The EVS ComicsGate Concern Trolling Game

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I made a video the other day about how ComicsGate has harassed creators like Donny Cates and others with a “protection racket” mentality — you either join and “hail ceasar” or you get endless harassment.

I’ve deleted most of the angry comments on the video calling me liar, other names, worse, as the brigade was sent to my youtube channel (I have most of them blocked on twitter) in order to try the same tactics on me — but I’ve already been through it and desensitized.

Another thing they love to do is concern troll gaslighting. It’s done like this:

They try to make you feel inferior/bad about your business, metrics, whatever’s going on in order to get you to try to shut up about certain subjects or to not tell the truth about what’s going on.

The tactic here is to create overwhelming social pressure, which typically can cause a person to get angry, snap, and lash back out. The goal of these folk is to create someone saying something that seems over the line, act like the person did it out of nowhere, and then make videos attacking them for their drama youtube content. It’s a pattern.

The key is these folk always act FIRST, then the person who lashes out is always just responding to being unprepared for a gang of internet trolls descending on them. It’s a tactic used by the old Goon Squad on Something Awful, or people from 4Chan. It’s been weaponized in comics because there’s so few people who care about comics, that when you see 50-100 comments like this it really feels like it’s “everyone.”

All of this is coordinated by EVS through a discord server and through Twitter DM groups where links are posted and creators are attacked in private — EVS has a compulsion that if his name is mentioned, he will near-stalk people because of it. Watch the comments of this post for more.

It’s pretty silly that these are grown men who go around the internet doing this on behalf of a comic book artist and they dedicate their lives to it. Ironically, they all talk about how they’re “alpha males” nonstop — even though most are fat, neckbearded losers.

Once you see it, you can’t unsee the patterns, which is why CG gets such a bad rep. None of it is about comic books with them, or promoting great art, or allowing a culture to thrive. It’s all about tribal political drama on the smallest of scales — where they literally impact nothing.

Which is why they’re all so bitter and miserable all the time.

I just laugh at it, and it makes them all the more frustrated. But it’s cool. I’m one of the only indie creators out there who comes out with monthly comics, who treats comics like a real business, and produces quality, professional stories. It seems like Chuck Dixon and I are really the few who can do something like this. Maybe if some of these other guys spent less time live stream gossiping about other indie creators…

Anyway, there’s great books available. Dynamite Thor is now OUT FOR DIGITAL for all backers! Everyone’s said the book is so fantastic they can’t even believe how we managed to create such an awesome story from this Golden Age character. You can get D-Thor and ALL of my comic books digitally for instant reading on my web store. Print books are going out soon!

This is the real comic book culture change you’ve been asking for. Shop now. 

Art by Superman / Thor / Spider-man legend, Ron Frenz!


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Do I Care About Clique Awards?

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I saw a post on my facebook yesterday about some award nominations again, and I wasn’t going to write a blog post because I don’t like giving free media attention to things which are not going to get much whatsoever, but I figured I’d address it in an obtuse manner at least because there’s a message that can be delivered here.

It doesn’t matter.

The establishment industry’s bookstores are not going to be surviving the pandemic. The distribution model will be too painful to too many. The system of publishers is going to spiral into a slow death. It’s inevitable and there’s very little propping it up besides vanity at this point — vanity of “I have a publisher” vanity of “I have a bookstore.”

By going directly to Amazon, I make more money in a month than most of these names make a in a year.

Even famed Star Wars novelist Timothy Zahn just dipped his toes into self publishing for the first time yesterday (I’ll do a youtube video on this later, so subscribe).

Change is inevitable. We are winning. Don’t worry about the same 500 people voting for the same 10 people over and over. They’re irrelevant, and most of them are so geriatric they won’t be coming out of the Corona-chan crisis anyway.

The new hotness is here. It’s pulp-speed production with epic swashbuckling action, deep characters you can relate to, and more. Check out my new sci-fi novel Colony Launch, out April 22nd, up for pre-order now.

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Managing Productivity Through Corona-Chan

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It’s something really hard to do, though if you’re relatively alone at home, this post may not be helpful for you. Stop playing video games and watching Netflix if that’s you!

At first, I relished the opportunity to be away from the desk and at home. I thought it’d mean I’d crank out books at an absurd speed.

