|Highlights of my year in chronological order.
I don't think anyone has escaped this year unscathed by the pandemic. Even if most of us have been very fortunate in not catching the virus it's still affected our work, our social lives, and our mental health. With other disappointments and setbacks in life it all adds up to a year most of us would rather forget.
An increasing number of friends across the UK have contracted the virus this year, some mildly, some more severe, and I wish you all a full recovery.
Despite the ongoing situation, some of you found happiness and huge changes in your lives for the better, and I'm very pleased about that. Other friends experienced a lot of sadness and upset and I hope things will turn around for you soon.
By nature I'm an independent person who enjoys solitude, but this pandemic has pushed it to the limit. I enjoyed my walks in the local parks and countryside in the summer though.
I am very grateful for the few times I did meet up with friends, whether face to face or just online. It really gave me a boost to have a laugh with good friends both in my home town and at the one comic convention I attended this year in Coventry. I hope to see more of you next year.
I'm also grateful to the editors who commissioned me for work this year, from traditional material such as Keyhole Kate for The Dandy Annual to more unusual one-offs such as The Statues of Liverpool comic and the billboard art for the Shrewsbury Comics Trail.
However, it was certainly a year of reduced workload and, subsequently, self doubt that affected my work rate. I'm busy for the next few weeks but beyond that point... that's a worry. I appreciate there are many of us in the same boat, as is the nature of freelancing.
Counting my blessings... my Daft Dimension strip continues in Doctor Who Magazine every month, and Sgt. Shouty will still be in The77 every few months. I'm pleased to announce that I'm about to start on a new weekly mini-strip for Beano, which should begin in March. Nothing like the workload I had a few years ago though so I hope it leads to more.
I'll be taking on private commissions soon (watch this space) and selling off more old pages of artwork from Buster and the like.
Finally, thanks to all of you for following and reading this blog. None of us know what the next 12 months will bring and we have to be pragmatic whilst still maintaining optimism. I hope we all get through 2022 intact and I wish every one of you a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.