- The first win of the year came through my day job. We had a major project launch that, through no fault of anyone on my team, got repeatedly delayed. So much so that it it ran up against my boss' planned-in-advance-but-with-a-huge-safety-margin vacation. So I was able to step up and assume her role for this major launch (which, from our end, went off without a hitch) and generated a bit of nice corporate PR for myself. I'm certainly not one of those climb-the-corporate-zigguart guys, but it's still cool to prove to a bunch of co-workers that you can still be successful outside your typical comfort zone.
- Speaking of stepping outside my typical comfort zone, I ran my first marathon in May. My first race of any kind, really. It's made all the more powerful by the fact that I was never particularly athletic growing up, favoring more intellectual pursuits. It really feels like I accomplished something that should have been impossible for me, and I can't tell you just how powerful that makes me feel. "I have done the impossible, and that makes me mighty."
- Although I hadn't really planned on doing so, I followed that race with a 5K on Thanksgiving. Without really attempting to do so, I managed fourth place among my age group.
- I appeared in The Avengers. Granted, it's for less than a full second and you can only see my back, but it's still pretty cool to have been a part of that. I was kneeling six or seven feet away from Tom Hiddleston and got to see him act from a closer vantage point than most anyone else ever. I have no intention of becoming a regular movie extra, but it was a great experience, especially in lieu of the movie being so well-done and well-received.
- I'm making a variety of cameos in comics as well. David Gallaher has a character named after me in The Only Living Boy, I'm getting named checked by Erik Evensen in The Beast of Wolfe's Bay, and Humberto Ramos is drawing me into the second volume of Fairy Quest. Kind of silly since it really hasn't required any real effort on my part, but still fun. Although, I now have some really bizarre continuity to sort out.
- This is also the year that I got my finances straightened out. My divorce from a few years ago left me saddled with a good chunk of debt, and I managed to pay that off this year. Despite having the unexpected expense of having to get a new car in 2009 when my old one got struck by lightning. I also managed to pay off that car this year, too, leaving my only debt of any sort being my mortgage. I'm sure I don't have to tell many of you what a HUGE burden that is off my shoulders now!
- I had several of my essays published in Bart Beaty's Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Independents & Underground Classics. Definitely a nice, little professional cred and some personal satisfaction in that one of the graphic novels I wrote an essay on is featured on the front cover.
- You know that really cool Mars rover called Curiosity? It landed on the red planet to much fanfare back in August. My name's embedded on one it's microchips. There's a record of me on another planet! That's just cool!
- Also falling in the "that's just cool" category: my column for MTV is still going strong. I mean, really? MTV? How much time did I spend watching MTV in my youth? It's totally not the same company that it was when I was a kid, but A) it still holds some measure of arbiter of cool clout, and B) I actually am more impressed by the breadth of coverage they have now.
- And of course, the really big deal for me this year has been putting my house in Ohio up for sale and prepping to move to the Chicago area to be with my lady; we're finally starting our life together. That it puts me in that much more of a central location for the comics business is just icing on the cake! (Oh, hey, I just realized I might be able to attend CAKE next year!)
And So Ends My Best Year Ever
I'm generally not a big fan of reminiscing, but 2012 was an absolutely incredible year for me. I wanted to take just a moment to reflect on some of the highlights.