Best Books of 2014
I have read some of Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo, the samurai rabbit in the past, and know him to be a great storyteller. The art is a bit deceiving due to it's simplicity, perhaps, and one might think it's similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but it's a bit more sophisticated in its narrative. It is more similar to something like Kurosawa's Yojimbo movies and Toshiro Mifune. He's also in the same league as other noteworthy cartoonist like Wally Wood, Charles Schultz, Will Eisner, and many others.
Also check out Saga in the graphic novels by Brain K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. If you enjoy great art and interesting SF storytelling, space opera, and so forth--it's a fun, adult read. I found the first two collected novels at our library, and read them that way.
I read a synopsis on Andy Weir's new SF novel, The Martian, over at the Goodreads website, and it sounded interesting enough. Of the SF novels that came out this past year, it won the top honors over there as well. It's sort of a Robinson Crusoe tale on Mars or Apollo 13 meets Cast Away--pick your comparison.
You can find Goodreads 2014 selection of Best Of 2014 here.
As far as the NPR selection of Best of Books for 2014, there's a podcast here.
There were something like 250 titles picked by NPR's staff and critics. They have them sectioned into genre and you can see a fuller list with book covers, here.
Other than the above, I've been messing around with artwork some. I saw a MST3K movie called Teenagers From Outer Space and also one called Boggy Creek II. Both were funny in places. I went by a couple of used, antique stores the other day, and may return, as I ran across a few things I might buy to try and turn into some assemblage-type art work.
I was also down at the library, and ran into a couple of young guys who, I thought at first were going to hit me up for spare change or whatever, as they both looked like street people, homeless, on the dole, or gainfully unemployed, to be honest. But one of them just wanted to chat I guess. He was going on about how he had all these ideas about inventions, but couldn't find financial backer for them. He had all these ideas for the internet, different inventions for cars and ways to reduce gas consumption, and who knows what else. I just let him talk. He finally asked me if I thought he was crazy to have such thoughts, and I just told him, hey, thoughts are free and nothing ventured nothing lost. He seemed to appreciate that answer. Though I have to admit somewhere in the middle of that conversation I did wonder about his sanity.