Best Movies: The Nice Guys, The Handmaiden, Don’t Breathe
Best TV Shows: Fleabag, Horace & Pete, High Maintenance, Silicon Valley, Black Mirror, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
Best Video Game: Fallout 4
Best Albums: Wilco – Wilco Schmilco, Lvl Up – Hoodwink’d
Best Podcast: Reply All
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Paper Girls, Vision
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Star Wars: The Force Awakens (didn’t see it until January)
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? The eighth Fast and Furious film, The Fate of the Furious.
Former FOG! Editor
Best TV Shows: The OA, Stranger Things, The Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life
Best Books (fiction): The Girls by Emma Cline
Best Books (non-fiction): Atlas Oscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders– Joshua Foer, Ella Morton and Dylan Thuras
Best Video Game: Slayaway Camp (PC)
Best Songs: Future Mixtape for the Art Kids– Beach Slang
Best Albums: A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings– Beach Slang
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: The X-Files: Complete Series + The Event Series
Most overrated thing about 2016? That mannequin challenge thing.
Most underrated thing about 2016? The Exorcist TV show and the movie Don’t Think Twice. They were brilliant and deserved a lot more press than they got.
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Hillary Clinton presidency
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? A Trump presidency
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Zombie apocalypse (oh please let it happen)
Best Movies: The Arrival, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Best TV Shows: Soliloquy Of Chaos, the Method Man episode of Luke Cage
Best Video Game: Titanfall 2, Legend of the Tomb Raider
Best Albums: Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino, Blank Banshee by Mega
Best Music Video: These still exist? In that case I’m sure whatever album OK GO released had a video and it was probably a good video
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Red Thorn, Silk
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Cowboy Bebop (the Funimation release)
Most overrated thing about 2016? Pizzagate
Most underrated thing about 2016? The NHL – seriously it doesn’t suck anymore and is genuinely fun to watch again
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? December 31st
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? Literally the entire year
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? It won’t be 2016 anymore
Best Movies: Hail, Caesar!, Abbott and Costello Go To Mars
Best TV Shows: Mr. Robot, We Bare Bears
Best Books (non-fiction): Prometheus Rising & Quantum Psychology by Robert Anton Wilson (new editions)
Best Songs: “Me and Magdalena,” The Monkees
Best Albums: “Good Times,” The Monkees
Best Music Video: “You Bring The Summer,” The Monkees
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Batman ’66 Meets The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Best Podcast: Film and Water podcast
Most overrated thing about 2016? Fear
Most underrated thing about 2016? Potential
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? 2017
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? Carrie Fisher’s death, but then I knew she was going to be with Debbie Reynolds and I felt they were both going to be OK.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? All the cool stuff to read and write about.
Best Movies: Out of genre, Moonlight; in genre, The Witch
Best TV Shows: Out of genre, Atlanta; in genre, Westworld
Best Books (fiction): Out of genre, Karan Mahajan’s The Association of Small Bombs; in genre, M. Suddain’s Hunters and Collectors
Best Books (non-fiction): Out of genre, Joshua Hammer’s The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu; in genre, Kameron Hurley’s The Geek Feminist Revolution
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: General, Sarah Glidden’s Rolling Blackouts; Superhero, Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Wata’s Vision
Best Podcast: Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? Richard Price’s The Whites
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Annihilation, the film made out of Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent book of the same name.
Marvin C. Pittman
Best Movies: Moonlight, O.J.: Made in America, Suicide Squad
Best TV Shows: Atlanta, Insecure, Supergirl, Veep, Dancing with the Stars (yeah, I said it)
Best Songs: “Lazarus” by David Bowie, “Ultra Light Beam” by Kanye West, “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars, “In God’s House” by Bats for Lashes, “Run Red Blood” by Phantogram, “Dr. Ford” by Rawan Djawadi (Westworld soundtrack)
Best Albums: What a good year for new music, so picking maximum of six is tough. “Malibu” by Anderson Paak, “Blackstar” by David Bowie, “Anti” by Rihanna, “Lemonade” by Beyonce, “Freetown Sound” by Blood Orange, “The Life of Pablo” by Kanye West
Best Music Video: Lemonade by Beyonce — the entire project
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Lazarus, The Legend of Wonder Woman, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Batman (pre-Rebirth)
Most overrated thing about 2016? Westworld
Most underrated thing about 2016? The Good Place
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Black Panther’s cinematic debut in Captain America: Civil War
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? South Park
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Wonder Woman, but gonna cheat by adding Star Wars Episode VIII (RIP Carrie Fisher!)
