For The Punks’ Best Of 2020: Non-Music Edition

2020 was a year, honestly. Even though many of us struggled, we learned, we created, and we tried to make it great. Most of the For The Punks team took time finding new movies, musicians, artists, books, small businesses and so much more. We even took the time to rediscover old favorites that helped us get through the year.

Here at For The Punks, we are breaking it down by our contributors who submitted their favorites. There are just so many moments to talk about. This is For The Punks’ Best Of 2020: Non-Music Edition.

Dan Calderone

2020 was an interesting and challenging year, we all know this. Personally it tested my strength and mental health in many ways. But when you take a step back and look at the challenges you and everyone has made it through, you have to be proud of yourself.

My favorite book of 2020 was Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It is just the coolest book and movies series that I absolutely nerd out on. I finally finished the original trilogy this year. Along with that I discovered Micah Ulrich, an illustrator who designs merchandise and logos for some of the biggest in the music industry (Post Malone, Trivium). I love his dark, almost medieval style of drawing.

So my favorite movie of 2020 was Ratatouille. I mean, who doesn’t love this movie?

I started a leg sleeve this year with Jon Miro at Hand of Doom Tattoo. It’s been nothing but smooth sailing. Absolutely love the design and working with him. If you’re in the Buffalo, New York area and want some ink then Hand of Doom is the way to go.

Despite all the horrible problems in this world and country, so many people rallied together for what’s right. For the first time in my life, it felt like a majority of the world agreed on such a fundamental right and I truly believe people of color will get the justice they deserve someday soon.

Overall, taking some time at home away from the chaotic world developed a new sense of passion in music for me. Sometimes you just need a break.

Relive part of the late 2000’s with the official trailer for Ratatouille.

Natalie Wilks

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel is my favorite book of 2020! The Glass Hotel is about a financial crisis on Wall Street and it incorporates some science fiction elements. I feel like it describes what a lot of people’s thoughts and feelings have been during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Daydreamers clothing company is a new small business that I discovered. The brand was designed to inspire people to turn their dreams into reality, and I feel as though that is a great message for young people in the industry.

Along with that I discovered Foxie Cosmetics, a small Black owned business started by a touring punk musician. I have loved every product I’ve tried, and everything is super affordable!

Hubie Halloween has to be one of my favorite movies of 2020; I have always loved halloween movies, and this one is super funny!

Zoom is one of my favorite trends of 2020 because it has given people who have had to remain isolated a way to connect with loved ones and take classes and participate in therapy when needed. Although it is not an ideal way to connect, I feel like it has given hope to those who feel hopeless.

Watch the official trailer for Hubie Halloween here:

Karalyn Hope

What a year. It wasn’t great, but we did it! I put so much time and effort into researching new and upcoming artists, both in and out of music.

One of my favorite books of 2020, even though I have not read it, has to be The Modern Day Black Alphabet by Arial Robinson. Along with being an author, she is an artist and photographer. I love all of her work.

“This book started as a simple photo series to keep Arial occupied while being quarantined during the COVID-19 pandemic but now has blossomed into a full book. This book explores and reimagines the alphabet through intimate at home black experiences. It serves as a learning tool fo black children and a coffee table book for black adults.”

Because I discovered so many amazing artists this year, I couldn’t just pick one. So, The Black Women Photographers database and community created by Polly Irungu has been one of the best places to find new photographers.

Although, if I had to be specific on an artist that I discovered and love, I think it would be Sade Ndya. She is a cinematographer and founder of the Red Futon. Even though I am not on the path to becoming a cinematographer, I can’t help but love and appreciate her work.

I think my favorite business discovery of the year was The Wax Queen Candle Co! I mean, who doesn’t love candles?

One of the best films that I watched this year was the Netflix original documentary Disclosure. This documentary is about Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact of this on American culture.

Last but not least, I will be sure to continue my efforts into 2021 as I’m sure there are hundreds of other small businesses and musicians out there that I will love and appreciate.

Watch the trailer for Disclosure here:

Shelby Price

Gibson Hazard is literally the most phenomenal editor I’ve ever seen. His work blows my mind every single time he releases anything.

My absolute favorite trend of the year was when everyone did the ghost photo shoot with their friends (thanks to TikTok!).

One of my favorite movies of 2020 is The Turning, featuring Finn Wolfhard, Mackenzie Davis, Brooklynn Prince, and so many more. It was the first movie premiere I ever got to attend in Los Angeles. It was truly so amazing to see the film for the first in public with all of the actors and actresses. The Turning is definitely one of my favorite movies. It is mind twisting and adventurous. A must watch.

Watch the official trailer for The Turning here:

Bri Rodriguez

First of all, I love Halsey as an artist and musician. I anticipated her book and even attended the livestream event on the date of the book release to learn more about her writing process. That is why Halsey’s book I Would Leave Me If I Could is one of my favorite books of 2020. It is an honest and vulnerable work of art from Ashley that really inspired me to persevere, continue my pursuit in writing, and not give up on my dreams.

I discovered the artist Chrisa Aidinidou, dumbbats, this year. She’s a super sweet and talented individual who focuses on beautiful dark illustrations of musicians, characters in film/shows, and more. I’ve made several purchases from her Etsy store.

Vegan Vampire Inc. is a great small alternative fashion business that I found this year. Their designs are based on music and horror culture, characters, and film/television (examples: The Twilight Zone, X Files, Batman, Creature of the Black Lagoon, The Ramones, etc.). They even have stickers and buttons for sale along with a variety of “vegan slogan” shirts that promote the plant-based lifestyle!

I thought it was great that plant-based meats are gaining more exposure as it offers up hope for more changes to be made in the near future that will lead to healthier alternatives and/or options being served in mainstream restaurants.

The Old Guard on Netflix has to be one of my favorite movies of 2020. It is a fantasy adventure film with an epic feel that focuses on a group of centuries-old immortals with the ability to heal themselves. There is a strong female lead and an open ending that leaves room for a sequel and/or series of sequels. It is one of the best Netflix films I’ve seen in awhile.

Watch the official trailer for The Old Guard here:

Along with that, Sonic the Hedgehog was a fun-filled adventure that evoked a strong sense of nostalgia from my 90s childhood: the times spent playing the video games on Sega Genesis, PlayStation, and Nintendo consoles. Staying up and watching all of the Sonic cartoons. I’ve loved this speedy blue hedgehog since I was a kid, and it was exciting to see this character finally brought to life on the big screen after all of these years. Also, I can’t think of a better actor to take on the comedic role of evil genius Dr. Robotnik than Jim Carrey. Excellent casting choice.

(p.s. so happy they actually listened to the fans and changed that horrific original design.)

I’m all about artists supporting artists and supporting businesses, especially small businesses, and you should be too.

And that’s it. That’s 2020. Even though many of us struggled, we learned, we created, and we tried to make it great. So many moments, so many trends, so many memories, both good and bad. We hope that you can find something new and inspiring within our list.

Also, while we have you, be sure to check out our Best Of 2020: Music Edition post here and our official Spotify playlist here: