New Comic Series: Awry

Greetings, friends!

I’m excited to announce that I have a new sci-fi/humor series being released Wednesday, October 9 (tomorrow) called AWRY!

The talented Graeham Jarvis served as artist, colorist, and co-pilot for the series which we spent the past few years putting together.

Awry_1_Cover Awry_2_Cover

So what’s this crazy book all about?

It took 10 years for the Phyllos to reach the black hole Formax-C, and in that time, the crew of four came to loathe one another. But when the mission suddenly goes awry, the astronauts must overcome their differences and work as a team if they hope to survive an unforgiving alien world and make it back home.

The series is being published exclusively in digital format by Action Lab Comics, through its “mature readers” imprint, Danger Zone. In an attempt to satiate the binge-readers out there, all 4 issues of the series will release on the same day ($2.99 each), and a week later we’ll drop the 90-page collected edition ($5.99).

Awry is available for preorder on ComiXology and Amazon to be read on your favorite digital devices.

Awry_3_Cover Awry_4_Cover

I hope you’ll check it out and support not only me, but a great publisher and a wonderful artist who is going to blow you away with these pages.

Thanks for checking it out!

 

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

2016 in Preview: Symptoms

Last month I talked a bit about a new series I have in the pipeline, detailing the process which will soon lead to me unleashing the wacky science action/comedy Edison #1 (with Giovanni Capurro and Andrew Pate) on the public. (Read that here.) And while new miniseries are fun and whatnot, I wanted to spotlight a short story which will see release later this year.

I try to be selective with my anthology submissions. There are a ton out there, but you don’t want to over-saturate the market or take up real estate where other creators may be able to shine. I like to pitch or submit to collections that have a cool idea/theme, talented creators involved or are backed by a good publisher. All three? Even better.

2015 saw my work published in two anthologies — the Li’l Kaiju antho from GrayHaven Comics, where my short Monster Day (with Randy Z. Ochoa and Jeremy Treece) was the lead story, and the Lost In Space antho from Titan Comics, where my short Adrift (with artist Alex Diotto) also served as lead.

While both collections were very cool, I wanted to seek out an opportunity to do something that was a little more… how do you say… ballsy.

Enter Symptoms.

Symptoms1

Though I’ve sort of pigeon-holed myself over the past few years as the “funny guy” (which I’m proud of… and is infinitely better than being called the “funny-looking guy”) I like to step outside the box when Mercury is in retrograde and the mood strikes.

Running across a superhero-themed anthology online, I was immediately struck with a vivid idea. Normally I steer as far away from superheroics as possible, as those types of stories seem futile when going up against the established heavyweights that Marvel and DC have to offer. But to build a world, a hero and a different perspective across just a few pages? Irresistible.

It’s like jumping into an icy cold lake, then climbing back out and running inside where it’s warm and there’s hot chocolate waiting. With mini marshmallows. You did it once and survived… so maybe don’t tempt fate.

I had my idea… my take… my view…

I didn’t want to be saving damsels in distress with my story. I didn’t want to pull cats out of trees. I didn’t want a nerdy kid to be emotionally scarred with a distorted definition of responsibility when his uncle dies.

Symptoms is about a hero who finds himself losing his powers.

I wanted to explore what thoughts that might trigger inside the brain of someone who goes from powerful to powerless. From top banana to bottom water chestnut. From extraordinary to ordinary.

I went on an artist hunt, talking with several talented people hungry to collaborate, but the search was over as soon as I met Kansas-dwelling Graeham Jarvis, the artist and author of the popular InstaGram webcomic Wasteland Tales, based on the lore of the Fallout video game series (which I regretfully know nothing about, but I know talent when I see it).

With more than 4,000 readers visiting his feed daily I felt bad asking him to focus his energies elsewhere for a hot minute, but his art was too good and too perfect for what I had in mind. Plus, he was looking for a chance to stretch his wings a bit. How could I say no when he offered to draw the story?

Symptoms2

After jamming out some sketches of giant robots and superhero costumes (necessities), Graeham dove in and delivered a short that punched me in the gut and didn’t apologize afterwards. Since the proposed anthology is black and white, a wash of gray set the tone and we were off to the races. Graeham’s work conveyed the exact vibe I was hoping to present and stuck what I thought could be a tricky ending, leaving the reader to consider the story long after the pages were turned.

We submitted to the anthology several weeks ago and got a rather quick letter of acceptance. I’m pretty sure this is going to be Graeham’s first officially published work. Needless to say, I’m stoked for him. Hopefully we’ll get to high five one day at a comic convention.

I’m jazzed for people to read Symptoms, see Graeham’s art, and I look forward to reading the other shorts chosen for the book. It’s gonna be super.

Stay tuned. This one drops in November.