2020 was something else but honestly, I have reconnected with so many things I love. We have accomplished so much in one year with the show and now with GateCrashers. I am extremely thankful for our entire team and for everyone putting up with how many things I make us do. This year has been extremely hard and anxiety-filled. Losing my job was extremely scary but it was the best thing that ever happened. I put more time into pursuing things I love like writing, podcasting, and a new job that I actually love.
Over the year, I have discovered so many new things from comics to film to even a bean bag that takes up a fourth of my office. Wanted to tell you what has been keeping me sane for the year.
I had to open with The Sopranos. As soon as the final episode cut to black, I almost started from episode 1. I have been told to watch this show by every single person ever. I have grown up around a lot of Italian Americans who swear by the show.
I am extremely glad I waited till I was an adult to watch it though. While a younger version of me may have glorified the broken man that is Tony Soprano, now I see how much depth the show holds. Themes of racism, misogyny, and mental illness are explored throughout the entire series. It subverts the normal mafia stereotypes in exchange for a vision of deeply broken people born into something that not all of them want.
Horror has 100% been the genre of the year for me. I explored more of what comics have to offer of it but NOTHING has hit like Razorblades. When Steve Foxe and James Tynion IV announced their new horror magazine, I was like that is 100% my jam. Both issues so far have been an incredible mix of talent with comics, prose, and even interviews. I cannot suggest it enough. It is a pay what you want to format but it is well worth every dollar you can give. Every issue is stuffed to the rafters with things that will keep you up at night. Go pick it up here!
Did you really think this adult bean bag wasn’t on my list? With having all of my free time being sunk into reading, watching, or writing… I needed something comfortable for me to do that in. Chairs, couches, and beds just weren’t cutting it. I am a large person in every sense of the word so I needed something that was not defined by shape or form. I have never been more content than laying in this massive Lovesac and reading for hours. Kori agrees as well, she uses it more than anyone.
Over the past 2 years, I have been playing a tabletop RPG with my friends using the MASKS system (which you can buy here). TTRPGs are always hard for me because my brain doesn’t do well with a ton of rules, systems, and things of that nature but Masks makes it easy. It’s highly accessible for new players. I included the artwork of our first team of misfits in the Marvel universe. Playing has been a highlight of my week almost every week and I highly suggested trying it out with your friends.
Redfork hit me harder than any comic has in a long time for reasons I didn’t expect. Jake and I grew up in a smaller town that has an industry that is dying (in the book it’s mining but for us it was watermen). The story deals a lot with addiction which hits very close to home for me. I cannot suggest this book enough. TKO is putting out hit after hit with their waves but this one stuck with me long after I finished reading. They are also having a holiday sale right now so I suggest picking this up.
I sat for a good long while contemplating which Vault series I was going to put on the list but truly, I cannot pick one. I know, The Plot is what some of you are saying under your breath as you read this but there is so much more to this. Vault is a company that is elevating unique voices to explore new worlds and ideas. Every book feels original even when it isn’t something I would normally pick up. Branching out past the normal cape affairs, Vault has carved out a new throne for itself in the comics landscape. I am always excited to devour their next project. Whether it be a horror, a fantasy, or a book with ninja vampires… Vault always ends up in my pull box one way or another. They also have a lot of free comics for you to check out so go do that here!
The year kicked off with this article about Steve Orlando’s transition from a DC writer into The Steve Orlando of Comics. Watching this transition happening so fast even in what was going on in the industry has been a delight. Kill A Man, Commanders in Crisis, and The Pull should be on every site’s top 10. I chose rather to feature the person behind it all because his presence is inspiring, his attitude is uplifting, and he is a force to be reckoned with. From what I can tell, comic’s biggest thirst trap is only getting started with being one of the best writers in the game.
If I could go back to the year I made people call me Tommy and tell that Dan that I have interviewed the Blue Ranger and a modern team of Rangers…his head would pop. Power Rangers has been something I have consumed a lot of this year. The comic has been a highlight of many new comic book days. Getting to talk about it with Cori over at Xavier Files has also been a delight. I cannot recommend enough that you pick up any of the comics. A lot of them have Dan Mora art (pictured above) which is like looking through Heaven’s Gates.
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
With Joker being the biggest movie of 2019, all hope felt lost because the clown prince came out on top. That was until Harley FUCKING Quinn kicked him square in the chest down those stupid steps. BOP broke my expectations of what Superhero films could be. It was a no-holds-barred bubble gum pop vision of violence, redemption, and self-discovery set in Gotham City. Everything about this movie fired on all cylinders for me, Every actor involved sold a larger-than-life performance of a character existing in the worst city in comics. The soundtrack took over my Spotify (and it still does).
And now for this, us, everything we do. This year wouldn’t be the same without GateCrashers. We went from the team of 3 for the Supersons (that ended in a musical episode where we fought Darkseid) to GateCrashers with a team of 10 people working to make all things more approachable and accessible. Special shoutout to my dear friend Tim Daniel for designing our new logo. He does all of the beautiful design over at Vault and is one of the best humans on Earth.
2021 is going to be an even bigger year for us with this site and the show. I want to personally thank you for the success we have seen this year and join us for many more.