looking back over my shoulder

so here’s my half-arsed review of the year. i’ve been very ambivalent towards the internet and comics and that in the holiday off-season hence why this is somewhat belated, and as i start to write i am not sure how involved this is going to be.

so, here goes. this time last year i was plodding along with banal pig 4 (as i was every month in 2008 pretty much) and as i was aware that it wasnt going to be ready any time soon i began to prepare the multi-media fan club pack. i think it was a good idea to have something a bit different, and perhaps the most successful thing was gareth’s cd (2 tracks of which are hearable here). business-wise as well, there was a decent profit on them, and maybe i should bear that in mind this year, adding value (expecially in these lean times).

the web and mini comix thing was good for us again, even if there were certain people trying to bogart it, i think its a good flagship event for us small pressers, and we’re booked in again for this year.

i think mostly in april i was fucking about trying to get this website sorted out (which it still kind of isnt) but finally i got everything up available to buy

as bp4 lagged on again, i decided to put out a collection of the funnies for the bristol comic expo, which was my first foray into full-colour printing which didnt really afford much of a profit, but was ok to do as a limited edition experiment (ive still got one or two left, pals!- ed). again, bristol’s a good one for us as it’s on home soil and therefore has no overheads, and it remains to be seen what this year’s smaller expo is going to be like.

into the summer months i was still cracking on with bp4 (yawn!) and i decide to increase my workload by reformatting and reprint bps1-3 which needed doing, but in hindsight perhaps i could have waited for a bit as i shelled out for two big printings within a few months of each other.

then we went to austria and i kept doing bp4. afterwards, i wrote another “round someones house” which gemma cantlow and sleazy dan lester kindly recorded for me.

september was bear busy. i was sorting out bp4 and bp collected and also my entry for the observer/jonathan cape thing, which i will be publishing in the banal pig landscape anthology which is shaping up nicely.

the birmingham expo was a bit disappointing, i didnt get a table as it always works out too expensive, but i was kindly offered a table end to squat on. this didnt really work out as it was blocked by the queues for signings all day, and i returned home without making my train fair back. the atmosphere seems a bit flat i think, and i dont like the venue, so it was good to have the marvellous thought bubble event in leeds. this was well organised and well attended and was really small press friendly, and more importantly i had finished bp4 finally and have not really done much else since. having written all this millstone-downer rubbish about banal pig 4 i’m actually pretty proud of it, and it took so long because i worked hard to make it a step up from what i’d done before, which i think it is.

anyway, i jacked in my job at the end of november and spent december messing about with my nice new wacom tablet and giving away my artwork until i got a new job (yes, it’s alright thanks for asking) and i’ve been on a bit of a comic hiatus since then.

so, what have i learned? i think i spent to much on printing last year, although it was probably necessary and a long term investment but i’m definitley going to be doing a few smaller projects this year (including a secret project with gareth in the works presently) and maybe bypass the bigger cons to concentrate on the up and coming zine fairs and smaller niche stuff (especially this). we’ll see. i always change my mind and do stuff as the mood takes me, but i’m probably gonna have an expensive year on the home front so need to keep an eye on things financially.

needless to say, i am very grateful to all of you pig lovers who continue to support me and wish you good karma and fondest best wishes for this year upon us.

xxxxxx

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