Indie Comic Spencer & Locke Gets Optioned by Prime Universe Films

So I got a super exciting press release while I was at work and while the whole internet probably knows about this by now I am still sharing!

One of my favourite comic book series of 2017 Spencer & Locke got optioned by Hitman film producer Adrian Askarieh who owns Prime Universe Films. Now, what does optioned mean? Essentially Prime Universe Films has an agreement with the creators for the exclusive film rights to Spencer & Locke for a specific amount of time and financial obligations. Adrian has the right to purchase the screenplay in the agreed upon timeframe (most contracts range from 12-18 months).

This is some great news and just a week before the release of issue #4 which is the conclusion of the first mini-series. With the overwhelmingly positive reception this series has gotten from fans and critics and now the news of a potential film I have to assume will we see more Spence & Locke comics from Action Lab. Right, David Pepose !?

If you have no idea what Spencer & Locke is and why I’m a big fan of it check out my reviews and this awesome comic book trailer from the creative team.

Here is the official press release:

We are pleased to announce SPENCER & LOCKE, Action Lab Entertainment’s critically acclaimed new crime series from writer David Pepose and artist Jorge Santiago, Jr., has been optioned for film by Hitman film producer Adrian Askarieh and his company Prime Universe Films. You can learn more about this new development at The Hollywood Reporter.

Described as “a fantastic debut” by Batman writer Scott Snyder and “a fiendishly fun take on an age-old classic” by IGN, SPENCER & LOCKE follows hard-boiled Detective Locke as he solves a brutal murder with the only partner he can trust — his imaginary talking panther, Spencer. But as their investigation stirs up a vicious crime syndicate and memories of Locke’s traumatic upbringing, can this unlikely pair survive long enough to learn the truth?

SPENCER & LOCKE #4, which concludes the series’ action-packed storyline, will be available at comic shops and digital devices Wednesday, July 19. Series writer David Pepose will be signing copies of all four issues at Comic-Con International in San Diego at the Action Lab booth (#2006), including a never-before-seen SDCC variant cover from artist Joe Mulvey

Fans can catch up on SPENCER & LOCKE at ComiXology or can preorder the SPENCER & LOCKE trade paperback collection through their local comics shops by Monday, July 24 using the preorder code JUN171107. You can also follow SPENCER & LOCKE on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Spencer & Locke #3 Review

After the events of issue 2, we see the tortured protagonist Locke strapped to a table. Locke is about to be injected with a crazy concoction of illegal and pharmaceutical drugs and thus begins the Sci-Fi hallucination of  Rocketman Reynolds. Meanwhile, Spencer searches for his drug induced partner before he does some serious damage he might regret.

That’s right on top of Sin City and Calvin & Hobbes influence we get a splash of good old sci-fi which doesn’t feel out of place at all. It up’s the crazy factor in a good way and provides a good lead into the (sniff) last issue due out in July.



The art (Jorge Santiago), lettering(Colin Bell), colours (Jasen Smith) and writing (David Pepose) have been consistently good the past 3 issues and I expect the same for the final issue. Consistency in your comic book production and execution is vitally important. You would think this would be common sense but there are plenty of comics both indie and big 2 that lack consistency. This is why comics is a team sport every department has to perform to the best of their ability and hold the other to the standard agreed upon whatever it may be. The ultimate hope is that everyone exceeds the standards that were set at the beginning.

I’m not huge on spoiling too much about an issue not everyone gets to the shop or buys digitally on a Wednesday. So if you have read issues 1 and 2 already 3 will give you no reason to stop especially when there is one issue left, so continue to support the title and creator-owned comics. The trade for Spencer & Locke is currently available for pre-order (Aug. 31st release) if you’re a trade only reader ( Diamond pre-order code: JUN171107 ) and you still have a short time (Monday, June 26th deadline) to pre-order issue #4 MAY171017.

Spencer & Locke has been an enjoyable mini-series with all killer and no filler. I look forward to how it’s going to end next month!




Shaw on Comics Podcast #1: Kelly Bender

So the other week I messaged my friend Kelly Bender who I hadn’t talked to in a little while, I wanted to congratulate him on another successful Kickstarter for his latest comic Undigenous wich was co-created with artist Adam Ferris. We got chatting then said we should skype soon. As soon as he mentioned that I said I got time now if you do and as luck would have it he did. so this was a spur of the moment not planned ahead of time podcast.

