Not everything in 2016 was terrible, and Kevin has decided to say a few nice things about them.
The first “Happy Sledgey” is in cinema and it goes to, and I never thought I’d be saying this, Fox Studios for releasing Deadpool. After giving audiences the worst Tranking in superhero history with last years Fantastic Four, we get the delicious blend of chimichangas and Ryan Renolds that we so desperately needed. Looking forward Logan, Fox, don’t let me down.
The next “Happy Sledgey” is in TV, and I must say this one hit me outa nowhere, but it shouldn’t have. HBO keeps delivering solid hits and Westworld is by far my favorite new TV show this year. Blending sci-fi and video game tropes with artificial human NPC’s coupled with a corporate world that oozes misdirection and intrigue, add a dash of ernest protagonists and a psychotic villains, and nudity… lots of nudity. You’ve got my attention. Keep up keeping me up HBO.
For table top games my Happy Sledge award has me conflicted. While I want it to go to Forge World and Games Workshop for their Thousand Sons releases, which the daemon prince Magnus has an actual figure for 40k, my award is actually going to Wizards of the Coast RPG team for Volo’s Guide to Monsters for Dungeons and Dragon’s 5th edition. This is the best monster manual ever. This is an academic dissertation on fictional creatures by a fictional character being peer reviewed by another fictional character. It’s as if this book was written exclusively for me and my weird sense of esoteric taste.
A Happy Sledgey goes out to “Days of Wonder” who keep turning out family hits like Ticket to Ride and Five Tribes and Smallworld. The newest Ticket to Ride “Sails and Rails” actually features the Great Lakes as playing board. It’s a Sledge family favorite over the holidays so you can have fun with your family instead of trying to ignore them.
For the automotive enthusiast, my Happy Sledgey goes to Grand Tour. Yes there are car nerds out there, yes I am one, yes I love British humor, no don’t own an Alpha Romeo… yet. Clarkson, Hammond, and May have taken over 250 million dollars of Jeff Bezos’s money and have made what is quite literally, the motor show to end all motoring shows. Amazon Prime membership has skyrocketed outside of the US because of this show. Is this show everything we’ve expected… YESSS. Sorry Matt LaBlanc, the BBC can’t match this.
In video games my Happy Sledgey goes to Playdeads wonderfully creepy puzzle platformer, “Inside.” In a year that gave us huge blockbusters like FarCry Primal, Battlefield 1, Forza Horizon 3, and Civilization 6, a 20 dollar indy game gets my best of. This game almost baffles description, and indeed reviewers are often at a loss about what to say about this game because they don’t want to ruin anything. There are multiple endings, including the epically hard to get one which leaves you with even more questions than you had going into it. The game has heart pounding, palm sweating moments mixed, which had we jumping out of my seat. It had cringe inducing revelations. I have not loved a game this much sense the first Portal. Good job. Playdead. Good job.
My happy sledgey for comics goes to, big surprise here, Dan Abnett. Now if you’ve read anything I’ve written on www.thecourtofnerds.com , you might notice I am a bit of a rabid follower of Dan. He has written some of my favorite books from all over thee Nerd spectrum, but he completely revitalizes Aquaman. Even before DC launched Rebirth, Dan was crafting the best comic DC had to offer, and now has the King of Atlantis at his best. Beset on all sides Arthur Curry is facing the “Deluge.” I look forward to President Obama getting to pardon Aquaman before he leaves office.
For Literature, my happiest of Sledges goes out to Antonio García Martínez for his autobiography Chaos Monkeys. Martinez depicts his rise from Wall Street trader to Silicon Valley quant bad boy for twitter and facebook. His writing style is erratic, his thought processes are punctuated by luscious behavior, and his pace is breakneck… everything that typifies a genius and or madman. It’s a brilliant read and a must have for anyone who ever wanted to risk it all without little regard for the world around them.