On my newsletter, I had the notion to do a full round-up of every story and event from 2023 that I’d published or been part of. It turns it, it makes for a long list. These are the sorts of things that it’s easy to forget about when December rolls around, when you’re tired and life has gotten a little bit complicated. So I’m glad to have done it, and proud of the work I put in this year. It wasn’t everything I’d hoped it would be – when is it ever? – but given everything that had happened (almost none of which I’ve spoken about publicly), I’ll take the win.
What follows is a direct copy and paste from my newsletter. Happy reading!
Books & Stories
This year was slower for publications than I’d intended it to be, though that sometimes happens when Normal Life doesn’t stick to the plan. That said, I still managed to produce a fair bit of work and have new books lined up for 2024 releases.
This year, I published three short comics via IrishComics.ie:
- The Faces of the Many*, with Lane Lloyd
- The Metronome, with James Killian – originally printed in Twisting Time
- The Hundred Hander*, with James Killian
I’m currently working on another short with Lane for the site, for a 2024 release.
I was also involved in On the Count’s Trail, which IrishComics.ie produced as part of the Bram Stoker Festival this year. (Dublin -> London -> Paris -> Munich -> Budapest -> Dracula’s Castle – you need a password for that, with clues in the first five chapters!)
On the prose side of things, I put out nine short stories via my Ko-Fi store, all free to download. Three of them were published in the Poison Apple zine, which reached its readers during the summer. I had wanted to do them monthly, but with other things piling up I had to stop. Maybe next year! In the meantime, here are the stories:
- Spare a Thought
- The God in the Grove at the End of the World
- The To-Do of Hoodoo – originally published in Volume 3 of The Dark Side of Purity by Band of Bards
- Pan’s Shadow – originally published in Poison Apple
- Rumpelstiltskin – originally published in Poison Apple
- The Jabberwocky – originally published in Poison Apple
Via Limit Break Comics, myself and Gary Moloney teamed up to publish Fractured Realms, an anthology of Norse Horror comics that wraps up our initial trilogy of old mythology collections. I’m incredibly proud of that book, and of the efforts it took to complete all three of the anthologies.
I thought I’d be done with anthologies for a year after that, but at the launch of Fractured Realms I became hyped to pick the next one back up immediately. This is 100% Gareth’s fault. So now, pitches are open for Wish Upon a Star, a far-future sci-fi anthology adapting fairy tales.
In 2024, I’ll also be looking at the publication of three graphic novels, and a couple of anthologies that I’ve been accepted into. One has successfully funded already – Secrets of the Majestic – while the other will be going to Kickstarter in a reattempt at funding – Amongst the Stars. As chance would have it, I’ve teamed up with Lane Lloyd and James Killian respectively for those stories. With some luck, there’ll be a couple of others to add to the list for the year, too.
I’ll be back on the novel-writing boat shortly, as well, to finally release State of Despayre and the third book in the Reaper arc from The Black Pages. Life has been A Lot lately, but I’ve always found comfort in stories, and it’s perhaps what I need most at the moment. Even if it does mean hurting Kurt and Ben a little bit. Sorry lads.
*These ones share a monsterverse!
Events in 2023
I was up and down the country for events this year, on top of teaching in Galway and working a full-time job, and running a Kickstarter campaign.
These included two DCAFs, Small Press Day, the Underground Cinema Comic, Dublin Comic Con, MegaCon Live! Dublin, Gaelcon and Octocon in Dublin, the Enniskillen Comic Fest, the Cork Comic Expo, and the Ballinasloe Comic Con in the library. And Thought Bubble in the UK.
Every year, I tell myself that I’ll do fewer events, and every year I got ahead and book myself in for extras.
There are always a few that I wouldn’t return to, because sales don’t justify the time and money, and there are a couple that I’m always hopeful that (a) I’ll get a table and/or (b) that it’ll be happening, so it’s impossible to finalise things early on.
That said, I’ve still got myself booked in for two MegaCon events in January, and in theory I have a table at Dublin Comic Con in March, and membership for Glasgow 2024 (WorldCon) in August. I’ve decided not to table at that one, and just enjoy being there. If they put me on any programme items, great, but I’m not basing my entire convention experience on that. It’ll be nice to just get to enjoy things, and to revisit Glasgow.
The Year at a Glance
It’s easy at the end of a year to look back and miss something important. A lot can happen. I’ve left a fair chunk out – personal stuff – but every month managed to squeeze in a publication or an announcement or an event of some description. Maybe this is what people mean when they say I need to take a break.
- MegaCon in Dublin
- Spare a Thought released on Ko-fi
- The Faces of the Many begins on IrishComics.ie
- Masquerade released on Ko-fi
- Fractured Realms funds on Kickstarter
- All About Books radio appearance
- Dublin Comic Con
- The God in the Grove at the End of the World released on Ko-fi
- Began a new job, working on research and content design
- Limit Break Comics nominated as Best Publisher in the European Science Fiction Society Hall of Fame Awards
- Autonomous released on Ko-fi
- Comic workshop for Octocon
- The Metronome begins on IrishComics.ie
- Monster released on Ko-fi
- Erasure released
- Enniskillen Comic Fest
- New website launched
- The Dark Side of Purity Volume 3 released
- The Hundred Hander begins on IrishComics.ie
- Podcast interview with International Dublin Writers Festival
- The To-do of Hoodoo released on Ko-fi
- Small Press Day
- Pan’s Shadow released on Ko-fi
- Underground Cinema Comic Con
- Cork Comic Expo
- Evolution Programme announcement
- Awarded the Agility Award
- Rumpelstiltskin released on Ko-fi
- Octocon – Chairing for the first time
- Bram Stoker Festival
- Group 1 in Galway
- The Jabberwocky released on Ko-fi
- Ballinasloe Comic Con
- Thought Bubble – Launch of Fractured Realms
- Group 2 in Galway
- Secrets of the Majestic funds on Kickstarter
- Wish Upon a Star announced
- Fulfilment complete on Fractured Realms Kickstarter
I’ll be back again in the new year, with notions aplenty and stories galore. Until then, thank you all for your continued support, for reading this newsletter, and for giving me the courage to engage with the arts community on a professional level. This year has had its ups and downs, but I’m proud to have put myself out there more than I’ve usually dared. Here’s hoping that same courage carries on in 2024.