Year in Review

I’ve been writing these ‘Year In Review’ posts since 2010, and each time I try to summarize what’s happening in my life and the gratitude I have for all these incredible experiences.

2018 was intense but saying that at this point feels redundant. They’ve all been intense. Intense is now normal, I think I’m just better capable of handling it.

That was kind of the theme this year – This is crazy but somehow, we press on and make it work.

At Seneca we’re lining up our Animation program review for 2019, and it looks like big changes will be happening again as part of that process. It’s hard to believe I’ve been coordinator of the program for 12 years. I’m proud that we keep innovating, making improvements to keep the courses relevant and make sure our grads are ready to go out and kick butt in the industry. I’ve been here long enough now that some of our grads are coming back to teach as well and that’s a surreal and gratifying experience.

The new subway stop at York University has completely changed how I get to school for teaching. Instead of grinding my way through traffic and worrying about parking, I start my days by reading my lecture notes or catching up on comics. It’s been transformative and cut down on stress that used to eat into my day.

Speaking of reducing stress, I started working out in late July and it’s helped me keep moving so my sedentary jobs don’t continue to wreck my neck and back. I feel better than I have in years and I’ve lost a bit of weight too, so that’s been exciting and unexpected.

Stacy and I did the regular convention circuit in North America and also traveled to Johannesburg and Vienna. Zipping around the world for comic conventions, balancing work and sightseeing, is becoming a reality and it’s something I hope we get to keep pursuing in 2019 and beyond.

Creatively, 2018 was mind-boggling:

Hey Jim, how would you like to co-write the world’s biggest superhero team while their new billion-dollar movie comes out? While that’s going on, how about co-writing a crossover between one of the hottest cartoons on TV and your favorite hobby, the one that inspired you to become a writer in the first place? Just for good measure, how about taking the reins on a new generation of young heroes to guide their formative years?

Yeah.

I look at that insane rundown of releases and I’d say I could hardly believe it, but I’ve got the gray hairs to prove that it all really happened. Between teaching and writing it really is two full-time jobs, with promotion and travel heaped on top. I love all of it, but the juggling has been wild at times.

I decided to cash in some of the creative credit I built up at Marvel and worked with Nyla Innusuk and Sean Izaakse to create a new Canadian superhero. The response to Amka, and the way readers from Canada and abroad have embraced her has absolutely blown me away. If we get any Snowguard cosplay in 2019 I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it.

Wayward the comic series wrapped up in October, but we still have our final Deluxe Hardcover and the co-op board game (designed by Jon Gilmour) arriving in 2019. The animated series fell through and the rights have been returned to Steven and I, so my agent is now back on the attack looking to get it attached elsewhere. Fingers crossed.

Writing Evil at Baldur’s Gate and co-writing Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons made this year special, but I’ve got even more Dungeons & Dragons material coming in 2019. Comics and game stuff aplenty, but I’m sworn to secrecy for now. More details coming soon.

2019 is looking good. If things go the way we’re planning it could be another banner year.

If your 2018 was rough, I hope the new year brings better news and brighter days. If the year was good, let’s keep that momentum going!

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