When You Don’t Fit The Fake News Narrative

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A couple of months ago I was approached by an NPR journalist who said she was coming to talk about “crowdfund comics” and wanted an interview. A few weeks ago, a story ran on NPR torching crowdfund comic alternatives to the mainstreams, libeling them as “alt-right” and spending an hour on doctored interviews to make people look bad.

None of the questions they asked me were aired in that interview. I suspect these were more “pre-interview” questions to see if I could be useful for their narrative. “Journalists” these days mostly have conclusions first and then ask you questions to try to fit into their narrative in hopes that it will. Despite this being an ‘investigative reporting’ piece on NPR, there was no investigating done, only attempts to smear.

I’m not a very good candidate because I fly against their “racist/sexist” narrative with Flying Sparks. It’s a minority creative team with a strong female lead character. Those “alt-right” crowdfunders are supposed to be against that, right?

Here’s the questions and answers in full:

What’s the history of Flying Sparks?

Flying Sparks is the story of a hero and villain in love. I always loved the Spider-Man/Mary Jane or Batman/Catwoman romantic aspects of storylines and wanted to dial that up for some intense personal drama with superheroes. Think Mr. and Mrs. Smith but with a Superman vibe and meant more for an all-ages crowd. I started developing this years ago because I really wanted to get into comics and I saved a little money from every paycheck to buy art a page here and a page there until I could get a full story done. The crowdfund is really meant to recoup art costs and get a print run made. Jethro Morales is the artist who’s known for his work on Green Hornet and Hack Slash and he’s stuck with me for years while making this.

Why did you decide to do an Indiegogo campaign for it?

Crowdfund seems to be the way to make comics happen at the indie level. It’s a really difficult process to get into stores and so finding an audience this way is a necessity for independent creators. A lot of my friends had successful indiegogo projects so it made sense to go there.

Is this the first time you’ve crowdfunded a project?

Yes! First time and I can’t believe how successful it is so far.

If so, how has the experience been like/unlike your expectations?

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have a couple popular science fiction novels (For Steam And Country, The Stars Entwined) but I found the audience doesn’t crossover to comics so much. A completely new audience tuned in to buy this and it’s awesome to be reaching more people. It’s nerve racking refreshing the page, watching all day to see if anyone’s backing, and with the numbers being so public there’s a lot more pressure than having a book on Amazon, but it’s also more exciting too.


As you can see, I didn’t trigger anything that showed I would be useful for that hit piece. If you’re going to talk to the fake news, keep it in this realm. If they can’t use something, they won’t. If they can, that’s where you made a mistake.

I’m still crowdfunding to a lot of success. My new one is The Ember War, and it’s just got a couple of weeks left. 120 pages of awesome military science fiction they can’t use for their narrative. Back it here:


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3 thoughts on “When You Don’t Fit The Fake News Narrative

  1. Jon, where do you stand on the time-honored maxim of “Don’t ever talk to the media”?

    I ask only because, while these questions seem innocuous, nothing stops them from lying about you or twisting your words anyway.

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