Today’s Lunch Stream Featuring Mike Baron!

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I’ve been friends with Mike for awhile now, and am very excited to have him on the stream. The coolest part is every time I look him up, I see he’s done MORE stuff that i loved as a kid. Punisher, Star Wars adaptations of the Timothy Zahn novels, Archer & Armstrong from Valiant Comics, of course his legendary creation Nexus with Steve Rude. Just a lot of awesome stuff.

Of course… then he had the problem that he came out of the closet as a conservative in the industry. So you suddenly don’t see him on these books. He’ll talk about the experience and what he’s doing now here:

Make sure to like, subscribe, share so we can get this yotuube channel cranking!

 

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A Free Short Story For Everyone!

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I’m relaunching my Patreon in earnest, with a slightly new format as everything comes out. Already got some big tier backers on there so I really appreciate that last night!

But mainly, I put up the free story so you can check it out and see the type of content I deliver regularly. The story is “Love IRL” and I’m about to release a sequel to it for short story backers. Lotta great content coming out these next few months so do check it out here. The free story is the most recent post.

Other than that, really focusing a lot more on the fiction end of things lately to try to get all my obligations caught up. I have a lot of comic work to do on top of the novels and shorts so this should be very fun going forward!

 

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Busy Month!

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I don’t really have a blog topic today because I’m a million miles and hour on all my projects, which are super numerous. I have to figure out how to get the blog off of the malware warning lists too cuz it’s really hampering traffic (and haven’t had time to look into that too much).

I’m trying to put in finishing touches on my short story collection here which i’m hoping to get out in time for Christmas for everyone, which is taking priority. The stories are showing up on my Patreon, link up top for those who want to check out my work early.

Make sure to check out the Lunch Stream in the meantime. Subscribe and get our count up, costs nothing there, we’re growing very nicely on the content. But In lieu of blog typing I can do some nice talking over lunch 🙂 .

And only 48 hours left on The Ember War. Get it while it’s hot!!!

 

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Common Information Warfare Strategic Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

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I’ve watched the last several weeks as a certain anti-establishment movement in comics has floundered and lost its way a little. It was bound to happen on the internet with all the winning going on. Huge crowdfund campaigns, nothing but green in the future, but most of the bigger named campaigns were coming to an end, nothing had delivered yet, Marvel and DC have been relatively boring as of late, so there was a lot of antsy anticipation building.

What follows are common mistakes I’ve seen strategically that can set a whole movement back. It’s not about just this particular movement in information warfare, but I’ve watched several start/stops in news media, sci-fi books, etc. and these all apply.

The establishment has three primary objectives I call the “3-Ds”. It’s a little bit of a play on the 4D-Chess meme but the enemy really plays in three dimensions, which are their objectives for anyone who comes up against them:

  1. Destroy
  2. Deplatform
  3. Divide

They do these objectives in tandem. They destroy their target as hard as possible with name calling, making them out to be monsters instead of humans. They use that destruction then to get the budding movement to divide and fight amongst themselves, while deplatforming some of the major players so they can’t continue. Knowing this is how the enemy acts makes it much easier to avoid problems with them — because OUR REACTION to the enemy is what matters more than anything else when we’ve got our own movement going. Their actions matter very little to us in information warfare.

Abandoning Allies 

This seems to be a very simple one, but out in the trenches of social media, a lot of people forget who their allies are. They start to think they have to virtue signal to the “non-fighters” when the attacks get so hot, or something happens where the dynamic changes. It’s a false feeling. Don’t panic. Every narrative the enemy pushes is to get you to react to something for their above 3-Ds. Their actions don’t matter — but the way you respond to it does.

There will be people you don’t like, people who bother you, people you think the enemy has a “real case” in saying they’re a monster not a human being. It’s a narrative. People say mean things on the internet. There’s something out there about everyone who can make them look bad when spun  and repeated through enemy filters. You don’t need to “guard associations” you don’t need to worry about your respectability in this kind of fight. It doesn’t matter what you think or what other people think of someone who’s firing in the direction of your enemies. You are already a nazi to them. It doesn’t matter whether you’re “really a nazi” because no one is really a National Socialist German Worker’s Party member. No one.  It’s a game the enemy plays and when you join in — YOU lose.

