I want to share with you some amazing news that been happening behind the scenes since artist Eduardo Jimenez and I completed the first issue of the sci-fi/comedy comic book UNIT 44 earlier this year…after much discussion, we’ve signed a deal with publisher ALTERNA COMICS to release Unit 44 as a digital-first initiative this fall.
What does this mean?
It means that each issue of the series will be available via ComiXology and then be packaged in a 90-something page trade paperback for print in early 2015 that you’ll be able to pick up (or order) from your local comic shop.
Since Unit 44 has been a labor of love, we have to kick it into overdrive if we want to get the book out by our target time frame. While Alterna will help us market, promote and distribute the book, it’s up to Ed and me to finish the series. To do so, we’ve launched a new Kickstarter campaign to raise $2,400 that will allow Ed to focus solely on the Unit 44 for the next few months. This way, we can complete the series by October and get the comic to your eyeballs ASAP!
Check out our new campaign: http://kck.st/UcqcIr
We appreciate anything you can do to help us fund the project or even spread the word of the campaign. Remember, we brought in $2,700 for our first issue, so we’re hoping our new goal won’t be a huge roadblock. Did you miss getting drawn into the book last round? Guess what? We’re giving you another chance!
As quickly as it began, it was over.
I’m thrilled to report that artist Alex Diotto has completed work on our 4-page short comic, ADRIFT!
Last evening, the finished inks hit my inbox and I quickly went about lettering them up and completing the project.
This short initially came together in a matter of hours as a submission to the upcoming Titan Comics Undiscovered Talent Competition. Winners of the competition will be included in the publisher’s “Lost in Space” digital anthology, to be released later this year via ComiXology. In a matter of hours the idea hit, the script was written, the call was put out, and Alex answered. Here we are one month later with the finished product. Together, we’ve produced an all-ages piece that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
I want to extend a huge thank you to Alex for his enthusiasm toward this short. He’s a charming collaborator who breathed life into a big world contained in just a few small pages. The art is exhilarating, vibrant and absolutely stunning to look at. It’s been a super-hero team-up that I don’t want to end. Now that I think about it…maybe it won’t. (Hint hint.)
Judging for the Titan Comics competition is in mid-October. Until then, sit tight and know that if we’re not selected for the anthology, then we’ll still be releasing this online for free!
Enjoy some of Alex’s amazing art below. And trust me, this one’s gonna be gooooood.
We’re back with a brand new installment of my ongoing sci-fi webcomic INNOVATION.
In this edition, we dive further inside the R.D.S.L. complex as the mysterious visitor continues to dig his way ever deeper into the company. Who is he really? What does he want? People, there’s only one way to find all of this out! Just remember — it’s all in the name of science!
Our latest comic, Axiom, is a 6-page short, drawn by regular contributor Jay Hernandez.
Click here or on the image below to read the comic. As always, Innovation is free to read, and we have nearly 60 pages of content for you to enjoy.
Over the holiday weekend, I saw that my heist comic THE UNDOUBTABLES went live for Amazon Kindle device!
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can always download the free app for your tablet or smartphone, but it looks like this is the first way to grab your copy digitally. If you cruise over to the Amazon site you can send a free sample to your device and read the first six pages of the 96-page graphic novel for free!
Give it a look if this is your preferred method of reading. The price tag is a mere $3.99! The book is also available via the UK Kindle store.
I’ll also be posting a 7-page preview of the comic on this website in the coming days. Trust me–this is a sample that will have you craving more!
I’m excited to announce yet another upcoming project slotted for release in 2015.
The fine folks over at GrayHaven Comics have been good to me. In 2012, I first contributed a 5-pager to the crime edition of THE GATHERING anthology series and since then, I’ve had shorts published in their sci-fi 2, spies, and public domain editions. Additionally, I’ll have a short published later this year in their Survival-themed book and in 2015 I’ll be contributing to their Noir and Terrible Jobs editions.
There’s another book being released next year that I had the opportunity to pitch on that I’m really excited about. The publisher will release a collection of all-ages stories about Kaiju monsters, appropriately titled, Lil Kaiju. I mean seriously…how cool is that?
Thinking back on my own youth, I really wanted the opportunity to write something for a younger audience and thanks to the grace of editor Erica Heflin (writer of such fine books as Mother and Son from GrayHaven and Wonderland from Zenescope), I was recruited to try my hand. For this 4-page short I teamed up with Randy Z. Ochoa who is doing a phenomenal job bringing the script to life.
