December 27th, 2012 at 8:37 am

Exit 2012

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You probably couldn’t guess it from following this blog, but 2012 was a fairly big year for me. Though I was too busy doing the work itself to post more than a brief mention or two along the way, this was the year when I completed two major projects that have occupied me for the last few years.

One was On the Ropes, the follow-up to Kings in Disguise. One advance review refers to it as a belated sequel, which – considering that Kings first appeared in serial form in 1988 – is a fair cop. Brought to life by my irreplaceable collaborator Dan Burr, Ropes will be published by W.W. Norton in March 2013. (I’ve served Dan notice that if we want to make it a trilogy, it has to be done in a quarter of a century or we’ll lose our rhythm.)

The other was the conclusion to Omaha the Cat Dancer, which in some ways was the hardest and most personally important project of my life. Following notes left by the beloved and sorely missed Kate Worley, I worked with Omaha creator Reed Waller to wrap up their long-running sexy soap opera. Those final chapters will be collected in a volume from NBM in late summer of 2013.

I’ll surely have more to say about both Ropes and Omaha in the months to come. But for this end-of-the-year post, I’ll just note that – especially in the face of the many flavors of craziness that accompanied the last twelve months – I’m pleased that 2012 gave me the opportunity to tie a ribbon around each of these very personal projects.

And while 2012 saw the corporate end of things seeking new and even more demeaning ways to disenfranchise creators, from email firings to ugly legal actions to blatantly peddling bits of our collective soul –

It was also a year that saw more cartoonists taking chances and creating personal work of their own that enriched the medium in fine and laudably idiosyncratic ways.

And it was a year that took far too many talented creators from us, including many whose work inspired me over the years. Goodbye, Spain and Nakazawa and Kubert and Severin and all the other marvelous talents who made this thing we do worth doing.

For better or worse, we’re putting 2012 behind us. Best of luck to everyone on the road ahead.

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