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Best of 2016: Part One

Kristen Halbert

FOG! Contributor
@talkblerdy •  talkblerdytome.com

Best Movies: Deadpool, Hacksaw Ridge, 13th
Best TV Shows: Atlanta, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Luke Cage
Best Books (fiction): Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
Best Books (non-fiction): Evicted by Matt Desmond, You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Jessica Williams
Best Video Game: Korean otome Mystic Messenger (Android/ iOS) has me glued to my cell phone
Best Songs: Side to Side (Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj), 24k Magic (Bruno Mars), Gangsta (Kehlani), Sorry (Beyonce)
Best Albums: Lemonade (Beyonce), Anti (Rihanna), Coloring Book (Chance the Rapper)
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Chew, World of Wakanda
Best Podcast: Code Switch (NPR)
Most overrated thing about 2016? Suicide Squad. Comic movie hype machine ruins another somewhat serviceable movie.
Most underrated thing about 2016? 10 Cloverfield Lane, exclusively for John Goodman’s performance
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Luke Cage
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? …Reality?
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Power Rangers!!!! Oh, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle

 

Craig Yoe

“Indiana Jones of comics historians.”
@YoeBooksyoebooks.com

Best Book (non-fiction): Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White by Michael Tisserand

 

Benn Robbins

FOG! Contributor
@bukket1138robbins-studios.comFacebook.com/robbinsstudios

Best Movies: Kubo and the Two Strings, Neon Demon, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Hail Caesar!  
Best TV Shows: Fresh Off The Boat, Stranger Things, Star Wars Rebels, Bob’s Burgers
Best Books (fiction): Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
Best Books (non-fiction): The Princess Diarist By Carrie Fisher
Best Video Game: Pokemon Go
Best Songs: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” -Regina Spektor on the Kubo and the Two Strings OST
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Barbarella (Jean-Claude Forest and Kelly Sue DeConnick), Providence (Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows), “Howard The Duck” Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones, Head Lopper by Andrew MacLean, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson,
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: The Hills Have Eyes Arrow from Arrow Films
Best Podcast: How Did This Get Made?
Most overrated thing about 2016? The Presidential Election
Most underrated thing about 2016? Surviving 2016
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? The Electoral College
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? It not being 2016

 

Lenny Schwartz

FOG! Columnist
@lennyschwartzDayDream Theatre C.O & Lenny Schwartz Facebook Page

Best Movies: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Manchester by the Sea
Best TV Shows: The Flash
Best Video Game: The last game I played was Pac-Man
Best Songs: I listen to classical
Best Albums: I like the Beatles White album?
Best Music Video: Heart: Alone
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Wonder Woman: The True Amazon by Jill Thompson
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: McCabe and Mrs Miller Criterion
Most overrated thing about 2016? 3D movies
Most underrated thing about 2016? Kyle Chandler
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Writing ! And shaving my head.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? I hated November.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Writing!

 

Mike Calahan

Former FOG! Contributor
@mikecalahanmikecalahan.com

Best Movies: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Nice Guys, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Sing Street
Best TV Shows: Stranger Things, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Best Video Game: Batman Arkham VR (I don’t play video games, but I tested this one out at Best Buy. Great graphics, some vertigo)
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 10
Most overrated thing about 2016? Suicide Squad
Most underrated thing about 2016? Fact-based news
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? New Motorola phones
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016?  Inauguration Day 2017
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Touring company of Hamilton

 

 Sharon Knolle

FOG! Contributor
@sknolle

Best Movies: Arrival, Moonlight, Sing Street, Zootopia, Green Room, Hell or High Water
Best TV Shows: Stranger Things, Quarry, Designated Survivor, Michaela (on HLN)
Best Songs: Good With God: Old 97’s with Brandi Carlile, River: Bishop Briggs, Fire: Barns Courtney, Way Down We Go: Kaleo, I Have Been to the Mountain: Kevin Morby
Best Music Video:  The Greatest: King — 8 bit tribute to Muhammad Ali!, Nobody Speak (ft. Run The Jewels) , DJ Shadow -NSFW legislative white guy throwdown!, Dance Off: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (ft. Idris Elba), Lite Spots: Kaytranada – Dancing robot!
Most overrated thing about 2016?:  Gilmore Girls revival
Most underrated thing about 2016?: Andre Holland in Moonlight, Sing Street
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Jason Bourne
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016?:   Jason Bourne Nocturnal Animals, American democracy
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017?:  Taboo with Tom Hardy, Bladerunner 2049, John Wick: Chapter 2, T2: Trainspotting, Twin Peaks, Iron Fist.

