25 January 2015

2014 - in retrospect

Finally, one more awesome year is over, and time for a look back at what I've accomplished.
This past year has been a year of routine work, lots of projects, conventions and jobs but nothing that unordinary. And it was kinda nice actually, as 2013 was kinda adventurous. 

Milestones of 2014:

Sketch for the cover of book 2.
  • January was a month of drawing Sword Princess Amaltea book 2 and teaching part time at Serieskolan (Comic Art School) in Malmö two days in the week. A pretty nice and stable routine.
  • In February, the drawing-and-teaching-routine continued, but I also went to NärCon Vinter (20-23th of February) in Linköping for the second time fun! I was there with Nosebleed Studio, and I also held some presentations about working as a manga artist and about my manga Sword Princess Amaltea.
    I also worked with selling in the exhibition Vicky Jackie Wendy (about the history of girls comics mangazines in Sweden) to libraries and other venues. I still need to make a blog post about that project... soon...

  • March was a month of intense work. Beside the normal routine, I also taught at Malmö University's course Comics International Perspective and worked on Nosebleed Studio's latest project. We usually make a book each year, but because most of us has had other big projects or lack of time this year, we couldn't make a new manga anthology. But we felt it was time for us to make an artbook, with some of our most resent works in color.
    We set up a crowdfuding campaign for it, but tried out the site IndieGoGo instead this time. It was a huge success, funding 169% of what we asked for!! Thanks to all who supported it!!
  • I also attended Scifimässan (1st-2nd of March) in Malmö, together with Kolik förlag. I'm more used to the mangafans at manga conventions, so it was quite interesting to meet another kind of audience. Similar but yet different, like at Gothenburg Book Fair.
    The month finished off with a visit to Denmark's biggest manga event J-popCon (28-30th of March), selling my and Nosebleed Studio's books there and holding presentations!

  • In March I also got a new cat! Lovis is her name and she was a homeless cat, brought in by Rädda Katten and then we adopted her. Hilda now has a friend and a sister! ❤
  • I posted a link here to Bokjuryn asking all of my fans to vote for Amaltea in the yearly youth's book competition, but sadly it didn't make it in to the top 3. What is a little irritating is that Bokjuryn previous years showed the top 10 of all comics, like with all other genres. Today they only show top 3.
    I have emailed them about this and showed them how many awesome comics for teens/kids that are published each year that they have looked past. I hope they'll make it a top 10 again...
  • April was a hectic month when it comes to conventions! First Seriefest (5-6th of April) in Lund, then GothCon (18-20th of April) in Gothenburg and then FairyCon (25th of April) in Kalmar.
    Three quite different events, as Seriefest was held in a library with a mainstream audience, GothCon is a board game con with mostly male 25+ y.o. nerds and FairyCon for the usual manga con crowd; teens and cosplayers. My book Sword Princess Amaltea went pretty well at GothCon, to my amazement. I did some guerilla marketing by putting up posters for it here and there at the con, and got pretty good response from that – I sold out! Yay!
    At GothCon, I also got to be a part of the nerd feminist event Isis, and held a presentation about Sword Princess Amaltea there. Thanks, Anna, for letting me be a part of this!
    (Also, I have made their logo above)

  • In May, it was time for Sweden's biggest comic event of the year; S.I.S. - Stockholms Internationella Seriefestival (16th-18th of May). It's the most prominent fanzine and self press fair, combined with a market event where most of the Swedish comic book publishers is represented. Nosebleed Studio was there, of course, selling our artbook and anthologies. At this point, I was about to finish the second volume of Sword Princess Amaltea, and made a sneak peek fanzine with one chapter form the coming book.
    I also held a presentation on gender stereotypes in manga at S.I.S., a much appreciated topic I think as manga is far too often overlooked at comic events because some seem to think it was just a fad. No, it's not. The manga events hit new records in attendance each year, so manga is not "dead", just because Swedish publishers don't publish as much manga as before.

  • In June, I finally finished the second volume of Sword Princess Amaltea! After that I finally had some much needed and well earned vacation. Spent it mostly playing Minecraft, or doing other meaningful things, haha. Well, I also visited KodachiCon (6th-8th of June) in my home town Lund. ❤

  • July was a month of traveling; first to Småland and the family of my boyfriend, and then to Portugal and my relatives (on my father's side). There I got to meet some readers, fans and fellow manga artists, a get together arranged by my dear friend Ricardo. It was nice meeting all the awesome people there again! ❤
    And as soon as I got home, we were off to NärCon (24th-27th of July) in Linköping. Lot's of people, the event hit new records of attendance with over 7000 people! And I sold all Sword Princess Amaltea-books (book 1 and the new book 2) I brought before Friday was over!! Wow!
    Held several presentations at the con, well attended and appreciated as some from the audience always comes up to me afterwards and wants more tips.

  • I also wanted to make some merchandise for Sword Princess Amaltea, to sell at NärCon and othe events. But I really want them to be mostly eco friendly and fair trade, so I ordered tanktops and bags made of organic cotton and GOTS certified.

  • In August and September I mostly worked on other projects and did some writing on the third book of Amaltea. A new semester began at Serieskolan in Malmö and this Fall I got to have more hours and was class teacher for the first year students.
    I visited the bookstore Scifi-bokhandeln in both Malmö and Gothenburg at their jubilee week in August, and signed my new book! And also the [mandatory] Gotheburg Book Fair (26th-28th of September), for more signings~
  • It was quite silent here during October and November. These where some dark and heavy months for me. My grandmother ended up in hospital and was close to death a couple of times (luckily she got out alive before X-mas) and also there was some drama and conflicts at my work. All at the same time... Sometimes life deals you a bad hand, I guess. So I got some stress symptoms, that I still deal with (stomach ache, sleep deprivation, forgetfullness etc.).
    I just need to calm the f* down right now. ☕
  • Still went to one event in November, the MIYABI Japan Story (29th-30th of November) in Stockholm, an international event that even had Japanese editors there! I got to show Sword Princess Amaltea to one of the editors from a shonen magazine, and got some feedback.

  • In November and December, Nosebleed Studio crowdfunded our latest manga anthology, a big fat hardcover book in Swedish with more than 450 pages of awesome manga! It was fun to see all the great support, and we sent out the books as gifts for X-mas, in nice golden wrapping!
    We reached 117% of what we asked for, so thank you all who helped us back this project!!
  • The year finished off with a visit to the best manga con on the east coast (of Sweden): Confusion (12th-14th of December) in Gothenburg. New place, not great locales but still, people are super friendly there! And I sold out all my Amaltea-books I brought, and we sold most of Nosebleed Studio's new book too! Yay! $$$ (hahaha)

So, that was my year! Lots and lots of trips to events and places, an even thogh I'm a "at-home-person", I still like going on these trips, to meet manga fans and other great people! It's stressfull having to leave the house (haha, I'm such a hikikomori) but when I'm actually there, it's such a energy boost!
Hope we'll meet at one of those events in the future~

Oh, and the sales of Sword Princess Amaltea went awesome this year! In less than a year after the first book was printed, more than 2000 copies has been sold and the published printed a third edition! Yay!!

Even thogh the end of 2014 gave me a hard time, I still feel I exceled this year in many ways, like landing a second volume as fast as I could (not getting caught by the "first volume only"-virus that sadly hit many manga inspired artists in the west get). Now let's finish this series this coming year, and make history again!

✰ Onwards to new hights in 2015! ✰

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