I’m not much of a cheery guy, I don’t look ahead too much and I’m terrible at planning things. That kind of makes me look back more than I should and yet I don’t often do these year end posts recounting what has happened.
This time is different because 2013 was easily the WORST year of my entire life, so much so that I’ve been repressing those memories as hardly as possible and for the most part succeeding at it. For someone who dwells so much on their own past this is a personal victory and a lot of it has to do with how 2014 turned out in comparison.
It wasn’t a perfect year but the simple fact of kicking 2013 so hard in the nuts will automatically put it up there with the ones to remember forever.
In 2014 I turned 30, the first time ever I was dreading a birthday and was utterly terrified of reaching the third decade mark. It was early in the year so when it finally arrived, served as even more fuel to do things better, I just had to.
In 2014 my lifelong dream of working full time with comics came to reality, every little piece of effort came to place as if to finish a giant puzzle. After countless false starts throughout the past decade it was almost impossible to process the fact that I was doing comics for a living and that alone was responsible to get rid of that dread of turning 30, in the end it couldn’t have come at a better moment.
In 2014 I worked with writers I admired for years, I drew pages written by Greg Pak, Paul Tobin and Fred Van Lente. I shared art duties with Cory Smith, Stephen Downey, Ruairi Coleman and Lee Ferguson. I was edited by Nate Cosby and Tom Brennan, I got published by Dynamite Entertainment doing classic characters such as Magnus and Turok.
In 2014 I met Ryan Ferrier and we brought to life the most insanely fun project together, I did a Tiger Lawyer page with him to be published on a future issue of Image Comics’ Shutter and most of all I met a new friend.
In 2014 I made even more new friends, I also met Jeremy Holt and Mike Hunau, both of which are yet to see some pages I owe them and that I got behind due to the (good) craziness that has been my life recently. Both Jeremy and Mike are insanely talented writers and it hurts me really bad that I couldn’t maintain a healthy schedule to serve their amazing stories properly, which is why I’m not stopping, the year is ending, new projects are looming and I’ll remain working crazy hours just so guys like Jeremy and Mike get the quality work they deserve.
In 2014 I also met Sam Costello, creator of the fantastic Split Lip series of horror stories for which I’m honored to be a part of its reboot. Sam writes beautifuly, he sent me a script that at first I admited to be hard to envision and even suggested different ideas, but the very milisecond I put pencil to paper, 100% of what he wrote was what ended up drawn. He describes things in a way I never seen before and once I finished all the layouts for our short story I gave up everything I suggested. It’s still a work in progress and I’m also catching up, should be done very early in 2015 and I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of that.
In 2014 I did another pin up for an Image series, Spread written by Justin Jordan with art by Kyle Strahm and my buddy Felipe Sobreiro. That paired up with the pin up I did for The Legend of Luther Strode the year prior and the upcoming Tiger Lawyer page on Shutter marks a slow take over of one of the hottest publishers in the recent years. Slow and steady wins the race. ;-)
In 2014 I had some long overdue beers with one of my oldest friends Luke Ross, industry veteran and a very dear friend and teacher. I met him when I was 15 so it’s been literally half of my life and to this day he’s one of the people I owe the most, if 2014 was the year my dream of comics came true he’s the biggest responsible. I learned a lot of the comics making aspect of things in the years he was my teacher, things I’ll never forget and are there on every page one way or another. But the biggest lesson was the one about integrity, hard work and professionalism, if he’s still going strong as one of the best artists around after all these years it was because of that paired up with the crazy awesome talent the guy has. I’m honored be considered Luke’s friend and it’s a friendship I’ll carry for the rest of my life.
And speaking of oldest, dearest friends, 2014 was also the year of the rise of Ficticia, a project that was born the year before but really started to make noise and become something towards the end of 2014. Ficticia is the label I’m a part of along with my best friends Hector Lima, Pablo Casado, George Schall, Camila Torrano, Felipe Sobreiro, Matheus Sant'Anna and Talles Rodrigues. It focuses on our most personal projects currently being published in brazil but with plans of taking it to the rest of the world. We have a release schedule that goes all the way to 2016 and started this december with the smashing hit Mayara & Annabelle by Pablo Casado and Talles Rodrigues. Our publishing schedule includes Hitomi and Mulheromem, both graphic novels to be released in 2015 and that won a grant to finance the whole production, I couldn’t be more proud of Hector Lima and George Schall for getting that, them and their collaborators on respectively Mulheromem and Hitomi are gonna do a beautiful job based on what I’ve been able to see from both projects.
We also had to experience together what it’s like to be part of a real Comic Con with the CCXP that happened in São Paulo the first week of december. We shared tables at what turned out to be the largest Artist’s Alley of any Comic Con around and it was the best thing in the world like it always is when we manage to get most of the group together, we’re all scattered throughout brazil and it’s rare to have everyone in one place so whenever that’s possible we end up with the best times ever.
That event also made possible for me to meet people like Sean Murphy with whom I traded comics and had brief chats - he praised the cars I drew, which is huge coming from him! I also met (super briefly) the living legend that is José Luís García-Lopez and got him to sign a couple of my favorite comics he drew. I had another chance to chat with Dave Johnson who I met the year before and got him to do a little sketch in the sketchbook he gave me in that occasion.
I’d like to thank everyone that gave me a shot and all the friends for the greatest time in my recent years. I’m just a couple hours away from 2015 but there’s already a couple of projects in early stages to be done in January. First time I start a year with a sincere smile and I’ll do my very best to make it even better.
All my best wishes to you all, a happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2015.