December 2020: Hell of a Year

Hey folks,

As you might have guessed, this month’s update will be a little different – less about this month in particular, and more of a retrospective on what’s been a very strange and challenging year. Enjoy!

The (Un)usual

One thing I’m keen to do is reflect on what I’ve accomplished this year, in order to stave off the feelings of negativity that I tend to fall prey to every December. I’m certain others have this problem too – I constantly feel like I haven’t achieved enough, and that my time to build some kind of creative career is running out. Social media is a big part of that problem – following people who make a career from writing and therefore spend their days working makes me feel like I should do more after work/on the weekends, but that way lies burnout and misery. I know I have a problem with judging my own output harshly against my perception of what friends and peers are doing – I very often fall into the trap of thinking “they’re writing more than me, they’re writing better than me, etc.”

Thanks, Skeletor.

So, in an attempt to (at least temporarily) vanquish those demons and end the year on a positive, here’s what I managed to do this year:

  • Ran two successful Kickstarter campaigns (for THE BLACK RUBRIC and BRIGANTIA #2) and fulfilled both before the end of this year
  • Completed scripting for HOCKEYTOWN; 10 pages drawn by R.M Olson for the pitch
  • 12 pages of SPACE COWBOYS #1 scripted, along with issues #2 and #3 (22 pages each)
  • 16 pages of PROF ELEMENTAL: NEMESIS scripted – 7 pages lettered
  • 2 pages scripted for TALES FROM THE QUARANTINE
  • 10 pages of BRIGANTIA #3 redrafted – issues #4-#6 plotted out in detail
  • 68 pages outlined for a new project, SENGOKU
  • Detailed synopsis written for another new project, STEEL KNIGHTS
  • On the music front: wrote and recorded all instruments and vocals for a 4-track black metal demo to tie in with THE BLACK RUBRIC

Not too bad, huh? I might have only actually fully scripted somewhere around 80 pages this year but I’m giving myself a pass on that considering all the everything else that happened. I’m not setting myself any kind of hard goal for next year (“I must achieve X or Y”, for example) because, quite frankly, I don’t know what next year has in store (either personally or professionally) and I don’t want to reflect back in 2021 and feel like I failed. I’ll just keep trying to make good comics, and hopefully convince folks to give me a bigger platform from which to do so!

The Tunes

This month’s playlist is, as you might have guessed, a retrospective one – my top track from each monthly playlist that I’ve done this year, 12 tracks in total. As usual, it’s a pretty wide-ranging collection – from shimmering, beautiful Danish folk (Myrkur) to Canadian alternative rock (The Tragically Hip) through socially and politically vital hip-hop (Run the Jewels) and atmospheric black metal (Svalbard) before closing with a suitably grim and nihilistic track by Anaal Nathrakh. If there’s a common theme running throughout, I think it’s about striving to remember all the things that connect us – this year has been extremely taxing, and being stuck indoors unable to really socialise beyond the glitching fuzziness of a laptop screen has been difficult for all of us. I’m a proud introvert, and even I’ve missed goofing around at band practices, hanging out with friends at gigs, socials in the pub and semi-regular movie nights. Humans are social creatures, so when that social contact is ripped away, it can be tough to cope – and seeing our elected officials failing us time and again doesn’t make it any easier. Stay strong, reach out to friends and tell them how much you’ve appreciated them this year, and do what you can to stay connected – I’m hopeful that 2021 won’t be too old before we’re able to get back to a semblance of normality, even if the world will never quite be the same again.

Thanks for reading – I hope you all had the chance for a break over the holiday period, and let’s tackle 2021 together!

All the best,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.