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Best of 2013: Part Four

Clay N Ferno

Best Movies: Man of Steel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, This is The End, White House Down, Red 2
Best TV Shows: Mad Men, Arrow, Dracula, Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead
Best Books (fiction): The Fifth Assassin (Brad Meltzer)
Best Books (non-fiction): Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World (Gary Vaynerchuk)
Best Video Game: Arkham Origins for iOS
Best Songs: Royals (Lorde Cover) – Puddles the Clown, Chain Gang Reaction(ary) – Swingin’ Utters, If the Gaff Don’t Let Us Down – Skinny Lister
Best Albums: Poorly Formed – Swingin’ Utters, Pop War – Imperial State Electric
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: G.I. Joe Season 3 by Fred Van Lente, Shadowman at Valiant, Scott Snyder’s Batman, Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Man Of Steel, The Wolverine, Red 2
Thing that you were most excited about in 2013?: Seeing the city of Boston come together, Man of Steel DVD Release, Boston Comic Con, New York Comic Con, Red Sox World Championship
Thing that disappointed you most in 2013?: Government Shut-Downs and City Lock-Downs.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2014?: Boston Comic Con, New York Comic Con, Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, A consecutive Red Sox World Championship!

Clay N Ferno writes the column “The Cosmic Treadmill” and reviews comics and movies for Forces of Geek

Chris Roberson 
Twitter •  monkeybraincomics.comDigital Comics by Chris Roberson

Best Movies: The World’s End, Pacific Rim
Best TV Shows: Orphan Black, Boardwalk Empire, Venture Bros, Adventure Time
Best Books (fiction): The best novel I read this year was actually published in 2010, but it’s Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad, and I recommend it highly.

Best Books (non-fiction): It was actually a late 2012 release, but I immensely enjoyed Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story early this year.

Best Video Game: I don’t think I played a video game this year. Does that make me a pariah? My kid liked Pokemon Y an awful lot, if that counts.

Best Songs: “Ya Hey” by Vampire Weekend

Best Albums: Modern Vampires of The City (Vampire Weekend)

Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Copra, Astro City, Multiple Warheads, Satan’s Soldier

Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: I pretty much exclusively watch stuff on iTunes and Netflix, thanks to our Apple TV, so I don’t know that I bought a new DVD this year.

Thing that you were most excited about in 2013?: Finally moving into our new house in Portland.

Thing that disappointed you most in 2013?: We’ve come SO far, and yet STILL no jet-packs?!

Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2014?: Jet-packs, hopefully!

Chris Roberson has written more than a dozen novels, three dozen short stories, and numerous comic projects and is co-publisher of Monkeybrain Comics with his wife Allison Baker.

Kevyn Knox

Best Movies: Stoker, American Hustle, Spring Breakers, Before Midnight, Frances Ha, Blue Jasmine, The World’s End, Upstream Color, The Act of Killing, To the Wonder
Best TV Shows: The Walking Dead, Modern Family, Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory, Breaking Bad, Trophy Wife, Orange is the New Black, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Boardwalk Empire, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Best Books (Fiction): I really do not read much modern literature these days, opting for classic or semi-classic lit.  I am definitely looking forward to the new J.D. Salinger works that are promised beginning in 2015.  Is that good enough.
Best Books (Non-Fiction): David Thompson’s Moments That Made the Movies, A Life of Barbara Stanwyck, Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel, The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion, Roger Corman: King of the B-Movie
Best Video Games: I haven’t played a video game on a regular basis since Mario Bros. 3 back in 1994 or so – and I played that one a hell of a lot.  My problem is I become addicted and cannot stop, so I don’t allow myself to play them any more.  I do remember playing a friend’s baseball game (MLB something or other) a few years back, and my greatest joy was trying to start a benches clearing brawl.  It took seven consecutive pitches to the head for it to happen, and even after all that, the game never actually showed the brawl.
Best Songs: The Next Day by David Bowie, Reflektor by Arcade Fire, Ya Hey by Vampire Weekend, Walkin’ on a Pretty Day by Kurt Vile, Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Best Albums: The Next Day by David Bowie, Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend, Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails, Random Access Memories by Daft Punk, Reflektor by Arcade Fire
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Hawkeye, Bedlam, Manhattan Projects, F.F, Saga, Fatale, Ten Grand, All-New X-Men, The Wake, Helheim
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Nashville, Seconds (FINALLY!!!), 3 Films by Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman, The Quiet Man, The Blob, Die Screaming Marianne, Westworld, Laura, White Zombie, Marketa Lazarova
Biggest Disappointment of 2013: It’s sad to say, but Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street
Lookin g Forward to in 2014: Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac AND a new film from Paul Thomas Anderson + the possibility of the publication of my first book, My Quest to See the 1000 Greatest Films.

