Monday, January 26, 2015

Stats Week: My Year in Music 2014

Last.fm conveniently keeps track of all of the music I listen to. Here are my top twenty-five artists, albums & tracks for 2014 (Links are for Spotify):

Artists

 1. Martin Denny
 2. Marina and The Diamonds
 3. Zendaya
 4. Sufjan Stevens
 5. Lana Del Rey
 5. Honeyblood
 7. Mannheim Steamroller
 7. Ingrid Michaelson
 7. Hurray for the Riff Raff
10. Nerina Pallot
11. Gustavo Santolalla
11. Ariana Grande
13. Au Revoir Simone
14. Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox
15. Beth Orton
16. Suzy Bogguss
16. Broods
18. Jonathan Coulton
18. Kacey Musgraves
20. Matraca Berg
20. The Raveonettes
20. Lake Street Dive
20. Cœur de Pirate
20. Echosmith
25. Pentatonix
25. The Ann Arbor Civic Chorus
25. She & Him

Albums

 1. Honeyblood - Honeyblood
 2. Marina and The Diamonds - Electra Heart
 3. Gustavo Santolalla - The Last of Us
 3. Sufjan Stevens - Silver & Gold
 5. Zendaya - Zendaya
 6. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
 7. Beth Orton - Pass in Time: The Definitive Collection
 7. Broods - Evergreen
 9. Echosmith - Talking Dreams
10. Martin Denny - Quiet Village
10. A Fine Frenzy - One Cell in the Sea
10. Cœur de Pirate - Trauma
13. Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park
14. Au Revoir Simone - Move in Spectrums
14. Thievery Corporation - Saudade
16. The Raveonettes - Pe'ahi
17. Kina Grannis - Elements
17. Ariana Grande - My Everything
19. The Alan Parsons Project - The Definitive Collection
19. Tralala - Is That the Tralala?
19. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
19. Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox - Historical Misappropriation
23. Garrison Starr - Songs from Take Off to Landing
23. Venus Hum - The Colors in the Wheel
23. Aliqua - All I Want
23. Hurray for the Riff Raff - My Dearest Darkest Neighbor
23. Ingrid Michaelson - Lights Out
23. Ana Gasteyer - I'm Hip

Songs

 1. Lana Del Rey - Shades of Cool
 2. Zendaya - Replay
 2. Lana Del Rey - West Coast
 4. Marina and The Diamonds - Hypocrates
 4. Marina and The Diamonds - How to Be a Heartbreaker
 6. Sufjan Stevens - Carol of St. Benjamin the Bearded One
 6. Ariana Grande - Break Free
 8. Tove Lo - Habits (Stay High)
 9. Beth Nielsen Chapman - The Color of Roses
 9. Echosmith - Cool Kids
11. Zendaya - Something to Dance For
11. Lulu Antariksa - Try
11. Ingrid Michaelson - Girls Chase Boys
14. Oh, Hush! - I Have an Ugly Christmas Tree
14. Au Revoir Simone - Crazy
14. Marina and The Diamonds - Radioactive
14. Annie Moses Band - I Got a Name
14. MisterWives - Reflections
20. Johnny Cash - I Dreamed About Mama Last Night
20. Alphabeat - Fascination
20. Emmy Rossum - Rainy Days and Mondays
20. Allo Darlin' - Space Christmas
20. Cimorelli - Joy to the World
20. Lake Street Dive - Bad Self Portraits
20. Kacey Musgraves - Follow Your Arrow
20. Broods - Bridges
20. Savannah Outen - Royals
20. Zendaya - Too Much
20. Sia - You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

Friday, January 23, 2015

Amazon Top 50 - January 23, 2015

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal
Here are the Top 50 Comics & Graphic Novels on Amazon Friday morning. See About the Amazon Top 50 Lists for more information on how this list is compiled.


