Unit 44 #1 coming Wednesday, March 25

At long last, my sci-fi/comedy comic book UNIT 44, co-created with artist Eduardo Jimenez will debut on the ComiXology platform on Wednesday, March 25 courtesy of Alterna Comics!

U44_issue1_2

Our silly, irreverent four issue miniseries tells the story of what happens when inept Area 51 employees Agent Gibson and Agent Hatch forget to pay the rent on the facility’s off-site storage unit and the secret contents are sold to a pair of backwoods rednecks at public auction. After an alien invasion threatens planet Earth, the agents must recover an item from the locker if they hope to stop the extraterrestrial threat.

It’s a comic book designed for one purpose: for you to forget all of your cares in the world and laugh your butt off.

The road to Unit 44 began in late 2012 when I was watching an episode of Storage Wars (a show about people who making a living off purchasing unpaid storage units and selling the contents for a profit) and wondered what would happen if someone on the broadcast accidentally purchased a locker containing government secrets. From there, the story was born over the course of the subsequent months and I quickly wrote my first drafts of the scripts over the holidays.

In early 2013 I linked up with the talented and hilarious artist Eduardo Jimenez to bring the story to the comic book page. In fall of that year we successfully raised funds via Kickstarter to complete the first issue and got all kinds of great feedback from readers and industry pros. In 2014 we Kickstarted the remaining three issues and now the series is complete.

Along the way, we pitched the book to numerous publishers and while they liked it, the consensus was that a straight humor book could be a hard sell in the market. Having a publisher wasn’t a make or break for us as Ed and I were completely content to self-publish the book if needed. Ultimately, Peter Simeti, head of Alterna Comics (publisher of the New York Times bestselling zombie anthology FUBAR, and many other fine comics) got in touch to see what we’d decided to do with the book.

Unit44_Issue1_CoverAfter some conversations, it turned out that Alterna’s name and brand perfectly signified what Unit 44 was all about…it was an alternative to the mainstream comic. An utterly silly and pretty ridiculous alternative. In June of 2014 we decided to team up with Peter and Ed and I started fast-tracking the book to completion.

All completed issues of the series were turned over to Alterna earlier this week and we’re preparing for the first issue to drop in less than a month’s time.

Of course, that’s the story in a nutshell.

Though I’ve released hundreds of pages of comics over the past few years, Unit 44 is the project that I feel is the best possible representation of who I am as both a writer and a person. I hope that if you’ve enjoyed any of my past works you’ll give this a shot, too. It’s also Ed’s first miniseries project and he drew this series as though it was the last thing he’d ever draw. I can’t thank him for enough for translating the jokes to the page and adding in tons of fun and hilarious things to look at. Heck, Ed, being the trooper he is, even the drew the first issue of the series twice. That’s how much we believe in this title.

I can’t thank Ed and Peter enough for their hard work and support in bringing this comic to readers, and I can’t wait to see what happens with it.

Want to get a sneak peek at what you’re in for? I’m offering a free preview of the first 5 pages of issue #1 which you can read here or by clicking the cover image above.

I hope you enjoy…and remember…it’s okay to laugh.

Chambers comes to ComicsFix!

In the era of streaming services that allow media consumers to program their own reading, listening and viewing habits a la carte, the website ComicsFix.com is one of the first sites to lead the way in “all-you-can-eat” comics for the price of $8.99 a month.

In it’s mission to become the NetFlix of the comic book world, the site offers a huge backlist of great books (updating weekly) from larger publishers like Dynamite Entertainment, Valiant and tons of indie pubs including, but not limited to, Arcana Studio, Markosia Enterprises, Alterna Comics and more.

This week, one of my comics found its way to the ComicsFix platform and as of this writing, my 2013 crime-fiction graphic novel CHAMBERS, with art by Kristian Rossi and colors by Kefas Armando is live on the platform. If you have a subscription to the service, consider giving my book about crooked cops and bloody revenge a read and then be sure to get in touch and let me know what you thought! The book was published by Arcana Studio and I appreciate not only that the company is taking takes to expose its catalog to a wider audience, but that my book was chosen to be submitted.

