Somehow this has been the longest, shortest year, all in one. I feel like I just sat down to write last year’s end-of-year wrap up, and discovered that somehow I hadn’t even gotten to it until April. 2017 has been a weird blur from start to finish and I’m finding myself going through my own notes and posts just to remember what we actually did this year, because it doesn’t feel like much. In a lot of ways, 2017 was a “maintenance year,” doing what we could to keep going and progressing.
In February, I displayed how a Follower page is made from start to finish as part of the “Process” exhibit at Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, New York. This is the second year in a row that I’ve participated in an art exhibition locally, and it was a good experience again. I hope to find another local show at some point in 2018 that I can sneak into; comic art always pulls people in and stands out when it’s hung up among other types of work. It’s fun to talk about what we make with gallery visitors, and I’m hoping we’ve picked up a reader or two this way.
In April we made another trek to Pittsburgh for PIX! This was our only convention for the year, but it was worth the trip. The show was at a new venue this year, near the Toonseum downtown. We had a great time and definitely plan to return in the future.
Our summer was spent mostly on writing and preparing pitches for stories that we submitted to several anthologies – and met with rejection. But on the plus side, we now have several scripts, complete with thumbnails and concept art, and I’m hoping to draw and complete them myself during 2018. These will likely be Patreon bonuses at first, and released for everyone else later on.
We took a break during the fall to catch our breath after working on all those extra stories, and got a tiny bit ahead on Follower work. That little buffer immediately started burning because the holidays happened yet again. They sneak up on me every year.
But that brings us to the present! In these last few days of 2017 I’m thinking about plans for next year, and I have a few. Chapter 6 of Follower is nearly upon us (or at least it is from my perspective) and with that, I’d like to have a version of Follower ready to go to print as volume 1 by the end of 2018. I’m planning to go all the way back to the start and touch up the old art in a few places, fix lettering and such, and generally make it more presentable. This has sort of been a goal from when we first started planning the comic, and it’s finally within sight.
Conventions-wise, I’m not certain what we’ll be doing this upcoming year. 2017 was pretty low-key, and with a more ambitious project like a Follower book on the table it might make sense to stick close to home for the year and put the time into actually making more comics. Regardless, I’ll be investigating the options and will of course post any upcoming events well in advance. I’m hoping to find more opportunities in the local community, both for displaying work and hopefully engaging with other artists, writers, and creators. But we’ll see!
In any case, even though 2017 was a slow and quiet year for us, we’re in a good position to accomplish some neat things in 2018 and continue making more comics. We wouldn’t be where we are without your support, so thank you for making this past year possible for us!
2017 by the numbers:
Gallery exhibitions: 1
Comic pages completed: 40
Other art: a bunch?