Horrible annus

As we approach the end of the year it is traditonally the time to look back, take stock and consider what a dumpster fire the previous twelve months have been. And hoo-boy, 2020 was a vintage example of the annus horribilis.

The highlight, I’m sure you’ll all agree, is that I started this newsletter back in May just after the first lockdown restrictions were being eased in the UK. The celebrations quickly swept across the nation. I am certain it wasn’t a coincidence.

What was supposed to be a brief weekly paragraph of shameless self promotion thoughtlessly punted into the void has developed into a task I labour over (hard to believe from reading it) for little identifiable reward. In that way it has mirrored my career in comics.

In the spirit of taking a full account of my efforts I will give a brief update on my previous entries.

Witty bon mots To my surprise I have more than the two readers I had predicted. Thank you to my third reader. The one who isn’t related to me.

Motivation I continue to be motivated by revenge and spite. I’ve since added resentment.

At least I don’t have to take a test Haven’t got a hobby. Haven’t learned to cook. Haven’t watched The Wire, Parasite, The Mandalorian, The Queen's Gambit or anything on my Neflix list. Nothing has changed.

Legitimately tax-deductible Nazi’s and bat sh*t crazy consipracy theories proved to be popular all year.

Pan or Lid? Becoming ever more liddish by the day.

Prime Directive I still perfom my civic duty of poking leaves out of the drain when it’s coming down like stair rods. Where’s my medal?

One percent Hedgehog My first book of the year came out. I assume you all bought copies? Right?

Preciousss My first book of the year? "A timeless and immersive fantasy." -Publishers Weeklystarred review. Hint hint.

Panty Man Later research (i.e. nosiness) revealed the mysterious Panty Man to be a heavily muscled individual in the prime of life. As far as I am aware he is no longer jogging. Will keep you updated.

The Real Thing ‘The lesson is: sacrifice your personal life to meet arbitrary deadlines.’ As true today as it ever was.

For sale? Cleaned the car. It got dirty again. We didn’t sell it. Sorry there isn’t an exciting update to this one.

Dress Code Remember this? Widely regarded as a classic of the genre. No one else wrote about changing their clothing habits this year. No one.

Results Day I continue to live vicariously through my daughter’s achievements. Unbelievably, as of writing Gavin Williamson is still in his job.

The Power of Procrastination I will be touring my TED talk, Dude, what did the frog ever do to you? throughout the United States in 2021. “The comeback is bigger than the set back,” in ironic quotation marks.

An uncertain age I did not attend any more cons in 2020 and my daughter did take her fancy Ikea mug tree to university.

The Wedding Present We have a new pan but it is oversized for our purposes. We continue to use the old one-handled pan. It is still dangerous. We are still married.

To the ends of the earth I confess I didn’t actually buy any overpriced tea towels. I was just trying to be funny. Sorry.

FOMO or GOMO? GOMO all the way, baby.

Two jobs I am told my helicopter parent license is up for renewal.

Curtain twitcher Reader, I returned to my writing desk.

Empty shopping trolley syndrome It took us roughly five weeks to drink ten small green bottles of French lager.

Lentil talk As of typing there is no evidence of lentil-based feasts having been consumed.

The Wars of the Horses Still haven’t remained conscious all the way through the Covenanters.

Alan Unfortunately Alan contracted a nasty fungal infection in the early days of his university experience. He was too ashamed to say how he caught it but it’s clear he fell in with a bad crowd. After a course of treatment I am happy to report that he is back to full health. He came home for Christmas and doesn’t appear to be suffering any long term consequences from his foray into the demi-monde. I understand he intends to apply for the next series of University Challenge.

Haunted The Diocese of Worcester were very nice and managed to exorcise an ancient Mesopotamian demon from our vehicle. It remains in good working order.

An incident on Nantyglasdwr Lane As of typing the Indian fire bowl has yet to be christened by fire.

The Book Tour Whaddya know, my second book of the year came out. You all bought several copies to sit alongside my first book of the year, right? Right?

Seedy and deflated My second book of the year? "Watson’s adeptness at capturing body language and facial expressions combines with nuanced dialog and a keen sense of irony to create a hugely entertaining page-turner." —Library Journal (starred review). Starred review. Hint hint.

I am a patient boy My time is water down the drain.

Oh, Christmas Tree Status: not shedding like billy-o.

Put a jumper on I am still trying to make Warmcore happen.

“What’s to-day?” The nut roast was delicious but Tiny Tim had an allergic reaction.

My store/digital comics/two books out this year/patreon are all ways you can support my stuff. Unless you’re one of those people who rocks up here every week expecting guffaws. For free! Well, don’t think I haven’t noticed. I have. I am just too polite to mention it.

Raise a small green bottle of cheap French lager and say good riddance to 2020. Thank you for reading.

Take care,


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