What a year!
If you'd said to me ten months ago I would be back in comics, I think I would have thought you quite mad.
One of the important things about running a business is being able to separate it from your life and for far too long, especially during the late 1980s and 1990s, work was my life; comics and everything related was my world.
Now I have a sign stuck to my year planner, it reads: Forget the 'business', just concentrate on the business.
In 2001, when Borderline Magazine was at its height, I began to upset people because I pretty much didn't have time for all of the prattling about. A person who has praised comics for being one of the most gregarious of occupations to be involved in had become a misanthropic old git. I even considered slipping into the background and never showing my head above the pulpit again, but one of my old friends said, "It's a tiny, tiny, part of British comics. For every twat like that you 'upset' there are 20 people who wouldn't know you from a hole in the ground and frankly don't give a shit."
We do get bogged down in individualistic 'obsessions' and we think mole hills are really mountains and if you can't develop a sense of scale then the only route is madness.
I still upset people, but I don't panic - it's not worth it. But, I tend to upset people who deserve it - I will not suffer fools or fuckwits, especially if it is to the detriment of my clients and my books (and I will suffer them for exactly the same reason).
Sales, especially on Zombre, have been far better than we can expect with little or no PR machine and even less retail penetration. In fact, once we get our act together and we start producing more titles, I'm inclined to think we have a fighting chance of making this work - it seems, for all my faults, my name is synonymous with 'quality' (heh).
2014 is going to be an interesting year. It's going to start late. There won't be any new books out in January and the only way February will see a new title is if we get something black and white that has so far eluded us and is ready to print. But March, April and May will see a lot of money go out and a lot more product on the shelves. By this time next year, I hope to be talking to you about the dozen books we have out and the new ones we have planned for 2015... and 2016...
You've had an idea what to expect in 2014 - well, you would have if you'd been paying attention - and it feels odd thinking about 2015, but it's only just a year and a bit away. I would like to think 2015 could be a year featuring pirates, some fantasy, some horror and humour... even more perfectly formed European gems and 2015 is also going to be the year of... The Rift...
Yes, we're doing a comic about a valley in Africa! It'll be The Lion King meets Friends; Madagascar versus Iron Man... Megasharkosaur versus Quantum Pig... it... won't be that at all. What it is is top secret and the people who know about it already have silent assassins watching their every move, listening to every thing they say, reading everything they write...
We're planning to do something awesome!
So, I need to get back to the final edits of Hunger House, check the print PDF for City of Crocodiles, lurk in the background while Will polishes his Beasts. I also need to plan for a busy January and February; it's not easy trying to please you all and not involve sex or drugs!
Have a fabulous 2014 and remember us when you get your wallets out!