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End of '20 / Start of '21 - Part 1 of 4: INSYM Year In Review

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Just like for every other individual and business entity in the world, 2020 unfolded in a way that was not how we predicted. After 35 in person appearances in 2019 and 3 successful kickstarters, our schedule was starting to load up in 2020 when... well... 2020 happened.

We had five appearances in the books and were about to make our way to Seattle for Emerald City Comiccon (for the release of Tales From Nocturnia 2 alongside Stabbity Bunny's Richard Rivera). ECCC then became the first event in this industry to 'postpone / cancel', which started the chain of events that saw every other show across the country follow suit (including 14 more that we already had on our docket).

We could focus on the negatives that happened because of all of this, but we've decided to look at the bright side of 2020 and the things we WERE able to accomplish. Here's a list of many notable items that came out of this otherwise hideous year:

CROWDFUNDING ACHIEVEMENTS: We had our most successful campaign by nearly double in the midst of the pandemic (for Tales From Nocturnia #3 and it's Trade Paperback Book). For some what was accomplished during our campaign was small beans, but for us to garner 5 digits when we did was heartening.

We also can't forget the beginning of the year when we unveiled the final cover for the Nocturnia 2 campaign: Thomas Tenney's "The Inferians" cover. Being able to do a crossover with the INFERI boys was super fun and getting a heavy hitter such as Tenney (Marvel, Creepshow) to bring them to life was the perfect pairing.

LIVE APPEARANCE JENGA: Above we talked about how we had 14 events that were postponed or cancelled in 2020. Amazingly we ended up the year with 17 in total that DID take place (5 pre-pandemic, 12 post apocalypse). The focus was mostly in store signings that could be easily managed, socially distanced, etc... Super shout out to all the local establishments that had us in their stores during the year.

As the year progressed there were a few smaller events that were able to take place. From the outside looking in its easy to say "well that's crazy why would they do that?" But as individuals that participated we felt safer at these events than when taking a trip to the local Wal-Mart. Everyone did their part: Cleaning crews, 100% mask wearing adherence, sanitation stations, crowd size limitations, etc...

One of the big highlights of the year was COLLECTIVE CON Jacksonville. When their moderator for the event had to pull out at the last minute, Matt was called upon to take over all of the interviews for the weekend. Insym even got to run and judge the costume contest. As the first show of ANY size that attempted to run, everyone knew all eyes were on it to see how they fared. Overall it seemed like they passed the test with flying colors.

At CollectiveCon, post-interview with EMILY SWALLOW (aka the ARMORER from THE MANDOLORIAN)

ONLINE EXPOSURE: With shows across the country cancelled, and everyone locked down, 2020 was the year of the online event. It can be debated how effective these events were because of oversaturation, overexposure, and questionable conversion into sales, but one thing that cannot be disputed was that it put you in contact with many others that you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet and interact with.

The first such that crossed our paths was the FANBASE PRESS weekly creator forum. Shout out to Bryant and Barbra Dillon for putting it together and leading it weekly for the majority of the year.

Kudos to all those that had us on their live stream, interviewed us, and who continue to give their time to crafting the online experience. We know it's not easy, and we thank you for all your efforts!

THE 'DRAGON LORD': This could fit into many of the above categories, but we felt this needed its own mention, as it transcended inclusion in a single area.

When discussing our Kickstarter campaign for Tales From Nocturnia 3, our good friends over at GB Leatherworks (who had already worked with us many times before) decided to up their game and proposed the creation of the 'Dragon Lord Mask' to go with our campaign.

It was awesome looking, sure. But would there be a market for it? Probably not. Oh how wrong we were. While we were busy promoting it and integrating it into the story and campaign, GB was busy bringing their creation into the real world.

First came the pimp daddy photoshoot alongside Matthew & Bunny Bragg from Green Bunny Hats. Next came the bright idea to have the Dragon Lord himself show up at a live event and do a signing. This live event ended up being one where multiple individuals picked up their own masks, so the signing turned into a 'Dragon Lord Get Together'. It truly was life imitating art imitating life etc... that spiraled out of control in the best of ways!

BY THE NUMBERS: Here are the actual numbers / stats for us from 2020: -APPEARANCES- Number we had in 2020: 17

Number we had cancelled in 2020: 14

Number of states we had shows cancelled in: 5 (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, California)

In store appearances (of the 17): 9

'Convention / Event' style: 8 (4 mid-sized, 4 small events) -PRODUCTS- Story / Issue Releases: 5

TALES FROM NOCTURNIA 2: 'Something Sinister This Way Comes' (40 page Issue) (6 covers / variants) TALES FROM NOCTURNIA 3: 'Welcome To The Dragon's Lair '(44 Page Issue) (6 covers / variants) TALES FROM NOCTURNIA: The Complete Legendary Saga (152 page book) (1 cover) TALES FROM NOCTURNIA 'Be Careful What You Wish For' (4 page mini for the HOUSEBOUND Anthology) 'ROOM FOR MORE': Prose Short Story for Creepy Kingdom's 'Tales From The Parkside' series

Merch Releases: TRADING CARDS: Insym Series 3 (Tales From Nocturnia Series 2) TRADING CARDS: Insym Series 3.5 (Tales From Nocturnia Holofoil Series) SHIRT: Tales From Nocturnia Red Logo SHIRT: Dragon's Lair Icon Symbol Grey/Orange/Green WOODWORK: Tales From Nocturnia Wooden Sticker WOODWORK: TFN Dragon's Lair Coasters WOODWORK: TFN Dragon's Lair Wall Plaque LEATHERWORK: Baby Dragon Head Keychain LEATHERWORK: Wall Mounted Dragon Head LEATHERWORK: Dragon Lord Mask Kickstarter Campaigns Fulfilled In 2020: 2 Kickstarter Campaigns Run in 2020: 1 We hope you all have enjoyed our look back on 2020, and we can't wait to see what in store for 2021. We'll continue the series tomorrow with our look at 'TOP METAL ALBUMS and FAVORITE SONGS for the year".

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