Bleeding Cool’s Attack Backfires Among Own Readers

It’s pretty easy to defend the truth, as I found when having to deal with a smaller news site attacking me a couple months ago. Look at all these positive comments:

Guy hit the nail right on the head… he spoke about them accurately and how everything is going with them

My love of diversity in storytelling says, yes, Marvel (and DC) should hire conservative creators as much as they hire democratic ones.

He’s not wrong and he can’t be any worse than the person writing America. Marvel does seriously need to clean house of the Slotts and Waids.

I say that Bleeding Cool should hire John Del Arroz

Tough love is always most appreciated in hindsight. Arroz said EVERYTHING Marvel absolutely needs to be hearing right now! God bless Arroz

Amen. Enough of the Social Justice League at Marvel.

He’s 100% correct about Marvel and it’s writers and why it’s in the shit can with sales.

I’d love to see John Del Arroz hired just because so many “great” comic book writers at Marvel are just overrated hacks.

#PulpRevolution. What is that? That sounds totally up my alley

would fit right in with some of Marvel’s talents.

Holy smokes.. I would buy 2 copies of every John Del Arroz comic if he were hired. After reading that rant he made, I felt compelled to stand up and salute! Marvel needs a guy like this

Man, how can ANYONE read this, and not want the guy to write to marvel?

And for the record, since they were quite concerned about how my post somehow in not mentioning the great comics writer, Chuck Dixon, was somehow a slight on him: I would totally approve of more books by Mr. Dixon. All the books by Mr. Dixon wouldn’t be a bad choice. I’ve also messaged him personally to let him know I offer up as penance my complete collection of his Nightwing run, in that I obviously was not a true fan enough. I hope he accepts!

How Fake News Operates

Got a nice message this morning to find out I was on Bleeding Cool news, a comic book news website for those who don’t follow such things. Last week, I forwarded them my 2nd blog on the troubles that Marvel is having, after my research going into every single one of their writers’ twitters and finding that they all hail from one side of the political spectrum, to an extreme bent, and how it looks like Editor in Chief Axel Alonso has a litmus test or a soft blackball of anyone who disagrees with that position from being on the staff.

My point was copied and pasted to the site, but with a headline and a takeaway that didn’t follow my whole point: that this blackballing is occurring in the entertainment industry across different media, which has now even been confirmed by Hollywood Reporter, no right wing blog there! That was the point, that was the message, anyone who could read my blog could see that… but instead, Rich of Bleeding Cool decided to focus on my little humor element at the end that called for Marvel Comics to hire me to fix their problems, in which I posted my pretty hefty resume of awesomeness.

Of course, the problem is, my blog wasn’t about that, and that was a joke.

The whole point is that Marvel DOESN’T hire anyone who disagrees with the lockstep groupthink, and it’s been that way for a while. Axel Alonso would never talk to me in the first place whether I wrote that blog or not. It’s true in Hollywood, it’s true in big publishing houses like Tor Books, it’s true in the music industry (‘cept country).  Anyone without a horse in the race would obviously read my call to action and smirk about it. Silly, and I’m certainly laughing about it now.

This is how, as my title says, fake news operates. The media takes something that’s “technically true” about what was said, ignores the context of it, and runs a headline that will get people to click/laugh/repost and shake fists, whatever. It happens every time, and in similar fashion to the way Marvel hires their writers, with anyone who doesn’t toe the line for the left wing political perspective.  Look at pretty much any freak-out headline this morning that will be like “But Trump said…”, completely missing the point of whatever he actually communicated.

Fortunately, normal folk don’t buy into that, and the reason the media is so freaked these days, is that with the internet it’s very easy to research exactly what a person said for themselves and come to our own decision. That’s why Brexit didn’t go the way the propagandists wanted, that’s why the US Election didn’t go the way the propagandists wanted, and that’s why the Hugo Awards had to change their rules because they couldn’t even deal with how many people were agreeing what was good science fiction, that went contrary to the establishment’s attempts to virtue signal. They want to keep their small power structures alive rather than grow with the times.

