At the end of last year I had just kickstarted the print collection of Wit’s End.  I was working part time at a coffee shop and devoting most of my hours to comics: I spent long days coloring while mindless tv played in the background, studious hours penciling at my desk, thumbnails and pitches filled my sketchbook.

In January, my productivity was high.  I was exceeding my rough goal of drawing 8-10 pages a month, had great momentum on a new 16 page mini about nostalgia and identity, and then February hit and I just… stopped.  I realized how much work I had left to do on Wit’s End, the energy I’d been riding from the successful kickstarter and from sending my book to the printer vanished.  The rest of the spring was slow, and then I packed up, moved cross country and started grad school round 2 (I’m pursuing a PhD in Communication and Rhetoric, with an emphasis on visual communication and comics).

I had two comics and and illustrations published in anthologies this year–a four page comic titled “Lessons from Coffee Shop” and an illustration in Scenes from a Cafe Counter and a second four page comic, titled “Xiphactinus” and spot illustration in Awesome ‘Possum 3. Both comics were non fiction and took me a little bit out of my comfort zone, and I recommend both anthologies, the first if you’re interested in coffee, the second if you enjoy natural science.

I drew one page for a pitch, rough penciled 13 pages for an unnamed mini and wrote scripts for three more minis, two of which I plan to draw myself and one of which is being drawn by Tom O’Brien.  I drew a 1 page comic about recycling, collaborated on a 1 page comic for a Christmas card, and doodled a quick two page comic in my sketchbook.

I wrote four papers on comics this fall, ranging from 15-22 pages each.  I’m presenting one of them at a conference in February, the same conference where I presented a paper on representation and politics in fantasy and science fiction this past year.

My initial goal was to draw 100+ pages of comics, roughly 8-9 pages a month.  I ended up with 11 finished pages and 26 pages of rough pencils.  Adding it all up makes me feel deeply inadequate, until I remind myself that I’ve written more than a hundred pages of scripts and comics related research papers, and that my two best ever comics shows took place a week apart this summer, meaning that in June, for the first time ever, I made more from my comics than my day job.  More importantly, I had a little girl at a third comics show refuse to leave my table until her parents bought her my book, the graphic novel that I worked on over the past few years and finally printed this spring.

For next year, my goal is to have at least two things I’ve written published, in any combination of comic anthologies, online publications and academic journals.  I’d like to finish this mini I’ve been penciling since last January.  I intend to aim for 50 page of comics drawn, acknowledging that the bulk of my time for the next four years will be spent writing and studying rather than illustrating, and that my peak comics production season will be June-August.  I want to table at as many shows as I can, and present at as many conferences as I can, and keep creating, whatever form that takes.