Edison #1 available NOW!

The first issue of my new comic book series EDISON is available NOW!

One part James Bond, one part MacGyver, inventor Thomas Alva Edison uses his ingenuity and creativity to combat the scientific threats of the late 1880s.

Grab it digitally from ComiXology for just $0.99 or in print from my web store for $4!

This book is the culmination of one of my silliest ideas… what if we took the greatest scientific minds of the late 1800s (when most of the world’s technology was taking a significant leap forward) and clash them together as action heroes and villains in an alternate history setting?

They’re not superheroes, but rather the kind that use their minds, intelligence, and higher-than-average intellect to fight for science supremacy!

The first issue was drawn by the wonderful Giovanni Capurro with interior colors by Andrew Pate and we’re jumpstarting the series with a full 24 science-fueled pages! Get to know Thomas Edison, his bumbling assistant William Joseph Hammer, as well as the villainous Nikola Tesla!

Moving forward, each 12-page issue will have a different artist to help chronicle Edison’s adventures as he faces new adversaries, all of whom want to steal the title of “world’s smartest man (or woman!)”

Come for the action, stay for the jokes. I’d like to think that if Thomas Edison were still alive, he’d totally love this comic book. I hope you do, too.

Click here to pick up Edison #1 digitally at comixology.com for $0.99!
Click here to pick up Edison #1 in print from the web store for $4!

2016 in Preview: Edison

Following last month’s 2015 in review post, I thought over the next several weeks it would be fun to explore what 2016 will have to offer my readers as far as comic book projects go.

Now, these are the projects I hope to bring to the shelves, but in an industry as unpredictable as comics, they could go sideways at any moment! However, I’m really excited about them, so I’m hoping you will be, too.

Back in October I announced a project that had recently gone into production and as of January is quickly speeding along toward completion.

That’s right. I’m talking about…

Edison

Ah, Edison… another concept that shouldn’t be interesting and yet, it took over ever fiber of my brain when the germ of the idea hit.

With many historical figures taking center stage in 2014 and 2015, I figured I had to either stake my claim on someone or miss out entirely. But if I was going to build a book around an actual human who, y’know, really existed, I didn’t want it to simply be retelling of his or her life… I wanted to offer a new experience entirely. And just because this is how I function — the idea had to be really weird.

EdCredits

You see, I’m a huge fan of science. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m any good at it… I have no business being a scientist. Back in high school I actually hated the subject and got pretty terrible grades. This is most likely because my teacher prefaced every lesson about evolution with, “Guys, I don’t believe this crap, but the school is forcing me to teach it to you.”

What a tool, right? Don’t even get me started on the time we dissected cats.

I also enjoy history. Well, some history. I prefer my history to be right around the time that life was full of possibilities and everyone was basically insane and trying new things. Hence, I had the urge to set a story around the 19th century when civilization was finally becoming…ehm… civil, and as a nation we were laying the groundwork for some of the biggest inventions in history. (Such as toilet paper.)

When I thought of that time period, there’s really one person who everyone knows… and that’s of course, inventor Thomas Alva Edison.

But, I figured, what if a comic book about him focused not on the later, more cranky parts of his life, but on his younger years when he was using his ingenuity to get out of the biggest scrapes this side of science.

That’s right… I wanted to take Thomas Edison but mix him up with the qualities found in James Bond and MacGyver.

The elevator pitch I came up with was something akin to:

One part James Bond, one part MacGyver, inventor Thomas Alva Edison uses his ingenuity and creativity to combat the scientific threats of the late 1880s.

Edison simply sitting in a workshop dreaming up new ideas would not have a good comic book made, but put Edison into bad situations where he has to invent his way out? Sign me up.

This project also gave me an opportunity to do something else interesting… I decided that I wouldn’t restrict the first issue of the comic. Normally, where I might draw the line at 20-24 pages for an issue, I decided to write as many pages as it took to tell the story I wanted to tell and establish the world in which the character lived while introducing a supporting cast (made up of other real inventors) to anchor the story to the times.

Additionally, I wanted to set the story in 1880, making Edison a handsome 32-years-old, but any artist insane enough to hop on this project  would have to be willing to draw clothing, buildings, transportation and household items as era appropriate.

That’s a pretty big wish list.

So I took my laundry list of ideas, stuck them in a blender and in mid-2015 went to town, scribing an action-packed and humor-filled first issue script that I was quite pleased with. At 30 pages I had the first story, the characters, a great cliffhanger and a metric ton of reference photos ready for an artist, but who could I get on board to draw such an insane story?

