TRIUMPH and TRAGEDY. If a single phrase could sum up an entire year, this is it (as far as INSYMMETRY CREATIONS is concerned). Recovery from life-saving surgery (Steph's that took place in late December 2020), signing with Scout Comics all-ages imprint SCOOT!, and the untimely death of a longtime friend and valued musical partner; this is how we STARTED 2021. It only got crazier from there.
Below we'll go through some of the most memorable moments and experiences we had throughout the year, and at the bottom of the article we will give the numerical summary of our year.
SUMMER SHOW INSANITY: While we did many other events throughout the year, this past summer had us zigzagging around the east coast of the USA for professional and personal reasons like we'd never done before. Two smaller events in Florida gave way to unforgettable moments at GALAXYCON Raleigh NC and AWESOMECON DC.
Some of our personal memories: * Not realizing the GalaxyCon is completely underground, and driving around for 30 minutes because we couldn't comprehend why the GPS was telling us to go a block away from the building to find the loading dock * Having A-list actor and fashion icon GIANCARLO ESPOSITO do a double take and stop to tell us 'you look gooooood' because he appreciated our 'Pajama Party' look at GalaxyCon * Getting to do our own personal tour of all major NC State Wolfpack stadiums
* The 'Haunted Basement' in our AIRBNB in Washington DC where we all were willing to gladly sacrifice a Canadian (Rob MacKinnon) to save our own carcasses * The extensive number of shows we got to do while partnering with our good friend RICHARD RIVERA which leads us to our next point... SIGNING WITH SCOUT COMICS imprint SCOOT!: Prior to 2021, our areas of focus have been dystopian steampunk, medieval fantasy, metal music, and horror. We were encouraged to expand our writing base for the newly announced, all-ages imprint for Scout Comics - SCOOT! We did just that and early in 2021 we signed with them for our title MISFITZ CLUBHOUSE.
So what is Misfitz Clubhouse, you say? Imagine if Gravity Falls, Wreck-It-Ralph, and the Fairly Oddparents were neighbors on a cul-de-sac. The Misfitz Clubhouse would be right next door! In our short stories, we follow the escapades of MEEKY, STIG, FERRY, and SLOTH- four kids whose imaginations are so big they might just be changing the world around them! During the year we released their first short story 'I Don't Want Any Asparagus!' in SCOOT! Frontiers #1 (magazine), and ran a successful Kickstarter for their very first standalone issue - featuring the stories 'Pinball Madness' and 'Dress Up Mess Up', which will be released in 2022.
Because of our friendship with Richard Rivera (who we mentioned above) and the fact that he is the imprint head at SCOOT!, we got do MANY shows with him (tag-teaming tables featuring merch from INSYM, SCOOT! and his own title STABBITY BUNNY) as well as taking part in a wild road trip from Florida to Awesomecon DC (where SCOOT! Frontiers debuted). We also were able to participate on the SCOOT! Panel at Los Angeles Comic Con (thanks Charlie and Don!)
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION: The past year saw an expansion of panel hosting / convention moderation for Matt: * Hosted the GLOW Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling Panel at LOS ANGELES COMIC CON * A return trip to COLLECTIVE CON (Jacksonville Florida) as the weekend host for all panels * Weekend Moderator for the newly expanded OCALA COMIC CON (FL) * Hosted individual panels at PALMCON (Palm Beach FL) and DAYTONA BEACH Comic Convention
What does the new year hold? We can already tell you that there will be panel hosting at two BRAND NEW EVENTS (for us) that are already lined up and will be announced soon. Will we be back at any of the above as well? We shall see! WHERE STEAMPUNK, COMICS, AND METAL MUSIC... are FINALLY RELEASED!: It had been far too long since we had seen new HEIRS OF ISILDUR music or comics hit our 'NEW' rack. The most recent musical offering was a 2018 video, and comic-wise we dropped THE CROSSROADS CONUNDRUM trade paperback in 2019. Although we had every intention of releasing something in 2020... well... you know the rest of THAT story.
Fast forward to 2021 where we FINALLY we able to release the next piece in the HEIRS OF ISILDUR comic saga - with the one shot 'Nightmare Scenario'. It was designed to be a perfect bridge from the previously mentioned arc (which was very character driven) to the upcoming sci-fi apocalyptic story arc set in a steampunk world, that's entitled 'The Perilous Prospects'. We were also able to release the next metal album, entitled 'HEIRS OF ISILDUR vs TALES FROM NOCTURNIA'. Why have BOTH of our titles involved? That's because half of the songs relate to Heirs... and half to ...Nocturnia. It was a fun way to continue one arc and expand the other.
We also decided to release the album on collectible colored vinyl, which we (and our supporters) are still excited for, but one hard lesson we learned is that there is no such thing as fast production where vinyl is concerned. Heck, we KNEW and prepared for SLOW, but geeeeez. Even though we gave ourselves ample time to be able to get preorders out well ahead of schedule, the pressing plants have had other plans, and have delayed receipt of our goods until February of 2022. All this being said - the most important (and tragic) element that happened to us this year was the untimely death of longtime friend and musical partner Corey Steger. This not only affected this project, but everything we did as a whole. This event deserves its own article, and that's just what we'll do in the coming days. MOVIE REVIEWS GALORE: Another item on our list that was so prevalent for us this year that it will get its own article is STEPH'S budding movie review side-hustle. After getting a start in late 2020, she did over 30 articles in 2021, including being published by Fangoria.com and getting early access to Disney and Netflix titles. Our next article will be her 'Top Movies Reviewed for 2021'.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here are the actual numbers / stats for us from 2021:
Number we had in 2021: 20 (up from 17 in 2020)
Number of 'states' we had events in: 4 (Florida, North Carolina, Washington DC, California)
First time shows for us in 2021: 5 (Deland Comic Convention (FL), Olo Comic Convention (FL), GalaxyCon Raleigh NC, AwesomeCon DC, PalmCon (Palm Beach FL)
Story / Issue / Album Releases: 4
HEIRS OF ISILDUR 'Nightmare Scenario' (Special Edition Comic)
(5 covers / variants)
HEIRS OF ISILDUR vs TALES FROM NOCTURNIA (Album on CD and MP3)
MISFITZ CLUBHOUSE 'I Don't Want Any Asparagus' (Short story in SCOOT! Frontiers Magazine #1 (Scout Comics))
'Yellow Brick Remediation' (1 Page story in the CTHULHU INVADES OZ Anthology - Orange Cone Productions)
Total Campaigns in 2021: 2
Total Raised: Just over $14,000
* Heirs of Isildur vs Tales From Nocturnia THE METAL ALBUM on CD MP3 and VINYL + Heirs of Isildur: Nightmare Scenario Comic
* MISFITZ CLUBHOUSE Issue #1 (Featuring Pinball Madness & Dress Up Mess Up) We hope you all have enjoyed our look back on 2021. Next we'll continue the series with our look at 'TOP MOVIES REVIEWED by STEPH in 2021".
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