ComicsFix_Chambers1

As a comic book creators, ComicsFix, along with other digital distribution methods helps to spread the word of comics that may not have made it onto store shelves or may have been lost in the monthly shuffle.

We live in a really cool age and it’s wonderful to see comic books reaching a wider audience with each passing year.

ComicsFix_Chambers2

Innovation Update #24

My free sci-fi web comic INNOVATION returns with another installment!

We’re closing loops and opening new ones as Chapter 15: Endeavor continues events set in motion with chapter 12 and even calls back to certain moments that happened way back in chapter 3. Just what is in that briefcase that keeps popping up? I think it’s time to answer that question!

Art for this 5-page short was provided by the talented Fludi Stohr, someone I’ve invited to return to the Innovation world as often as he’d like.

Give Endeavor a read by clicking here or on the image below.

Chap15

Future: Uncertain update #1

FutureU_Episode

I teased this project during my 2015 Year in Preview post, and I finally have some news to share!

My interactive narrative, Future: Uncertain, has been published by Pocket Gems Games.

In November 2014 I was hired by San Francisco game makers Pocket Gems to develop, create and write a serialized story for their Episode app. The platform “presents players with dozens of animated stories where their choices matter.” (Their words.)

Launched a year ago, the app (which is a free download on iOS and Android devices) serves as the new generation of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories where players can find a tale that suits their genre tastes, step inside its ever-evolving world and begin making choices as the protagonist. Users have already played more than 10 million chapters on the app and the demand for new stories reached a boiling point last year.

My fantasy/sci-fi/comedy/drama tale takes place on Dina’s 21st birthday, when everyone in the city receives a text message from their future selves…everyone except her.

To learn more about the platform, or to get the free app, head over to the Pocket Gems website or find it on the App Store/Google Play marketplace. Once you’ve downloaded Episode, you can click this link on your mobile device to go right to Future: Uncertain: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/5266911660081152

If you give it a look, I hope you have fun in the silly world I’ve created. The first three episodes are available to play with 10 more installments set to serialize over the coming weeks.

There are tons of stories available from many talented writers for all tastes. Let me assure you, Episode is the perfect way to kill a few minutes in the bathroom. Though, don’t be surprised if you stay in there longer than you intended!

Hipsters vs. Rednecks Update #2

With the new year comes new progress on my upcoming silly one-shot comic book HIPSTERS VERSUS REDNECKS, co-created with the wonderful Tyler Kelting.

This 24-page one-shot comic explores what happens when a survivor of the apocalypse finds herself in the middle of an epic battle between the hipster and redneck factions as they battle for control of New Brooklyn, the last known city.

It’s gonna be silly and it’s gonna be out there. I hope you’re ready. We may see the book as early as spring, but you know how comics are! As soon as you can get your hands on it, I’ll let you know how!

While Tyler and I work diligently behind the scenes, here’s a peek at the cover art. Tell me you don’t want to read this comic. I dare you. Even I want to read it and I wrote the thing!

HvR_Cover

2015 in preview

We took a look at my 2014 in review, but now it’s time to look into the future (The future, Conan?) at the various projects I hope to bring to light in the New Year (did you get that reference?) along with a couple of sneak peeks at what’s to come (it was stupid).

Unit 44
My 2015 will lead off with the release of Unit 44, my silly and irreverent comic created with Eduardo Jimenez about inept Area 51 employees who forget to pay the rent on the facility’s off-site storage unit, leaving the secret contents to be sold to a couple of rednecks at public auction. Ed and I Kickstarted the first issue of this back in 2013 and after a really, really positive response, ran another crowdfunding campaign this year that let us produce the remaining three issues of the series.

