Well, we made it to the end of 2020. I am sure that it didn’t turn out like any of us expected. There have been plenty of low lights, and there are too many people who have been irrevocably harmed by the local and global tragedies that happened this year. That is awful.
However, someone told me something recently that stuck with me. Despite the horrible dumpster fire that 2020 has brought, your mental health can benefit from the activity of looking at the good things that happened in this past year. So, that is what this final post of 2020 will be about.
This year I finally got off my tush and started presenting the interviews that I do with comic book professionals in a podcast format. In the past, I had merely transcribed the interview, but I found that there was more interesting content in the discussions that people would enjoy that didn’t quite fit in a text post.
So, I went to Buzzsprout and created a hosting site for the Pop Culture SquadCast: Interview Edition. I learned enough of Audacity to edit the interviews and splice some sound together, and here we are.
I need to say thanks to our artistic genius Marc Allan Fishman for the logo and episode art. Also Space In Time is the band that we use for the intro and closing music. You can check there music out at Bandcamp.
And of course, thanks to the pros who to took the time to talk to me about their work.
While all of you Pop Culture Squad Members know about our digital presence here on the site and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there is now physical printed evidence that Pop Culture Squad exists. On the back covers of two trade paperback collections, I have blurb quotes for reviews.
I cannot tell you how awesome it is to see my name on a comic book. I could not even have ever imagined that five years ago.
Both of these books are special to me. Hyperbreed from Louise Simonson and Guy Dorian is a fun YA space story from Storm King Comics. Did you notice that? My name is on a book written by THE Louise Simonson!!!!
I have been following the Love and Capes stories that Thomas Zahler creates for years, and when he told me last year that he would be coming back to that universe, I was stoked. He totally made it work, and I am grateful for his putting my review blurb on the back of the book in some seriously impressive company.
The Comics Industry Adapts and Supports Itself
This year has hit the comics industry hard. Publishers and retailers had to deal with a nearly two month shutdown of new comics distribution. But through it all, people worked hard to support each other and save the industry that relies a lot on in-person contact.
So many great new comics were made and you can check out our list of the years best here.
Fundraisers and charity auctions popped up all over the place. We detailed some of those as they occurred.
Give Comics Hope is one of the charities that we highlighted through the year and will continue to do so.
There were plenty of Kickstarter campaigns launched to find different ways to publish and create comic book content. You better believe that we covered them.
Conventions Happened… Sort of
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit America hard in March, comic conventions were scrapped as we all needed to isolate to stop the spread of the dangerously contagious disease. But plenty of talented people scrambled to turn the experience of seeing pop culture personalities and comic creators in virtual cons.
Some were better than others, and none truly replaced the experience of strolling down artists alley and chatting with creators and friends. However, they were good enough to be a decent placeholder for the time that we will be able to be vaccinated and able to go out and see each other in person.
Geek Culture TV
There was a massive amount of quality television programming that was produced and broadcast this year. There are more outlets, streaming and otherwise that are now committed to delivering high quality shows. Here is a list of some of our favorites in no particular order:
- SCHITT’S CREEK: SEASON 6 – AMC
- WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS: SEASON 2 – FFX
- HARLEY QUINN: SEASON 2 – HBOMax
- THE BOYS: SEASON 2 – Amazon Prime Video
- THE MANDALORIAN: SEASON 2 – Disney+
- LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: SEASON 1 – HBOMax
- THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: SEASON 2 – Netflix
- STARGIRL: SEASON 1 – CW
- I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS: SEASON 1 – Neflix
- STAR TREK: PICARD: SEASON 1 – CBS All Access
- KILLING EVE: SEASON 3 – BBC
- PERRY MASON: SEASON 1 – HBOMax
And don’t forget there were some other shows like Tiger King (Netflix) and The Vow (HBO) that left us captivated, or horrified, or both.
Based on the announcements from Disney, Warner Bros, and others, it looks like this trend of high quality serialized episodic programming with continue.
Pop Culture Squad Thrived
Even before the pandemic shut down a lot of the world, we worried that this would be a slow year for PCS. However, we persevered and continued to bring you content as best you can.
If you are not a regular reader of Mike Gold‘s two columns here, you are missing witty and entertaining stories and opinion.
Ed Catto’s regular With Further Ado column finds new ways to look at comics, books, film and other cool stuff.
While we have bigger dreams for what is to come, it was a pretty good year for Pop Culture Squad and we are excited for making them happen in the next year.
Thanks for being here, and READ MORE COMICS!