There’s a glut of movies, albums, and comic books that I wanted to write about over last few months but didn’t have the chance, since I was graduating from graduate school, looking for a job, and getting married in a very short span. My wife (!) and I got back from our honeymoon last Tuesday, and since then we’ve been trying to settle into our new apartment just a few hundred yards north of OU’s campus. This has consisted of making trips to return gifts, throwing away countless boxes and reams of wrapping paper, and constantly adjusting the settings on our boxy window air conditioners. Yes, this is our first apartment. I’m loving it.
After all that, I have a little time to look back on the year and give you a glimpse at my thoughts on some of the albums I’ve bought and movies I’ve seen in theatres. I also thought I’d add in a few segments on comic books I’ve recently read, since that’s really all I’ve been reading for the past couple of months. I’ll stick to more obscure titles you’re less likely to have heard of, so basically no superheroes (though I have read some great superhero books lately as well- Mark Waid’s Daredevil, Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, Scott Snyder’s Batman, Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman). I’ll write about all that life change stuff here in a few days. For now, allow me to share a few words about pop culture, because it’s been too long. I guess the normal thing to do would be to go with a “25 words or less” theme, but I think it’ll be more fun to have to write 25 words exactly for every item. But fun is relative, so we’ll see.
American Kid, Patty Griffin: Griffin has long been one of my favorites. With this, she refines as well as expands both her Americana sound and her deeply felt stories.
Bright Sunny South, Sam Amidon: A spare album of mainly traditionals (but also including covers of Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw songs) that morphs songs into beautiful, melancholy folk beauty.
Coyote, Matt Mays: An inventive and classic-sounding rock album that pulses with a yearning for freedom. This would demand radio play if rock radio weren’t dead and gone.
Fatale: I never knew I had been longing for a horror noir comic book series until I picked up this deliciously grimy book by Ed Brubaker.
Jake Bugg, Jake Bugg: As if the Dylan comparisons (which he wears well, btw) weren’t ridiculous enough praise, try this little tidbit: the man was only born in 1994.
Locke & Key: Written by Stephen King’s progeny, Joe Hill, this genre-defying book is my favorite ongoing series, and I don’t even think I’ve reached the story’s climax yet.
Now You See Me: They’re calling it a surprise hit; I was certainly surprised by how much I liked this magicians’ Robin-Hood-by-way-of-Vegas pop mystery even though it aims low. (Yes, I’m counting that hyphenated monster as one word. No, I don’t care.)
The Unwritten: An endlessly inventive take by Mike Carey on a Harry-Potter-like character come to life (or something like that…) that overflows with its love for literature.