It’s been a wonderful week in the world of comics and having so many projects in the air means that rarely a day goes by that amazing work by talented artists doesn’t hit my email inbox.
Eduardo Jimenez, with whom I’m collaborating on the sci-fi/humor comic, UNIT 44 recently dropped a great sketch my way of the main protagonists from the series.
We’ll soon be jumping into the first five sequential pages of the book and I’m thrilled with how things are shaping up thus far. The personality that he’s bringing to the characters is completely on par with the personality that I’ve attempted to pack into the book!
If you like your comics fun, silly and highly entertaining, I can’t wait for you to be able to read this one.
Enjoy a look below!
More great news to share!
My action/heist comic book, THE UNDOUBTABLES has reached the coloring stage!
This morning, artist Emre Ozdamarlar, submitted the completed pencils and inks for the entire 88-page series.
While we began on this project many moons ago, I’m absolutely thrilled with the final product and I’m eager to begin the coloring and lettering process for the series. This is the first comic that I signed a publishing contract for, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Emre and I will soon be bringing you this fun romp full of cops and robbers goodness with a fun cast of characters that I hope you’ll come to love as much as I have.
I’m excited to share more details as they become available and hopefully we’ll be able to secure a release date for this soon!
In fact, I’m so excited, that I’m going to share a photo that Emre sent over of the entire book.
Yup, the whole thing.
If you’re reading this, I hope you’re having a pleasant day.
You should be, that color looks great on you.
Anywho, I wanted to drop a quick update on my upcoming sci-fi/humor comic book, UNIT 44.
What’s that? You thought the comic had a different name?
Well, it did, but to avoid potential confusion and copyright infringement sometimes things get changed!
This is another one of those projects that I’m kind of setting off and doing on my own with a rough idea of where I’d like it to end. In my last post, I detailed the process that led me to finding the series artist, Eduardo Jimenez, who has agreed to hop on board for building a pitch package around the book.
With each comic I do, I try to do something a little bit different and this round I made the decision to find an art style that was not only completely different than anything I had done to date, but also served the story. I also wanted to write a comic that was…you know… funny, which, if you’ve read my book, it isn’t too far a stretch.
I’d already had the series written, so after tossing the first issue over to Ed and getting a positive response, it was off to the races. The pitch package will be used for several things (more on that later), but I’ve been having a blast watching the book’s characters be reinterpreted and seeing the style fall a bit more in line with what I saw in my mind’s eye.
Again, like some of my other projects, this doesn’t have a publisher attached, so I’m planning to enjoy the creative process and share stuff with you as we go along.
There are some bigger plans attached to this project that I’ll be sharing soon.
Until then, here’s something to sink your eyeballs into.
Big news in 3…2…1…
The first issue of my sci-fi comic book NEW LIFE is complete!
It’s been a long road, but we’ve finally made it to the end of the first finish line. Now we just have to do it all over again three more times. (Don’t kill me, Logan.)
As an independent comics creator one of my biggest pet peeves is when comics start with a number one issue but either take a year to produce a second issue or worse, never make it to the second issue at all. Logan and I are very determined to maintain a monthly schedule with this book and bring you a story that you’ll be able to enjoy knowing that the next chapter is only 30 days away.
We’ve also made the decision to have the comic hit the digital stores alongside the print product so that you can get the book in a format that is best for you and your reading habits and neither party will miss out on having access to it.
Because we’ve chosen this path, it’s likely that the first issue won’t be released until the final issue is complete or very nearly so. It’s a challenge because as a writer, I want to share it with the world and have everyone appreciate Logan’s art as I have been behind the scenes for the last few months, but I promise that the wait will lead to a better payoff and a better reading experience!
Until then, expect more news, more updates and more sneak peeks at the fun to come.
I promise, once New Life gets here, it’s going to be a wild ride.
As sometimes happens in life, projects start, projects stall and projects die.
Sadly, my sci-fi/humor comic book, UNIT 23 was no exception. I had a fantastic artist and colorist lined up for the project but (as happens with very talented people), artist Orlando Baez got pulled away to work on bigger and better things. The book died.
No harm, no foul. In fact, the first issue of his new comic, NOCTUA was just released yesterday. Go check it out on Comixology!
In fact, since the project died, I’ve included the second cover that Orlando provided for the book. (The first cover is elsewhere on this website. You can find it if you’re good with a search function.)
I just wanted to share it to get more of Orlando’s art out in the world for some appreciation. Big thanks also go to Federico Sioc for the colors and Amanda Kent for the logo.
