Today, we officially bring issue #2 of the sci-fi webcomic INNOVATION to a close. Swing on over to the website to check out the eighth installment!
Our latest comic, Communication, is a 6-page short drawn by the super-talented Jay Hernandez that introduces readers to the mystery man behind the R.D.S.L. corporation, gives a peek into Lee’s past and a glance into the future of a certain robot. It’s like we’re actually providing answers for once!
Click here or on the image below to read the comic. As always, it’s being offered for absolutely free.
We’ve begun work on issue 3! Stick around for more techno-shenanigans from the R.D.S.L. family.
I’m not gonna lie… these are my favorite type of announcements to make.
The third issue of my upcoming action/heist comic book THE UNDOUBTABLES, co-created with artist Emre Ozdamarlar, is complete and has been turned over to the publisher!
Kefas Armando is currently putting the finishing touches on the colors for the fourth and final issue of the series and after some lettering, the project, which began back in 2012 will be complete! It’s been a lot of work, but this has been one of the most satisfying projects that I’ve had the pleasure of working on to date.
With three issues now in the hopper, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a publisher announcement soon, along with info on how you can get the book digitally!
I sincerely hope that you’ll give The Undoubtables a chance, especially if you enjoy heist movies or comics with a large, colorful casts.
I always get bummed out that I can’t show any art from this book due to our NDA, but as soon as we get the go-ahead, rest assured you’ll be the first to see it.
In this week’s edition of WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO… I thought I’d spotlight a comic that I’m hoping to release late this year or early next year entitled NEW LIFE.
Need me to refresh you on the plot? No problem.
In an overpopulated city, a loner wins a lottery drawing that allows him to bring a loved one back from the grave. Before he can have his recently deceased wife reinstated, he’ll have 48 hours to kill someone else to take her place.
This 4-issue sci-fi romp through a dystopian future in which the world has reached extreme overpopulation was co-created by Logan Miller. In addition to being one hell of an artist, Logan is also talented at painting, coloring, sketching and graffiti. I guarantee that he can also tie both of his shoes simultaneously with different hands.
We started working on this project about a year and a half ago during which time we did a 5-page short and pitched it around to several publishers. While the responses were all positive, we only had one taker in Philadelphia’s indie darlings 215 Ink.
Since that time Logan completely retooled the art from the ground up and let me tell you — he came out with guns blazing and it’s going to blow. your. mind.
We completed the first issue in mid-2013 but since Logan and I are both students we both got extremely busy and progress ground to halt. Here we are, fresh into 2014 and I’m happy to report that the train is moving again. Logan has penciled the entire second issue, inked more than 20 pages and even colored the first handful. Once art is complete it gets tossed back to me for lettering and we start all over again on issue 3!
These comic things take time!
While we continue on with production, here’s a sneak peek at some of that mind-blowing artwork I mentioned:
Last week was best defined by the word “whirlwind.”
About a month ago, a representative from Full Sail University reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in being a guest during their Hall of Fame Week in February. Each year the school honors six graduates who have accomplished much in their respective fields and holds a three-day celebration full of music, speeches and industry panels. Check out more info here. It’s pretty impressive stuff.
The school rep specified that they were putting together a panel on self-publishing and they’d appreciate me sharing my comic experiences with their students. Since I enjoy speaking, of course I said yes, and for three days was treated extremely well by the school and staff.
I spent an hour and a half talking self-publishing to a packed room alongside writers Matt Peters, Bill Thompson and Kim Craft. Students were engaged and asked a ton of great questions and once the panel was over, I found myself mobbed by those who had comic-specific concerns.
The remaining days were full of meet and greets, dinners and parties and I managed to get in some serious hang time with my buddy Daniel Corey, who writes the MORIARTY series for Image Comics. You should seriously read it if you haven’t. It’s a ton of fun. Click here, immediately. I even found some down time to meet with friends living in the area and was able to hand deliver a ton of UNIT 44 Kickstarter rewards.
I just wanted to thank the staff at Full Sail University for the amazing experience and I hope that I’ll be asked to return again next year.
Below is a blurry photo from the session but I’m told that the panel will be posted on their YouTube Channel in the coming weeks, and I’ll be sure to share a link once it’s live.
That’s me below in the blue shirt, moments before the panel started, silently wondering if I actually knew anything about anything.
If you ever have the chance to speak at a college, do it. Share some knowledge and hopefully change some lives.
The seventh installment of INNOVATION is now live for your viewing pleasure!
Please take a moment to check out our latest 5-page short entitled Syllabus. Art was provided by the talented Adrian “Crisuadi” Crasmaru and his style will completely blow you away.
Click here or on the image below to read it for absolutely free.
Up next: the final installment of issue #2 comes courtesy of Jay Hernandez! We’ll catch up with a familiar character and introduce a new one.
Stick around. It’s gettin’ crazy.
