Best of the Year 2014: Richmond Clements
Each December we have a tradition of inviting a whole lot of writers, artists, editors, publishers and reviewers to take part in a daily series of guest Best of the Year posts, a different person each day (see here for all the 2014 ones so far), before the blog crew post their own picks from the year, so hopefully we get a more diverse range of tastes represented. Today a stalwart of the Brit comics scene, from his own writing and editing work, his work with FutureQuake Press and the much-missed Hi-Ex which brought comic conventions to the Cal-Hab Zone (and he’s also good enough to pen the odd review here too!), Richmond Clements:
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?
Richmond: 2000AD, obviously. But to narrow that down, I’d go for Jaegir by Gordon Rennie and Simon Colbey. It’s proper old school action story comics with that modern twist, and Colbey may be, pound for pound, my favourite comic artist working at the moment.
Loki, Agent of Asgard. I don’t read as many comics as I would like – I read even fewer superhero books, but this was too good a prospect to resist. Al Ewing and Lee Garbett having loads of fun.
To End All Wars: a monumental piece. Very powerful and moving and the kind of thing that illustrates perfectly the power of comics as a medium.
FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Richmond: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. It’s not just the complexity of the story and the sheer breadth of his imagination. It’s also that every now and then he’ll have a turn of phrase that makes you, initially, want to stop writing, but really just makes you want to up your game.
The Martian by Andy Weir. I’m not usually a fan of hard sci-fi. I like my FTL travel and laser swords. This, however, had me gripped from the first paragraph. It is tense and very very exciting.
Mr Mercedes by Stephen King. King seems to be producing books at a rate I can barely keep up with at the moment. This is a bit of a departure for him. This is a brilliantly written straight up hard boiled detective thriller.
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?
Richmond: Guardians of the Galaxy. I have to confess that I had never even heard of the comic when this was announced. But by gosh, what a great movie. I could waffle about how it has a great cast of characters, great design, incredible cast, witty script and a great deal of heart, but I’ll just confine myself to saying it’s FUN.
Doctor Who. Capaldi has really nailed it, hasn’t he? I liked Smith a lot – he was my second favourite Doctor after Troughton. But I think, from what I have seen, Capaldi has knocked him into third (and maybe even Troughton into second…)
True Detective. It ran out of steam a wee bit towards the end, but all in all this was a masterful bit of television. Matthew McConaughey, rightly, received plaudits for his barnstorming performance, but I felt this was doing a disservice to Harrelson, who was equally brilliant, albeit in a less showy role.
FPI: How did 2014 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?
Richmond: I don’t think I had much published this year, maybe a few strips in our FutureQuake publications. I had a short story in the Cross anthology from Disconnected Press illustrated by Nick Dyer which I am very proud of. But it has been incredibly busy and I have written loads and loads of stuff that I hope will be published in the next year.
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2015?
Richmond: See the previous answer – next year, if all comes to plan, will make it look like I am super productive! I have a graphic novel with Heather Sheppard coming out that is a lot of fun and something that I think is a pretty new thing.
FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?
Richmond: I really enjoyed Jessica Martin‘s debut comic It Girl – I’m looking forward to reading Vivacity.