The Obligatory Review of 2010 Blog Post!

So, that was 2010, then.

I think it's pretty fair to say that it wasn't the greatest year of my life for many and varied reasons. Everything good that seemed to happen was balanced out by something bad, and vice versa, leaving me with a slightly skewed view of the world and my place in it. I'm not going to go into everything in this post, because, even though this is the Internet, I still want to retain some privacy (a pretty radical, and probably out-dated, concept, considering we live in the age of Twitter and Facebook, where everyone feels the uncanny urge to share everything). I will say that I've learned a lot this last year, things about friends, people in general, the world we live in and, of course, the wonderful world that we call comics. Which is what this post is going to be largely about, in case you haven't already guessed.

There's not a lot new here, if I'm being honest, because 2010 was quite a funny time in may ways. Projects were cancelled, some were postponed and some were put on the back burner so I don't spread myself too thin. However, the biggest thing of the year had to be landing Babble with Com.X.

I've already said that I wasn't going to talk about Insomnia Publications and what happened any more, and I'll continue to stick to that, but there's no denying that it was probably one of the biggest upsets of the year for me. However, in true Karmic fashion, it was actually outweighed by Com.X snapping up Babble. We - that is myself and Bryan Coyle - have gone from being signed with a plucky underdog to being under the wing of probably the coolest comic publisher in the UK right now. Whereas there were times I was left wondering if Insomnia even realised Babble was actually signed with them, Com.X took it upon themselves to break the news about us joining them at New York Comic Con (although it was only Comics Bulletin that actually reported it at the time - a fact I still find funny, seeing as one of the key themes of Babble is communication), which is, frankly, mind blowing.

Speaking personally, the whole Com.X thing I am incredibly fucking proud of. It genuinely feels like all the hard work I've put in, hawking my wares around the small press and learning the craft of writing comics (and writing in general), is paying off. I've learned some harsh lessons to get here, that I know, and I've hopefully learned from them. But, as ever, time will tell on that score.

I'm also proud that the guys at FutureQuake had enough faith to let me spearhead the first ever Zarjaz/Dogbreath crossover, with Death To The Future.

At the time of writing the original script, I was in a little bit of a funk, being stuck in the middle of the whole Insomnia thing, but scripting proved to be so much fun that it re-fired my love of the medium as a whole. From the few reactions I've had, it seems to have gone down a storm, too.

Also, I have to take a second here to give a shout out to Dunk Nimmo and Bolt-01 for working their magic on Death To The Future, and really bringing it home; all credit really has to go to them for making the strip rock so hard. It was, as always, a pleasure to work with them, and it's looking like we'll be back together for a Judge Anderson story sometime next year.

Remember, both Zarjaz #10 and Dogbreath #23 are still available to buy from the FutureQuake Shop, and your local Forbidden Planet International stores. Oh, and Zarjaz #10 also features a second strip by me and Brett Buckle, Judge Dredd: Xtras, which is exactly what you think it is. And a lot funnier than I remember it being.

Writing Death To The Future also led me into writing more scripts for Zarjaz than I'd originally planned (hey, it's probably the closest I'll ever get to writing Judge Dredd!), and even contributing some more stuff to Dogbreath, the details of which you can find over on my portfolio page. I think it's safe to say that I'll be in the next several issues of Zarjaz...

While I've called time on a few relationships out in the real world, my working relationship with Accent UK has grown stronger, with appearances from me coming up in Predators, Zombies 2 and Victoriana - and, of course, Chosen, the OGN I've scripted for them.

Chosen has, unfortunately, been in production hell since the tail end of 2009 due to various problems (largely to do with me and my obsessive desire to get Babble exactly right), but the script is now finished, and, I have to say, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. It's something a bit different for me, and it proved to be a bit of a gamble that paid off for a change. More importantly, though, an artist is pencilled in to tackle it, but it means an even longer delay in getting it out while his schedule clears up. I'll err on the side of caution and announce who it is shortly before he starts working on it.

As I've already mentioned, Predators has been delayed until 2011, which is a bit gutting but understandable. However, Zombies 2 should be out in 2011, too, which features a story from myself and Valia Kapadai called Dead Harvest - a strip that's anything but a straight zombie tale.

And... I think that's it, really. I can't help but feel that I haven't done a whole hell of a lot this year, other than get things set up for next year;  more may come along during the new year, or it may not. I'll have to wait and see. But after a pretty rocky few months, in which I was reminded of what it means to be working class under a Coalition Tory government (and being from the north east, I know things are going to get a damn sight worse under them), I find myself entering 2011 with a potentially life changing decision to make. It's a pretty scary time for me, and there's every chance I'll make the wrong decision, but given the current political and economic climate, I really don't have any other options.

The only thing I am sure of is that writing has provided a lifeline these last few months, the one thing that's kept me sane, and it's made me more determined to make whatever small amount of talent I may or may not possess work for me, and maybe even start to let me build something resembling a reputation in this game. Who knows? It might actually pay off.

My Kung-Fu is strong, 2011, so bring it...

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