Boy oh boy, I've been really excited for today for more than three years. When we first received the "Wallace the Brave" submission package from a Mr. Will Henry, my eyes went out on stalks and a "wa wa wee wa!" sound effect pierced the Missouri skies.
If it wasn't the best first submission package I'd seen in my 18 years of working with Universal/Uclick/Andrews McMeel, it was in the top one. But I wasn't alone. Shena Wolf our Acquisitions Editor said, "Bing Bam Boom!" when she saw it. When I showed it to our Northeast sales rep, John Schneider, his first reaction was, "Timmy, I think we have a winner." Not sure why he called me "Timmy," but his point was well-made.
The great news is that Wallace has launched in more than 110 newspapers. For decades, debuting in 100 newspapers has been considered an amazing launch for syndication, and if you throw in the difficulties of what's going on in the newspaper industry, it makes it even more impressive. We have a sensational sales team and this is the fourth straight comic that we've launched in more than 100 newspapers: Wumo, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Breaking Cat News. Sorry for the #humblebrag but I'm darn proud of our editorial, marketing and sales teams.
But back to Will ... Will is one heck of great guy and his talent oozes out of his brain and down his arm onto the canvas like a he's spilled a 2 liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew over his head. His art is mind-blowing and he writes like some sort of angel that's a delightful combination of Oscar Wilde, Patton Oswalt and my cousin Joe Don (Joe Don is a riot, BTW, you really should try and meet him).
Did you know Will has a drawing table set up in the window of the liquor store he owns and operates in Jamestown, R.I.? Did you know he and his lovely wife just had a baby boy? Did you know he's 6'4" and once dunked over Shaquille O'Neal in a high school game*?
I've gone ahead and pulled some sample panels from upcoming Sundays (where Will's art shines like the crazy diamonds). Please enjoy them. I won't beg.
The Providence Journal: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180325/ri-comics-creator-draws-on-childhood-memories
The (North Attleboro, Mass.) Sun Chronicle: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/features/stories/introducing-wallace-the-brave/article_a8d767e0-a274-55c4-85f1-479584f979f0.html
The Huron (Bad Axe, Mich.) Daily Tribune: https://www.michigansthumb.com/opinion/article/The-business-of-funny-business-12778737.php
* I'm not sure about that Shaquille O'Neal fun fact BTW. But Will's never told me it didn't happen, so there's a really good chance it did.