Farewell to 2023, a wonderful, exhausting, rewarding year. On the writing front, Mapmakers and the Enchanted Mountain and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things both debuted. Thank you to everyone who gave these books a chance. The creative teams on each gave it our all, and hopefully they were even half as fun to read as they were to make.
There will be more maps and turtles coming in 2024, along with a few surprises. I'll share more as we get closer (especially with the Mapmakers finale on the horizon), but until then, below are a few of my favorite things I read, watched, and listened to in 2023. These aren't necessarily works that were released this year, but they came to define the year for me nonetheless.
Like most parents of toddlers, Bluey was a big part of our lives this year. I feel a little unhinged when I gush about the show's brilliance to anyone in my vicinity, regardless of whether or not they're parents, but alas...Joe Brumm's creation is that special.
Gospel (Graphic Novel by Will Morris)
I read many great comics in 2023 but Will Morris's Gospel is the one that's still rumbling around my brain months later. I keep coming back to it, flipping through pages and rereading scenes. It is a beautiful, gripping, and thoughtful examination of storytelling that I can't recommend highly enough.
I fell further into millennial dad stereotypes as I finally listened to The National in earnest. (I fully admit I did so only after learning band member Aaron Dessner was one of the key writers on Taylor Swift's Folklore and Evermore.) While I enjoyed a number of the albums in their catalog, High Violet was the one I listened to the most.
The World Baseball Classic
Rule changes led to an entertaining 2023 MLB season, but nothing topped the WBC which culminated in Shohei Ohtani striking out Mike Trout for the title. I sometimes still can't believe the tournament actually came down to those two squaring off as the final out, but that's just an excuse to watch that at bat one more time.
Here's hoping there are just as many memorable discoveries to be made in 2024!
Happy New Year,