2017 Year In Review : Top 10 Collected Editions (Contemporary)

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Let’s keep plugging away here, shall we? This time around on out year-end wrap we’re looking at the top 10 collected editions of 2017, with a slight change to my previously-announced methodology : rather than placing everything “Modern Age” (roughly the 1980s) and beyond in this category, I’ve narrowed it to collections of comics published post-2000, so that everything being referred to as “contemporary” at least comes from, ya know, this century. Apart from that, however, the category remains a fairly broad one : TPB or hardcover collections of single issues, webcomics collections, diary comics collections, and anthologies all fall into what I consider to be “collected editions” — in other words, a lot of this stuff is more or less brand new, and many critics who don’t share my OCD affliction might even call some of these “graphic novels.” I’m not gonna do it that way, though, because…

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Weekly Reading Round-Up : 12/03/17 – 12/09/17

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Great stuff to tell you about this week, friends, so let’s eschew the time-wasting in favor of getting right the fuck down to business —

Twilight Of The Bat is Josh Simmons’ second “unauthorized” take on DC’s most bankable property, following on from his 2007 mini-comic simply titled “Batman” (later re-christened, no doubt for legal reasons, “Mark Of The Bat”), and this time out he’s joined by artist Patrick Keck for a 20-page ‘zine boasting high-quality Risograph printing and an $8.00 price tag set in a post-apocalyptic G _____ City where “The Bat” and his mortal enemy “Joke-Man” are the only survivors. The true nature of the most psychologically complex hero/villain relationship in comics is laid bare in frank and stark terms here, Kek’s rich and no-doubt-time-consuming linework is exceptional, and damn if this story won’t even make you laugh a couple times in spite of yourself. Yeah, okay, the 

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2017 Year In Review : Top 10 Series

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Okay, let’s keep our best-of-2017 theme going here with a look at the Top 10 ongoing series of the year. A quick refresher on the rules : both ongoing and limited series are eligible in this category, as long as they meet a three-issue minimum. The idea here is to rank comics that are chained to a regular(-ish) production schedule, as opposed to those that come out whenever a cartoonist or creative team has the time and/or finances (in the case of self-publishers) to release them. Those books were all eligible (and, frankly, dominated) the “Top 10 Single Issues” list that I cranked out a couple days ago — and, as with that, this one won’t feature full reviews of each series, nor even ones that graduate to the “capsule” review level, just short summations of why I like ’em.

Sound good? I’m happy if you agree, and frankly could…

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Here Are The AFI’s Top 10 Films of 2017!

The Big Sick

Yesterday, the American Film Institute named their picks for the 10 best films of 2017!

Traditionally, the AFI has been a pretty good precursor of what’s going to actually be nominated for best picture.  Usually, with one or two exceptions, the AFI Top Ten closely mirrors that best picture lineup.

(For the record, in 2016, Lion and Hidden Figures received Best Picture nominations, despite being snubbed by the AFI.  Brooklyn and The Revenant pulled it off in 2015 and, in 2014, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Theory of Everything were snubbed by AFI but were still nominated for best picture.)

So, what does that mean for 2017?  Well, it’s very good news for The Big Sick, Wonder Woman, and Get Out, all of which are genres that have traditionally struggled to get best picture nominations.  It’s also potentially bad news for both Mudbound and Darkest Hour, neither of which made the AFI’s list.

  • “The Big Sick”
  • “Call Me By Your Name”
  • “Dunkirk”
  • “The Florida Project”
  • “Get Out”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “The Post”
  • “The Shape of Water”
  • “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Wonder Woman”

2017 Year In Review : Top 10 Single Issues

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

And so it’s that time of year again : let the debating begin, I suppose, as the various “Top 10” lists begin to hit the internet in earnest, but one thing I think we can all agree on — it’s been quite a year in the world of comics. The underground lost luminaries Jay Lynch and Skip Williamson, the mainstream lost Swamp Thing co-creators Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson — there have been some tough moments.

But there have also been a number of “highs,” as well — in fact, one could make a fairly convincing argument that 2017 has seen more really fucking good comics published than any year in recent memory. To that end, then, we’re splitting this annual “best of” round-up into several columns, the basics of which will proceed as follows :

The top 10 graphic novels list will be pretty much exactly what it sounds…

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The Aching Familiarity Of The Unknown : Connor Willumsen’s “Anti-Gone”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

We’ve seen so much of this before, in fiction and fact : a post-apocalyptic future Earth, mostly submerged underwater by means of some unspecified climate-change-induced catastrophe, has descended into an equally-unspecified form of totalitarianism. Waterworld meets 1984, right?

A “slacker” couple, Spyda and Lynxa, while away the hours/days/weeks/years of their lives on a refurbished sailboat-cum-living-room; he’s a tattooed, visor-wearing, hopeless nostalgia-junkie who mostly speaks in movie quotes: reading, rather than film, appears to be her reality-exit of choice. Remind you of any dead-end couples you might have gone to college with — or may even know now?

And yet everything in Montreal-based cartoonist Connor Willumsen’s new Koyama Press graphic novel, Anti-Gone , is distinctly and unquestionably foreign, as well, entirely outside our experience, whether real or recieved : the economy of this world, rather than being in tatters, appears to be chugging along without a hitch; drugs remain…

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Stranger Things S2 Ep 7 “The Lost Sister”, Alt Title: Peer Pressure


Cold Open:  El is going into her brain damaged mother’s mind.  She sees the girl who is the same one from episode 1 of this season.  Her aunt tries to get Hop to help see El and it doesn’t work.  El flees to Chicago to track down her “Sister”.  El gets to meet her “sister”. What we get is a show that has sacrificed small-town claustrophobia suspense  for a wider world of boring plot devices.

She meets her sister on the set of every bad 1980s scifi film ever.  I guess the Duffer Brothers also liked a lot of 1980s garbage movies.  This season is like a relationship that has gone bad with hairspray.

“Sister” explains that her ability is to get people to see or not see things.   I wish she could make see season 1 again.  “Sister’s” acting is THE worst and I mean Rico Rodriguez shitty.

El goes to the imbetween and listens to Hop’s call to her, but she gets awoken by Sister who introduces El to her gang.  It really tries to be interesting, but it’s not.  She explains that they track down people from the government Modine program and kill them.  “Sister” works with EL to focus on her anger and El starts moving trains with her mojo.

El helps them hunt down one of the guards from the government and they give her a punk makeover.  El and her new gang knock over a gas station. Kids today….  They track down a guard from the government.  El decides to kill him slowly, but has a change of heart because he says- Martha.  El says, How do you know that name?!!!!  Then, they have a nosh.  JK, He begs for his life and Jane stops Sister from shooting him.  Sister has Evil Modine appear to El and does some manipulating.  El sees Mike panicking and Hop in danger from the previous episode and decides that she has to go back to Hawkins.

Finally, the police show up at their hideout.  I’m really rooting for the cops finish them off, but Sister uses her powers and they don’t.  You really can’t have it all.

El heads back to Hawkings.

kids today