Filmmaker; Comic Book Writer/Artist, Renato Jones: THE ONE%
2016 was a creative year for me. One full of firsts. New endeavors, new challenges and even new lives! (Our third child came to life this past year). I had my first real creator owned comicbook hit the stands with Renato Jones from Image Comics. I had my first real run at directing TV with shows like Aftermath for SyFy. We voted a new Prime Minister here in Canada and my neighbors voted themselves in a new apocalypse– I mean, President!
Best Movies: This is a depressing subject matter for me. When I look back at this past year I can’t think of any movies that really changed my life. This can partly be blamed on being housebound by the new baby but mostly blamed by the lack of great movies made this year. Alien: Covenant, can you please come quickly?
Best TV Shows: And here is where the revolution begins. A wealth of content. So much content! So much great storytelling! From production values rivaling giant blockbusters, the kind of nudity not allowed in cinema anymore, daring storytelling once reserved for Art House feature filmmaking. Let’s start with one of the TV shows I had a chance to direct on, Aftermath for SyFy. A scrappy show that took big swings. I ended up with my favorite episode I’ve ever directed for television and one of my favorite scenes I’ve directed for any medium. But other shows that I’ve enjoyed as a spectator only include (in no particular order); Stranger Things, Homeland, Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, Zoo, Lucifer, Walking Dead, Westworld… and that’s just off the top of my head.
Best Books (fiction): Not too much time for reading fiction right now. If I said The Complete Chronicles of Conan would that be cheating? That may have also been my answer last year, if you catch my meaning.
Best Books (non-fiction): The Art of He-Man and The Masters of The Universe is amazing. I love this kind of historical pop account of one of my favorite cartoons. The only drawback is that because this is an officially licensed book, it fails to account for the fact that He-Man actually came about because Mattel had the Conan license before realizing how violent the movie would become and decided to keep the designs and turn them into a new property. At least, that’s how I’ve heard it… and it makes sense. I wish there was a more definitive version of those events but for now, this will do.
Best Video Game: Much like fiction, this is an area in my life that took a hiatus in 2016. But I will be back! My calloused thumbs will be rebuilt!
Best Songs: There is this random single that I bumped into on YouTube by one of the actors of the upcoming Pacific Rim 2 that I can’t get out of my head. Look for Fallin by Cailee Spaeny on YouTube or iTunes. It’s poppy and weird and romantic and a little bit ‘off’. It isn’t often you stumble across something on the internet these days in a pure and honest way, without being guided by social medias. This was one of those anomalies…
Best Albums: I found myself listening to the synth-mazing album Reality Check by Wojiech Golczewski every time I sat down to write a particular script. I love it. In the pop world, one of my favorites (and not just ’cause we’re buds) is of course Tegan and Sara. And their new album Love You To Death is a pop mash-sterpiece of then and now.
Best Podcast: So many amazing podcasts going on right now. My personal favorites of 2016 include The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast and Script Notes for film, for comics I probably listen to John Siuntres’ Word Balloon more than anything else, but there are many great interviews on Pop Culture Hound. I find myself listening to Star Talk Radio, The Joe Rogan Podcast and two amazing true crime podcasts out of Canada are CBC’s Someone Knows Something and Missing & Murdered. Oh, just started getting into Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. There is a lot of great things in podcasting right now. There’s not a lot of money in it but a lot of passion. Two necessary things for great work to emerge.
Best Music Video: Do they still make these things? I guess I found that OK GO high speed YouTube video fairly interesting… but not enough to watch more than once. An art form taking a breather?…
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Oh, what a time to read comics! Much like television, just a tidal wave of amazingly creative work by amazingly creative people! I wouldn’t be being honest if I didn’t put my own books in here– because I’m so damn proud of them! Renato Jones from Image Comics and The Black Sinister (drawn by Troy Nixey, colored by Dave McCaig, and found in Dark Horse Presents) have to make the list. Some of my other pics also include; Saga, Black Science, Reborn and Amulet.