YIP_Unit44

The four issue miniseries is now complete and will be released digitally in Q1 of 2015 through publisher Alterna Comics. This sci-fi/comedy epic is meant only to make you laugh and I’m absolutely in love with that Ed and I created. Every comic writer has a title that they could write forever, if given the opportunity, and this is mine. You can read five pages of issue #1 for free by clicking here. Get excited.

Monster Day
In mid-2014 I was selected to participate in another GrayHaven Comics anthology called Li’l Kaiju. This round, the focus was on all ages stories that somehow featured Japanese Kaiju monsters. I was thrilled with the tale I came up with and the 4-pager was drawn by Randy Z. Ochoa. Editorial decided that this collection would be printed in color and my story, Monster Day, was colored by the very talented Jeremy Treece (artist of Dynamite Entertainment’s Mandrake the Magician series).

YIP_Mons

The collection was edited by the very talented Erica Heflin, writer of Zenescope’s Wonderland and Dark Shaman series and creator of such fine books as Flesh of White, The Black Hand, Mother and Son and the upcoming Antithesis (an absolutely gorgeous book). I haven’t seen any of the other contributed stories for this anthology, but knowing some of the the talent that Erica picked up for the volume, I am super excited to get my hands on a copy of it. I don’t know an exact release date, but will share news when there’s news to be shared.

Adrift
This 4-page all ages short about lost astronauts was submitted as part of the Titan Comics Undiscovered Talent Competition, a contest run by the staff of the Lakes International Comics Art Festival held in October 2014 in the UK. For this piece I teamed up with artist Alex Diotto and we contributed the silly humor-filled short comic for consideration for the competition. All entries had to fit the theme “Lost in Space” and just a few short weeks after sending in the finished pages we found out we were one of six winning teams and would be included in an anthology to be published by Titan. Organizers of the Comics Art Festival narrowed the entries down to several semi-finalists and allowed the Titan Comics editorial staff to pick the final winners. Needless to say, Alex and I have been pretty pumped about this.

YIP_Adrift

The book was supposed to come out this year, but delays happen and they’re currently shooting for an early 2015 release through Titan Comics. The anthology will be released exclusively on the ComiXology platform. Not only am I excited for folks to be able to read this, I’m anxious to see what the other winners brought to the table.

Innovation
For the first few months of the Innovation web comic, which debuted in November of 2013, we kept a steady flow, releasing new short comics every other week, but as the project has progressed we switched over to a monthly schedule that would allow plenty of time for each contributing artist to develop their tale that fits in with a mysterious overarching story. I’m thrilled with the level of artistic talent I’ve been able to work with on this project and I look forward to wrapping up volume 1 this year and closing out the story we started. I’ve recently welcomed several other writers into the fold to pen short one-shots that take place within the world, but outside of the main narrative, and I couldn’t be happier with the work they’ve produced. There are a lot of big plans for this project, so I’m hoping to see it continue to grow and welcome more talent to participate.

YIP_Inn

We currently sit at chapter 14, roughly halfway through what I have planned for the first installment, so for those readers who have been following along, there are more answers and more mysteries coming your way soon! I just need more artists to help tell the story. If you draw, or you know anyone who does, send them my way. There’s so much fun to be had.

While the projects above are guaranteed to see the light of day in 2015, below are some other completed or in-process comics that may or may not come out this year, depending on how schedules line up with artists and such.

Say hello to the big “Maybes”…

The Temporal
I actually had this on my list last year as well. The Temporal was the first project that brought me together with artist Kristian Rossi (artist of my crime-fiction series Chambers and my short comic Hoodwinked), and hilariously enough, the last of our collaborations to be released. This 32-page one-shot, completed in 2012, is a story of young scientist Justin Sharp who is contracted by the military to crack the secrets of time travel but before he hands the project over to the military, he decides to make one small adjustment to his past. This story stands alone as a self-contained adventure but sets the stage for what happens in the narrative of Innovation.

