Press Releases


Critical Blast Readers Select Gina Carano as Best Series Actor of 2020

Gina Carano Best Series Actress 2020

Streaming services once again dominated the voting for the category of Best Series Actor of 2020, with not a single traditional broadcast medium making a statistical showing.

Hulu's The Great saw leads Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult both achieve 3% of all votes cast, in a three-way tie with DC Universe's Stargirl's Luke Wilson, while the superhero lead for the aforementioned Stargirl, Brec Bassinger, pulled in 4%.

DC Universe also saw Doom Patrol's April Bowlby stretch past the pack to nab 9% of the ballots, but Anya Taylor-Joy doubled that with 18% for her work on Netflix's The Queen's Gambit.


It's No Wonder: Readers Select Gal Gadot as Best Film Actor of 2020

Gal Gadot Best Actor 2020

Where most of the categories this year have seen an influx of competition, from comics to movies to shows, the Best Film Actor category was surprisingly slim this year -- perhaps an indication that while the films themselves were entertaining, there were very few standout performances in them. It seems an odd dichotomy, yet here we are.

Leading off the list of nominees for Best Film Actor of 2020 is Stranger Things' Millie Bobbie Brown for her titular role in the Netflix film, Enola Holmes, taking only 2% of the vote. She us only barely passed by Ariana Greenblatt, with 3%, for her supporting role in Love and Monsters


Looking for the Best Series of 2020? Disney Plus Says: This Is The Way.

Best Series of 2020: Star Wars The Mandalorian

When Critical Blast first published, we tried to create a category for every form of entertainment medium. A natural choice seemed to be television -- if you didn't see a movie in a theater or on home video, that seemed to be the default option.

Even when we began our annual reader-decided awards, "Best Television Show" seemed a natural category, even with streaming services firing up. But now it just seems strange to call it that -- anachronistic even, particularly in a year where not a single traditional broadcast network garnered enough votes for any series to make a sizeable showing in our results. Streaming has done to serial entertainment what crowdfunding has done to comic books -- it's widened the field of choices and the competition has gotten fierce.


For Best Movie of 2020, You've Gotta Go Fast

Best Movie 2020

It's no secret that Hollywood was hit hard by the 2020 pandemic. With theaters closed, film production came to a halt and many movies had to look for alternative outlets such as streaming on their sister company channels. The lack of big budget competition paved the way for films shot specifically for streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu to jump into the competition as well, giving our viewers a more diverse set of titles to vote on this year for the Best Film of 2020, casting their ballots for such fare as Dolittle, Love and Monsters, and Mulan.

Netflix lands in the bronze spot this year, netting 14.66% of the vote with their Victorian action adventure, Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobbie Brown as the younger sister to the famous detective Sherlock -- played here by a mustachioed Henry Cavill -- and the standoffish Mycroft.


Horror and Action Give Way to Comedy as Readers Select Best Comics Writers of 2020: Todd Livingston and Nick Capetanakis

Todd Livingston, Sonya Devereaux, and Nick Capetanakis

During a year where people were forced to huddle in their homes, sequestered from the populace in order to stave off the Zombie Apocalypse / Andromeda Strain pandemic, comic books -- especially small press and crowdfunded comics -- too off in a big way. And while people still loved to be scared and thrilled by an ever ready stream of horror and superhero titles, ultimately people wanted to laugh this year, and they showed it in their votes.

While the "big two" of DC and Marvel made a far more impressive showing than they did in the Best Comic and Best Comic Artist categories, there was still the undeniable presence of the upstart, bellying up to the bar and shouldering the giants aside to sit among them as equals.


Suitable for Fraiming: The Best Comic Artists of 2020 are Twins -- Brian and Brendon Fraim

Fraim Brothers

Given what has been an unprecedent year for comics, culminating in an overwhelming number of nominations from independents and crowdfunded titles vying for the honor of Best Comics of 2020, it isn't surprising that the competition for the Best Comic Artist would be just as heavy. A sign of this is that "Other" -- a housekeeping category that usually represents about 1% of total votes every year from write-ins, gathered up a sizeable 9% this year, representative of just how many new up-and-coming artists are on the horizon. In fact, "Other" is the faceless hominid standing in the bronze position of our Comic Artist Olympics, having placed third among all other nominees and write-in candidates! So congratulations, Other, and better luck next year!


