New book on the way!

I’ve spent the past eight months working on a passion project and within the next few days it will be available for purchase on Amazon—always an exhilarating feeling!

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Braving Britannia: Tales of Life, Love, and Adventure in Ultima Online is a nonfiction book featuring 35 interviews with players, volunteers, and the game’s developers over 320 pages as I sought to answer the question, “What do you do in a game where you can do anything?”

Released in 1997, the fantasy game Ultima Online is regarded by many as “the grandfather of massively multiplayer online games” (paving the way for titles like EverQuest, World of Warcraft, and EVE Online) and it’s a game that captured my attention from 1998 until 2003, when I played it religiously.

Having worked as a video game writer for the past few years, I came to realize how formative my own experience with Ultima Online was for me and how much it influenced how I look at video games, and how I approach writing them. The fact that you could meet with complete strangers, adventure through dungeons, and in effect, tell your own stories is something that I look for in every game I play.

While I knew what I had done and experienced in the game, but I wondered what other people did when they logged in. So, I put on my journalist hat and set out to find them. Over eight months I interviewed dozens of players as well as members of the game’s development team to find out what Ultima Online meant to them, what they did within the virtual world of Britannia, and how it changed their lives.

In short, the stories I gathered are absolutely amazing. Even if you’ve never heard of the game, if you have an interest in video game history, or just like to read life-changing human stories, I hope you’ll consider checking it out.

Braving Britannia will soon be available in paperback and Kindle formats.

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The Undoubtables review round-up #1

It’s been a few months since The Undoubtables, my action/heist comic with Emre Ozdamarlar, hit print and roughly 30 days since it went live digitally and a steady stream of reviews are starting to flow in.

I wanted to take a moment to share them with you in case you were still on the fence about purchasing the 96-page comic!

“…Locher has something really neat on his hands. Undoubtedly, this is one you should pay attention to.”
Cody “The Thorverine” Ferrell @ Comic Book Therapy | Read full review

“If you’re looking for a fast-paced, intriguing crime comic, than look no further than The Undoubtables. Wes Locher keeps the pedal buried and doesn’t let up until you flip that last page.”
Brad Gischia @ Bag and Bored | Read full review

“If you are a fan of crime thrillers with an interesting cast of unique characters, look no further than this 96-page, action packed graphic novel.”
–  Daniel Celabu @ FA Comics | Read full review

“Billed as “Ocean’s Elven” meets “Payback” the Undoubtables is an interesting story of crime and revenge.”
– Chuck Suffel @ What’cha Reading? | Read full review

Don’t forget that we have a FREE 7-page preview of the graphic novel that you can check out right here. If you like what you see, do me a solid and pick up the book from Amazon or digitally from ComiXology, for your Kindle, on your Nook, and if you look hard enough, I’m sure there’s a website that will inject the comic directly into your brain. Technology is amazing.

Copies of the trade paperback arrived at my door a few days ago! I’ll be selling them at the 2014 Panama City Creative Con this weekend and they’ll hit my web store shortly thereafter. Publisher Markosia Enterprises did a beautiful job on these!

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The Undoubtables hits ComiXology

After being released in paperback and Kindle formats last month, my action/heist comic THE UNDOUBTABLES has debuted on ComiXology courtesy of publisher Markosia Enterprises!

Myself and co-creator, artist Emre Ozdamarlar, are super excited for you to check out the book and share your thoughts with us. ComiXology has the full 96-page graphic novel available for just $3.99. How can you pass that up??

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Once you’ve read it, don’t forget to return to ComiXology and rate the title (or do so from the iPhone/iPad/Android app).

To whet your whistle a bit, Emre and I are bringing you a free 7-page preview of the book! Click right here or on the image below to see how the adventure begins!

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The Undoubtables on Kindle

Over the holiday weekend, I saw that my heist comic THE UNDOUBTABLES went live for Amazon Kindle device!

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can always download the free app for your tablet or smartphone, but it looks like this is the first way to grab your copy digitally. If you cruise over to the Amazon site you can send a free sample to your device and read the first six pages of the 96-page graphic novel for free!

Give it a look if this is your preferred method of reading. The price tag is a mere $3.99! The book is also available via the UK Kindle store.

I’ll also be posting a 7-page preview of the comic on this website in the coming days. Trust me–this is a sample that will have you craving more!

The print edition will begin shipping soon from publisher Markosia Enterprises. The trade will hit ComiXology on July 30 and the paperback will also be available via Amazon in the coming days!

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101 Ways to Hurt Yourself: A Children’s Guide to Recess

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.

Get it at Amazon.com available in paperback ($10) and Kindle ($1.99) formats.

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!”