YIP_Temp

This comic has been complete for some time, but I’m still waiting on the right time to release it. In the world of comics, you have to keep your name out there to stay relevant, and luckily, I haven’t had any slumps yet that needed filling. If and when I do, this will be the comic that fills the void. I recently re-lettered the book and it’s looking absolutely gorgeous! Who doesn’t love time travel and the paradox-associated headaches they bring?

New Life
This four issue sci-fi miniseries has been in the pipeline for a while, but with each passing month we get a little bit closer to completion. Artist and co-creator Logan Miller and I now sit on the precipice of completing the third issue of the series. The story is about a loner in an overpopulated city that wins a lottery drawing allowing 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.

YIP_NL

While it’s definitely been a long time coming, I’m keeping the fingers crossed we’ll be able to complete the book this year. If we do, it’s possible the release date might creep into 2016. While I’ve had the pleasure of looking at these pages as they come together, as soon as you see the finished series you’ll understand why it took a while for the project to be developed. Logan is producing some amazing, gorgeous art, and this is one of the most visually-striking projects I’ve ever been part of. Logan is penciling, inking and coloring this beast. What can I say? He’s a talented fellow.

Hipsters Versus Rednecks
A fairly new project that has only gone into production within the last month, artist Tyler Kelting and I have hit the ground running with plans of bringing you one of the silliest one-shots of 2015. What can I really say about this comic that isn’t in the title? We’ll be releasing a 24-page comic full of jokes, action and cracks on both groups mentioned in that title spot. Will some people find it funny? I hope. Will others misinterpret it and subsequently try to beat me up? Assuredly. That’s how people are.

YIP_HVR

The game plan is to self-publish this comic right to ComiXology and buy mansions with the millions of dollars Tyler and I are sure to make from such a groundbreaking book. (That’s a joke, ICYMI.) I’m a full believer that you should make your art for myself. I would definitely want to read this comic.

While those are the main projects on the plate in the coming year, I have several other finished scripts with artists attached and as soon as something starts to happen with them, they’ll be announced on the blog. It’s going to be a good year, and who knows what else may pop up over the next 365 days.

Other stuff!

In 2014 I wrote a couple of video games as well! Who would have thought, right? You know that one guy who made a million dollars from writing comics? Me either. Probably because it hasn’t happened since the 90s. Because the funny-books aren’t exactly a lucrative business, occasionally I write other things that help keep me afloat. Two of my extracurriculars will also (likely) be released this year.

Video game writing is something I’ve enjoyed trying my hand at and it flexes some different muscles than the old comic books do. These projects allowed me to tell fun stories in a new medium and I’m hoping that the finished products are enjoyable enough that I can gain additional opportunities to write more in the future.

Future: Uncertain
You know what the gaming industry likes? Nondisclosure agreements. Because of that, I’m going to be choosy with my words here, but in short, I’ve written a fun and silly interactive narrative for a San Francisco-based game company. Think of it as a visual Choose-Your-Own-Adventure type story that you’ll be able to play on your smartphone or tablet. Future: Uncertain is (loosely) about what happens when inhabitants of a city receive messages from their future selves and how it affects the core characters. That’s right…you give me an opportunity and I’ll bring in time travel. That’s how I roll. The first three installments of the serial series are complete (I’ve played them!) and if they do well on the app, it will lead to more opportunities to expand on the story.

The image below isn’t from the actual game, but since I can’t show off anything, I feel it sets an appropriate tone.

YIP_Future

Resequenced
I’ve also been neck-deep in writing Resequenced, which is a full-featured action RPG experience to be released on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 (geez, no pressure, right?). I was hired by the developer in mid-2014 to not only write the story based on the locations they had picked out, but also help design quests and items for the game. Let me tell you…that is no small feat! It’s been interesting to be able to play various builds of the game, which combines action, weapons and a whole lot of snark. The developer wanted a funny game and by God, I’m giving them some hilarious stuff to work with. I’m only midway through my writing duties but am looking forward to finishing everything up in the new year. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been a lot of fun. Hearing voice actors read the dialogue I’ve written? Priceless.