Sonya Devereaux, Hollywood's 306th Best Actress, Comes First with Best Comic of 2020

Best Comics of 2020 - Starring Sonya Devereaux

Every year, Critical Blast opens up the polls to our readers to select the best of everything entetainment, in multiple categories. And while some categories slimmed down this year due to the spread of coronavirus forcing people to stay home, the comic book business has seen a boom, thanks largely to a number of independent creators who have turned away from the traditional publishing market and toward crowdfunding to get their four-color fantasies fit to print and into the hands of readers.



DCUniverse Infinite

BURBANK, CA (Sept. 18, 2020) – Calling all comic book fans to Explore the Multiverse! DC today announced the evolution of DC UNIVERSE into DC UNIVERSE INFINITE, a premium digital comic book service set to launch on January 21, 2021. With access to more than 24,000 comic books at launch, DC UNIVERSE INFINITE subscribers will also encounter digital-first comics, member access to DC fan events, as well as a steady stream of recently released comics six months after their physical versions hit store shelves. Following its initial launch, DC UNIVERSE INFINITE will begin expanding globally in SUMMER 2021.


Chris Ryall Leaving IDW To Start New Publishing and Entertainment Venture

Chris Ryall

Focused On Developing New Voices Alongside Industry Veterans

Transitions To Advisory Role At IDW Publishing


Critical Blast Announces Online Launch Party for New Book, The Devil You Know

Launch Party for The Devil You Know

Critical Blast Publishing will be releasing their newest anthology, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW on July 1, 2020.

The speculative fiction collection -- featuring the works of Jared Baker, Erica Ciko Campbell, Sarah Cannavo, Michael W. Clark, Christopher Cook, Andra Dill, Cara Fox, R.A. Goli, Gerald A. Jennings, Kevin Kangas, Daryl Marcus, Damascus Mincemeyer, Steve Oden, Evan Purcell, Troy Riser, Joseph Rubas, Hannah Trusty, Wondra Vanian, Henry Vogel, and KD Webster -- recounts tales of meetings with the literary Devil, in the vein of "The Devil and Daniel Webster," "Faust," and other such similar conventions. With stories set in the past, present, and future, and ranging from comedy to horror, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is designed to appeal to as wide a readership as possible.


2019 Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year: Natile Cosplay

Natile Cosplay 2019 Bombshell of the Year

Critical Blast wraps up its spate of announcements for the Best of 2019 awards with the revelation of 2019's Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year, as decided by our readers.

Every month, Critical Blast evaluates the cosplay skills of various participants in the hobby, looking for those who stand out not just in their costuming skills but also in how they apply that talent. And every year those twelve cosplayers are added to our annual ballot to determine who will take the next step from Bombshell of the Month to Bombshell of the Year.

Voting in this category was fairly even, with the topmost vote-getters separated only by a percentage point each.


Best Film of 2019 Awarded to Iconic Villain: Joker

Joker Critical Blast Best of 2019 Film Award

In the category of Best Film of 2019, we had, perhaps, the most competition of any other category in terms of the number of nominations each vying for the vote of our readers. But there were only three films that cracked the barrier into double-digit percentages of the prize pie.

Coming in for the third place position was the Quentin Tarantino blockbuster with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD, and its fictionalized account of actors who fell into the orbit of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, just before the Manson family murders.


No Joke: Joaquin Phoenix Nabs Best Film Actor for 2019

Joaquin Phoenix best actor 2019 joker

We've written before how so many of our Best of 2019 contests were nail-biters, close calls, and photo finishes.

That certainly wasn't an issue when it came to the readers selecting who they thought the Best Film Actor of 2019 was. In fact, the field quickly narrowed so that the only significantly reportable actors became a club of five.

Rosa Salazar and Brie Larson made up the superhero contingent of the pack, for their roles in ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL and CAPTAIN MARVEL, but both were overtaken by Taron Edgerton for his exuberant performance in the Elton John musical-biopic, ROCKETMAN. 


Hickman's House of X Delivers Best Comics Story of 2019 to Marvel

House of X Best Comic 2019

Comics fans run both hot and cold. One of our favorite activities is kvetching about how some of the big comic stories are going in odd, strange, uncomfortable, or flat-out wrong directions. But ask us what our favorites are? Well, then we'll switch gears and tell you all why those exact same stories are captivating our attention and why you should be reading them too!

And so it that we had quite a number of votes for our nominees for Best Comics Story of 2019, starting with some independent titles who made some impressive debuts, like WHITE WIDOW (Absolute Comics) and BIGFOOT BILL (Doug TenNapel).


