Since the first issue of Unit 44 went into the hands of Kickstarter backers in 2014 the comic book, co-created with series artist Eduardo Jimenez, has been an absolute joyride and I’m thrilled to announce that the 100-page collected edition will hit ComiXology on Wednesday, Sept. 9 from Alterna Comics!
For anyone who didn’t read all four of our sci-fi/comedy issues as they were released in digital and print editions, this just might be the most fun you can have with a comic in the next week.
In addition to all 88-pages of the story we’re bringing in a new cover (see image at left… or wherever it ended up on the page), a bunch of pin-ups contributed by some of my amazingly talented friends and two installments of the Conspirator’s Gazette, where I write essays about… well… about whatever I felt like talking about any given time. In the case of the collected edition, one essay is about the genesis of the series and my love for all things Area 51 and the other is about why you shouldn’t be a hipster. It’s about other stuff, too, but mostly it begs people not be hipsters. Seriously. Stop that already.
I think the price point for the collected edition will drop to around $6 making it cheaper to grab volume 1 rather than the individual issues. See? How much easier can we make it to read this thing?
So, if you’re into Area 51, Aliens, government conspiracies, secrets, rednecks or laughing, then Unit 44 has you covered. If you’re tired of convoluted continuities and superheroes who never change, then this series is going to be a breath of fresh air for you.
Seriously, if you’ve resisted reading the series up til now, it’s totally time to give in. Don’t deprive yourself of these laughs. Please, think of the children.
Don’t want to wait? The issues are currently available at ComiXology!
If you did read the series and you received some joy from the experience, do me a huge favor and share the news on social media. Your friends will listen to you and buy what you like. Trust me, you can sell it to them better than I can. I’m just some dude who desperately needs a haircut.
And if you did read the series, then thank you. You rock. It means the world to Ed and I.
Back at the beginning of 2015 I embarked on the silliest of ideas.
After Unit 44 showed me how much fun writing humor was, and how naturally I felt it came to me in comic book form, I decided to up the ante on myself. Sure, I had penned a silly and irreverent four-issue sci-fi/comedy miniseries, but I wondered how could I take that to the next level.
I didn’t have to think very long.
In a stroke of genius (or was it madness)… I thought, what if the world ended leaving just two of the planets’ silliest human stereotypes…and what if they had to fight each other?
It was then that I knew I would be writing Hipsters vs. Rednecks.
The story came rather quickly… what would happen if an outsider stumbled into the middle of a war… who would they ally with and how would they survive in that setting? This tale would not only allow me to explore a ton of silly jokes, but be a fun experiment in one-and-done storytelling.
In October 2014 I penned the script and at the end of the year went hunting for the perfect artist to co-create the world I had started to envision. After casually dropping the idea for the comic out on social media I got several responses, but there was one artist who caught my eye…
Tyler Kelting, writer and artist of the (fantastic) indie book My Friend Death offered to take a look at the script to see if it was up his alley. Tyler’s art has this amazing dark, grimy and lived-in feeling that I thought would be ideal for the story. The dude uses color in ways I’ve never seen colors used in a comic book. Needless to say, I was holding my breath that he’d dig it. Thankfully, he did and after a bit of discussion he set to work in early 2015.
Here we are just months later, sitting on top of a complete 24-page one-shot comic book that I couldn’t be more proud of.
While part of me feels like this comic book has no business existing (because it’s just that silly) the other part of me is completed inspired by the what we’ve made. As a young reader I always loved when an indie comic book would pop up in my local comic shop (The Collection Connection — hey-o!) and reel me in with it’s personality, wackiness and complete disregard for following comic book norms.
To me, Hipsters vs. Rednecks embodies that feeling. Tyler and I created the exact comic we wanted to make, making zero apologies and having a ton of fun in the process. Maybe we’ll be apologizing once it’s released… who knows.
We’ll be self-publishing the book in print and digital formats in September. Digital PDFs will first be available via Gumroad with more e-formats to follow in the near future. We’ll be dropping a pre-order link in the next few weeks!
Now, even though I’m completely into this book I can’t help but wonder if anyone will read it. With a title like Hipsters vs. Rednecks, I’m counting on curiosity alone to bring in some viewers. After all, how could there be any sort of story there? There’s only one way to find out!
While it’s all very silly, I’ve always believed that first and foremost, making comics should be fun. The fulfillment I get from collaborating with talented artists and colorists is a thrill that never gets old.
Release date info to come soon!
For those in and around Northwest Florida, I’ll be appearing at the 2015 installment of the Panama City CreativeCon tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 1), happening in (say it with me) Panama City, FL!
The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET at Gulf Coast State College in the student union building. Tickets and more info are available online at pccreativecon.com
The convention, founded by the ever-talented writer/artist/dancer(?) Jayson Kretzer, doesn’t limit itself to just comic books, but instead embraces every form of creativity from comics, to art, to writing, costume creation and more.
