This past Friday Wes Molebash came to stay with Allison and I for the weekend. We acted as his entourage, paparazzi, transportation and housing staff. And we were so happy to do it. If you are looking for a fantastic houseguest and all around great guy, Wes Molebash is the guy you want.

Wes is ready

Wes arrived at the T.F. Green airport in Providence at 11:15pm on the dot. Allison and I pulled in parked and walked to the baggage claim and there we met Wes. You see, we did not personally know Wes before Friday night, at least not outside of the Internet. Sure we had e-mailed and Allison and I both participate in the You’ll Have That forums. I purchased a piece of Wes’ art that we had framed and have hanging in our apartment. Allison commissioned Wes to create a custom comic strip to give to me as a wedding gift. It is hanging above the bed, something that Wes found really surreal. It will be hanging in the dining room after we repaint.

Dang reflection

So we arrive, meet Wes and head on home. Wes really likes people, that was evident at our first meeting and the ride home and the hour of talking we did at the house before turning in for the night. We fell into a pattern of easy conversation that carried throughout the entire weekend. We talked comics, TV, religion, web comics, Eragon, Harry Potter, movies, music and so many other topics. The conversation never waned. I think the only time we weren’t talking was when we would stop to listen to a song or something.

The hands of a creative guy

So, Friday night we arrive at the house and we show Wes his accommodations. Wes stayed in the room that will eventually be our office when the condo conversion is complete. For the time being there is a single bed in that room. Wes had the privilege of sleeping on my sister’s Strawberry Shortcake pillowcase. Yeah, we’re old school, not the new updated Shortcake but the original. Sure I could have put on another pillowcase but I left it on as a conversation piece.

Wes Sketching

Wes had some personal and freakin’ sweet gifts for us. First up was a copy of his band Hey Thomas’ self-titled CD, a copy of his fantastic wedding program and the artwork for the cover of You’ll Have That Vol. 2. How awesome is that? We stood around talking about things that made us laugh and movies and TV and stuff. Then we turned in for the night, or at least tried to sleep but I was too excited about Saturday’s book signing.

So, I was up very early on Saturday morning. I was going to recap Friday night then, but I have actually been asked to help out a friend of my friend Andy with a website. I worked on the website which is only going to be a one pager for now but has the potential to become something more after the kite boarding season is over. The site is for kite boarding and once it is released I’ll put a message up about this. While I was working on the site I listened to Hey Thomas about three times. I liked it, I honestly did. It was a very good CD.

I woke up Wes at 9:00am and was horrified to find out that the guest bathroom of the house had no hot water. I thought that we had thought of everything. But Wes being the gentleman and great houseguest just rolled with it, and we frantically made our bathroom presentable for Wes so he could shower. Once we were all ready it was time to head up to New Hampsire. We stopped to get powered up on some Dunkin Donuts Bagels and we were off.

The ride to New Hampshire was filled with spirited conversation about so many topics. We talked about how much we enjoyed Eragon, our speculations on the 7th Harry Potter book and Wes offered us some deeper insight into some of his favorite strips. Wes is a very humble guy despite what he told one kid at the signing, “This is the best book in the World, but I may be a little biased.” Wes would ask us if he was talking too much about the comic but we were thrilled to learn more about it and the creative process that goes into the strip. Hearing some behind the scenes stories was so much fun. Wes included us in his world and we had so much fun discussing it.

We arrived at Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, NH at 12:00pm. Double Midnight Comics is owned by three friends, two brothers Chris and Scott Proulx and their friend Brett. The guys have worked very hard to take every aspect of comic book shops that they enjoy and get rid of those things that make comic book shops an exclusive and odd place. Gone is the image of a shop that is in the owner’s mother’s basement. Rather, Double Midnight Comics is a family friendly place that is open and bright. The layout of the shop allows patrons to move about with ease and find what they need. There is an arena area for gamers to play Magic, YuGiOh, and HeroClix. The guys are also very involved in Granitecon the New Hampshire comic convention and the New Hamphire Film Expo which has grown since the first one where their movie Nowheresville was screened in September of 2001.

In addition to having Wes there to sign his book, Double Midnight Comics also had a YuGiOh tournament, their 4th year anniversary party and a fantastic sale. I was able to pick up some back issues, talk comics with Chris and Scott and get introduced to a new game that Allison and I will learn. It is a 3D card game with a Pirate theme. Chis and Scott are guys who love comics and love talking comics, they have worked very hard to make the store succeed. They have created a great store and it was hopping all day long. It is a store that you can hang out for 5 hours and still have more to do and talk about.

Wes likes to Pose #1

Wes likes to Pose #2

The signing itself began at 12:30pm and for the 1st ½ hour it was a bit slow, Wes signed quite a few of the books that Allison and I picked up and Wes did a sketch for us of Andy wearing a Christopher Williams T-Shirt. For anyone who doesn’t follow You’ll Have That, start following it, read the archives and get to know Andy and Katie. You will be doing yourself a service if you do. The comic is accessible, funny and has lots of heart. One of the things you will notice is that Andy wears a lot of T-shirts with band names on them. Since Christopher Williams is one of our favorite singer songwriters we wanted Andy to wear a Christopher Williams T-shirt.

