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!