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Zubby Newsletter #42: Year In Review, 2023

For the past 13 years I’ve been putting together a ‘Year In Review‘ post on my website as a way to summarize my thoughts and feelings on the year that was. It’s a nice way to measure highs and lows, and help jog my memory as things carry forward.

No pressure of course, but if you’re curious about what I was thinking in late December each year, here’s a complete link archive:

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Jim and Stacy at Spitalfields in London – May 2023.

Stacy and I are plugging away on creative and personal projects aplenty and it feels extra-chaotic right now because there are towers of boxes stacked all over the house. Our basement is being refinished after we had to tear everything back to the foundation + studs to fix leaks that were getting worse, year by year. We had to haul a bunch of stuff into storage and even more stuff is temporarily piled high in almost every other room. It’s taken time, money, and a lot of hassle to get that foundation reinforced and leaks plugged, but when it’s all done that base will be solid and ready for what comes next.

Honestly, that’s a pretty good summary of 2023 for me as a whole-

Reevaluating, repairing, and reinforcing things that matter and trying to clear out the debris that doesn’t.

In July, I talked about slowing down to enjoy conventions more and I’m trying to carry that attitude through to other interactions as well – Deeper conversations and a greater appreciation for time spent with the people I care about, and making sure they know that every step of the way.

Last year I mentioned that 2022 felt transitional and I hoped 2023 could “finally arrive somewhere new and exciting”…and, on a creative level it did in a surprising way.

(Yes, this is the part where I talk about Conan the Barbarian. You knew this was coming.)

I had high hopes for the Heroic Signatures-Titan Comics relaunch on Conan, of course. I wanted to use this second chance to make my mark on a character and world that’s stirred so much of my imagination over the years. All those hopes and wants are great, but actually seeing it come through so damn strong, both in terms of sales and the response from readers, has been unbelievable.

How do you catch second struck lightning in a bottle? I don’t know, but I’m holding this one as tight as I can and using its energy and inspiration like a lantern to light my way as we head into an uncertain future.

Ten years ago, I was slowly climbing out of a creative crater from the asteroid impact that was working briefly on the DC New 52. Based on that baffling experience, I felt pretty sure my time in ‘mainstream’ comics was going to be brief. Instead, I managed to carve out a career for myself with creator-owned and commercial work that played to my strengths and am more excited about making stories than at almost any other point in my life.

There are so many factors involved that are out of our control. So many other projects where I felt like we had something special, and yet the market and readership did not respond the way I thought they would.

Sometimes you work hard and no one notices.

Sometimes you make big plans to take a big teaching sabbatical in 2020 and then a global pandemic comes along and everything changes…

(In theory I’m taking that 16-month teaching sabbatical starting late April 2024, but I’ll keep that here between brackets for now because I don’t want to jinx it. 😉 )

I know at some point the wild ride will end, but at this moment I’m feeling the rush and relishing every minute of it, because it is impermanent, fleeting, and hard work does not always equal success.

Starting up this newsletter again almost 25 years after my original email updates for friends and family was a way to cut through the noise of social media and rebuild a base of who I am and what I’m doing.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your kind messages and support.

Here’s my writing output for 2023:

25 comics and 5 other books I contributed to.

I hope 2024 looks strong for you and your loved ones.

Be good to each other. In the end, that is the only legacy we have any control over.

Jim

Year In Review

Last year I wrote that 2021 felt like a vortex, eating up time as we wondered when things would get better. 2022 showed some respite from the lows I felt over the past two years and it was a return to more in-person interaction, but it’s still hard to say if any of this is “normal.”

(You can tell I’m a writer because I use archaic words like “respite.”)

Stacy and I started traveling again for conventions, but almost immediately came down with Covid, forcing us to drive one way from Alberta to Ontario to get home.

I’m back on campus at Seneca teaching again, but I’m no longer Coordinator, so the Animation program is changing and growing under new leadership. I get to be around as an “elder statesman” of sorts, offering advice but not being in charge. It’s a good change.

