Here we are, just over 36 hours away from the end of 2019, and starting 2020 and a brand new decade… wow… This new year will mark my third decade living here in the USA and the second decade since the creation of my Altworld website. Also completes another journey around the sun for us all, while we clip along at 67,000mph on this starship Earth. Join me after the jump for a mini-review of the year.
2019 marked my first year back after taking almost 18 months out of attending comic book conventions, I had let one horrible day where I had to admit to failing with my stories in court overwhelm me and push me into dark place. I took the first steps back onto the convention circuit with a Free Comic Book Day at Collectors Corner, A Library Convention near Glen Burnie, Kids Comic Con up in Philly and of course attending my hometown show – Baltimore Comic Con. I will admit it is good to be back in the saddle, I forget how interacting with comic book fans really boosted my energy and I feel re-energized, with new plans and ideas for 2020 and beyond.
We also completed the art and almost all the chapters for the first four Teddy Bear Tales Awakenings books! (still getting the last of lettering down), leaving only one more chapter (Act Five) to show and tell. I am excited that 2020 will bring this final act to life and bring a finale to a story that has evolved in its telling for over ten years.
I have also rediscovered the joy of Lego, there is something very Zen about clicking a brick together and it takes you to a different creative plane, almost meditative and I can total switch off. A thing, that those of you who know me in real life, know I am terrible at doing. Of course it would not be me if I didn’t talk about my Lego journey in some form – so, we have a YouTube channel talking about how my Lego City – Legoville is growing.
And art wise I feel I have hit a good place, finally being able to draw my characters in a way that I like, and can repeat without constantly looking at references. Of course I will keep practicing, and with that I should get stronger, but I getting to that place of confidence were I feel I can take on another comic strip/book myself again – believe me after the kick in the nuts I had over a year ago this is a big step for me.
We Tried But…
One of my goals this year was try to get a publisher interested in taking on a Teddy Bear Tales – Awakenings, the idea being it would free me up from worrying financially how to pay for a comic book project and give me more time to create. I took a huge swing at it at the beginning of 2019, submission letter after submission and was roundly ignored, with less than a dozen form rejection letters to show for my effort. I will take a another swing in 2020, take a different approach and see what happens… I would dearly love to see the reach of my stories extend further.
I wanted to get the Oneshot pilot issue of Dee & Duo published and ventured onto the dewy slopes of indiegogo to launch the campaign, it was a gamble because Here Be Monsters was still in production from our successful Kickstarter campaign, but I had to see if I could swing it. The book failed to find its feet, much I think to do with Indiegogo not having the rep that Kickstarter has, but another lesson learned and it made me rethink some story points for this book – which will be coming in 2020!!!
This year, I lost a good friend, peer and Teddy Bear Tales Artist Keir Knikia Lyles, he is the first of my peer group to pass on and it was a great shock to us all. He was truly a gentle giant, frustrating slow to get work out of, but an amazing artist and I am blessed to have know him. I hope I can get a book out sometime with the work he did for A Teddy Bear Tales, you all will love how he breathed live into my characters. RIP My Friend.
With 2020 breathing down our necks, let’s talk about my goals for Altworld for the new year and beyond.
- Publish Act Five of Teddy Bear Tales Awakenings – ending the first new set Teddy Bear Tales Comic Book adventures
- Publish Dee & Duo – to get this book on my rack for a convention just to see what the reaction will be for it
- Write and draw my own comic/prose book
- Attend more conventions and spread the word about my stories
- Land a publishing contact and then a Netflix series? it is good to dream, right?
Let’s start with these goals, nothing grand, just steps to move things forward and to build on. For right now 2020 is still an undiscovered country and with that you know we will have adventures ahead!