And welcome to 2017! For most of us, last year wobbled wildly between “kind of OK” and “five-alarm blaze at the local fireworks factory that’s also somehow an orphanage”, so if we can hope for one thing, it’s that this new year will bring some good news with it, too.
As far as the comic went, however, 2016 actually wasn’t all that shabby:
We celebrated our first anniversary with a big fanart contest, which honestly yielded more amazing submissions than it had any right to.
D&W more than doubled its subscriber base on Tapastic, rocketing from around 1,200 followers in January 2016 to comfortably over 3,000 by year’s end.
After months of hemming, we finally Did The Thing and launched our Patreon with a range of new art and behind-the-scenes commentary.
On top of that, D&W was recognized for Excellence in Writing and Science Fiction by the folks at StArt Faire.
D&W was present at almost every major comic con in the UK last year, but one event was particularly special: our first combined showing at the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, which mostly proved I can’t maintain a consistent signature for more than 10 minutes at a stretch.
That’s right: it’s official. If you follow us on social media, you’ll probably know that we’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a Patreon for quite a while now – all the cool webcomics artists are doing it, so why not us? But we always hit a bit of a hurdle when it came to content: we’re not quite in a position where we can offer things like more frequent comic updates, but still want to give people something substantial for their support.
Over the last couple of weeks, though, we’ve finally had the time to put together a little grab bag of fan goodies: comics, production art, original script pages, and behind-the-scenes insights. It’s a list that’ll probably expand a bit in the months ahead; it’s important to us that backers get a proper bang-for-buck ratio, and we’re kinda figuring out this whole Patreon lark as we go along. So if you’ve got a suggestion about how we can improve our offerings, let us know! Our metaphorical door is always open.
As for D&W itself, you’ll be happy to know that our summer hiatus is almost over – in fact, the cover for Chapter 3 is being sketched out as we speak. Watch this space…
In other non-comic news, D&W friend/occasional collaborator/unstoppable music factory Neon Shudder released his first full-length LP,Cadence, on Bandcamp earlier this month. This cyberpunk concept album-slash-multimedia experiment builds on last year’s O-8015 EP with 20 fresh tracks, and includes an illustrated digital novella authored by Mr. Shudder himself.
Longtime followers will discover that Cadence marks a big artistic push forward for Yung Shud – a release that doesn’t just play with presentation and storytelling, but also offers a broader palette of sounds than previous Neon Shudder EPs.
Didn’t get a chance to come out to see us at the MCM London Comic Con? Have no fear: the Drugs & Wires store now carries Drugs & Wires: Issue #2, the newly-reprinted Dreamspace: Analogue Edition, and our stylin’ transfer tattoo sheets. Orders can be personalized on request – just make sure to include it in the notes when checking out!
It’s that time again: MCM London Comic Con is almost upon us! As in years past, Cryoclaire will be setting up shop in the Comic Village with all the trimmings, including:
Dreamspace: Analogue Edition – Ever since the initial run of Dreamspace: Analogue Edition sold out, we’ve been peppered with requests for a reprint, so here it is. We took the opportunities to make some tweaks to the story and clean up the continuity a touch; consider this Analogue Edition 1.01. Fair warning, though: this’ll probably be the last time we make AE available to the general public, so get your copy while the going’s good.
Drugs & Wires: Issue 2 – Fresh off the presses, it’s the entirely of D.D.F.H. in future-proof dead-tree format, complete with highly collectible variant cover! (Hey, it’s the ’90s.)
D&W Temporary Tattoos – If you follow Cryoclaire on social media, chances are you’ve already seen these, but we’re still very, very excited about them.
We’ll also be selling D&W: Issue 1, the Daily Struggles of a Cyberjunkie one-shot collection, prints, postcards, buttons, and more, more, more. Look for Claire at Table CL2, conveniently located within a stone’s throw of the Kids Zone, a decision the organizers may yet regret. (And if you can’t make it to London, just watch this space – we’ll be updating our store shortly after the event!)
We had a fantastic selection of entries for our first anniversary fanart contest – more, honestly, than either of us were expecting. But after a lot of soul-searching and some valuable input from our significant others and cyber-pals, we finally picked our three four lucky winners!