YIP_Resequenced

Players will take control of Lux Hart, a college student who finds herself in over her head when she learns that her parents were agents of a super secret government organization known as The Redaction Commission. Now Lux’s parents have gone missing and only she can help track them down. To help her do so, the organization harnesses the power of DNA resequencing giving Lux some wild abilities. Much hilarity and action ensues. If you enjoyed games like Tomb Raider or Borderlands, you’re going to want to check this one out when it’s released.

I don’t know for sure when the game will be released (it turns out that these things take a while to code) but I’m being optimistic that it will come together cleanly. If not, you’ll see this again on next year’s list!

Whew…I think that’s everything.

For those who supported me in any way in 2014, whether it was by backing the Unit 44 Kickstarter or purchasing my books online or at shows, I owe you a deep and sincere thank you. You helped me pay my rent and gave me lots of encouragement to keep doing what I’m doing.

See you on the other side!

 

2014 in review

Over my last few years in comics, I’ve really come to understand the idea of working ahead. This may come as a shock, but comic books don’t come together overnight. It takes man hours of pecking away at a keyboard for writers, many hours at the drawing board for artists, and many hours in front of Photoshop and Illustrator for colorists and letterers for even 22 meager pages to come together into a complete narrative. Even though everyone is working toward a common goal, it often takes a year (or more) from the day a project begins to when it sees the light of day (sometimes even longer if the project goes to print). What I’ve learned is that each year, you’re essentially working on what you hope and plan to see the light of day the following calendar year.

Though this year was small for me on the release side, 2014 brought several projects to the shelves that I was very proud of. Though they were completed over the course of 2013 (and some even 2012) I couldn’t be happier to watch them come to life as I worked on the comics that will ideally be thrust upon the world in 2015. (More on that later.)

Hoodwinked
Shortly after my crime-fiction miniseries Chambers (released in 2013 by Arcana Studio) was complete, artist Kristian Rossi and I started looking for something else to work on together. Indie publisher GrayHaven Comics, who has made a personal mission to promote up-and-coming creators, accepted my pitch for its The Gathering: Public Domain anthology. While I originally had dreams of writing a Zorro short, I instead went with Robin Hood and put my own twist on the classic tale by bringing the rogue into the present day of New York City, rather than keeping him in Sherwood Forest.

Because the comic would be printed in black and white, I envisioned the finished product as having a dark, gritty overtone and I pitched it to Kristian for consideration since his work on Chambers proved through and through that he was the man for the job. Thankfully, he was on board to draw the comic and we were off to the races. The final 4-page short was published in May. The 32-page anthology is still available in print for just $1.99.

YIR_1_Hoodwinked

The anthology features the talents of many up-and-comers along with Ray Goldfield, Kelly Williams, Eric Grissom and Phil Sloan, all of whom I really admire. You should check this collection out. It’s probably the best anthology I read all year.

The Undoubtables
After an extended gestation period my action/heist series The Undoubtables finally hit physical and digital shelves. The series had been picked up by UK publisher Markosia Enterprises near the beginning of 2012, and co-creator/artist Emre Ozdamarlar and I worked on this book for roughly two years. Emre was in comic art school throughout the process so it was a fascinating process to watch him apply what he learned as he continued through the book and he was able to truly come into his own by the time we reached the end. The project was colored by Kefas Armando, who had colored Chambers the previous year, and Kell Smith provided us with some wonderful colors on the cover.

YIR_2_TU

Originally pitched and picked up as a miniseries, The Undoubtables read much better as a standalone piece and thus the decision was made to translate it directly to graphic novel format. It wasn’t my call, and I didn’t agree with it at first, but I actually believe it’s better for it. The 88-page adventure about career thief Spencer “Spade” Shelton and his crew robbing banks while dodging deadly mobsters and evading police was published in July and is available not only in a beautiful paperback, but also through just about every digital retailer you can name. It was my love letter to the heist genre with a crew of colorful characters overcoming impossible odds and outsmarting their enemies. The OGN can be picked up ComiXology for just $4. It’s a steal! Pun totally intended.

