Last week I was at the funeral of a dear friend and there's nothing like writing a euology to make you to take stock of your own life and achievements.
Before things take a turn for the melancholy tho, I promise I'll limit my self-reflection to more of a look back at all the positives that have characterised the last few years of my adventures in small-press comics. Recently I've seen a number of folks post timelines of their comics output which seemed to me an excellent way to objectively assess my productivity, especially since I think it's very easy to fall into a negative head-trap that manages to forget or obfuscate just how much we managed to get done.
It's clear when laid out like this that 2018 saw a big leap forward in terms of projects and publications for me. While I've still not managed to get beyond putting out one issue a year of my own one-person anthology comic, Slang Pictorial I have made strides in putting out different kinds of work in different forms and for different audiences. So in 2017 I had my first non-The Sheep And The Wolves comics work published in the Nottingham Comic Con charity anthology as well as contributing a print to their Kickstarter, while in 2018 I actually managed to contribute artwork to three different Kickstarter projects, which was a lot of fun playing in a lot of new sandboxes! As well as pin-ups for Kickstarter stretch-goals I was asked this year to provide artwork for the covers of two comics projects and as you all know, drew, inked and lettered the Cockney Kung Fu pages for the first three issues of Awesome Comics that came out this year.
Alongside that, I also put out a sketchbook, a zine and a collection of mini-comics while also writing and drawing twelve episodes of my Bullpen Boot-camp column over at Brokenfrontier.com! When I put it all down on paper like this, it looks and feels like I managed to put out a lot of different work this year, but perhaps more importantly, I can also see that there has been a year-on-year increase both in the range and reach of the work I've managed to do.
So what about plans for 2019? I'm working on the final part of Cockney Kung Fu for Awesome Comics #4 and have also put together a new sketchbook and both will be available at True Believers in February. Issue #4 of Slang-Pictorial will be ready to bring to Kickstarter in the spring and my big ambition for 2019 is to put out #5 too, making it the first year I hope to publish two issues. I feel like that will be both a big step, symbolically and fingers crossed for Kickstarter, financially! Bullpen Boot-camp will continue to update fortnightly and I'm hoping I'll get asked to do some more cover work as that has been a new area that I've really enjoyed working in this year.