A Look Back At 2013 And A Look Forward To 2014

As is traditional on this blog, at the end of each year, I talk about what I’ve managed to do the previous year and what I hope to achieve the next year. It’s as much for myself as it is for the select few that visit here. 2013 was another interesting year:

•We managed to get the TRIPWIRE anniversary book out, although it became a 21st rather than a 20th anniversary book. We didn’t make our kickstarter (those things are invariably a popularity contest) but we decided to bring it out anyway. I am proud of it despite the fact that sales haven’t been as brisk as I’d hoped and it is a very nice marker to say where we’ve been up to this point. Our Foyles event and related exhibition didn’t have a massive turn-out but I am rather proud that we can say we have done an exhibition and talk at this bookshop, a London landmark

•We kicked off the TRIPWIRE Digital App despite the fact that it took quite a while to get approved by Apple. It is nice that for the first time since 2003, we have a regular presence and platform to cover comics, books, film and related subjects and that we can build on the momentum we have for it

•On the photography front, I did get to see a few of my shots blown up at the Foyles event and I got one of my Brian Aldiss photos used in the Financial Times magazine, which was rather nice. I continued to submit to Writer Pictures and a new stock place for my landscape photos. I tried to keep improving my shots and took a lot of photos when I travelled over the course of the year. Some of them managed to surprise me

•I continued to write for Comic Heroes, got something into Imagine FX and a few new articles for Big Issue in The North. I also continued with my subbing work, there to pay the bills but it’s still useful

•I didn’t touch my novel much as I was busy with freelance work and the TRIPWIRE anniversary book. I also didn’t do very much on the Dee for Detective comic series, with Andy Grossberg and artist David Morris

But at the end of 2013, hopefully I have planted a lot of seeds for the future. In 2014, I intend to:

•Bring out the TRIPWIRE Digital App bimonthly. So every two months there’ll be a new edition of the app and we’ll continue to ramp up the interactive content in it. I want to make TRIPWIRE the essential digital publication covering the world of comics and genre again

•Keep pushing my photography and keep submitting to stock agencies. I have improved a lot in the last five years but I am still not totally consistent

•Use the digital and ebook formats to put out my own work, whether that’s journalism, writing or photography. I shall go back to the detective novel and also do more on the Dee for Detective comic series, which I neglected

•I shall continue to sub and do the freelance journalism although it would be nice to phase out the subbing and just focus on writing and editing

•I shall also continue to populate this blog and fill Flickr and my Tumblr (www.joelmeadowsphotography.com) with my photos, keeping it updated. Plus, we shall endeavour to update the tripwire website, now www.tripwiremag.net, with new content

Just like 2013, 2014 is looking like a very interesting year…

As I always do at this time of year, I take a look at what I’ve done over the previous year and what I hope to do in the following year. 2012 has been a very interesting year for me:

•I had my first photography exhibition, the comic portrait photos shown in Gosh back in March of 2012. Even though this was supposed to tie in with a 20th anniversary that didn’t quite happen, I was still very proud to see my work blown up and shown at Gosh in Soho in London for three weeks.

TRIPWIRE 20th anniversary through Unbound. Unfortunately, the 20th anniversary book that was supposed to be published through book crowd-sourcing site Unbound didn’t happen, despite our best efforts. We gave out postcards at Kapow and Bristol and constantly promoted it on Twitter and Facebook. But it just didn’t gel. However if I hadn’t started to gather material for the project, I wouldn’t have had about 20 images in hand that will be running in the 21st anniversary book in 2013, so it wasn’t a totally wasted effort

•I published two more photography books, Spooked: A London Gothic and Faces. They had their problems but it was thanks to the Faces book being published that my Bryan Talbot photo was seen and I received some money from Steve Bissette for its use on the cover of an ebook he is bringing out about Bryan Talbot. So I am very pleased that I put it out

•We did another digital TRIPWIRE edition, our Dredd special, in November. We were hoping to put a digital TRIPWIRE out a bit more frequently but this was designed to show that we are still a going concern. It made me decide to do a digital bi-monthly as of Feb 2013

•Freelance work was pretty good. Despite a parting of the ways with the Judge Dredd Megazine in the summer, I continued to do features for Comic Heroes and by the end of the year, I have a number of other outlets lined up including a publishing website and a print magazine I haven’t worked for in a while, which is a result. In terms of subbing, despite a few contracts ending prematurely, was also a good year, thanks to me casting my net a bit wider

•I also continued to submit stock photos to Writer Pictures and I have a number of pages there now. The fact that I kept shooting increased my confidence and I intend to build on this

•I am almost halfway through the first draft of my detective novel, which I am determined to complete

•I started two new blogs on Tumblr, one dedicated to my photos and the other whose aim is to promote TRIPWIRE 21

So it had its ups and downs but it was a very packed year. So my aims for 2013 are almost as ambitious

•We shall be doing a TRIPWIRE 21st anniversary book through Kickstarter UK. It shall be up to pledge on by the middle of January and it will hopefully be a great celebration of the magazine’s 21st birthday, with the plan to release it sometime in May to launch at Bristol. There are also plans afoot to schedule some anniversary talks and events around London in 2013

•From the end of February, TRIPWIRE digital will be put out initially as a bi-monthly publication. It will cover comics, film, TV and genre in the same way that we have been doing it in the magazine, offering quality and depth while also making the content accessible. I am very excited to get started on this and if it works out, then we may do a print annual which will reprint the cream of the digital

•I probably will do some more photography books, both in print and as ebooks, as I have improved considerably since I started and really want to pursue some more photography projects

•I shall continue to populate the three blogs and the TRIPWIRE website with content as they all serve a slightly different purpose

•I shall follow up on a few nibbles from New York Comic Con, one of which may be the resurrection of a comic artists studio interviews book like Studio Space

•I shall finish the first draft of the Hanging Man detective novel

•I shall continue to submit photos to Writer Pictures

•I also intend to try and get my photos seen in a number of new places. The Gosh exhibition made me realise that there are an infinite number of opportunities regarding where to show off your work but you have to think laterally sometimes

I want to build on what I have achieved in 2012 and hopefully set some new goals. These blog posts at the end of the year are as much for me as for regular visitors to this blog. It helps to crystallise my own intentions if I consider what I’ve done professionally.

So 2013 is looking like another very fruitful year…


After a long gap, we have decided to return to putting out Digital editions of TRIPWIRE. Available to download for free from our website is our Dredd special, which looks at the Dredd 3D film with the help of interviews with John Wagner, Alan Grant, Karl Urban and our review of the film itself. To vary the content though, we have wrapped it up with a review of Skyfall and Argo. The plan is to put out a digital TRIPWIRE edition every other month from the first quarter of 2013. So why not check it out?
TRIPWIRE Digital Dredd Edition


As I write this, I am in the process of moving. From the place I have lived in for over a decade now to a flat. So I am surrounded by boxes, which will be temporarily stored until I move into the new place on Saturday 16th July. It’s been an odd few weeks as I’ve been going through the garage, sorting out and getting rid of a lot of crap that I’ve accumulated over the years. I’ve found a load of back issues of TRIPWIRE and a box of copies of TRIPWIREx10, the anniversary book that we published back in 2002.
I wanted to plug two TRIPWIRE products in this latest post. The first is TRIPWIRE Digital 0.02, the second free to download digital edition. With an X-Men First Class cover, there’s a feature about the genesis of the film, interviews with a couple of its screenwriters plus we also have a Blueberry feature, a look back at Otomo’s Akira and a piece on Rebellion’s Slaine The Horned God. I hope that we’ve topped the first issue. You can get it from www.tripwire-magazine.com.
The second TRIPWIRE product is TRIPWIRE #55, which will be available to buy from the end of this month. It’s another packed issue, chock full of great content:
•Under an exclusive Elric cover painted by illustrator David Michael Beck, we celebrate 50 years of the White Wolf in the year that BOOM! brings the character back to comics and we talk to its creator, MICHAEL MOORCOCK
•London-based writer CHRISTOPHER FOWLER, writer of Bryant & May and Rune, lifts the lid on a career influenced by comics
•It’s fifty years since Fantastic Four #1 so we commemorate this with a look back at Marvel’s first family with the help of some of the creators who’ve been part of FF history
•WALT SIMONSON’s eagerly awaited The Judas Coin hardcover is published this Christmas and we preview the book including a unique sketchbook and pencils and inks section
•JASON AARON discusses Scalped, Wolverine and his other work
•Location Scouts Sarah Eastel talk about their work
•Shaenon Garrity writes about the history of webcomics seen from the inside
•SERGIO ARAGONES discusses The Funnies and his work
•PLUS STRIPWIRE, TRIPWIRE’s comic-within-a-magazine returns as does The Power List and Graphic Novels you should be reading

Diamond item code is MAY111336, so you can still order it from Diamond Comic Distributors.
Here’s the two covers (Digital 0.02 and TRIPWIRE #55) plus a few feature pages from the print edition to whet your appetite…


We’ve been mulling this over for a bit but about ten days ago, we decided to take the plunge. So if you go over to www.tripwire-magazine.com, you can download for FREE the first digital edition of TRIPWIRE, or issue 0.01. Currently it’s a .pdf but it will become more and more sophisticated and interactive as the months and years pass. Under a Thor movie cover, we look at the history of Marvel’s God of Thunder coming to the big screen. Plus we review Duncan Jones’ Source Code, give a history of 2000AD from 1977 to the present day and get a glimpse into what BOOM! has planned for Hellraiser.It costs NOTHING, so what are you waiting for?