Is 2013 over? Are you sure? I mean, seriously, guys, you’re sure?
Hmm, what have we been up to this year…? Shows and shows and shows, all over and across the country…seven more books…distribution through Diamond…a new non-profit…another MONSTER anthology…
Finally made an honest man out of Mark Mullaney and drafted him as an official assistant editor for all things production. (Perfect timing, too, because his star shot up this year. Congrats to Mark on his Emmy-nomination, as well as his new animation gig!)
Added yet another assistant editor in James McGee… although his employ makes for an odd work environment: he insists I call him “Dark Overlord Snidley” (kids these days, and their weird nicknames), and any time I shut my office door, he yells through it, “You’re in the dungeon now!” so I just keep it closed.
Disconcerting at first. And yet, oddly freeing; most of my attention in 2013 needed to go into keeping the lights on anyway, while shepherding production of our newest titles.
- Deciding to make our anthologies a yearly thing was the easy part. Trying to keep the monster contained is the real work! We kicked off the open call for UNFASHIONED CREATURES, A FRANKENSTEIN ANTHOLOGY on January 1, and right away the response was over-whelming—and didn’t let up for eight straight months. Not complaining. This amazing body of work was brought to life by forty-six writers and artists from around the world, with an intro by the wonderful Kevin Grevioux (creator of Underworld and I, Frankenstein.) The result is a gorgeous collection of stories that clocks in at a cool 196 pages, our strongest yet!
- RSM continues our partnership with Nick Dedual and Odd Truth Inc. “Spy-fi” series TORCHBEARER really took off, with a new trade just released and the digital version of Issue #5 out now! That partnership strengthened later when we formed WeWinCon.org, to help artists who were effected when Boston Comic Con was temporarily cancelled due to the then-ongoing manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers. We raised money to help artists return to Boston for the rescheduled show later, and also raised funds for the charities that BCC already supports, as well as the Red Cross to help bombing victims and their families. And even now, WeWinCon.org continues to provide incentive and raise money for people to donate for disaster relief and wounded Veterans. Interested in giving? Click here!
- We were also thrilled to sign CITY OF WALLS early in the year, a dystopian series by Shakespeare Shaken alum Shaun Noel and his art partner, Abede Lovelace (both of whom also contributed to Unfashioned Creatures.) CITY OF WALLS has been a labor of love for these guys going on four years and so we were especially honored that they pulled in RSM to help promote the re-launch of the title in full color, as well as digitally for the first time! Issue #2 is available now, and they are working on releasing a new trade in 2014.
- Spring and Summer were all about shifting into high-gear and prepping for San Diego Comic Con, our first time exhibiting in Small Press at the big Kahuna show. Our 7th VOYAGE preview went live just as we met up again with Dennis Calero and Todd Stashwick to put together Volume 2 of DEVIL INSIDE, and both were a big draw for the SDCC crowd.
- The comic gods at SDCC smiled for us yet again when we met Australian screen and comics writer, Joe Kisch, and later signed his series DRAGO BENTLEY: SPACE DETECTIVE, a fantastic futuristic noir, and the second great science fiction title in our expanding catalog, complete with motion comic (See episodes here!) This is the first time Drago Bentley has been promoted in all of North America, and he will be back with us in San Diego next July!
- In October, against crazy odds and a marathon schedule for the artist, our adaptation of E.A. Poe’s CASK OF AMONTILLADO, a prequel to next year’s HOUSE OF MONTRESOR, went live on the main floor at New York Comic Con. Poe Twisted and Cask made for a killer combination and NYCC turned out to be our highest grossing show in 2013!
- We rounded out the year with a lightning strike just as the final stories for UNFASHIONED CREATURES rolled out on our digital platform—mine too, mine too! The Limited MONSTER Edition of the anthology was printed in time for the holidays, and we’re prepping the book for national distribution now!
Quite a year. Quite a year. Gotta admit, it’s surreal to look back because there’s so much still to do! In fact, the stakes are higher as we flow into ’14. Snidley was “kind” to take on the heavy lifting with operations (sucker!) Meanwhile, I have been spinning tales and webs here in the dark. Dungeon… LAIR… we both have a name for it.
We already have ten shows on the slate, with more likely to be added soon, so keep an eye out here. We’re also doing more to make a presence in LCS’s and bookstores. We’re going away from our literary anthology template and branching into completely new—though still twisted—territory for the open call in January. Red Stylo is working with Bob Almond and The Inkwell Awards to package and help promote their annual Joe Sinnot Inking Challenge book, which will debut at Heroes Con this Spring. Delighted to report that production continues on all of the series we introduced in 2013, and even more new titles are in store, including: the long-promised release of HOUSE OF MONTRESOR (you can see the first 8 pages of the new graphic novel right now when you read THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, illustrated by Jason Strutz); a new collection of stories inspired by Arthurian Legend and the Knights of the Round Table; some new additions to the slate from Red Stylo Press; a limited digital tribute collection to music master Tom Waits; and the start of a new original graphic novel of brothers and blood, written by yours truly. Might see a happy ending or two mixed in there somewhere, who knows…
Still reading? Then this thanks is for you. Thank you, as ever and forever, to the readers and friends who stuck with us and supported us one more year. Maybe one day I won’t be so amazed that we’re still here, but not today. Happy, and grateful, today and every day.
Thank you, all of you, so much,
December 26th, 2013
P.S. He’s an odd duck, but he also has a way with words. Read “Dark Overlord Snidley’s” 2013 recap in verse right here!