This is the latest monthly update to the left column of the blog, updating my favorite comics and TV for the previous month. The listings are alphabetical, not by rank of how much I liked them in comparison. My criteria for what makes the list is when I read them, not necessarily when they were published.
January was a busy, busy month. Why? I'll tell you in late February. But trust me, it was busy. I did find out that we're having a son (we knew we were having a baby, but not a boy), which was probably the most notable thing about the month. And, as always, I watched a lot of TV and read a lot of comics.
I did pretty well with my intent to get back to Graphic Novel A Month, just falling off here in the last couple of days. 31 days in January, and I covered 28 books. The result was about 14 graphic novels I'd consider worthy of a top 10, although I didn't have too much trouble narrowing it down. There were five Wednesdays in January, but there were several light weeks, resulting in only about 25 that I had to cut down to a top 20. But the last couple weeks of January were pretty good. DMZ fell off because it reads better in single issues, True Story because I didn't get to read it in January (although it almost certainly would have made my Top 20) and a couple others because, well... they weren't as good as the 20 I picked. As for the stats: 5 DC (1 of which is in continuity, and canceled, Manhunter), 4 Vertigo, 7 Marvel (2 Brubaker, 2 Vaughan, 1 McKeever, 1 Parker and, surprising me, 1 Ellis, and it's even tied into Civil War, where most of my picks aren't), 2 Dark Horse (Star Wars Dark Times and Usagi Yojimbo) and 2 indy (Toupydoops and Damned). No Image, weirdly, although Invincible, The Official Handbook o/t Invincible Universe, True Story Swear to God and Godland almost made it.
When it comes to TV? I gotta admit, I'm looking forward to the midseason. The Shield doesn't come back until March, which is also when Paul Haggis' The Black Donnellys starts. April looks like a pretty good month, with Sopranos and Entourage and Tim Minear's Drive. It's also a great month for comics, so I'm going to be overwhelmed with entertainment in April. Fortunately, though, the holiday viewing slump already ended in January, with the return of 24 (some great surprises in that 4 hour opener, I like a lot of the new players and I'm pretty much enjoying the manly art of action soap opera), Rome (I never look forward to it, but I always love watching it), Battlestar Galactica (coming back strong from its brief hiatus) and Veronica Mars (weakest season yet, but it's still pretty good with moments of great). What's interesting, though, is that NBC just rules my programming schedule these days. I was a Heroes skeptic, but I've been won over. I was a 30 Rock skeptic, but I now love it and find it hilarious. I see the flaws in Studio 60, but I don't care because I still really enjoy it and love the writing and the cast. I'm delighted that Scrubs is back (loved that musical episode), and last three Office episodes have been some of the best of the entire series thus far. My Name is Earl probably wouldn't be on my Top 10 if there was something else to push it off, but it's a solid, often very funny show. So NBC has six of my top 10 favorite shows in January, and they technically have a piece of Battlestar as well. If only they still had Kidnapped, that might have pushed something else off the list (probably Earl, though). Otherwise, SCIFI has 1, FOX has 1, HBO has 1, the CW has 1 and of course CBS is dead to me. ABC isn't, but I think I'm only watching Lost since they canceled The Nine.
I did "read" my novel of the month by finishing the audibook of John Hodgman's Areas of My Expertise. My novel for February is Fletch's Moxie, and perhaps other Fletch books.
I added three sites to my regular RSS feeds this month. The blog of writer Brian Wood (DMZ, Local), which I just had missed up to this point I guess; Big Head Press, home of the fantastic online graphic novel La Muse and others; and Welcome to Falling Oaks, a beautifully illustrated, intriguing new webcomic by Mora/Sea of Red's Paul Harmon.