After getting the news that Orlando was out of the game, I didn’t put a lot of effort into finding a replacement artist since other projects were moving along in the pipeline, but I never forgot about the book. It was one of those ideas where it all hit and fell into place very quickly (as a writer, that means less anguish and crying) and the scripts for the potential 4-issue series were all written late last year.
Recently I found myself in one of those “what’s next?” moods so I cracked open the scripts and read them with fresh eyes. As I scanned the panel descriptions and dialogue I found myself laughing just as hard as I did when I initially wrote them. It dawned on me that this book was something that none of my other properties to-date have been: harmless, silly fun.
And fun is exactly what I believe comic books should be.
I knew the art style I had in mind for the project so I set off to see if I knew any artists who would be a good fit.
After giving up searching for the night, not finding anyone whose style fit with what I had in my mind, I hit up Twitter for some mindless fun. Then I found him. The artist who just might do the book justice and accurately represent the images in my mind.
I sent a few tweets, a couple emails, punched up the script and sent it to him.
After a few more emails, a couple days passed and I found myself hoping for the best.
A few days later, the image below appeared in my inbox.
Let’s do this.
To be continued…
During the first week of April I sent off my completed crime-fiction graphic novel, CHAMBERS to the publisher and began playing the waiting game on editorial feedback.
Today, those edits dropped in my mailbox.
It’s been an interesting experience leafing through 88 pages of notes, feedback, suggestions, errors and inconsistencies. I’ve never worked with a comics editor on this level before and it’s a crazy feeling to know that someone has gone through my story with a fine-toothed comb. A story that, just a year ago, only existed in my brain.
While you hope for an editor to come back say “It’s fantastic! Amazing! We’ll sell millions of copies of this!” it rarely works out that way.
Because this is the first comic that I did for an actual company, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect in the way of feedback. When I finally garnered the courage to kick open the PDF file I saw note upon note upon note upon note.
My heart dropped.
As I re-read my way through my work taking a new viewpoint into consideration, I realized everything that the editor suggested was right.
As humans, ego is a funny thing. I enjoy giving feedback to others and know the importance of being open to it. By the time I reached the final page of my story, I was re-invigorated by the notes and ready to dive back in and start making corrections to ensure that the comic is best it can be. It also made me aware of similar mistakes that I was currently making in other projects currently in the pipeline.
Not that I expected it, but I’m glad that I wasn’t told it was amazing. I’m glad that I’m being asked to make changes that will ultimately lead to a better product that the publisher will be proud to put their name on. I’m glad that the editor takes their job seriously enough to take the time to give feedback on the level they did. It really meant a lot, and I felt bad for “letting them down.”
This is the type of thing that makes a writer better. Pushes them. Fixes them.
I work under the rule, “how do you know if no one tells you?”
It’s nice to have people in your corner who will tell you.
Editorial is typically a thank-less job, but I’m thankful for both the editor, their insight and for the entire experience thus far.
As I work on the next pass of the book, here’s the final character sketch for Chambers, as drawn by series artist, Kristian Rossi.
Meet Detective Kurt Emerson. If you have a problem, he’ll solve it.
Over the weekend I received nine more colored pages for my upcoming sci-fi comic book, NEW LIFE.
I almost hate when he sends me new pages because I just sit and stare at them for extended periods of time and end up forgetting to eat or find myself neglecting my cats. It’s a gorgeous book and the colors have taken Logan’s already amazing pencils and inks to new heights.
Immediately after receiving these new pages I tossed them into Illustrator and began the lettering process. At this point we have 13 pages fully complete for issue one and by the end of the week we’ll be at 17!
Very exciting stuff!
Let’s be honest though. You saw that there was some fresh New Life info and you probably just want to check out some new art from Logan.
I can’t disappoint!
After receiving some thumbnail sketches last week for my upcoming short, IN THE DRINK, I received a a quick turnaround on the finished blue-line pencils.
There’s something exciting about working with an artist for the first time. As a writer, you’re not one hundred percent sure exactly what you’re going to get. Sometimes you’re worried that your script might not truly convey your story, or the artist won’t interpret it correctly. Other times you know it’s going to be awesome. I was absolutely thrilled to receive the files from artist Robyn Seale. She pulled the images right out of my brain. She absolutely hit the nail on the head.
Her style is different than any artist I’ve worked with before, but that’s half the fun! It’s great to see get art from the artist and realize that in your mind, you can’t imagine anyone else drawing it. I’m happy to have had a chance to collaborate with her!
