Ah, February, the month Valentine’s Day calls home. What better time for the latest edition of AiPT! Staff Picks? This month, get to know new contributor Connor Christiansen and all the pop culture goodness he’s fallen in love with!
Connor Christiansen: Contributor
Current Favorite Comic Series: I am absolutely infatuated with The Wild Storm from Warren Ellis and John-Davis Hunt. It’s got a more classic layout, with a lot of nine-panel pages and really crisp, proportionate panels for those with more or less than nine. The action sequences are hands down the best in comics right now–like watching a Hollywood fight choreographer storyboard a brawl. The fights are viscerally violent while they flow effortlessly. Writer Warren Ellis has crafted one helluva world, rife with corporate espionage, intergalactic travel, immortal magicians and plenty of “wow” moments.
Whenever I try to explain this series to friends I feel like Charlie Kelly in that episode of It’s Always Sunny where he’s frantically explain his mail conspiracies.Current Favorite TV Series: I am such a sucker for Agents of Shield and I am a little ashamed about it. Since they’re in the middle of their midseason break I am rewatching the series from the beginning and loving it. I know the storylines are sometimes weak but their characters are just so damn lovable that I am hooked. Last week I watched the episode where Tripp gets trapped in the Terrigen Mists with Skye/Daisy–breaks my heart every time. #BringBackTripp. Really, though, I feel like Agents wonderfully captures the episodic nature and craziness of comics without being too campy. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the grittier Netflix shows (except Iron Fist, ugh, that show was a chore) but Agents of Shield is so unapologetically fun. I just can’t get enough of it.
Last Great Movie You Saw: Like everyone else in America, I was blown-away by Black Panther. Not just a great superhero flick but a fantastic film, as fancy folk would call it. There was a particular moment at the end of the movie while T’Challah is in Oakland that really hit me in all the feels as an enamored young black kid stares at the king, wide-eyed with undeniable admiration. It dawned on me that, for the first time, there were going to be young African-American boys and girls around the world who would find a hero that they could see and go, “wow, he/she is just like me. I want to be like that,” on such a massive stage like the MCU. I thought about how there would be kids infatuated with a hero the same way I fell in love with Spider-Man when I was a kid watching Sam Raimi’s adaptations–but this was the first time they’ll experience something like this. I honestly got a little choked up–which was not awkward at all considering I was sitting alone in a packed theater on opening night. That was really the moment that made me realize why diversity and representation in triple-A movies is so fucking important.I’ll be checking out Annihilation this weekend, though, so by the time anyone reads this my answer may have changed!
Current Gaming Addiction: I can’t go a day without playing NHL 18, which is possibly the least gamer answer I could muster, but I just have to play every day. I am a die-hard Pittsburgh Penguins fan and for the past three seasons I have played a simulation of every single Penguins game while the real Penguins went on to win back-to-back Stanley Cups and are on FIRE right now. It’s not even that I want to play NHL 18, it’s that I have to. I am not superstitious or anything, but clearly my efforts in the video game rink has affected their success. When the Penguins have an off day, I am probably plugging away at Titanfall 2 a.k.a the most underrated shooter of all time.
Coolest Recent Purchase: I signed up for MoviePass in November and it is the best purchase I have ever made. $9.99 a month for a movie a day? I feel like I am stealing from Hollywood and God does that feel good. I saw so many great films I otherwise would’ve skipped–like Ladybird and The Killing of a Sacred Deer–because of MoviePass. I have no idea how it’s fiscally possible for MoviePass to stay afloat at just $9.99 a month, but I am no math wizard so I’ll just enjoy the endless bevy of movies.Current Song You Can’t Get Out of Your Head: There’s almost too many to choose from; The Wonder Years have a new single out, Underoath just dropped their first single in eight years, The Story So Far is gearing up to release a new album, and it’s an even number year so Every Time I Die is (hopefully?) working on another masterpiece (stop what you’re doing and go listen to Low Teens if you haven’t already). The question asks for just one, so I’ll go with “Generator” by Turnstile–some good ole fashion hardcore punk off their new album Time & Space.
Current Pet Peeve: I am fueled with righteous rage over shopping cart etiquette every time I go to the grocery store. People abandoning their cart in the spices aisle to grab a gallon of ice cream for their fat faces in the frozen food section three aisles over, blocking entire selections of goods with their cart placement, and commanding their cart like a drunk Jack Sparrow looking for fat-free Triscuits is driving me nuts.
However, NOTHING untethers my rage more than people not returning carts to their designated receptacles in the parking lot. I am not worried about rogue carts hitting my car or losing a parking space to a vacant grocery vessel, I just think grocery store employees would be 10,000 times more pleasant if they didn’t spend 3 hours a day wrangling abandoned carts! There are a lot of problems in our great nation, but one of our largest obstacles is the complete ignorance of shopping cart etiquette.
What About March Has You Excited: Since I already raved about Oblivion Song in my advanced review, I won’t talk about it here… much. Just buy it. You have to. It’s incredible. Gideon Falls releases in March too from Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, which I added to my pull list as soon as pre-orders were made available. WonderCon is in March and this will be my first year I am going so I am super pumped for that. In the non-comic book realm of my life, I am going to see Every TIme I Die live for the seventh time total but the first time in almost two years so I am pretty stoked to mosh my face off with the boys from Buffalo.