But I quickly found that it meant homeschooling children, constant cleaning of the house (as everyone’s in it full time and for some reason I have the compulsion to be super clean these days…), it’s actually a far busier day in terms of just having a few moments of quiet compared to a relatively quiet existence before.

You’ll note I’ve not been livestreaming on YouTube at all during this, as I can’t find full hour blocks to get away.

It’s tricky to keep the creative going. It’s pretty easy to do non-creative tasks such as format files, put different books up for sale, etc. But the difficulty lies in the creative where you need that space to be able to work without interruption.

Making time in a hectic environment requires a little bit of retraining and change.

What I’ve done is whenever I get 5 minutes, I just write a little, do something toward my goal (this works for anything else). Those little breaks happen throughout the day, and while they’re not long, if you get enough of them, you can find enough productive space to at least match having an hour by yourself.  It requires focus to be able to tell when these minutes occur and not to just relax or shirk duties, but they’re there.

After a few days of it, I’ve gotten pretty good at using those rest times toward work and pushing to get projects done. It takes practice to get used to, but utilizing the little bits of time is a skill like anything else and when you make a habit (21+ days) you’ll do more for it.

Hope that helps!

In 16 days I’m launching a new science fiction novel, Colony Launch, which ties into my Stars Entiwned Universe. If you haven’t picked up The Stars Entiwned, you can get it on Kindle now and catch up! Read today. 

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The Cost Of Comic Creation

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I get gamma male trolls coming to YouTube/Twitter almost every single day leaving absurd comments on all ranges of subjects to try to “gotcha” me by proving how much of a smart boi they are. It’s obnoxious on the best of days, a recent serial-negative-commenter is attacking my price point on books, saying “$3.99 is a ripoff” for a comic book.

Usually I wouldn’t spend much time dignifying such comments other than to tell the guy to eff off (now he’s telling me to “use newsprint” to make my comics cheaper – which would lower the print quality of all of my printed books and make no difference in my ebook pricing), but folk should be aware of the reality of comics.

Now if you look at Marvel/DC pricing for digital comic books, they’re ALL at $3.99 or $4.99 or higher. There’s a reason for it.

First, any digital distribution network like Amazon, Comixology, wherever will take at least 30%. So at $3.99, the revenue coming in is $2.79.

Then let’s look at the realities of comic book costs.

Average lineart cost per page:  $75. (this is CHEAP. If you want the top tier you’re going to pay $125-200 per page).

Average Colors cost per page: $50

Average Letters cost per page: $10

On average, it’s $135 per page to make a comic. This does not account for the time value of my scripting, my formatting the book for print and kindle, my art direction time, which there’s around 20-30 hours put into each issue on my end.

At the bare bones for a comic – 22 pages plus a cover for a 23rd, that means the cost of just the art is $3,105.

It will take 1,112 copies sold even at $3.99 to break even for such a cost.

You’ll note my crowdfunds generally get around 400 backers – and the reason the crowdfunds have to happen first at higher prices than the digital issues later is to ensure we hit that breakeven point, other wise I’d have to come out of pocket for every graphic novel I’d make and I’d go broke really quickly. Even at those levels, I break even on the books thanks to my great backers, and only make any profit afterward when they hit a general release.

The digital issues, however, at $2.79 revenue per book, is a pittance for the amount of work I can do. If I don’t run a crowdfund for the book, it takes a good amount of time to break even and get the sales necessary to have a book be worth making and continuing.

Lowering prices as this guy suggests would only make that harder to do.

What it comes down to is these comic guys don’t value creator work whatsoever. They feel entitled to our work and want us to work for absolutely free. It’s disgusting, and when the guy tells me to “use newsprint” to try to make my books a buck fifty like Alterna, he’s telling me I should only be getting 4 cents a book in revenue – at which, it would take a whopping 77,625 units sold for me to ever break even on a comic.

That’s not acceptable. I’d never be able to make comics. Even X-Men struggles to sell at those levels and it’s a legacy brand with Disney behind it.

The lesson here is comics take a LOT of money and work to get done. Keep that in mind next time you’re trying to dunk on some indie creator. We’re doing our best to try to provide great content and keep afloat.

Hope this helps as far as an understanding of metrics.

Support great books and great content. We can’t do it without you.

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