The first issue of my sci-fi/comedy comic book Unit 44 will arrive on ComiXology in one week, on Wednesday, March 25.
As I type that sentence I feel like I’m hyperventilating.
While part of the feeling comes from excitement, part of it also comes from nerves. It’s nothing new. I always feel this way right before I unleash a new piece of art on the world.
This silly book about inept Area 51 employees who forget to pay the rent on a storage unit, leaving government secrets to be sold to a couple of rednecks at public auction? It’s important to me. I spent the past two years working with Eduardo Jimenez, an amazingly talented artist and friend, putting together a project that I love, adore and am so excited to share with the world.
So here we are, one week away from the inaugural issue hitting the digital shelves alongside thousands of other great indie comics, not to mention stiff competition from Marvel, DC, Image and countless other awesome publishers putting out high quality content. I can’t help but wonder…will anyone drop the $1.99 on a hilarious digital comic that I’ve been working on in some capacity since 2012? More importantly…if they buy it, will they actually read it? And even more important…if they do read it, will they like it? Will they tell a friend about it? Will that friend purchase their own copy of the comic and repeat the cycle?
See? There’s a lot on my noggin.
I’ve spent the past weeks reaching out to reviewers, both friends and strangers, trying to garner interest in the comic to help build buzz. Will those reviewers dig what Ed and I have put together? Will they feel compelled to write about it online? And if they do, will they trash it? Humor is so subjective…what if they don’t get it?
It’s enough to drive a person crazy.
Having published graphic novels, comic book miniseries, shorts and books in the past, I know exactly how this pattern goes. This intensity, self-doubt and panic will continue to cloud my brain until Wednesday morning when the book is available for purchase on ComiXology. Yep, right up until the point that I can no longer do anything but sit back and watch what happens.
It’s at that time that I will suddenly be overtaken by a strange feeling of relief and confidence, remembering that more than reviews, more than internet chatter and more than the fact that our publisher Alterna Comics signed us because they believe in our book, it will hit me that I wrote this book for me. I created something that I wanted to read. I didn’t do it for anyone else, and in essence, it’s a complete success in its own right.
Ed and I created something that we wanted to see in the comic book marketplace and over the course of a year and some change, I was able to collaborate with an awesome human who doesn’t even live in the same country as me, building a great friendship and sharing laughs that transcended cultures, time zones and international borders. Between you me, and wallpaper…it was the most amount of fun I’ve ever had creating a comic.
Despite how Unit 44 does on the shelves as the issues are released in March, April, May and June, I’ll always be able to look back on the experience of creating it and remember it as the most amazing “summer camp” experience I’ve had to date.
Of course, this personal success won’t stop me from telling every single person I encounter about the comic. If people do buy, read, enjoy and spread the word on this series, then there’s always the potential Ed and I could create a sequel.
Oh, geez…I might start hyperventilating again.
So do me a solid…if you like to laugh (if you say you don’t, you’re a liar) consider grabbing Unit 44 #1 when it hits digital shelves on March 25. You’ll be in for a real treat. Want to see what we have in store? You can read the first 5 pages of the comic for free over at Unit44comic.com. Enjoy. And thanks.