2018 in Review

This was an odd year for me.

I start every year in the same manner: Full of energy and motivation, ideas coming out of my… um ears, and a renewed sense of self.

But like the last couple of years that all sort of deflated after a few hurdles (stay with me for this first part).

For those new around here, I’ve spent a number of years rebuilding myself after a traumatic period in my life in 2012, which resulted in anxiety and nervous breakdowns for the first time ever as well as shattering everything I knew and held dear. That rebuilding was quite successful and I was able to return to a place that was familiar within myself and in my lot in life.

But upon that success, I knew I couldn’t remain complacent and stagnant. I needed to move forward and beyond into something greater. And that’s what the last couple of years have been about.

In terms of personal growth that’s always ongoing but in regards to what I “do” I’ve been trying to expand and establish something new and on my own. After spending the last 12 years as a graphic designer it was time to try something else and dip the toes into something that I could enjoy. And that’s where I got stuck.

So many plans and just near zero motivation

I knew full well it was never going to happen overnight but the last three years have been about testing those waters and the results are inconclusive mainly because I’ve run into too many hurdles that have taken me off course.

I’m not as resilient as I used to be or need to be. Sometimes when you repair something it’ll never be as good as it once was. In 2016 I was mentally and physically exhausted after a very important relationship fizzled out, in 2017 I was absolutely drained due to a literal life and death situation. And I fell back into certain habits in an attempt to anchor and prevent sliding further backwards.

Come 2018 and I was just… tired.

See, nothing really happened to me this year. Call it PTSD but I felt as though I spent the year waiting for something to go wrong based on past experiences. And while there were a few peaks and troughs, the troughs were more like puddles I stepped in and got my socks wet (annoying yet solvable).

Nothing happened to me per se but it can also be exhausting watching from afar the ego-driven poor choices being made that end up exploiting fans in the local community.

I’m happy to concede that maybe I became complacent (most of the weight I lost in 2016 has been put back on recently) but almost all the motivation I had at the start of the year didn’t exactly evaporate but more so set to one side as if I was saving it for later. So when it came to major cosplay builds, weekly write-ups, and videos, it just wasn’t happening as regularly as I had planned.

I’m not saying I didn’t have a good 2018, far from it. But I think I was stuck in a holding pattern waiting for the weather to clear so I can land.

I still went to conventions, I still cosplayed, still went bargain hunting (even if I did tone it down a tad), and I still bought a heap of toys. My geekery was pretty much intact in 2018 and overall it was a fun year.

The Good Stuff…

As far as I’m concerned my geeky year began in February with Black Panther. What a fantastic film and an absolute game changer when it comes to representation especially in the superhero genre.

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As mentioned elsewhere I went and saw #BlackPanther last night and… have you ever had your heart swell with pride and absolute joy during a movie? Well that's what happened to me at multiple moments during this film and what a film it is. It's good. It's really effing good! Normally, I post my reactions the instant I get home from the cinema but I was sort of taken aback with how wonderful this film is. The visuals are gorgeous and stunning, the action scenes positively thrilling, and the performances are so captivating that I just loved all the characters. If there are any flaws then honestly I didn't notice or didn't care. That's how much I was invested in this compelling, multi-layered story with allegory and nuance that not only builds onto the #MCU but also a world unto itself that probably could exist without linking to the other films. Someone on Twitter described it best as black James Bond, black Guardians of the Galaxy, and black Lord of the Rings and I have to say it's a hell of a tasty recipe because it works so damn well! Even if you ignore the cultural impact this movie will have on film as well as the genre it's just a great, satisfying story. And to think this is only director Ryan Coogler's THIRD film (good grief he's younger than me too). If you're a fan of the MCU then this is a no-brainer. If you love great movies then this should be on your list. I'm seeing it again Friday night with friends so that will either temper my view or confirm that this wasn't a fluke! WAKANDA FOREVER! #marvel #marvelcinematicuniverse #tchalla #film #movie #nospoilers #wakandaforever #representationmatters #thrilling #fun #amazing

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Sticking with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in late April, Infinity War, as a spectacle and culmination of a 10 year journey really blew me away (and I don’t regret getting that Infinity Gauntlet).

Just after seeing Infinity War

Free Comic Book Day happens every year on the first Saturday of May and was a little low key and relaxed for me this time around as I decided not to cosplay in the mall for it. But it was nonetheless fun hanging with mates and checking out all the free comics.

As an Adelaidian I still feel like ReedPop can go fu- AHEM… Press Play was a heap of fun. It’s odd but there doesn’t seem to be on any word of it for 2019.

As I’ve said many times, along with conventions, toy fairs are now sign posts in my year and the Mega Toy Fair in June is a major one at that.

As far as formal piss-ups go, the AVCon Ball is lots of fun and a great way to promote the upcoming main event while letting our hair down.

AVCon itself was also a lot of fun (as I described in my seemingly “contraversial” write-up) but the highlight for me was being back at the Judge’s Table for the Cosplay Competition. A role I both thoroughly enjoy and take seriously as it allows me a closer look at a heap of wonderful cosplays.

I had never been before but I was honoured to be invited to the Adelaide Steampunk Festival back in September to help judge the cosplay competition.

My near-daily bargain hunting resulted in a considerable excess of stuff. Once again I set up shop at both Adelaide Comic and Toy Fairs this year (April and October) and I not only had a lot of fun doing so, bought a few cool items, but also made a heap of cash!

This year’s Adelaide Zombie Walk seemed a tad smaller than previous years but it was nonetheless fun. I got to continue my long-running tradition too!

My yearly tradition

And as much as a loathe to be glowing about an event with past questionable but not irredeemable actions, I had an amazing time at Adelaide Suapnova. It was a near-perfect combination of fun, friends, and energy that I hadn’t experienced at a convention in such a long time that I can actually use the word “contentment” to describe what I felt by the end of the weekend.

Although not considered “geeky”, I do still enjoy the over the top theatrical and aerobatic bombast that is Riot City Wrestling. Some incredible shows this year and plenty more to come in 2019.

I must also give a massive shout out to my mate itsameFigaro for the fantastic event videos he’s been churning out these last couple of years. He’s fast becoming staple of these events now and I always look forward to his music videos as they sincerely capture the colour and energy of these events. Go check them out as well as his Let’s Plays too.

Despite slowing down myself in terms of new cosplays, I still love seeing the work being turned out every year, every event by the talented people out there.

I’m bound to be missing something out. But honestly that quite a packed out year already for me and it was a pretty good time.

I would like to thank everyone who helped make it such a great year, friends and family as well as those who follow my work. 2018 didn’t exactly hit it for six (or “knock it out of the park” for all you Yanks) but it certainly delivered in the standard fun and enjoyment.

Three of my most coveted toys and collectables from 2018

Here’s to a fruitful 2019 with all the potential it has to offer.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

If you enjoyed that nonsense as well as my other work then please consider contributing to my tip jar at http://ko-fi.com/oldtrenchy so I can spend more time churning out more of these word spews.

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