2014 is gone. My pen-name is now 15 years out of date!

I count 47 comics pages that I’ve produced that have been published or will be published this year. Last night, before going out for New Year, I put Chapter 11 of Universe Gun to bed, so it now stands at 77 pages long. The entire team (bar Moon Girl) appear together for the first time in the panel above. I estimate that I’ll be drawing her mid this year, at which point I can truly say the beginning phase of the project is over. That’s a total of 40 pages of Universe Gun this year, 5 pages of Little Zeno in Numberland for Indie Comics Quarterly #3, and the two page Amazing Garbage strip for the Hell Yeah Writer’s Bloc blog. Add in 3 covers, and I’ve come close enough to my overall goal of a page a week.

This year, 2105, I intend to create another 52 pages. Mostly Universe Gun, but some other side project short strips too.

Its been a great year for settling in as part of the Adelaide comics community, and getting over the impostor complex that comes with any new venture. I’ve been published in Indie Comics Quarterly. I’ve been published in Hell Yeah Writers Bloc. I’ve taken part in a live comics presentation at the Emerging Writer’s Festival, talking about character design and laying out panels on a  whiteboard in front of an audience. I’ve had a page of Universe Gun hang in an art gallery. And at the start of this year I set up my Facebook page and public presence on the web via Tumblr and Twitter, and started showing Universe Gun to the world. A huge thanks to George Rex, Owen Heitmann and Amy Maynard, for their tireless organisation work in the local scene, and the opportunities they’ve given me. A huge thanks also to those who’ve given me positive feedback, and especially to my regular like-ers. You know who you are!

This year, 2015, I intend to push all this further. I’m planning to do Artist’s Alley at a local convention this year, hopefully Oz Comicon in April, with my collaborator Haylee Snook as Cosmic Sneeze. I really must get on to pushing Universe Gun via Project Wonderful this year, and try to get into the habit of promoting my work on webcomics sites like Drunk Duck and Comic Rocket. I must have another look at Instagram.

Every year, I set myself an artistic improvement goal. 2013 when I started, it was to master perspective, and get into the habit of drawing proper backgrounds. Like many comic artists starting out, I’d focused mainly on figures and faces. Once I set out to tell a story in a future setting, I realised it was important to establish that world properly through visuals. In 2014 I made a push to lift my game with faces. I started life drawing classes last year, and kept that up mainly through the awesome Dr Sketchy’s Adelaide, run by the equally awesome Leopard Lass/Abby. I’m still not where I want to be with faces, but I’ve definitely got better.

This year, 2015, I intend to look at finishes. Universe Gun and pretty much everything else I draw, I do with three pencils in Photoshop and the fill bucket using bright colours. Its a nice style that suits the strip, but I want to look outside that again. Doing the Inktober challenge gave me a taste for black and white work. I’ll keep on down that path, and try to shake things up with some experiments in digital painting this year. Anything interesting will go up on Tumblr and Facebook for you, dear readers.

This blog, which started out weekly, has dropped to maybe three-weekly instead, which seems like a decent schedule to maintain. I’ve got more character origins to do – Ms. Amazing will be next. There’s more to write on the history of alternative superheroes for sure, and at least one other area of fringe science/science fiction I can think of to share my thoughts on.

I’ll try to interleave it with more regular posts to Tumblr of art, which ties in nicely with doing non-Universe Gun art in different styles.

So should I say…

See you in 21, surveyors of centi-Centuries! Dr Mike 2000, 1 Jan 2015