Drawn to Success: Best Comics Artist of 2019 is Ivan Reis

Ivan Reis Superman Best Comics Artist 2019

In the five years of running the Critical Blast Best Awards, we've never sweated bullets as much as we have over this year's Best Comics Artist category. Every day we peeked in on the results, the top spot would belong to someone different, and the margins were nearly microscopic! And while there was a minor skirmish going on at the lower end of the poll between independent crowdfunding publishers Doug TenNapel and Ethan Van Sciver (who won this award for 2017), the real battle was taking place between Gary Frank (DOOMSDAY CLOCK), J. Scott Campbell (BLACK CAT) and Ivan Reis (SUPERMAN).


2019's Best Comics Writer: Scott Snyder

Scott Snyder Justice League Best Writer 2019

Looking back over 2019, there were a number of high-profile comic arcs that caught the attention of the fans. Some of those were the annual event or non-canonical runs, like Tom Taylor's DCEASED, which brought a zombie apocalypse to the DC Universe. Geoff Johns' sequel to WATCHMEN, DOOMSDAY CLOCK crossed universes to tell it's tale, while Jonathan Hickman received critical acclaim for his remastering of Marvel's mighty mutants in HOUSE OF X. 

But there were also notable runs this past year in your ongoing series that focused our eyes on the people crafting the latest twists and turns in the lives of our favorite characters. Brian Michael Bendis stunned us by having Superman reveal his identity publicly to the world, while Donny Cates and Kelly Thompson enjoyed the increased readership on their titles, VENOM and CAPTAIN MARVEL thanks to the appearance of their characters in theatrical films.


Star Wars Fans Assign "The Mandalorian" Best Broadcast Series of 2019

Best Broadcast Series 2019 The Mandalorian Disney +

While fan response to the Disney STAR WARS films has been more starkly divided than the philosophies of the Jedi and the Sith, one thing everyone can seem to agree on is that the first ever STAR WARS live-action series, THE MANDALORIAN, is a unifying (wait for it) force. A western adventure set in another galaxy, the series is an original to the Disney Plus streaming service, and has been pleasing fans since its debut -- perhaps, in no small part, due to the presence of The Child, universally known to all as "Baby Yoda."


Ben McKenzie Takes Best Actor in Broadcast Series in 2019 Readers' Poll

Ben McKenzie Best Series Actor 2019

It used to be that we voted on the best actor of a television series. But ever since the advent of streaming services, we've struggled for what to call the collective shows that are available many different ways. Sometimes we still catch ourselves saying "Best Actor in a TV Series" even if the show, technically, didn't get shown on a traditional television broadcast.

The past year was a surfeit of choices for pop culture fans, especially if you wanted some live action superhero drama. And while some of the streaming shows got a nod, it was still the tradional broadcast media that led the pack this year, with RIVERDALE's Cole Sprouse taking 16 percent of the votes, just trailing Jean Smart for her portrayal of Agent Laurie Blake in HBO's WATCHMEN.


Rare Hot Wheels Car Discovered by America’s Toy Scout Joel Magee

Rare Hot Wheels Prototype

The Prototype Car, Now Worth Upwards of $100,000, Is the Only Redline Enamel White Hong Kong Version Car Ever to be Discovered - Considered the Holy Grail of Hot Wheels Collectibles

West Palm Beach, Florida – (February 5, 2020) – One of the rarest finds in toy collecting history was discovered by America’s Toy Scout, Joel Magee.  A Hot Wheels Camaro dating to 1968 and verified as the first Hong Kong enamel white example ever found was acquired by Magee and now stands alone as the only one in the world. The white prototype Camaro is three of the most desirable Redline Hot Wheels collectible cars in the world.  Found in a set of several other Hot Wheels cars, it wasn’t until Joel examined the collection and consulted a Hot Wheels expert that he was able to confirm that the lone white Camaro was, in fact, the rarest of rare.


Voting Open for Best of 2019 Awards

Nominations for Best of 2019

Holy cow, is it 2020 already? 2019 seems to have gone by in a blur, with so much happening in the world of movies, television, and comics. It's hard to believe we've reached the point where we now have the unenviable task of deciding which was the best in every category to recognize the producers of entertainment for their efforts.

So below you will find the voting form, featuring our nominations for the best film, film actor, television series (which includes streaming until we come up with a word to replace television), series actor, comic book storyline, comics writer, comics artist, and -- last but certainly not least -- the selection of our Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year from the list of 2019's Bombshell of the Month candidates.


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