1 (R). Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal
2 (-). Saga Volume 4
3 (-2). Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
4 (-1). Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
5 (-1). Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
6 (+1). Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
7 (+2). The Complete Persepolis
8 (+11). How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
9 (-1). Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
10 (-). Saga Volume 1
11 (-15). Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition
12 (+1). American Born Chinese
13 (+7). Watchmen
14 (-2). The Walking Dead, Vol. 22: A New Beginning
15 (+14). Me Without You
16 (-5). The Walking Dead Compendium One
17 (-). The Complete Maus
18 (-4). Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began
19 (-3). The Walking Dead Compendium Two
20 (-14). Star Wars #1 (Marvel Comics 2015)
21 (-17). Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
22 (N). March: Book Two
23 (-1). Saga Volume 3
24 (-1). Saga Volume 2
25 (+3). Batman: Year One
26 (-17). Dilbert 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
27 (-9). Hyperbole and a Half (paperback)
28 (N). Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three #17 (Kindle)
29 (+1). Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52)
30 (-9). V for Vendetta
31 (+1). Sex Criminals Volume 1
32 (+6). Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52)
33 (+1). The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War, Part 2
34 (-9). Darth Vader and Son
35 (+12). The Walking Dead, Vol. 23: Whispers Into Screams *
36 (R). March: Book One
37 (-12). Civil War
38 (+12). Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52)
39 (+6). Batman: Hush
40 (-3). Goodnight Darth Vader
41 (-1). Minecraft: The Curse of Herobrine: The Ultimate Minecraft Comic Book Volume 1 (Kindle)
42 (+6). The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye
43 (-19). Abina and the Important Men
44 (-11). Vader's Little Princess
45 (-4). Batman Vol. 4: Zero Year-Secret City (The New 52)
46 (-4). The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1
47 (R). The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
48 (R). Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Search (hardcover)
49 (-). Minecraft: The Legend of Herobrine Part One (Kindle)
50 (R). Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe

Items with asterisks (*) are pre-order items.

N = New listing appearing on list for first time
R = Item returning to the list after having been off for 1 or more weeks

Commentary:
  • The first Ms. Marvel collection, which spent most of the last half of 2014 hanging around the middle to lower part of the Amazon Top 50 chart, suddenly returns in the top spot this week. Usually when this happens there is some kind of mention in national news, but I can't find anything out of the ordinary (other than typically positive reviews on comics and other geek-type sites). So this looks like just a general groundswell of interest in the comic. Which is very unusual for a Marvel book to do so without some sort of movie tie-in.
  • The top debut this week is the second volume of March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell, and the first volume returns to the chart as well.
  • It is otherwise business as usual: books used in college classes are still in the top ten; Walking Dead, Batman and Saga still prove popular.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Digital Comics Picks of the Week for January 21, 2015

Groo: Friends and Foes #1
Here is my weekly Pinterest board of this week's recommended new digital comics:

January 14, 2015 - Digital Comics Picks of the Week

Highlights include: Groo: Friends and Foes #1; Sanity & Tallulah: Plucky Teen Girl Space Detectives #1; Lumberjanes #10; March Book Two; Rocket Raccoon #7; Gronk vol. 1; and more!


Follow Dave's board January 21, 2015 - Digital Comics Picks of the Week on Pinterest.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Digital Comics Picks of the Week for January 14, 2015

Star Wars #1

Here is my weekly Pinterest board of this week's recommended new digital comics:

January 14, 2015 - Digital Comics Picks of the Week

Highlights include: Star Wars #1, Silver Surfer #8, Lazarus #14, Swamp Thing #79, Dreadstar #1, Batgirl #38, Captain Marvel #11, and more!


Follow Dave's board January 14, 2015 - Digital Comics Picks of the Week on Pinterest.

Amazon Top 50 - January 16, 2015

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
Here are the Top 50 Comics & Graphic Novels on Amazon Friday morning. See About the Amazon Top 50 Lists for more information on how this list is compiled.


1 (-). Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
2 (-). Saga Volume 4
3 (+3). Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
4 (+1). Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
5 (+4). The Complete Persepolis
6 (N). Star Wars #1 (Marvel Comics 2015)
7 (-3). Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
8 (+6). Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
9 (-6). Dilbert 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
10 (+2). Saga Volume 1
11 (-). The Walking Dead Compendium One
12 (-5). The Walking Dead, Vol. 22: A New Beginning
13 (+15). American Born Chinese
14 (+11). Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began
15 (N). Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection *
16 (-3). The Walking Dead Compendium Two
17 (-9). The Complete Maus
18 (-2). Hyperbole and a Half (paperback)
19 (-4). How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
20 (+4). Watchmen
21 (R). V for Vendetta
22 (-5). Saga Volume 3
23 (-3). Saga Volume 2
24 (R). Abina and the Important Men
25 (+11). Civil War
26 (-16). Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition
27 (-8). The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
28 (-5). Batman: Year One
29 (+15). Me Without You
30 (R). Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52)
31 (-1). Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1
32 (+8). Sex Criminals Volume 1
33 (+9). Vader's Little Princess
34 (-13). The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War, Part 2
35 (N). Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three #16 (Kindle)
36 (+1). The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye
37 (-5). Goodnight Darth Vader
38 (R). Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52)
39 (-). Hyperbole and a Half 2015 Wall Calendar
40 (N). Minecraft: The Curse of Herobrine: The Ultimate Minecraft Comic Book Volume 1 (Kindle)
41 (R). Batman Vol. 4: Zero Year-Secret City (The New 52)
42 (+7). The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1
43 (-17). Darth Vader and Son
44 (+6). Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
45 (-11). Batman: Hush
46 (-3). The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
47 (-9). The Walking Dead, Vol. 23: Whispers Into Screams *
48 (-30). Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
49 (N). Minecraft: The Legend of Herobrine Part One (Kindle)
50 (-2). Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52)

