2017 was definitely a hard year in the world of SC Entertainment. Not really as far as output, because I did lots.. but more as in everything seemed to take a huge effort to get done.. or the project was generated by some sort of diabolical need that arose from some kind of weird or horrible event. Or I was sick or in the hospital or something awful like that. Anyway, here's hoping 2018 cuts me a bit of a break.
2017 started off with Cashew Body. A new music project born from fukachuk egg machine. basically it is exactly the same but with a different name, and at this point I don't actually consider them separate at all. It is a pretty amazing and miserable album, born from lots of terrible things that were happening at the time.
We were out at Blaise's Dad's acreage somewhere in rural Alberta. The place is full of things his Dad has collected to fix, or to use to fix something else. There's a field full of cars and assorted vehicles all some way into the transformation between junk and running. He can build you a bike out of the bits of other bikes lying around in the grass, and he does. There are children and animals running around, and dubious smoke coming from whatever just got thrown in the firepit. Blaise's uncle, with one hand missing, throws fruit snacks at you, everybody gets a packet. Blaise's dad puts cinamon in the coffee and grins, so excited to see if you can guess what it is. Later on, the kids come running into the house.
"We found a Cashewbody," says the youngest, very solemn.
What they meant was that they had found a dog carcass, out in the thicket of birch trees. It had been buried, but now it was exhumed, and partly excavated, by a local pack of coyotes.
Cashew was their pet, a beautiful, sweet dog the colour of roasted cashew nuts. She was hit by a car. The driver didn't stop, they just drove away.
"It's so clever," says Blaise. "It's not Cashew, it's a Cashew body. The part that was Cashew isn't there any more, but there is still this body left there. There's something so true about it. It's horrific, but it's just a fact."
I'm still so proud of this movie, I can't even believe I made it. I just wish more people would take the time to check it out. I did get a few movie theatre screenings at some film festivals, but none where I could go see unfortunately. I would love to see this film in a theatre. I think it would be amazing.
Then I decided to do too much.
In 1981 my brother Lafe, (who I learned everything I know from, and is basically the greatest person who ever lived) started making a series of horror films called 'My School' About the vicious killer Kevin Markson and his evil Teddy bear. I grew up watching them every day and they are basically part of my DNA. It was a 10 part series of films. In 1993 part 10 was completed, however there was a problem, he never made part 9. 24 years later part 9 still remained un-made. I decided to complete my brother's vision and make My School 9. It's not that it was any bigger than any other feature films I had made before, but at the same time I also was doing art and film summer camps, and I had finally decided to make the sequel to the Nandi Bear Tenants graphic novel from 2014. And I wanted to get everything done by at latest Halloween. I thought it would happen.
So I got to work. My school was so much fun.. what an amazing group of people. And I completed 2 successful indiegogo campaigns as well.. one for My School 9 and one for Nandi Bear Tenants.
We shot My School at the school where I work.. it was empty for summer, so we had the place to ourselves, including the cool underground tunnels and creepy boiler room. I couldn't ask for more.
I also got started on the new book. the story was great, more complex and lots of cool new characters. It was a bit longer than the first one as well... but no problem. I'm Blaise Kolodychuk. In between teaching classes I was making horror movies and drawing lots of super hero cats. Then my dear friend and collaborator Suzie came at me with a plan to do a sequel to the first film we made together Rubicon. This time it was going to be called Tabula Rosa, and take place after a plague in a post apocalyptic world.. I was super excited!
Then I started to get sick. Next thing I knew I was in the hospital getting my appendix sawed out of me... then stuck in bed for a couple weeks, then I got some nerve damage from the surgery so I could barely walk for a while... I still haven't got that totally sorted yet. Then I kept getting sick.. then my punk rock stomach problems came back with a vengeance. Anyway, the last half of the year I have been dragging myself along like Bo-Bo had got me.
However, I finished My School 9. It's awesome. We had a successful premiere screening with a lot of very wonderful people. The big news was that my brother Lafe was thrilled with the movie and seems to have been inspired ever since with a million awesome ideas.
I finally got the book done. And I can't even describe how happy I am. I am so proud of this little work of art. even though I still haven't got my own copy yet (I have been told it's in the mail......) But it is beautiful and I love it, and I realised how much I love being an artist, and how much I love making comics.
Get it from AMAZON here!
We started shooting Tabula Rasa, and it's crazy beautiful so far... we haven't finished shooting it, because basically my body and mind fell apart in the last month and a half. But it's going to happen, and soon. It's a great script.. and one of my favourite things in the world is working with Sue.
So that's where I ended the year. Some new movies, and a beautiful new book.
I've already started figuring out the SC plan for next year... Spoilers: More super hero cats.