Sunday, January 3, 2016

My (slightly late) 2015 wrapup.

I'm going to look back at the year now, and... honestly, just let this post build by a stream of consciousness. 2015 was a crazy year for me, professionally!

Let's put a break in here.....

It began with a whirlwind of work (which, for a freelancer, isn't a bad thing.) I completed an adaptation of Disney's CINDERELLA for Joe Books, as well as a GALAXY QUEST miniseries for IDW and more TMNT shorts for Panini UK.

All fun!

At that time, I was already thinking of re-pointing my domain to a blog like this, but I never got around to it, as the year spun 'round like crazy.

In February, I spent two weeks in Massachusetts to drive an injured relative around (and see some the insanity of the epic snow dump the northeast received.)

March brought my first comic con of the year - the always awesome Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle! That was the good news! The bad, I got a cold shortly before flying out. My head was stuffed, an ear infection stopped up my hearing, and cold meds slowed my brain function down towards the level of a sleeping infant... but there were still some high points. A walk through the city in search of a speakeasy; meeting some fantastic fans; having the best steak I've ever had at the Metropolitan Grill; and of course, the novelty of a friend's 3 year old child addressing me by my last name with such assurance I was actually a bit stunned. (It was, in retrospect, hilarious.)

I recovered and threw myself into my work, writing the Ghostbusters miniseries GET REAL, where the team met their cartoon counterpart, the Real Ghostbusters. I still remember the relief in editor Tom Waltz's voice after reading the first script; he admitted to me before that point, he had absolutely no idea how I could make the story make sense.


My summer con trips ran together, but they all had some great moments. Momocon, in Atlanta, was a weird one for me. So much epic cosplay! A sampling of "Coca Cola" butter! A gorgeous view of the Olympic park! ...And me switching rooms right off because I was terrified of the floor I was initially booked into. (It was those darn glass elevators, folks!) I met some great student artists in ATL as well; they're gonna do great things, and soon, in any number of art-related industries.

The Minnesota comic shows I attended -- the MSP Comic Con in May and ComicCard in June -- were both a blast; well-run, well-attended, and happy fans. This was the first MSP con without the MCBA's Heart and Soul, Nick Post, indeed, the first con not branded "SpringCon." The crew rallied, however, and pulled the show off -- I look forward to it growing in the coming years... and ditto for ComicCard. I had no idea that the show was as young as it was (I was at the second or third edition of a planned quarterly show, and it ran as smoothly as shows that have been running for years!) 

June saw my first visit to the beloved Heroes Con in North Carolina. A fantastic show, marred only by the fact that I had to leave earlier than I thought... but the company was great, and I wasn't sick. My epic fanboy moment? Purchasing a Mike Wieringo Spider-Man page; that alone would've made the trip worth it, right there. But no, I also got to meet and chat with so many great comics talents, like Wilfredo Torres, Erica Henderson, Mitch Gerads, Ron Salas, Evan Shaner, Matt Wilson, Erica Schulz, Joe Quinones, amongst others. Many of these conversations lasted just a few seconds before fans overwhelmed them. I *loved* HeroesCon.

San Diego Comic Con ... and I was sick again. This time, the cold waited to spring on me until I'd already been in California for a day and it was terrible; my energy was so sapped. But I got to connect with so many people I haven't seen in years (and in some cases, met folks I've known for almost 20 years online for the first time, which is always great!) I got to hang out a bit with the Cryptozoic crew, who put together a Ghostbusters panel for their (awesome) board game (which I had the privilege of writing a short story for) and the IDW comics... the room was filled with ghostheads, and the energy was high. Not even the GB party (at the Werewolf bar) could compete with the joy in the room. So great.

I was also blessed to be promoting the upcoming Back to the Future series! (I'm all done on it now, but it was a rush to feel the love, meet BTTF godfather and screenwriter Bob Gale, and geek out with my issue #1 collaborators Dan Schoening and John Barber.)

I just wish I hadn't been so loopy from the cold meds, is all. The one downer!

I had a couple of great store signings -- at Hot Comics in the Twin Cities for both Free Comic Book Day and Back to the Future Day (they got seven DeLoreans out there, and it was a sight to see), and an end-of-year visit to my all-time favorite shop, Limited Edition in Cedar Falls, IA. They brought a belated birthday cake for my co-guest, Brent Schoonover and added my name as a way-early birthday nod. Great folks down that way.

That's stuff I did. I wrote a lot, I visited Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta, Northampton, and Charlotte, talked Ghostbusters and Back to the Future with a lot of great fans (online and at shows) and ... honestly, it was great.

I even had one week, one epic week, where I got in 129,000 steps on a fitbit. Deadlines and weather haven't cooperated since, but it was a wonderful feeling to do it once. I aim to get back into the gym more, and see if I can't drop the 30 lbs I picked up when I started freelancing a few years back.

That's my goal.

In the meantime, 2016 is starting out strong; this month sees the release of IDW's Ghostbusters International #1, the new ongoing from me, Dan Schoening, and Luis Delgado, and editing is happening on the Tobin's Spirit Guide I wrote (with illustrations by Kyle Hotz) for Insight Editions.

A few other irons are in the fire... and... I feel great.

Here's to the new year, everybody!