 

Brian Saner Lamken

Comicologist
brianlamken
blamken.blogspot.comblamken.tumblr.com

The Best Movies: 13th; Manchester by the Sea; Captain America: Civil War — the whole may have been less than the sum of its parts but most of those parts were so much fun; Arrival; Moana
The Best TV: Roots; a good half or more of Soundbreaking; Luke Cage; the “Invasion!” crossover on Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow for the delight it brought my inner 7-year-old, despite its problems; “A Closer Look” on Late Night with Seth Myers, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for how they spoke to my inner (and outer) 46-year-old; Stranger Things
The Best Prose Non-Fiction: I’m gonna say The Daily Show (The Book) even though I’ve barely read any yet
The Best Music: David Bowie’s Blackstar; Adele’s “Send My Love (to Your New Lover)”; Lake Street Dive’s Side Pony; The Monkees’ Good Times just for the sheer fun of it; “Mia & Sebastian’s Theme” from La-La Land
The Best Comics: March Book Three; Scooby-Doo Team-Up #16 with the Shazam/Marvel Family, yes, seriously; the way better late than never Tales of the Batman: Alan Brennert collection; Hellboy in Hell Volume 2: The Death Card; Usagi Yojimbo
What Disappointed Me Most in 2016: Where do I even begin?  Batman v. Superman; the X-Files revival except for “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”; sexist reaction to the new Ghostbusters; the CGI in Rogue One that, well, you know what I mean if you’ve seen it, and it all but ruined whatever enjoyment I got from the film; DC’s Rebirth immediately dampening any spark of interest, let alone hope, it may have ignited in me; the cancellations of Agent Carter and The Nightly Show; worst of all, the fustercluck of personal, family, national, and global adversities, trials, and tragedies that defined the year
What I’m Looking Forward to in 2017: Star Wars Episode VIII; more Marvel movies; the Wonder Woman film; Star Trek: Discovery; Supergirl: Being Super; what folks do for Jack Kirby’s centennial; the launch/relaunch of some personal labors of love

 

Matt Kennedy

Director La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Former FOG! Contributor
@PodSeqpanikcollective.com

Best Movies: The Witch; Only Yesterday; Anomalisa; Arrival
Best TV Movie or Special: Ali Wong: Baby Cobra
Best TV Shows: Westworld; The Exorcist; The Get Down; Hip Hop Evolution
Best Books (fiction): The Lovecraft Code by Peter Levenda
Best Books (non-fiction):  Modern Art in America 1908-68 by William C. Agee; The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Best Video Game: Does Pokemon Go count?
Best Songs: No Problem by Chance the Rapper; Your Best American Girl by Mitski; Untitled 02 / 06.23.204 by Kendrick Lamar; Karate by Baby Metal
Best Albums: Blackstar by David Bowie, The Fall of Hearts by Katatonia
Best Music Video: Winalotto by Tommy Cash
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew; the Young Animal line at DC
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Fantastic Planet remastered Criterion Collection DVD
Best Podcast: Pod Sequentialism with Matt Kennedy, of course!
Most overrated thing about 2016? Anything to do with Politics or Kanye West
Most underrated thing about 2016? The danger and power of the Alt Right (unfortunately)
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Panik Collective show at Houston Museum of Drawing
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016?  The Electoral College
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? The opening of 30 South Gallery in Pasadena, CA

 

Derf Backderf

Cartoonist
@DerfBackderfderfcity.com

Best Movies: the only new films I saw were crap
Best TV Shows: Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Best Books (fiction): only read old stuff this year
Best Books (non-fiction): see above
Best Video Game: Not a gamer
Best Songs: Leonard Cohen – “You Want It Darker”, Ghost – “Square Hammer”, The Prophets of Rage – “Prophets of Rage”
Best Albums: Leonard Cohen – “You Want It Darker”, The Rolling Stones – “Blue & Lonesome”, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard- Nonagon Infinity
Best Music Video: don’t watch them
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: “Cheap Novelties: the Pleasures of Urban Decay” by Ben Katchor, “In the Pines: Murder Ballads” by Erik Kriek, “Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist” by Bill Griffith, “nod away” by Joshua Cotter, “Tetris” by Box Brown
Best Podcast: WTF with Mark Maron
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Carnival of Souls:the Criterion Collection
Most overrated thing about 2016? Collective intelligence
Most underrated thing about 2016? Assholes
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Attending my first San Diego Comic Con and Eisner Award ceremony.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016?  Are you fucking kidding me?
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? The My Friend Dahmer movie.