But don’t just come out for me! Also in attendance will be the talented colorist K. Michael Russell, writers Tony Simmons, Michael Lister and Chris Arrant and artist Rando Dixon of Inverse Press (a great group of people).
This is the first show at which I’ll be selling all four issues of Unit 44 in printed issue format! Very excited for that. I’ve sold many copies of #1 and #2 in the area and here’s hoping people actually want to finish the story.
I’ll also be packing copies of The Undoubtables graphic novel, The Temporal one-shot, my humor book Musings on Minutiae and very, very, veeeeeeeery limited quantities of the Chambers collected edition.
See you there, yeah?
A few weeks ago I sat down with Gabe Llanas, one of the hosts of the Thinking Outside the Long Box Podcast and we spent an evening chatting comics, Star Wars, Kickstarter and other miscellanea.
Specifically, I was on the show to promote my sci-fi/comedy comic book Unit 44!
Gabe gave me the chance to explain how the project came together, the inspiration behind the narrative and the process of funding the book through Kickstarter before landing at Alterna Comics.
I appreciate Gabe and his co-hosts having me on the show and for all the great questions he asked. Hopefully you have as much fun listening to it as I did recording it.
The Thinking Outside the Longbox Podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. You can listen to the podcast online here: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/thinking-outside-the-long-box/e/totlb-020-ccbe-special-39831178
Note: Each of TOTLB’s shows runs roughly three hours, and while there is much hilarity to be found, those who want to get in, listen to me yammer and get out, can jump forward to the 2 hour, 15 minute mark where my interview segment begins.
Support the show!
If you like what you hear, check out the show archives and tell a friend about it!
Word rolled in that the single issues of Unit 44 #1-4 have been shipped from the printer and are en route to my door!
If you’ve grabbed past issues at conventions/signings or if you’ve just had an interest in my silly comic about Area 51, government conspiracies, aliens and rednecks, head on over to my webstore where you can grab the issues for just $4 each or the whole 4-issue mini series for $15!
Get a preview of each issue by clicking over to www.unit44comic.com.
The books are scheduled to arrive later this week and as orders come in I’ll be dropping them in the mail and getting them to your doorstep. Each comic will be signed by me and I’ll even toss in a few other goodies!
If you are an early adopter of new technologies and don’t mind reading your comics digitally, you can save a little bit of scratch and get each issue for just $1.99 on ComiXology!
I’ll also have remaining copies of the entire series at the Panama City Creative Con (in Panama City, FL) on Saturday, Aug. 1.
While you’re at my webstore, consider checking out/picking up my other comic offerings including The Temporal (sci-fi one-shot), The Undoubtables (heist graphic novel) or Chambers (crime-fiction graphic novel). All proceeds go directly to keeping my self esteem in working order.
For those of you who have messaged me about grabbing single issues of Unit 44 in print format, the wait is almost over!
A huge thanks to everyone who already picked up issue #1, issue #2 (or both, ideally) over the past year at various conventions, signings, etc. For those readers who many not be ready to embrace digital comics through ComiXology (along with other platforms) and prefer to do their reading in the physical form (aka in the bathroom) I’m excited to get the books into your hands soon enough!
The order went to the printer late last week and as soon as I receive shipping confirmation I will go into the Ye Olde Web Store and switch all the issues (plus the Unit 44 bundle where you can snag all 4 issues for one price) will go into pre-order mode!
Any copies I have left over from what I anticipate to be a Jingle all the Way-esque rush will be available at the Panama City CreativeCon (in Panama City, FL) on Saturday, Aug. 1!
Oh, by the way… tickets are now on sale for that shindig, so if you’re planning to go, get ’em while you can! Come say hi and meet some talented creative minds from around Northwest Florida.
For those of you who were clamoring to hear another podcast interview with me, I was recently a guest on the Alterna Podcast with host Tim Browning!
As the official podcast of Alterna Comics, who published my irreverent sci-fi comedy series Unit 44, together Tim and I dug in on the genesis of the project, how I linked up with the talented Eduardo Jimenez (who provided art, colors, talent, moral support, laughs, etc.) and some of the classic comic tales from my personal library that helped to inspired the story.
I think it was a pretty darn good interview, myself. Even my pal Doug said it was one of the most coherent interviews I’ve ever given, so you know it has to be good.
You can download the podcast on iTunes/Stitcher under the Casual Heroes radio show, or keep it simple and listen online here: http://alternapodcast.com/2015/06/24/unit-44/
It’s guaranteed to keep you entertained for at least 40 minutes!
I really appreciate Tim for not only reading the series and sharing his honest feedback, but giving me the platform to reach a wider audience.
Once you’ve given it a listen, surf over to ComiXology and pick up issues #1-4 of Unit 44!
Today is the big day! The fourth (and final) issue of the sci-fi comedy comic book Unit 44 has hit the digital shelves today on ComiXology!
