Good things and bad things have happened this year, but most of the good things involved this strip. We just passed the 200th strip milestone the other day and the schedule went up to three days a week. The first compilation book got made in a limited run, and we sold out of that initial small order after two conventions and sales at two comic book stores. We spoke at VisionFest and met some people who are legends in the comics and animation field. We helped pull off Spawns of Insomnia with Cartoonists Northwest, the biggest Spawns ever with tons of participating artists, a sponsor and a charity. We were reviewed by Digitial Strips and saw an immediate boost in readership. And next year there are even bigger things on the horizon. This is Cartoonists Northwest’s 25th anniversary for the Toonies. We’re signed up for Artist’s Alley at this year’s Emerald Con. We’ll be ordering a larger number of books which will go for sale online. And though I don’t know if we’ve signed up for it yet, we have every intention of going to San Diego Con this time around. Thanks everyone for being supportive and entertained this year, Scooter and Ferret and Maridee have lots of adventures left to go on.
I don’t know about doing this again next year… The dinner party for six was a big success, that’s true, the food was good and everyone had fun eating it. But wow, what a lot of time in the kitchen that ended up being. I baked on Thursday and Friday, baked and cooked for several hours on Saturday, cooked again much of Sunday and I don’t even want to think about how many times I did the dishes. I learned a lot this weekend. I learned that if your ice cream maker sits in a hot Texas garage for two years and all the freezing chemicals leak out of it and warp the directions, it’s broken and will not make your ginger sorbet. Also, too much fresh ginger in your ginger sorbet makes people freak out. I also learned that when your creme brulée burner says allow several minutes for the butane to stabilize, they mean minutes, not seconds, and the brown sugar should be a thin layer over your dessert, not a mound. The most exciting discovery of all was that although ham is amazing when soaked by a spritz bottle filled with bourbon, your oven does not like to be spritzed with bourbon, and will let you know that by sending you a giant wall of flame. Best ham I ever had though.
For some reason it bothered me more this year, but I don’t see or hear the word “Christmas” enough anymore. If anyone thinks there hasn’t been a campaign to ban the word, they should watch the Food Network show I just turned off where two girls were planning a party with candy canes, nutcrackers and mistletoe but had to replace “Christmas” with “holiday” every single time. If mistletoe and candy canes are at your party you are having a Christmas party, if the HR department likes it or not. My Christmas party this year will include four close friends and a massive dinner with cocktails, with the fireplace going and my new creme brulée carmelizer making its firey debut. Actually the ice cream maker will be used for the first time as well (it was a great wedding gift you guys, I’ve just been intimidated by it) but it doesn’t involve butane so I’m less anxious about its appearance. Merry Christmas everyone, thank you for being loyal readers, and if I don’t burn the house down, we’ll see you on Boxing Day.