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A little review of 2022!
(If you’re getting one of my emails for the first time, welcome — I added anyone who opted in from the New Rat City Pt. 2 Kickstarter, and that’s most likely you. I send these pretty infrequently, but if you’ve changed your mind, you can unsubscribe at the bottom of the email.)
It’s been a minute!
I mainly wanted to share a big piece of news here: a couple of months ago the folks at Zenescope reached out to ask me to write the script for the entire holiday edition of their Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly, and I (of course!!) said yes. That book is out tomorrow, December 14th! There are 4 beautiful variant covers, and you should be able to pick up a copy at your local comic shop and on Zenescope’s website. I’ll also be on their livestream tomorrow at 3 pm ET to talk about the book. It was exceptionally fun to write (demons! comeuppance! haunted holiday stuff!), and I’ll share more about it in a minute.
I’ve been seeing some great annual roundups from other indie comics people, and thought it would be nice to do the same. In putting it together I realized that this was kind of a banner year for me. I’ve only been publishing comics since 2020 and writing them for just a little longer than that, which isn’t very long, so looking back on 2022 I feel pretty darn fortunate:
2000 AD published 4 shorts I wrote: Relict, which won their 2021 Talent Hunt and appeared in Prog 2279; Smart Home, Prog 2280; Allied Forces for their special Judgement Day revisit, Megazine 488; and Echo, in Prog 2301. I’ve got another one clanking around somewhere in the gears of Tharg’s machine, too, which should be out next year.
Learning to write short comics was the most fruitful thing I did this past year. It’s hard. You want to keep adding words and panels and little moments, but you can’t because then you just have a mouse reflecting on his pawmade equipment for two pages and you never get to the action.
I also worked on two scripts for Zenescope: one 17-pager for their Tales of Terror: Back to School quarterly, and the whole aforementioned 72-page holiday special. These scripts were based on story ideas they sent me, which was a lot of fun: I love a prompt, and the stories they send are always pretty killer. They’re lovely to work with, and I got to watch the extremely gorgeous artwork for the pages come together after handing off the script. And the holiday issue contains one of my favorite sequences I’ve written so far, which I will not spoil; I will only say that it includes a llama.
I also sold a piece of flash fiction to Ahoy Comics, and I got a physical check in the mail from them, which felt pretty cool (I’m not sure when the story will be out in the world).
I contributed a short story to the Tales from the Cloakroom Anthology, a project that a few brave and sturdy souls from Scott Snyder’s Comics 101 class put together. It was illustrated by Mustafa Karasu, and was my first try at lettering a comic.
And finally, I finished publishing New Rat City in its two-part format, and Scout published Issue #1 of the series! The trade paperback will be in bookstores next September. I have many of you to thank for making that series possible by supporting the Kickstarter campaigns for it: it wouldn’t have happened without all of you. It’s the first series I finished writing and publishing (catharsis!) and I’m really proud of it.
That’s what I’ve published and sold this year, but I’ve also been working on other things: I took a class on building fictional worlds with comics and left with a very concrete outline and collaborator for a new far-future sci-fi epic that I hope to get moving on in 2023.
And there’s the series that really kicked my whole comics-writing life off: Andraste is riding again, with Unai Ortiz de Zarate at the helm. He’s in the middle of illustrating Issue #5, which is chock full of Druidic trials and meddling gods and oh man I can’t wait to get it out there. I’ve published Issues 1-3 of the series on Zestworld, if you’d like to check it out — I plan to do that for future issues as well.
I’ll leave it there, because it’s getting late, but I’d like to say thank you all for reading and supporting my work. I feel very lucky to be able to do something I love so much, and it’d all be moot if I were writing at the void.
I hope you all have a great holiday season and beginning of 2023 — I hope to write early next year, but given my track record, it’ll be more like May, so I’ll just say the next email will comes as a surprise.