Thursday, January 06, 2011

Yep, It's A "2010 Year In Review" Post

I may not be an organized person, but for some reason I keep extensive lists about what I do each year (if only I was this good at keeping tack of receipts...) So here, with the help of my lists, are my favorite things from 2010.

Total movies seen for the first time in 2011: 58
Moves seen in a theatre: 11

Favorites: Fantastic Mister Fox, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic, Inception, The King’s Speech
I sort of rediscovered Wes Anderson this year and watched a number of films that I hadn’t seen before. Fantastic Mr. Fox may well be one of my absolute favorite movies of any year.
Honorable Mentions: Predators, Die Hard series
Least Favorites/biggest disappointment: Inglorious Basterds
Biggest Surprise: Prince of Persia
It’s not a great movie, but when I got it from Netflix I watched it at least 4 times. I don’t know why exactly.

Favorites: Fringe, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The IT Crowd, Burn Notice
The first episode of Fringe was free in iTunes so I downloaded it to take with me on summer vacation. When I got back I tore through Seasons 1 and 2 and am up to date on season 3. It’s excellent. If you don’t watch it you should. Great characters, including a particularly strong female lead, and great stories.
Shows I gave up on in 2010: The Office

Books and Graphic Novels read: 12

Favorites: The Strain/The Fall
These are books one and two of Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire apocalypse trilogy which have refreshingly nasty, villainous vampires. I can’t wait for the third book.
Honorable Mentions: Scott Pilgrim, The Walking Dead

Games Finished: 5

I enjoyed almost every game I played this year: Assassins Creed 2, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Dead Space: Extraction, Fallout 3
This was apparently my year for long sequel games. With all my art commitments, I really didn’t make it through too many games (last year I played 18), and the ones I did play were fairly long endeavors (aside from Dead Space Extraction which Evan and I blazed through in an evening). I am still obsessed with Bioshock and was as emotionally invested in Mass Effect 2 as all the rest of BioWare’s games. Dead Space: Extraction was a real surprise – it’s a rail shooter on the Wii that still manages to connect emotionally. This says a lot for the strength of the game design and story telling. Looking forward to Dead Space 2 later this month (I won’t be able to play it, *too scary*, but will watch Evan play it).

And then there is Fallout 3. I started playing the game at the beginning of the year but couldn’t really get into it. I started it again a few months ago and it just sort of absorbed me. I’m around 80 hours in and just reached level 30. I know I’m a bit late to the party, but this is just a spectacular game. I just have one more DLC to finish and then I think I will feel satisfied enough to call it completed, even though I know there are plenty of things I didn’t find or have time to do. The next game I play needs to have a very linear story – I think I might be a little sand-boxed out. And 2011 will have plenty of games to choose from. Almost TOO many: Dead Space 2, Portal 2, Uncharted 3, Last Guardian, Arkham City, Dragon Age 2, etc, etc.

Biggest Disappointment: Fable 3.
I put a lot of time into this game. I was well on my way to reaching the goal of 6 million gold needed to protect my kingdom from the evil darkness. I owned almost every building. I was doing good. And then the game, without warning, decided that I was at the end. This poorly executed game ending was so maddening that I just stopped playing. I didn’t care at all what happened next. The entire game seemed rushed and did not provide enough new content to warrant a new game.

- We went to two PAXs this year. Both were awesome.

- I started my Nerd Love project that is still going, despite a long hiatus while I worked on a number of art shows.

- I had my Rabbit Hearted Girl solo show, Ballyhoo & Balderdash – my duo show with Robert Esquivel, and won the Award of Excellence at the Lincoln Arts Festival.

- I completed a second Alphabet series, which I made into a book.

- I actually won something – a set of awesome prints from the BAD DADS show in San Francisco.

- Both FedEx and USPS lost packages I was expecting.

- My parents got a new dog named Dilly, so I've actually had some dog-time this year.

Favorite person of the year: Scott Kurtz
I really fell in love with cartoonist Scott Kurtz this year through listening to him play D&D with the Penny Arcade gents (or watching them play at PAX) and from Blamimations, the animated shorts he makes with Kris Straub. I have started reading his comic and watching the live broadcasts he does when he works - watching other artists work is always really educational for me. Reading his blog has really inspired me to want to be a better artist and following the ups and downs in his recent move to Seattle has made me a little less afraid of possibly doing the same thing some time in the future.

Now I’d better start working on things for my solo show in March.

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