Whew! Just...whew! As I finally wind down from the rapid pace of such an eventful year, I can't help but look back on all the wonderful experiences and opportunities I've seen come to fruition! I think every year, I claim the current to be my biggest yet, and without fail, it's been true. 2015 has been no different, but with some brilliant surprises along the way!
By the numbers:
19,475 - That's the number of estimated miles I've clocked in my journeys across the US, promoting comics, the U Cre-8 line, and Vantage:Inhouse productions. Oh...and that's only counting one way!
49 - Over the course of 2015, I've attended, hosted, or participated in 49 DIFFERENT comic book related events. And that's NOT counting any of the episodes of Black, White & Read All Over (Subscribe now!).
26/19 - The perspective number of cities and states I've been to on my yearlong tour. And that's only accounting for the host cities, not any of the stops along the way!
Every year has its successes and here are a few that we think are worth mentioning:
- We moved to a "Books First" platform, completely rebranding our convention appearance setups and focus! While the pixel art was a fan-favorite, it wasn't what V:IP was intended to be known for and consequently, our wonderful lineup of books was routinely overshadowed. It was risky, but we took the plunge to put the books at the forefront and the response, overtly has been one of excitement and praise! And through this push, we had a number of initiatives to sell/ market our books better -- from cover redesigns, exclusive variants, to our first successful Kickstarter (From Bits to Books), all worked to build the brand that V:IP was intended to carry!
- We've had our first complete sell out! At the Wizard World Cleveland event, despite the near whiteout weather that HAD TO BE close to a winter emergency, we sold out of our ENTIRE stock of books! Not one book was left on the table by noon on Sunday -- a first and a truly welcomed experience!
- Our partnership with Wizard World has seen the recognition and participation of the U Cre-8 Comics line grow by the thousands! Getting the marketing push from Wizard World was an incredible boost to the U Cre-8 line, making it a focus-point for attendees for their Kids Day event, and driving home that it's important to inspire the next generation of comic book readers/ creators!
- We beat our production numbers from last year...by like a lot! In 2014, we only managed to release Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians #1 (with Justin Castaneda) and while many cited my hectic schedule, I was severely disappointed in such a small amount of output. This year, we ramped things up in to high gear, not only producing 2 installments of Wonder Care (Issue #2 "What Can't Your Dad Do" came out in April and Issue #3 "Beware the Kid Napper" was released in July), we also released the long-awaited, Ol' Crazy & the 40oz of Death (with Bryan Moss)! And because the year's not quite complete, there's a chance that The Kinder Guardians #4 may see release before the end of the year, as well as a brand new story from the Origins Unknown series!!
Better Luck Next Year:
Of course, not everything went according to plan. There were a few projects we would've liked to have made more headway on: I still need to finish the script for Never Too Late #2 (and beyond), The Fection is still only a third of the way laid out, and I'm ONLY getting started on Spectrum.
I've also got to get better at my daily shoutouts and some sort of consistent posting schedule for this very blog site! We should EASILY be over 100,000 views by this point and that will ONLY come about with consistent content being uploaded.
Speaking of Next Year...:
There's plenty we've got cooking, and I don't just mean making sure what deadlines we've missed are picked up. Already, we're working on incorporating a U Cre-8 Comics tour (a plan put on hiatus since 2012) into the schedule. Look for more distribution to retailers in regions outside of Central Ohio -- we've got initiatives out the wazoo to get comic shop owners not only aware of what we have to offer, but interested in getting our books into your hands!
Also, stay tuned for some upcoming announcements for projects with a 2016 release! I think one in particular is gonna make people VERY happy!
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