Highlighting Fanbase Press’ Most Popular Written Content for 2020

As the end of 2020 draws near, we at Fanbase Press want to thank our talented and hard-working staff and contributors and reflect on their accomplishments and the great geeky online content produced over the course of the last year. As a geek culture website, Fanbase Press produces daily reviews, interviews, editorials, and more that span the pop culture spectrum and give voice to the themes, ideals, and people that make geekdom so exceptional. Below, readers will find the Fanbase Press written content that was most most popular with our fans and readers over the course of 2020.





Reviews

The Fanbase Press staff and contributors provide a multitude of reviews throughout the year, covering several different mediums of entertainment, including comics, movies, television, books, gaming, theatre, and more. Below are our three most popular reviews from 2020:


1. ‘Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons’ - Blu-Ray/DVD Review - By Fanbase Press Contributor Steven W. Alloway

“Deathstroke has generally been painted as a villain in the DC Universe. Now that he has his own movie, he’s been recast as a dark antihero. As our film opens, Slade Wilson (voiced by Michael Chiklis) is living a double life. He’s a devoted family man with a wife, and a son whom he reads to nightly, even while he’s away on business trips; however, what his family doesn’t know is that, on those business trips, he puts on a red-and-black mask and becomes Deathstroke: an elite supersoldier and ruthless mercenary. He kills whole rooms full of people without a second thought (as long as they’re bad people) and topples whole governments (as long as they’re bad governments). He’s strong, he’s fast, and he has an accelerated healing factor that makes him virtually invincible…”

2. HollyShorts 2020: LGBTQIA+ Block - Film Reviews - By Fanbase Press Contributor Russ Pirozek

“This year's HollyShorts film festival has begun, and while this year's festival has gone virtual, there is no shortage of amazing films to watch.  Every creator here has done something amazing, especially as the year has gone on and so many things have happened to complicate this medium. Congratulations to every film that has been spotlighted at this year's festival…”

3. The Impact of Audio: A Review of ‘World War Z: The Complete Edition’ - By Fanbase Press Contributor Claire Thorne

“Believe me, I get it. The last thing you probably want to do in the middle of an honest-to-goodness pandemic is dive into a fictional world consumed by a relentless zombie-producing contagion. It is too close to home in the most overwhelming way possible. But bear with me for a few reasons why this particular story of apocalyptic plague may be just what you need to visit (or re-visit, as the case may be)…”




Editorials

From one-shot retrospective essays, articles celebrating milestone anniversaries, and in memoriam commemorations to a series of essays discussing influential television shows, Fanbase Press' editorials have covered many facets and themes from popular culture.  Below are the the editorials that resonated the most with our readers this year:


1. Tolkien Reading Day 2020: When the Story Doesn’t End - By Fanbase Press Contirbutor Claire Thorne

“Every holiday season, when my family and I start our annual re-watch of The Lord of the Rings movies (extended editions, of course), I bring out my three-inch-thick, 1196-page, hardcover edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (illustrated gorgeously by Alan Lee, of course). My husband and son exchange somewhat apprehensive glances, because they know what this portends. As the movies progress, I follow along quietly in the text... and then the inevitable happens: I reach forward, pause the movie, and announce that I have a passage to share…”

2. #AlienDay 2020: The Body Horror of ‘Alien: Resurrection’ - By Fanbase Press Contributor Phillip Kelly

“…Pitof talked about the joy he gets from the Alien films, that each comes with the vision of the director. Even with Alien 3, despite the fact that both FOX and David Fincher hate it, it feels like a Fincher film. I couldn’t agree with him more. For me, #StoriesMatter even more because of this, when you feel the touch of the artist within the confines of the story. Where will this storyteller take me? What will this storyteller have to add to the artistic conversation or world that we already understand so well? And how will that vision grow with the viewer over time? I’m happy to admit, but Alien: Resurrection has only grown on me over time…”

