We’re just a few days away from the new year so I thought I’d do my not-so-annual recap (generally done when WordPress prompts me with stats, which they did not do this year).
First, here is the Mann family annual Christmas/New Year video. We’ve got a couple of…guests with us this year…enjoy.
I did a host of comic conventions this year, that started with the very local (to me) Florida Pop Con. The show was poorly attended, but I saw old friends and made some new ones there. In March I did the one day Infinity Convention, near UCF and a had a great time. I was also a speaker/guest at the Coral Springs Literary Festival, a change of pace from the usual comic shows, and something I don’t do as much of since coming to Full Sail in 2011. I did one day at the always awesome Daytona Comic Con in April, and then did FCBD in May at ACME. I traveled up to Pikeville Comic Con in August with my comic-making traveling buddies Jeff Whiting, Barry Gregory, and Thomas Florimonte. The last part of the year felt busy as Jeff and I made road trips to ComiConway (an awesome convention!) and Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention in November, and then Nashville Comic and Horror Convention in December. I’ll talk about 2019 shows next week.
The day gig at Full Sail clipped right along. I’m sometimes surprised that I can work in the conventions above because work can often be a bit overwhelming. This year, I had adjunct classes from about February (or March?) on. What that means is that I had extra classes every month (and more grading). I got a new boss this year, too. The old boss is still there and rocking, but Full Sail inserted a position in between me and the old boss, making me two steps from her instead of one. It’s going well with him so far—he kept me around after my last annual review in October.
A highlight for the year was the successful launch, funding, and shipping of the new Cat & Mouse #1 comic. I worked with a great team of artists to get it done: Dean Zachary, Barb Kaalberg, and Kevin Gallegly. We’re waiting on Dean for #2, but we’re ready to go.
Family wise: BJ continued to work on and grow Dr. Mom Knows Best. If you’re into trying to live healthy and get the pharmaceuticals out of your life (and system!), you should check out her page. We’ve pretty much gotten rid of all over the counter medicines—about 95%.
My youngest, Brett, graduated from high school and is trying to figure out life. My oldest, Brittany, is still trying to make her way out in LaLa land (if you have something she can audition for, call her!). They both have added special someones to their lives.
Late in the year I had a health scare: seems my BP was high. Working on getting it down naturally, but taking BP meds for now and it brought it down to a manageable level. I didn’t realize there was a “get-to-the-emergency-room-NOW” high level until it happened to me. And no, I didn’t FEEL bad at all.
All in all, I feel blessed that 2018 was such a good year.
Happy New Year everyone! I know some of you are ready to put 2016 behind you, but I’m ever the optimist so I’m anticipating 2017 to be a great year. I’ll add the obligatory “I can’t believe it’s 2017 already! Where has the time gone?”
I don’t have a lot of convention appearances lined up just yet, but one is fairly immediate. On Jan 19-20, I’ll be a guest at Auburndale City Con (near Lakeland, FL). The other shows I have lined up are: Daytona Beach Comic Convention on April 23, MegaCon in Orlando in May, Wizard Orlando in August. I’ll do something for FCBD (Free Comic Book Day) in May, but don’t have that hammered down yet. Wherever I end up, it’ll likely be with my pal Barry Gregory—three years running. Last year his lovely and talented wife, Jenni joined us, as did Thomas and Rene Florimonte. So, I’ll be somewhere, just not sure where yet. I hope to add a few more shows to the list, and I’ll be sure to let y’all know.
On the family front, Brittany is starting 2017 off in LA as she seeks work there. I’m anxious to learn all that she’ll be getting to do this year and anticipate seeing her on the screen before the year is up! Brett will become a senior this year—OH MY!—and he’s becoming quite the young man. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my weekly (mostly) pleasures is my Friday night game session with Brett. Now that Brittany is in LA, she’s talked about joining us…if she can figure out the time difference. BJ’s still working hard on her Young Living business venture and we’re both pretty excited to see what’s in store for her there. If you haven’t “liked” her FB page yet, I’ll ask that you please go do it now: CLICK HERE!
I’m pretty excited about several things on the creative front. I’m working on two projects with long time friend and artist Dean Zachary. I’ll give you more as they develop, but a peek at them looks like: the first we’re calling SilverBlade and the high concept is Indiana Jones meets John Constantine. Joining me and Dean on SilverBlade is Barbara Kaalberg on inks and Thomas O’Connor on colors. You should see an image on this page somewhere. The second project Dean and I are working on is a revamp of Cat & Mouse, a series I did with the talented Mitch Byrd (and Steven Butler on some of the early issues) back in the late 80s/early 90s. Dean and I have made changes and updates, obviously, but the spirit will remain. The first story is about human trafficking, something I’m pretty passionate about. While Barb inked the image you see on this page, we’ve got another super-talented inker in mind to join us here, and the coloring is done by Kevin Gallegly.