 

Emma-Jane Corsan

FOG! Contributor
@emmajanecorsanYoutube.com/cheesemintInstagram

Best Movies: Kubo And The Two Strings, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Doctor Strange, The Witch
Best TV Shows: Luke Cage, Westworld, Daredevil s2, Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories, Stranger Things
Best Video Game: Dishonored 2, Overwatch, Doom, Pokémon Sun & Moon, Pokémon Go, Titanfall 2
Best Albums: Blackstar – David Bowie, “Awaken, My Love” – Childish Gambino, 10 Years Of Akala – Akala, Strange Little Birds – Garbage, A Seat At The Table – Solange Knowles, A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead
Best Music Video: Lazarus by David Bowie (dir: Johan Renck)
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Shamefully, I have read very little this year other than my Deadpool singles but I did also enjoy Visions written by British poet and rapper Akala and illustrated by J.C. Baez
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Dreams by Akira Kurosawa (the new, restored 4K digital transfer came out this year!), the extras and behind the scenes footage on both the Deadpool and Star Trek Beyond Blu-rays were also great and I didn’t get one but the entirety of The Twilight Zone on Blu-ray is on my wishlist.
Best Podcast: The Super 8-Bit Power Hour, The Adam Buxton Podcast, Philosophize This, Barshens Podcast
Most overrated thing about 2016? As always, reality TV and pointless celebrity gossip. How is this stuff so popular?!
Most underrated thing about 2016? The various scientific discoveries and continued space exploration – so much happened yet it was barely reported on!
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? I discovered through my DNA that my heritage is far more interesting than I thought. I’m only 63% British!
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? Brexit, Trump winning the US election, the Syrian refugee crisis, the rise of MRAs, a notable increase in racist attacks in the UK and ongoing war that has destroyed entire cities and historical UNESCO sites…..so in a nutshell I guess; Humanity. And of course David Bowie’s death, along with countless other talented, inspirational people this year, has left 2016 feeling like the worst year I’ve experienced so far in my life on this tiny, dumb planet.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017: Finally visiting Japan in October-November 2017 with my husband and two friends. I also can’t wait to finish our (Cheesemint Productions) feature film Sariel and our upcoming kickstarted short film, The Titan’s Eagle (which is about a 17th century alchemist who gets himself stuck in a time loop. I also look forward to seeing more hope, love and kindness around in the face of so much uncertainty because I’m not ready to give up on humanity just yet!

 

Alex C. Telander

Former FOG! Contributor
@bookbanterThe Ostium Podcast

Best TV Shows:  National Geographic Channel’s Mars
Best Books (fiction): Goldenhand by Garth Nix, Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson, Bluescreen by Dan Wells, Rise: The Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Best Books (non-fiction): Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins, The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond, Grunt by Mary Roach
Best Albums: The Fall of a Rebel Angel by Enigma
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Saga Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan
Best Podcast: Bright Sessions, Mabel, The Box, LifeAfter

 

Dean Galanis

FOG! Contributor

Best Movies: Swiss Army Man, The Witch, The Bad Kids
Best TV Shows: The People v. OJ Simpson, Westworld
Best Blu-Ray: Killer Dames Collection, CHUD, Tenebrae
Best Podcast: WTF with Marc Maron, The Canon, Columbo Case Files, Supporting Characters
Most Overrated: Sausage Party, Captain America: Civil War
Most Underrated: Before I Wake

 

Atlee Greene

Former FOG! Contributor
@atleegreenethegreenescreen.net

Best Movies: Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Arrival, The Nice Guys, The Jungle Book, Zootopia, Star Trek Beyond, Kubo and the Two Strings, Solace
Best TV Shows: Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson, Empire, The Flash, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Modern Family, Timeless
Best Books (fiction): Star Wars: Bloodlines, Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
Best Comic Books/Graphic Novels: Darth Vader, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Supergirl, DC Comics: Rebirth, Black Panther, House of Penance
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016?   Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, WrestleMania 32, Independence Day: Resurgence
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? WrestleMania 33, Star Wars: Episode VIII, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Justice League

 

Joe Keatinge

Comic Book Writer; Ringside, Shutter
joekeatinge.com

Best Movies: The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith
Best TV Shows: Baskets
Best Books (fiction): Re-reading John Fowles’ The Magus
Best Books (non-fiction): Steering The Craft: A Twenty-First Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K Le Guin
Best Songs: “Hold Up: by Beyoncé, Lemonade
Best Albums: Beyoncé’s Lemonade
Best Music Video: Lemonade by Beyoncé
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Mirror by Hwei Lim and Emma Ríos, Image Comics
Best Podcast: Comedy Bang Bang
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: Criterion’s Lone Wolf and Cub
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Everyone being alive.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016?   Everyone dying.
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Everyone not dying.