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: I find myself turning to iTunes downloads more and more but a couple of Blu-rays I found myself purchasing include the extended versions of Batman v Superman and the collector’s version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Most overrated thing about 2016? Hope.
Most underrated thing about 2016? Hope.
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? If I didn’t say my new child I would be a very bad person. Could it be a tie with my new Cintiq?
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? The fragility of friendship and the fragility of the mind. It’s hard to watch people you care about descend into some sort of dark place. You look for reasons and sometimes there just aren’t any. Hold onto the people in your life now, for as long as they’ll let you…
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? In all honesty, I stare at America with wide eyed curiosity. I think of all the amazing things that the Reagan era of the 80’s gave to us and wonder what kind of Art and Artmaking this new situation down below will create. In many ways there is a new world about to begin and new energy to tap into. If we survive it, I expect many good things!
- Synchronicity. One of the smartest and most clever SF films in years.
- The Nice Guys. Fun as hell. Subversive take on the buddy cop film.
- 10 Cloverfield Lane. Hated the first movie, loved this one.
- Zoom. A Canadian/Brazilian movie that was not released… it escaped and immediately fell into the cracks. Smart, funny and genuinely intelligent with a distinct style. More people need to see this movie.
Best TV Shows: Supergirl, Ash Vs Evil Dead, The One Good X-Files Episode.
Best Books (non-fiction): I Lost It at the Video Store: A Filmmakers’ Oral History of a Vanished Era
by Tom Roston, Nazis and Nudists by David Haldane
Best Music Video: John Carpenter “Night”
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: I have not read a comic I have liked since Transmetropolitan stopped. Only new thing I bought was Master Race and that was AWFUL.
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Contamination (Arrow Video)
Most overrated thing about 2016? Just about everything.
Most underrated thing about 2016? That Synchronicity movie. NOBODY saw this thing.
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? I was looking forward to Suicide Squad so much… and let down SO hard.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? See above.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? I WAS looking forward to Skull Island but then that second trailer really dashed my hopes for that one.
Best Movies: Paterson, Jackie, Manchester by the Sea, Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War, The Arrival
Best TV Shows: Westworld, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead (Also could be listed as best and worst), Halt and Catch Fire, Ash vs Evil Dead, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (I love his brand of activist journalism.)
Best Books (non-fiction): Assholes: A Theory (Explains the rise of people like Trump and asshole
culture in general.)
Best Video Game: Battlefront 2 updates (Pretty much the only game I play.)
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: The Martian (4K)
Most overrated thing about 2016? Celebrity deaths leading to posting things about “not liking 2016.” We live at a time where more “famous people” are alive than at any other time. Many of them are going to die every year. Can’t be helped, this is a numbers game. 2017 will be just as bad.
Most underrated thing about 2016? Marvel Studios. Their track record is amazing.
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Batman V Superman. Yeah. That didn’t turn out so great.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? Almost the entire slate of summer movies. It seems like they were worse than in recent years.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Star Wars Episode VIII
Clay N Ferno
Best Movies: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond
Best TV Shows: Supergirl, The Crown, Mr. Selfridge, Divorce, Luke Cage
Best Video Game: Star Wars: Battlefront
Best Songs: Sad13 – Get a Yes, Whitney – No Woman
Best Albums: Whitney: Light Upon the Lake
Best Music Video: OK Go – The One Moment
Best Podcast: Unjustly Maligned
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 2, DC Rebirth #1, Adventures of Supergirl, Sheriff of Babylon
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Deadpool
Most overrated thing about 2016? Presidential Election Politics
Most underrated thing about 2016? Presidential Election Results
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? Post-truth politics
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Star Wars: Episode VIII
- Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, Netflix: Paul Ruebens spent years teasing both a “dark” Pee-wee film and a kids’ one; I always wondered what’s the difference and luckily he stopped waiting, as this troubled, charming epic of what makes a manchild put him exactly where he belongs!
- Deadpool, FOX: This was as good as everyone says; the most self-critical and least self-serious actioner ever made, even if it came at the start of the least soul-searching year America’s ever had.
- Suicide Squad, Warner Bros.: You heard me; the most shaded of super-antihero movies, and the first convincingly connected “DC Extended Universe” flick — inventive and absurdist, and not as irredeemable as many seemed to think.
Best TV Shows:
- Luke Cage, Netflix: Truth-telling psychodrama and compelling metropolitan gothic like never seen before; THE comic-cinema event of 2016 for me, and more confirmation that Marvel/Netflix has created the graphic-novel-for-television.
- Designated Survivor, ABC: Technically fantasy, but seemingly a nation’s wish-fulfillment — the entire government is destroyed and an actually-rational President is installed by Constitutional technicality. Sometimes like a Nashville for politics-junkies, but usually fascinating parallel history.
- The Detour, TBS: Family, redestroyed — ingenious social wrongness with devastating South Park-esque morals-by-default; this is the kind of show you get from a creative team who fled from Canada.
Best Web Series: The New Adventures of Brobot Johnson by Darian Dauchan: A hip-hop heroic cycle (13 eps, a brilliant album and an emerging stage work) about the baby-steps of an A.I. in the big city that opens many new frontiers of world-building, and discussions on humanity as work-in-progress.
Best Podcast: Uncanny County: The heartland just got even weirder, and this hilarious old-timey transmission from a land of replacement robots, soul-stealing hell-kittens, and cthulhu clowns is a cozy fireside chatroom while it all ignites…
Best Short Fiction:
- “Are We Not Men?” by T. Coraghessan Boyle, The New Yorker, 11/7/16: The everyday of 100 years from now is my favorite form of sci-fi — and of course it takes a lot less than 100 years for the world to be recognizable yet irrevocably changed. This tale of suburbanites keeping up in the status-race for genetically-engineered novelties shows how elitism is a choice and human nature is the kind we can least conquer.
- “The Current Entertainments: Lemoin’s Assaut Sur L’Univers” by Glen David Gold, WIRED Fiction Issue, 12/13/16: In the future we’ll still have pretentious pundits and worse filmmakers, and Gold deftly takes us into the devised reality of a next-decade review-column, and the head of its unimpressed critic, to paint a perfect parody of (what else) the next, near-telepathic evolution of VR, and reassure that media will never get spectacular enough not to bore us.
Best Song: Neural Karaoke Christmas Carol: Since the dawn of vocal filters through the heydays of disco and Devo we’ve been trying to sound like this; now we can stop. Now EVERYTHING can stop.
Best Album: ★, David Bowie: I didn’t guess what it was about, but having lost wife and mother a few months before, I knew how it felt; I could tell this restless, sublime album was pointing toward infinity, even if we’re not following him there just yet.
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels:
- Kingsway West, Greg Pak & Mirko Colak (Dark Horse)
- Kim & Kim, Magdalene Visaggio & Eva Cabrera (Black Mask)
- Black Hammer, Jeff Lemire & Dean Ormston (Dark Horse)
- Animosity, Marguerite Bennett & Rafael De Latorre (AfterShock)
- Archangel, William Gibson/Michael St. John Smith & Butch Guice/Tom Palmer (IDW)
- Black Panther, Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze (Marvel)
Suited to a year we hoped was a dream, a lot of the best new comics were fantasias on what might have been or how much worse it could be. Kingsway West is a lyrical nightmare of a high-tech 1800s frontier; Archangel a true-to-imagination tale of a totalitarian POTUS and Veep manipulating the timeline; Animosity a post-society odyssey through a Romero-esque world of sentient (and now supreme) pets and farm animals; Black Hammer a mournful endless epilogue for superhero archetypes exiled from their own saga. The poetic Black Panther, on the other hand, explored what a true democracy’s painful birth might be like, and Kim & Kim followed two LGBTQ adventurers through a whirlwind of hyperspace and mega-sass, each book imagining what might still be.
Best Theatrical Production:
- The Adventures of Minami: The Robot From Japan Who Makes You Feel Safe When Loneliness Is Palpable: Part 1 by Leah Nanako Winkler
- City of Glass adapted by Edward Einhorn
Signals of solitude, from either end of the year: in December, Leah Nanako Winkler’s psycho-comedy/drama about a starter-A.I. that everyone projects their pain onto; and back in February, a morphing of Paul Auster’s novel of isolation and identity-loss into a one-man oration, with two silent doppelgangers; the shattered mirror has a thousand strangers’ faces.