Kevyn Knox wrote the column “History of Science Fiction Cinema” for Forces of Geek

Craig Rousseau

Best Movies: Pacific Rim, The World’s End
Best TV Shows: Justified, House of Cards, Breaking Bad
Best Books (fiction): Joyland – Stephen King, Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
Best Songs: Diane Young – Vampire Weekend
Best Albums:  Modern Vampires in the City – Vampire Weekend, Hesitation Marks – Nine Inch Nails
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Daredevil – Waid and Samnee, Mouse Guard: the Black Axe – David Petersen. Hellboy in Hell – Mike Mignola
Thing that you were most excited about in 2013?: Creator owned comic book projects
Thing that disappointed you most in 2013?: Man of Steel
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2014?: More creator owned projects

Craig Rousseau draws lots of comics.  His latest include “Batman ’66” and his co-creations “Kyrra Alien Jungle Girl” and “the Perhapanauts”

Dean Galanis

Best Movies:

  • MONSTERS U.: hilarious, but also a terrific example of how to write a prequel.
  • WORLD WAR Z: haven’t read the source novel, so I can’t comment on the changes. But taken on its own terms, an exciting, intense take on the zombie genre.
  • OBLIVION: underrated, involving science fiction.
  • IRON MAN 3: I know that die hard Iron Man fans were furious, and I do understand. But as someone who knows Iron Man mainly from movies, I found it hugely entertaining.
  • THE CONJURING: good, solid, scary haunted house movie.
  • CRAVE: stylish, funny, disturbing.
  • ONLY GOD FORGIVES: really stylish, really funny, really disturbing.
  • THE WORLD’S END: another winner in the Cornetto trilogy, with a smashing early 90s soundtrack as icing on the cake.
  • PRISONERS: supremely well-acted, with unnerving direction and, despite a two and a half hour running time, a tight script.
  • ROOM 237/BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD: two superlative documentaries, each analyzing horror classics, are among the most entertaining films of the year.


  • IRON MAN 3: the wonderful airplane rescue, where a superhero actually, you know, saves innocent people he doesn’t know. It’s been a while…
  • EVIL DEAD: an OK movie, but that operatic final shot is phenomenal.
  • THE CONJURING: clap clap.
  • MONSTERS U: “I’ll just be here listening to my tunes.”
  • MONSTERS U: Squishy ropes Sully to the dance floor. Hysterically funny, and oddly touching.
  • PASSION: the ballet sequence. DePalma’s still got it!
  • PACIFIC RIM: Mako’s flashback. RIM is an extremely mixed bag, but this sequence is far and away my favorite of the year. Jaw-dropping in its spectacle AND emotional power.


  • THE LAST STAND: crap.
  • A GOOD DIE TO DIE HARD: a slap in the face for fans. John McClain is just a d**k in this one.
  • OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL: a slap in the face for fans. Obnoxious and pointless.
  • MAN OF STEEL: a punch in the nose for fans. This really, truly isn’t Superman.
  • STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS: a kick in the nuts for fans. This really, REALLY isn’t Star Trek.
  • THIS IS THE END: irritating, grating vanity piece does nearly everything wrong that “The World’s End” does right. I’ll admit it has one or two moments, though…
  • R.I.P.D.: utterly devoid of merit.
  • OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN: horribly clichéd and embarrassingly jingoistic. It’s sad when the only bone you can toss a movie is “It had some good violence.”
  • THE HEAT: I’m so sick and tired of how Hollywood has been using the talented Melissa McCarthy; the truth is, however, that I even couldn’t stand her in this unfunny turd.
  • THE WALL/GRAVITY: two borderline sci-fi tales of survival with a grand total of about 10 mins of interest. The two dullest films of the year.


  • GRAVITY: so boring.
  • THE GREAT GATSBY: I’m hot and cold with Baz Luhrmann, but I had high hopes for this one. They were dashed.
  • MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: Joss Whedon does Shakespeare with that cast?! It can’t miss!! Oh, what a letdown…
  • THE PURGE: a really cool premise botched.


