2017 is practically over. Sure, there’s a week and a half left, but in the UK we’re all winding down for Christmas and New Year. 2017 saw the release of Unfamiliar Skies issue 2 and I got to attend some fantastic conventions. I might write a proper “looking back” post about the year at some point, but this entry is all about looking forward to 2018.
Straight off the bat, we’ll get to the single most important thing, the comics themselves! Going one title at a time, you can look forward to:
Claris’ story will continue with issue 3. An assassin has been sent to kill Claris and her father. Meanwhile, the colony ship Claris ran away from is also under attack, threatening the lives of everyone aboard – including her mother! There are going to be some serious consequences for Claris’ actions in issue 1 that will lead us into issues 4 and 5. The original plan was for the first arc to be five issues, however I think the story will benefit from slowing the pacing down a little and that could extend the arc beyond five issues.
In terms of release, I’m torn between two options. The first is to release issue 3 as a digital first comic, bringing it to Comichaus and Comixology as soon as it’s finished, then setting some money aside each month (supplemented by any income from the digital releases) to print it. This may take some time as historic data on Comixology sales tell me that won’t bring in enough to fund a print run, while Comichaus is still a new and as yet unknown quantity.
The second option is to run a Kickstarter for the print release but, in all honesty, I’m kind of tired of Kickstarter for a number of reasons. One is simple fatigue, a Kickstarter brings about a lot of work, stress, and panic. Two is stubborn male pride, I feel like five years into producing indie comics I should be able to self fund print runs (and I did self fund Arcadia, Joe Cape #1, and Joe Cape #3). My opinion may change as 2018 unfolds, I’ve certainly changed my mind on the subject before.
Unfamiliar Skies will also have a three page short in Tales From Beyond Infinity, a charity anthology comic in memory of John Lawson, benefitting the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. It’s limited to 250 copies and will be available at the True Believers Comic Festival.
Issues 1 to 3 of Joe Cape are currently being published on Tapas, with one page going up every Monday. Issue 4 will then release one page at a time on Tapas, with the completed issue coming to Comixology and Comichaus immediately afterwards. Yes, issue 4 is coming! The first arc left a lot of loose ends and I want to finish telling the story. The second arc was outlined before the first arc had finished, so writing and drawing it should be fairly straightforward.
In terms of a print release of issues 4 onwards, that all depends on a number of factors, including:
- physical sales of remaining print copies of issues 1 to 3
- digital sales of the series as a whole on Comixology and ad revenue from views of each issue on Comichaus
- popularity of the series as a whole on Tapastic.
I also need to consider what form the print run takes. I thought I only had three copies of issue 1 left until I unearthed a box containing another 15 or so copies. On one hand, I’d like to reprint issue 1, on the other I’m considering printing a trade collecting issues 1 to 3 instead. I still have plenty of copies of issues 2 and 3 for those who already bought issue 1 so a trade makes the most sense to me as no one loses out.
Sometimes, I Just Want To Kill You All
This started life as a cathartic, venty, ranty, script that I was putting together after a couple of very bad weeks. I shared it with Tony Esmond from the Awesome Comics Podcast, Down the Tubes, and Never Iron Anything, who encouraged me to draw it. I’m sure he’d be the first to tell you I’ve been taking my damn sweet time with it, but I aim to release it as an eight page A5 zine in 2018.
Be warned, this one is definitely not safe for children! The first issue is about how much I hate commuting to work on the bus and just how much I absolutely loathe the other passengers. It’s bound to check a chuckle from anyone else who has to regularly suffer on public transport. There’s certainly room to put a cynical, humourous, quintessentially British spin on other topics such as fatherhood, my experiences with autism (I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a teenager), and comic conventions so keep your eyes peeled!
Here is my full convention schedule for 2018. You’ll notice there aren’t as many as usual and I seem to just stop attending them after Summer. That’s mainly because I’m getting married in October. It’ll have been ten years since I met my fiancée and we’re both very excited! Naturally, weddings aren’t cheap so that’s why I’m being cautious as to how many conventions I attend and how many books I print this year. You can find me at:
True Believers Comic Festival – Saturday 3rd February 2018, Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire
Oldham Comic Con – Saturday 12th May 2018, Oldham Library & Lifelong Learning Centre, Oldham
Cardiff Independent Comic Expo (CICE) – Saturday 2nd June 2018, Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff
I’d also like to recommend Leam Comic Con, Saturday 14th April 2018, All Saint’s Parish Church, Leamington Spa. I’m missing this one as it clashes with a friend’s wedding, but I went to the 2017 show as civillian/punter and had a brilliant time!
That’s a wrap!
There you have it, my plans for 2018 as they currently stand. As always, plans can change, there’s always the possibility of illnesses, hard drive failures, and everything inbetween but, assuming there are no disasters, it’s shaping up to be one hell of a year!