Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 - Out with the old...

Here we are, New Year's Eve 2018.  The end of another year, arriving all too quickly.  With two little ones, we'll see if we are able to make it to midnight tonight to ring in the change of the year.

On this day representing an ending, it's always interesting to look back, to remember what we have come through.  With digital and social media, it has become even easier to peruse through many of the years memories, seeing the smiles, the laughter, the sorrow and grief, and the hard work that we've come through.

Over this year, the Keeler crew has taken trips to San Antonio, New York City, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, with a few trips around Texas to family in between.  Jamie took students to New York City and Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.  We celebrated Jude's first birthday, first steps, and lots of milestones along the way.

I started writing, with dedication.  280 basically daily posts since March 28.  Reworking Pygmalion into Thou Fair Eliza for Jamie, and filing for a copyright.  Getting up the first serialized short story in the Tinsletown, Texas Christmas Chronicles.  Identifying the next big project to tackle.

We've read a lot, seen a lot, played a lot, and laughed a lot.

So for this final post of 2018, I'd like to close with a few lists and items to look back on.  A couple of memoriams, a top ten list, and a prayer.

First, as a comic fan, this year dealt a lot of tough losses.  Stan's was arguably the biggest, but there were a handful of other legendary creators that past as well.

In Memoriam - Comic Book Legends
  • Harlan Ellison (May 27, 1934 - June 28, 2018) - prolific science fiction author and enormous comic book fan.  Beyond his books, short stories, and screen plays, he also wrote several comics.
  • Steve Ditko (November 2, 1927 - June 29, 2018) - co-creator of Spider-man and Doctor Strange, creator of the Question, the Creeper, Hawk and Dove, Captain Atom, and Shade the Changing Man. Known for his reclusive tendencies later in his life and his staunch adherence to objectivism, the beauty and surreal quality to his art cannot be denied.
  • Russ Heath (September 29, 1926 - August 23, 2018) - legendary Golden Age artist known for his DC Comics war books and Little Annie Fanny in Playboy.  His drawings of fighter jets in All-American Men of War #89 would serve as the basis for Roy Lichtenstein's best known oil paintings.
  • Marie Severin (August 21, 1929 - August 29, 2018) - legendary artist and colorist for Marvel and EC Comics, co-creator of Spider-Woman.  She did a little bit of everything, well into the mid-2000s.
  • Gary Friedrich (August 21, 1943 - August 29, 2018) - Silver Age writer at Marvel, known for westerns, war comics, and co-creating Ghost Rider and Daimon Hellstrom. 
  • Norm Breyfogle (February 27, 1960 - September 24, 2018) - For a certain generation, Breyfogle is the Batman artist.  One of the first to really explore the cape as something that could be extended and manipulated, Breyfogle was the prime vision of Batman from 1987 to 1995.
  • Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 - November 12, 2018) - The Man.  Comics greatest cheerleader.  Without Stan, Marvel doesn't exist even with all the controversy that surrounds him.  I've written my thoughts on Stan and his passing at greater length here.

In Memoriam - Film Legends:
One of the things we look forward to at this time of year is the TCM Remembers video.  TCM always does the greatest job of compiling the video for the year, especially in regard to completeness and variety.  I think I'll let the masters sum up my feelings here.

Finally, a look back at the year in the blog, with the Top 10 Most Read articles of the year, in reverse order.
I pray you all have a safe and wonderful celebration this evening and are able to take time to reflect on the year that has past and the year to come.  Here's to great things in the coming year!

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