Now overall, I bear Bleeding Cool and Rich Johnston no ill will (though really I should do a separate blog questioning how he came to the conclusion that I’m slighting Chuck Dixon, who is one of my favorite comic book authors and was before I even knew what his politics were. Nightwing was the best!). I get almost all of my comic book news from them, have for years. We’ve had a cordial conversation privately despite this strange article written, which he hasn’t so far denied was an intentional hit piece. Not sure what the intention was of the article if he doesn’t seem to hold that view privately, maybe he could clarify.  It’s funny that a lot of the comments do seem to agree with my real premise of the blackballing problem, and some even think it wouldn’t be a half bad idea for Marvel to actually hire me, furthering my point that most folk will decide for themselves, despite the bad attempts at narrative.

Folk from Bleeding Cool and Rich, this time I call on you just to read my work. It’s pretty highly regarded, and is fun without any sort of underlying political message. You just might like it, as it captures the feel that Marvel & Co. used to have. Excelsior!

Retro Review: Tarzan Of The Apes

I’ve been promising a review of this book on social media since before the weekend. This is the original Tarzan Of The Apes, Edgar Rice Burrough’s classic 1912 novel that spawned more than twenty sequels, endless comic books, a ton of film adaptations over the years, and for the crime of being a true man’s adventure novel, erased from modern literary discussions. Like most of the old pulp adventures, instead of celebrating what they did for the culture, they’re treated like theyr’e worthless. Tarzan was, in the 1910s-1940s, bigger than Superman, bigger than Batman. Those future writers were influenced by ERB’s works.

It drives home the point that the #PulpRevolution and #AppendixN crowd has been beating on their incessant drum for months: having action adventure in a man’s world has been held down purposefully for decades.

I picked up the “Barnes and Noble Classics” edition of this at a used bookstore going out of business for a low low price (as well as about 10 other Tarzan books).  In this, it’s almost like they didn’t want to admit it was a classic or something worth reading. First of all, look at the cover:

If you’re familiar with my blog, you might have seen me post this as a “worst cover ever” consideration when I bought it. It says nothing of the book. It evokes images of someone sitting around drinking mint tea and farting about how literary they are. This is not Tarzan.

Then there’s the introduction in here, by a woman who is a sociology professor or something of the sort. The whole intro is devoted to slandering and talking down regarding Edgar Rice Burroughs — she even does the ridiculous internet argument tactic of tying him to Nazis. Ironic, as he spent most of the war as a correspondent writing about American patriotism, after he survived the Pearl Harbor bombing. It also talks down about pulp fiction and how it “differs from” literary fiction, of which she gives a long list of negatives that are anything but. The introduction is a disaster and a disgrace. Between that and the emotionless cover, it screams to readers “DON’T READ THIS BOOK WE ONLY PUBLISHED IT CUZ HISTORY!”

Dear Readers, read this book. There’s a reason it was history. This was some of the most fun reading I’ve ever done. It grips you from the start. Tarzan’s parents have a great backstory that begins. As he battles for his life and place with the apes, it’s fantastic. As he deals with savage cannibalistic tribes it’s sensational. As he meets stranded Englishen and the classic, iconic Jane Porter, it gets even better. the lengths that Tarzan will go for his love is romance in the truest sense, in the most passionate. And oh, the ending doesn’t wrap up neatly at all. It demands a sequel immediately.

The characters are great and distinct. You can’t put it down once you start going. It’s unbelievable that this came from 1912, and goes to show that there certainly was no such thing as some enlightenment in the 60s-70s to produce better fiction. The people of this time were not dumber, no less of worthy writers than now. In fact, ERB’s vocabulary seems leaps and bounds above the treetops of most modern works of fiction.

