Year 32 in Review

by kurtiswiebe

So, I’m 33.

This time last year I was living in a very surreal place where I had two comics coming out from Image at the same time. Intrepids #3 and Green Wake #2 would’ve been on the shelf, both receiving a lot of strong fan and critical support. I couldn’t have asked for more, really.

Then more happened. I managed to secure a recurring freelance writing job with Sean Megaw from Day 21 Studios, an opportunity that allowed me to quit driving bus and focus on my passion full time. September 1st was the official transition day, one I went into with a good dose of anxiety and trepidation, but it’s pleasantly worked out. There’s always a measure of insecurity with freelancing, never knowing when your next pay cheque is coming in, constantly job hunting for more projects, but ultimately it is the best thing that has happened to me.

Fall rolled along and I had my first appearance in a Marvel title, a Wolverine short that tied into the new Wolverine and the X-Men series. It was a piece in the Marvel Holiday Annual, so it was Christmas themed, where Logan teaches some young pups about hockey and other Canadiana.

Again, it was a pretty surreal moment where I had to take a step back and really appreciate what seeing that story in print meant. Sure, it wasn’t a regular gig with a major character but I’d been specifically asked to be part of that anthology and it was an honour. I was also very happy to see that my contribution was often picked as a favourite among the sites that reviewed it. I’d like to think it was because I included a character with no arms playing hockey.

That’s another story.

2012 came on strong and it was a very busy time for me. With the pending release of Peter Panzerfaust I hit the ground running with PR and Marketing the hell out of the book. I had been disappointed in December by our rather dismal pre-order numbers and had sent an email to Shadowline’s Jim Valentino venting my frustration. Keep in mind, this came a few days after Riley and I had decided to cancel Green Wake so seeing low numbers on a book I was very excited about hit pretty hard. I still did my best, convinced I could turn the sinking ship around and get our numbers up and on a strong track. I did so many interviews and organized the longest list of pre-release reviews ever. January was a blur.

Then, a stroke of luck. The week Panzerfaust came out in February, it was suddenly everywhere. I, to this day, have no idea how or why, but it did and our first issue went bananas. Everyone seemed to be talking about, lots good, some bad (my favourite being a headline review: At Least Whitney [Houston] Missed Peter Panzerfaust) but the word of mouth was spreading.

Fortune continues to strike this little series and our numbers have risen with each issue and that makes me a very happy man. I really believe in this series and I have so much planned for it that I get more excited each time I sit down and plan it out.

Of course, it’s convention season and I had some stellar experiences at each one I attended. In late February I was a guest at the first Image Expo, an event that will always be very special to me. The best memory will always be walking into a conversation between Tyler Jenkins, Fiona Staples and, after a moment, realizing Brian K. Vaughan was very much part of it as well. We talked for a good fifteen minutes and it was all kinds of hilarious and fun.

Emerald City Comicon is always a favourite for me and as this was a mix of convention and holiday for me, it was an amazing trip. I got to stay in beautiful Fall City with some dear friends for four days before the convention and was very lucky to be able to do the Twin Peaks tour with my girlfriend who introduced me to the series when we first started seeing each other.

What happens in Calgary…

The most recent convention I hit was the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. I had a really great time and it was another opportunity to see some of my best friends who live in the area and chat with fellow comic creators. For whatever reason, I was exhausted throughout the weekend and after that trip I realized that I need to slow things down a bit. I’ve been a little overzealous in promoting my career and it’s eventually going to take a toll on my health if I’m not careful.

So, it’s been busy, I haven’t even talked about my amazing experience at Third Eye Comics who flew me and Tyler to Annapolis, Maryland to sign comics. That was also awesome, but I’m getting to the end here.At the end of this month I have Grim Leaper coming out, a series which I am extremely excited about and then two months later I’m teaming up with my Green Wake cohort for a new project called Debris. I did some number crunching in my head and by July 25th, I’ll have written 26 issues of comics from 5 different series for Image

The Day I Met Phil Hester

Comics. I’m really proud of that and it makes me realize I’m not at lazy as I often think I am. I have to give myself a bit of credit for being consistently on time with my scripts and, I feel, always bringing my best game to each and every issue.

This is just my career, and I am more than my career. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and that shows in my ability to be productive and the energy I can put into the important parts of my life. 32 was a great year, it really was, but 33 holds a lot of promise.

I’m moving to Vancouver in August, pulling up the stakes in a city I’ve lived in for 12 years and starting over again. I’ve got some amazing projects being pieced together behind the scenes and I’ve got a happy, healthy relationship with a loving partner.

All the little things that make life grand.