Well, it's the end of 2013 and when I look at the output this year, it doesn't seem like a real productive year, but actually it was. I had my anthology, NIGHT PIECES, come out, but that was a collection of reprint material albeit one of the stories, "A Mother's Beauty", first appeared in Chillers vol. 2 which was a 2013 release as well. I was happy to see the response to it and Decapitated Dan, the noted horror enthusiast and reviewer, tabbed it as the Best Archival/Collection of 2013. I had planned on releasing another collection, Street Shadows, but figured I'd space them out a bit more.
I also did two books which featured a multitude of artists contributing and those are always much more work than it might seem. ZELDA'S ZOMBIE ZOO was a kid's book about Zelda who is a caretaker of a zoo full of zombiefied animals. Each animal is drawn by a different artist, about 30 in all. Originally, it was just to be a gallery of the zoo animals but as it was developing, I decided to do it as a kid's book and wrote scenes of Zelda interspersed and those featured the continuity art of Terry Pavlet who also did the cover. It was a fun little book and seemed to get a pretty good response. I also did a new edition of the BOOK OF TAROT, based on a comic I did with Caliber a lot of years ago. I had 22 different artists draw a Major Arcana card and I supplied a bit of information and history about the cards. Definitely, a primer on the cards and not anything in great detail. Both of these books will be available soon but I held off so the creators that contributed had a chance to sell their limited editions first.
Of course, towards the end of the year, the first issue of DEADWORLD: RESTORATION shipped with the subsequent issues shipping in 2014....but I did write all 5 issues in 2013. I also wrote some issues of two other series set to debut in 2014. SAINT JAMES INFIRMARY already has the first three issues drawn and the next two issues are pretty much written. Another series, THE RAIN PEOPLE, has the first issue complete and the next four issues are a bit rough but nearly ready. So, even though I had three books come out but only 1 comic, I essentially wrote 15 comics in 2013 so it was a much busier year than it seems.
In addition to the comic series coming in 2014, I have two other books that I will be releasing and of course, as the year progresses, more things may pop up. I have to determine what to do with the next storyline of Deadworld and a lot will depend on the reaction to the current series.
Outside of writing, Transfuzion released a few books and Binary Publications, which I am co-publisher, had about 6 titles released and it looks like Binary will step up production for 2014. There's another company I'm involved with that is only peripherally aligned with comics that I think will be moving along this upcoming year as well. Of course, I still teach my college biology courses full time. My main areas in those classes are evolution and genetics and both of those areas are changing so rapidly that I have to redo my lectures almost every semester. There is a lot of work to set up each 1-hour lecture...a lot more than most people think.
One of the key aspects that I'm constantly evaluating is how fast the dynamics of the comics market is changing...not just the direct market but all phases of distribution and retail. There are a lot of things going on "behind the scenes" attempting to deal and anticipate those changes.
That's the crux of what my 2014 will be, I think. I plan to be making an announcement soon that will coincide with my next blog post (so you know, it doesn't really have a time frame then...) and that will likely be what most of my time will be spent on in 2014. Most of the activities in that area have been set in place but I don't like to talk much until its ready.
One last thing...this last year, I have been asked a lot about attending conventions and doing store appearances...seems like the requests have quadrupled. I do realize that I should be out there supporting things more and even though I never like doing cons, I usually enjoy them when I get there...but the crucial factor for me is the time involved. Doing a 3 day show sucks up a lot of time so I have to balance out the number of shows I do. I'd like to do more shows in areas where I haven't been too much previously as I think I'm stale material in the Detroit and Chicago area.
Until next time, I hope everyone has a great New Year's and it capped off a great holiday season.