NARAZU’s Best of 2017

You made it! 2017 is coming to an end.  We hope this year brought you closer to the things that mean the most to you.   But before we say goodbye to a year that seemed to go too fast, yet not fast enough, we wanted to take a look back at some of the best books, comics, and films we discovered in the past 12 months!

We’d also like to invite you to try something new with us in 2018.  We know we’re not the only ones who devoured a book or watched a film so good it made you want to tell the world about it.  Well, now is your chance!  Next year, we’re inviting YOU to write or film a review of some of your favorite Indie books, comics, film, etc. and share it on our site. Send your written review or video to  Starting in February, we’ll feature your reviews on our blog, newsletter, and social media channels.  There is no shortage of enthusiasm within the sci-fi/comics community.  In the New Year, we can’t wait to discover new passions together!

Happy Holidays & Best Always!

Team Narazu  

All Indie. All Awesome.


by Emily Ingram

by Simeon Duncombe

Crazy. Cool. Twisted.  The essence of paranormal…with a skateboard.  We don’t even want to tell you what this is about.  It’s kind of like The Matrix…you have to see it for yourself.  As our grandma would have said, our film editor, Emily Ingram, put her foot in this!  See why here.

To Catch A Dream by Jim ChuChu

To Catch A Dream is a stunning vision of loss, folklore, and the lengths we go to in order to escape our grief.  You can view it here, but don’t look back…

EXIT LOG: Story by Geoffrey Fletcher (Writer of PRECIOUS) and Chris Cornwell/ Directed by Gary Freedman/The Glue Society

While idling away as part of the maintenance crew on a small spacecraft, two women experience the downside of time travel. Exit Log is barely six minutes long, but the filmmakers waste no time setting up a premise that will have your mind extrapolating the possibilities before the story even gets going.  The question of what YOU would do in their situation will linger…


By C. Young, Narazu Editor-at-Large


We know when a book grabs us. It follows us throughout the day; it flashes mirrors in our eyes during meetings; when we’re trying to talk to our loved ones, bits of dialogue slip in. Any “Best Of” list is always highly subjective, but the joy is finding that one book that might sit on your shoulder and say, “Let’s play!”

Engraved On the Eye by Saladin Ahmed – Even though he’s currently penning Marvel’s Black Bolt, writer Saladin Ahmed’s indie bonafides are beyond reproach, and this collection of short stories is proof that wherever he goes, you should follow. If you like pure adventure, there’s pure adventure. You like macabre? It’s there. Want to get a little misty-eyed when you read your sci-fi? Done. These short stories deliver what the best tales always do: complete universes that you get to play with long after you’ve gotten to the end. If your tastes lean toward wonder, adventure, and just damn good writing, this collection is for you.

Certain books make you feel like a kid at storytime, all smiles and eager ears. The Poppet and the Lune is that rare book that sparkles with magic from the first page and never runs out. Madeline Claire Franklin is a master storyteller who reminds us that the thrill of “Once upon a time” shouldn’t end with adulthood.

The Finest Ass In the Universe by Anna Tambour lets you know straight up you’re not in for standard MFA-program short story fare. You’re about to have fun. Fun with words, fun with ideas, and fun with questions. This second set of short stories to grace our Best Of list is deeply felt, exquisitely written, and soul-satisfying. Think literary jam session featuring Rod Serling, Toni Morrison, Ursula Le Guin, and Robin Williams. Then think of adding this to your permanent collection. You’re welcome.

Dragon Sisters by Joyce Chng: An excellent fable full of heart and sympathy, except in this book those qualities aren’t just for the humans but for the “beasts” in our tales as well. Recommended for anybody who wants more from Chinese culture, mythology, and dragons than Disney will ever provide. (Which is, like, yes! Added excellence: this book is interspersed with loads of traditional recipes for lots of the tasty royal dishes featured in the tale!)

Know those books that make you stop mid-sentence and say, “Wow”? When you dive into War & Mir by Minister Faust prepare to hit pause. With two books in the series and a third—and final—on the way for 2018, these are the thinking person’s action extravaganzas. What if a federation of planets existed today, right now, in our solar system? What if Earth was the only planet that didn’t know about it? What if that was entirely by strictly-enforced design? And what if that arrangement suddenly got blown wide open? Minister Faust packs more imagination and mega-wattage of writing into a single page than most writers get out of an entire book. Prepare to be thrilled, challenged, awakened, and transformed!

Comics (and Graphic Novels!)

by George Carmona

There was a lot of stand out work from creator-owned independents and smaller comic houses, so picking just a few is harder than you would think! I’m going to Kobayashi Maru this and make my picks the way Jim Kirk would: use some of my favorite themes from this past year and add books that I might not have known about at the time or weren’t out yet.


Co-Founder – Vincenzo Ferriero, Co-Founder – Ray Chou
Lead Artist/Inker – Pablo Peppino, Colorist – Bryan Valenza
Letterer – Nic J. Shaw, Cartographer/Graphic Designer – Josephe Vandel

I discovered SKIES OF FIRE after we did our steampunk edition, but in truth, it could have gone into the conspiracy slot just as easy. It’s been out for a few years, but I just discovered this bold, yet young, Captain Helen Pierce of the RGS Caspadian, who’s tasked with capturing the airship Delmonte in the mysterious Expanse. Part Star Trek, part naval espionage, this book’s beautiful artwork has clean lines and vibrant colors that pulled me in, and I wanted more. While a bit more expensive than most comics, this book is a major gem.


Writer/Artist – Keef Cross

This funky story of a former slave turned vampire, turned tattoo artist, is a hot blazing twist on vampires that (wait for it) sucks you in. Our vampire/tattoo artist Merce lives in the pollution-riddled town of DayBlack, a town so overcome with smog that a vampire can walk around anytime of the day (#DayWalker). In addition, he uses his position as a tattoo artist to discreetly feed off of folks. Oh, did I mention he’s a narcoleptic? A twisted story with captivating characters and blazing artwork, Cross blends fine art sensibilities with graffiti flare, and while that’s prevalent in a lot of modern black artists’ styles, he uses it in a fresh way with his storytelling and design esthetic.

My Kobayashi Maru pick isn’t a comic but a shout-out to a vital component of the comic experience.  I wouldn’t have been able to make some of my picks this year (and probably next) without journeying to the smaller comic shops in NYC, specifically ANYONE COMICS. Located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, AC is a small shop that is all about supporting the independent artists and their works. As soon as you walk in, the Indie books are right there. This place doesn’t just “sell” comics. Owner/Manager Dimitrios Fragiskatos is a cool cat who’s willing to help the “little guys” tell their stories by establishing a haven for creators to do signings or utilize a work space to create, in addition to hosting a 24-hour comic event, Drink and Draws (adults only), and producing a Facebook Live podcast about comics and geekery in general, this place is a shrine for the creatives and collectors. If you’re in NYC stop by! (Also? There’s pinball in the back.)

Finally, I want to end my year with shout-outs to the smaller publishers who put out comics that push past the typical superhero stories and give us stories and characters that reflect our world or flip it on its head. If I haven’t picked something from their catalogs this past year, I’m sure I will in 2018.

Here’s to a New Year with new picks!

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