Each December we have a tradition on the FP blog where as well as the blog crew picking out their favourites we run a daily series all month long from friends in the comics and SF&F worlds, writers, artists, editors, reviewers picking out their Best of the Year selections so we get a much more diverse range of good recommendations for you (see here for the guest BoY 2013 posts so far). And yes, we realise it is now January! But we had a bumper crop of responses to our invites to take part so we’ve got a few more to get through yet! But as this means even more fine recommendations and another chance to highlight some top works and creators I reckon we’re all pretty happy with that!
Today we have a welcome return to a long-time friend of the blog who we haven’t heard enough of recently, the wonderful Cliodhna Lyons – let’s see what she’s been enjoying this last twelve months or so:
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?
Cliodhna: Das Upgrade – this a German series that has a really fun, colourful animation style to it and a really whacky time teleportation/sci-fi/spy story – there’s been two volumes so far so a lot of the story is still a big mystery!
Agito Cosmos, Tome 2 : Pro humanitate is another series that has a really energetic colourful style and a slightly whacky, fast paced adventure plot with lots of twists and fun characters. I’m utterly in love with Fanien Mense’s artwork.
And something totally different My Comics-Biography by Askold Akishin. Akishin is a very well known and established comic book artist in Russia but he was a new discovery for me this year and I am now obsessed with his work especially his inking. His comic biography is a great starting point for others new to his work and good introduction to some of the awesome graphic novels coming out of Russia.
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?
Cliodhna: Gravity impressed as being only the second film [after Dredd] were I didn’t hate the 3D. It has some truly beautiful set pieces and moments through out. It’s def more of an Art piece film then a story driven piece but there’s nothing wrong with that and I enjoyed just sitting back and being overwhelmed by the visuals.
Almost Human, staring Karl Urban, has only just started but it’s a TV show you could see developing into a great series, if it’s just given the time to develop. It’s a buddy cop show and sort of a mesh between Alien Nation and Robocop. The pilot felt a little rushed but the next few episodes were much better paced and theres just great potential for a good sci-fi show there.
Have to give a nod to an animated feature with Frozen. It’s very much an old school Disney film with an awesome soundtrack. I wasn’t impressed with the marketing campign for the film as it really did not show the film in good light at all but thankfully the actually film is very enjoyable and art direction is simply stunning.
FPI: How did 2013 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?
Cliodhna: 2013 was probably the most inspiring year I think I’ve had ever. I spent the majority of the year playing comic book tourist and traveled around the world meeting other comic book folk and sharing comics and inspirations. I filled over eight sketchbooks, took over 6000 photos and amassed near 17 kilos of books! I was blown away with how open and welcoming the global comics community is, I was warmly welcomed and looked after everywhere I went. I seriously can’t express enough how impressed with the comics scenes everywhere I went. I’ve made life long friends I hope and cliché as it sounds memories to last a life time!
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2014?
Cliodhna: I’m really geared up to create work after my amazing travel adventure so keep an eye out for several projects from me in 2014!
FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?
Cliodhna: So hard to pick just one person as I met so many super talented people this year. Someone I would love to see more work from is Tsolmonbayar Batbaatar a Mongolian comic book artist whose studio I got to visit when I was in Ulannbator. Also not so much a person but a publisher SPb comics, a Russian publisher has some great graphic novels from young creators such as Ner-Tamin aka Julia Nikitina and worth checking some of their up coming publications for 2014!