What Is Best In Life? – 2010 Style

by ryankl


It’s been a very big year. It’s been emotional. Let’s see why.

Top Book of 2010

The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski

Man, this book is just a rocket to your head. You know I loves me some Swierczynski but this thing just pops off the page. It’s a fast-paced novel and so very easy to make time to read. That’s a pleasure to come across. Sadly, I didn’t read many books this year – I just got caught up in far too many comics and far too little time for other stuff – but this book deserves it. You shold go out and read it. It’s bloody crime fun. <em>A little slice of 70s crime action slapped on the page.

Top Mention: The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett

Top Comic of 2010

American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, Rafael Albuquerque

I will admit it, I went into this comic because Stephen King was there. He was the main, if not only, lure. But then I will admit, even after just one issue, I kept on with this series because it’s all around brilliant. The entire team is dropping a top notch classic comic every month and even after the King left it has retained its high quality. I continually review it as being one of the best comics being produced right now, right up there with classics like Scalped, DMZ, etc. I just hope the word is getting out.

The best vampire fiction available right now and a comic that hasn’t had a dud issue. Impressive.

Top Mention: Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon

Top Movie of 2010


You could have set your watch to it. This movie was massively anticipated, it’s by the Batman film team, and it was pretty well hidden. This movie was a secret and you had to see it to believe it, or understand it. And it was awesome. So, you absolutely knew it would only take about a week before it became really cool to bash this movie. You had to point out its flaws to look smart. You had to scoff at certain moments. You had to be a fool, in other words. This film isn’t perfect, not much is, but it’s easily the best flick from 2010. It’s smart and interesting and funny and well acted and well thought out. It’s unlike nearly anything else you see at the movies these days. It’s a relaxing breeze in the world of cinema that is usually dominated by bland, lifeless weather. I loved it, and have no problem with that. <em>A smart and entertaining thriller that plays at your pulse and your mind.

Top Mention: The A-Team

Top Music of 2010

Glee Music

I’ll admit it, I’m digging the Glee albums. They’re fun, they’re easy to listen to, and they’re reliant on the success of so many others. I can acknowledge that and still appreciate it. I do not understand how people can get up in arms that Glee has more Number #1s than The Beatles. That not even comparable, Glee is like a Jukebox and while popular they aren’t actually usurping The Beatles in any way. People need to calm down, ha. I just like kicking back with these good looking, smiley people filling my ears. It’s reawakened my love for songs like Bust A Move and generated great mash ups like Young Girl/Don’t Stand So Close To Me. <em>Fun, man, just good ol’ fashioned fun.

Top Mention: Two things, not albums, just songs – Seu Jorge doing Life On Mars & Cee-Lo Green’s Forget You (yeah, I like the radio safe version, call me old…)

Top TV Show of 2010

The Walking Dead

This show is just a phenomenal work of adaptation. Not a surprise it’s from Frank Darabont, the master of making the visual representation of words awesome. It helps that The Walking Dead is based on one of my favourite comics and here is matched with a damn good cast and very good scripts. I will admit this show had its flaws, but why focus on them? They are well outweighed by the great stuff on screen. There’s violence, sure, and zombies, but much like the comic this is much more about the characters. This is a character study of what happens when the world ends and you’re left with not much else to survive on or with. I greatly look forward to the next season as this show could really have legs if it keeps it up. <em>A horror show that’s all about the drama and character moments.

Top Mention: Super Hero Squad – just always fun!

Top Website of 2010


I hate to be self-serving but thoughtballoons has been a real experience for me. It was an idea I came up with. It was an idea I pushed forward. It was an idea I set up. And it was an idea I helped become pretty damn successful. The premise is, for those who don’t know, a team of writers that I assembled – my own nerd Avengers of the written word, and each week we pick a character. We each then pump out a one page comic script involving that character. We’ve been going for over half a year, we kicked off in May, and I have been one of the lucky ones who has represented with a script each and every week. I’m far too stubborn to take a break, that’s for sure. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of writing characters and love and ones I’d never heard of before. I’ve written over 30 one-page scripts, and so come up with over 30 different story ideas, and it’s cool to do so on a weekly schedule. It makes your brain set to constantly be thinking up story ideas, dialogue, panel descriptions, and that’s a setting I want my brain to always be on.

I look forward to doing this venture for quite some more time to come as there’s definitely plenty more characters to get through. <em>It’s a writing exercise that’s constant and fun and all about comics. Golden.

Top Mention: The Weekly Crisis – still fun to write for. Still fun to comment at.

Top Podcast of 2010


This Pom podcast about comics has been a mainstay throughout my year. They just discuss their weekly hauls (spinning orders) and nerdery in general but it’s fun. The whole team, Nick, James, and the always lovely Jane, are the sort of people you get to know and like very quickly. They get on well and they make things fun each and every week. It also helps they’ve had me as a guest and plugged my work pretty well throughout the year and also become the podcast home for The Weekly Crisis. I always feel comic podcasts are a personal thing, you can’t listen to them all so you need to pick the ones that speak to you. These guys speak to me, every week. <em>A comic podcast that’s about positivity and fun.

Top Mention – The Splash Page podcast

Top iApp of 2010

Marvel – ComiXology

Man, every week that goes by this iApp gives me a few free Marvel comics. Now they’ve started having great little sales every Monday to shill a title or arc. Of all the ComiXology iApps, and most large publishers have one, the Marvel one always delivers for me. So much free content. I’ve just started dropping a few dollars into the digital pond on things I want to try. I have to read it on my iPhone, which isn’t optimal, but it’s still damn enjoyable. I look forward to still enjoying this in 2011. Comic in your pocket wherever you go. What more do you want?

Top Mention: TweetDeck – it’s kept me abreast at times, as has Gmail.

Top Art of 2010

Justin Greenwood’s Stuff For Me

Many moons ago, Justin Greenwood collaborated with me and this year he sent me some of the original art from that brain-meld. I loved the work he did, especially the cover, so it was nice to get it, frame it, and slap it up on the wall. There’s something about buying comic art that’s fun, but when it’s your own work then it’s just insane. He drew my characters and made them better.

Top Mention: Comic Twart – for always being awesome, and inspiring thoughtballoons.

Top Kid of 1010

My Little Man

I love my son. He’s only been around for a few months and yet I just love him so completely. I love holding him, changing him, letting him sleep on me, and I know it will never change. I always wondered how I’d go as a father but now I know I’ll be just fine, you can’t enjoy a job this much and suck at it. The heir to my throne. May I keep it warm for now.

And that’s been the year that was. Many highlights, and it’s always good to celebrate them.