Most overrated thing about 2016? Hillary Clinton’s rapport with the working class and her other presumed constituencies. And it berns.
Most underrated thing about 2016? Han Solo miniseries, Marvel: Maybe not underrated, but certainly under-radar’d, was Marjorie Liu’s wistful galactic fairytale of self-imposed exile and quests worth taking, as a legendary starship-race leads both Han and matriarchal space-mariner Loo Re Anno to realize what home really looks like.
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? That single line in Netflix’s Luke Cage when someone offhandedly refers to Rosario’s character as “the Night Nurse” — most thrilling geek-minutiae moment since the half-second you can see the Original Human Torch in his tube during the camera-pan over the World’s Fair in the first Cap movie!
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? The end of dystopia being confined to science-fiction.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017?
- Quantum Teens Are Go! (Black Mask): Mags Visaggio is the maddest, most original voice to emerge in comics in 2016; I’ve seen her next book and it is the future (and also the past, and something sideways…you’ll see what I mean).
- U.S.Avengers and Royals (Marvel): Al Ewing is reigning as the most irreverent, inventive writer of eccentric blockbusters in mainstream comics, and his next franchise-hacks will make things even better!
- Wonder Woman film: Looks like they may get the feminist legacy and the vintage valor (and squalor) just right at last; she was the best several minutes of that other movie, so a whole two hours is worth anticipating…
- Kindred adaptation (Abrams ComicArts): Close retelling of Octavia Butler’s classic by vivid, visionary artist John Jennings (who’s already won an Eisner for his scholarship) with frequent writing partner Damian Duffy; reason enough for another year.
- SelfDropKick: Three more comics coming from evil genius Lukasz Kowalczuk’s workshop of dayglo quantum prophetic widescreen crazy!
Best Movies: Jackie, Deadpool
Best TV Shows: Westworld, Sense8, Luke Cage, The Get Down
Best Books (non-fiction): “Ghostland” by Colin Dickey
Best Video Game: Sarah Is Missing
Best Songs: Burn The Witch by Radiohead, Sorry by Beyonce
Best Albums: We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service by A Tribe Called Quest
Best Music Video: Lemonade by Beyonce
Best Podcast: Last Podcast on the Left…
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Paper Girls
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Deadpool
Most underrated thing about 2016? There was nothing underrated about this year. 2016 had 0 chill
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? That it is almost over.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? Can I say 2016, as a whole was a dumpster fire of a fire.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Possibly our new ape overlords after we destroy the Earth
Screenwriter, The Secret Life of Pets, Minions, upcoming The Secret Life of Pets 2
Best Movies: Sing Street. It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s all about the birth of creativity. Plus there are half a dozen songs you can’t get out of your head.
Best TV Shows: Last Man on Earth. It’s The Walking Dead minus zombies but plus Will Forte and it’s fantastic. RUNNER UP: Search Party on TBS. Don’t read anything else about it, just go watch, trust me.
Best Video Game: I don’t have time to play many video games but Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a great time.
Best Songs: “Drive It Like You Stole It” by Sing Street, “Faith” by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, “Shiny” by Jemaine Clement.
Best Albums: Bowie’s is the best of the last couple of years.
Best Music Video: Don’t be silly.
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: IDW’s TMNT, the best version of some of my favorite characters. Giant Days by BOOM! is perfect. And the Archie line is stellar, I can’t believe I’m saying that, and hey, they should really email me and have me write a book.
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: The Secret Life of Pets because the movie is great and I’m on the making of, so, personally, wow, there I am.
Most overrated thing about 2016? Not sure
Most underrated thing about 2016? Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl and Last Man on Earth are all hilarious with perfect casts, and they don’t get enough love.
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Personally, my movie coming out. Also Rogue One and Fantastic Feasts, and neither disappointed.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? You want me to say the election, don’t you? I ain’t kicking that hornet’s nest, no sir.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Spider-Man: Homecoming