So I talked to Kelly about Kickstarter, the new Top Cow Talent Hunt (Kelly is a 2015 winner) comic book creating and comics in general.

This is my first podcast so I apologise if the audio or production is not up to par with the rest out there I’m just learning.

If there are any issues with not being able to play the audio just message me on my Facebook page or Twitter. Going to figure out this audio uploading thing soon!




Wretches #1 & #2 Review

I’m all about the indie and creator-owned comics these days. One of the best Sci-Fi comic series out right now that you may or may not have heard of is Wretches. Thanks to the powerful platform of Kickstarter this series was able to exist for public purchasing. It was also good enough to get on comics largest Digital platform Comixology. I’m combining the reviews of issue 1 and 2 because 1 was released last year and 2 was released a couple weeks ago. Both are available for purchase (physical and digital) I will have links at the end of the review.

Wretches #1 was made possible by the creative team of writer James E. Roche artist Salomon Farias, colourists Chunlin Zhao and letterer Jamie Me.

Synopsis via James E Roche website:

Wretches, at its core, is a story about family, sacrifice, and loss. Siblings, Shea and Sean, were forced to grow up on the streets of an alien city, far from the lifeless planet they’d once called home. Now, all grown up, they capture other beings for the promise of reward – specialising in hunting the robots they’d once shared their home planet with. Still suffering emotionally from the loss of everything they’d ever known and loved, these siblings have nothing else in the universe but each other. Until they no longer even have that. Once one of them is kidnapped, the other will tear the entire galaxy apart to get them back.

The opening of Wretches starts with dialogue all too familiar with people. The somewhat stereotypical declarations parents tell us as children. That nothing bad will ever happen to us, promising they will always be there for us and many other promises. You see our main characters Shea and Sean struggle to make a life for themselves while working together to make a living as bounty hunters.

wretches pic 2.jpg

We start off with some background on the two siblings Shea and Sean, as they are trying to escape their childhood planet working a job. As the story progresses, you get a good sense of the kind of relationship Shea and Sean have and that the fact the no longer have their parents has made them closer. With things eventually leading to the start of a new challenging chapter in their relationship.

Wretches is a well written with an awesome Man in Black reference which is always a plus for me. The art is decent although there are a few panels where the autonomy of some characters throws me off a bit but not enough to ruin the comic.


Wretches # 1  is a good introduction to a brand new series and universe. It’s worth checking out especially if you’re a Sci-Fi fan looking for something a little different from the current norm.




The first thing you will notice when you read Wretches #2 is the massive improvement in all departments. Like I said in the issue 1 review I had some issues with the art, this time around I got nothing to criticise! Which makes me happy because I can’t draw beyond stick figures. It’s a catch 22 for me I know minimal about actual drawing but spent a lot of time reading comics and looking at original art. I have a but of artist experience with cooking and that’s about it. I just know what I like and what I don’t. This I like a lot and much more than issue one.

The story style is completely different from issue one. It’s a different pace, and it works. It’s not just laying out event 1,2,3 James E. Roche gives you 1,1.2,1.3 and so on. The same event but different angles, perspectives and interactions every few panels. It’s kinda refreshing in a comic because I can’t recall one recently that I have read that’s done that or as good as this. It’s very Tarantino which is always a compliment when I say that.

wretches pic 1

This issue takes us to our first intergalactic bar in the Wretches universe. It’s full of Degenerates and junkies. Fuses are short manners lacking, so you know some sort of vicious violence or theft is going to ensue. Shea makes her way to this bar to meet with someone with potential information about her brother’s location and we, of course, get to see some interesting new characters.

wretches issue 2.jpg

wretches issue 2-1

With such an improvement from issue one, it’s safe for me to recommend this comic series to any Sci-fi or indie comic fan. It’s clear the more time this team works together the better the comic is. So please support them and the Kickstarter for issue 3 whenever that gets announced.


To purchase physical issues of Wretches #1 and #2 click here

You can purchase digital copies (Issue #1 is just $0.99 US) on Comixology

Follow writer James E. Roche on Twitter