“Get outta here and go surprise yourselves with what you’re capable of. Go become who you were always meant to become”

FREELANCERS‘ final chapter hits shelves this Wednesday.  I’m sad to say goodbye to the girls (for a while…), proud of Team Freelancers for the work we did (shout outs to Chris Rosa, Bryce Carlson, Matt Gagnon, Felipe Smith, Joshua Covey, Popov Vladimir, Patrick Brosseau, Ian Brill), and still floored that I landed the gig in the first place.

SIX1Freelancers #6, available 6/12/13

This book literally changed my life.  I’d never worked on a multi-issue arc before FREELANCERS, never worked a convention outside of Arizona, never flown on an airplane, never left the country, never had the support of a dedicated marketing team.  Hell, I still had a day job.

Five issues later I’m a better writer, in a better place emotionally, and about three weeks away from achieving my over-a-decade-long goal of getting the Hell out of Tucson and starting my life as a multi-platform pencil-for-hire.

six2Freelancers #6, available 6/12/13

Cass has a line in this week’s FREELANCERS #6, “Get outta here and go surprise yourselves with what you’re capable of.  Go become who you were always meant to become”.

It’s not a bad idea.

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A list of zany things that happened in Calgary which are polite enough to say in mixed company:

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1.) I was invited.

2.) Boom Studios sat me in between Paul Jenkins (Wolverine Origins, The Amazing Spider-Man, Batman: The Dark Knight) and Steven Grant (Punisher: Circle of Blood, Avengers, 2 Guns) for the duration of the convention.  LIKE WE WERE THE SAME SPECIES, or something.

3.) I landed two paying gigs while at the show (my first with each company.  Details soon), ensuring that I won’t be homeless for another year.  Thank Rao.

4.) The entirety of the Boom Studios crew (writers, artists, editors, operations folks, marketing, and so on) crammed into a Tardis-like 2” by 2”, non-air-conditioned room at some creepy Korean karaoke bar and sang and danced in unision for three hours straight.

Best song:  R-Kelly’s “Gotham City”.

5.) Devon and Bryce Carlson free-style rapped. It was gangster.

6.) The Calgary Expo talent liaison folks knew I was vegan, and brought me vegan pizza, vegan sushi, fresh fruit, and Canadian root beer all throughout the day.  Every day.  On purpose.  For free.

7.) Fans were excited to see me, and brought stuff for me to sign—which isn’t super uncommon (and I’m incredibly grateful for that)—but these people live IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY than I do, so that was pretty cool.

One dude begrudgingly brought me his teenage daughters’ copies of Freelancers, and asked me to personalize them.

8.) Paul Jenkins, Zack Sterling (Adventure Time) and I hung out in the airport, swapping story pitches that producers—thus far—have been too lame to give us millions of dollars for.

Paul looked me in the eye after I finished my first spiel and said “Hey…That’s really good”, thus affirming my entire existence on Earth.

9.) Calgary asked Paul Jenkins, Michael Alan Nelson (28 Days Later, Day Men, Supergirl) and I to speak on a “How To Break Into Comics” panel.

I’m typing that again.  Just to make sure you read it.

Calgary asked Paul Jenkins, Michael Alan Nelson and I to speak on a “How To Break Into Comics” panel.

I have spent my ENTIRE LIFE trying to get into comics.  I lay awake at night, terrified that someday somebody is going to pull the rug out from under me and I’ll have to go back to working a soul-obliterating retail gig…and a bunch of people who live on the other side of the continent asked me to give advice regarding how to break in.

I guess I can calm down just a little bit?

10.) I felt like I belonged.

That might not sound like much, but this weekend is probably the second time that has ever happened to me (the first being the last night of Emerald City, at dinner with Dean Trippe and Hannah Partlow).

I eat like a weirdo, I don’t love the way people say I ought to, I don’t speak the same language as 99% of the people who I share a last name with, my biological family and I aren’t on the greatest terms, I don’t drink or smoke…there are a lot of barriers between me and the average Joe.

Boom makes me feel like I’ve found the place where I was always meant to be.  I’ll never be able to thank them enough for that.

