I celebrated New Years weeks ago, a few days before Christmas, and celebrated again the actual evening, with a different set of friends. The first celebration was a continuation of the tradition my friends from Kansas and I started almost a decade ago, bringing in the new year with fancy outfits, good food and games, moved, this year, to an earlier date because that was one of only two days when all of us would be in town. I live in Vermont now. My sister is in Texas. Others are in Nebraska, Louisiana, Pennsylvania. We decreed that New Years Eve would be celebrated whatever day worked, regardless of the actual date, and had a lovely party. The second celebration was quieter, but similarly outfitted with friends, food and boardgames. But it was the end of an exhausting week, in what had been an exhausting month, and I dozed through an hour of the party (about 9:00-10:00) and we all dispersed shortly after midnight, seeking sleep.
December was non-stop busy. In good ways, mostly. I had busy days at the coffee shop, deadlines for Christmas card illustrations and comics, events with friends, gatherings with family. Too many flights and bus rides. No slow mornings for sleeping in, making brunch and reading books. I took January 1st off for that purpose, and it was a much needed reprieve.
I drew 56 pages of Wits End in 2014. I will draw as many in 2015 and collect the first five issues into a single volume. I drew an 8 page story for Dog City 3 set in the real world, with characters and places inspired by people and places I know and love, and there are more stories I want to tell in similar places in the coming year. I’ve drawn 8 pages of autobio comics (pages I have no intention of sharing) where I could practice capturing the world around me, finding the narrative threads in everyday life and putting them on paper. I drew 21 pages of a fairytale comic for another anthology, pages I’m polishing up now and which I will share more about soon. Each project has pushed me in different ways. It totaled 94 pages penciled, 86 inked and 65 colored or inkwashed, along with assorted illustrations, sketches and thumbnails. I am very proud of the work I have done this past year, and look forward to doing better work this next year. I want to make something funny, something thoughtful, something unexpected. More pages. Better pages. Always.
That is the first part of this year’s resolution. I am also resolved to be more fearless, to work towards figuring out where I want to go with my life and what I want to do next (other than comics), to get my work into more hands and connect with readers, and to continue working on taking better care of myself (cooking more veggies, getting to yoga more often, staying on a good sleep pattern).
It will be another full, busy year.