  • “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities
  • “Roar” by Katy Perry
  • “Lightning Bolt” by Jake Bugg
  • “Sail” by AWOLNATION


  • “Sherlock” Season 3

Dean Galanis is a contributor to Forces of Geek

Vito Delsante

Best Movies: I didn’t get out as much I would have liked to (we had my daughter, Sadie, in February). It seems as though the movies I did see were kind of disappointing. STILL waiting to see Pacific Rim.
Best TV Shows: Arrow continues to delight. South Park is still must see TV.
Best Books (fiction): Still trying to get through Gun Machine. I have cut down on my fiction reading, for some reason. All the books on my “To Read” pile are non-fiction, so…
Best Books (non-fiction): Manhunt, which was recommended to me by Dean Trippe, was amazing. Whatever you think you know about the Lincoln assassination, you’re wrong. Still working through Marvel Comics: The Untold Story (which is awesome) as well as Reza Aslan’s Jesus. I also enjoyed Bret Hart and Ric Flair’s individual autobios (even though they’re not new).
Best Video Game: It says a lot that I enjoyed (and am still enjoying) WWE 2K14 more than Batman: Arkham Origins, but I like them both.
Best Songs: Black Skinhead by Kanye West. Holy Grail by Jay-Z. My God is the Sun by Queens of the Stone Age, which was on…
Best Albums: ...Like Clockwork, by the Queens. Yeezus was alright, but other than Black Skinhead, it’s kind of uneven.
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Lazarus by Rucka and Lark. Velvet by Brubaker and Epting. The yearly Love and Rockets is always great. Something Terrible by Dean Trippe. The Fox by Waid and Haspiel. And then the consistent killers (Hawkeye, Fatale, Daredevil).
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: ehhh…I know I bought more than a few, but nothing stands out. I bought Singin’ In the Rain and An American in Paris, two Gene Kelly movies, so I’m probably not the best person to ask.
Thing that you were most excited about in 2013?: I hate to look back at my own career and my own work, but doing a Kickstarter, and succeeding, was possibly the most exciting thing that wasn’t my daughter’s birth. Exceeded my expectations.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2013?:   Probably, my NYCC experience. It wasn’t a bad show; I just didn’t do as well, financially, as I would have hoped.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2014?: Stray, World War Mob and Part 2 of Prisoner of None (my books). Dean Trippe’s follow up project. The relaunch of Daredevil. I’m cautiously optimistic about Guardians of the Galaxy. Really want that Godzilla movie tonight.

Vito Delsante is a comic book writer/graphic novelist and creator of the 100 Character Challenge. He’s written for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, AdHouse Books, and Simon & Schuster.  His upcoming books “World War Mob” and “Stray” arrive in 2014.

Dirk Manning

Best Movies: Seeing Jurassic Park in IMAX/3-D was the best experience I had in a movie theater all year. My best home viewing experience was, without a doubt, Sharknado. (Don’t judge me!)

Best TV Shows: Breaking Bad was not only the best TV show of the year, but also the best TV show of the past decade, setting a new standard of how well a TV show should be constructed and – just as importantly – end.

Best Books (fiction): I’m a very voracious reader, but The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is the first book in years to make me rediscover an exhilarating and childlike sense of joy. I felt like like a little kid who had just discovered “big books” for the first time all over again.

Best Songs: I’m a huge metal head, but there’s no denying that “Bad Guy” and “Rap God” by Eminem are the two best “single” songs I’ve heard all year.

Best Albums: I hate to be this guy, but when all is said and done “Hydra” by Otep, “Deceiver of the Gods” by Amon Amarth and “Push the Sky Away” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds get the three-way tie here.

Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: FIVE WEAPONS by Jimmie Robinson, GODZILLA: THE HALF-CENTURY WAR, and DIA DE LOS MUERTOS by Riley Rossmo and friends and GOD IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU by Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler are all books that made me smile. A lot.

Thing that you were most excited about in 2013?: Image Comics definitively establishing that the comic medium has more to offer the general population than men in spandex. 

Thing that disappointed you most in 2013?: The rise of the Internet witch-hunt mentality among people who want to be seen as “important” for their rage rather than their deeds.

Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2014?: Smaller comic publishers who don’t specialize in corporately-owned superhero comics (such as Big Dog Ink and Devil’s Due) starting to get “The Image Comics Rub.”

Dirk Manning is the writer of NIGHTMARE WORLD and LOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR) from Image Comics/Shadowline, WRITE OR WRONG: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CREATING COMICS (Transfuzion Publishing) and TALES OF MR. RHEE (Devil’s Due Publishing) among others. Cthulhu is his homeboy.

