Well, hoot and holler and all that because we survived our first full year as a company. Woohoo! StrangeLove first emerged much later in 2018 than hoped—a midsummer release was originally planned but production delays bumped us further into early fall, which, in turn, shoved our projected Halloween releases well into Christmas* and… St. Patrick's Day**?! Yep, that's right. Best laid plans and all that idiomatic jazz, you know, especially when it comes to gambling on pole position in the screen-printing queue.
Anyway, here's the 2019 line up in full*** for god know's what reason… unless you're like me and grew up on a steady diet of trading cards in which case you could consider this the official StrangeLove checklist. Although it's nowhere near apparent here, the biggest thing to take note of is that we initially screwed the pooch with our first batch of wood in 2018 (somehow somewhere there was a mold misunderstanding down at PS Stix and we erroneously assigned one that was meant for longer wheelbases and in turn wound up with some very late and very flat kicks), but Professor Schmitt corrected our course with subsequent orders for 2019, thereby putting us back in the proper and comparable kick game—much to our team riders' delight (more on them soon).
If you haven't guessed by now, we're big fans of the theme—or "story" if that better floats your marketing-speak boat—with the "Tin Foil Hat" and "Summer of Love (and a Little Bit of Hate)" series being the two standouts from the year. To that end, I'd like to extend a sincere word of thanks to Todd Bratrud, Don Pendleton, Chris Reed, and Ted Barrow for collaborating on these two thematic larks (Porous Walker gets an honorary high-five for his "Devil's Playground" one-off).
After having our asses handed to us in the aforementioned production delays of 2018, we learned a little from that lesson in preparation for our first drop to come in 2020; however, in doing so we also compromised our timetable in terms of what was able to be produced in late 2019. Fortunately I was still able to pull off a couple production miracles to coincide with the Halloween and Christmas holidays, and I have to give props to Screaming Squeegees for the knock-out screening jobs on both the "Brains" and "Krampus" graphics. On that grateful note, I can never thank Jim Thiebaud enough for going out on a long limb with us in such a short and ridiculous timeframe that we barely met by the hair of our chinny-chin chin.
While I'm throwing out thanks like they're beads from a Bourbon Street balcony during Mardi Gras, I might as well add that the biggest thanks of all goes to you, the customer, for supporting us throughout 2019. So Happy New Year's… we'll be seeing y'all real soon in 2020 with yet another holiday trick up our sleeve.
* "Fresh Freddy" made his debut in December 2018, but received a seasonal pass for his red and green color scheme.
** Todd Bratrud's "Gargoyle" and the accompanying "Creepy" logo shirt were definitely meant for the most ghoulish month of the year, but were instead a green excuse for St. Patrick's Day.
*** Minus a couple re-released graphics, most notable the "Crazy Town" and "Jesus Saves."