That’s when I met artist Giovanni Capurro.

As most comic writers do, when we have a new story idea, we tend to throw them out into the aether of social media. I’m writing this new thing, it’s like this… who would want to draw it, haha?

It sounds like we’re just joking when we writers make these types of posts, but what we’re really doing is protecting our fragile and needy egos.

Rather than make fun of me or close me inside of a locker, the Nebraska-based artist actually dug what I was proposing, and perhaps most importantly, Giovanni had been researching the late 1800s for a personal project and was very familiar with the necessary clothing, mannerisms and technology. He shared with me his minicomic Idols, which I read and enjoyed and had a gut feeling he might be a good fit. I heard from other artists about the project, but something about the way Giovanni handled comedic timing in his art kept the artist at the forefront of my mind.

I took the next step, sending Giovanni my script. He read it. He dug it. He wanted to move forward, not blinking an eye at the length.

He did some sketches of our intrepid hero, Edison, which went wonderfully with the visual style I had in mind and within a matter of weeks I was being treated to amazing art in our Dropbox, featuring scenes like this:

Ed_Gio

It was like a comedic noir comic book. How cool is that? After the first six or seven pages were complete, not only was Giovanni confident with the story and style, but we were ready to bring on a colorist to help take the pages to the next level.

That road led me to reaching out to Andrew Pate, a colorist local to the Florida Panhandle, who I’d met over the course of several area conventions and store signings. Not only did he boast wicked sideburns, but he was nice, outgoing and had a genuine love of comics. After tabling next to him on Free Comic Book Day 2015 and seeing some of his coloring work, I knew he was someone I wanted to bring onto a project.

I’d asked Andrew to color of a 4-page short earlier in the year which he did with much skill and soon presented my case to Giovanni on why this fellow who, aside from being capable of big things, could be the ruby to our Staff of Ra.

A test page was completed and Andrew just blew it out of the water.

In fact, even as the pages got crazier and crazier he continued to make them better, never shying away from the nuttiest of scenarios.

Heck, you don’t need me to brag on him, see for yourself what Andrew’s brought to the Edison table:

Ed_AP

At the time of this writing, we’re working on art for the final nine pages of the issue and hope to pitch it around and find a great home for it. If there are no takers, I have a super slick idea for how to release this online. Whichever route we pursue, it’s going to be awesome.

We hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Project Announcement: Edison

With the Unit 44 collected edition, Hipsters Vs. Rednecks and The Temporal all being set free into the wild over the course of September, the kids have officially gone off to school and I am left to focus on new projects that will come together over the course of 2015/2016. I have several fun things to announce, but there’s one project in particular that has gained some ground and will likely be coming to your eyeballs sooner rather than later.

Edison_previewThat project is Edison: The Wizard of Menlo Park. (Working title… you dig?)

There has been some really interesting alternate history stories hitting the comic marketplace over the past few years… Action Lab’s Herald features H.P. Lovecraft and Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein: Time Mason features… well… you know, and there are several web comics out there that take a page from history. With the historical star on the rise, I knew I needed to stake my claim quickly or get left behind.

More so, I thought it would be hilarious to look at inventor Thomas Edison as some sort of MacGyver/James Bond mix. Thus Edison was born:

One part James Bond, one part MacGyver, inventor Thomas Alva Edison uses his ingenuity and creativity to combat the scientific threats of the late 1880s.

While the story is grounded in historical fact as it pertains to the people, places and major inventions happening in that era of history (trust me, I’ve been doing my homework), I’m taking Edison for a spin as a smart and dangerous man who’s amazing intellect and intelligence often outshines his common sense.

After penning (typing) a script that was equal parts humor and action I set out to find an artistic collaborator to help bring this silly series to life like some sort of Frankenstein’s monster. That search led me to the electronic doorstep of Giovanni Capurro, whose art style lies somewhere between Darwyn Cooke and a Tim Sale with a little bit of roughness around the edges. While I spoke with several interested artists about the series, it was Giovanni’s back catalog that made me sit up and take note. I saw what he wanted to do with comics, saw what he was capable of, and with what I envision in my head for the series, I was confident he was the fella for the gig.

edison0102final_color_snip1We’re currently in the midst of developing the inaugural 30-page #1 issue and I’m thrilled with how it’s coming together. With several inked pages already in the bag, we’ve enlisted the services of talented colorist Andrew Pate, who will breathe an extra layer of life into the pages.

Hey, Wes… that’s great and all, but when is this book coming out?

Yeah, I don’t know.

Okay… but who’s going to publish it?

The short answer here is: who cares?