 

Andre Bennett

FOG! Contributor
@frankiethirteen

Best Movies: Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Best TV Shows: FX’s Atlanta was my clear favorite of the year, and my choice for best show of 2016. Season 3 of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman was a very close second, and indeed, its mostly silent underwater episode is one of the best TV episodes of the year. Past that, I also enjoyed Lucha Underground, Luke Cage, the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, and the Tom Hanks and Dave Chappelle episodes of SNL
Best Songs: David Bowie, “Blackstar,” “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore,” “I Can’t Give Everything Away”; Roisin Murphy, “Mastermind,” “Ten Miles High”; Phantogram, “Same Old Blues”; A Tribe Called Quest, “We the People,” “The Space Program;” Justice, “Safe and Sound”; Kanye West, “I Love Kanye”; The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk, “Starboy”
Best Albums: David Bowie, “Blackstar”; Roisin Murphy, “Take Her Up to Monto”; Justice, “Woman”; Phantogram, “Three”; A Tribe Called Quest, “We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service”
Best Podcast: 99% Invisible, Scriptnotes
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? The new David Bowie album
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? The death of David Bowie–replace disappointed with shattered
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

 

Steven Scott

Former FOG! Contributor, Writer, Publicist
@scott_duvall

Best Movies: Arrival, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, Hell or High Water,
Best TV Shows: Westworld, Veep, Silicon Valley, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Podcast: Batman: The Animated Podcast, Everything’s Turning Up Podcast, The Down and Nerdy Podcast, The Third Men Podcast, Hollywood Babble On, Word Balloon
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016? X-Men: Apocalypse
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Star Wars: Episode VIII

 

Jerry Dennis

Co-host, co-creator and co-producer Movie Geeks United
@Jerryd70moviegeeksunited.net

Best Movies: The Neon Demon, Green Room, American Honey, The Nice Guys, De Palma, The Lobster, The Handmaiden, Manchester By The Sea, Blood Father, Nocturnal Animals, The Edge Of Seventeen
Best TV Shows: Quarry, Atlanta, Better Things, The Night Of, The OA, The Crown, Black Mirror
Best Books (fiction): Bright Precious Days by Jay McInerney, but read a lot of older fiction last year.
Best Books (non-fiction): Brian DePalma’s Split Screen by Douglas Keesey, Illeana Douglas’ I Blame Dennis Hopper
Best Albums: PJ Harvey The Hope Demolition Project, The Deftones Gore
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Fight Club 2
Best Podcast: I am going to be very partial to my own here, Movie Geeks United. But also The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast and WTF with Mddvarc Maron.
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: All the Criterion releases especially McCabe And Mrs. Miller, Punch Drunk Love and Pan’s Labyrinth
Most overrated thing about 2016? TV is better film
Most underrated thing about 2016? Movies are still killing it if you know where to look.
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? The new movie releases.
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016?   The loss of too many great people!
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? Star Wars: Episode VIII!!

 

George Khoury

Pop Culture Historian
@ComicBKFever

Best Movies: The Nice Guys, Zootopia
Best TV Shows: Stranger Things, Ash vs. Evil Dead, The Crown, Game of Thrones,  Late Night with Seth Myers, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Best Books (fiction):  Jerusalem by Alan Moore
Best Books (non-fiction): The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Best Video Game: NBA2K17
Best Songs: “This is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris and Rihanna; “She Makes Me Laugh” by The Monkees
Best Podcast: Maltin on Movies
Best Albums: “Good Times” by The Monkees
Best Music Video: “She Makes Me Laugh” by The Monkees
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Ghost by Raina Telgemeier
Best Blu-ray/DVD Release: One-Eyed Jacks (Criterion)
Most overrated thing about 2016? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Most underrated thing about 2016? The Nice Guys
Thing that you were most excited about in 2016? The season finale of Game of Thrones
Thing that disappointed you most in 2016?   The Election
Thing that you’re most looking forward to in 2017? The Blu-ray release of The Abyss.

 

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