Grand totals: 32 comics (mostly TPBs, but some individual issues as well) and
31 (whoops, one book got in there twice) 30 (oh, let’s count this last one in 2023) 31 books. That’s a lighter tally than last year, probably because the comic count is lower, though I haven’t gone back to verify that. Some notes from the year, in no particular order, and leaving out a bunch of titles…
Oh, and links are to bookshop.org wherever possible. Support your local bookseller, & all that. Amazon is…a problem.
Three Star Wars books in the pile, Inquisitor: Rise of the Red Blade, From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi, and Crimson Climb. I continue to dig the “Certain Point of View” collections, and hope they continue those with the prequel trilogy and episodes VII & VIII. There is no Episode IX. I enjoyed the other two novels, but both suffered from unnecessary, annoying epilogues. I blame the Star Wars Machine for those, not the authors.
Another set of three books, unrelated except for being explicitly written during, and possibly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020s more broadly: A Sleight of Shadows, The World We Make, and Wayward (my favorite of this set). These are also all the second (and last?) books in the series. NK Jemison in particular noted that she intended for the series to be a trilogy, but *waves hands at everything* forced her to cut it short (yes, it shows). Our loss. If it wasn’t clear, creating any kind of art in the last few years has been doing it on hard mode.
Non-fiction — two very personal stories in Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter and Mo’ Meta Blues. One addition to our “White People Are the Literal Worst” collection with Black AF History, with The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap filed nearby. One look at Russian society as of a few years ago, with Nothing is True and Everything is Possible. And finally, a pair of “we are doomed” works, though both offer some slim rays of hope: Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, and Chokepoint Capitalism.
One that doesn’t really fit in the standard fiction/non-fiction binary: FATE Core System, because even though we rarely play TTRPGs, I enjoy reading the rulesets. This is where I point at myself and say, “Nerd.”
A handful of other books worth mentioning:
More than half the comics I read came from Kickstarter projects. These are a mix of single issues, TPBs, and sometimes collections of issues that could be a TPB, but for whatever reason that’s not how they came into the house. I’m torn about whether to list individual titles here, because on the one hand I believe in supporting indie creators, but on the other… (leans in to whisper) a lot of these are not actually that good. The art is nearly always well done, but the writing…meh. Impossible Jones continues to get a thumbs-up, though.
On the flip side, there are a handful of books in this year’s pile that hardly need my endorsement — Ms. Marvel, Doctor Aphra, Monstress, Saga (write/draw these faster please), G. Willow Wilson’s Poison Ivy run, etc. Just punch any of those into your friendly neighborhood search engine.
A few titles that I will highlight:
On to the new year!