Goodbye, 2022! Hello, 2023!!

Hi patrons, fans, followers, and newcomers! The end of the year is coming up, and this blog serves as a retrospective as to what we’ve accomplished this year and to provide some perspective on the year ahead.

This year has been wonderful, and I can’t thank you all enough for the growth this project has gotten to experience alongside you all. Without you, Swift Spark wouldn’t be where it is today, and I can’t wait to see where we’ll end up in 2023.

A lot happened in 2022. First, the teaser trailer for the pilot episode got a make-over in May. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and made me excited to start production on the rest of the episode!

Production on the original comic wrapped up over the summer, and currently, we’re just over a month away from the final page releasing. Over 700 pages – it’s been a wild ride for sure.

During that same summer, we gave Kickstarter another shot, not to much success. But simply because the Kickstarter didn’t meet the goal, doesn’t mean it didn’t help – over the past year, our socials have grown by over 500% and the Patreon went from 0 to 4. That’s an undeniable net positive!

Production officially started with the storyboards in June, and by the end of August, the entire 22-minute episode was boarded and ready to be recorded. Our voice actors acted their sparks off, and by early October, Part One of the episode went into animation!

Now, about one third of the episode has been fully animated and is waiting to be coloured. On the Patreon, you can see the full episode’s rough animation and one minute of clean animation. Over the next few months, the animation will be finished, and colouring and compositing will wrap up the episode. Summer’s closer than you think!!

By the end of January, we’ll be able to announce who will be responsible for composing music for the episode!

A few weeks ago, IMDB recognized us as an animated production of interest to be included in their catalogue of films and series. It’s a little barebones of a page right now, but we appreciate to be there! More information should be added there the closer we get to release.

Our Webtoons and Comicfury comics saw massive growth this year. In August, we celebrated 10,000 pageviews on Webtoon – and now, only four months later, we’re at more than double that. Swift Spark on Comicfury reached 100,000 pageviews in October. No one is responsible for these numbers other than you, our loyal audience! 

So… that brings us to today, December 29th, 2022. Just 3 more days until 2023 arrives.

It’s time to talk about our goals for the new year – where are we going next?

In early 2023, we want to launch a Kickstarter for the comic – the current printer Swift Spark’s physical copies are being printed at has a high failure rate and their delivery is quite shoddy, meaning many books (sometimes as many as 40% of an order) arrive unsellable.

In order to get the same price for the books at a new printer, however, the order quantity will have to go up to at least 150 books. That’s a huge investment to go for all at once, so our Kickstarter will help fund a brand new run of books that are guaranteed to cover their costs.

This Kickstarter will also include some exclusive perks, such as an exclusive edition of our newest comic, which will be based on the pilot. Patrons have been able to see some previews of this comic.

Be sure to follow this Kickstarter if you want to be the first to get your hands on these comics! When it gets funded, there is no further risk involved – the artwork is ready to go to the printer.

And when you’re done reading those comics you got in the Kickstarter, in summer, it will be time for the main attraction…

Our pilot will release on August 31st, 2023! It’s canonically James’s 20th birthday, so plenty of reason for a celebration.

Patrons will be invited to watch the pilot early – no definitive date for this has been set yet, but I can guarantee it’ll be a fun time.

Right after the first half of the episode finishes production, the 2nd half will begin production. Where we stand now, production will take 7-9 months.

So that’s another goal for us this year – we have 6 months until production on part 2 begins. If I could hire another animator to help me, it would be possible to release part two in December 2023! 

By the start of 2024, would like our Patreon to earn at least $150 a month – 3x as much as it does now. A little ambitious maybe? Dream big, I say. Sure, $150/month doesn’t pay for a lot animation-wise, but it’s not the only source I can draw funds from. 😉

Social media is important for our growth. I’d like to see Swift Spark’s twitter double in the next year – all the way to 500! Can we do it? I’ll have to work hard and produce quality content to prove I’m worth your while, and I promise I won’t let you down.

THAT BEING SAID – I’ve tried in the past, but I quickly have trouble focusing when doing 3 things at a time, this being talking, animating, and looking at a stream chat simultaneously whilst streaming. This would needlessly extend production time, so I’ve decided to start streaming when we get to a stage that requires less of my concentration – colouring.

Colouring is a quick and easy process, meaning I can spend more time chatting with you guys. Expect Patreon-only streams to start happening in March! 

And speaking of Patreon only events, and the comic ending… In the paragraph about our Kickstarter, I mentioned a new comic, which will be based on the pilot, and the physical version will only be available for Kickstarter backers in 2023. 

I will not be releasing this comic online for free. Moving forward, I intend to produce Patreon-only comics as content in-between episodes of the pilot, and this one will be the first in 2023. It’ll be 40 pages long, and the same storyline as the pilot. The 2nd half will release alongside the 2nd half of the pilot in 2024, also about 40 pages.

So the whole comic is about 80 pages all-in-all, and will never be released publicly.

And finally… if you’re a Patron, I’ve got something fun in the works for you. If you’re a Patron at any level, you’ll be receiving holiday cards/prints! €10 and up Patrons will be eligible for physical postcards, hand-written and hand-signed, at no extra charge.

Patrons without any address listed will get one in their e-mail, digitally written (still by hand though) and signed. December 2022 was too late to start doing this, but we hope that the first card will be going out for Valentine’s day.

Depending on logistics, the first card may be digital for all Patrons, but by Easter, eligible Patrons should be receiving a physical card!

Consider all this a thank you to our greatest fans! And the cards should make for a cute collectible.

For now, these are our plans – ones we can talk about, at least – in 2023. Behind the scenes, there’s some secret announcements in the works… something to do with SAG-AFTRA, and something potentially to do with an animation studio. But we can’t say anything yet until the ink on the contracts has dried, if you catch our drift.

Expect more casting announcements to come as Part Two of the episode goes into production, and get ready to meet our composer! 

Until then, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday if you celebrate, and may your 2023 be sparkling and bright!


Peter and the LIGHTNING crew

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