I have been reading Princess of Mars to my son, and compared. While Princess of Mars has a lot of cool world building elements that really show the depths of ERB’s imagination, I think Tarzan as a character and tale actually exceed the work. It’s tighter, it’s more gripping, it’s more ageless.Were it not for the historical revisionists of the poo-poo literary establishment getting rid of all pulps out of sight out of mind, propping up degeneracy like Lolita or utterly dry boring realism that Steinbeck, I think this may actually be the seminal, Great American Novel, or I should say, I think this certainly is the seminal, Great American novel.

I’m not going to detail it through, as though you are vaguely aware of many points of the stories, I believe that the details should be discovered for yourself. It’s short, and it’s worth reading immediately. It’s certainly bumped some off the list of my Top 10 favorite books of all time.

When The Blackballing Gets So Bad Even The MSM Reports

Hollywood Reporter actually posted an article A New McCarthyism today, following the theme of a lot of what I’ve posted about over the last few months, from my own local convention shunning me over politics, to Marvel Comics’ apparent litmus test of only hiring writers of the extreme left persuasion. This isn’t in Hollywood alone, but it’s something that’s across the entertainment industry from music, to writing, to comics, to games, and then to Hollywood itself. It’s actually far worse in some of the other forms of entertainment. I’ve posted up some of the direct name calling and shunning in public that’s been done to me by people like J. Michael Straczynski, hollywood writer, and Sharon Lee from science fiction publishing. As well as the doxxing that one of my former favorite bands The Early November did after they went off on a bizarre swearing tirade about the President on their twitter. The message is clear:

If you do not follow the groupthink exactly, you are not welcome here, and we will disavow you.  Continue reading

Marketing 101: Content Creation & Knowing Your Audience

I blog post a lot, and have been active enough for long enough to note trends. I hit upon about one topic per week that my audience clicks and shares on repeat until it gets a viral amount of traffic that I wonder both where it comes from and where it goes the next day. I’m sure there’s others up there who are better about making those reader peaks stay consistent on their own sites. I might add that I did post a few ways you can support content being created, as it does take a significant amount of time to keep generating posts and thinking of topics of the day.  Continue reading

Marvel’s REAL Diversity Problem

In yesterday’s post on Marvel, I talked about the global problems that have gone on for a long time that have consequently torpedoed the comic book industry over decades. Disney is either complacent in this or they are pushing this decline of this division, which can only be described as a complete business failure. It doesn’t make sense at all from a rational economic mindset. The only place it does make sense is in the bizarre emotions of social justice warriors. Like science fiction publishing, like the convention scene that decided I’m not welcome, the exact same issue plagues Marvel to where they can’t make rational decisions.

Marvel has a diversity problem.   Continue reading

Three Quick Ways To Support Your Friendly Neighborhood Blog Author!

I do this reminder every week or two, just as a reminder because every bit helps:

  1. Pick up my book, Star Realms: Rescue Run. Leave a review on Amazon.  Share it with your friends.
  2. Join my mailing list so you can be instantly updated about new releases/giveaways (rarely email, just for that. ask anyone on the list already, they’ve not even gotten any yet.)
  3. Vote for Star Realms: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz for the Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy for the Dragon Awards. You can fill in other categories later or not at all if you don’t want, but it’s free, and every vote goes a long way toward getting me on the ballot.

Thank you friends for your support!

That Time I Wrote 40K Fan-Fic and Forgot I Did…

I just found this after years. I adapted someone’s short story for 40k into an audio drama for some people online as I was very interested in audio dramas at the time (still am!).  Tonight, Daddy Warpig sent over a link to some old Shadow radio dramas from the 30s, which I found awesome, so I started going back through my files.

I found this script. Totally forgot I wrote it. So I did a web search, and it got produced:

I had no idea it got made lol. If there’s any Jon Del Arroz completionists out there, this is for you!

“Make Mine Marvel No More!”

Marvel Comics has a big problem.

