You’ve probably noticed lately that I’ve been advertising other people’s work more than my own. (Although, I’m sure some of you are more than OK with me shutting up about Punch-Up for a while.) Don’t worry; I’ll have some exciting Punch-Up news for in a few days and, hopefully, somereally exciting news for you in a few weeks.
Today, I want to tell you about my friend – and former roommate of some three years – Michael Watson.
Michael Watson is a huge nerd. No, seriously. A huge nerd. He has seen every Lord of the Rings, Matrix, and Star Wars movie. 482 times. Each. He owns over 600 action figures, which he proudly poses into vast fight scenes all around his house. Of those figures, he has at least 30 Spider-Men, which he has arranged into an almost stop-motion web-slinging sequence throughout his room. He had to have a stage built for his Lord of the Rings playset. He owns several superhero costumes and plastic lightsabers. He owns more comic books than your average comic book store. Michael Watson is a huge nerd.
(And, yet, somehow he still has a girlfriend. I don’t get it.)
But it’s because of his nerdiness, because of his kid-at-heart-ness, because of his open and unapologetic devotion to the things that he is truly and utterly passionate about that Michael Watson is such an amazing comic book artist.
For as long as I’ve known him, which is bordering on ten years now, Mike has been carefully constructing his comic book opus: Hotshot.
Now Hotshot isn’t just another comic, no. Hotshot is more like Mike’s autobiography. You see, Mike is Hotshot. Shh, don’t tell anyone. Perhaps it was his childhood – and adolescent… and adulthood – dream to be a superhero or the fact that Mike’s just a complete narcissist that made him turn himself into the title character. I don’t know. Personally, I vote narcissist. What I do know is that it makes for some mighty fine reading. Because you’re not just following the exploits of another Superman or Spider-Man, you’re getting a peek into the life of Michael Watson. The book travels from his high school days through his college years and his life as an art school resident advisor, documenting real-life friendships and relationships, triumphs and heartbreaks. But, you know, with superpowers and villains and flying and shit.
Peter Parker eat your fucking heart out.
But the road to Hotshot hasn’t been an easy one. Paved with several false starts and more than his fair share of obstacles in his path, it’s taken years for Mike to get to where he is. But that’s OK. All of the anger and frustration of delays and rejection that would make the average person question why they haven’t given up already has only fueled Mike to make his book that much better.
That said, it gives me great pleasure to tell you that Hotshot #1: The Remix is being released today. Mike – along with Hotshot writer, Victor Dandridge, and colorist, Ren McKinzie – will be over at Dave’s Clubhouse, in Reynoldsburg, from noon until eight o’clock tonight selling their book and doing commissions and sketches. There will also be food and drinks. it’s gonna be kind of a thing. Can’t make it out there today? You can also order your copy through his website. Or stop by their table at the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo, at the Aladdin Shrine Temple, April 18th and 19th.
I’ll be picking up my copy today. Make sure you get yours.