Wes created that sketch on these custom sketch cards that he had made up for book signings and conventions. I think they are fantastic. It has the comic name, Wes’ name and the YHT website. Great marketing idea as well as a perfect size for a sketch. There was still no one else stepping up for a book so I asked Wes to do a sketch of Andy and his best friend Steve wearing transformers T-Shirts. Andy has the Autobot Symbol and Steve has the Decepticon one. The sketch was exactly what I was picturing. Wes captured the expressions of two guys geeking out over the upcoming Transformers movie.

Andy and Steve, Transformers Fans.

While Wes was completing that sketch Mike from Battlemouth.com arrived all the way from the Cape. He asked for a sketch of Andy wearing a Battlemouth.com T-shirt. Wes, that is a great idea having Andy wear different T-Shirts, can he wear a BenSpark one in a future comic? Mike was a cool guy and we talked about places to eat in the area and I took a picture of Mike and Wes and the sketch. (Remember I was the paparazzo for the day, and Wes was gracious and didn’t mind at all.)

Mike and Wes

After Mike the next person to pick up a sketch was Colin. He had his own book of sketches and had Wes do a sketch of Kitty Pride and Lockheed. Wes stepped up the challenge and added his own flair to the sketch. While Wes was sketching Don Oskowski arrived. Don and I chatted for a bit. Don writes and draws Life on Pause. The strip has been on hiatus but Don will be back on July 17th. That is so awesome. Don has some great talent and a nice set of characters and I look forward to his return. Don, I’ll be there for your book signing someday. Don brought me a special gift, a page of sketches of his Life on Pause Characters, Sweet! Don also brought a great custom comic for Wes about his meeting Wes at Double Midnight Comics. Don, you have a great sense of humor and are a good sport, but more about that later.

Colin's sketch book

Wes sketching

Kitty Pride Sketch

Kitty Pride Sketch

Colin and Wes

After Colin’s sketch was complete Wes and Don talked about web comics and Don presented Wes with the artwork that he brought. It was really cool. Don hung out for the rest of the afternoon and we talked comics, TV and all sorts of things. I had invited Don to the BBQ we were having after the signing and he agreed to hang out for a little while (there was no way I could have prepared you for what was to happen at the BBQ, but man you rolled with it like a champ.)

Don and Wes

Don's sketch for me

Don's comic for Wes

Don and Wes

Sketch

A couple more folks came by and purchased the book and Wes did a bunch more sketches. Towards the end of the signing Wes made some sketches for Chris and Scott. Chris’s sketch was Andy wearing a Double Midnight Comics T-shirt and for Scott he made a great comic of Andy wearing a Superman T-Shirt and saying “Please don’t shoot me in the chestplate.” Fan’s of Dane Cook will enjoy that one. As Wes created that sketch I filmed it. It is a little shaky at parts but it is close and shows how Wes sketches out comics and the care he takes with each one. That was something that I hope everyone took away with them, the fact that Wes really likes people and likes talking with people and he took the time to talk with each person to really listen.

Wes with the fans.

Bill and Wes

Chris' Sketch

Does this make you nervous

Throughout the day I picked up a bunch of back issues and Chris had put some aside for me. We even purchased 14 copies of the comic a hardcover collection of Astonishing X-Men and 2 packages of the Pirates game. I settled up with Chris and we headed to Marcia and Dan’s for the cook-out. Allison took Wes to the Supermarket and Don and I headed right for the house.

The Double Midnight guys and Wes.

Double Midnight Prom Picture

End of the day

At the house Dan and Marcia was there with Harry and Sherrie. We settled in for some Coronas and chips and salsa and for the next few hours we had so many laughs, some burgers and dogs and an all around good time. Sandy came by as well and of course Allison and Wes arrived soon after Don and I. We talked about so many things and laughed like crazy. Mostly we laughed at me. I’d have to have Allison, Wes, Don and Mother-In-Law recount those stories because I was laughing so hard it made me have a coughing fit every other minute.

Allison

Picture Time

Picture Time

Picture Time

Picture Time

Don and Wes got the Marcia treatment and were good sports and showed their sense of humor. We stayed at the house till about 11:00pm and then headed home. Nate and Sarah also came by and they met Wes and briefly met Don as that is when Don headed home. Don, it was great to meet you and we will continue to support Life on Pause by reading it, recommending it and promoting it, thanks for coming out.

Sarah really liked their signed comic.

The ride home was another great conversation about the comic and comedians in general and the greatness that is Seinfeld DVD’s. When we arrived home Wes and I looked at the days pictures as well as the video and we stayed up a bit talking. I could have stayed up talking all night but being a bit sick and very tired, so I had to wuss out and get some bed time. Allison turned in a bit before me because we had an early morning today (Sunday)

This morning Allison and I went with my mom and Tara to mass at St. John’s in Attleboro for a memorial mass for Great-Uncle Richard. After mass we headed home and Wes was just finishing up a shower, we hung out a bit, I made Wes two CD’s one with the pictures and the other with the video. I’m going to have to figure out where to upload that. Wes then took Allison and I out for breakfast and we headed to the airport. Another great car conversation and we were at the airport, much to quickly. And just like that, our weekend with Wes was over. Wes, you have a lifetime invitation to come stay with us anytime you come up to the Northeast. We will be more than happy to play host and hostess, chauffer and photographer again. We feel very blessed to have made a friend in you and next time Trish had better come with you because we can’t wait to meet her too.

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