Items with asterisks (*) are pre-order items.

N = New listing appearing on list for first time
R = Item returning to the list after having been off for 1 or more weeks

Commentary:
  • Roz Chast stays on top of the chart for the second week in a row (but slips to #132 on the overall Amazon books chart) with Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
  • The University Effect continues, pushing titles like Maus, Persepolis, Fun Home, Understanding Comics, and American Born Chinese near the top of the chart as students buy their books for class.
  • The top debut this week is the first issue of Marvel's new Star Wars comic. That's the physical comic, not digital. And the regular cover, not any of the umpty dozen variants. Amazon isn't selling it themselves, but enough people are ordering it from third party sellers (the cheapest price being $3.75 + $3.99 shipping, not eligible for free Prime shipping) to put it in the top ten.
  • Also debuting this week is Step Aside, Pops; the upcoming Hark! A Vagrant collection by Kate Beaton. It doesn't come out until September, but anticipation is so high that the week it is announced pre-orders push it up to the top fifteen.
  • Three Kindle titles round out the debuts this week: The latest issue of Injustice; and two Minecraft comics.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Amazon Top 50 - January 9, 2015

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
Here are the Top 50 Comics & Graphic Novels on Amazon Friday morning. See About the Amazon Top 50 Lists for more information on how this list is compiled.


1 (-). Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
2 (+4). Saga Volume 4
3 (+4). Dilbert 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
4 (R). Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
5 (+30). Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
6 (+11). Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
7 (+7). The Walking Dead, Vol. 22: A New Beginning
8 (+40). The Complete Maus
9 (+38). The Complete Persepolis
10 (+1). Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition
11 (+2). The Walking Dead Compendium One
12 (+11). Saga Volume 1
13 (-1). The Walking Dead Compendium Two
14 (+30). Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
15 (-). How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
16 (+2). Hyperbole and a Half (paperback)
17 (+16). Saga Volume 3
18 (-8). Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
19 (+2). The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
20 (+6). Saga Volume 2
21 (+10). The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War, Part 2
22 (+6). Peanuts 2015 Wall Calendar
23 (-7). Batman: Year One
24 (-). Watchmen
25 (R). Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began
26 (+12). Darth Vader and Son
27 (-8). The Argyle Sweater 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
28 (R). American Born Chinese
29 (-2). V for Vendetta
30 (+2). Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1
31 (R). Maxine Boxed Calendar (2015)
32 (R). Goodnight Darth Vader
33 (N). Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three #15 (Kindle)
34 (-14). Batman: Hush
35 (+15). The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War, Part 1
36 (+7). Civil War
37 (R). The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye
38 (N). The Walking Dead, Vol. 23: Whispers Into Screams *
39 (+3). Hyperbole and a Half 2015 Wall Calendar
40 (-3). Sex Criminals Volume 1
41 (-2). Dilbert 2015 Wall Calendar
42 (R). Vader's Little Princess
43 (R). The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
44 (R). Me Without You
45 (R). Seconds: A Graphic Novel
46 (-10). Batman: The Long Halloween
47 (R). The Sword Sword: The Graphic Novel
48 (R). Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52)
49 (R). The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1
50 (R). Serenity: Leaves on the Wind

Items with asterisks (*) are pre-order items.

