So today is the first anniversary of my move to Tennessee, my “Tenneversary” if you will. It’s been an interesting ride to say the least, seeing some of the highest highs and the lowest of lows but things have begun to even out quite nicely. I’d never seriously considered the idea of living in the South and now that it is upon me I find myself rather enchanted by it. Sure, there are plenty of things that a quite liberal, fairly atheist, lifelong Yankee find a little…perplexing (So. Many. Trump. Signs) but on the whole I’ve found a decent job, good friends, and a nice place to live that once again reminds me that if I can’t live in The City (wherever that may be) then I’d much rather live in the country. Far more palatable and relaxing. The suburbs are always just…weird. No matter where you go.

After moving twice in the past year I’m also certainly not looking to do it again for quite a while. I did a fairly large purge of things when I moved from Chicago and now I find myself building them back up. I had a rather extensive sale of books and comics and things of that nature and I’ve found myself leaning heavily back into that. It’s a little strange to have a (little) disposable income again and a lot of that seems to be going towards furniture and toys and decorative things and maybe, one day, saving up for more tattoos. I’ve also found myself strangely interested in buying a lot of movies lately. Not just the fun new releases like The Force Awakens or Sisters but older classics that I’ve really enjoyed. Granted, some of them are hard to find and I’m very cheap but it would be really great to own copies of Clue or L.A. Story or The Jerk or the Cornetto Trilogy. I had a long stretch of time after the second time I moved where I didn’t have internet and it was very frustrating not having all manner of streaming media available to me at the push of a button. It’s weird accumulating more stuff after I’d spent my last several months in Chicago contemplating downsizing and tiny home living. Who knows, maybe I would be happy living in a Gulfstream trailer or “tiny house” or even a refurbished shipping container if it had the right stuff in it.

One of the biggest changes in the past year has been actually getting my drivers license and getting my own car. It’s been a nice change to be able to zip around wherever I like and I’ve found myself enjoying driving on country roads in random directions with the windows down and the music up as the winter fades away into the rear view. I’ve already made a pair of road trips to Chicago and back and it was nowhere near as stressful as I’d imagined it would be. I will say that I’m quite happy I’m no driving in the age of GPS as I can’t imagine struggling with directions on my own over long periods of time like I was some kind of caveman.

One of those Chicago trips was for my annual appearance at C2E2 which, while always a blast to see the circle of friends that come through there (especially the Super-Fly Comics gang) it wasn’t particularly successful on the selling things front. I managed to be in Artists Alley the last day of the show to see if it changed my luck (and it did, a little) but it was certainly an eye opening experience. I learned a lot and am looking forward to going to more shows over the course of the year not just as a “guy who is in a booth that sells comics but is selling his own things” but as “a guy in artists alley that has a variety of fresh and exciting things to sell and upcoming projects to talk about.” I’, hoping that by the end of the year I’ll be on an at least once-a-month plan of selling at conventions.

Speaking of projects things are coming along nicely. The print version of SHADOW OF THE PAST is imminent and the print version of the first Winston & Churchill collection SUMMER OF SINS will be right behind it. Or perhaps I’ll wait and release all 12 stories in a big honkin’ omnibus edition, but we’ll see how that goes. Two of the comic projects I’ve been working towards are inching closer to success and, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve got two other little things that have begun to percolate onto the page. Soon I’ll once again I’ll find myself the Special Hell comic writers often find themselves in: trying to find an artist (and in this case “artists,” plural, as I’m looking to do a bunch of 8 and 16 page short interconnected stories). As if that wasn’t enough I’ve also been working on a second novel and a SECRET PROJECT that only a couple of people know about right now. The only thing I’ve stopped working on has been the Super-Fly Podcast, as that came to a rather abrupt end of about six glorious years of weekly episodes. That’s a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I guess something had to give and I am a little sad it was that but after six years how much more can you say about nerd culture and retail? I do miss it some and who knows, maybe something else will spring up in it’s place. As I’ve learned this year the only constant is change and I’m looking forward to see what other changes come along as I begin the march towards my 40s.

About The Author

Thacher Cleveland

Thacher E. Cleveland is a contributing writer & columnist for PanelsOnPages.com, co-host of the Super-Fly Comics & Games PodCast, novelist & comic creator. Originally from New Jersey and previously from Yellow Springs, Ohio, he currently lives in Chicago. You can find him on Twitter (@demonweasel), tumblr, his personal website and even on Google+

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04 2016

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