My run of Conan the Barbarian ended at Marvel last year, but I’m relaunching it again at Titan in 2023.

Another crack at Thunderbolts. A new Red Sonja story. A dark fantasy spin on the Dark Knight. Another Rick and Morty crossover mini-series. A crazy old pitch long buried that came back from the dead.

New versions of old things. A weird mix of the familiar and the unknown.

2022 felt transitional, but I can’t quite put my finger on where things are headed right now. I know I’m not the only one with that anxious energy. We want to leave the pandemic behind. We want to jettison old issues and finally arrive somewhere new and exciting.

(You can tell I’m a writer because I use fancy-dancy words like “jettison.”) ;P

Is that arrival coming up next year? I have no idea and you don’t either.
The chaos of it all is harder than ever to ignore.

Stacy and I are in a good place overall and I know that. I cherish it. It keeps me grounded and whole when everything else in the world feels like it’s becoming unhinged and broken.

I’m trying to stay optimistic and also not be naïve. Is that an impossible balancing act? Probably, but it’s a better plan than no plan at all and it’s taken me this far, so let’s keep going.

I hope your year went well. I hope 2023 is looking bright.

Jim

Year In Review

While doing some year-end financial calculations yesterday I filled out an entire excel spreadsheet, dozens of dated entries, and made every single one a 2020 date instead of 2021.

That’s a weirdly accurate summary of the year, actually. Getting the date wrong for a couple weeks into a new year is typical. Not knowing what year it is during the last week of the year sounds about right this time.

2021 was a surreal vortex, a holding pattern carried over from 2020. Online interactions felt detached, projects moved forward in a weirdly distant way, and time either crawled in slow motion or vanished into thin air.

I don’t really need to go into excruciating detail since we’ve all been living with this, but just to help mark time for the future if I’m looking back and rereading this entry – multiple vaccines arrived in record time to try and get us past the pandemic, but the world is far from safe and it’s anyone’s guess if 2022 will be a year where things get worse or we break through to better days.

When there’s a physical disaster – a fire, an earthquake, or even a war – at some point the damage is done, losses can be mourned, and things can be rebuilt. The meandering relentless nature of this viral problem makes it so much more difficult to put into context. The foundations we use to mentally and emotionally cope with bad situations don’t quite fit so instead we all just feel constantly burned out and frustrated.

It’s hard to stay optimistic given the ongoing tension hanging in the air, but I keep trying. Like last year, I know we have a lot to be thankful for in terms of relative stability and overall health. There have been a couple Covid-related sicknesses in the family, but no one has ended up hospitalized. Even when work has slowed down or changed, I’ve been able to adjust and keep going.

Writing, when I can give it proper focus, has been a nice escape and teaching, despite the challenges, has been as inspiring as ever.

The love and support of our family and friends is still strong, despite physical distance.
Maybe that sounds too simplistic…or maybe it’s what matters most.

Wishing you and your loved ones a fine new year.

Jim

Year In Review

Here we go again. A post to try and summarize the year that was and, man oh man, 2020 was quite possibly the strangest of them all.

In mid-February I announced I was stepping down as Coordinator of Seneca’s Animation program after 14 years and would be starting an 18 month sabbatical from teaching in April so Stacy and I could travel to more international conventions and take advantage of big creative projects I had underway. Two weeks later, the pandemic started to take hold on this side of the world and all our big plans for the year began to unravel. Within a month it was clear 2020 wouldn’t be anything like what we planned.

But, we persevered.

I cancelled my teaching break (but still stepped down from being in charge of the program) and went online to deliver lectures. The students managed to keep up with the shift and have done well despite it all. A bunch of writing projects stalled out or crumbled, but other unexpected ones stepped in to pick up the slack. I started my run as the writer of Conan the Barbarian and, even with delays, it’s been a dream to work on. I ran my first Kickstarter campaign for a hybrid comic-RPG project and it did really well. Star Wars, Stranger Things, and more D&D. The entertainment industry shuddered (and, in some cases, shuttered), but we’re still here doing our thing.

