Hey hey everyone! It’s that time of the year… we do have one more month of 2023, of course, but that tends to be very busy for us and I’d rather just finish up the newsletters of the year in November so I don’t forget. So here we are! 2023! It was… certainly a year! There were a lot of highs and lows for us, honestly, and it has left us once again thinking hard about what to do about the future. Nothing drastic, of course! But some priorities have to shift as the entire landscape of the internet seems to be changing, and we try and keep up with it.
For one–if you’re reading this on the website–you probably have noticed some changes! If you’re getting this in your email, feel free to poke around on the site now! We overhauled a bunch of stuff, mostly on the main site but on the shop as well. We’ll probably be picking at it throughout the end of this year… something about this time of the year makes the both of us really wanna pick and poke at our sites, hehe.
In terms of comics, we’ll be taking a little break over December and most of January, most especially with Augustine (and Augusteenies). This also goes the same for Paint the Town Red. You can also catch up with alll the Augusteenies here!
A lot of you are probably wondering about The Sanity Circus which… didn’t really come back this year. I apologize for that, but I promise there’s stuff in the works for it that will be coming to fruition next year. SanCirc turns 10 next May, which is pretty exciting, and I hope to do something big for it then.
New Shop Stuff
We’ve still been busy making stuff, right into the end of the year! We have some exciting new things in the shop right now:
Pretty Boy Hats — we’re testing out making hat designs, and we couldn’t be happier with this result! We hope to make more of these in 2024… but for now, we have this hat for the prettiest of boys.
We made a bunch of stuff for Lost Time‘s book launch, and we have the leftovers in the shop! This includes the concept artbook, which contains 100 pages of lovely art and sketches, as well as a cute little Evie and Ada wooden keychain!
Stickers! We have a BUNCH of new sticker sheets available! We love making them and hope to make more in the new year. In fact, we’re thinking about possibly opening a sticker sheet tier on our Patreon, where you’ll get one of these sheets every month!
What’s up and coming…?
As mentioned, we’ve already been brainstorming some plans for 2024. As always, these are subject to change. I think I’ve said it enough this year, but we’ve had to pivot a lot with social media becoming so unstable, and conventions not being always a guarantee. We have three big project plans for next year, plus maybe some others if we can get around to it. Obviously, these can also change. But currently, this is what we’re hoping to achieve next year:
The Farewell Tour — a passion project sci-fi graphic novel we’re itching so badly to do. We’re going to be taking a break from Paint the Town Red next year (there won’t be a volume 4 until 2025), so we may be able to fill that gap with another B/W comic. The Farewell Tour is about a runaway rockstar, Jax, who gets caught by the steely bounty hunter, Raddley, during his escape. However, the two end up in a mix up, forcing them to take the long way back to their destination–surely nothing will come of that! The biggest decider for this one is if we can secure some funding for it–either via crowdfunding or other means we’re looking into.
Dino Loaf plushies — we’re hoping to dip our toes into some plushies next year. Naturally, they’re gonna be dinosaurs. This will all depend on the processes, but if all goes well we are planning to crowdfund these guys in April. We’ll keep you all updated on this one, including prototype pictures and all!
Merch Lines — a big pivot we’re going to be taking going forward is focusing our merch a bit more. I like to think until now, our methods for merch making were a bit like throwing spaghetti at a wall. This has yielded some nice results, but we want to hone things in a bit more. We’re going to be focusing a lot of our merch into distinct “line” themes that go together. Currently, we’re fleshing out ones we basically already had: Bonebed, which includes pretty much all of our dinosaur stuff, and Eyes of Antiquity, which includes everything with the ancient Greek pottery, poppies, and eyes. This way a lot of the merch can go together, in a sense, and feel cohesive. On top of this, we’re hoping to crowdfund an entire new line, which will include things like: hats, patches, keychains and more, all available in a special box! We’ll have more information on that as we flesh it out more.
A reminder too that we will go over a lot of this in detail on our Patreon, as well.
We still have a couple more conventions before the year ends!
- Mini Montreal Comiccon – Montreal, QC // Dec 2-3
- Expozine – Montreal, QC // Dec 2-3
- Montreal Makers Market – Montreal, QC // Dec 16-17
You might notice that Minicon and Expozine are the same weekend, so we’ll be split up! But you’ll be able to find both of our stuff there, so feel free to come down and say hi!
It feels appropriate to talk about this as the last newsletter of 2023. I’ve already mentioned a lot that 2023 was a rough year, and we’ve had to change a lot. This year we reopened our Etsy and Patreon, something we were happy to not have to deal with last year (mostly with the headache of taxes and accounting). We failed to get into Otakuthon, usually our biggest convention of the year, and that was a heavy blow. “Twitter” became almost useless, which was unfortunately the place we probably had the best reach. We dealt with a lot of personal struggles–namely some expensive vet visits for our cat, Pepper (he’s doing fine now, thankfully). I don’t know if I’m ever that candid in this posts, but I think it’s fair to say this year was rough.
But I don’t want to say it was all bad. We had a lot of personal highs, too. We printed 5 books this year–one of which being a published book! (PTTR V3, Augustine V1, Lost Time, Lost Time artbook and the Fakemon zine, for those curious!). We did American cons for the first time this year, and although we can’t always do them for budget reasons, it was nice to dip our toes in those waters! We got some of our books distributed into American bookstores thanks to Emerald Comics. I (Tas) have done a podcast interview and got to write an article about Lost Time. It wasn’t all bad, and we’re still standing.
We have a lot of hope for next year. We’re hoping to build up our Instagram more, which has been going steadily. We want to do more little mini-comics like Augusteenies. I’ll be publishing another graphic novel with my publisher, so next year will be full of working on that.
It’s honestly always your support that keeps us kicking. Every little comment, shop purchase–hell, even every little view you give us is enough to keep us going. It might not feel like much, but it really does mean a lot.
So… here’s to 2024! Hope to see you all there.