Wow, what an epic and eventful year this has been for the project!
With so much behind me, and with so much still ahead…let’s look back at the events of 2018.
The year started off with such an amazing achievement , being featured in a Kotaku article!
I remember I was so freaking excited when this piece came out, that I literally couldn’t contain my smile.. I’d be walking down the street, looking as though rainbows and puppies just fell out of me.
When people would ask “What’s got you so happy?” I would reply, “My anime project is getting noticed and Kotaku just did a piece on me!”
They’d then look me up and down, noticing that I’m a 6”1 pastey-ass white Aussie, talking about making an Anime and probably just assume I’d completely lost my grip on reality.
Still though, what an amazing start to the year!
Shortly after the Kotaku article, my phone was lighting up with calls…one of which was from ABC, asking if I would be interested in doing an interview on the radio.
The interview would go to air some months later, and was so heavily edited that it turned out as nothing but some sob story about how hard my life was - and how Anime inspired me…rather than focusing on the project itself.
Although my life indeed had a sad beginning, there was so much more to tell, and I was genuinely excited to share my story with the people of Australian radio.
But, the mainstream media loves to sensationalize drama…lesson learned.
Still though, it was a great experience, being my first time on the air! :)
Although I have been teaching and visiting schools for a while now, 2018 was one of my biggest years ever, as word of mouth about myself and the project was now reaching more schools across SE Queensland.
I had the pleasure of attending 9 different schools this year, talking about Anime & Millennium Exile, as well as speaking about being a Western creative attempting to break into a predominantly Japanese industry.
It’s always such an amazing experience to talk to all these children who are so passionate about Anime - just looking for a way to express their creativity and individuality!
Definitely one of my favorite parts of the year! :)
Then came the big dog….Patreon!
Without a doubt, one of my biggest challenges this year, and one of my proudest successes.
Several years ago, back in 2015, I made a disastrous flop attempting to bring Millennium Exile to Kickstarter.
At the time, I was younger and far more inexperienced - with none of the amazing voice actors attached to the project that I have now; and with far less work to show the public.
Kickstarter wasnt the right platform for MillEx either….it’s an amazing website, but I find that it’s far better suited to projects that ONLY need money to fund the creation of their goal.
Millennium Exile however, is a different breed...
Even with funding, I’ll still only then be ready to pitch - leaving my fate in the hands of the studio Gods in Japan.
Soon enough, Patreon released as a new platform, designed to help creatives BE creative…without the need for a definitive finished product.
I wasnt just going to jump on the next bandwagon that rolled into town…I needed to better prepare myself and to grow, both as a brand and as a person.
Then earlier this year, I caught up with a friend who sat me down over a coffee and with a stern expression, tells me:
”I think it’s time you revisited the idea of putting MillEx on Patreon, I think you’re ready!”
Up until that point, I had been receiving a steady flow of donations from the fans via direct links on Paypal, so the support & interest was definitely there among the community.
Eventually I bit the bullet, and the response from you has been amazing to say the least!
As a result, I was even able to hire a new artist who would draw for the Demo Reel “Elmer Damaso” - aka: IQ40.
His work has gone such a long way into expediting the project, which in-turn, helps Hary so much, as the poor guy no longer has to try and do both the demo and the artwork for the book, hahaha.
Going on Patreon also placed me on more deadlines in order to meet and deliver the rewards for each of the tiers, and my social networking / marketing for the project had to get to the next level also…that includes the resurrection of this blog.
Although it’s doubled my workload, it’s been such a blast and I’m loving every minute!
To all of you who currently supports, or ‘has’ supported the project through Patreon: Thank you all so freaking much!
Here’s to 2019 and finally clearing that $500 target.
2018 was also the year for conventions for Millennium Exile, with yours truly presenting the project for the very first time both on the convention floor at Oz Comic Con & on stage at Supanova!
The support and numbers at both of these events truly blew my mind and touched my heart so much. Even at Supanova, which quite literally fell into my lap, with zero time to prepare, and up against all star guests speaking at the same time as me - I was still able to fill more seats than expected.
Lastly, but certainly not least….
I became a representative of the worlds largest Anime Discord community, with over 100,000 members: Anime Base!
They even gave me my own little Millennium Exile channel in there so you can get all your updates and posts via the Discord app!
Oh, and let’s not forget the other day, when god damned, voice acting royalty Steve Blum followed the Millennium Exile project on Instagram!
Sweet baby fish nipples I was on Cloud 9 all day :)
Let’s get into some art shall we?
On the Left:
We have the finished artwork for Julia! A bad-ass Melee Meister who annihilates her foes by utilizing her brute strength through a series of destructive kicks.
On the Right:
A WIP (work in progress) for Sonic. Another ferocious and powerful female working for Nexus.
Sonic possesses an advanced manipulation over her spiritual energy in order to emit a very unique, yet devastating force.
More on her when the official artwork releases! :)
Both of these amazing pieces of artwork are from none other than the spectacular Hary Istiyoso!
This freaking cool set of images show Vincent, backed into a corner and ready to retaliate - mustering up every last ounce of his strength!
We also see a few more peaceful moments, as Zero passes on some sage advice to the newest member of the team.
All three of these images are drawn by the aforementioned Elmer Damaso for the project’s Demo Reel.
I really love how these turned out….which actually leads me to my next topic…..
As a special thanks to the amazing people who have been supporting the project on Patreon, and as a little gift to celebrate the holiday season, I have uploaded a short scene that will be featuring in later cuts of the Millennium Exile demo reel.
I’m pretty proud of how this has turned out, so if you are a Patron, be on the lookout for this exclusive locked post! :)
And with that we call it a year….2018 done and dusted (well, almost).
To each and every single one of you, I want to wish you a happy holiday season.
Regardless of what you celebrate, if anything at all….the world is extremely busy this time of year, so I hope you all have a great time hanging out with family and friends. Don’t forget to eat some good food, play some fun games and watch some amazing Anime!
To all the artists who have worked with me and contributed this year to the project, I want to thank you all so much - you have all been an absolute pleasure!
Stay safe, and I’ll be seeing you all in 2019!
As always, I'd like to thank the following amazing Patrons from the bottom of my heart:
Master of Elements (Tier 1)
Dual Wielding (Tier 2)
Rachael Hajje (New member)
Calculated & Dangerous (Tier 3)
Ben Karnaghan (Deferred for XMAS)
Calculated & Dangerous (Tier 3)
James Salhani (Deferred for XMAS)