BRIAN’S 2019 REVIEW
Every year I say I don’t do resolutions, I make goals. I even usually write them down. Then, typically, keep them in my head more or less and at the end of the year stumble on that list and realize those goals represent the general direction I headed. Being December 31st it’s a good day to give a 2019 review.
Nothing goes entirely according to plan. More often than not you cycle through the OODA loop and adjust. But writing things down helps. As does looking back quickly over your year and seeing where you’ve been.
GOING INDEPENDENT IN 2019
What would a 2019 review be without mentioning it was the year I jumped in head first into spending my days doing my own creator-owned books. In fact, I only did one freelance job for IDW this year (GI Joe inks back in March) and instead have spent all year working on the Indiegogo-funded graphic novel GUNSHIP THUNDERPUNCH.
I also kept up with William the Last being published through Antarctic Press and ended the year breaking 17k subscribers and almost crossing 1 MILLION views over on Webtoons.
By the way, I was digging through my old blog archives here and stumbled across the birth of what would become William the Last. I thought it was going to be a “short story.” Oh, how I was wrong.
THE YEAR OF YOUTUBE
Three years ago I decided to start doing a little Vlog over on YouTube to just document my comic work and give tips. This last year became the year of the Comic Creator Livestreams in general and out of that came lots of good connections with you all! I love seeing the regulars show up in the chat.
My favorite thing about YouTube has been PAIR-O-NORMALS. The parody paranormal show I do every Thursday night at 9:30pm EST with Elliot Fernandez.
Surprisingly as a result of this silly little show I’ve gotten way more proficient at producing, editing, and doing effects. And I enjoy it. Though not comics, it’s all still storytelling and entertainment — which is, as I’ve finally worked out, what my whole career should be about and not simply trying to be freelance artist. I’m not the best draftsman in the world, but at the very least I can tell a story and entertain. And part of that is not taking myself so seriously.
MISTAKES AND MISSTEPS
One of the biggest missteps a lot of us have made this year, in my opinion, was neglecting to build up our own platforms as creators. We’ve been living on borrowed land from Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc. And those things are important, but they should be embassies. At the very least the content we post at those places should also be on our own websites.
So when we lose streaming for three months, and are never told exactly why. Or are suspended or throttled or what have you, the audience will always know where to find us.
Of course, getting the audience to change habits and actually go to your site is another matter. But, nothing worth doing is easy I guess.
RELYING TOO MUCH ON LIVESTREAMS
Live videos are great, but they have a shelf life. There is a sense in the back of the viewers mind, I think, that if they missed the live show, then they’ve missed out–even if the content is exactly the same.
In fact, my most-viewed videos on YouTube are helpful tips/tutorial videos like this one on on how to animate in Clip Studio Paint:
Going forward in 2020 I’d like to do more videos like the above that at are helpful to more people. Hopefully some of that audience will join in on the rest of the fun.
Well, that’ll about do it for a fly-over review of the year. Please subscribe to the mailing list and you’ll never miss anything! Or make sure to come back often to see what’s going on.
Here’s to 2020!