We’ve spent the past month celebrating the best entertainment of the year. Now, before we discard the final entry of our Dilbert page-a-day calendars and forget everything that happened in 2014, we want to turn the spotlight toward the incredible artists that bring our own stories to life. EW design director Tim Leong and deputy design director Keir Novesky work with some of the finest illustrators in the business, making each of our issues a veritable “Best of” collection. Even so, 10 pieces made enough of an impression on Tim and Keir that they’re worth revisiting.
(Illustration by Nathan Fox; Art directed by Aaron Morales; Run date: May 9th)
After Game of Thrones killed off yet another main character in Joffrey Baratheon, Melissa Maerz posited that the series’ increasingly high body count was influencing other shows to kill off its characters—and lessening the impact.
2. Star Wars: A New Reason To Hope
(Illustration by Martin Ansin; Art directed by Dragos Lemnei; Run date: Dec. 26th)
In the wake of its first trailer, excitement over The Force Awakens is at an all-time high.
(Illustration by Roberto Parada; Art directed by Jennie Chang; Run date: Dec. 12th)
While some were more successful than others, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Keaton, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Lindsay Lohan (with Oprah keeping her in check) all had notable revivals in 2014.
4. The Year’s Best Films: #1. Whiplash
(Illustration by Cun Shi; Art directed by Dennis Huynh; Run date: Dec. 12th)
J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller drummed up live-wire performances in Whiplash, which our Chris Nashawaty named the number one movie of the year.
(Illustration by Tomer Hanuka; Art directed by Keir Novesky; Run date: Nov. 7th)
Self-published author Andy Weir found unexpected success with his sci-fi novel “The Martian,” which is now being adapted into a movie starring Matt Damon.
(Illustration by Jon Paul Ferrara; Art directed by Dennis Huynh; Run date: Oct. 24th)
Romance novels were once the book world’s dirty little secret, but thanks in part to e-readers and Fifty Shades of Grey, they’re now the hottest fiction genre going.
7. Holiday Movie Preview
(Illustration by Istvan Banyai; Art directed by Dragos Lemnei; Run date: Oct. 31st)
Winter is when the coolest movies of the year come out to play.
(Illustration by Karen Caldicott; Art directed by Dennis Huynh; Run date: Sept. 12th)
No one knows what Italian literary sensation Elena Ferrante looks like, but she talked with EW about her inspirations, her novels, and her insistence on anonymity.
9. The Year’s Best Albums: #1 “St. Vincent” by St. Vincent
(Illustration by Leon Dijkstra; Art directed by Emem Offong; Run date: Dec. 12th)
St. Vincent’s self-titled album was a real space oddity, and according to our Leah Greenblatt, the best album of the year.
(Illustration by James Yamasaki; Art directed by Emem Offong; Run date: Oct. 10th)
How much Batman is too much Batman? Darren Franich argues that it might be time for a new hero to rise.