Stacy and I tried to use the extra time at home to spruce up our place a bit, expand our cooking skills, and be more mindful of time while doing our best to stay safe. I did a bunch of tabletop gaming via Zoom and played online video games with my brother. Even with all the chaos, we know we have a lot to be grateful for. The bonds between friends and family have been physically distant but emotionally resonant.

Touch wood, so far we haven’t had any Covid-related emergencies in our family and, at the end of the day, that’s more important than any creative or travel setbacks. We’re healthy on the whole and weathering it all far better than most.

The broad brushstrokes of the world were dark but little moments gleamed and that’s what we try to stay focused on.

Winter 2021 looks like it’s going to be rough, but somewhere past that will be better days and we’ll be that much more thankful for the time we spend and places we go.

Lots of love to all of you as we close out the year. Be good to each other and keep fighting.

Jim

Year In Review

As I’ve done in years past, I try to sum up the year that was in a post here on my site. 2019 had some of the highest highs and lowest lows in recent memory, closing out the decade in ways I never could have imagined.

At the center of it all was one of the most difficult things Stacy or I have ever gone through – early in the year Stacy’s Mom discovered she had cancer and, through the spring and into summer it aggressively overtook her and she passed away on July 12th. Doreen, my second Mom, was an incredible woman filled with deep love for her family and a joy for making things and bringing happiness to others. Her loss struck us hard. Navigating the latter half of the year has been tough and we’re still finding our way through it, bit by bit.

School and writing are both going incredibly well even in the face of our family tragedy and the contrast between those two aspects of my life are surreal and, honestly, sometimes hard to ratify. Talking about comics, games and creative projects seems small at times given these tumultuous times.

So, I think that’s the lesson of 2019 – The work is important, but not as important as the people in my life and the bond between us. There’s joy to be had in writing, convention travel and the ridiculously nerdy things that define my career but they’re in service to love, family, and friendship. We have to help each other while appreciating the time we have and the experiences we get.

Dungeons & Dragons became a real focal point this year with comics, the Young Adventurer’s Guides, D&D Live in Los Angeles, and a TEDx Talk all about how D&D changed my life, but in the end it still filters down to creating and maintaining emotional connections. The same goes for my creator-owned projects, my Marvel work, and teaching at Seneca.

What lasts are the bonds built between us and the stories we create, so I’m trying to head into 2020 with hopes of strengthening those bonds even further and telling as many people as I can how much they mean to me.

I hope you do the same.

All the best to you and yours as we head into the new year.

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!

Year In Review

As I’ve done in years past, I try to sum up the year that was in a post here on my site. 2017 was a strong year for me on a personal level and that felt a bit odd compared to the tumultuous and difficult state of the world at large.

We celebrated 10 years at our house in Toronto. I can’t believe it’s been a decade living downtown at the same address. It’s our home base in the middle of the city and, now that the subway extension to York University is finally up and running, it’ll be even easier for me to get to school without worrying about traffic snarls and parking hassles.

Speaking of school, teaching at Seneca was unexpectedly rocky with the Ontario College Teacher’s Strike lasting five weeks, throwing our schedule and finances for a bit of a loop, and creating challenges for the many students I coordinate in Seneca’s Animation program. Keeping our facilities open with computer labs and life drawing sessions running helped give some semblance of structure to the strike period and that helped our students weather the worst of it, but there are still ripple effects to the curriculum and schedule that will make the Winter term more hectic than usual. Thankfully we have a wonderful staff and community of students working together to move things forward.

