Well, here we all are at the close of another calendar year, and for the most part, I made it through 2015 unscathed. That’s not to say that it didn’t have its dark sides; but the lights in the darkness – YOU – guided me on those oftentimes bleak days, giving me reason to chug-on. I’ll chalk 2015 up as a ‘lessons learned, bridges burned, scars earned, the pages turned’ kind of year.
I was laidoff at the beginning of 2015, but found other employment pretty-quickly (and, closer to home). I reluctantly left the group I held so dear – VisionaryTrek; and, yes…I will forever be grateful to them for allowing me to make many contributions, and in allowing me to share some of the rewards for our hard work. Again, (pretty-quickly), I was invited to write for another group – Bombad Radio, that gives me more latitude (and, less mental stress). It’s been a good fit…
2015 had some awesomeness included in it, too! The above photo is courtesy of artists Ali Ries and Keaira Raine-Kusanagi, who created ‘Eric’s Nebula’ for my birthday, in June. My redshirt avitar at the top is courtesy of M. Anthony Gerardo (who runs several fan pages on Facebook); and, yes…my hat was part of the deal, and it is regulation (for me)… 😉 Plus, an excerpt of my THE Q GAMBIT review was used as a blurb, on the back cover of that highly-acclaimed Star Trek series’s graphic novel! How cool was that, I ask?! I even got to bring in the inaugural episode of The O.S.I Files, with my friends David Lawson, and it’s host, John S. Drew! That was awesome!
Thanks, also, to J.K. Woodward for giving me another* cameo-appearance in BEHEMOTH #4; I won an ‘Honorable Mention’ prize in [their] ‘Do You Want To Die Horribly (In A Comic Book)?’ contest. As you can see, I’m getting my ass handed to me by Lucy; one of the many tortured characters in this new, awesome, gritty, young adult comic book series, co-created by JK and writer/actor Chris Kipiniak, for Monkey Brain Comics.
* I was included in IDW’s THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, last year…
As you may know, I don’t go to the movies, so I don’t have a lot to say about them. I haven’t even been to see (Gasp!) Star Wars: The Force Awakens – yet… Hey, I like to read! Some of my favorite books for 2015 include: Dayton Ward’s ARMAGEDDON’S ARROW, Dave Galanter’s CRISIS OF CONSCIOUSNESS, Kirsten Beyer’s ATONEMENT, David A. Goodman’s THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES T. KIRK and Greg Cox’s CHILD OF TWO WORLDS – on the Star Trek side of things, that is.
But, my favorite novel for 2015 was Alan Brennert’s wonderful PALISADES PARK; the dreams, the racial strife, the history of the park and it’s colorful characters, the rides!!! My God, I can still smell the cotton candy and French fries; and – the smoke of its devastating fires… You can read my full review, here; but I highly recommend it!
In the world of comic books, I keep it pretty simple: Star Trek and Batman. There were some spectacular stories out of both genre’s in 2015, so choosing a favorite was difficult.
Star Trek: LIVE^EVIL was my ‘Star Trek Top Pick’ for several reasons: 1) it put IDW in the honorable position of publishing it’s 50th issue, 2) it gave us ‘Mirror’ Kirk and Spock and – KHANNNNNNNNNNNNN, and 3) it gave me my pick for ‘Best Star Trek Cover of the Year’ with issue 51 (above). Tony Shasteen barely made it, beating the likes of Joe Corroney and Brian Miller, and Rachel Stott, or J.K. Woodward’s Star Trek/Green Lantern issue 4 variant and Cat Staggs’s variant-cover for issue 6, (in that same crossover series, THE SPECTRUM WAR). But, hey, Tony Shasteen just fucking nailed it with his ‘cracked mirror’cover! Phenomenal!
On the Batman front, another latecomer swept-in to take the top spot honors – for ALL categories. That’s Batman ’66: #73 MAIN TITLE (Part 2). For the cover, Michael and Laura Allred took those cool toys from that bygone era, but they used the likenesses of Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Cesar Romero and Frank Gorshin on them (as they’ve never been seen before).
The Allred’s interior art, in-concert with Lee Allred’s brilliantly executed story, puts this series’s finale (in my book) over-the-top! It was a purrrrfectly apropos way of ending this series – at its beginning! Give issue 73 a read, and tell me you aren’t BIF-BAM-ZOK’d by its originality, crisp, on-point artwork and, by the sheer nostalgia of what they have done here! The only thing missing from issue 73 is a ‘Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naah… Batman!!’ sound chip! It’s also-why I’m giving it ‘Best Comic Book of the Year!
Looking back on 2015, it wasn’t awful… I got to see family that I hadn’t seen in a lonnnng time; brought in Erica’s 21st birthday and shared a cocktail with her; got to cover FanX (Nichelle Nichols -HELL-YEAH!!) and Free Comic Book Day; went to Vegas and got to see some cool stuff (PAWN STARS, baby!); got some new and old toys, lots of good books and comics…and, by God, I was blessed in so many small ways, that it makes the bad times seem trivial, in comparison.
So, yeah… Bring your shit on, 2016! I’ll be sharing the 50-year-mark with the likes of Star Trek, Batman (the TV series), the Super Bowl, Slurpee and, yes – Barbie, just to name a few. Plus, I’ll get to spend it with all of you; on Facebook, Twitter, Batman Past, Present, Future, What’s That Book You’re Reading?, Bombad Radio, and more! So…here’s to you, 2016…
‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone