Oh…. we’re in for a rough recap this year. I usually do a lil skim of the last-years retrospective because I like to write these in a similar voice/short & concise so I don’t dwell on the negatives too bad but… uh… well… this year, overall fucking sucked.
And I say this, knowing there WERE good moments, there are always good moments. There can’t NOT be in 365 days but the overall this year is that I fell into a lot of older bad habits from more depression-heavy stages of my life and I feel like I’m only now starting to get back on top of things.
Trends this year are: just bad relationship stuff w/ friends & fam, literally any time something was mailed to us this year we missed it or it was sent delayed, all of our social media traction got absolutely obliterated, conventions we’ve been doing for over a decade decided not to accept our apps, most apps we sent out for anything got rejected, one of our cats got really ill twice. (And this is just personal… never mind all of the stuff going on in the world adding a layer of stress to it all, the massive forest fires during the summer, the tornado threats hitting Montreal, trans rights being obliterated at every turn, the ongoing genocides in Palestine & Ukraine, covid levels rising & the illness getting more tenacious etc etc etc). Yikes. Dudes.
It’s been awful. I’ll be happy to see 2023 burn.
Lets do a breakdown. I’ll TRY not to be a bummer but you have been warned.
January — I admittedly need to start taking notes of things throughout the year I don’t remember MUCH of January because we did have a trip and that’s all I remember! We went to visit friends in Albany and hiked one of the Adirondacks and it was really lovely and gorgeous. I have a few photos from this post that I took during our hike! We ALSO sent Tas’ book, Lost Time in to print this month which was also quite exciting & then braced ourselves for the Long Wait.
February — February was a big work-month for us! We spent a lot of time organising and working around our first convention in MARCH which was insane. We had our noses to the grindstone, working on Augustine and PTTR V3 trying to get V3 done before the year-dealine in June!
March — ECCC baby! This was our VERY FIRST convention in the states! Okay well the last one I did was Vermont Comiccon in 20…15… I think?? It was a blast! We did pretty good though the trip itself was really expensive (west coast… get it together LOL). Folks were really sweet though! We came home from this and were immediately tossed into con prep for Calgary Expo in between working diligently on Augustine & PTTR V3!
April — We didn’t quiiite make the deadline to have Augustine or PTTR V3 on the table for Calgary Expo but that’s alright, we decided to take things at a better pace with Augustine and PTTR V3 being a couple big expenses this year both in time and money so we had been taking things easy, chipping away at things slowly…. until I broke my iPad at the con and had to take up emergency commissions to scramble.
May — We don’t talk about May. May was a lot of drama, a lot of miscommunication, a lot of angry feelings a lot of frustration about boundaries and changing certain traditions. May was red and angry like all the fires creating smoke that choked up most of the city into June. We did VanCAF & MCAF and if you approached me at either of these conventions and I was Out Of It…. well now you know… I was a mess, lol.
June — We squeeze out fulfillment for Paint The Town Red Volume 3 yahoo! Just barely managed to squeak it through. We decide here and now to take a break from the comic for the rest of the year, citing we’ll be back with a new volume in 2025 instead of 2024. We also send Augustine Chapter 1 into print! …… we also learn we did not get into one of our big major cons… (I’m still salty about it. I’m extremely stressed about signups this year);;
July — Montreal Comiccon time and not only do we get accosted by a tornado (Montreal doesn’t typically get those) but the two of us are hiking up the hill to the apartment in the insane weather conditions (we had to get home to our cats in case shit got worse) not to mention the storm pushed our Augustine shipments so I was stuck waiting all Friday for books (okay another weird trend this year is that anything we ordered for the business online would get here a day too late and upset our whole flow, not even due to our own bad timing just a lot of bad luck all around).
August — Lol. If we weren’t talking about May we’re also not talking about August. Not only did we not get Otak we didn’t get Pride… we didn’t get to table AND missed it entirely even with a friend visiting in from the states because the vets we brought our cat to get a check-up at, dicked us around enough drowning him in medication he didn’t need. I was lucky I trusted my gut and put a pause on all of his medication or he’d probably be dead due to how little he was eating. We didn’t make anything and lost even more and this month had me so stressed for money I didn’t even know what to do with myself, I didn’t even know which direction to take our social media. We weren’t even gonna get paid for the last part of Tas’ advance for another 2 months aaaaaaaaaaaa (shoutout to Tas’ parents who helped with vet bills;;;)
Happy birthday to me, lmao.
September — Stress!! More of it!! We got into SPX but the show is uhh well it’s been a bit falsely advertised for eons, we’re disappointed with the return. We barely scratch even which is not really helpful right now, all things considered. I’m still a ball of anxiety trying to figure out what to do about our business, where do we go from here?? We have Augusteenies and its… well its slow-going. It’s definitely not picking up like I was hoping it might (I didn’t figure gangbusters but yeesh story of my life here). Lots of weird feelings… family stuff got patched up in August… but its still weird. I’m still wrestling with feelings. It is what it is. I’m putting my head down and sprinting through Augusteenies and Augustine inks. We build up enough of a buffer to take off for the rest of the year.
October — I don’t even know where this month went but I spent a lot of time doing OCtobers and doodling for myself, playing a bunch of tabletop with friends. Tabletop and a few small friend groups this year were honestly my saving grace from going absolutely insane. We play a few games and take it easier than we have been all year. We sign up to a couple holiday shows in December.
November — Is a bit of a blur. I’m not really sure what we did this month. I was early buying up all my Christmas presents. The two of us took it a bit easier since we were accepted into 3 different markets and shows in December. We nervously talk a lot about what we want to do next year. We’re still undecided. We dip out of a group chat that was straining on my stress. Some of my family catches The New Covid TM and plans are shifted around, things get dicey again. I’m exhausted.
December — We did 3 markets and honestly did more than I was anticipating at all of them. Christmas is low-key this year. The two of us have had a rowdy year and wanted to make time for friends as much as we did for family. As I’m writing this we’re in the liminal-space in between Christmas & New Years and I still feel like I’m catching up, mentally with the year. We’re finishing up this year cat-sitting for a buddy and playing our new (used hehe) N64 my brother got us for Christmas and stewing in some old nostalgia playing Paper Mario. I’m feeling a bit better but still feeling quite beat up by the year.
Ough this year was rough and I’m making it a point to admit that it was rough and making it a point to write about how rough it was because I have a habit of swallowing those feelings and letting them fester and hurting myself over them. This was a bit cathartic & validating to write, not going to lie. Yeah. This year WAS a mess, look at all that shit!!
But this year DID bring a lot of good too. Lemme take a little moment to recap some of that here:
- TAS PUBLISHED A BOOK!!! WOW!! And I’ve got a published Inker credit and that feels wild still!
- WE RELEASED 2 MORE BOOKS?? (Augustine, Paint The Town Red Volume 3???)
- We launched a webtoon!
- I finally created and designed hats this year?? (It’s been on my to-do for eons)
- I put in a request for a name-change officially (fingers crossed this is made official in 2024!)
- We did our own record-breaking convention circuit at 9 shows in one year!
- We finished the first arc to our Starfinder game with the new group
- We FINISHED OUR FIRST TABLETOP GAME?? With our original Starfinder group!!
- I got a new tatt and thats always exciting >:)
- We’ve had a fantastic holiday run both on our main storefront & etsy this year!
So hey its not ALL bad, of course! I’m already someone who doesn’t super like to dwell on the doom & gloom. I’m already looking forward to 2024. I feel like this year is going to be a bit brighter for us and I’m putting that hope into the air in the hopes that the universe decides to act on it. I have a few big wish list things I’m working on and I’m not trying to go into the year expecting too much but you heard it here first, I’m beaming positive rays into the future. Catch them, future me!
Lets see though, before we jump forward at next year… last year I did set up some resolutions/new habits and I’m pretty proud of the way I’ve kept up with most of these especially this year:
1- Write more consistently (this wasn’t CONSISTENT but I did do a lot more writing this year so hey!)
2- Exercise more consistently (we struggled but did make a bigger effort this year & signed up to a closer gym to make it more feasible for 2024)
3- Always prioritise: breaks, rest & friends. (this is my favourite goal, I think I did pretty good this year despite a few setbacks. I spend a lot less time feeling stressed about a time crunch so this has to be working somehow!)
4- Practice a little bit more Illustration (don’t look at me, maybe one year I will finally succeed at this– tHOUGH i did do a lot of personal artwork that was outside my usual skillset–ie: images that are a lot more involved/fake screengrabs, a LOT more digital sketching.)
5- Get your hands dirty with some film photography & stop being so shy about it. (uhm….. well my mental spiral kinda tanked this one but I did almost fill my whole roll on my sprocket rocket…)
A secret bonus resolution that’s been at the back of my mind for a few years now was to dip away from using social media as a ‘time filler’ or falling into the habit of endlessly scrolling and feeling like ass/falling into discourse I’ve seen hundreds of times before. In some ways I really succeeded at doing this, I’ve killed both my private and personal public twitter accounts and have limited a lot more of my time from tumblr. Instagram has kinda replaced those as a time-sink, but over all I’ve put a lot more of my spare time into building and refining my website, our main Windy & Wallflower website and reading through other’s personal websites and blogs! Its been a nice new change!
I never take resolutions to heart that’s why they wind up being a bit more on the vague side and I’m certainly not beating myself up for anything that didn’t 100% hit the mark. I think I want to set a few really small more specific ones that have been floating around in my brain lately. A few things I’ve been meaning to try my hand at again.
For 2024 I’d like to
- Pick a writing project & finish it. I have a few drafts that have been hovering around with nothing but my own fear standing in the way.
- Finish one whole sketchbook. That’s right we’re going back to traditional baby (at least for fun).
- Try a new art medium: lino-cutting, screen-printing, wood burning, puppet making. Something you spend time making for fun.
- Read More. (Okay so we learned how to Take Breaks, lets use some of those breaks to get back into a hobby I used to love a LOT and stopped a bit more after University because this is a real self-care act for me and cannot be paired with a work-related task (drawing, editing, etc)
- Pitch Something. I’ve been in my own way about this for one year too many. Its time to take the bull by the horns and get something out there.
- BONUS — Make a very short solo-comic.
As always these are not locked in stone or anything, just a few personal goals that I’ve been feeling this year and want to pull into next year. Admittedly these are less… Resolutions but these are all hopefully a basis to replace some bad habits I built up this year into more productive (see: makes me happier) outcomes instead of just… needlessly scrolling platforms I don’t really need to BE on.
I want to end off this year with a new little segment. I’ve been playing a lot more games & watching a lot more movies and such. In the future I might be able to list more of what I’ve actually devoured vs honourable mentions. I just kind of thought of it now so I’m really going off of my memory and probably going to stick to honourable mentions but I’d like to take better notes going forward!
These are not in order of release or anything and some of these weren’t even released this year but this year’s when I devoured ’em so.
These are my fave things across the board that I experienced this year. From any and all these categories.
- No Man’s Sky
- Citizen Sleeper
- This is How you Lose The Time War
- Steven Universe.
- Scavenger’s Reign
- Kintsugi Kid (on the new Fallout Boy Album..;;;; )
- Godzilla Minus One
- This is How You Lose The Time War
- The Pirate and the Porcelain Girl
- A Guest In This House
- The Do-Over
- Robber Robert
- Sad Girl Space Lizard
- The Underkingdom
- La Meduse
- No Man’s Sky
- LOZ: Tears of the Kingdom
- Stray Gods
- Cult of the Lamb
- Citizen Sleeper
- Super Mario
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
- Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse
- Asteroid City
- The Boy & The Heron
- Godzilla Minus One
(There were Several More but like heck if I can remember any of them now so I’m sticking with ‘movies we saw in theatres this year’).
- Steven Universe
- Orphan Black
- Scavenger’s Reign
- TRUSTFALL (P!nk)
- So Much (for) Stardust (Fallout Boy)
- Natasha Blume (Singles)
- Stray Gods OST (Austin Wintory)
- Self Portrait in 3 Colors (Dirty Honkers)
- Citizen Sleeper OST (Amos Roddy)
- Modern Vintage (Sixx AM)
- Give Me The Future (Bastille)
- End of the Beginning (Les Friction)
Some of these are New Albums we got this year, others are just albums I know were in my brain and in my ears all year).
I could pick and poke at this latter list here for ages, so we’ll leave it here for now with (hopefully) a more detailed one next year.
See you all on the flipside~!