On the creative front, I made deeper strides at Marvel, wrapping up Uncanny Avengers and plugging away on Avengers: No Surrender, a special weekly story line that starts January 10th, co-written by industry superstars Mark Waid and Al Ewing, with art by Pepe Larraz, Kim Jacinto, and Paco Medina, with editors Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith keeping the whole thing running smooth. It’s the biggest project of my career so far and, with the extra attention being shown to the Avengers leading up to the May release of the Avengers: Infinity War movie, I’m hoping No Surrender does well with new fans and old. Beyond that, I have a new monthly Marvel series I’m taking over in April that should be announced soon. Exciting times!

Wayward was optioned by Manga Entertainment for a possible animated or live-action series and is being turned into a co-op board game by Jon Gilmour and the crew at IDW Games. I don’t have any more official news on the show front, but everything seems to be moving forward bit by bit. All this media stuff takes time to get rolling, even in the best of scenarios, so I’ve learned to just let it happen at its own pace while Steven, Tamra, Marshall, and I stay focused on building the comic.

The Glitterbomb: The Fame Game mini-series just wrapped up this week and we’ll have a collection for it in the new year. With so much abuse and harassment in Hollywood finally coming to light we struck a chord with readers, but those collection sales will determine whether we’re able to come back for a third and final mini-series in the Fall of 2018. Whether or not we do, Djibril and I are talking about working together on future projects.

Working on the Dungeons & Dragons comic series has been a blast but getting the chance to spend a few days in the D&D offices brainstorming story material for an upcoming RPG product was an extra-surreal thrill. I’ve always felt closely connected to the RPG industry and having another chance to make new friends in that space and find like-minded storytellers passionate about what they do is always inspiring. There’s more good stuff coming on the D&D front in 2018 and I can’t wait for you to see what we have planned.

Stacy and I are in Japan for the holidays and that’s come with its own set of challenges. On the morning of December 24th she took a bad fall and injured her back and we’re still riding out the aftermath of that as we get ready to head into New Year’s Eve here in Tokyo. Stacy’s injury put a damper on part of our trip, but thankfully we’re here for each other and in the end that’s what matters most. Together I know we can overcome any of life’s many challenges.

On the whole, I’m heading into 2018 hopeful and thankful – Hopeful about where things will go and thankful for the wonderful opportunities and events happening in my life. I hope your holidays have been relaxing and prosperous and that the year ahead looks bright.

Year in Review

As I’ve done in years past, I try to use this post to sum up the year that was. 2016 was such a strange and turbulent time around the world and that made it even more surreal as I personally had a banner year in my work and personal life.

In May, Stacy and I traveled to Japan for a 6-week sabbatical, mixing in a few work-related events with an extended stay in Tokyo along with a half dozen other locations. It was something we’d been planning for the past two years and really was the trip of a lifetime. So many wonderful experiences and such meaningful time spent together, it’s hard for me to even describe. It strengthened the bond between the two of us and got us thinking about future travel opportunities.

After the big course curriculum changes in 2015, this year was way smoother by comparison. It’s my tenth year as Coordinator of Seneca’s Animation program and so I have a pretty good feel for the hills and valleys that come up as each term rolls along. With a record number of applicants to the program, the current group of students is one of the strongest we’ve ever had the fortune of teaching. I’m excited to watch their skills develop.

Comic-wise, I thankfully had far more highs than lows. I finally had the chance to tackle a monthly superhero series at Marvel with the new Thunderbolts, and the repercussions of delivering on that looks like it’ll ripple into 2017 and beyond. More news on that as we head into the Spring.

Launching Glitterbomb, a new creator-owned comic series at image, was an especially wonderful opportunity. Pushing my storytelling skills with something unexpected and working with rock solid newcomer Djibril Morissette-Phan has been a blast. We’ve got fun plans for the second arc arriving later in 2017.

Wayward continues and the whole team has been so incredibly consistent and wonderful that I need to make sure I don’t take any of it for granted. In an industry where even Marvel and DC series can struggle to make it past issue 12 we’ve just sent our 20th issue off to press, which is a heck of a milestone. On that front as well, we’ve got exciting plans I can’t wait to share with all of you.

