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Issue 11: Going into Overdrive
...And then abruptly crashing into walls.
You’re looking sharp today (and always).
It’s been a month since we last spoke—or rather, since I spoke and you read along—and so much has happened!
But Wait… What Happened Last Issue?
If you missed issue 10, wherein I discussed (complained about) the lack of time in my life to do seemingly anything, hit the link below to catch up.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. More stuff about time!
2. Comic Corner!
3. Things that bring me joy!
Let’s Talk About Time… Again!
It’s a been a bumpy month.
Back in July I was pretty down on myself because my writing to-do list was… well, let’s just call it heavy. There was scripts to write, a demanding day job, presentations to create, things to think about, and lots of them.
I’ve never had problems with motivation or procrastination, especially when it comes to writing. I’m one of those writers who actually enjoys the process. Achieving a flow state makes the hours fall off the clock and I feel accomplished when I complete something—whether that be a short story, a comic script, or successfully fleshing out an idea and converting it to outline form. I like making something out of nothing. When I meet new people and they ask what I do for a living, I often tell them that I’m a “professional make something out of nothing-er.” They don’t get it, and they stop talking to me. That’s probably best for everyone.
So after complaining to you, my readers, I realized that if I was ever going to write the things—the weight of which were suffocating me—I was going to just have to steal minutes here and there and make it happen. So that’s what I did.
In late July and early August, I was able to complete writing the third season of my sci-fi/comedy comic book Unit 44. Since being promoted to an ongoing series at Alterna Comics, that means I have to keep cranking out issues until we get canceled, or a die, or some combination thereof. That’s the deal. That’s how it works.
While season one was released in 2019, and season 2 is in mid-release now, I had to look ahead to season 3, which will be released in 2023 (provided we don’t get canceled, right?). Ya see, comics take a long to make, so the more of a head start one gets, the better off one is at avoiding cancellation (I’m a little paranoid about this part, if you didn’t pick up on that). And before an artist can art and a colorist can color, and a letterer can letter, a script must be written. No one else on the creative team can take steps forward until the writer has done his or her part. It’s our curse.
Over the course of a week, I jammed out scripts for what will become issues #10, 11, and 12 of Unit 44. Now, this wasn’t working from scratch. I had already outlined these stories in-depth and needed to get them from said outline to finished product. But I had to make time for that. So I stole a few minutes here and there each day until they reached completion. I’m extremely happy with these scripts, as they provide some fun adventures for our inept Area 51 agents, while also sharing a subplot that contains a lot of heart.
Coming off the high of writing those issues, I was ready to take on the world and keep checking items off my list of pending projects. But as I mentioned up front, it was a bumpy month, and that came in the form of a massive plot twist when myself, wife, and daughter all received a visit from Covid-19.
“Just hang out in bed for 2-3 days,” they said. “You’ll feel fine,” they said.
They obviously never had a toddler that treated home isolation like a prison sentence—complete with daily riots with sharp objects. There was no rest to be had, and so our isolation lasted roughly two weeks with a child who wanted to be anywhere else.
And while we made it through the Kiss of the ‘Rona with old-fashioned grit, the hits kept on coming…
At my day job—a video game studio, in case you forgot/didn’t know/didn’t care—the game I’d been writing for the last year was canceled.
A year of work. Poof. Gone.
Well, shelved, is the technical term for what happened. But the gist is, I’m not writing that game anymore and have been moved to a different project. This was not my fault. In fact, this is not unusual at all. Games are a volatile industry, and studios smartly dedicate their talent to projects that have a good chance of being successful and profitable in the crowded gaming market. Of course, that didn’t make dumping a year’s worth of story and character details out of my brain easy.
So it goes.
Now, before you get all sad for me, fear not! I was able to leverage that frustration and untapped creativity into—wait for it—writing more comic scripts!
I knocked out the script for The Obsoletes #3 as well as Unit 44 #14 (Hey, Wes—what about issue 13? DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT).
Who’s on fire? That’s right… THIS GUY.
Now it’s time to tackle the rest of the to-do list. I got this.
UNIT 44 :: The best (only) comic book series about inept Area 51 agents.
Just as a friendly reminder, Unit 44 #6 is currently still available for order via the Alterna Comics Summer Preorder campaign! We’ve raised more than $12,000 to fund the company’s next 6 comics. If you haven’t preordered your copy, please consider doing so! (I’m paranoid of the comic be canceled, remember.) It’s only $2!
