2013 was the first full year I ran my podcast Make It Then Tell Everybody. It has been really enjoyable but an enormous amount of work, taking in excess of 5 hours a week. It doesn’t sound like much, but alongside everything else, it soon adds up. All things that I’m writing about here are in addition to my full time teaching job and having a wife and two small kids. Needless to say, I’m pretty busy most of the time.
I started the year with an arm injury. I’d messed up a ligament in my drawing arm which made it very painful to draw. I was working on John Miers’ Script & Score project at the time which I think goes some way to explaining the sparse style of that particular page:
I also resolved to draw more spur of the moment strips in 2013, and started with ‘Men Who Climb’;
February started with Hourly Comics Day, which for me was more difficult that a 24 hour comic as you don’t get excused from normal life for hourly comics day but you do for a 24 hour comic.
March started with the Off Life quick draw at the design museum in London and ended with me frantically animating a music video for Jim Guthrie’s The Rest Is Yet To Come. I loved working with Jim and I’m really proud of the video (best watched in HD of course)
In March I also published my first collection of short strips - Hey You! which collected a lot of the smaller stories I’d drawn in 2012.
In April my first hardback book, The Suitcase was published by Blank Slate Books. Ever so proud of this book.
I also drew Throw Your Keys Away that month for Off Life comic.
Still in April I drew some pictures of David Bowie dressed as different characters for Chris Salt’s Lego animation for Adam Buxton’s David Bowie show at the V&A;
In May I started working on The Memory Palace comic with the wonderful Nate Dimeo that looks like it’ll consume most of 2014. If you don’t know The Memory Palace, I strongly suggest you go and check it out! I also was a guest at the wonderful 2D festival in Northern Ireland. I had much fun there.
June and July were spent drawing The Memory Palace comic pretty much exclusively.
However, I did find time to draw a strip for Off Life called I Am So Beloved By Everybody;
In September I started drawing Carry Me;
October was a BIG MONTH. I was a tutor for the Arvon Foundation with Karrie Fransman in Devon, ran a workshop and interviewed Charlie Adlard on stage for the Lakes International Comics Festival in Kendal, ran workshops for the 22 Panels show in Falmouth, exhibited at the Comica Comiket in London and drew a 10 page halloween story called The Devil’s Steps. What a month!
On Halloween, my Memory Palace comic ran as a feature on Boing Boing which was really great and opened up a lot of possibilities for Nate and I.
In November I panicked and realised that I had done so many shows that I was nearly all sold out of all my comics with Thought Bubble approaching fast. I pulled my finger out and finished Carry Me and put together another collection of my shorter strips entitled ‘Throw Your Keys Away’.
Both books went down really well at Thought Bubble, at which I had a grand time.
Which brings me up to December. I was at the Volume Print & Publishing fair at the ace new Library of Birmingham. I ran a panel discussion organised by Lizz Lunney and the Birmingham Zine Festival.
Now I’m moving house and preparing for next year. Reading back over this post, there’s loads of stuff I’ve missed out but I’ve run out of time to include everything. I keep thinking that I’m getting very little done, or that I’m not working hard enough so writing a big old list of things I’ve done during a year, it seems like a fair amount, certainly compared to 2012. For 2014 it looks like I’ll be doing less smaller projects, focusing mainly on one longer project. Details about that once I know them!
Thanks to everyone that bought a book from me, downloaded the podcast or said nice things about me or my work, it’s all very much appreciated.