This continues to be one of the best currently-running comic book series. It’s a brilliant premise (about how the belief in conspiracy theories makes them manifest in reality) with an equally brilliant execution, both the writing and the artwork. It is impressive how Tynion ties every famous conspiracy theory together and has it all make sense.
DALL-E is the new artificial intelligence project from OpenAI that is sweeping the internet. It is an AI that can instantly produce a unique image based simply on a text description. There seem to be few limits, as the AI can create multiple high-quality images of just about anything you can think of. This has many people fearing that DALL-E will spell the end of human artists. But are the images DALL-E produces even art? Can AI ever create art?
The Department of Truth is an inventive spin on conspiracy theories. In this world, every conspiracy is true, but at the same time, no conspiracy theory is true. It’s a slight spoiler to explain that, basically, if enough people believe in a conspiracy then it manifests in reality. The “Department of Truth” is a government agency that works to prevent dangerous conspiracies from spreading and becoming real. The books are well-researched in conspiracy lore, featuring popular theories like JFK, flat earth, the Satanic panic, Bigfoot, and more. My only gripe is that it’s a bit too anti-conspiracy theory, the subtext being all conspiracy theories are false and conspiracy theorists are dangerous. In reality, many (but not all) conspiracy theories are false, and some (but not most) conspiracy theorists are dangerous. Overall, this was really well-written with great artwork and I can’t wait for the next volume.
A new form of storytelling medium I got into this year was fictionalized audio drama podcasts. I prefer them to fiction audiobooks because they have a full cast of actors to voice each character in the story. Plus the scripts are written specifically for audio (as opposed to most novels), so the stories are more dialogue-driven and therefore more dynamic and easier to follow while listening. Though, as with television, I prefer self-contained miniseries audio dramas with an ending, rather than series that go on for years.
In my final “Best of 2019” post, I’ll be listing my favorite television shows, comic books, video games, and music albums of the year. I haven’t been watching as much television as I used to, (I simply don’t have the time) focusing more on movies, documentaries, and books (and of course, my own writing). There are several 2019 shows I’d still like to watch but haven’t gotten around to yet, such as The Mandalorian and the new Twilight Zone reboot (though I did watch a lot of the original series this past year, and most of the episodes hold up extraordinarily well). Continue reading →
Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
With the year winding down, it’s time to compile my “Best of the Year” lists, which is becoming an annualtradition. I’ll start with the best comic books I read in 2018. They weren’t necessarily published in 2018 (though some were). Continue reading →
Anxiety is a sign of intelligence because anxiety is essentially imagining the future. That’s how humans became so intelligent compared to other species. We developed an ability to imagine the future—to see different factors and anticipate something to happen before it does. As a result, we were able to set traps to kill prey. And realize if we plant a seed today, crops will grow weeks or months later. Or predict that we will fall if we step off a steep cliff. Imagination is possibly even the origin of consciousness itself. Continue reading →
I wasn’t a big comic book reader when I was a kid, but in recent years, I have become a huge fan of the medium. I love both movies and novels, but in many ways, comics take the best of both worlds, combining the visual images of film with the textual dialogue of novels. When you think about it, comics are one of the oldest and purest forms of storytelling, dating back to cave paintings. I’d like to write a graphic novel of my own, if only I could draw better. Continue reading →
It’s comical how overconfident humans have become, walking the streets with our heads down staring at a phone, not even looking where we’re going, assuming we’ll be fine. Thousands of years ago, we had to constantly be on alert while walking out in the wild, searching for tigers and other threats that could kill us. Now, we just stroll past cars, (which are even more dangerous than tigers) with our eyes glued to a screen, and if a car hits us, it’s they’re fault, not ours.