Best of the Year 2017 – Richmond’s picks
Continuing our annual Best of the Year picks from some of the blog crew (yes, it is that time of year again), and today’s it’s Richmond’s turn to pick out some of the comics, books and film that floated his boat in 2017. Matt kicked off the blog crew’s choices yesterday (you can see his picks here), with more to follow next week (so tay tuned for some reading over the holiday week!), and you can check out a pile of previous years’ Best Ofs here:
I must confess I haven’t read as many comics as usual this year, but what I have read as been mostly great.
2000AD, obviously. While there have been a few… well, less than great stories this year, Absalom has been a stand out highlight with the lead character’s trademark barbed humour and Tiernen Trevallion’s art, which is some of the finest to have ever graced the Prog.
Unteathered by Umar Ditta and Elliot Balson. I backed this on Kickstarter mainly because of Umar. He’s written a lot of stuff for us over at FutureQuake Press, and I think he is going to be a major talent in the future. This didn’t disappoint. Umar seems to have come up with a genuinely new twist on an old story telling cliche, and the art is excellent.
Not new, I know, but I took out a Marvel Unlimited subscription and have been enjoying G Willow Wilson’s Ms Marvel. Kamala Khan is an extraordinary character, and the book is just a joy from start to finish.
La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman. I didn’t know I needed more books set in this universe, but I’m glad I have one. The story is strong and characters well written, of course. But for me it is the pacing of this book – the final third is almost all a chase sequence, and I am in awe of how Pullman maintains the breathless excitement of it all for so many pages.
The Power by Naomi Alderman. Set in a world where suddenly, every woman gains superpowers at puberty, flipping the gender politics of the planet on their head. Alderman’s prose is second to none, and the themes she deals with here have never been more relevant.
Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett. The story of a retired folk rock singer in her late 60s, assembling a greatest hits album. Wait! Hear me out! This book is very clever. As the main character picks each track, the track triggers a memory and we slowly peel back the layers of her life. There’s also a rather clever addition to the book in the album Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits by the wonderful Kathryn Williams, which brings the songs from the book to life.
Get Out – An astonishing movie. Funny, exciting and a powerful, powerful message. This was my movie of the year until the summer and-
Dunkirk. Or, as I called it at the time: Tension: the movie. I know that, for reasons that baffle me, Nolan has his detractors, but I can’t think of any other director who couls have pulled off the feat that is this movie.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This would have been Bladerunner, but I went to see Star Wars before I write this list. Why is it on the list? Because Star Wars, obviously. I loved it, and if anyone reading this didn’t – good for you, please don’t feel the need to tell me at length why I’m wrong. Anyway, this is a fine addition to the series and gives us some spectacular action scenes the like of which we’ve not seen in a Star Wars movie before.
There is too much good television to choose from at the moment, but here goes my try:
Stranger Things 2 – this did the impossible – it was even better than the first series, and the first series was almost perfect.
2017 was also the year I discovered the genius that is Rick and Morty. Far and away the funniest, most clever comedy series I have seen in a long time.
My third choice is more difficult. I would maybe go for the Good Place because it’s so damn clever and funny, or Punisher because of Jon Bernthal’s blistering performance and its portrayal of the damage war does to people. But in the end I will go with Star Trek Discovery – like almost everyone else, I had zero expectations about this. But by gum, it is superb.