As the holidays approach, we figured it was a good a time as any to look back on the year closing out and clear the deck to begin looking ahead to the year to come – something we’ll be teasing more and more in coming weeks.
So, without further ado…
2016 – The Year in Review
While there’s no doubt 2016 has been a tough year for many, it was still a great year for the studio! We saw our single largest year of staff growth and expansion, our single busiest year for conventions and special events, a great launch for our outreach efforts, great recognition for our projects, and more work flowing through the studio than ever in our history.
Our staff has been growing exponentially and it seems every time we post we either have a new promotion or a new addition (and this time we have both). Visionary expanded with new partners as co-founders C. Edward Sellner and Charlie Hall welcomed Jeff Mariotte, Kas Decarvalho, Brian Augustyn, Mike Munshaw, and Gary Cohn as voting partners of the studio. We also saw promotions almost completely across the board as Cathy Dougherty became our Children’s Book Division Chief, Natalie Ekelund and Matt Horstmann stepped up to lay the groundwork for our new digital publishing initiative (one of those big things coming in 2017), and our latest, as we proudly announce the promotion of Chrissie Nelson to our in-house Marketing Director! We also introduced our single largest intern class ever in our history with five active (and yeah, looks like that won’t be the final number there)!
Meanwhile, we were proud of our key releases this year and how well they did. Our first novel with Tor Books, Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry , released its mass market paperback edition this past summer and netted nominations for two very prestigious awards: the Scribe and Dragon Awards. Our second novel, Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising by award-winning author Jeff Mariotte hit stands with its first paperback edition, to numerous positive reviews. On the comic front, we debuted our latest graphic novel collection with Deadlands: Cackler, a gorgeous book that is perhaps the epitome of our Deadlands graphic novel line, written by game creator Shane Lacy Hensley, and amazing art by Bart Sears and crew!
On top of that Visionary had more active work-for-hire projects going on than ever before in our history, with custom art, concept-design, writing, editing, and other creative projects for a wide variety of clients. We dabbled in Star Wars, launched into the Astral Universe, hung out with lions, beasts and bears (oh my!) all while delving deep into My Comic Life! The great news is more of these projects will be reaching a point where we can start sharing more details in 2017 – with new books hitting every market imaginable!
On the events front, Visionary, as a crew or our various staff individually, attended no less that twenty-seven shows and events this past year! Don’t believe me? Well, here they are…
- Amazing Arizona Con
- Annapolis Comic-Con
- Anne Arundel Library Con
- Awesome Con
- Baltimore Book Festival
- Baltimore Comic Con
- Columbia Comic-Con
- DC Author Fest
- Dover Comic-Con
- Free Comic Book Day Locations
- Galactic Con
- Girl-Scout Con
- Hampton Comic-Con
- Maryland Seafood Festival
- New York Comic-Con
- San Diego Comic-Con
- Savor Bowie
- Savor Maryland
- Southern Maryland Comic-Con
- Steampunk World Festival
- Tidewater Comic Con
- Tucson Comic-Con
- VA ComiCon
- Washington County Library Con
We want to thank all the awesome show organizers, sponsors, crew, volunteers and fellow exhibitors for such a great year! Collectively we nearly sold out of most of our previous line of books, many of our print runs, and we’re figuring somewhere over a few dozen commissions, sketch covers and original art sketch cards!
On top of that, we did numerous panels at various shows this year, from the Weird West, to My Comic Life, and Be Your Own Super-Hero or Super-Heroine! Our best guess is that a few hundred folks at some point sat in a panel, a workshop, a class or chat session hosted by Visionary this year.
We also launched our outreach initiative, Be Visionary, and our first official partner in that effort, the awesome team at Artway Alliance. With them, we brought interactive workshops for kids to several events this year and are looking forward to an even bigger year with them next year!
Not bad for a little studio that could.
Looking Ahead for 2017?
Our Get Creative Feature is coming together nicely as the first articles and features are coming in! What can you look forward to there? Creator Interviews! Movie, Book and Comic Reviews! In the News Features! Play Lists! Art Galleries! and More! We are still looking for a name for it though, so chime in if you have any ideas!
We’ll start unpacking more of that NEXT TIME (so you should probably subscribe now if you haven’t already!)
Note: With the hectic schedule we’ve had and next week being the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ll be skipping our regular weekly features, so, Weekly Visions will return on December 1st, and My Comic Life Sundays will hit this Sunday then return on December 4th! Happy Thanksgiving to all our fans and all folks everywhere!