Dungeons & Dragons, Street Fighter Legends: Cammy, the upcoming Freelance series and Monsters Unleashed: Avengers – I feel like I’ve hit a good groove in terms of material that exemplifies what I do best and collaborators who I work really well with.

I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to teach, write and create, working with and meeting so many amazing people. I know things look bumpy for the year ahead, but my fingers are crossed that we’ll all be able to weather the storm. Wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous new year.

Year In Review

StacysBirthday2015

Here we go again, a look at my year in review. I’ve been doing this on my blog for the past few years (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). It’s a nice way to sum up my thoughts on the year that was and take in the ups and downs that came with it.

2015 was a bit bumpy in spots, but on the whole things are rolling along. It felt like a transitional year, building momentum for new things to come in 2016.

Stacy and I are doing really well. Having a bit of time over the holidays to step back and realize how fortunate we are was really nice. Our marriage is strong and that stability permeates so many other aspects of our life.

Throwing my back out in October (after struggling with aches and pains through August and September) was a wake up call on my health. Physiotherapy and regular stretching is helping a lot and it doesn’t look like I’ll need back surgery. I need to make sure I don’t ignore my body in the future. I’m turning 40 in 2016 so it’s something I need to pay a lot more attention to. Message received.

Over at Seneca we rolled out the biggest curriculum change since I took over as Coordinator of the Animation program back in 2006 and, barring a few equipment/technical glitches it seems to be going really well. The faculty are easing into the adjusted schedule and students seem to be enjoying the new options we have available to them. I’m teaching the new Portfolio Development course for the first time starting in January, so that should be a neat challenge.

On the creative front it was all about wrapping things up. The final issue of Skullkickers arrived in August (though it will keep serializing for free online until March 2016), completing a five year journey with Edwin, Misty, and Marshall that’s really changed my life. Building that body of work and proving I could deliver a professional quality comic has lead to dozens of other freelance opportunities and been an incredibly creatively fulfilling experience. It felt strange to finally finish it off, but also very satisfying.

Samurai Jack also wrapped up with #20. At the time it looked like that issue might be the last that people saw of the time-traveling samurai, but earlier this month Cartoon Network surprised everyone with an announcement of a new season coming next year. What that means for the comic stories or my involvement is still up in the air but, as both a fan and a small contributor to the whole, I’m excited to see what Genndy and company has planned.

Wayward continues at a good pace and all of us on the team are pumped for people to see what we have planned in the new year. The story is a roller coaster ride of ideas, the hardest thing I’ve written so far, and knowing that we’re building this without the safety net of an established property is scary and exciting. Although I have an end in mind as we work away on the series, I don’t have a set number of issues for the middle. Our fingers are crossed that reader support continues and we can have a long and healthy run.

I have a new creator-owned project that’s been percolating since September and is now gaining momentum. The story and mood are something really different from what I’ve done before and the artist I’m working with (a newcomer) is going to knock people’s socks off. I also have a couple work-for-hire commercial projects in development and I’m pretty sure one of those will be announced in the next few weeks. Good stuff coming in the spring and summer.

Otherwise, Stacy and I are planning a major trip for the summer. Every fourth year at the college I get a sabbatical term, four months to step away from teaching. We’re planning to head to Japan for over a month, doing research and working on our creative projects, but also settling in a bit and enjoying the day to day life in one of our favorite places. There’s a ton of work to get done before then, but I know in the back of my mind I’ll be quietly counting down the days.

Two goals for the new year:
Focus on what I can do instead of things out of my control. It’s so easy to get pulled into a whirlwind of frustration and regret wondering why things aren’t going the way I expect or wishing things were different, but it’s not productive. Next year I want to make an even greater effort to stay focused on my own growth and let the rest roll on.