The series received several really great reviews across the internet and readers really seemed to enjoy how much fun this comic is. From the time the book starts it’s a wild goose chase between cops, robbers and some unpredictable mobsters who aren’t afraid to pull a trigger. I can’t thank Emre enough for the time he spent drawing and inking this book and it’s a project I’ll always look back on fondly.

In the Drink
My final physical publication of the year was a 3-page short in The Gathering: Survival anthology called In the Drink. Yet another project for indie publisher GrayHaven Comics, my pitch was accepted by the book’s editor and I turned this project around super quick with the help of the ever-talented artist Robyn Seale and it was published in September. I enjoy contributing to anthologies because it typically allows me to experiment with ideas and concepts that I may not want to dedicate an entire series to. With Hoodwinked I was able to work with a public domain character while dramatically changing the setting, and I decided that for this tale I would write a comic short that was completely silent.

YIR_3_Drink

When there aren’t any words on the comic page, the artist must shoulder the load of telling the story and I think Robyn did an amazing job with translating my outline to the page. Even though this is one of the shortest comics I’ve ever written we were able to establish a beginning, middle and end and still leave the reader with an emotional gut-punch. My idea for a Survival-themed anthology was simple…what happens when two people involved in a car accident come face to face. And more importantly, what happens if that interaction takes place underwater.

At the time of this writing, I haven’t seen the finished anthology with my own eyes, but it’s available in print from GrayHaven for just $3.50 and contains nearly 40-pages of comics from upcoming creators.

Innovation
After starting my sci-fi web comic in November of 2013, I tried to keep the train rolling and since the project debuted online, myself and a rotating stable of very talented artists have delivered a new short comic each month. Though each installment is drawn by someone different, the narrative keeps going, constantly building upon itself and hopefully setting up quite a mystery for those who are actively reading it.

YIR_4_Inn

This year we published 52 pages of the comic online (that’s a page a week!) with plenty more still to come. I’m thankful that the participating artists have donated their time and talents to keeping the story going and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can finish out the first volume in 2015. A big thanks goes out to contributors Stan ChouDamon Threet, Crisuadi Crasmaru, Jay Hernandez, Paul McCallan, Harpreet Brar and Fludi Stohr for lending their talents, along with my pals Brad Burdick and J. Jacob Barker who contributed one-shots set in the same world.

So how does 2014 stack up in my comics career since I started writing funnybooks in 2011? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Pages written in 2011: 223 (They weren’t very good)
Pages written in 2012: 473 (These were better!)
Pages written in 2013: 267 (These were publishable!)
Pages written in 2014: 352

And how about pages published?

Pages published in 2011: Zero. Zip. Zilch. None.
Pages published in 2012: 3
Pages published in 2013: 119
Pages published in 2014: 147

What’s that? Who keeps track of stats like that? Not me…that would…uh…that would be uber dorky.

Innovation Update #23

Welcome to the final installment of my free web comic, INNOVATION, for 2015!

To date, myself and a slew of amazing artists have created and published 14 chapters (more than 60 pages) of a narrative about the R.D.S.L. Corporation, a group bent on pushing the limits of technology.

When we celebrated the one-year anniversary of the comic in November I decided to share with readers some one-shot stories written by friends of mine that were set in the Innovation universe, but acted as self-contained tales. Last month we posted “Infatuated” written by Brad Burdick with art by Djibril Morissette-Phan and to round out the year we’ve welcomed writer J. Jacob Barker and artist Nick Testa to share their 4-page tale “Delivery.”

Read their twisted tale for free by clicking here or on the image below!

