History of Comics. No matter how much you think you may know about comic history, you’ll learn something new from Comics For All.
When it comes to the year’s video games, I’m torn. Red Dead Redemption II is a totally immersive gaming experience that challenges much of what we’ve come to expect from video games. On the other hand, Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the most purely enjoyable games that I’ve ever played. If I had to pick a best, I’d go with Red Dead Redemption but Spider-Man is the game that I’ll probably end up replaying a month from now.
On television, I continued to enjoy and occasionally be baffled by HBO’s Westworld. I also enjoyed playing around with Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, an interactive program that introduces you to a likable game designer and then give you the chance to totally mess up his life.
In the States, BBC America televised the the animated restoration of the “lost” Doctor Who serial, Shada. As an episode of Tom Baker-era Doctor Who, Shada was just as disappointing as many have warned that it would be, an overextended mix of inside jokes about Cambridge. However, as a piece of Doctor Who history, it was priceless.
Finally, as far as the year in music is concerned, I recommend The Who’s fifth studio album, Who’s Next. I know Who’s Next came out in 1971 but good music is timeless.