Two weeks ago we kicked off the second issue of INNOVATION with the 5-page short, Concealed, with art by Paul McCallan. This week, artist Stan Chou picks up where he left off in issue #1 with our new short which sees the return of everyone’s favorite robot/android, Sondra!
Chapter 6: Complication is now available to read right here, for FREE!
I continue to drop pieces of the puzzle with hopes that the reader will put them into place.
Give it a look and help us spread the word of the series! After all, we now have 30 pages of free comics!
Coming soon, a 5-page short from artist Adrian “Crisuadi” Crasmaru!
Thank you, Rob Schrab.
Today I celebrate the 20th birthday of Rob’s crazy, yet loveable yellow robot, Scud: The Disposable Assassin who from 1994-1998 (and then again briefly in 2008) went on a comic book romp through a future full of monsters, technology, mobsters and evil angels, all in the name of love.
For those unfamiliar with Scud, here’s your quick overview, and then I’m getting back to the mushy stuff — In the distant future, citizens are able to purchase robot assassins out of ScudCo vending machines which, after terminating their designated target, self-destruct. During his first mission, one Scud becomes aware of his self-destructing future and rather than kill his target, Jeff, a monstrous mish-mash of objects, he shoots off her arms and legs and then places her on life support at a hospital. To ensure their mutual survival, he becomes an assassin-for-hire to pay for her medical bills. You want more than that? Pick up the omnibus right here. Seriously. Stop messing around and do it already.
Okay, where were we?
One day, in 1995, an 11-year-old Wes stumbled into the Collection Connection in Wooster, Ohio, likely for the 26th time that month. Amongst the normal Marvel and DC titles that I was picking up, something different popped out at me from the racks. I’d never seen anything like it, but I knew right then that it was something special. It was Scud: The Disposable Assassin #12. The cover lacked the typical superhero publisher’s mark was replaced instead by a simple black and white photo of a fireman. It was funky. It was colorful. It was intriguing. I had to have it.
I don’t think I even made it home before I’d read the comic numerous times. Like so many comics in my youth, I was thrust right into the middle of things and even though I had absolutely no idea what was going on (sometimes I miss that feeling), I was treated to an endearing 30 pages of Scud arriving back to Earth via a space traveling locomotive and finding himself accidentally thrust into the middle of the annual Mr. Tough-Guy competition, a global Olympics of sorts to see which race of beings have the most grit. (Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and I agree…they just don’t make plots like that anymore.)
Beyond the silly characters and irreverent story lines, the book exuded creativity on every available page. On the interior credits page, a list of “suggested voice talent” came with each issue to further bring life into the characters. In this issue, one of the characters was suggested to sound like Sean Connery, another like Bob Costas. With every read, the characters came to life in my mind. The icing on the cake was that writer/artist Schrab would also suggest songs for certain scenes and list the page numbers to go with it. Never had Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries had such an impact on me until juxtaposed with robots feverishly destroying one another. These details, though small helped the world come to life, even on an extrasensory level.
The following week I went back to my comic shop. I needed more. I needed my fix of Scud. Much to my dismay, the store had no back issues and because Fireman Press was a small independent publisher, they weren’t even sure if they’d even be getting subsequent issues.
Time dragged on and I began to worry that I’d never know what happened to Scud. Keep in mind that this was back in the day before the internet was prevalent, so buying issues online was impossible and even it was, I didn’t have a credit card or checkbook to my name.
I went back to my normal programming of Spider-Man and Daredevil when just two months later, I waltzed into the store to be greeted by the cover to Scud #14.
Sure, I’d missed an issue in there, but it was completely inconsequential. I was able to hang out with Scud and his sidekicks Drywall and Oswald for another round of chaos, and again–I had no clue what was happening. All I knew was that Scud had gratuitous violence, adult language and a ton of heart, and at the end of the day, that’s what I was in the market for.
And then it all disappeared.
As quickly as it arrived, Scud was gone from my life. Issue #15 never made it to my comic shop. In fact, no additional issues ever made it to the shop and the clerks seemed perplexed on how to get future issues of the book. I didn’t understand distribution back then, so it was a complete mystery as to how I could get my hands on the book. It was simply something I couldn’t comprehend… like the Loch Ness Monster, or the appeal of Kanye West.
What happened next, I will be forever grateful for… if Scud was off the table, then I was going to have to chase the same feeling of exhilaration I received from the comic by investigating other indie titles that came into the store, and soon I was at least giving a shot to any comic book that didn’t have Marvel or DC’s name on the cover. Black and white interior art? Even better.
Without dropping names (this article is about Scud, after all), each title gave me additional insight into what the comics medium could be… dangerous, challenging, and most importantly, fun. It was right around this time that I knew that comics were something that I wanted to be a part of. My perception had expanded and there was no going back. Of course, as I grew and matured, comics eventually fell off the radar entirely as my mind became preoccupied with things like girls, rock music and surviving high school. Oh yeah, I also stopped buying comics because the local comic shop went out of business. Looking back, in my small town, I was probably one of five people even keeping the store open in the first place.
