Unit 44 Graphic Novel in stores TODAY!

Head to your local comic shop to pick up a copy of the Unit 44 Graphic Novel, which hit stores TODAY from Alterna Comics.

Order Unit 44 @ Amazon.com
Order Unit 44 @ Target.com

SPOILER — this is a pretty big deal for me. This series came to life in 2014 from the germ of an idea that popped to mind after watching an episode of the TV reality show Storage Wars.

“What if Area 51 employees forgot to pay the rent on their storage unit, and the contents were sold at public auction?”

Enter my artist (and now good friend) Ed Jiménez, who came on board to bring the initial five pages of the series to life. From there, we went to Kickstarter, successfully funded the first issue and set about putting it out into the world. When none of the publishers we approached showed interest in a “funny” comic, we figured, “No big deal… we’ll publish this on our own!”

We decided we’d go BACK to Kickstarter, raise another couple thousand dollars and create issues 2-4. It just days before we launched that campaign that Alterna Comics messaged us and was like, “Hey, what are you planning to do with that silly Area 51 comic?”

Alterna offered to publish the issues digitally under their banner (which was awesome because they had a handful of comics that I genuinely loved) and from March – June 2015, we released the series on the ComiXology platform to some acclaim, some confusion, and lots of laughs.

In 2016, Alterna asked us if we’d like to consider releasing Unit 44 as a graphic novel to comic shops.

Sign us up.

Earlier in 2017 we did another Kickstarter, raised a bucket of money and today, the beautiful finished book arrived in comic shops. At least, the comic shops that ORDERED it.

If you go into your local store and you don’t see it, you can ask them to order the book by giving them this code: JUN171148

Give them the code, a thumbs up, and ideally, you’ll have the book next Wednesday. How cool is that?

A big thanks to all of you who supported the Unit 44 (in digital issues, on Kickstarter, at conventions, etc). I’m super proud of how the graphic novel came out. It’s the third collected edition I now have on my shelf (it sits beside the Chambers TPB and The Undoubtables OGN), and let me tell you… the book is BEAUTIFUL. Not only does it have an amazing layout created by Alterna’s head honcho Peter Simeti, but in addition to our 88-page story we’ve included a NEVER BEFORE SEEN 4-page backup comic and pinups from some of amazingly talented artists including Loch Ness (who’s drawing our upcoming comedy/action miniseries Bug Slugger XL), Graeham Jarvis (who’s drawing our upcoming sci-fi/comedy miniseries Awry), Jayson Kretzer (who’s maybe(?) still drawing our one-shot The Rocking Dead), and colorist Andrew Pate, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with on a whole bunch of books including the upcoming historical/comedy/action series, Edison).

So, what’s better than making a comic book with a good friend like Ed Jiménez and then inviting a bunch of your other friends to contribute art, all while putting the finished comic book on the world’s stage?

Today, there’s nothing better.

Order Unit 44 @ Amazon.com
Order Unit 44 @ Target.com

Now available for FREE: Bucky O’Hare in “Oneness”

The day has arrived!

I hope you’re prepared for another free comic!

I invite you all to take your first spin on the frigate Righteous Indignation for the first time in 20 years as I unleash a brand new FREE short comic featuring Bucky O’Hare.

Click here or on the cover image to check out the seven-page short “Oneness.”

My partner is crime for this short was Loch Ness, a lifelong Bucky fan who jumped at the chance to bring these characters to… to life.

His passion for the characters, world and story translated beautifully to the page and I couldn’t be more proud of what we created based on the characters originally created by writer Larry Hama and artist Michael Golden.

We had such a blast putting this comic together, and I hope you enjoy the 90s nostalgic tingles you get from reading it. Hit us up on social media and let us know what you thought. Most importantly of all, if you like it, consider sharing it with your friends and let’s spread some joy on this Throwback Thursday.

Thanks for checking it out!

If you like the Bucky comic, be sure to check out another free comic Loch Ness and I did last year, called Turbo Tunnel Trouble based on the 90s video game property, Battletoads.

Maintenance arrives on ComiXology!

I had a birthday Monday. It was awesome. But the real icing on my birthday cake came today when MAINTENANCE, a one-shot comic I co-created with artist Stan Chou hit ComiXology.

Maintenance_AA_CoverSeriously… you can get 24 pages of robotic awesomeness for just $0.99.

Get it right here.

You don’t want miss a robot, newly endowed with human emotions takes a deadly romp through the bowels of a technology company.