If you dig the comic be sure to support both creators by reading their other comic book work. I appreciate both all the contributors so far for taking the time out of their busy schedules to contribute to this super fun project and for those who are regular readers of the web comic, you might just enjoy seeing what types of things are happening outside the walls of R.D.S.L.

OneShot2

Unit 44 Update #13

U44_Issue4_CoverAt long last the fourth and final issue of my sci-fi/comedy comic book UNIT 44, with artist Eduardo Jimenez, is complete!

We began this adventure back in September of 2013 when we Kickstarted the first issue and then a year later, with the help of some generous people, we funded the remainder of the series. It’s been an amazingly fun ride watching Ed bring this story about inept Area 51 employees who forget to pay the rent on the facility’s off-site storage unit leaving the secret contents are sold at public auction to life.

We have a few more adjustments to make and we’re excited to see the 4-issue miniseries be released on the ComiXology platform in early 2015 through Alterna Comics, who were nice enough to take a chance on our silly book. Regardless of the schedule we land on, we’ll be printing a physical copy of the collected edition later in 2015 so those who wish to hold the book in their hot little hands will be able to do so.

As a writer, I’ve worked hard over the past few years to really nail down my “voice” as a writer. While Chambers paved the way and The Undoubtables brought me a step closer, I’m thrilled to be on the cusp of having a comic that nails who I am as a person. Of course, you’ll only like this comic book if you enjoy laughing. And who doesn’t?

Stay tuned!

Hipsters vs. Rednecks Update #1

I spend a lot of time thinking back to when I was a young man reading comic books. I think about what grabbed my attention, what kept me coming back week after week and what enthralled me about the characters that I like to this day.

For me, it all comes down to fun.

I think comic books should be fun.

This will be evidenced in early 2015 when I unleash my sci-fi/comedy comic book UNIT 44 through Alterna Comics. Aside from that, I noticed that a large majority of projects that I wrote this year had something fun about them. None of the books were gritty, or dark, or took themselves too seriously. In fact, the more I wrote, the more “out there” I got with my story ideas, wrapping them up with lots of over the top exaggeration and laugh-out-loud humor (subjective, of course). This increasing desire to write something that would just be a ton of fun for readers lead to my latest project which has gone into production: a 24-page one-shot called HIPSTERS VERSUS REDNECKS.

What I love most about this upcoming comic is that when readers ask, “Hey, Wes, what’s that book about?” I’ll be able to refer them directly back to the title, ’cause the name says it all.

In comics, I find that if you want to do humor, you need an art style to support it. Mainstream art just doesn’t go with funny words. For UNIT 44, artist Eduardo Jimenez’s style is nothing like my other projects…it’s brighter, more expressive and has a cartoony look that perfectly suits the vibe of the story. I knew that if I was going to write a comic about Hipsters and Rednecks fighting one another, I’d need to take the same approach and I linked up with the talented artist Tyler Kelting, who’s drawing style is a tad left of center.

Tyler is the writer and artist of the self-published comic MY FRIEND DEATH, which has this raw, indie comics vibe that reminds me of so many fun books I read in my youth. Tyler read the script I’d written, had some laughs, and agreed to draw the book, so off we went, aiming to have it available sooner rather than later. I’m grateful that he saw the humor in the script and is willing to spend some hours of his life to co-create this book with me.

So, with all that said, you’re probably wondering what the comic book is all about, huh?

How’s this grab you?

In a post-apocalyptic world, two factions have risen to power—the hipsters, who control the thriving city of New Brooklyn and the rednecks, who will do anything to get inside. After letting a stranger into the walled city, oblivious hipster Pete Hughes must survive a deadly redneck onslaught, and when the dust settles he’ll never look at the world the same way again.

Now imagine that narrative paired with a bunch of jokes about both hipsters and rednecks. How could you not want to read that?

We’ve just gotten started, but here’s some early preview art from Tyler. More to come!

YIP_HVR

 

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