- Belated Media – If you like movies, you should check this guy out. It’s really incisive film commentary, reviews, and criticism, and it’s really entertaining to boot. I’ve already linked to a couple of his videos in previous posts. The link the YouTube channel is here. I’d recommend “What If Star Wars Episode One Was Good?” if you’re a fan of Star Wars or story development, or any of his film reviews if that’s all you’re looking for.
- Cormac McCarthy – Quite possibly the greatest living American writer. You may be more familiar with the film adaptations to some of his books (No Country for Old Men, The Road, All the Pretty Horses) but that’s a shame because he writes some of the prettiest prose I have ever read. I admit to being woefully under-read with regard to his novels, but every one I have had the pleasure of reading has been an absolute treat. The Road is one of the best (though also one of the most depressing) books I’ve ever read, though I think my favorite of his (so far) has to be The Crossing. Technically it’s the second book in his Border Trilogy, but you don’t have to have read the first to read the second. But you should. All The Pretty Horses is a gem as well.
Oh, and he’s written the screenplay for The Counselor, a movie coming out late next year starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pit, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and Javier Bardem, and directed by Ridley Scott. It’s. Going. To. Be. AMAZING.
- Extra Credits – Do you love video games? Do you love talking about video games? Do you love critically interacting with major issues related to video game development, design, and consumption wrapped up in a delightful and amusing package? Yes? Then you need to be watching Extra Credits. It’s a weekly web show that discusses industry trends, applying a critical rigor that’s integral to discussions in so many other media but is applied to games all too infrequently. It’s a really fun show that has a lot of good things to say. Check them out here
- Funky Winkerbean – There are several daily comic strips that I read pretty regularly, but Funky Winkerbean may be my favorite. It’s a character driven strip, so it does take some time to get situated in it, but it has a mixture of comedy and willingness to interact with very serious topics that you rarely see in other major strips. I mean, a few years ago there was a major plotline surrounding a main character dying of cancer. It’s heavy stuff, but the strip approaches issues in a way that promotes thoughtful discussion while remaining all about story. It’s a difficult mix that stories in any medium often don’t get right. You can find a link to the strip’s website here and a link to the daily strip here.
- Epic Rap Battles of History – Another YouTube channel makes the list. Ever wondered what it would be like if Darth Vader and Hitler threw down in verse? Leonidas and Master Chief? Justin Bieber and Beethoven? Well these guys did, and they went out to settle the argument (sort of). Epic Rap Battles of History is hilarious and well worth your time. Fair warning, though: they can get a little profane. The link to their YouTube channel is here.
- Bloons Tower Defense 5 – Tower defense games abound on the web, but this series is probably my favorite. It’s premised on monkey throwing darts at balloons. Or more properly, “bloons.” Yes, it’s about as wacky as it sounds, and it’s a ton of fun. For some exceptional, addictive, time wasting action, check it out here.
- SlushPile Hell – Last but not least comes my favorite of all compilation blog sites in which a literary agent publishes and comments on portions of particularly awful query letters. For those unfamiliar, a query letter is what an author sends an agent, usually along with a portion of his/her manuscript, to try to convince the agent to represent him in getting the book published. New postings don’t come too often, but it’s like waking up on Christmas morning every time they do. You can find it here.