You can find full-size version of these images (and all of the other great submissions!) on our fanart page. A big “thank you” to everybody who participated!
Yep, it’s true. On March 22nd, 2015, we officially launched this wild, weird little enterprise into the World Wide Web, making this our first official anniversary.
The last 12 months have been a bit of a blur, but in the best way possible: we’ve published 44 pages of comics, met a lot of talented creators in the process, and – best of all – discovered that there’s actually a surprisingly substantial audience for our cyberpunk-flavored brand of post-Soviet misery. So to all our comment section regulars, Tapastic subscribers, and everyone who’s read, purchased, shared, reviewed our comic, and visited us at conventions… Thank you for making this happen!
We’ll be posting the results of our fanart contest on the 24th once we’ve had a chance to go over all of the entries – harder than it sounds, since we’ve been literally snowed in with great stuff these past couple of weeks! In the meantime, you might also be interested in this little behind-the-scenes look at the comic’s production.
Hey, everyone! Drugs & Wires celebrates its first anniversary on March 22nd, 2016, and we’d like to mark the occasion by saying “thank you” to our awesome readers with not one, but two giveaway contests!
The LOW EFFORT Giveaway!
Have a Tumblr account and hate putting effort into winning things? We’ve got just the contest for you, friend! The rules couldn’t be simpler: all you have to do is reblog this post and add your favorite D&W character(s) in the tags. (This helps us to filter out spammers and giveaway-only blogs!)
Two rebloggers will be chosen at random on March 22nd to receive a copy of D&W #1 and a D&W postcard!
The HIGH STAKES Fanart Contest!
It’s not secret that we here at D&W love fanart, so we’re using our anniversary as a shameless excuse to solicit more. The rules run as follows:
Draw any character from D&W.
Keep it PG-13 so we can put it on our website!
Post it on social media with the hashtag #DrugsAndWires or e-mail it to cryoclaire(( A T ))gmail.com.
You can enter as many times as you want, but you can’t win more than once.
Deadline for submissions is 23:59 GMT on March 22nd 23rd.
FIRST PLACE: One original Cryoclaire sketch of your choice, copies of Drugs & Wires #1 and Daily Struggles of a Cyberjunkie, plus a grab bag of D&W badges, postcards, prints.
SECOND PLACE (if there’s 6+ entries): One original Cryoclaire sketch of your choice, copies of Drugs & Wires #1 and Daily Struggles of a Cyberjunkie, plus D&W postcards.
THIRD PLACE (if there’s 6+ entries): One original Cryoclaire sketch of your choice, Drugs & Wires #1, and D&W postcards.
Thanks for being a part of our first year, and good luck!
We’ve been experimenting with art livestreams since the earliest days of the comic, and after a couple of venue and scheduling changes, we’ve finally settled into a new home and time slot. You can now watch Cryoclaire assemble new pages on Twitch Saturdays and Sundays – exact start times are announced on her Twitter or Tumblr. Our streams usually run for a few hours; art aside, you’ll get a chance to chat with other fans and creators, sample Claire’s industrial/witchhouse/vaporwave playlists, and take in a sterling selection of random crap we’ve unearthed on YouTube.
D&W also recently gained its very own subreddit on reddit.com, so if you’ve got an account and are looking for an all-new venue to chat about everybody’s favorite depressed-Slav-in-cyberpunk-’90s-hell webseries, swing on by!
History time: way back in 2013, Cryoclaire launched Dreamspace, an animated, pseudo-interactive story about a down-on-his-luck VR mindtripper named Dan and his (mostly) gradual descent into addiction. In 2014, Dreamspace was collected into a print edition with revised dialogue and some additional material, appropriately called Dreamspace: Analogue Edition. Last year, the first print run of Analogue Edition officially sold out, and we started planning an expanded second edition to replace it. As of January 2016, we’re… still in the planning stages, to be honest, so while Analogue Edition 2.0 sits in creative limbo, we thought we’d at least make the original available online.
Like all things D&W, you can access (and subscribe to!) the suddenly less appropriately titled DS: Analogue Edition through Cryoclaire’s Tapastic page.