Make sure my family, friends, and collaborators know they’re valued. I work and spend time with so many amazing people and it’s important to let them know how important they are to me. I always feel it but next year I want to make greater efforts in expressing it.

Year In Review

2014-Stacy_and_Jim

Here we go again, a look at my year in review. I’ve been doing this on my blog for the past few years (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and it’s a nice way to sum up my thoughts on the year that was and take in the ups and downs that came with it.

Stacy and I continue on our wedded adventure, juggling work and play, social time and alone time. It’s filled with challenges but, like everything else we’ve tackled, it always goes better because we’re together. Having Stacy in my life is a joy and an honour.

Between replacing the stove, the car, our porch and façade, and a new laptop it was an expensive year, that’s for sure. As Stacy mentioned, we’ve replaced almost every appliance in the house over the past 2-3 years so hopefully everything runs a bit better from here on out.

Travel-wise it was another busy time, with 12 conventions in total, but almost every location was somewhere I’d been previously while on the ‘ circuit’ (with Washington DC and Phoenix as the two exceptions), so it felt familiar rather than hectic.

Last year I scripted over a 1000 pages of comics and that was a hell of a milestone but I said I probably wouldn’t be able to do that again this year. Yeah well, it happened anyway. I had a slew of comic writing projects in 2014 and, once I realized how close I was last month, I hunkered down and made sure I hit the 1k mark again. Admittedly, I took it right to the line (finished the last set of pages this morning) but it’s done. Whew~

I know in the grand scheme of things it’s about quality, not quantity, but I’m incredibly proud of the work and feel like I’ve learned a ton. Pushing myself to meet intense deadlines and deliver stories I’m proud of both on time and as kick ass as I can make them is crucial.

Skullkickers, Samurai Jack, Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, Figment, Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, Munchkin, Conan-Red Sonja, and a bunch more, some of which won’t be out until next year… So completely crazy.

Oh yeah, and that other one – Wayward!

Working with Steven Cummings to launch a brand new Image creator-owned series and having it well received by readers and retailers alike was a complete rush. Everyone on the creative team is pumped for the new chapters we have planned. Can’t wait for people to read it!

2015 is shaping up to be another exciting year.

At Seneca College we’re making the biggest changes to our Animation curriculum and facilities since I took over as Coordinator of the program in 2006. We’re reworking the flow of courses, updating assignments, and incorporating more technology to match the changing industry. It’s a lot of work but the end result should make us more competitive and deliver even better education to our amazing community of students.

On the creative and freelance front I’ll be continuing with Wayward and wrapping up Skullkickers. I don’t want to get into the whole farewell thing with SK just yet but, suffice to say, it’s going to feel strange reaching the end. A bunch of my other freelance comic writing projects are wrapping up but I have a few proposals in the hopper I’m waiting to hear back about. It’ll be interesting to see if any of them pop or what other opportunities emerge as the year rolls on. I wrote a bit about my thoughts on the comic industry in 2014 over on The Beat.

Other meditations for 2015:
• Less stuff, more experiences: Stacy and I have been talking about the stockpile of ‘things’ we’ve accumulated. Having things is great but once you hit a certain threshold it just piles up in ridiculous ways and you stop appreciating what you have. We want to pare back on the rampant collections of things and focus on experiences – new places, great meals, and better time spent with people we care deeply for.

• Art for art’s sake: Although I did some drawing in 2014, it definitely took a back seat to my writing projects. I’m hoping to sketch more outside of school demonstrations and put more fun ideas down on paper visually in 2015.

• Empathy, honesty, and communication: Thinking carefully about others, reaching out to people who matter, staying in touch with those close to me and making sure they know how much I appreciate them.

I know 2014 was a rough year for many people and that the world at large was filled with tumultuous news and heartache. I hope your year was a good one despite any difficulties and that if it wasn’t you can close the book on the season and start fresh in 2015.

Thank you for your love and support. All the best to you and yours!