So a little while back, I Tweeted about how 2009 has pretty much sucked and how I was looking forward to a (hopefully better) 2010. Over on Facebook, my negative attitude sorta got called out, and for good reason. I was being a bit of a baby. 2009 wasn't so bad, right? I mean, besides some rather unfortunate events for our family, there have been some pretty awesome things this year.
In music, we got the Dirty Projectors' dizzying Bitte Orca, the stoner wail of Ganglians' Monster Head Room, the trippy and bouncy Merriweather Post Pavilion from Animal Collective and the pure pop perfection of Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. You can download my 2009 Favorites mix by clicking here.
In movies, we got the joybomb of the Bad Robot crew's Star Trek reboot, the touching and adventurous Up, the cool comedic caper flick Sparrow and the visceral and (yeah) mind-blowing Avatar. Whatever Works was Woody Allen's funniest in years, The Brothers Bloom was an indie globe-trotting con film with charm to spare and Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers' Where the Wild Things Are moved the heck out of me. But out of all that emerge my two favorite films: the gloriously grisly and giddy Inglorious Basterds and the immaculate messiness that is Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Both films reminded me why I love movies (and their respective directors) and left me smiling in the dark like a friggin' kid.
On the comics front, I made my way through Kirby's sprawling Fourth World opus and Grant Morrison's love letter to it, Final Crisis. I read the first three issues of Brandon Graham's King City and can't say enough good about it, hacked through Naoki Uraswawa's thrilling manga series Monster and explored the high seas with Kevin Cannon's Far Arden. David Mazzuchelli's Asterios Polyp will get some ink spilled over it's amazingness, and rightfully so. It's pretty much perfect in every way. I also read (and laughed a lot at) James Kolchaka's American Elf diaries and enjoyed the heck out of Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple's Omega the Unknown. And let's not forget that this year brought us Grant Morison and Cameron Stewart's Seaguy: Slaves Of Mickey Eye and the latest installment of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim saga: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe Oh, and Let's Be Friends Again published their first volume of strips, Under Pressure, which can be purchased here. Buy three.
Meanwhile on the internet, Ian Cognito's Zamboni Soundtracks continues to be the go-to place for amazing music. Seriously. And then there was the cosmic slop that is HOBODARKSEID, who, it turns out, was (is?) actually Matt Fraction in disguise. I also should give a shout-out to the great If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats, which is pretty much the epitome of cool.
I also read some great books: Haruki Murakami's Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World was pretty much awesome, John Hodgman's Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require are hilarious and filled with facts you need to know. Richard Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling took me for-ev-errr to finish, but was definitely worth it and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers dispels the myth of the "self-made man." I also managed to get my nerdy little paws on some Doc Savage paperbacks.
On the tube, we had the mind-blowing penultimate season of Lost, Parks & Recreation found it's legs and Glee hooked me despite the constant feeling that I really shouldn't be liking it. Community started kicking straight out the gate while 30 Rock continued to make me almost pee myself. Okay, so I peed a little. Okay, so I peed a lot. Anyway, this year also saw our family get all reTARDISed for Doctor Who, Star Wars: the Clone Wars, Marvel's Superhero Squad and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
Creatively, 2009 saw the production of 12 Big Red Robot Montly Mixtapes plus some bonus ones (all of which are available via the Master List) as well as their covers. I did the album art for Numbers Like Pi and Time & Space's releases, the cover for the aforementioned Let's Be Friends Again collection, and had the honor of spearheading the image campaign for the 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival, all of which can be viewed at my revamped website or in my Flickr stream. I also opened my Etsy shop, Tuff Industries and we saw lots of success with Sparkle Power.
Personally, yeah, poop happened, but when you add it all up, I really don't have all that much to complain about. I have a beautiful wife, lovely girls, family and friends who love and support me my family and a half dozen Doc Savage paperbacks. I'm healthy, handsome and talented. I'm good enough, smart enough and doggonnit, people (hopefully) like me.
So yeah, I'm hoping for a better 2010, but 2009, you weren't so bad after all. You had some awesome stuff inside of you. So come on, let's hug. There we go. That's the stuff.