Inspired by a little bit of Blade Runner, a little bit of Black Mirror and a lot of M.C. Escher, Stan and I put this together a couple years ago, originally serialized via my webcomic project, Innovation. We’re now unleashing it on a whole new audience by collecting it into a single book!

I’m also printing these up for some conventions, so keep an eye on the web store if you’d rather hold it in your non-robotic hands.

Big thanks to Stan for taking the journey with me on this one. He’s not only super talented, but one of the nicest people I know.

Enjoy!

Free read: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TMNT_Cover_thumbSince it’s always been a goal of mine to one day write licensed comics for various publishing houses, I made a New Year’s resolution for 2016 to write a few in my free time, set in worlds I enjoy, featuring familiar characters I dig.

After previously tackling the Battletoads in a 5-page comic (you know, that Nintendo video game from 1991?) I decided to turn my attention to the property that quite possibly had the biggest impact on me as a youngster.

That’s right… the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Regardless of how you might feel about recent movie interpretations of the classic characters, the bottom line is that the turtles have been on television in some form or fashion since I was three years old.

I watched the shows, bought the toys, loved the original movies (yeah, even the one with Vanilla Ice), and the mutants even served as my gateway to comics. I spent years picking up copies of the Amazing Adventures series at the drugstore from the spinner rack.

Oh, yeah… my parents even took me to meet the creators of the turtles, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Not only did I meet them, Laird actually drew a sketch of Leonardo in two of the comics I brought along. I should probably track those down, huh?

Not only do the turtles mean a lot to me, but they mean a lot to artist Ed Jimenez, who I teamed up with for this comic. Remember Ed? He’s the crazy talented (crazy and talented?) guy created a little comic called Unit 44 with me. It came out last year. It was awesome. You should read it.

Ed gave me a list of villains he wanted to draw to choose from for the short, and what was intended as a five-page story quickly became six, and finally stabilized at eight as I wrote. It was just too much fun. I couldn’t stop. Ed and I strayed away from tackling a classic villain like Shredder and instead, went for an oddball character that just recently was reintroduced on television.

Not only do the turtles mean a lot to me and Ed, they also mean a lot to colorist Kote Carvajal who volunteered to bring his creativity to the pages. While I thought Ed’s pages and my writing were pretty good, Kote took the short to a whole new level. Wait ’til see it.

And while I’m fully aware that the turtles are well-represented in a licensed comic book right now, I wanted to bring my voice to the awesome foursome. So this is our little stamp. Our half-shelled homage to some of the best characters ever created.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to read my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, Blood in the Water, for FREE!

If you enjoy it, do Ed, Kote and I a huge favor and share it with a friend! Let’s throw it back and soak in some nostalgia.

Free Read: Battletoads!

Since it’s always been a goal of mine to one day write licensed comics for various publishing houses, I made a New Year’s resolution for 2016 to write a few in my free time, set in worlds I enjoy, featuring familiar characters I dig.

The trepidation I have with licensed properties is that I figure a publisher will say, “Hey, Wes…come up with stories ideas for this character that starred in a TV show you never saw,” and I’ll be all, like, “Can’t… too stressed.”

Well… let my clarify… I felt like that once upon a time and then a publisher actually asked me to pitch ideas for a pre-existing character from a property I wasn’t remotely familiar with… and it was all kinds of fun. I didn’t get the job, but man, was that good practice.

I’m also of the mindset that practice makes perfect, so I made a list of properties I dug from the 90s through today, writing short comics around them and then finding artists who share an equal love and are willing to help put them down on paper to release to readers for free.

That catches us up to the present.

So today I’m releasing the first of those shorts in the form of the Battletoads (yes, the notoriously difficult video game from 1991).

Check out what artist Loch Ness, colorist Andrew Pate and myself created as the ‘Toads star in our 5-page short, Turbo Tunnel Trouble. Click on the cover to ch-ch-ccheck it out. Or the link in the sidebar. Or the link in the published work section. C’mon… I’m making it as easy as I can here!

If you’re familiar with the Battletoads, then you’re more than likely familiar with the Turbo Tunnel (stage 3, for those keeping score at home) which was the most ridiculous, frustrating and painful level ever constructed by a human brain. Loch and I commiserated over the difficulty of the game and decided to show our love the only way we know how — through the majesty of comics.

Do us a solid — if you dig it, share it up on the social media, maybe tag someone who you know is a fan of the game. Let’s make it a Throwback Tuesday.

Enjoy!