You’ve heard of snow days and hurricane days, but what happens when your school announces a monster day?
We’ll be showing you soon!
I think the moral of this story is, never forget where you came from.
My hometown paper, The Daily Record, based in Wooster, Ohio, has been good to me. Even though I’ve lived in Florida for 11 years, they still like to update the community from time to time on my various ventures. Several years ago they ran a great feature when I published my humor book, Musings on Minutiae, and last month was no different.
My wife and I were visiting family in the area and one morning I was shepherded into the newspaper offices for a conversation with editor Lydia Gehring, who got completely schooled on the world of comic books and still managed to condense it into an easy to digest package for local readers.
I’m grateful for the support of the community, and that they see what I’m doing as fun, exciting and newsworthy. Chances are I’m the first person from my hometown to work in the comic book business, so I can only hope it will show local kids what’s possible when you have a combination of motivation, perseverance and patience.
As a friendly reminder, the print edition of my upcoming heist graphic novel, THE UNDOUBTABLES, is currently up for pre-order from publisher Markosia Enterprises and will begin shipping later this week.
For those who enjoy reading comics on their smartphones or tablets, we just got word that the digital edition of the comic will arrive on ComiXology on July 30! Mark those calendars!
We’ll also be releasing a 7-page preview soon so you can get a taste of what’s beneath that beautiful cover.
To those who supported my past works, whether it be shorts released through GrayHaven Comics, my free webcomic, INNOVATION, or my first miniseries CHAMBERS, I would love you to be aware of my latest comic book project, THE UNDOUBTABLES.
Written by me, with art by Emre Ozdamarlar, interior colors by Kefas Armando and cover colors by Kell Smith, the 96-page trade paperback is now available for pre-order through publisher Markosia Enterprises.
For just £11.99 UK/$20 US You can pick up the collected edition by clicking right here and it will ship to you on July 1, 2014. We also have a digital edition coming soon, if that’s what you’re into. Remember, it doesn’t matter how you read, just that you read.
Myself, Emre, and the rest of the creative team worked really hard on this book and we couldn’t be happier with the finished product. We hope you’ll give it a read and see what we’ve dedicated much of our time to over the past couple years.
If you enjoy a fun heist adventure (think Ocean’s 11 meets Payback) you’re absolutely going to love what we have in store for you. We hope to bring some preview pages your way soon, and once you start reading, you’re guaranteed to be hooked.
Please consider supporting both independent comics and my writing career. It means the world to me!
New project time!
About a month ago I saw that UK publisher Titan Comics was hosting an Undiscovered Talent Competition of sorts with a theme of “Lost in Space.” Entries had to be finished comics between 4-6 pages and winners would be selected by the Titan editorial staff. The winning shorts would then be collected into an anthology from the publisher to be released by ComiXology in the fall. There was lots of other fine and tiny print, but I didn’t necessarily jump at this opportunity.
Normally I’m not a fan of competition. I was never into competitive sports (except during a season of little league baseball that went horribly wrong) so the contest wasn’t something that immediately piqued my interested. Then, as happens to writers, I was doing something completely unrelated to thinking about the contest and a story idea hit me that lined up with the contest’s theme. Even better, I felt like this idea was something I could feasibly do in four pages. Resigning myself to the fact that I was indeed an “undiscovered talent” and therefore completely eligible to participate, I decided to write it. After all, what did I have to lose?
The following morning I alternated keyboard taps with coffee sips as the script came to life on my screen. Once the initial draft of ADRIFT was complete, I did what any other fledgling comic book writer would do–I took to Twitter to beg artists to work with me. Surprisingly, the response was pretty overwhelming and I sent the script off to several folks who I’d been interested in collaborating with.
It seems my good fortune was in order because the talented Alex Diotto (artist of Southern Dog from Action Lab Entertainment and the SCAMthology from ComixTribe) read my script said a bunch of really nice things and offered to draw it up so we could enter the contest.
It all came together before I’d finished my coffee. Sometimes the world is a pretty amazing place.
Alex is a very talented storyteller whose style is clean, accessible and so much fun. He was interested in doing something on the humorous side and I’m glad he picked this story to help him flex those muscles. I just had an opportunity to check out the pencils for the short and his art had me laughing out loud. There weren’t even any words on the page. THAT’S how we do it.
