2014 / 2015

Fri 11/21/2014

Every year I draw an image that attempts to sum up my entire year, which I then use for the blog archives page of this site. A lot of stuff happened this year, but when I look back over all of it, I think I'll remember 2014 as the year I was on the road promoting Basewood!

Last week I returned home from my twelfth and final comic convention of 2014. I added up all the days that I was either at a convention or traveling to a convention this year: 58 days. So... that's like two full months away from home.

And if you add in other travel (weddings, teaching jobs, etc.) it's another 22 days, for a grand total of 80 days away from home this year, which is just shy of three months.

Now, I know to some people that wouldn't seem like a lot. There are certainly cartoonists who do a lot more. I am in awe of road warriors like Raina Telgemeier who seem to be constantly out in the world, interacting with their readers and promoting their work. But for me, this was too much time away from home.

I have no regrets about this year. I upped the number of shows that I was exhibiting at so that I could promote Basewood and sell as many copies as possible within its crucial first year of publication. I feel like, overall, this strategy was successful. Eleven months after 2,000 copies of Basewood arrived from the printer, I have sold or distributed (with the help of Chris Pitzer at AdHouse Books!) 1,300 copies of the book. As a self-publisher, it was essential that I got out and promoted the book this year, because if I didn't do it, no one else was going to do it for me! However, all of this promotional effort has left me extremely burned out.

I was standing at SPX, my favorite small press show in the world, thinking, "God, I am so sick of this. I just wish I was at home." I never want to feel that way again. So, in an effort to prevent long-term burn out, I am not going to exhibit at any comic conventions in 2015. I'm going to stay closer to home and use those two months that I'll get back to draw as many pages of comics as humanly possible.

In the future, I hope to exhibit at a smaller number of shows (three or four a year?). I'm sure someday I'll have to do another big promotional push when my next book is out. Maybe that will become the new routine... Lots of shows in a "book" year, no shows the following year, to recover, and then a few shows in "non-book" years. It sounds good to me!

So, I won't see you all in 2015, but I hope that will allow me to return in 2016 with a big pile of new work and some genuine enthusiasm for the wonderful comics community that I love so much!

1 comment on this entry

Wow - that's a lot of travel! I managed three conventions in my busiest year (last year) and felt burnt out!

You'll be missed for 2015, I'm sure, but it seems like a good idea, and hopefully will recharge everything so that 2016 will be awesome.

Congratulations on getting Basewood well and truly out there - but anything that means more Phase 7 is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

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