Im very happy to continue the tradition of collecting a year of memories on this blog; It is very nourishing to reflect back on a years worth of artwork and experiences to see how much I was actually able to make. When completing the skeleton list of 2018, I realized I had been releasing comics on a bimonthly basis all year long. These releases were mainly Legends of Lys issues followed by the oversize annual.
Reflecting on the beginning of this year is interesting in that I feel emotionally I have healed a bit and become more stable. I started working on landscapes that were reflective of my trip across country in 2017. These landscapes were simplified abstractions of the hills and valleys of different regions. I equate them to images and illustrations depicting layers of the earth. In my work I tried to meditate on times of stress and depression, to put them in their place as I put each piece of landscape together.
Through these months I participated in workshops at Raw focused on exploring new mediums and approaches to art and life. I valued these workshops immensely, I felt truly emotionally cracked open.
Along with the auction artwork I create for Raw, I dedicated myself to editing and self publishing Jury #1. This was a very rewarding experience to finally see a project in print that I had been drawing and working on since 2011! I’m very proud of the finished product and the new print house I used for the book (check out Greko Printing for some truly great high quality work!)
While editing Jury I also continued to work on the new book, Legends of Lys. I released Issue #2 in late February and really started to flesh out the supporting cast of the book. During these months I also started to build a frame work of shows I wanted to be a vendor at for the Spring/Summer season.
April brought the first round of shows in with Beverly Comic Con, which also happened to be the debut of Legends of Lys #3 which I had been working on the past month. I’m so excited for where Legends is going at this point that I start to roughly plan out the following few issues and what I want to do. During this time I was also given an opportunity to create artwork for display in Cinema Salem Lobby, the folks at Silvermoon suggested me and I hopped on creating artwork. The images are on display above the couches in the lobby!
Once May came things really kicked into high gear as the first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, I continued my tradition of celebrating in house at Silver Moon Comics in Salem, MA. This is my 3rd year in a row with Silver Moon for FCBD. This year was particularly special as it debut the first issue of my crime epic, Jury. I have been working on Jury for years following Match, it follows the story of Wes Ellis after his brush with fire in the previous story. May is also the annual auction at RAW artworks which fell on the second weekend of May. I’m so proud of the work the team at RAW puts forward to make the auction happen
May came to a close with a small local comic con in Peabody called PILCON, at the Peabody Institute Library. It was a really fun local show and I was able to finish up working on Legends of Lys #4 while I was vending. June started to wind things down a bit as I geared up for Kids Con New England in New Hampshire, this was a great show to meet so many younger fans and introduce them to Legends. The following weekend I participated in Beverly Arts fest for the first time and was astounded by the crowds that turned out.
The end of June was one of my best friends Cory’s wedding, I was able to do all of the chalk signs for his special day which was a project I tackled over the few months before this as well. Im very happy with the way the signs came out, they were all based around different authors.
July was a much needed resting time from doing so many shows and festivals over the spring. I began writing and plotting the Legends of Lys Annual. I did participate in the Peabody Essex Museum Block Party in Salem which was a great time. I was once again blown away by the crowds and people that showed up to support the arts. As I transitioned from late July into August I began to draw and work on the Legends of Lys Annual, which would end up being a 60 page 3 part book wrapping up my first arc of Legends, setting up the pieces to a sequel, opening doors for a spinoff story as well as flesh out all of the supporting cast to come. It was a massive undertaking and I was very happy to begin work on the sister book to Legends at the same time with a good friend of mine at the writing helm (more on that in October.)
Once September hit I started to feel the pressure to finish the annual and begin editing for print. This monopolized so much of my free time during this month that the only artwork I produced were covers and extra content for the annual. October finally arrived and with it I was again able to participate in artist tables at Silver Moon Comics in Salem, which is always a great time. The weekend I was in store was crazy busy and I was able to finish a few commissions as well.
In November I started working on Christmas commissions as well as releasing a reformatted Legends of Lys Issues 1&2. I was really happy with the quality of the books from Greko printing so I decided to have them preprint the first two issues together for release at the end of the year. It felt very satisfying to rerelease the issues almost a year to releasing them initially. RAW started again as well earlier this time in November, we will continue working into the new year to meet our annual auction deadline.
With that we are at the end of the year so I would like to touch upon projects in the upcoming 2019 year.
Legends of Lys
My main title saw 6 releases this past year, granted there was a reprint in there. I love this book and the energy it gives me, I love being able to explore these different avenues and worlds. This took up a huge amount of my free time in 2018 and looks to be continuing with 2019. Fenrir and the Escape from the Deep is coming. Along with this, I have finished writing the second arc of Legends, plotting a third and trying to stay away from adding another ongoing title to the series. (Legends doesn’t need any more siblings right now.)
Current Status: Arc 2 is written; Issues of Fenrir are releasing in 2019
Due Out: Arc 2 Late 2019
Fenrir and the Escape from the Deep
The sister book to Legends of Lys that I mentioned before. This story spins out of the events of Legends and this time follows the time displaced Fenrir as he fights his way back from the Deep. the book was conceived when I was halfway through the first arc of legends and I approached a friend of mine, Antanas Meilus to write it. We have continued working on the book throughout 2018, the first issue is completely finished, the second just about drawn and the third being plotted. If I have multiple releases this year, it will most likely be the first arc of this book.
Current Status: #2 is being drawn, #3 in the plotting stages
Due Out: 1st Quarter 2019
The Expeditions of Atlas Clark
A new book written by Cory Lahue with artwork by myself is currently being worked on. We met several times at the end of 2018 to plot and throw ideas around about a new book. This one is completely Cory’s concept unrelated to the ongoing Legends books. We are both committing to developing In The Shade Publications as a brand, so along with creating this book together, we will continue to see the release of books under the In The Shade Banner (look for us at a convention near you). Details of Atlas are going to remain quiet for now, the book is more of a sci fi meets fantasy genre, which is interesting to add to the In The Shade line. It follows the adventures of Atlas, a cyborg with some memory problems.
Current Status: Issues 1&2 written, 3 being worked on. Artwork for #1 is beginning.
Due out: Sometime in 2019, pages will begin appearing at the in the shade website. (More on this)
this book is completely drawn, Im working on letting pages for another release this year. Issue 2 is about halfway through the lettering process, with 2 more issues to go. Im aiming for another issue release on Free Comic Book Day and another for October.
Current Status: The book needs to be lettered
Due Out: May 2019 & October 2019
I completed an additional body of work 2 years ago as a follow up to the show I hosted in 2015. The new work focused on stories from native folklore. I’ve hit a wall with trying to find a gallery to host the show, and to be honest lack the resources to build out another pop up art show. I contemplated putting out a book featuring the artwork and some writings, but nothing is in motion at the moment.
Current status: work is finished, prints are available. No show is set up currently.
Due out: TBA
-something I’ve been kicking around is an art book showing process illustrations and some unreleased content. Haven’t made any progress toward putting the book together.
It’s a someday project
Current status: plotting stages
Due out: TBA
If you are still with me, thank you so much for supporting me. I owe a lot to all the folks that showed me love and helped me out over the past year. I couldn’t have finished the year without support from others. If you picked up a book, visited me at any of the many shows and conventions, shared a post or sent me invites to shows; thank you!
I hope you and yours have a very happy and healthy new year