And while we will be sending this short over to Titan Comics for their consideration, we’re not living and dying by their validation. Either way, you, the reader, are going to get a fun 4-page story that is guaranteed to make you smile. Look at that…everyone wins.
Oh, while I have you, Alex’s new comic, Southern Dog, is currently in previews for pre-order. The comic deals with racial tensions in the south AND werewolves, so you know it’s good. Heck, I’ve read the first issue so I can promise you that it’s good. The series was written by the talented Jeremy Holt with covers by Riley Rossmo. Get on it. Help this comic succeed.
While Alex moves on to the inking phase of our short, check out his character designs below for Dee and Adam, our two protagonists who find themselves hopelessly lost in the void that is space. Of course, much hilarity ensues. How could it not?
On this edition of Stuff I Dig I wanted to take a moment to shine the spotlight on the sci-fi comic book D4VE, written by Ryan Ferrier with art by Valentin Ramon and published through Monkeybrain Comics.
Here’s the official blurb:
Mid-life. Crisis. D4VE, the defense-bot-turned-desk-slave, withers away at a soul-sucking day job, quitely dreaming of his monster-punching past. Unbeknownst to him-yet-new alien presence lands on Earth.
Before we dive in, I need to start off by letting you know that I’m jealous.
I’m jealous because you have the potential to experience D4VE, for the very first time.
Why do I dig D4VE so much?
For one, this hilarious 5-issue sci-fi romp fit right in with my current mindset of “comics should be fun.” At some point during the last year I become desensitized and bored with all of the comics that were going “dark.” Everything was headed to “street level” to deal with “grim” and “gritty” situations. Call me an escapist, but I need my entertainment to make me smile and forget about those bad things that plague the world. The world is a dark enough place as-is and right now, thank you very much.
For two, D4VE takes place in the distant future once humans have run their course and the robots have taken over. Rather than improve the planet or do something super important, the robots fall into the same vicious cycle that humans did, working mindless jobs and dealing with the same types of relationship problems that we face every day.
As we all know, comics are a visual medium and artist Valentin Ramon takes full advantage of this, giving us characters that have their own distinct look and feel and tell us something about themselves right there on the page before they ever speak a line of dialogue. THAT’s good character design, right there. His action scenes are hyper-kinetic and you can feel each punch, kick and laser blast as the story progresses and D4VE shakes off his defense bot rust.
Much of the humor in the comic comes from the dialogue, but Ramon’s panels brought many a smile to my face as characters went ahead and did things that could be considered downright juvenile at times. It was awesome.
Ramon built an entire world that’s recognizable as Earth, but shows a future that could very well be in our cards. His lines and colors give us a setting that pops but maintains a beautiful overtone of rust, oil and hopelessness.
Let’s talk about writer Ryan Ferrier, one half of the Challenger Comics team, and letterer of probably every comic book you’re currently reading. If there’s one thing I know about this fella, it’s that he loves comics. This is clear not only by his creative output, but also the fact that he uses his free time to promote other people’s independent comics projects. Yeah, these are the type of people we need to be supporting.
Ferrier’s dialogue is spot on, creating a whole set of slang for the characters and the dude uses every possible opportunity to parody everything that’s happening in the world. The details and logos in the backgrounds of the comic often provide as much comedic relief as what the characters are chattering about.
If you’ve ever worked a corporate office job then you’ll feel D4ve’s pain throughout the first few issues. I can only assume that Ferrier is drawing from his own personal experiences as a cubicle monkey. That, or he was spying on me while I worked in that world. It’s that easy to relate to and immediately puts D4ve in a sympathetic light for anyone who has shared these awful, horrible, inhumane experiences. When poop hits the fan and aliens invade the planet, we’re treated to a scene of D4ve quitting his job in a manner that we could only dream of.
I’m going to pause here so you can go buy the issues and get to reading.
Seriously, I’ll wait.
Assuming that you’ve followed my advice and purchased (and read) D4VE, pick up Ferrier’s other work including Tiger Lawyer, The Brothers James, and Bloody F**king Revenge, because I promise you’re going to love those too.
All five issues are currently available through ComiXology and you can download the entire series for a mere $5. I promise you, if you’re a comic book reader who loves to laugh and enjoys a fun sci-fi adventure, it’s the smartest five dollars you could spend today.
I’m done blabbering about it. Go buy it. Read it. Click here to do so.
Jobsdamn, this is what comics are all about.