As much for my own reference as anything else – and because it includes a few things I didn’t get around to mentioning/linking to here – here’s a roundup of some of the things I’ve written, and for whom, this year.

While still bound by the fact that my writing is done around a full-time job – and the fact that outside of my full-time job, a good chunk of my free writing time is spent doing the weekly updates for, the fifty-two weeks of which surely make this my most prolific year in terms of published work – I’ve managed to expand the range of outlets I’ve worked for, even as a couple of the ones I’ve done pieces for in the past (and would have liked to have done more for) have dropped off the radar a little bit.

Of course, the most significant writing-related development of the year wasn’t any of the below, but the fact that James and I now have a budget to make a sitcom. Which also means that, given the bulk of the first half of next year will be given over to writing and producing the thing, I imagine 2013 will generally be a bit quieter for this kind of stuff. But I still feel happy with the way things have developed over the last twelve months, particularly the opportunities people have given me to write for their somewhat noted publications, and I’m hoping that will continue.

Anyway, here’s the incomplete-but-covering-most-of-the-important-stuff list of what I’ve churned out in 2012…

The Essential Guide to Movie Superheroes

  • Two pieces in this “magbook” – going over the history of the Superman and Spider-Man movie franchises. Still available in shops (WH Smith, Tesco etc.) at the moment, but also at various online places. Various other fellow Den of Geek cohorts contributed to this.

When Saturday Comes

While not out yet, all being well I should also have the back page column in issue #312 of WSC, due at some point in early January.

New Statesman (online)

Yes, you may note my general attitude of “Why the heck isn’t Roy of the Rovers still going?” as something of a recurring theme this year. Distinct from the article in WSC #309, however, this piece – which I was commissioned for as part of NS’ British Comics Week – took a slightly different tack and focused more specifically on comics.

A handful of comics news pieces:

Comic Book Resources

Reportage from the 2012 Kapow! convention:


Den of Geek

Red Dwarf – The Official Website

Obviously I was writing a new article every week for the site – often just simple news bites and the like – but here are a few longer articles I was quite pleased with this year:

Alternate Cover

We were largely concerned with our podcasts (yes, two of ’em – we cancelled and replaced the original one) this year, but we still found time for a few thoughtpieces, including:

  • The Annotated Journey Into Mystery: The Manchester Gods – parts one, two and three.
  • Digital Justice (a musing by me on the rise of digital comics)
  • Watchmen Babies (our less than impressed shared reaction to the Before Watchmen announcement)

Unlimited Rice Pudding!

In slightly resurrecting URP! as a haven for occasional Who reviews and thought pieces, I wanted to take a slightly different tack with the style of writing on there. I didn’t get to do as many as I would have liked (though I’m still intending to cover the Christmas ep at some point), but I think I succeeded with the ones I did. I’m especially pleased with the Asylum review, probably one of my favourite bits of my own writing this year.

F1 Colours

Damn, I didn’t manage to put out a single one of my “Livery History” articles on F1C in 2012, despite giving the site a massive redesign and relaunch at the start of the year. As is customary I gave my thoughts on the 2012 cars, and prior to that had come up with a “Fantasy Grid” – but still, the site was somewhat neglected after the season began in March. That’s one I really need to give some attention to next year.

And that was my 2012 in keyboard-bashing. If you’ve read and enjoyed any of the above (or indeed any of the waffle I’ve posted on here), then thank you, and happy new year!

It’s the beginning of the first working week of December, so of course, once again, this annual festive tradition is here to brighten up the chilly Monday lunchtimes of those of you who haven’t just kept it saved on your computer from last year.

You should know the drill by now, but if you don’t (and I seem to have picked up a fair few new twit-o-chums in the last year or so, so this might actually be the case for once), then it’s a Christmas compilation album (designed to fit on a single CD, so if I want to bring new stuff in – which I do some years – then something else has to make way), made up largely of tracks that are a bit different – whether that just means they’re an indie/rock interpretation of a classic, or if they take a slightly fractured or unusual perspective on the festivities. There are one or two exceptions – stone-cold classics that I just couldn’t bring myself to leave out – but on the whole these are songs you’re less likely to hear while you’re out and about doing Christmas shopping, but which still (for me, at least) convey a lovely and festive feeling.

This year’s tracklisting is identical to last year’s, so if you’ve already got the 2011 version, all you’ll find that’s changed is the file name… so as ever, Merry Christmas, and enjoy!

Download Now That’s What Seb Calls A Christmas Album! (2012 edition) (via Dropbox)

1. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time Is Here (2:44)
2. Murray Gold & Neil Hannon – Song For Ten (3:29)
3. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You (4:01)
4. Fountains of Wayne – I Want an Alien For Christmas (2:19)
5. Loudon Wainwright III – Christmas Morning (3:49)
6. Low – Just Like Christmas (3:08)
7. The Ronettes – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (2:41)
8. The Ventures – Sleigh Ride (2:22)
9. Grandaddy – Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland (2:59)
10. Bright Eyes – Blue Christmas (2:19)
11. Eels – Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas (2:48)
12. The Vandals – Oi To The World (2:15)
13. The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick (2:10)
14. Zombina & The Skeletones – A Chainsaw For Christmas (3:11)
15. The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight) (2:06)
16. The Kinks – Father Christmas (3:43)
17. Rilo Kiley – Xmas Cake (5:24)
18. Jonathan Coulton – Chiron Beta Prime (2:51)
19. Spitting Image – Santa Claus Is On The Dole (3:48)
20. The Long Blondes – Christmas is Cancelled (4:29)
21. Half Man Half Biscuit – It’s Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas (3:48)
22. She & Him – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (3:42)
23. Badly Drawn Boy – Donna and Blitzen (4:19)
24. My Chemical Romance – All I Want For Christmas Is You (3:45)

This year, though, I’ve also decided to throw in an extra little treat. You may or may not already be aware that a few of the above tracks come from an XFM-produced compilation album from 2000 called It’s a Cool Cool Christmas. This album’s pretty hard to track down these days – it’s long out of print, second-hand copies are rare, and I don’t believe there’s a legal download of it available – so I’ve decided to make a copy of it available for those who want to hear the whole thing (personally, I think I’ve already picked out the best cuts from it and used them above, but you may well disagree). You can get that here, at least for as long as it’s there before someone important notices and shouts at me to get rid of it.

What I will say, however, is that it was originally put out as a charity record in support of The Big Issue, an organisation that I consider to be a highly worthy cause (particularly around Christmas, when many of those suffering homelessness tend to feel it most acutely). So if you are going to download it, perhaps you might want to think about dropping them a small (or even a not so small) donation at the same time?