I always like reading people’s “end of the year review” posts. It makes me reflect on my own successes (and shortcomings) of the previous year, and think really hard about what I’ve achieved. Since the end of the year is mere hours away, or maybe already here depending on where you are, I guess, it seemed like an opportune time to write up a wall of text about it!
2015 was a huge year for Delade and I. We were able for the first time to really lay a proper foundation for the things we want to accomplish with our comics, and begin to build on it. Thanks to support from our Patreon, we were able to try a lot of new things and help get the word out about Messenger and Follower. I often feel as though making comics independently is kind of like having found this tiny baby bird on the ground. I picked it up and took care of it for a while, and now it’s starting to just perch on my hand. It’s not quite able to fly yet, but the potential is definitely there, and having help from our patrons makes a big difference!
Here’s a quick rundown of things we were able to do this year, thanks in no small part to our Patreon supporters:
- Table at our first two conventions, FubukiCon and UBCon!
- Produce 12 new monthly wallpapers for patrons!
- Answer 95 Ask a Chio questions!
- Produce over 70 pages of full-color comics for Follower & Messenger (plus a few more by the time this post goes up!)
- Produce several short comics like Ghost Cat and strips like Bug Bits
- Complete & bring to print Follower issue 2!
- Produce 13 making-of videos showing how the comics are made
- Produce 8 PDF sketchbooks for patrons, totaling over 80 pages of original art! (with four more to be assembled & uploaded soon)
- Launched radiochio.com, as a central hub/portfolio/thing for all our comic projects and creative stuff
And there’s almost certainly something I’ve forgotten to include in this list. These are just the big things I can easily count, but I’m sure I’ve drawn more this year than I have in recent memory. Point is: I’ve made a lot of stuff this year, the majority of it is free to read, and if you enjoy consuming it you can always chip in on Patreon so I can keep at it!
In non-patron-supported projects, I also did a handful of other comics and art for anthologies and stuff for other people.
- I drew a comic for Blank Party’s first print zine, Earthbound Party!
- I made some art for Gamera vs Zine-ra
- I contributed art to the Ugly Sweater Jam
- I drew cover art and a small heap of interior illustrations for Darkness, a novel by Micah Daniel
I learned a lot this year about planning and organizing, and if there’s any one thing I would have done differently, it would be having better organization from the start. I’ve been tripped up here and there by various things that pop up, and it throws off my comic schedule. I feel like I spent a lot of time just trying to catch up to where I needed to be. I’m still not quite there in some areas, but I’m working on it, and that’s going to be a major thing for me this year.
Taking all that stuff into account, I’ve spent the past month or so making plans for 2016. I’m really excited about the upcoming year. We have a lot of plans for both comics, which will continue as usual. I want to spend more time making minicomics outside the Messenger/Follower-verse, and try different kinds of stories. I want to submit work to more anthologies, if I can. We’ve already lined up a bunch of new conventions to table at, and I can’t wait to hopefully meet some readers, or introduce our comics to some new ones! There’s a lot to look forward to, and I feel really optimistic about it all.
TL;DR: Thank you for reading my comics this year. 2015 has been the confidence boost I’ve been missing for some time, and I’m really happy to be going into the new year feeling creatively energized and excited about what I want to do. I hope the new year treats you all just as well.