N = New listing appearing on list for first time
R = Item returning to the list after having been off for 1 or more weeks

Commentary:
  • Roz Chast stays on top of the chart for the second week in a row (and is currently #73 on the overall Amazon books chart) with Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
  • The new semester has begun, college students are buying their books, and Maus, Persepolis, Fun Home, Understanding Comics, and American Born Chinese—your graphic novel canon for college classes—all rise up on the chart.
  • Only two new entries this week: The latest issue of Injustice (which is somewhat significant, as these days Injustice issues no longer appear on the chart as a matter of course); and the new collection of The Walking Dead, which isn't due out until May but the pre-orders have already begun.
  • I'm working on the year-end summary for 2014, which will appear both here and over at The Beat (in somewhat different versions) when I'm done, hopefully sometime next week.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Digital Comics Picks of the Week for January 7, 2015

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
Here is my weekly Pinterest board of this week's recommended new digital comics:

January 7, 2015 - Digital Comics Picks of the Week

Highlights include: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, Tall Tales, Miracleman #14, Nat Turner, The Fade Out #4, X-Factor #71, Adventures of Superman: José Luis García-López, and more!


Follow Dave's board January 7, 2015 - Digital Comics Picks of the Week on Pinterest.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Amazon Top 50 - January 2, 2015

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
Here are the Top 50 Comics & Graphic Novels on Amazon Friday morning. See About the Amazon Top 50 Lists for more information on how this list is compiled.


1 (+6). Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
2 (R). The Essential Calvin and Hobbes (Kindle)
3 (R). The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes (Kindle)
4 (R). The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes (Kindle)
5 (N). Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons (Kindle)
6 (-5). Saga Volume 4
7 (-3). Dilbert 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
8 (N). Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat (Kindle)
9 (N). The Days Are Just Packed (Kindle)
10 (-). Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
11 (-6). Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition
12 (-6). The Walking Dead Compendium Two
13 (-10). The Walking Dead Compendium One
14 (-6). The Walking Dead, Vol. 22: A New Beginning
15 (-13). How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
16 (-5). Batman: Year One
17 (R). Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
18 (-6). Hyperbole and a Half (paperback)
19 (R). The Argyle Sweater 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
20 (+10). Batman: Hush
21 (-6). The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
22 (+11). Cartoons from The New Yorker 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
23 (-17). Saga Volume 1
24 (-5). Watchmen
25 (+12). The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1
26 (-12). Saga Volume 2
27 (-5). V for Vendetta
28 (N). Peanuts 2015 Wall Calendar
29 (R). Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Kindle)
30 (-7). Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal
31 (-14). The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War, Part 2
32 (-14). Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1
33 (-20). Saga Volume 3
34 (N). Pearls Before Swine 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
35 (R). Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
36 (-4). Batman: The Long Halloween
37 (+1). Sex Criminals Volume 1
38 (-17). Darth Vader and Son
39 (N). Dilbert 2015 Wall Calendar
40 (+4). Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor
41 (N). The Oatmeal 2015 Wall Calendar
42 (N). Hyperbole and a Half 2015 Wall Calendar
43 (-16). Civil War
44 (R). Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
45 (-20). Kingdom Come
46 (R). Infinity Gauntlet
47 (R). The Complete Persepolis
48 (R). The Complete Maus
49 (R). Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
50 (-24). The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War, Part 1

Items with asterisks (*) are pre-order items.

N = New listing appearing on list for first time
R = Item returning to the list after having been off for 1 or more weeks

Commentary:
  • The New Year begins, and an old familiar comic returns to the top of the chart. Roz Chast's graphic memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? makes many mainstream Best of 2014 lists, and thus it makes its way to the top of the Amazon chart again.
  • Also with the start of the new year we see many comics-related desk and wall calendars make the chart this week.
  • Earlier in the week there was a sale on the Kindle versions of the various Calvin & Hobbes collections, which is why, even though the sale is over, the lingering effects of which brings them into the top ten on the chart this week.
  • With the start of the new semester just around the corner, the industrious students have peeked ahead at their syllabi and started to order the comics they'll need for their classes. This is the bi-annual University Effect that sees books like Fun Home, Persepolis, Maus and Understanding Comics return to the chart like the swallows to Capistrano. 
  • Normally during the present week I'd be compiling the annual statistics for these chart summaries to present the year-end wrap up column. However, since I'm now also doing the DC Month-to-Month sales column for The Beat and the November column is running late, that's going to take priority for the next few days. Which is to say that the Amazon annual summary column is still coming, just likely a bit later than usual.