Back in the autumn of 2014 I made mention of a project I was dreaming up which went by this name:
But apart from a post about it again last year there's been nothing else. Well as it turned out there was a bit of an upheaval in my life not long after the first time I wrote in regards to this and that put things on the back burner for a good while. Then, as mentioned in my last post the Beyond Oink! series took up so much of my time, alongside huge issues of the comic itself to cover, that it was delayed again.
That wasn't a decision taken lightly at the time. This project is incredibly important to me, but as my life started to settle down again and I was working very hard at the blog I made the decision to delay it until I could give it my full, undivided attention. I didn't want it or the blog to suffer from spreading myself too thin, because the more I looked into this project the more I realised just how much of my time it's likely to take up, as well as the mammoth amount of work involved.
Enjoyable work, mind you.
With the coverage of the Oink! comic itself coming to an end it seemed perfectly natural to concentrate on making that coverage, and all associated posts, the very best blog it could possibly be. I sank my teeth (not to mention my heart and soul) into it all and I am so incredibly proud of what I've achieved on here, particularly during its final year.
I read back over this whole blog from beginning to end during those last months of 2015 and I saw how my writing changed and developed over time. If you've read my last post where I look back at the highlights of writing The Oink! Blog you'll have seen how I started to gather positive feedback from readers and professionals and how this led on to the blog developing in many ways, including covering new material by Britain's best, having two articles published on the UK's top comics news site, the feedback and sharing of the posts based around the other comics of my youth... not only was the blog developing, but reading back it was clear I was too.
It made me realise I'd done exactly the right thing in delaying the new project until I'd covered what I needed to, until the first chapter of the blog had been completed. I'd continued to work hard at developing it and myself naturally, right through to its conclusion. Now I was ready.
So I hope you can see how just doing something I love, something I'm passionate about, has led me to this point now. I loved Oink! (still do) and I've always loved writing. The blog may have been something to pass the time originally, but it grew and so did my passion for both. It's got to that stage where I want to make a go of writing just like I'd always wanted to but which I'd never had the attention span nor confidence for.
It feels like I've very naturally arrived at the beginning of 2016 and can officially announce what's happening next. With the Christmas decorations taken down today the usual feeling of empty space in my home and the dreading of the dreary months ahead aren't there. My reorganised, freshly cleared living space doesn't feel barren this year; it feels instead like it has a crisp, fresh newness about it. I'm not usually one to celebrate the New Year but this January I am. 2016 has arrived and with it a new beginning and not just for the blog, but for me too!
Work on a brand new book about Oink! starts right here.
The blog will now become a diary of sorts, chronicling my work on the book from the original conception right the way through to publication. This is going to happen. Oink!'s 30th anniversary is this year and I can't think of a better way of marking it than starting work on this and taking you all along for the ride. I can't wait to get stuck in.
COMING UP NEXT
First I'll be writing up my initial ideas and how they've changed somewhat since I first announced it (prematurely) all that time ago. I'll show you the original pitch document I put together and showed to some of the team who worked on the comic (again, some ideas have developed and changed) to see what they thought of the idea, as well as bringing you up to speed on what exactly this book is going to be. In a nutshell I'm aiming for a companion piece to The Oink! Blog in a way, with this site being from the viewpoint of a pig pal and the book being the story of our very favourite comic from the perspective of those who brought it to us in the first place.
I hope you'll enjoy what's to come and I'll see you back here soon with more details. It all starts now.