In 2008 I made a triumphant return to reading comics. Armed with a credit card and a whole lotta back issues to read, the first thing I purchased? Scud: The Whole Shebang, a collection of all 24 issues and several one-shots. I finally learned not only how my favorite robot got his start, but also got to see the tearful ending as Scud moved Heaven and Hell in the name of love. At the ripe old age of 24, Scud blew my mind all over again.
Two years later I got into the comics writing business and Scud has been a constant source of inspiration. Schrab’s seminal work reminds me that nutty characters, mindless action, fantastic worlds and gut-wrenching emotion all have a place in comic books and in an industry that at times, feels doomed to repeat itself, a fresh idea has the potential to change lives. The Whole Shebang collection clocks in at nearly 800 pages and I’ve read it dutifully once a year. When my brain needs a shot of creative adrenaline, Scud is where I go.
When I signed my first comic book publishing contract in 2012, I wrote Mr. Schrab on Twitter to share with him the good news, and thank him for his inspiration. His congratulatory response probably meant more than he realized. Without Scud, none of the comics I’ve published would have ever been written. It’s crazy how things work out.
Thanks, Rob, for sharing your creation with us, and happy birthday, Scud.
* All art in this post is copyright Rob Schrab, posted to help you realize what you (may have) missed out on.
In this week’s edition of WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO… I thought I’d spotlight my upcoming 4-issue heist miniseries THE UNDOUBTABLES that I co-created with artist Emre Ozdamarlar and with colors by Kefas Armando.
Spencer “Spade” Shelton and his rag-tag band of thieves, The Undoubtables, will have to stay one step ahead of the police and a crew of deadly mobsters if they hope to shake off the rust and pull off their latest heist.
Once again, we have to jump into the way, way back machine and venture to a strange and dangerous land where music was ruled by Lady Gaga and the final Harry Potter flick was making billions in ticket sales… a world known as 2011.
It was around this time that I had written my first set of five-page pitches that included a superhero story, a sci-fi space tale, a gritty crime yarn (see: Chambers) and a fun Ocean’s 11-esque heist story. In 2012 I found gracious artistic collaborators to bring these stories to life and by the end of the year, they were making the rounds to publishers, with most being rejected as quickly as I could send the digital files.
Then it all changed…I got a nibble on the heist story known as The Undoubtables, and soon I found myself on the phone with a publisher (seriously, no one ever uses the phone anymore…I thought that was pretty awesome) and they walked me through what they’d like to do with the comic, how they’d promote it and why they liked it. Digital was just becoming a thing, and they were excited for the comic to help pave a digital path for them. Then they offered Emre and and I a contract.
Well, as you can imagine… I was ecstatic. I hit up Emre and after some discussion we decided to give it a go and bring the full 4-issue series to life. It would be a ‘breakout’ project for the both of us and would help us put (and hopefully leave) our mark on the comics world, establishing us as creators. Emre, who was attending comics school in Sweden at the time, was encouraged by his teachers to draw the book as part of his training, which I still think is just about the coolest thing ever, and since the contracts were signed we’ve been hard at work on the finished product.
Fast forward a bit — In August 2013 we completed work on the debut issue and then in December 2013, wrapped the second installment. Here in 2014, I’m proud to say that the entire 88-page series has been colored. Currently, we’re finessing some of the colors on issues 3 & 4 and once those are settled, I will letter the last 44 pages and we anticipate to see the first issue released digitally within the next couple of months. In fact, the first issue is poised to release as soon as we’ve turned in the third!
Much like my 2013 series, Chambers, once all four issues have debuted digitally, they will be collected in a print trade paperback edition that you can hold and cherish forever.
The publisher has been patient with us and is still very encouraging with the title. They’re excited and I have to admit, I’m really excited too.
It’s gonna be a good year.
After a short hiatus, my free sci-fi webcomic, INNOVATION, has returned!
The fifth chapter of the story is now live on the website. The 5-page short, Concealed, features art by the talented Paul McCallan and is absolutely 100% free to read! Find out how android-turned-escape artist Cygnus escaped from the R.D.S.L. facility.
Give it a look and help us spread the word of the series.
As technology advances toward flawless operation in the fields of robotics, physics and quantum mechanics, the only thing that can’t be counted on are the humans that created it.
A few weeks ago I was a guest on the Vodka O’Clock podcast where I chatted with host Amber Love about the character relationships of my crime-fiction comic book CHAMBERS, the process of collaborating with a zillion different artists on my sci-fi webcomic INNOVATION and the trials and tribulations that came along with Kickstarting my upcoming sci-fi/comedy comic, UNIT 44.
The episode is now online, and if you’d like to spend an hour listening to me talk about the genesis of those projects, explain how I linked up with my collaborators or if you’d just like to relax to the dulcet tones of my voice while on your morning commute, you can download the podcast from iTunes or Stitcher radio.
Click below for more info or to download the episode!