My 2019 in Media

Ranking things is a fools task. I may be a fool, but I can’t bother to do all that. So here is a simple list of things that I had a good time with in 2019. While I tried to stick to things that released this year, let’s be honest: releases are tricky. Sometimes things come out in one country on one platform before releasing elsewhere. I also made no attempt to limit or hit a certain number of items for a list.

Movies

Movies and I had a rough year. I didn’t care to go see many of them. Modern movies last longer than my bladder. The trend of reclining seats put me to sleep. So I’m not sure why I should go see a movie before it shows up online.

I know Dark Phoenix is a critically panned movie, and that may be fair, but watching Jean Grey get rejected by her friends, family, and job… well, it felt like the experience of coming out. That said, Detective Pikachu was my absolute favorite thing I saw this year in a theatre.

  • Dark Phoenix — theatre
  • Detective Pikachu — theatre
  • El Camino — netflix
  • John Wick Chapter 3 — theatre
  • Let It Snow — netflix
  • Okko’s Inn — theatre
  • Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling — netflix
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home — theatre

Music

This year I must have spent a paycheck or two of money at Bandcamp. A rough count shows 95 albums purchased. I’m a sucker for kawaii music, Hatsune Miku, and ska.

Albums

  • BIGHEAD: Kin Byobu & Kim Boybu Kyoto Edition — itunes
  • Daniel Osen & Jonathan Eng featuring Linnea Olsson: Sayonara Wild Hearts — apple music
  • DECO*27: Android Girl — apple music
  • Pinocchio-P: 零号, P+ — ototoy
  • Skatune Network: Pick It The Fuck Up — apple music
  • Tami T: High Piched and Moist — bandcamp
  • The Raconteurs: Help Me Stranger — apple music
  • TWICE: &Twice — apple music
  • Twinkle Park: All Fall Floral — bandcamp

Singles, EPs, and Etc

  • Ben Kweller: Heart Attack Kid, Careless — apple music
  • Hatsune Miku: Future Base Collection — sonoca
  • Hatsune Miku: Snow White Record — cd rip
  • Jyocho: Various EPs — ototoy
  • Kizuna AI: Various Releases — ototoy
  • KOTONOHOUSE: Various Releases — apple music
  • nyankobrq: Various Releases — apple music
  • Sayuri: About a Voyage — apple music
  • Snail House: Various Releases — bandcamp
  • Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution: Live at the Orpheum Theatre — cd rip
  • TWICE: Fancy, Feel Special — apple music
  • Yunomi: Various Releases — bandcamp

TV

TV is messy. I would like to put other shows on this list, but over the course of the year my tolerance for violence changed.

  • Bob’s Burgers — hulu
  • Bojack Horseman — netflix
  • Catch 22 — hulu
  • Dickenson — apple tv+
  • Fleabag — amazon
  • Good Girls — netflix
  • Schitt’s Creek — netflix
  • The Good Place — hulu
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — amazon
  • Tuca & Bertie — netflix
  • Undone — amazon

Books

2019 was the year mainstream American comics died and queer indie comics took over. Hell, Marvel Comics made Storm a white woman. Image Comics doubled down on protecting abusers. Who would want to deal with all that shit?

Comixology appears to be dead with their app and website growing stale. The only reason to use it is to buy single issues of comics not yet collected in to trade paperbacks.

I bought most of my comics on indie platforms like Gumroad and Itch.io. This means I did most of my reading in feature rich apps like Apple’s Books app or the Kindle app.

It was also the year of coming to terms with my San Francisco studio apartment. I’ve hit capacity for books, and anyway who needs to waste all that paper and shipping?

