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Issue 21: Welcome to the Dimension of Danger!
Pitch time, baby!
I did it. I survived another move. I did the math and determined that this has been my 10th move in 20 years. Why did I do that math? I have no idea. I figured it would sound impressive or depressive. I’ll let you guess which of those I’m feeling.
We relocated about 20 minutes away from our previous rental, still in the vicinity of Wilmington, NC. The beach is now further away, but the area is beautiful and our townhome is a new build, meaning that it’s guaranteed that the space won’t be haunted… Right? Not that I’m afraid of ghosts. I grew up in a haunted house. Remind me to tell you about that sometime.
Because I’m old, my wife and I hired movers to lend a hand getting our boxes, bins, and countless children’s toys onto a truck. We were promised three very strong people to help us out. Instead, only one very strong person showed up, leaving a not-so-strong person to help carry everything. (Spoiler alert: that was me.)
While bins and boxes still crowd the hallways and rooms, we’re unpacking our lives and asking ourselves if we really need a lot of things. We don’t have a ton of storage, so we’re going all Marie Kondo on our belongings.
My office is up and running for the moment! I’m purposely only using half of the room so that we can have some additional storage space, or I can plop down a reading chair in the future.
Here’s to this place being home… for a while, at least!
What Happened Last Issue?
In the last issue of my newsletter, I ran you through what I’m sure was an absolutely riveting retrospective of all the home offices I’ve had since launching my writing career. If you like looking at rooms, desks, computers, and cats, then you won’t want to miss that one!
In This Issue:
Pitching The Oddity!
Pitching the Oddity!
Back in issue 14, thrust upon your inboxes in December 2022, I announced that I was starting a new project—a middle grade graphic novel that I’d be pitching to traditional book publishers rather than run the comic publisher gauntlet. Artist Aleks Jovic—the better half of my sci-fi/comedy series Unit 44—and I embarked on the journey together in hopes of making something for young readers that we could both be proud of. The good news? We’ve done it!
Since that announcement December 2022 I have written the script for the 150-page graphic novel, and Aleks has drawn and colored the first 13 pages that we will use to tantalize literary agents into hopefully representing us and sell this thing to a publisher. Then, Aleks and I will sail off into the sunset on a super-yacht with our families, never to be seen again.
But since you were there when the project was born—provided you were a subscriber—I wanted to share with you what we’ve been working on for the past seven months!
I present to you the first 13 pages of our middle grade sci-fi graphic novel, Molly’s Oddities: Dimension of Danger.
What’s it about?
While browsing the shelves of Molly’s Oddities, a strange new boutique that has seemingly appeared overnight, forlorn ninth grader Milo Baldwin picks out a mysterious antique camera that transports him between dimensions. But after becoming struck in the new dimension with his closest friends (and worst enemy), Milo must rediscover his self-confidence and overcome his greatest fears to escape a dangerous world inhabited by deadly monsters.
[Cue victorious-sounding orchestral music here.]
Big fun, right? Molly Oddities: Dimension of Danger is a fun and touching story—one I would have loved to read when I was in the sixth grade—and I hope Aleks and I will have the opportunity to tell it in its entirety! I’m normally a writer who focuses on crafting attention-grabbing plots and, while this graphic novel definitely has one of those, I dug deep on the characters as well, ensuring that each member of the cast brought strong motivations to the story that would allow them to grow and change over the course of the adventure. This comic couldn’t just be fun… it had to say something, and I believe I have accomplished that.
Aleks has done (what I believe is) the best work of his career here, and it would be such a shame if the world didn’t see it. What I’m most proud of is the collaborative approach he and I took to these pages. I like to treat my comics as “art.” In Unit 44 I’m always encouraging Aleks to do stuff that no one has asked/let him do in comics before. Do something different. Something outside the box. Something challenging and memorable. I want my artistic collaborators to look back at our body of work together and remember how much fun it was to create it.
For Molly’s Oddities, it was Aleks who came up with the idea of making everything “borderless.” That meant, no black borders around the panels, and no black lines around the word balloons or captions. Not gonna lie—I totally wasn’t into the idea at first. “Borderless” balloons can actually complicate things from a lettering standpoint. BUT! I don’t want to be a creator who does the same thing over and over. I don’t want to live in fear. I want to try stuff and fail and get better. So, we ran with the idea, and I’m so glad we did. The bright colors mixed with the borderless assets makes this story absolutely jump off the page. It looks like no comic I’ve produced before in the best way possible.
Where do we go from here? I’ve already started the process of sending the book’s proposal out to literary agents to see if I can drum up some support for the project! And whatever news comes back, be it good news or the other kind of news, I’ll keep you posted along the way. Remember, we’re taking this trip together!
While the crowdfunding campaign for Alterna Comics’ August release preorders (which included Unit 44 #8) is over, you can still order your copy in advance. We fell 60-some orders short of our preorder goal of 300 copies, but the irreverent sci-fi/comedy series can still avoid cancellation if we crack 300 sales before the books go to print next month.
Wanna help us out? Hit the link below to snag your copy!
The Incoming Storm
I’m still waiting to hear back on what edits are needed to push this manuscript to the finish line, but I’m super excited to revisit this book with fresh eyes when they come back my way, hopefully this month.
Issue #3 was partially drawn by Aaron Humphres before he exited the project, and the remaining pages will be drawn and inked by Jose Fuentes (who provided the AMAZING cover to issue 2). Since Silverline shares creators across numerous books, it’ll probably be a bit before this issue reaches the finish line, but that gives me more time to finish writing the final issue which is TOTALLY ON MY TO-DO LIST!
Seriously? You Again?
Yep! I’m Wes Locher. I’ve been writing professionally for more than 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.