The feats and deeds of these notable figures inspired and entertained me throughout the past year. I take away a lot of wisdom and peace-of-mind when I read about the following 12 peoples' exploits.
Known in the bodybuilding world as "The Predator," I recently became of aware of the man after watching a documentary on his life and training regimen. The guy has a tender spirit which belies the hulking meat-head exterior. His style of fitness program was particularly insightful when I saw that he does something like one hundred bicep curls with a lighter weight dumb bell, not to mention he prepares all of his necessary meals at one time and stores them in tupperware. It makes a whole lot of sense when you spend most of your life in the gym. Also, he's a pretty damned good painter, using his musculature anatomy as a template. I like to take a peek into his humble thoughts on twitter @KaiGreene
This year he demolished the box office. He made great strides lately, and 2012 saw him put gaping boot prints all over Hollywood. As a contributing force to one of the highest-grossing films of the all time, JGL also starred in a couple other flicks that I thoroughly enjoyed. Those successes in film is framed by him managing an open collaborative production company. I watch 500 Days of Summer still, about twice a month. I nominate the man as a certified Purveyor of Cool, because I never realized a leather coat with a tie could look so dashing. Also, squinting will be the new look of 2013. Follow him @hitRECordJoe
Another film powerhouse, and one of the more alluring of the new crop. I did not watch the Bill Engvall show, but I did see X-Men: First Class. That voice, that stare, and she's got some serious acting ability. This year she raked in audiences by starring in The Hunger Games, and is up for a truck-load of awards for Silver Linings Playbook. Which I will need to see. I have an uncontrollable crush on the young lady; it makes my stalking her twitter that much more fulfilling @JennifLawrence_
The man is a modern myth. As a comic book artist, I picked up his issues of Arkanium and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Hell, I was stoked to find out he was producing Cannonbusters with Corey Lewis at the time. And then he went big time. Behind the deck of genre-bending animation such as The Boondocks, Avatar: Legend of Korra, and Black Dynamite, I can see his fluid and dynamic line style dominate the screen in each frame. AND on top of that, he spoke at the TEDx Sinchon in Korea where he worked for a time. Talk about motivation, this is our dude @LeSeanThomas
If LeS is the modern myth of the art world, Dave is the urban legend. He is truly my hero. I've watched the episodes of his journey through Africa and on American train cars. The man has no fear, because he has conquered his demons and thrashes around the world. Choe's art is anywhere from sleazy erotica to violent graffiti, and I adore each millimeter of work he produces. His instagram photos with porn stars and Aubrey Plaza amuse me to no end. He's been in jail a few times, is obsessed with masturbation, and loves to gamble. What really makes him the chaos incarnate is that in his deal with Facebook after painting a mural at their campus, he opted for shares of the company. Didn't they go public this year? The estimated value when that IPO went on the market was around USD $200 million. Gangstaaaaaa. He keeps it raw @davidchoe
From humble beginnings and paying dues on Saturday Night Live to hosting one of the best late night talk shows on television. Backed by the legendary Roots, he is a force to be reckoned with now. His book of Thank You Letters, a feature of the talk show, is a culmination of great writing and trademark delivery. Okay, I was not a great fan of his SNL tenure, due in part to his inability to hold it together when paired with Horatio Sans during skits. However, his Weekend Update section with bright-eyed Tina Fey was always something to look forward to. There is something to be said about a person who can get the P.O.T.U.S. on their show to slow jam with. Clout. Among other special moments on Late Night are his rap sessions with Justin Timberlake and musical trailers with guests Carly Rae Jepsen, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey. Audience interaction is the game @jimmyfallon
The lady is a bonafide peach. She burst onto the cooking scene with a delightful foodie quest show that highlights ethnic cuisine across our nation. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and I would open up a Filipino restaurant just to have her sample the menu. I do not mean to exaggerate but... move over, Giada. I am very curious to see what kind of food she can whip up after experiencing so many styles in her career. Of all the personalities that pervade the culinary channels, I think she is by far one of the most electric. Maybe it is the nose ring, maybe it is her desire that seems to radiate from all angles. I bet she has an iron stomach, too. She has an instagram, which I will now zealously follow, along with her twitter @EdenEats
NEEEESONSSSS. The venerable Irish actor charted some great sequels this year, adding to his deep filmography. Darkman. Rob Roy. Qui-Gon Jinn. He is one of the most meme-ready people out there, and there are no signs of his fame subsiding anytime soon. If he actually switched over to comedy, as was parodied in the mockumentary Life's Too Short, people would watch and die from laughter. Or suffer the consequences. I am actually rather afraid that if I said a one word of ill repute about Liam, he will actually find me and kill me because he has a particular skillset... His voice is oddly soothing for a man that portrays stalwart revenge-seekers, it is as though one could take the dosage of punishment with joy. Having contributed so much to cinema already, living legends such as @liamneeson deserve everyone's praise.
I hold the opinion that the current roster of featured players on Saturday Night Live is lacking, except for this guy. While he plays solid supporting roles in movies, he steals the show on SNL. As a talent, his knack for impersonation is underrated and very cunning. One of his shining moments was playing James "The Ragin' Cajun" Carville opposite Seth Meyers' on the Weekend Update. In Men In Black 3, he appears as Andy Warhol and appears in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as George Custer. This year we saw him win a Primetime Emmy, which will hopefully lend weight to the Judd Apatow slasher film he wrote and will star in. Fingers crossed. Until then, I will watch his bare twitter account for updates @The_Bill_Hader
Technically, they should count as two people on this list, but as the duo they are a singular entity that brings a massive sound to the festival crowds. Known separately as DJ J2K a.k.a. Josh Young, and DJ Autobot a.k.a. Curt Cameruci, the pair from Chicago began in the storied House scene of that city. They busted heads with remixes and in support of other acts on tour, but 2012 was their year to dominate the EDM world. Their take of Major Lazer's "Original Don" has been noted as the signifying revival of Trap music into the party-moving dance environment. I cannot stress enough how important they are to innovating and fusing the future of dance music. They are quite prolific in creating tracks, and are rather chatty on twitter @flosstradamus
Thomas Wesley Pentz is one of the hardest working people in the world. When he isn't discovering/signing/managing his label Madd Decent, flying everywhere to perform in clubs, and producing tracks for Major Lazer, he also has a BBC radio show. What was a production credit on M.I.A's album ballooned into sonic hegemony. Since then, he has collaborated with many big names and recognized for his remixes of pop hits. If this year wasn't amazing enough for him, 2013 will be a milestone because he is nominated for a Grammy for Non-Classical Producer. Give him props, follow his rise to megastardom @diplo he's actually hilarious on there.
William Leonard Roberts II, the rapper, the mogul, the media sensation. He runs Maybach Music Group, a cadre of rappers that have a firm grip on the airwaves. He has a signature catchphrase (or two), and a guttural battle cry that lets you know he is about to take over. If his presence is not enough, he was on a track this year with Jay-Z and Dr. Dre. That just about spells out B-O-S-S. One of his moniker is, in fact, the Bawse. Let us forget the fact that he was a correctional officer (thus casting doubts on drug traffic claims), his feuds, and his health issues. The man is the contemporary image of accomplishment. Also nominated for a Grammy next year, The Teflon Don @rickyrozay will most likely win it and continue his reign.