3. #AlienDay 2020: Celebrating All Things ‘Alien’ Inside the Fanbase

“In celebration of #AlienDay 2020, Fanbase Press invites you to check out our exclusive Alien-centric content from our staff and contributors! April 26th marks the annual celebration of the Alien franchise, and the Fanbase Press staff and contributors are proud to honor the films that were set on or within orbit of LV-426 by offering brand new editorials that provide insight and analysis from all corners of the franchise. This year, Fanbase Press explores the horrors within the air ducts of the Atari 2600, offers an exclusive interview with Pitof (Alien: Resurrection’s VFX Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director), and takes on the true villain in the Alien franchise…”




Interviews

Every year, the Fanbase Press staff and contributors interview dozens of creators of all kinds, including writers, actors, directors, artists, and more. We encourage you to check out our back catalog of interviews, but below are this year’s three most popular:


1. An Interview with Daniel Lanois: Finding ‘Red Dead Redemption’ Under a Heavy Sun

“During Heavy Sun’s weekly residency at Zebulon in Los Angeles, I [Fanbase Press Guest Contributor Daniel Corey] had the opportunity to catch up with Lanois and chat with him about The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2, as well as his upcoming West Coast tour with Heavy Sun, which will conclude on May 14th at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles…”

2. Fanbase Press Interviews Giancarlo Caracuzzo and Massimiliano Grotti on the Wunderman Comics Series, ‘Boogeyman’

The following is an interview with comic book creator/artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo and writer Massimiliano Grotti regarding their work on the upcoming Wunderman Comics series, Boogeyman. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Caracuzzo and Grotti about the inspiration behind the series, the creative process in bringing the story to life, what they hope that readers will take away from the series, and more!

3. Fanbase Press Interviews Tony Fabro on the Instagram-Based Webcomic, ‘Three Panel Crimes’

The following is an interview with comic creator Tony Fabro regarding the Instagram-based webcomic, Three Panel Crimes. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Fabro about the inspiration behind the webcomic, his shared creative process with the various artists with which he collaborates, what he hopes that audiences will take away from Three Panel Crimes, and more!




Geeky Parent Guide

The Geeky Parent Guide (GPG) is a semi-monthly editorial series – posting the first and third Thursday of each month – in which Fanbase Press Senior Contributor S.T. Lakata explores a myriad of popular culture mediums and offerings.  As a father of two, Lakata traverses the challenges of participating in Geekdom and presents information so that parents and caregivers like himself can make informed decisions about how and when their children are ready to engage with films, television, video games, toys, books, and other media. Below are the top GPG entries of 2020:

1. Geeky Parent Guide: Keeping the Focus on Women in the Entertainment Industry in 2020 and Beyond

“As we start 2020, another year and a new decade, the Geeky Parent Guide wants to dive into an important discussion that needs to continue gaining ground. We want to enhance all women in the entertainment industry. As a parent with a daughter and a son, it’s important for both of them to realize that all women are equally capable as men in every aspect of the world. It’s especially important that our daughter is given the opportunity to love football, as much as it’s important for our son to love the color pink or purple. So, when it comes to one of the best connections in the world – the art of storytelling – it’s important to see women in the entertainment industry - making decisions behind the scenes and being cast in leading roles…”

2. Geeky Parent Guide: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Gives Us Hope When We Need It Most

“Doing the right thing. It’s a question that seems mixed in gray matter in today’s world. Words have never been used to subvert the truth for Picard, and Star Trek: Picard represents so much more than an extension of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It represents something I felt all those years ago, and the upwelling feeling of emotion, seeing my Captain on screen again, is exactly what my soul needed, without even knowing it was needed. Star Trek: Picard represents something completely new, an unrecognizable feeling from the beloved show that TNG still is. As Stewart references in his interview with Variety, it’s clear that this show is a response to today’s political climate. He shares his thoughts on what viewers can expect": “’I think what we’re trying to say is important,’ he says. ‘The world of Next Generation doesn’t exist anymore. It’s different. Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure…’”

3. Geeky Parent Guide: Parents and Their Kids Will Equally Love ‘Scoob!’

“For any parent looking for a movie they will enjoy with their kids, Scoob! is extremely lighthearted, and any intense action sequences are filled with humorous dialogue or comical chases. The movie is perfectly fine at PG, and I would go as far to say I would’ve let my kids watch it at a younger age, relevant to G-rated materials.”




Between the Panels

“Between the Panels” is a bi-monthly interview series helmed by Fanbase Press Contributor Kevin Sharp that highlights comic book creators of all experience levels, providing insight into their creative process, working space, passion for the sequential art medium, and more. Below are the top three most popular entries from this interview series in 2020:

1. Between the Panels: Artist Zoe Thorogood on One Favorite Teacher, Reading Comics the Wrong Way, and Creating Her First Graphic Novel

By the time most “new” creators arrive on the comics scene, they’ve spent untold hours honing their craft in anonymity. Zoe Thorogood is one such case; she’s currently poised at the start of her professional path, with the talent, the drive, and the original project that will get her work in front of a whole new audience.

2. Between the Panels: Colorist Jacob Phillips on Selling Comics at Eleven Years Old, a Special Twitter Connection, and Working Inside a Shipping Container

Given his family pedigree — his dad is artist Sean Phillips — it might come as no surprise that Jacob Phillips heard the Muse’s call. But while a family name might attract initial attention, it’s talent that ultimately makes the sale; Jacob has established himself as one of comics’ preeminent colorists on Image’s Criminal series and will soon be branching out into new horizons of his own.

3. Between the Panels: Writer Ram V on Originality, Changing Career Paths, and Good Convention Encounters

Before arriving as one of the most exciting, new voices in the industry, Ram V’s life was full of plot twists that took him from India to the U.S. to the U.K., from a chemical engineering job to Image Comics and beyond. His story is one of an aspiring professional writer deciding to go all-in on pursuit of his dream; talent, along with the right support at the right time, made all the difference.




Fundamental Comics

“Fundamental Comics” is Fanbase Press’ editorial series that seeks to introduce readers to comics, graphic novels, and manga that have been impactful to the sequential art medium and the comic book industry on a foundational level.  Every year, several titles (both familiar and lesser-known) are introduced to the “Fundamental Comics” ranks via an essay providing an in-depth analysis, exploring the history of the title, examining significant themes, and the book’s context for today’s readers. Below are the most popular “Fundamental Comics” essays of 2020:


1. Fundamental Comics: How ‘Star Wars: Dark Empire’ Expanded the ‘Star Wars’ Universe and Continues to Shape It Today - By Fanbase Contributor Nicholas Diak

“Published from 1991 to 1992, Dark Horse Comics’ Dark Empire series of comics became an important and foundational component of the Star Wars transmedia repertoire. What Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy (Heir to the Empire [1991], Dark Force Rising [1992], and The Last Command [1993]) did for literary Star Wars is what Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire accomplished for Star Wars comics. Both series of stories rejuvenated and maintained interest in the Star Wars IP while providing the building blocks of new characters, worlds, ships, aliens, and stories that would not only support the burgeoning Expanded Universe, but provide material (or at least inspiration) for still-canon films and shows, as well…”

2. Fundamental Comics: ‘Saga’ and the Perilous Responsibility of Creation - By Fanbase Press Contributor Claire Thorne

Saga is the story of forbidden love, intergalactic warfare, and familial bonds. At its center are Alana and Marko, soldiers in opposing armies who meet, fall in love, and run off together in an attempt to live a peaceful life. Alana gives birth to Hazel, a daughter who carries traits from both her parents’ species. This outcast family is immediately beset on all sides by those who would punish their love, who view Hazel as an abomination, and who are threatened by the very existence of this one revolutionary little family…”

3. Fundamental Comics: ‘The Hobbit’ and Discovering One’s Self Through Trials and Tribulations - By Fanbase Press Contributor Michele Brittany

“Themes of war and personal growth in The Hobbit represented Tolkien’s own wartime experiences serving during World War I as a reluctant hero flung on a quest that took him far from home.  The war was far outside Tolkien’s comfort zone, and the lessons that he learned transitioned well to Bilbo’s own story.  Just as the writer and hobbit were confronted with overwhelming, dangerous life events requiring self-reflection while providing opportunities for personal growth, today’s readers will quickly relate to the story’s themes.  In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are having to step outside of our respective comfort zones.  Like Bilbo, we could metaphorically sit on our stoop or we could embrace the quest as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and grow as individuals.  Before us, are opportunities to become heroes.  This is what makes Bilbo’s story vitally important and why The Hobbit has resonated with readers all these years and will continue to do so for years to come…”




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