So, I’m not one for making new year’s resolutions, but I think I really should resolve to stop making predictions about what I expect to achieve in the coming year in these Christmas messages of mine. My own personal road to the netherworld has been paved with more gold than stored in the Bank of England’s vaults.
I have excuses, mainly revolving around relatively trivial but persistent heath issues, necessitating some rather severe dietary restrictions and ultimately resulting in some pain, low energy and lack of motivation. Having my gallbladder surgically removed by the wonders of keyhole surgery in November has certainly helped and I’m progressively getting back to something approximating my former self. My parallel career as a graphic designer also proved massively distracting, especially the whole teacup storm of GDPR which meant an overhaul of numerous websites that I’m nominally in charge of.
These things have inevitably affected the rate of production on Strangehaven (although I’m happy to report that I’m currently back at the rock face), and as regular Meanwhile… readers already know, my good pal Frazer Irving stepped in to take the pressure off by contributing his own outlandish take on Strangehaven in issue 9.
As for other notable occurrences this past year, know that I contributed a full colour six-page strip to Image’s fabulous Where We Live benefit book which was published in late May, and is still available from all good comic shops and booksellers.
In October I made my only two professional appearances of the year. Firstly giving a two-hour talk at the local art group Metal’s culture lab’s Inkhead event and secondly taking the train up to Cumbria for this year’s very wet but enjoyable Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
I also somehow managed to continue my daily morning walks around Leigh-on-Sea and continued to post a single image every day on my Instagram account, but sadly my year-long project fell a day short of a whole twelve months because of my gallbladder operation on day #364.
My annual seasonal illustration this year shouldn’t really need any explanation (but here it comes anyway)… Alistair Sim’s incomparable performance in 1951’s Scrooge, the first and best film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. Essential viewing at this time of year, of course.
As we go rushing into another year of Trump and Brexit, let’s all hope for a Scrooge-like Damascene conversion in the people in power on both sides of the Atlantic. And remember that things don’t always turn out as good as we might hope, but they are rarely as bad as we fear.
As always, thank you for your patient, continued support, it’s greatly appreciated.
Wishing you a very happy holiday, and good health and success in 2019.
Peace and Love,
–Gary Spencer Millidge