Where oh where has the blo-ger gone? (to the tune of “where oh where has my little dog gone”). Yep, it’s been a full month since I’ve posted here. As I frequently tell my students, there’s no excuse for submitting work late. I’m just glad that my blog isn’t for a grade or for a paid assignment!
It has been a hectic month…and I’ll talk about some of that in a minute, but since I’m at it, I figure I’ll just do my annual year in review!
Though many have decried 2016 as a terrible year (the deaths of many celebrities seems to be the main cause of this), 2016 was a pretty decent year. I was fortunate to be able to do a big handful of comic conventions this year, including ACME Comic Con, Daytona Comic Con (in both April and December!), Lebanon MegaCon, FCBD, MegaCon (Orlando), Friendly Neighborhood ComicCon (Paragould, AR), SanDiego ComicCon, Wizard Richmond, SmashCon, and Clermont Comic Con. While they were all good fun, the highlight was probably the SDCC where I got to go thanks to my pal Barry Gregory of Ka-Blam. It was my first visit there in over 15 years and I got to see a lot of pals and colleagues I have seen in about that same time. Of course, while I love comics and enjoy talking with readers of my work (old and new readers alike), one of my enjoyments of comic conventions is to see and hang out with friends, particularly those other oddballs who also make comics.
Another highlight was the Kickstarter I ran with super-talented artist Deonna Herrold and the following release of our comic TINY. The responses, while few, have been overwhelmingly positive. The most common question I’m asked—which is good for a writer’s ego—is will we do more. The answer is that I don’t know. Deonna is still in school and the work on Tiny was time-consuming and she wants to give it her all in finishing. Once she graduates, she has assured me she’d let me know if she’s up for more. You can grab a copy of Tiny #1 here at IndyPlanet in either print or digital. It will also be available on Comixology in just a matter of days. #2 will follow.
I got involved in a critique group that has really helped me on the writing front. We may have actually started in ’15, but this year we were active and it helped me a lot! I really appreciate the other three writers!
The stats of my blog aren’t available to me yet as wordpress hasn’t sent me the annual report just yet—still 5 days left in the year. 2009 likely remains my “best” year in terms of numbers. I blogged a lot that year about writing (sometimes twice a week) and I spoke at multiple writer’s conventions, generating a lot of traffic. As noted above, I sometimes go an entire month without blogging. >sigh<
It continued to be mostly good in the classroom. The animation portion of my class has been removed and I now focus 100% on comic writing. I’ve been doing that for just a couple of months and I really enjoy the content a lot more. My students are still about 85-90% uninterested in comics; most of them want to be screenplay writers. Though I have seen an uptick in fledgling novel writers (why they’re at Full Sail, I don’t know). It’s greatly illuminating about comics today and I wish there was a way to get the larger comic-creating community to take note: the most common “negative” comments I get from these students is that after reading a work, they have no idea who the characters are/were, where the story took place, or any of the basics of story-telling. I find it’s because many “modern” comic writers are so afraid of words they don’t give readers the information they need to understand the story.
The biggest change in the Mann household this year is that my daughter has made the big move out to Los Angeles to find work in the entertainment industry (good news! She’s already been approached for work in January! Woo-hoo!). Momma is going to hang with her a bit to help her get settled before coming home. It will not be easy for her to get on that plane, so prayers and good wishes are greatly coveted from you about that.
Okay—Merry Christmas all. Thank you for reading my blog. Next week I’ll talk about my expectations for 2017!