2014 has been big and busy. I’ve been scripting and launching comics. I’ve been writing for new sites on everything from social justice to superheroes. I was a guest at Continuum X in Melbourne for a screenwriting panel and taught a creative writing seminar here in Adelaide. I’ve continued happily in my job as a copywriter and a journalist. Most importantly, I made a scene in a library. Here’s the year’s work in review…
First, Chadwick and I finally released our debut comic, DEAD ENDS: Fables of Loss and Mortality in March of this year. Publishing our first book has been a fun and frustrating experience, but we wouldn’t change a moment of it. The book continues to get great responses, my previous summary here, and we’re hitting comic conventions to spruik our morbid tales to bewildered Captain America fans.
In a non-fiction capacity, given my experiences as a youth worker and a volunteer with The Salvation Army, I began writing for Just Salvos on some relevant issues. I’ve discussed the Australian Government’s treatment of asylum seekers children here and reflected on my experiences of racism in the South here.
I also began writing for the much esteemed Sequart Organisation, mostly on the character of Superman. I have op/eds on a tragic debate around Superman’s tradmark here, and also how situations like the unrest in Ferguson can influence comics here.
Also our Shakespeare and culture blog, theslingsandarrows.com, continues to move along slowly and in fun directions. Ben and I fondly dissect Tim Burton’s Batman on its 25th anniversary here, along with Shakespeare of course, and we also began a series on the James Bond property here.
Finally, I’ve recently taken on managing editor duties over at the Australian Comics Journal online. I chatted with creator Jase Harper about his debut graphic novel Awkwood here, and the All Star Comics guys about winning an Eisner here. Keep an eye out for more news, interviews and reviews on the ACJ in future. There are exciting things in the works.
Overall, the biggest moment of 2014 may seem rather small to many. The highlight of the year’s work must be the day I visited my local library to find DEAD ENDS in the comics section. I found the comic on the shelf, dropped my books in shock and may or may not have emitted a sharply pitched noise. I had no knowledge that the book was being distributed through libraries and found it in utter surprise. Knowing your work has taken on a life of its own in the world is one of those small mercies that helps you persevere when the day is short and the deadlines loom. I treasure that moment.
It’s been a big and busy 2014. Here’s to an even bigger and busier 2015.
P.S. Unfortunately, I’ve just been too busy to continue my Now Reading posts since I’ve moved back from Melbourne. I’ve dredged my recollections of the past year’s books and offer the following list of novels, knowing how profoundly uninterested the planet must be… Stephen King’s Carrie, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms, Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The Graveyard Book. These books were followed by an almost sixth month period of only reading comics and general non-fiction (the comics are listed below). Then, I started again with Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die and Dr No, David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, A.S. Byatt’s Possession and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, which I have not finished yet. The following books I started and did not finish: Madame Bovary (again), The Book Thief and The Great Gatsby (I bought a penguin paperback in an airport and the experience felt so twee I was embarrassed to read it).
For the funny books, I have read, or reread, Saga Volumes 1-3, Frank Miller’s Batman Year One, Atomic Robo Volume 1, Rocket Girl Volume 1, Batman and Robin Reborn Volume 1, Batman Earth One, Howard Chaykin’s Buck Rogers reboot, Black Science Volume 1 and some Sandman.
As for Aussie comics, there’s Jase Harper’s Awkwood, Pat Grant’s Blue, Nicki Greenberg’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Justin Randall’s Changing Ways, Christian Read’s Eldritch Kid, Andrez Bergen’s Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat and Bullet Gal, Matt Nichols and Chris McQuinlan’s Legend of Rock, Craig Bruyn’s From Above, Shaun Paulet and Brendan Hallyday’s XCT and some vintage Ginger Meggs.