“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … ”
Yes, it was, Chuck. 2016, I mean.
Our incredible daughter graduated from college this year, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. Meanwhile, if you had bet me last January that my favorite football team would win Super Bowl L and my favorite baseball team would win its first World Series in 108 years, I would have taken that wager (while hoping like crazy that I’d lose). My alma mater’s football team went 12-0 in the regular season before all this, so 2016 was the best of times for me as a sports fan.
In other ways 2016 has been the worst of times, and one of the cruelest ways was with the untimely death of Gary Reed. As I’ve written about here and elsewhere, Gary was an outstanding father and husband, a generous friend and mentor to many people, a marvelous teacher, and a wonderful writer. He was also the respected founder and publisher of Caliber Comics, one of the premiere independent comic book companies over the past thirty years, one I have been proud to be associated with since the early Nineties.
In 2016, Gary was the publisher of all my comics and books, all of which he had a hand in the development.
It was Gary’s idea to reissue my Sherlock Holmes pastiches and H. P. Lovecraft adaptations in individual graphic novels and produce the anthologies H. P. Lovecraft Early Stories and Sherlock Holmes On the Air.
I mentioned in my 2015 Writing Review that my biggest project of the year would be an original screenplay, Max Q, which I completed, and, thanks to Gary, is being represented by Caliber Entertainment.
My proudest and most personal project of 2016, Heroes and Horrors, was also the most unexpected and saddest. This anthology of short and previously-unpublished comics stories produced over the course of my career was not even on my radar for most of 2016, even though Gary, a fan of anthologies, recommended I do it many times over the past few years. Long story short, I finally agreed to do it last summer, although if I had known how difficult and humbling an experience I was letting myself in for I might never have taken Gary’s advice. I finished assembling the anthology, which I dedicated to Gary, and sent it to him on October 1, the day before he passed away.
As for the future, if things go according to plan, an original Holmes pastiche will appear in a tribute book for Gary. I have also agreed to adapt my audio script, “The Case of the Petty Curses,” into a short story for an upcoming anthology for a British publisher, and my script for “A Case of Unfinished Business” might be appearing in another of this company’s anthologies. I am happy to say that Caliber Comics will be moving ahead, and, although it is too early to go into any details, it appears likely I will have more writing projects coming out or being represented by them in 2017 and beyond.
That’s it for 2016. Here’s hoping 2017 will be more better than worse.