Demon’s Tails Ad
I can’t mention C&M without folks thinking about Demon. I’m excited to say that Paul Pelletier has agreed to reunite with me and produce a second Demon’s Tails mini-series. As I write, we’re still working on the story details, and—of course—the story will have to move at Paul’s pace, but I’m excited that we’re getting started on it. Thomas Florimonte has agreed to round out the reunited team as inker. So, yeah, I’m pretty excited about it. Long time pal Barry Gregory colored the image you see here, and we’re currently planning for it to be part of the Gallant Universe where Barry and Steven have just wrapped up their incredible John Aman, Amazing Man series. If you haven’t seen it, you need to check it out!
There’s nothing really specific that I can mention, but I’ve been talking to Barry about some pretty cool comic-related projects. I’m looking forward to more on that end. Sorry about being so mysterious about it. You know that you’ll be the first to know when I can talk about it…but the possibilities are pretty exciting.
Hope your year looks to be as exciting as mine. Happy New Year one and all!
I meant to do this last week, but didn’t get around to finishing it—started it, just didn’t finish it. Had a great time, though, at the Richmond Wizard World.
I traveled to Richmond with daughter, Brittany…via motor vehicle. Yes, all ten and a half hours! Quite the drive. We arrived just in time to not be able to unload at the loading dock! So we had to hoof it all the way from the parking deck pulling my convention set-up. Friday was an incredibly dead day. Not sure exactly why, could have been “the races.” I have no idea what those were, but when we checked in to the hotel they asked if we were here for “the races.” I assured them I had no idea what that was and was there for the comic show.
Saturday was better, but only after Gene Simmons stopped talking. The doors opened at 9am, but nobody—and I mean NOBODY hit the floor until shortly after 9:30, which is when Gene stopped answering questions. After that, though, Saturday turned into a fun day with a lot of traffic. This time, I was able to snap some photos of some proud new owners of assorted works of mine (see all the photos attached!). I’m hopeful—as I asked them all to do so—they’ll drop me a line to let me know what they think.
I was next to Jose Delbo, too, and it was nice to chat with him and his family. I’d never met him before and aside from being talented, he was incredibly nice!
Me and Danny Fingeroth!
I sat in on a fun panel moderated by Danny Fingeroth about comic writing. Also on the panel were Gary Cohn, Victor Dandridge and Michael Lent. (wish I had a picture of that, but I don’t…sorry) Danny always puts on fun panels and so I’m glad he continues to ask me to participate.
I got to meet Sam Jones, who most of you will know as Flash Gordon from the 1980s sci-fi piece Flash Gordon, complete with soundtrack by Queen. Now, normally I’m not really into the media personalities. I mean, it’s cool they’re there and all, but there’s pretty much no one I want to meet so desperately that I’d pay $30 for a photo with them. I saw a “break” in the line with Sam Jones, so I really just went up to tell him I appreciate his work on Flash…and the dude ended up being one of the nicest folks ever!
A highlight of the weekend was having dinner with Todd Fisher and the super-talented Larry Elmore. Elmore is from Kentucky and we talked about all sorts of fun southern stuff. I’d met him before, sometime back in the late 80s or early 90s, but never had the opportunity to “hang out.” Brittany and I hadn’t planned to even hang out because of being tired from the drive, but when the night was over, we were very glad we did!
When a burglary goes awry, the thief ends up with an orphan...and a whole lot of trouble.
Progress on THE INTERNS
A young superhero is required to do his internship in Oxford, Mississippi.
In a day when Christianity has been outlawed, what's a Christian superhero to do?
About the picture
The picture at the top of my blog was taken while I was the editor at The Piggott Times, a small weekly newspaper in Piggott, Ark. You'll note on the bookshelves behind me at the bottom right, a "Chuck E Cheese" picture of me with my daughter, Brittany. Just to the left of that shelf, you'll notice my old Linguistics textbook--Dr. Foster would be proud. On the shelf above that, it is difficult to see, but an Arkansas Razorback "hog hat" sits proudly. It is one of the originals! On the shelf to the left of that is a book on Lincoln--I'm continually trying to enlighten folks as to the evils of this former U.S. President. You'll also notice the fan. The publisher was too cheap to spring for decent air conditioning, and in the hot summer months it was a literal sweatshop.