I was in my local comic shop today, of which I don’t frequent nearly as much as I used to. I don’t want to say I lost a love for comics, as I recently just plowed through the trade paperbacks of Chew and finished 4 of the end of the series in one night. I feel similarly about Revival and Terry Moore’s Motor Girl. However, it’s been at least three to four years since I stopped making weekly appointments to go to the comic shop on Wednesdays, eager to pick up new books. I mentioned in an earlier post that the way storytelling has gone, I don’t really want to pick up individual issues anymore. That’s certainly part of it, but I’m also consuming a lot less content than ever before.

Around the time I stopped regularly buying comics, I cut ties and dropped the last vestiges of my Marvel Comics reading. EPIC CROSSOVER EVENTS had been anything but epic for me for years, making it difficult to read individual comic storylines (this issue of Amazing Spider-Man takes place after Civil War #4 and continues in X-Factor #17!), and trying to one-up the last with a new “shocking” death or even “shockinger” resurrection. This was hard for me to do. I’d been reading Marvel Comics since I was 10. That all started with a subscription to Amazing Spider-Man that my aunt bought for me for Christmas. If I had to choose desert island top 5 all time favorite comic characters, they would be: 5. Spider-Girl 4. Fantastic Four (I count them as one unit). 3. Captain America 2. Black Cat (way better than Catwoman) 1. Spider-Man.  Marvel meant a ton to me over the years, and if I added up all the money i’ve spent on their comics, I probably could buy myself a new car at the very least.  So it pained me to let them go.

What I heard today was disconcerting to me, because I care about Marvel Comics, and more because of what their mistakes do to the comic industry as a whole. The local shop owner told me that Marvel used to comprise about 48% of their sales, and now they’re down to about 25%. Whoa. That’s a huge drop. And I know that doesn’t mean that people are jumping ship and buying equal amount of titles of other books. The comic book readers like me, are mostly quitting except for picking out a few titles here and there. It’s really sad. Marvel, apparently, has it the worst, as the shop owner mentioned that the distributor comes into the shop, asks how things are going, with a caveat of “other than marvel” and they laugh about the poor sales together.

Now this could be anecdotal for one shop, but it’s not. If you look ten years ago, Marvel led comic sales across the board, every time, hands down, and had for decades prior to that. What happened was laziness, complacency, an unwillingness to learn from business mistakes and a healthy dose of social justice sprinkled in on top of that to seal their coffin.

Marvel went wrong in a few big ways that they need to correct:

