Okay, been a week (what, already?) since 2012 shuffled off its mortal coil. I always said the Mayans were wrong and I'd make it to Event 2013, and here I am. Here, more to the point, we all are.
Thought I'd do a little write-up on the past year, and have a brief ponder on what might be coming up...
I turned 24. I remained weird. I also remained single. I didn't remain unemployed though, as you might have read in these pages back in February.
I nearly lost my computer. But it got fixed in the end, so all's well, and all that.
We obtained our seventh hamster back in January, and he has been entertaining us with his nuttiness ever since. And chewing the carpets.
The Jubilee happened. Celebrations in my area got rather washed out, but sometimes that's life. Now I'm busy rooting for Her Majesty to reach the end of her 64th year on the throne and overtake Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
The Olympics happened. I enjoyed the event, mostly. It was interesting to see that that at one point the USA decided to report the medals table using a different algorithm to everybody else in order to pretend that they were on top, when really we all knew China were leading - almost as if the whole nation was throwing a huge collective strop because being in second place out of 200-odd nations just wasn't good enough for them, dammit Jim. Us Brits, meanwhile, were perfectly happy with third rank - or at least I was. I thought the closing ceremony was a washout - okay, it's some overpaid morons singing naff songs; even Imagine is massively over-rated, what's the fuss about here? - but thought most of the opening show was brilliant, and the actual sporting in between managed to grip even me, who hasn't a drop of sporting blood in my body.
I made some interesting discoveries about animation - most importantly, the fact that paper cutout animation is actually a lot slower and more difficult than you might think. My animation output for 2011 comprised 13 episodes of Arbitrary Stopframe, but 2012 managed only 4 episodes of Papercuts. Although to be fair, Papercuts episodes feature dialogue (with the consequent burden of lip-synch work), and each have three times the runtime of actual animation (i.e. not counting title and credit sequences) of an AS episode, so when you do the maths they work out relatively close.
That was my film output - what of the intake? Records indicate (yes, I keep records) that I went to the cinema four times in 2012, to see The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (visually top-notch, as one would expect from an Aardman feature, but disappointingly weak in the story department, and less funny than it should have been), Avengers Assemble (don't get me started, I could eulogise for ages, especially about Phil 'Agent' Coulson), Brave (not quite Pixar's best, but still pretty good), and finally The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (overlong, yes, but largely enjoyable, especially the performances of Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis. Sorry about the inevitable disagreements betwixt us, Sam, but I did like it). I've lost count of all the things I've seen on TV / DVD / Blu-ray, but highlights have included Galaxy Quest on Blu-ray, Sherlock season 2, the first half of the first season of The West Wing, my first time watching full seasons of The Apprentice (s8) and Young Apprentice (s3), and of course Seven Samurai. Not so much a highlight, but still of note, the first few episodes of Star Trek TNG. So far, at least half of them have been really awful - but I kept watching because I'm a bit of a completist sometimes. The Dreaded Moffat has been very cruel and only given us six episodes of Doctor Who this year, instead of the 14 we should have had, but at least the first half of Series 33/7 has been an improvement over the sloppily-written debacle of 2011's Series 32/6.
I finished publishing Cylinder and Miserable Series 2, and started on Series 3. Didn't end up resuming Grace and Caffeine or starting my planned Brothers in Shells prequel spin-off yet.
I also met a guy called Wayne, and we've been writing a sitcom whose basic premise is The Screwtape Letters mashed up with The Terminator, and laced with a liberal dollop of up-to-the-minute financial corruption. More on that later, maybe...
And to round things off, I won 2 out of 5 podium spots for best post, and second ranking on the Best Blog of the Year list, in Sam's 2012 blogroll review, which I have to say was a very nice cap to the blogging year.
In short, goodness knows. There are 51 more weeks to go before 2014 starts, and 51 weeks is a very, very long time, both in politics and elsewhere.
On the animation front, I'm hoping to get X-Battles GT5 finished soon. Beyond that, Papercuts episodes 5 to 9 are all in various stages of being
written, but none are ready to go yet, so I might be taking a break from
the show and producing something else next. Possibly more AS, and/or possibly the long-brewing Empire of the Pond,
given a helping hand by my new graphics tablet. Or maybe something
about Murkum, animated entirely in Lego - but I don't have a workable
screen story for that project yet, so you'll have to wait. On a related
note, Tim, Sarah and I finished Alpha One's Winter Wonderland back in the summer, and shot a fifth X-Battles GT short in October (nearly finished, just waiting for some more sound-editing work).
Hoping to finish writing Cylinder and Miserable Series 3 this year. Might get round to doing one of those other comic-strip things I mentioned. Might not. Don't know.
Looking forward to Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Monsters University, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Waiting to see what the reviews are like. Need to catch up with Skyfall on DVD/BR sometime.
I've known people who took less than 51 weeks between meeting their future spouse for the first time ever, and getting back from their honeymoon. Not to say I expect to marry in 2013; far from it, I've long since given up any actual hope or expectation on that front, but I know enough about probability - and about God's sometimes inexplicable sense of humour - to recognise that I can't absolutely rule out any traces of possibility.
Can but wait and see!
- The Colclough