Best Of The Year 2013 – Robin Etherington
Every December the FPI blog invites the great and the good from the wider community of comics to contribute what they consider to be their best of the year (see here for the guest BoY 2013 posts so far for).
Today we have one half (the writerly half) of the Etherington Brothers. Robin is responsible for putting words to Yore! in the Dandy, Monkey Nuts for the DFC, the original graphic novel Baggage, and Long Gone Don and Von Doogan in the Phoenix Comic. With his brother Lorenzo responsible for putting art to these wonderful creations, the pair of them regularly tour the country’s schools spreading the joy of comics reading and making to children everywhere!
FPI: Can you pick three comics/webcomics/graphic novels which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
1) The Phoenix, obviously. We may be contributors, and therefore mildly biased, but the Phoenix stands as a high watermark for children’s comics. The talent on display and the work being produced never ceases to amaze.
2) King City by Brandon Graham. Finally got round to picking up and consuming this monstrously brilliant 400+ page collection and it is a thing of beauty. Imaginative and inventive.
3) The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan. I’d been waiting for a follow up to Gerard’s brilliant two Umbrella Academy books and I’ve been thoroughly enjoyed this new series. Punchy, silly, funny and creative. A team on top form.
FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
1) Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. The best book of the year. Incredible. And the final chapter might just be the greatest single chapter ever written. It’s that good.
2) Phantom by Jo Nesbo. I’m always a book behind Nesbo, mainly because I don’t really want the adventures of Harry Hole to end. Phantom is another blinder. The best detective series on the market.
3) Never go back, Lee Child. This is my not-particularly-guilty pleasure. If you’ve never read a Jack Reacher book, you won’t know what you’re missing. Thriller series rarely come this well formed or consistent. So much fun.
FPI: Can you pick three TV shows and/or movies which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
1) Searching for Sugar Man – best movie documentary I’ve seen in ages. Excellently constructed to intrigue from start to finish, with a hugely sympathetic protagonist at its core.
2) Broadchurch – proving ITV still have the capacity to make killer drama. A disturbing, enthralling witch hunt through a quiet community. It will stay with you long after the close of the final episode.
3) The World’s End. Critics may be divided but this is a fantastic film finale to the Blood and Cornetto trilogy. The ending is quite brilliantly bonkers.
FPI: How did 2013 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?
2013 saw the launch of Monkey Nuts in paperback, the YORE complete collection in the Dandy, the second Long Gone Don graphic novel and the third Von Doogan comic puzzle adventure serialised in the Phoenix. We are extremely proud of each of those books, and the support they’ve received from our publishers and fans alike. Our live show schedule was intense, with multiple trips to perform to over 18,000 young readers across England, Ireland, Scotland and Singapore, as well as filming workshops with the BBC.
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2014?
The third Long Gone Don book will be appearing weekly in the Phoenix, probably kicking off around spring time. Von Doogan will continue throughout the year. There are one or two new books coming but we can’t confirm titles or release dates just yet. Oh, and Lorenzo is teasing another mammoth 600 page sketch book but hasn’t settled on a release date. And we’ll be touring our books and shows in New Zealand, which should be EPIC!
FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?
We’ve actually taken our eye off the new talent pool, but every time we attend a comic show there seem to be more and more exceptionally creative illustrators and writers coming up. I think the UK is currently witnessing a real comic renaissance, and next year should bring a number of exciting folks to the fore.