  1. Crossover events. I mentioned how they’re just not special anymore. They haven’t been special in a decade. You may get a boost in sales temporarily but it doesn’t do anything for the long term. I hate them. Most readers hate them. We tolerated them for awhile because it looked like Bendis and Co. were doing cool things with the universe, but it turned out there wasn’t much of a real plan there other than to make new crossover events. I pick up a book to read its story. If you want to do a team up whatever with Spidery and X-Men you can make that happen within the confines of the one story and without 50,000 loose tie ins that the writers shoe-horn in. It makes for lousy books every single time.
  2. Variant covers. I was informed that it was recently or is “Venom variant month” where everything has a Venom variant cover. Look, variants were cool a couple of times, when it was special. Once it started happening all the time, it killed collecting. There’s barely any collecting going on now, and that’s your fault, comic industry. Marvel is repeating these mistakes by killing the specialness of such things even more.
  3. Social Justice. It stems from the editorial down to the writers, and they’re al the same lockstep of trying to force a left wing social narrative on everyone trying to relax and read Hulk beating up bad guys in a pure rage. Your overall audience aren’t hipsters in New York City. We’re spread out across the country and are probably split mostly along the way they country’s split. Recognize that. I couldn’t find any book that looked like the iconic characters any longer. Everyone is a gender swap trans muslim whatever gimmick of the month to virtue signal how diverse they are. And it suffers from the same problems as the first two points I made about the industry. When this was done once or twice, it was something different. It was cute. It made news headlines. Marvel got a quick sales bump. They went for that cheap gimmick on repeat rather than maintaining excellence in storytelling. It’s not making something new, it’s using a marketing gimmick for what would have been a single issue of What If? 30 years ago. A bigger problem is it isn’t to evoke the same sense of What If? fun and wonder, it’s 100% completely for the virtue signal. That intent shows through, it annoys people. No one wants it, for real.
  4. Distribution. This is an old problem, but it’s getting steadily worse. Throwing these things in specialty comic shops only or lost on the internet just gets clouded with easier to find, easier to digest content. Not exclusively Marvel’s fault here, but they need to get with a new program. I don’t have an answer here, but someone smarter than me working for Disney probably does.
  5. Not Telling A Story In An Issue. Stories go like this: Issue 1: Thor wakes up, brushes his (or her, or xer or whatever gender this week is popular) teeth. Eats breakfast. Heads out the door. Something happens. Cliffhanger to be continued! That is not enough to get me remotely interested in what’s going on, let alone to remember what happened a month from now to continue it. This is why I’m only buying trades, which hurts sales. I think the last instance I remember where whole stories were told was Tom De Falco’s Spectacular Spider-Girl, the third incarnation of that book. He’s a great storyteller. I miss him on Marvel books. When a book was a book. Cliffhangers ok, but give me a full story.
  6. Resting on the laurels of Stan Lee. There’s nothing new, and that’s nothing new. Really the problem is Iron Man is 50+ years old. And they’ll do their social justice gimmick “what if Iron Man is…. female! Because women and men are interchangeable!” and then, when a movie’s about to hit, they go quickly to revert back to some iconic unchanging Iron Man. Then repeat. There’s no long term investment available for these storylines. Marvel attempted it and succeed to make continuing stories for these characters up until about the 90s, but they couldn’t think of ways to keep them going and maintain continuity. I’m still pissed over One More Day. That was lazy writing. It doesn’t help that readers are disappointing, and any attempt to bring forth something new doesn’t last, but it’s partially Marvel’s fault for letting it get that way, and not really pushing their top talent toward those endeavors. Frankly, I loved Runaways, Arana, Spider-Girl, Spider-Man 2099. Many others did too. They didn’t get a long term commitment or lasting support from marketing or editorial. They were vestiges allowed to exist for a time as an experiment, but they were too little too late. To fix this, Marvel needs to make a real dedicated push and be willing to make a long term plan out of it. It probably involves disconverging the “Marvel Universe” and letting some books be separate, like Image does. I doubt they’ll ever be able to do that.

My last point is my greatest, and the reasoning is that any of these fixes can be done to one or two books, or for a bit. Someone will always come in with an ALL NEW SUPER COLLECTORS #1 and reset it to just these five terrible points on repeat. We know that as the readership, and that’s part of why Marvel’s lost its luster. It needs real creatives, real leadership to take it in a bold and fresh new direction to resolve this. I doubt it’s going to happen any time soon.

I long for the days of someone saying “Excelsior!” once again.

Michael Savage Assaulted While Out To Dinner

Edit: In retrospect, I should have titled this: “Literal Nazi Left: SJW Assaults Elderly Jewish Man”.  Oh well, next time. Cuz it will happen again.

Even formerly nice places like Tiburon aren’t safe. This is why my wife tells me I’m not allowed to wear my Make America Great Again hat out, even to go to Starbucks in Danville, which should be as safe as it gets. Read that again. I cannot wear a hat in public without fear of assault. That fear is not irrational, as I was assaulted twice myself last year. The left is insane, they have no morals, will harass and get violent at every turn. This is not isolated. They are not apologetic. This is the new normal because of an overly-permissive culture that allowed these cretins to fester.

And of course, California doesn’t allow us to arm ourselves to defend ourselves from stuff like this. I may have to move out of here sooner rather than later. Sick, bigoted people here.

Update: Further degeneracy: The culture is promoting this violence. It needs to stop.