This is gonna be a tough post, because… well.. I’m not very good at keeping track of these things. But let’s see:
This year was the first full official year in our house.
(Now a mild divergence as I explain the house: I bought this house originally in ’89 when I was 19, for my parents to live in (I could get a mortgage and they couldn’t, but, conversely I couldn’t afford a mortgage and they could). The deal (according to my dad) was I’d end up owning the house and it wouldn’t cost me a penny. I was daft enough to believe this.
Eventually, in 2003 when I got married, my wife and I wanted to buy our flat and owning the house (which was in my name, but hadn’t been my home for some years) was a bit of a milestone, so I sold it back to my parents for no cost. Essentially transferring the mortgage to them. Then we bought the flat we’d live in since 1997.
Then sadly, that same year we lost my mum and dad raised my youngest brother in the house, and over the years he’d offered various deals – my dad’s a dealer, he loves deals – and some I could afford but were terrible, and many I couldn’t afford, and then post lockdown we’d managed to save enough to make it possible – so we did. It cost far more than I want to tell you, and wiped out so much of the savings I’d accumulated, and I’m still paying off debt because of it, but we own the damn thing now)
We spent a lot of money doing stuff to the house, but all stuff that really make it feel like ours now, the big fence was I think my favourite thing, we had a drive way open to the world, and added a big fence around it so our outdoor space became a lot more private and we had a tone of barbecues at home, which was great (previously, in our third floor flat, a barbecue was a wistful dream for me)
Second favourite (or maybe a tie breaker) got a new kitchen which included a dishwasher and man the difference that has made! life changing.
Anyway, you’re hear for comics related stuff and I’m blathering about a house. The studio space is small so this year was primarily all Digital, with the odd unsuccessful attempt to go pencil and ink.
Turns out I took a note of how many pages I did in January this year: 47! Drawing the Leopard of Lime Street for Monster Fun, and pages for Skulduggery Pleasant: Bad Magic. Lots of YA story telling.
I also ventured outside and did a course on making a short film, which I enjoyed, but my attention wavered, as work was just … a lot.
Lots of Bad Magic drawing. Also got involved in a project that, sadly, ultimately went nowhere, an arts comic project. It might still resurface, but it was a gonna be so big. Sigh. (approx 21 pages drawn)
Leopard from Lime Street and Bad Magic and I think I started drawing Judge Dredd Poison around then too.
Was also putting the finishing touches on the final collection of Fascinating Folklore.
Oh! And I drew pages 1-5 of Wormy and Me, written by Paul Cornell for Ahoy Comics, that was a fun gig.
(approx 22? pages)
Drew the rest of Wormy and Me (pages 6-10) Dredd Poison, ep2 and not a lot else. Work started drying up a little around here. Not been a great year, workwise… (approx 22 pages)
Did a short war strip, Dredd Poison ep3/ep4, and some samples for the aforementioned aborted project (began in February) (23 pages?)
Finished that short war strip, Dredd Poison ep5/6, Prankenstien a one pager for Monster Fun, (maybe 17 pages?)
Good news! Got offered some DC work, this was a fill in strip for a second part of a Harley Quinn short, so I ended up trying to ape another artist. (Not my fav thing to do, but didn’t want the change in artist to feel weirdly jarring) also drew Leopard from Lime Street episode 12, the final episode (until readers demand more!) also finished Dredd Poison ep 7 and then another little DC job – some illustrations for a catwoman book. (approx 22 pages of comics)
Dredd Poison ep8, final episode. Started Death Squad, began the Null Space project and began Devlin Waugh strip (yet to see print!) Did a couple of covers too.
(Approx 10 pages of paid comics work – this is when a real panic set in)
Yay! Another DC gig, Titans Beast World (actually out now, I think) Six pages, in colour. Plus 12 Pages of Devlin Waugh.
(Approx 18 pages paid work)
Two page full colour Garzag strip for Monster Fun.
(Approx 2 pages of paid work – this is the month that was scary)
Did a kickstarter strip, 6 pages and a new Devlin Waugh strip (six parter with unlimited deadline). Got asked to do a five part mini series – started that.
(18 pages paid work)
Two page monster fun strip. Twenty two page mini, episode 1.
(24 pages drawn so far this month)
There we go. That’s sort of roughly what I did this year work wise, about 224 finished pages. A handful in full colour. Plus actually I drew about 14 pages of Null Space, and wrote five issues of A4 – not to sneezed at, but sadly, unpaid.
The big hole in my workload was not having a miniseries, I’ve got sort of used to having one five/six issue miniseries a year for a publisher. And thankfully another (fun monster-in-the-woods type thing) has turned up for this year. But man, there’s a months there where the combination of already depleted savings due to buying a house and living off my savings has meant that I wasn’t sure how next year would go at all.
I’m ok now til at least April, and hoping I can start frantically banking money so that if the latter half of the year dies off again I can burrow down and live ok, but man who said freelancing was easy.
Plenty of stuff in print this year though, including the DC stuff (across three different things) Ahoy Comics, 2000AD and Monster Fun and finally the folklore book (collecting strips I did on twitter based on tweets by John Reppion are collected) and the Skulduggery Pleasant bad magic book, along with a bunch of collected things from 2000AD and a paper back of the Soul Plumber book means this year, despite being one that looked very worrying from a work load pov, was actually my most successful in print. But it’s all over the place, and if you’re a fan of my work (you maniac) it must be a right pain to read everything (or even anything) I’ve drawn.
Not sure how to fix that, except start to get better at managing a newsletter.
Anyway, that’s me til after Christmas! Have a good one.