  • As The Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman — kindle
  • Beastars by Paru Itagaki — kindle
  • Crowded by Christopher Sebela, Ted Brandt, Ro Stein, Triona Farrell, and Cardinal Rae — comixology
  • Frogcatchers by Jeff Lemire — kindle
  • Genderqueer by Maia Kobabe — paper
  • Goodnight Paradise by Joshua Dysart, Alberto Ponticelli, and Giulia Brusco — kindle
  • My Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 2 by Nagata Kabi — paper
  • Roadqueen by Mira Ong Chua — kindle
  • Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman — kindle
  • Sugar Town by Hazel Newlevant — paper
  • The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland — kindle
  • Trans Girls Hit the Town by Emma Jayne, itch.io

Games

As the PS4 and Xbox One are on their way out, the Switch started picking up.

Like Image Comics, PC gaming started doubling down on protecting abusers. So I moved on to finding indie games on Itch.io that are not only fun, but also pretty queer.

I also needed a break from big long stories. Quick little games like BOXBOY and Picross were where I chose to spend most of my time.

  • A Short Hike, adamgryu — itch.io
  • Baba Is You, Arvi Teikari — switch
  • BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL!, HAL Laboratory — switch
  • Dicey Dungeons, Terry Cavanagh — itch.io
  • FutureGrind, Milkbag Games — switch
  • Last Day of Spring, npckc — itch.io
  • Life is Strange 2, Dontnod — xbox
  • Luigis Mansion 3, Nintendo — switch
  • Picross S3, Jupiter — switch
  • Pokemon Sword and Shield, Game Freak — switch
  • Sayonara Wild Hearts, Simogo — switch
  • Slay the Spire, Mega Crit — switch
  • Spring Leaves No Flowers, npckc — itch.io
  • Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo — switch
  • Untitled Goose Game, House House — switch
  • What The Golf — apple arcade

Online Video

Would you believe I’ve never been in to YouTube? I think from 2006 until like… 2017(!?) I avoided it. I have supported my friends who were lucky enough to find an audience on Twitch, but it wasn’t common for me to tune in.

  • scottthewoz — youtube
  • skatunenetwork — youtube
  • thedragonfeeney — twitch
  • thereportoftheweek — youtube
  • tim rogers, kotaku — youtube

Nostalgia

Nostalgia is the most dangerous drug on the market today. Like all other mind altering drugs, it should used with caution. Everything in this list has major issues and they do not work in 2019, but that is why it’s called nostalgia.

I would expect Three’s Company to be the most problematic thing on the list, being a show based around gay panic. It’s not. At it’s core our main characters accept homosexuality. I’m not going to make excuses for it: a lot of it’s homophobia crosses over in to transphobia real fast. The most transphobic episode I have seen so far is definitely S4E17.

And why is Neopets so anti-semitic? I asked them to comment on their use of anti-semitic symbols and their response, in 2019, was “it’s just a game.”

Rugrats is the least transphobic thing on the list. I love how it can show AMAB babies being girls at will. That said, Lil is most likely a TERF, but as she is a baby of the 90’s I hope she grows out of it.

Hey Arnold opens it’s first season with an episode about how Helga isn’t the gender she says she. So the episode spends its entire time showing her being misgendered. Ugh.

  • Cheers — netflix
  • Hey Arnold — hulu
  • Neopets — website
  • Rugrats — hulu
  • Three’s Company — ;-)

Looking Forward to 2020

It’s hard to get exited about something for in the year ahead. Things get canceled. They get exposed for being problems. They get delayed. They get acquired (but I said canceled already). Also, I love discovering new things that I do not already know about. Music comes out from people I like as they make it, so writing down an album release date is difficult.

  • 920London by Remy Boydell — comic
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons — switch
  • Bob’s Burgers: The Movie — movie
  • Boyfriend Dungeon by Kitfox Games — switch
  • Calico: Magical Girls Running Cat Cafes — pc
  • Get in the Car, Loser! by Love Conquers All Games — itch.io
  • Hatsune Miku Expo 2020 US — concert
  • Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix — switch
  • Laid Back Camp — anime
  • Kentucky Route Zero’s final episode — pc
  • Love Me For What I Am by Kata Konayama — manga
  • SkateBIRD by Glass Bottom Games — switch
  • Streetlight Manifesto — anything at all
  • Weathering with You by Makoto Shinkai — movie
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