The best part? You can get this digital dreamboat for just $1.99 by clicking here!
In this installment readers will find out what happens when the alien invasion begins at Area 51 and Agent Hatch, along with rednecks Chester and Ike, must stave off the invaders long enough for Agent Gibson to recover the Freedahken crystal from madman Lance Albright. I mean, c’mon… it’s only the future of humanity at stake!
Huge thank yous go out to publisher Peter Simeti at Alterna Comics for supporting artist Eduardo Jimenez and I in this irreverent comic book journey. Maybe you should tune in just to see if Ed and I can stick the landing, eh?
Did you give it a read? Drop a comment and let us know what you thought!
(Of course, if you didn’t read issues #1-3 yet, you may want to start there. Grab ’em by clicking here!)
So what’s next for Unit 44? Fantastic question!
We’ll have a collected edition hitting ComiXology around September of 2015 and we’re getting together the deets on when the physical collection will hit comic stores in trade paperback form. For all you anticipators out there, anticipate sometime in early 2016 for that.
Ed and I have introduced you to our silly world of aliens, government agents and rednecks and we both hope it won’t be the last you see of them! We have lots of ideas, scripts and even new concept art created and we hope to revisit the Unit 44 universe in the not too distant future. Want to help us expedite that process? Tell your comic-lovin’ friends about Unit 44 and encourage them to give us a download on ComiXology. The more support we get, the faster we can bring you a volume 2!
So you want print copies of Unit 44, huh?
Of course you do!
So here’s the deal, I spent my weekend at the Ocala Comic Con where I met tons of nice people who were kind of enough to exchange their hard-earned money for print editions of Unit 44. So many, in fact, that I have a whopping ZERO copies of them left.
Don’t fret — I will be ordering copies new print copies of #1-4 very soon and I anticipate having them in stock in my web store in early July. I’ll even be selling a bundle where you can get all the issues for one insanely low price. I’ll drop a post once they’re in my hands so you don’t miss out.
A big thanks to everyone keeping the print tradition alive. I’m excited to get the latest installments to your mailbox!
If you have questions, just drop a line.
Thanks for reading Unit 44 and thanks for being awesome.
For those in the Central Florida area who might be looking to get out and about this weekend to take in some nerd culture, I’ll be a guest at the third annual Ocala Comic Con in (where else) Ocala, Florida.
The two-day show, being held Saturday June 20 and Sunday, June 21, will take over the Hilton Hotel and feature comic creators, artists, vendors, voiceover actors and more!
Card and video game tournaments, costume contests, raffles will be held throughout the day… you know… if that’s your thing.
I believe I’ll also be taking part in the Indie Artist Panel on Sunday. I can’t wait to see the looks on everyone’s face when I have to come clean that I’m not an artist! I’m joking of course. It’s going to be awesome.
The city of Ocala has always been generous to me and my creativity, so I’m anxious to return with some crazy comics. With nearly 2,000 tickets sold, I’ll be excited to see just how comic book crazy Ocala can get!
Since I was sort of a last minute addition to this show I don’t have full stocks on everything, but will have copies of Chambers, The Undoubtables, Musings on Minutiae, The Temporal, RDSL Chronicles #1 and very limited supplies of Unit 44 #1 & 2 (if you want Unit 44, make my table your first stop!).
Come hang out, meet like minded people and celebrate what you dig.
Get all the info by clicking over to www.ocalacomiccon.net.
June has been a busy month!
Even though my short comic Monster Day was released last week and the final issue of Unit 44 hits next week, in a strange twist of fate I had another story hit the digital shelves today! It’s been a busy couple weeks!
This time out you can grab my 4-page comic Adrift, co-created with artist extraordinaire Alex Diotto for FREE on ComiXology.
Adrift is the lead story in the Titan Comics “Lost in Space” anthology. It features six shorts from up-and-coming talent from around the world and an absolutely awesome cover by artist Sean Phillips!
The winners of the anthology were announced during Lancaster Comics Day 2015 held June 14 in the UK. If you’d like to read the official press release (and learn a bit more about some of the talented people involved) give this link the old clickity click.
This anthology is the culmination of last year’s Titan Comics Undiscovered Talent Competition.
Last year Titan Comics teamed up with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival to search out new talent. Artists, writers and writer/artists were invited to pitch 4-6 completed comics with the theme of (you guessed it) lost in space. The entries were judged first by the Lakes International crew and the finalists were sent on to the editors at Titan Comics for the final decision.
In September 2014 Alex and I learned we had been one of the winning strips, but it’s exciting to finally be able to share it!
What’s it all about? Good question!
After becoming lost in space, two astronauts must stop and ask directions from a group of aliens aboard a nearby warship.
It’s silly, it’s irreverent and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Grab it on ComiXology! Did I mention it’s FREE? Probably!
Do I know how long it will be available for free? No I do not!