So far this comic has been an absolute blast to work on. Once the first issue is in the bag, we may show it around a bit to see if there’s any interest, but if publishers aren’t clamoring for a comic book about Thomas Edison, well, that’s a-okay, too.

If you have interest in humor, science, or the 1880s and its most prominent creative minds, then this comic is going to fill a void in your happy place that you probably didn’t know you had.

Are you excited? I’m really excited.

Keep it tuned here for more.

 

The Undoubtables to be published by Markosia Enterprises

At long last, an exciting announcement that I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to make…

My 4-issue action/heist comic book THE UNDOUBTABLES, co-created with artist Emre Ozdamarlar will be published by UK publisher Markosia Enterprises!

Our book just received a launch announcement over on their website and after more than two years of hard work, we’re excited for you to be able to read it.

The series will be published monthly via ComiXology in 2014 and once all four issues have been released, it’ll be collected into an 88-page physical trade paperback that you’ll be able to order at your local comic shop as well as a digital edition. We’ll announce firm release dates as soon as we have ’em!

What’s The Undoubtables about, you ask?

Spencer “Spade” Shelton and his rag-tag band of thieves, The Undoubtables, must outsmart the police and a crew of deadly mobsters if they hope to shake off the rust and pull off their latest heist.

Get ready to be introduced to Spade, Club, Diamond and Heart, a group of slick thieves who ooze personality. You’ll also meet some cops out to get their moment in the limelight and a handful of gangsters who don’t take kindly to being swindled. Like action, adventure, humor and some fun in your comics? This is a title you won’t want to miss.

The series boasts writing and letters from me, pencils and inks by Emre, interior colors by Kefas Armando and cover colors by Kell Smith. We had a fantastic team working on this book and I’m thankful to the folks over at Markosia for believing in our book and helping us bring it digital shelves.

And finally…at long last…we can show you art from the comic!

Take a gander at the cover below which will eventually find it’s way onto the trade paperback. I mean, c’mon…how awesome is that?

undoubtables-tradecover

 

 

The Undoubtables Update #12

After more than two years of work, I’m so absolutely thrilled to make the announcement that my action/heist comic book, THE UNDOUTABLES, is complete!

For this project, I had the joy of co-creating a four-issue miniseries with the talented Emre Ozdamarlar, an artist hailing from Sweden. We originally linked up through a post I made on Digital Webbing where, at the time, I was seeking several artists for shorts I had written in the genres of crime, superhero, heist and sci-fi.

I was putting together a small anthology to promote my work and Emre, along with several other talented artists, came on board to toss some comics into the world. We completed a five-page pitch that featured a colorful cast of thieves robbing a bank and paired with a pitch/synopsis for a four-issue miniseries, it went off to various publishers.

Two days later, one of those publishers emailed me back expressing an interest in the property and we jumped on the phone to discuss what he liked about the comic, his plans for promoting it, and what we as creators could expect from him if we decided to sign on the dotted line. As someone who never expected anything to develop from the pitch, it was a pretty surreal moment for me, and I greatly appreciated that the head of a company would take 30 minutes out of his day to chat with me about my silly comic book.

After considering all of the opportunities, Emre and I decided to sign with that same publisher. It was a big moment for me personally, and The Undoubtables will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first comic to be welcomed on a bigger level.

Since we had basically gotten in an order for an 88-page miniseries and only five pages currently existed, I did what anyone would do… I put my butt in the chair and started writing. I had spent plenty of time day dreaming about the story and had written outlines, but to sit down and hammer out all of the scripts was its own rewarding experience. I can recall sitting at my kitchen table in the middle of the night clacking away at the keyboard. I do remember writing the first 22-page draft of our third issue in under 24 hours, an accomplishment I’m still proud of because it might be my favorite installment of the series.

As scripts were completed, Emre sat down at the drawing board, sending me storyboards, pencils and inks as he progressed. With every delivery of new pages the project became more and more real. Once all inks were complete, the pages went off to colorist Kefas Armando and I lettered furiously as they came back in, sending them off to publisher each time we had finished an issue.

As of this morning, the final pages have been turned in, and it feels pretty amazing. The individual issues will hit ComiXology monthly with a printed trade paperback to follow once the series has completed. Stay tuned on how you can get your copies and I look forward to being able to share an official announcement from the publisher soon.

A huge thanks goes out to Emre for all of the time, energy and hard work he put into creating the art for the book. He’s a very talented collaborator and I’m privileged to have gotten to work with him over the past two years. When you get to see the art that I’ve been looking at, you’re going to be thrilled.

We’re just getting started!

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