Josh Latta

Worst Movies: Man Of Steel. Remember when superhero movies used to be in color? After a few hours of this downer I wished I was the one with the snapped neck.
Worst TV Shows: Orange Is The New Black. OITNB is just the updated ‘Facts Of Life.’ It sucked then and it sucks now. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it has lesbian sex in it, but so does porn.
Worst Books (non-fiction): An Autobiography by Morrissey. I was saddened to read about Moz’s longtime companion, Jake. I thought what we had was special.
Worst Video Game: Don’t get me started on video games.
Worst Songs: It’s Hard Out Here by Lilly Allen. It may be hard out here for a bitch, but it’s REALLY hard out here for those of us without celebrity parents and a million dollar video criticizing the rap culture of excess.
Worst Albums: Yeesus by Kanye West. I can’t wait for it to be okay for us white people to stop pretending like we like this record.
Worst Comic Books / Graphic Novels: March: Book One by John Lewis. What? we got congressmen writing comics now, too? Jeez. Is there any gimmick TOO low for this industry?

Josh Latta is so mean, he once shot a man just for snoring too loud. 

Ryan Jackson 

Best Movies: Zero Dark Thirty and Wreck It Ralph
Best TV Shows: Sleepy Hollow; Game of Thrones
Best Books (fiction): Skinner by Charlie Huston; NOS4A2 by Joe Hill; Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Skottie Young
Best Video Game: GTAV and The Last of Us
Best Songs: Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Best Albums: Random Access Memories by Daft Punk and Horse Trading by Bottomless Pit (I Hate Music by Superchunk is right up there too)
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Battling Boy by Paul Pope; the end of Grant Morrison’s Batman saga; East of West by Hickman and Dragotta
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Criterion Collection release of Repo Man and even though I don’t own it (yet) the Criterion Collection boxed set of Zatoichi films
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2014?: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy; the new Christopher Nolan movie, Interstellar
Thing that disappointed you most in 2013?: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. …. So boring.

Ryan Jackson is a longtime contributor to Forces of Geek

Seth Levi
Best TV Shows: Veep, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones
Best Albums: American Mavericks
Best Books (non-fiction): Going Clear

Seth Levi writes the column “Maximum Pixels” for Forces of Geek

Matt ‘Quori’ Armstrong
TwitterSurviving WOW with QuoriAzeroth Pirate Radio

Best Movies: The Wolverine, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Frozen
Best TV Shows: Justified, VEEP, Treme, MasterChef Junior
Best Books (non-fiction): The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony, Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog by Matthew McCarry and Stacy Toth
Best Video Game: Injustice: Gods Among Us, Skylanders: Swapforce
Best Songs: Radioactive (Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix), Little Drummer Boy (Pentatonix), Blurred Lines (Jimmy Fallon, Robin Thicke & The Roots), Sesame Street Theme (Jimmy Fallon, Sesame Street & The Roots)
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Infinity, X-Factor: End Of X-Factor, G.I. Joe Complete Collection Volumes 2 & 3, Batman Beyond 10000 Clowns TPB, X-Men Mutant Massacre (new printing)
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Farscape: The Complete Series Blu-ray
Thing that you were most excited about in 2013?: Game of Thrones: The Red Wedding, Breaking Bad: Series Finale
Thing that disappointed you most in 2013?: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (lackluster so far. Slow to develop.)
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2014?: Justified Season 5, X-Men: Days of Future Past

Matt ‘Quori’ Armstrong reviewed the first season of ‘The Bridge’ for Forces of Geek

Emily Eggan

Best Films of 2013: World War Z, Monster’s U, The Conjuring, Iron Man 3, Prisoners, Room 237, Oblivion, 42, The World’s End, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Worst Films of 2013: Star Trek: Into Darkness (NEVER has a film made me more angry, than this one did.), Man of Steel (NOT a Superman movie.  Not even remotely.),  Oz:  The Great and Powerful (What an insult.), A Good Day to Die Hard (Wretched.  What a waste of a great franchise.), The Lords of Salem  (Waste of time and celluloid.), R.I.P.D. (There are no words that properly describe how bad this film was.), Olympus Had Fallen (Embarrassing and pathetic.), Gravity (*mega-eye-roll*  Boring!!!!)
Most Disappointing Films of 2013: Much Ado About Nothing (It hurt my Shakespeare and Joss Whedon loving heart to watch this.), The Great Gatsby (Not even Leonardo DiCaprio’s great performance could save this film.), Evil Dead (Great shot near the end.  Hated the rest.), The Purge (What a predictable pile of waste.)

Emily Egan has photographed The Saturn Awards three times for Forces of Geek

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