Also note, Unit 44 #5 is now available for order directly from the Alterna Comics webstore for immediate shipping! If you haven’t checked out the new series format, and the WONDERFUL work of new series artist Aleksandar Jovic and colorist Andrew Pate, you owe it to yourself to do so. (Also, I would prefer the book not be canceled, in case you were wondering.)
Because I never stop giving, if you’d like to keep it simple and just purchase all the issues of Unit 44 that are currently available (so that we don’t get canceled) you can do that via my webstore where I have bundle options. Bundle options, people!!
THE OBSOLETES :: The best (only) comic series about space miners who feel old and outdated after becoming unstuck in time.*
Those who backed Silverline Comics’ Kickstarter to bring the first issue of The Obsoletes, Beyond the Stars, and Krey to life (THANK YOU!) should have received your copies of the issue. If you got it… and read it… I hope you enjoyed the beginnings of our intergalactic tale.
The second issue has been completely drawn by series artist Aaron Humphres and now it’s headed into the ink/color/letter process and should fund via Kickstarter in just a couple months!
If you missed backing the Kickstarter campaign, and still want to get your hands on the issue, I have a few copies currently available for order in my webstore. But act fast if you want them, they’re going quickly.
ALSO, check out this cover that I didn’t even know existed until I received my comp copies from the publisher. It’s pretty awesome.
*I have successful worked two Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. references into this newsletter. I’m on fire.
Things That Brought Me Joy
During my visit from Covid-19, I tried to keep myself occupied and entertained as best as I could while also keeping my daughter occupied and entertained. Here are 3 things that helped me make it through that otherwise dark time:
Space Dusters is an action/humor/wrestling comic created by one of my regular collaborators, Loch Ness. He and I have created a few fan comics together over the years including Battletoads and Bucky O’Hare, we made a wacky short comic called Chewed Up, and we even created an entire 100-freaking-page graphic novel called Bug Slugger.
I adore Loch. He’s one of my favorite people. And that’s exactly why you should consider picking up a copy of SPACE DUSTERS #1! I got to watch this comic come together over the past several months. It’s action-packed. It’s hilarious. It’s touching. It’s really, really GOOD.
The Space Dusters are the tag team champions of the world but they are about to find out if they are the best in THE UNIVERSE.
Let’s support cool people making cool things and encourage creativity!
California Typewriter Documentary!
I watched the California Typewriter documentary for free on the Tubi app after having it recommended to me by a fellow writer. I dig typewriters. I don’t own one, but my mother had one when I was a kid, and my father used one in his journalism days (and still sometimes uses it when he wants to annoy my mom). Let me just say… this documentary had no right being as good as it was, considering the subject material. If you like documentaries about niche subjects, I can’t recommend this one enough. Although, keep in mind that I did watch this film while I was pumped full of DayQuil, so your mileage may vary. I, however, was enraptured.
CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER launches us into the bittersweet moment when a beloved technology, the typewriter, faces extinction. Delivering a thought-provoking view on the changing dynamic between humans and machines, director and three-time Grammy Award® winner and nominee Doug Nichol explores the mythology attached to the classic typewriter, as cultural historians, collectors and various celebrity obsessives (including Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, and Sam Shepard) celebrate the typewriter both as object and means of summoning the creative spirit. The film culminates in the movingly documented struggle of California Typewriter, one of the last standing repair shops in America dedicated to keeping the aging machines clicking.
Viewing the California Typewriter documentary led me down an online rabbit hole of wondering if I wanted to purchase a typewriter for myself. While I did not buy one, I did run across TypeTown, a bi-weekly Substack publication written by Neil Barraclough and focused on the typewriter. It sounds terribly boring, but I found the writing to be utterly fascinating! Barraclough features those writers and creatives who used/loved/appreciated typewriters, and he also shares fun facts, links, and more.
Currently 21 entires deep, I went back and read the entire TypeTown archive. That’s how good the publication is. Subscribe immediately. OF COURSE, as mentioned above, remember that I was pumped full of DayQuil when I read this, so who knows if I was making good decisions at that particular time.
Check out the most recent issue and see if you’re picking up what Barraclough is putting down.
Until We Meet Again…
I’m Wes Locher. I’ve been writing professionally for a decade. I write comic books, video games, fiction, and nonfiction. I write whatever seems fun, cool, and inspiring. I also love helping other writers to demystify the process of making a living through words. This is my newsletter.