We are Boom.  And you are too.

Acme 2013

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Acme 2013

“Based out of Tucson, Arizona, Eric M. Esquivel is quickly rising up the ranks as one of the better young writers in comics. He has done creator owned books at Moonstone Books with his takes on The Blackest Terror and Thor: Unkillable Thunder Christ. He has also moved on to be a mainstay at Big Dog Ink writing many of their books and recently has tackled Freelancers for BOOM! Studios.” – ACME – Arizona Comic Mini Expo 2013 http://acmecon.wordpress.com/guests/

Win A Signed, Variant Copy Of Freelancers #3–Just For Bein’ Pretty!

Send me a photo of you holding a copy of Freelancers #3 (available everywhere 1/16)!

I’ll pick three of you comely devils at random and send you a FREE, signed, variant cover copy of the issue (And probably some extra buttons and crap, too)!

DON’T FORGET TO TELL ME WHERE YOU BOUGHT IT FROM!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ericMesquivelFanPage
Twitter:  www.Twitter.com/ericMesquivel
Tumblr: www.emecomics.tumblr.com (use the hashtag “#FreelancersComic”)
Buy a digital copy here:  http://www.comixology.com/Eric-M-Esquivel/comics-creator/5852

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“it smells like someone set an orphanage on fire”- Freelancers #2 with commentary

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1.)  In the heightened reality of Freelancers people say “protect ya neck” all of the time.

One reviewer took umbrage with Val’s exclamation, and claimed that it took him out of the story.

…The story about two sexy bounty hunters who grew up in a Kung Fu orphanage, and function in a fictional L.A. criminal underground wherein every Linday Lohan and Brittany Murphy is secretly a Boba Fett.

I don’t know what to do with that.

2.) “They can wail on us ’til our bones turn to dust…doesn’t mean they’ve beaten us” are some pretty good words to live by.

That’s essentially my whole take on Freelancers.

3.) My editor changed “it smells like someone set an orphanage on fire” to “smells like napalm and hairspray”.  He was probably right to do so.

4.) The Bruce Lee taunt.  Doesn’t get any better than that. A kung fu staple.

5.) I tried to sneak hokey martial arts “dad captions” into this.  One of them was “Aja’s Iron Fist!”.  Terrible.  Super hacky. Ultra derivative.  I’m glad they cut it.

6.) I think my brother was the first one who told me about “white parties”.  He used to be the night life columnist for The New York Post.  Pretty much the Bizarro me.

7.) “Burgos” is named after Dan Burgos, a contributer to www.ComicBookTherapy.com , and a good friend.

8.) Cass and Kat’s sibling rivalry comes out.  Cass’ argument is pretty weak.  I don’t buy it. You shouldn’t either.

9.)   Super high brow masturbatory meta-humor.  I am the Dan Harmon of comics!

10.) Look at those hues!  Vladimir Popov did a great job with this one.  It’s like Purple Rain meets Drive.

11.) That last panel is missing a word balloon.  It’s supposed to say “Maybe not today, but soon…And by my hand”.

12.) That “ramen and peanut butter” line is something my assistant Cynthia Gerriets says every payday.  When Val speaks I hear Cynthia’s voice in my head.

13.) I have those shorts.  Wearing ’em right now, in fact.

14.) “Barajas” is named after www.ComicsBeat.com contributor and author of El Loco Henry Barajas. For obvious reasons.

15.) Criscione takes his name from the owner of Jesse James’ Comics, Jesse James Criscione.  He’s totally not actually a mobster.

…probably.

16.) A cameo by Oates, of Hall and Oates!  Ask your dad.

17.) The “Nabokov” and “Humbert” pedophilia references are for my Russian Literature major bros.

18.) “Go time?” was originally “Is this the Drive soundtrack?”.

19.) Yep.  Those Waynes.

20.) “Defrocked Shaolin monks” sounds like a Wu Tang Clan record, doesn’t it?

21.)  Look at how good that second panel is.  That’s some G.I. Joe stuff right there.  Joshua Covey is my hero.

22.) BUM BUM BUM!