I’m not going to call this my Top 10 list, though. As I scrolled through my memory and old blog posts, I could have come up with full lists for everything but decided to distill things down to one of general geekiness, with some gaming input from Mike.
It wasn’t easy, but I wanted to give a good mix of genres that we cover on Geek Watch. I know there’s a ton of great stuff not on here. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. And for more images, check out the awesome gallery that fellow work geek Rob L’Heureux put together from this list.
DCnU: Say what you will about the quality of individual titles, but there’s no denying DC’s big relaunch with 52 No. 1 issues was a huge success as a marketing ploy. It got lots of people talking about comics again and, even better, many of them buying, at least for now. And we got an awesome new Aquaman out of the deal. (And, no, I never tire of running that artwork.)
Jim Henson works at Arcahaia: With a new Muppet movie in theaters, it’s been a great year for Jim Henson fans. But Archaia has been just as important in keeping the Henson legacy alive with several books, from “Fraggle Rock” (new adventures and ’80s reprints) to “Tale of Sand,” “The Storyteller” and “Dark Crystal” graphic novels.
“Once Upon a Time”: “Grimm” is fun, too, but ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” has done an exciting job of turning the fairytale world on its head, with reinterpretations of classic stories (which fable isn’t Rumplestiltskin part of now?) and the mystery in modern times. Who’s who? Did you guess the sheriff’s role?
“Game of Thrones”: So many people at The News (and elsewhere) have raved about HBO’s epic fantasy, based on the George R.R. Martin books, that there would probably be a revolt if it weren’t included here. Like “True Blood” before it, the show has drawn many fans to a genre they probably would have avoided before with a great mix of characters, drama and, yes, sex.
“Captain America: The First Avenger”: In a summer filled with high-profile superhero films, Paramount’s “Captain America” stood out for nailing the tone and execution. Chris Evans was perfectly cast as the blonde hero (he’s come a long way since “Fantastic Four”), and the film had a near-perfect balance of humor, drama and action. Next year’s “Avengers” has big boots to fill.
“Super 8”: Also from Paramount, J.J. Abrams’ ode to Steven Spielberg took us right back to the ’80s and those sci-fi films filled with wonder and drop-jawed looks at the sky. With a group of kids right out of Spielberg central casting, Abrams crafted a nostalgic film that also hit all the right notes as an action adventure and young romance.
“Antique Bakery”: RightStuf may have claimed the anime event of 2011 with the complete re-release of “Revolutionary Girl Utena,” but, personally, their new series was one of the best of the year, a delightful confection about four guys who run a high-end patisserie and their personal travails.
“Summer Wars”: For a sci-fi movie, Funimation’s “Summer Wars” is grounded so firmly in reality, you can barely tell. And that’s a big part of Mamoru Hasoda’s film, in which a high school student must pose as his secret crush’s fiance and save the world from a rogue artificial intelligence that has taken over the world’s computer networks.
“The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim”: The expansive world, incredibly detailed characters, and the potential for multiple expansions will keep you busy for months, if not longer. Bethesda’s game’s “play how you want” design makes the learning curves utterly worth it.
“Portal 2”: Larger, more detailed, and with more of the dark humor we loved in the first game, Valve’s sequel delivers in every way. Escaping from, and working with, a homicidal computer personality has never been so much fun!