Hey everyone! I hope 2018 treated you well. There were a lot of awesome, colorful, inspiring releases this year. So many, in fact, that I can’t possibly put them in any ranked order. Instead, below is an unranked list of comics and board games that brightened my year. If you haven’t given them
New World by Ales Kot & Tradd & Heather Moore
A little bit 1984, a little bit Romeo and Juliet, and a lot of dystopian fun, New World follows two lovers from opposite worlds as they learn about each other and the dictatorship overseeing them. Artists Tradd and Heather Moore bring vibrant colors and dynamic, full page spreads to the table, fleshing out writer Ales Kot’s characters beautifully. The Moore team made this book my favorite title of the year. I think their art is just so unique and eye catching. If you’re looking for a feast for your eyes, look no further than New World!
A Walk Through Hell: by Garh Ennis & Goran Sudzuka
I am by no means a Garth Ennis fan. In fact, I can’t name a single book by Ennis that I’ve ever enjoyed, with the exception of A Walk Through Hell. Two haggard cops at the end of their careers are called on to recover some of their teammates from an investigation gone awry. What starts out as a supposedly routine recon mission turns into a never-ending nightmare of inexplicable horror, both mental and physical. The pair witness things that make them question both reality and each other. Waiting week after week for the next issue of this book to come out was agonizing. Ennis fills the pages with slow-burning dread, and the payoff is worth it. This book was so good that I’m rethinking my opinion of Ennis (tentatively).
Flavor by Joseph Keatinge & Wook Jin Clark
In a world where cooking is a revered skill, ingredients can spark war, and chefs reign supreme, a student unearths a mystery that will change everything she knows. Unlicensed and newly in charge of her parents’ restaurant, Xoo faces immense pressure and responsibility from the world around her to be a top chef. I can’t say more about this story, since it revolves heavily on mystery, but I can’t recommend it enough. The world building is very Miyazaki inspired, and the colors and story mesh together into an epic. Unique to the comic, in the back of every issue is an interview with someone in the culinary industry, showcasing their work and their relationship with food. This book is a unique treasure that I can’t recommend enough!
Die by Kieron Gillen & Stephanie Hans
Kieron Gillen describes his new title as ‘Goth Jumanji.’ If that explanation doesn’t describe to you why this book is fantastic then I can’t help you.
The Tea Dragon Society Game:
Based off of the book by the same name, the goal of this game is to take care of a dragon, season by season. Each dragon has unique needs, likes and dislikes, and requires special care and companionship to survive the sweltering summertime and chilly winter. This game is comprised of drafting and “buying” cards to take care of your dragon each season for four seasons. I found the game both quick and actually relaxing. It was fun and simple to learn, and is a great game to play while grabbing coffee (or tea!) with a friend.
Azul/Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra
Have you played Azul? No? Why the heck not?? I love this game SO MUCH. In Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles onto their player board. Once drafting has ended, scoring beings. Players can earn points based on different tile patterns they have created, and how many tiles they have drafted. Wasted tiles can hurt a player’s score. The player with the most points at the end wins. Azul came out in 2017, but Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra was released shortly before Christmas, introducing stained glass pieces and double sided boards. This game is fun and extremely aesthetically pleasing, and I’ll look for any chance or excuse to play it.
Thanks for reading my list of favorites, I hope you have a great 2019!