FULL BLEED: ONE MUST IMAGINE SISYPHUS HAPPY
So this is a 2018 wrap-up. Let's take a look, shall we?
Work from a project that's still sort of in limbo. Probably spent too much time on it, but wow is it ever pretty.
Based on a cartoon done up by a friend. Kind of a fresh, loose thing. Nice to do these from time to time and not freak out about detail levels.
Staying on brand once again. Inspired by a project I came up with last year. Maybe I'll even write it this year. Unfortunately, it's best as a comic and those are too expensive to take on lightly.
Ah, yes. The huge, multi-stage project, the smallest step of which was creating up a reusable alphabet made of neon tubes. Educational, in terms of dealing with the physical media (which I couldn't) and what you need to do to represent various strokes/line. You'll see more of this below.
Logo design for QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS, which mostly went unused. Mixed feelings on this.
Ah, there's the type set at work. So, I did two of these for QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS promotion. The above is Cait MacReady, the main character. I'll show Ariella below. The design is based on the neon over the old Carroll Theatre in Los Angeles. I can't draw, but I can copy like a mother. These really should go on t-shirts or something.
There was a third one planned in the series, but ultimately, these two were the most important for promotion, etc. Not a lot of demand beyond this.
This was probably the most fun I had on a project this year, though I spent far too much time on it for its importance. Oh well. This, as you might've guessed, is a club flyer for a show that takes place during the events of QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS (and even teases the radio show that soundtracks the events of the climax the following night.) A lot went into this. Mostly because, surprise, doing cut up art takes a long time even when you have a computer doing the heavy lifting. But on the plus side, I now have a library of woodcut art to pull from. Some of my own photography in there too, just heavily treated. And yeah, all the logo designs for the band and the club itself. All in all, a satisfying and convincing document of a past that never was.
Not much original writing (published) under the bridge this year. Not much to show, that is. A lot of pages generated in the pursuit of further books, though. I plotted out a companion book for QUEEN, though it only has minor character overlap and takes place a few years before. This came out of a story that I wrote for a planned anthology which I have no idea whether will see the light of day or not. But in it is the roots of CINDY SAYS FOLLOW, which has some familiar faces in it, most particularly the city of Los Angeles, which I do love so very dearly.
Also plotted out THAT BLACK RADIANCE, which takes place around a year after QUEEN, focusing on Cait and Alondra and even Anton of No Tomorrows. This the more traditional sequel, though I'm not entirely comfortable with the term, simply because it invites all manner of expectation and an invitation to franchise.
And let's be sure. I'd love to have the level of success that would require a franchise out of me, just endless content and seeming-story after seeming-story yet nothing ever comes to an end because why kill the golden goose? You kill the golden goose because that's how you get to meaningful story. Otherwise all you're doing is running through an endless middle of the work, never getting to an end. The end and delivered consequence is what gives any story power. It's something we are forever denied in this life, which is why we crave it so mightily in our entertainment. We want things to happen and to have meaning. But we don't want to say goodbye to Captain America, so he's gotta live forever, dig? He can't ever rest.
Ah, yes. Started work on the longform SOLARCHY, which will probably go out under the name VOIDMAW unless something better comes along. The story's evolved quite a bit from the short anthology piece that it sprung from. I'm afraid it's rather out of control now and that's the only way you know that you're onto something worth keeping. This story is about Merinna, a court composer for a planetary governor in the outer Sol system and what happens when her path crosses with Althule, who is for lack of a better word, an Inquisitor who's lost his faith. It takes place in a galactic empire in decline, unable to square matters of faith with control and how dead gods are much more convenient than living ones. With some cosmic horror. And a lot of beauty.
So yeah, I'm able to show more visual art than actual writing. Hooray.
Yes, QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS got published this year (not even a month ago.) That's a big deal, but ultimately not one that I had too much direct control over. Did it make a ripple? Who knows. I certainly won't. The Howling Pit is able to destroy all manner of achievement nearly instantly, so I can't use that as a metric of any use. I'm certainly glad for the effort that Scott Gable over at Broken Eye put into the work, improving my wandering prose with his edits and helping get Gabriel Hardman on the cover.
But it's there now and it wasn't before.
As for stuff that isn't likely to see the light of day at all:
Wrote a full-length one-shot issue for THE BITTER & THE SWEET which is unfortunately dead in the water unless I can find an artist who works for the project and then the rate I can offer and then a publisher. Those are three substantial hurdles. Too bad. It was a lot of fun. The plan would be a lot of single issues in a loosely continuing format (but that is a lot of work, friends). It's easier to write long than it is to write short, particularly in comics. This seems weird, but is absolutely true for me. Oh yeah, there's the one long story I have plotted out, which has the two main characters meeting up and hating each other on sight in the last year of high school (probably 1981 or so.)
DEAD MALLS (as pictured above) is a six-issue miniseries about a group of kids stuck after hours in the last enclosed shopping mall in their state, predatory redevelopment, reclamation by nature, law-enforcement by remote control and lazy smugglers. If you know any publishers who wanna touch this, go ahead and let me know 'cause I can't get arrested on my lonesome.
KAIJU SENSEI is a one-shot about the secret truth underneath ever Godzilla movie ever. Highly-structured one-shot comic. Probably too ambitious and could only be pulled off with the right artist. Perhaps I should start buying lottery tickets. One-shot comics are appealing to monthly comics buyers, but nobody else. So it's weird that I keep thinking in these terms, right?
Wrote up a couple SMOKETOWN stories and am really close to having a platform to work them from. Maybe 2019 will finally see some substantial movement on this.
But, yeah, don't fall in love with projects you can't get out into the world.
Oh, right. This year I also made a series of images of Godzooky with quotes from Camus overlaid upon them. I think they're probably the most successful thing I've done this year. Other than the tweet of mine that went viral and got 10k RTs, 40k likes and sold maybe five copies of my book. Five. That's a pretty good percentage for the Howling Pit.
Don't give up, kids. Keep on dreaming big.