Best of the Year 2016 – Andrew Girdwood

Published On December 5, 2016 | By Joe Gordon | Best of the Year 2016, Comics

Day five of our traditional series of guest Best of the Year posts (see here for the 2016 posts so far, previous years can be found via the Features menu above), and today it’s a return visit from Andrew Girdwood, unflappable mover and shaker (but rarely shover, he has good manners) at Geek Native:

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?

Even though people have been raving about it for years I only got around to checking out Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga in 2016. Sometimes comics struggle to live up to fan hype. Saga did not have this problem. I recommend it.

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I also recommend Jay Gunn’s Surface Tension from Titan, which is a remarkable story as well as a great success for an indie creator (now optioned for a potential TV production too).

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There’s a host of titles that could compete for my third place and I struggle to tell them apart. Instead, I’m going to call out Rok of the Reds by Glasgow’s BHP Comics, written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and illustrated by Dan Cornwell. I’m not normally into sports series but this one might tempt me.

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FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

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I enjoyed Edward Cox’s The Relic Guild. It created a fantasy noir city inside an epic level fantasy setting and managed to separate them both. I enjoyed the book but very much saw the potential in creating an RPG.

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It’s rare when each book in a trilogy is better than the one that came before it. I think that’s what Den Patrick has managed to do and following on from The Boy with Porcelain Blade (reviewed here) and The Boy Who Wept Blood is The Girl on the Lair’s Throne. It’s a great conclusion to the set.

Lastly, check out Edinburgh based Tim Chant’s novella Sam Cane: Hard Setdown. Snackable sci-fi. I’ve grabbed the sequel already and looking forward to tucking into it.

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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?

Isn’t Supergirl fun? It’s proof that not all DC heroes need to be dark and broody (unless they follow the whole Red Lantern arc, that is).

A surprise hit has been Amazon’s Lucifer series – the one based off Neil Gaiman’s creation, then Mike Carey’s series. It could so easily have gone wrong and while it does become a police procedural quickly enough I think it works well.

Lastly, the Marvel streak on Netflix continues to impress. What have we had in 2016? Luke Cage and Daredevil 2?

As an aside; I watch the DC hero shows via NowTV, Lucifier via Amazon Live Videos and combine those with Netflix to make 2016 a year where traditional broadcast TV struggled to make an impact.

FPI: How did 2016 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?

Not great. I’ve fought against technical gremlins and health gremlins. I’ve moved flat and haven’t quite found my ‘creator groove’ in the new set up. On the plus side, I changed jobs and feel I’m working in a more creative environment. That’s a step up.

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FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2017?

I hope to find my creator groove again. All going well I’m looking to dabble in more snackable content and persuade more reader interaction.

FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?

I’ll stick with the two mentioned two already, Tim Chant and Jay Gunn and add a few more. I think Fahrenheit Press’ Linden Chase looks interesting and I’d keep my eyes open for the FutureQuake Press and Card Shark Comics.

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

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