By Chuck Schilken, The LA Times


Artists Writers and Artisans has provided The Times with an exclusive early look at Expecting the Unexpected, a graphic novel written by Ronda Rousey and illustrated by Mike Deodato, Jr. The preview includes the book’s cover as well as Deodato’s completed artwork for the first seven pages.



Page 1. Expecting the Unexpected tells the story of an assassin whose code name is Mom, because of the fake baby belly she wears to conceal weapons. Mom later becomes pregnant.




Page 3. According to Rousey, the story is autobiographical, to a certain degree, inspired by the journey she and husband Travis Browne took in becoming parents. “It really is our story — even though it didn’t really happen. I didn’t go on a spree of fighting all these people.”



Page 4. Rousey said she choreographed the action sequences and filmed them with some friends for Deodato to use for reference. “What we’re really attempting to do here is create a graphic novel with choreography for action that’s really never been seen before.”




Page 5. Expecting the Unexpected started as a screenplay before Rousey turned it into a graphic novel. AWA president Matthew Anderson said his company would be happy to help bring it to movie or TV screens. “We’d love to see it grow beyond the page.”



Page 6. Rousey said the story is a commentary on “this scary task of bringing a kid into the world when it feels like everything is a hostile environment. … You’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, am I up to the task of bringing a kid into the world that seems like it’s on fire?’ This is kind of the exaggerated version of that experience.”



Page 7. For Rousey, the experience has been “entirely surreal because I’ve been working on this for years and it’s just been something in my head that was almost like a secret for a long time. And to see that not only come to life but other people also believing in it was one of the most fulfilling experiences. … I think that’s a feeling I’m gonna end up chasing for a long time now.”


Learn more about the Kickstarter campaign for Ronda Rousey’s Expecting the Unexpected. For more information visit AWA Studios on Facebook, X, Instagram, YouTube, and

Artists Writers and Artisans, Inc. (AWA) is an award-winning independent graphic fiction publisher and entertainment studio founded in 2018 by alumni of Marvel, DC, NBA, Fox, Hulu, and MTV, with former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso serving as Chief Creative Officer. Armed with some of the freshest and most critically acclaimed graphic fiction in a generation, AWA has established itself as an industry leader regarding its relationship with artists and writers by providing creators the freedom, incentive structure, and editorial support to pursue their boldest, most original, and socially relevant work. AWA has assembled a lineup of the world’s most renowned comic book talent, and its titles have been recognized as Eisner, Ringo, and New York Press Club award winners. With AWA’s Film & TV Studio, the company is building a distinct array of cutting-edge film and TV projects anchored in its burgeoning library of groundbreaking stories. Led by Hollywood veteran Zach Studin, AWA Studios has more than 20 projects in active development with industry-leading studios, networks, and streamers including the feature film adaptation of the AWA graphic novel MARJORIE FINNEGAN: TEMPORAL CRIMINAL, currently in development with LuckyChap Entertainment and Camp Hobart and the television adaptation of DEVIL’s HIGHWAY with Fremantle. Investors include Lupa Systems, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SISTER, and Fremantle. AWA is repped by Grandview.

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