I first joined Sequart in November 2013, just under a year ago. In that time, I’ve written exactly 100 articles and contributed to two Sequart books (and several other books and papers unrelated to Sequart). My word count this year tops 150,000, which isn’t a bad year, considering the productivity.
It’s interesting to look back at what I wrote about. My first couple of pieces were about JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald, since they were published close to the end of November last year, the 50th anniversary of the assassination. Then I wrote about Nelson Mandela, also highlighting his biographical comic book. Those early attempts really seem so… very… serious to me now, which goes to show that a more experienced writer tends to be less formal, but no less astute.
I started reviewing Sex Criminals and Manifest Destiny soon after, as well as ongoing, multi-part stories about the Buffy and Serenity comics. I like having these regular pieces, as they really save me on those weeks when inspiration is running low. A new issue of any of them means, for me, that at least I have ONE piece to write that week. And moreover, getting back into the world of comics fandom after laying off for a while was very rewarding. I also liked having a look at some great standalone comics, such as the story of Andre the Giant, which was a wonderful book, and Noah. One of the best things about working with Sequart is simply that I’ve read many fascinating comics, and have a stack about 10 feet high of even more fascinating titles for review (apologies to those who have sent me things… it will all get sorted out eventually.)
My film and TV-related pieces included a look at the last season of Sherlock, introducing Sequart readers (or at least re-introducing) to my countrymen the Trailer Park Boys, discovering Jodorowsky’s Dune (now available on Netflix in some countries), and of course the Orson Welles series. That was a discovery for me, in that Greg Carpenter is just as big a Welles nut as me. (2015 is going to be Orson’s 100th birthday, so look for more pieces from us on that ample subject.)
Getting to know people in the world of comics has been a true gift, especially Vivek Tiwary, the writer of the award-winning The Fifth Beatle, a gorgeous graphic novel from last year. But attending San Diego Comic Con (something that would never have happened with Sequart) was great on a number of levels, including getting to meet Mark A Altman and having him share around my piece on the 15th anniversary of his film Free Enterprise.
Some pieces I have mixed memories of (the less said about the outrage over those who dared to criticize Guardians of the Galaxy, a film I LIKED, for the record, the better). And there was some true sadness, especially in the loss of Robin Williams this past year, which we covered well.
But I got to celebrate my number one comic hero, Harvey Pekar, on what would have been his 75th birthday, and share my love of his comic, my single favourite of all-time, The Quitter.
I don’t know, and I can’t say, whether my productivity in the coming year will match the previous. I certainly hope it does, but many factors are working against me on that score. I certainly hope I can keep it up.
Sequart has been a wonderful gift to me in the past 12 months. It’s not too much to say that my association with the site has literally changed my life, so to all the Sequart crew, including Mike Phillips and Julian Darius, our Head Cheeses (they go well with wine and crackers), my esteemed fellow staff writer Harry Edmundson-Cornell, our webmaster (and talented writer) Stuart Warren, and all my fellow sailors on the good ship Sequart such as Greg Carpenter, David Whittaker, Desmond White, my good friend Brian Cowlishaw and of course to all of you who have taken the time to read my scribblings, I say a heartfelt THANK YOU.