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’s guest selection by The Smoky Man comes all the way from sunny Italy and our chum, comics creator and also master of the always interesting Alan Moore World site – let’s see what Smoky has been enjoying in 2013:
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?
Smoky: L’intervista (The interview). It’s an intense graphic novel, written and beautifully drawn by acclaimed Italian artist Manuele Fior, who won the Fauve d’Or d’Angoulême 2011 for his previous book, Cinquemila km al secondo. It’s a story set in Italy, in 2048, with some sci-fi elements in, but it really is about human relationships and feelings and generational gap. A bit like Tarkovsky meets Antonioni, with a touch of Kubrick. Maybe… in any case a wonderful reading experience.
Hellboy: The Midnight Circus, because… Mignola and Fegredo are a perfect deadly duo!
Saga (Volume 1, vol 2, vol 3): An interesting and thought-provoking series, steadily on top of my comics reading pile. It offers great sequential storytelling and crazy ideas. B.K. Vaughan again confirms all his talent and Fiona Staples shows her super-star status, regularly delivering amazing art. ‘Nuff said.
FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Smoky: I have to confess that I didn’t read a lot of new books this year. I re-read some classics, like H.P Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. And I rediscovered The Magician by W. Somerset Maugham. Talking about magic.. I am enjoying a lot Lance Parkin’s Magic Words, the Alan Moore biography.
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?
Smoky: I rediscovered Falling Skies: season 1 was very disappointing for me and so I left the show. But a friend suggested to give a try to season 2 and so I did: it’s a well done entertaining sci-fi survival show.
And then two movies: Machete Kills Again, simply pure crazy over the top cartoon extra funny violence. And… Prisoners. It’s was a kind of surprise. I went to see it without great expectations and I found a pretty solid flick and… Hugh Jackman can act, even if he has no adamantium claws!
FPI: How did 2013 go for you? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?
Smoky: It was ok. I enjoyed working on a couple of books as translator. And I am particularly proud of the Italian printed edition of Gary Spencer Millidge’s Alan Moore: Biographic, the updated illustrated Moore biography. It was released in English only in digital form. And I am very very pleased for being able to get back to writing comics with a 5 page short drawn by friends Abhishek Singh (he did Krishna for Image Comics) and acclaimed illustrator Daniele Serra.
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2014?
Smoky: I would like to update my blogs more regularly. But, more than anything, I would like to be involved in writing comics, maybe short stories. Or a webcomics. Who knows.
FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?
Smoky: LRNZ, Lorenzo Ceccotti. He is an Italian multitalented artist who works not only in comics but also for cinema, advertising, music. He has several books announced for next year. Please check his site here – it’s simply eye-popping.
Also I am very excited for the long awaited return of Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven. I can’t wait to read it.