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What a Year! Jake’s Top Ten of 2020

What a year 2020 has been for literally every single person on the planet. It felt like we have all been frozen in place, yet the clock kept ticking. I was an essential worker having to go into work every day but the first day of Maryland’s shut down I was told that I had to go into quarantine with my family. Within those two weeks, I contracted the virus myself and had to be in isolation for another two. Along with the virus and mental illness creeping on me like it has many times in my life, there were a lot of things that got me through the year, but here are my top ten things that got me through the year. 

Ghost of Tsushima

From Sony and Sucker Punch Studios

From an early age I loved history, I even majored in it in college, but there has always been something about Japan that has been of special interest to me. Japan has a rich history of the power dynamic from the still ongoing Imperial family to the military dictatorship of the Shogunate. But not just Japan, when I first learned about the Mongols in high school I was fascinated by the complexity and contrasting nature of their brutal conquests versus their often fair rule towards the peasants. To have the point in history when these two forces of horseback warriors collided told in a brilliant video game was a great thing for me. 

American Vampire

Art by Rafael Albuquerque same as the featured image

It’s important to say I slept on American Vampire as it was initially coming out. But this year, I binge-read all of it and am loving the current series having all the characters coming together. One of the things I read a lot of in middle school was the YA vampire novels known as The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd by Z Brewer and after finishing those I did not give a damn about vampires until deciding to give this franchise a shot. Was a great decision on my part. Love the style, history, and the vampires.

W/Scott Snyder

A/Rafael Albuquerque

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

From Sony and Insomniac Games

This game was a masterpiece. It was the first thing I started playing on my PS5 and I actually love the fact it’s not technically Spider-man 2 because when that does actually come out we will have two full-fledged Spider-men to play as. But this is so stellar, the way it encapsulates the culture and makes the city feel alive in a way that most other games can’t even scratch the surface of. The haptic feedback on my dual sense controller made it even better. It makes you feel each and every swing. 

The Queen’s Gambit

From Netflix

Anya Taylor Joy puts on a hell of a performance in this Netflix adaptation of the novel by the same name. It tackles issues like mental illness and drug use in a way that doesn’t glamorize it but shows it in a stylized way. Check and mate on this series. 

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

From Ubisoft

It’s a series I always play and this installment took a period of history that never really appealed to me and showed me I was just incorrect. It takes a lot of the lore of the franchise of the Isu and uses it in a creative way that fits in with the mythology of the Norse pantheon. Mythology is always my jam since I was a toddler watching Hercules on repeat.

Basketful of Heads

From DC Comics and Hill House

I have never understood horror as a genre before so I asked Trish of Third Eye Comics where I should start and knowing I love DC she turned me to the Hill House imprint and this book specifically and it became one of the few comics I would read the day I bought it. 

Written by Joe Hill

Illustrated by Leomacs

Colored by Dave Stewart

Lettered by Deron Bennett

Cyberpunk 2077

My character after a botched deal

I have mainly listed things set in the past so let’s go to the future. The style and genre trappings of a cyberpunk series have always appealed to me, but they are hard to do well. This game does that well. On next-gen consoles and pc anyway. I understand that many people have been let down by the way the game plays on last-generation consoles and do not get to experience this properly. As someone who has, I can say it’s great. It has a lot of heart and ambition put into it. I hope everyone can get to experience the game the way the developers and not the executives wanted.

The Pull

I wrote a fun-sized review for this but I need to say this again this comic is pure energy. It’s so kinetic everyone involved knocked it out of the park with this. I want to say nothing else other than go out and buy it if you haven’t already. Oh but one last thing cause someone took it out of my review “Also lots of dongs if that makes it more appealing for you.”

W: Steve Orlando 

A: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

C: Triona Farrell

L: Thomas Mauer

E: Sebastian Girner

Gundam

Image from Mobile Suit Gundam (1079)

I have watched almost all of Gundam this year. So all the way from the 1979 series all the way to the most recent releases I have seen so much of it. My soul is no longer held down by gravity. I spent too much money on models that I had to stop everything to save my bank account. Gundam was the only thing keeping me entertained while I laid on my couch with the feeling that my lungs were being squeezed tightly. Being stuck inside was a lot easier when I could be taken to the stars inside a giant fighting robot that was built by the military-industrial complex, which is the ultimate evil in the real world.

Therapy

This is my dog Baldr.

I have needed therapy for a long time. It has been so helpful in finding ways to improve my life. Everyone should go to therapy. It’s great. As someone that has dealt with suicidal ideation and a slew of other issues for a long time with no help let me just say it was about time.

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