Nick Bryan Dot Com

BEST OF 2014 - Top Ten TV

I used to be an Internet TV Reviewer, you know. Writing blog-length reviews of TV show episodes, expressing my critical thoughts, trying to be funny without tipping into bitchy snark. I eventually burnt out on sheer volume of critiquing, not to mention it wasn't justifying the time spent neglecting fiction, but still, I never reviewed purely for attention. I did it because I love the work.

So, I haven't reviewed a TV series weekly since Game of Thrones season 4 finished in April, but I have run down my top ten TV shows every year since 2012 on The Digital Fix and here in 2013, so I see no reason to stop now. Let's see this year's list, which includes The First Ever Non-Fictional Shows To Chart.

BEST OF 2014 - Comics

Originally, this summary of 2014's comics-reading was going to share space with the books, but those damn prose-hives ended up taking up so much space that I let them have the entire post. So now, that means I could either not list my favourite comics of 2014 or give them an entire post to themselves.

I think it's obvious which way I was going to go. If you want to know what I was reading a year ago, here's the post for that. Now, onwards back into the comics of 2014, a year where my comic book consumption came dangerously close to being defined by a single app...

BEST OF 2014 - Books

My original plan, as threatened in last week's podcast/film/music summary, was to dig into my favourite books and comics of the year in this single post. However, due to circumstances beyond my control (me banging on for too long), I am going to leave this one with just the books and return to the comics at a later date. Probably quite a soon later date, as I still harbour the ambition of getting these blog posts out before 2014 itself ends, and I still gotta do the TV as well.

If you want to see how my tastes have evolved, you can consult the 2013 equivalent of this blog post. For now, though, let's dig into the best printed prose stories of the year, most of which I read digitally.

BEST OF 2014 - Podcasts, Films, Music

Right, 2014 is one week and a few Christmas crackers away from ending, so it's time for bloggers to work out their Favourite [THING] Of [YEAR] lists. I am no exception, especially as I've hardly reviewed anything for ages and kinda miss it.

So, exactly as I did last year, I've broken my enjoyment down into a series of headings. In this first effort, we'll tackle the podcasts, movies and music. One of those segments will be much, much longer than the other two.

2014 - A Writrospective

Because it's a retrospective about my writing, you see? So it's a writrospective! Even if you don't care about me or my work, surely it was worth clicking on the blog post just for that pun? See diagram for more details.

Anyway. I have more or less reached the point where all my free time is booked for the remainder of the year. Might squeeze in an hour or two somewhere, but I doubt any more substantial writing work will happen before 2015 hits.

So I thought I'd take this chance, late on a Thursday night, to look back on what I did/achieved this year, in and around writing, and whether it met my lofty goals from twelve months ago. Don't worry, it won't be pure self-congratulation - I missed almost all of those goals, but not completely.

Hellblazer by Garth Ennis - Classic Constantine Contemplations

Inspired by the launch of that Constantine TV show, Comixology recently held a generous sale on Hellblazer, the original for-mature-readers John Constantine series. I took this opportunity to finally read in order the entire Garth Ennis-written run on that title, the work that broke Ennis into American comics and first teamed him with Steve Dillon, with whom he'd later create Preacher.

For the uninitiated - Hellblazer is a horror comic about John Constantine, trenchcoated modern-day wizard antihero, confronting supernatural/magical unpleasatness in a modern setting. He was created during Alan Moore's Swamp Thing stories, before spinning off into own series after fans enjoyed his manipulative schemes and wry British comments.

Hellblazer distinguished itself from other urban fantasy via particular emphasis on straight-up awful horrific moments and a tendency to reference real modern-day British issues rather than just the affairs of its own fictional universe, all of which made it a massive cult hit.