This has been an incredible journey for both myself and Iron Age Media, marked by growth, exciting collaborations, and new ventures. The year saw an impressive surge in site traffic and attention, opening doors to conversations with popular personalities such as Akira the Don, Razorfist, and George Alexopoulos – individuals I've admired for years. A consistent part of the past year was the Iron Age Knights podcast, a weekly venture I co-host with Royce & Daniel. It has been a steady source of engaging discussions with a wide array of creators and provided opportunities to connect with notable folks. The site itself flourished with the publication of approximately a hundred articles and received over 350 prompt submissions from a multitude of talented creators.
A significant milestone of 2023 was the launch of ANVIL: Iron Age Magazine, a project that vastly exceeded my expectations. The unexpected support from both within and outside my community propelled the first issue to success. The positive reception continued with issue #2, indicating a broader interest beyond the initial boom. As a response to this enthusiasm, and in an effort to move towards a consistent output, I'm moving to subscriptions and pre-orders rather than crowdfunding each issue. More on that later.
Begun this fall and delivering in February, Tempered Records is a sub-brand that materialized through collaboration with Jacob Calta and other gifted musicians. Our debut EP, First Strike, offers a diverse range of rock styles from synth to metal. The aim is to release two EPs a year, each focusing on a specific genre. Anticipated to ship in February, First Strike promises an exciting musical experience for everyone.
While 2023 brought numerous successes, it was not without challenges. I struggled to consistently put out YouTube content. I decided to phase out the weekly image prompts due to lack of interest. A few projects failed to get past the concept phase due to a variety of reasons. Additionally, the current design pattern of the website has reached its limits, necessitating a complete rebuild, a task that is underway but progressing slower than desired. ANVIL, though still sustainable at current volume is not where I'd like to be in terms financialy. I believe this is mostly due to holiday spending and the shift to a subscription and pre-order model, which seems to garner a lot less enthusiasm than crowdfunding.
Despite these hurdles, I'm optimistic for the future of Iron Age Media and the Iron Age as a whole. I'll continue pushing on every front that I can, but I will continue to streamline my efforts and involvement in things as necessary to make sure I don't overload myself. So, in 2024, I commit to four major plans:
The formula is proven, and at this point my goal is to draw more eyes onto ANVIL so it can genuinely become the consumer on-ramp to indies that I've envisioned. As it grows, that money will be put back in to continuous improve the magazine throughout 2024.
This year, I plan to participate in multiple conventions as an exhibitor, aiming to promote ANVIL and raise awareness about the Iron Age. Partnerships for product sales will be crucial for this endeavor.
Beyond the imminent collaboration with First Strike, be prepared for more projects spanning various mediums. Collaboration is key to expanding interest and our creative horizons.
Acknowledging the need for change, a complete redesign of the website is in the works. The goal is not only to enhance the usability of ironage.media but also to facilitate better integration with others in the same creative space.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude for the support received over the past year. As we step into 2024, despite the uncertainties in the world, I am confident that focusing on what we can control will pave the way for a successful and fulfilling year ahead. Here's to the exciting journey that lies ahead!