This 3-page short will be published by GrayHaven Comics in their Survival anthology due out in April, 2014.
This was a good weekend for some comic-making goodness. Maybe there was something in the water.
Lots more news to share over the course of the week.
I love the vibe I get from this panel. I think it sums our story quite nicely.
I’m happy to report that the finished pages for my public domain story, HOODWINKED, were approved and delivered to the publisher a week or so ago.
It was another awesome experience working with Kristian Rossi and from pitch approval to completed letters we had a one month turnaround on the four-page project. Not bad for a story that won’t even be published until January 2014!
I worked with editors Marc Lombardi and Glenn Matchett over at GrayHaven Comics and they were wonderful with shepherding the submission through the pipeline and providing constructive feedback along the way. I look forward to working with them again in the future!
For now, as we wait patiently for the The Gathering: Public Domain anthology to be released, here’s a final look at some finished and lettered art.
School yard playgrounds used to be dangerous places. The key words there are “used,” “to,” and “be.” I’m a believer that the higher the danger levels on a playground, the higher the coolness factor. School boards around the country don’t seem to share my point of view.
Over the holidays I visited my parents in Ohio where I grew up. During one of my trips out into the frozen tundra I stopped by my old elementary school. I hadn’t been on the premises in over fourteen years and truth be told, had no desire to go, however, I had my girlfriend with me and she has mastered the art of getting me to do things that I really don’t want to do. While she thought it would be cute to see where I spent my mischievous youth I tried telling her that it was just like any other school and I was doubtful that anything had changed. As I got out of the car and braved the snow I noticed something truly horrific. All of the old playground equipment that I had spent six years of my life climbing up, falling off, climbing up a second time, falling off again, and subsequently hurting myself on, had been torn down and replaced by bright colored, child-proof plastic eyesores.
I had not prepared myself for a change of this magnitude. I stood in shock while I gazed out over an alien land of snow-covered plastic. At some point in the last fourteen years everything that I once knew had disappeared. I felt as though I had lost a part of my childhood. After all, this was the place where I’d had my first meaningful conversation with a female, it was the site of a football’s first encounter with my groin, and above all, it was the location where I was first punched in the face by a bully. Somewhere out there, a tooth of mine lay deep within the soil.
Looking back, I remember recess as a time of freedom and unpredictability, though more often than not, it was also a time of unbridled violence. You never knew exactly what was going to happen but undoubtedly, someone would do something stupid and get hurt. As kids we spent our time trying to burn off our excess energy by running, climbing, and falling, all while trying to avoid the playground attendant who, if I remember correctly, looked eerily similar to the Bride of Frankenstein. During my time as a student there I saw many of my peers succumb to the evils of the equipment. It was never uncommon for someone to bust their head open on a merry-go-round or nose-dive off the side of a slide and end up unconscious. I suppose it’s like being in a war and you just get used to it after a while. As the old memories flooded over me I couldn’t help but feel bad for anyone who was currently a student there. With a playground like the fluorescent one I saw, I had no doubts that their recess time was boring and uneventful. The experiences that I had on that playground helped shape me into who I am today… and caused most of the scars found on my body.
I felt sorry for the current student body as by no fault of their own, they were doomed to grow up in a time where children are coddled and live inside a constant bubble of safety. I felt remorseful that they would never know what it was like to take a ride on a tire swing hanging from rusted chains that would snap if you piled too many of your buddies on it and gained too much velocity. I was saddened that they were never going to experience the joy of an aluminum slide that would heat up in the summer causing your skin to fuse itself to the metal, leaving a trail of blood and sizzling meat behind as you slid down. I was regretful that they would never swing from the monkey bars that stood ten feet off the ground, giving concussions to all those who attempted to cross and failed. I was saddened at the fact that they would never find themselves on a rotted seesaw that without warning would break into two pieces causing them and a friend to simultaneously break their tailbones in three places. I was mournful that they would never feel the freedom of jumping off of a swing and having their shirt get stuck in the chain causing it to be ripped clean off their bodies in mid flight. Above all, I was heavyhearted that they would never know the feeling of having a shirtless friend land on them after jumping off that same swing.
This work is from my humor book, Musings on Minutiae.
What Amazon reviewers are saying:
“Weston’s witty way with words, his wry humor, and his wide-ranging choice of topics all make for a memorable and hilarious read.”
“This book is hilarious! The author has a real gift for storytelling and I found myself laughing so hard, my face hurt.”
“Do yourself a favor and pick up this book, you won’t regret it!
This is observational humor at it’s finest!”