Why do you lose? because your allies are people who can fight for you, your friends, or at the very least, the cause. Their presence in the information warfare battle makes narratives on our side, helps push the Overton window of the conversation, and their audience reaches cross over with your own to some extent. Everyone’s got a friend who’s got a friend who’s got a friend who’s either for that ally, working with the ally, or whatnot. The lie is that there’s a “zero sum game” that you either have to support EVERYTHING someone says or disavow. When that happens, the enemy succeeds in dividing us and it slows down the movement and keeps us from hitting objectives as we start grumbling amongst ourselves. You’ll lose out on your own followers by attacking allies.

I say abandoning instead of attack because sucking up the oxygen so that an ally never gets mentioned and is avoided is equally as harmful as an attack itself. In this day, death of mentions is death of information. Don’t disregard the totality of what an ally says or does just because of “principles”. There are no principles there, just losing to the enemy’s narrative.

Streisand Effecting Non-Players

This is an easy one to do. It feels natural to attack and we’ve all fallen prey to it at one time or another. When we’re under fire, the natural impulse is to strike out and fire back. That’s a tactic though and should only be used when necessary. The problem when someone gets harped on is not that people go “oh yes, this person must be terrible I logically conclude how bad they are”. No, the people who are against you KNOW you’re a “liar”. Know everything you say is “false”. Therefore they flock to the person being attacked in a natural instinct to 1. see what’s going on and 2. defend them.

Let me tell you the story about a small youtuber who opened up funny books on his lap and critiqued them last year. He said some very mean things about some of the creators and the work in comedic attempts to roast the poorly crafted books. His following wasn’t huge and didn’t matter a ton in the scheme of things….

….until creators started firing back.

The optic was that these guys are bigtime Marvel/DC celebs, and they’re picking on a little YouTuber! People flocked to see what the youtube was about and their attitude was sympathy to him, not toward the marvel/dc creators. His channel grew every time they did it. Eventually mainstream media outlets like The Federalist and PJ Media found him and saw several examples over a year of what was happening, and they blew him up to the mainstream. Why? He was a little guy being attacked.

This is happening now, I see it all the time. Once a movement gets big enough, it has its own establishment. Now when someone gets under fire in the reverse situation, they not only have themselves and a small budding movement to grow their base– they have the ENTIRE ESTABLISHMENT flock to them. You can avoid creating someone’s career by slowing down here and honestly doing what you would instinctually do to your allies when the Narrative gets hot and there’s the abandonment. Keep these small time people out of your mentions, ignore them. It’s for the good of everyone. There’s no one ‘being made aware’ of what this person is doing that’s hurting them. That’s not how this game works anymore. There’s only free attention to build a following, or there’s a death of mentions.

Don’t Panic

Both of these points come down to “don’t panic” and don’t react in the moment. When your allies are under fire and you’re stressed – it might be worth it to take 3-4 days before replying. Same with when there seems to be an urge to attack someone who’s so small they don’t matter because they’re saying terrible things. 3-4 days on the internet is an eternity. You probably won’t be passionate about something by that time, but taking that time before formulating an action can help you so you don’t make a big misstep. We’re reaching levels where we can’t afford missteps anymore if we want this to be a real viable alternative. How we react to the enemy is more important than what they do.

There’s only a couple of days left for The Ember War and it’s FULLY FUNDED! Help me push my epic sci-fi comic to greater heights at the end of this campaign. We’re making comics great again and you can be a part of it here.

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Still Not Tired Of Winning: Ember War Edition

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People have told me don’t do this, don’t do that for my entire artistic career. I get warned constantly about my memes being too spicy, or my journalism being too on target, or being at the center of conflicts where I’m defending free speech, or associations with different friends who are helping fight the culture war. I’ve been warned from day one never to be who I am or say what I believe, and I have to keep reminding everyone who reads: those warnings are all pointless.

There’s naysayers everywhere. People root for you to fail in life. It’s a really bizarre thing. I don’t know if it’s human nature to be negative, jealousy, different combinations of events, but “You can’t do it. You didn’t build this.” seems to be a common theme among non-creators and non-influencers. It feels like literally with every project I have to go out and prove them wrong.

And we did so again. After losing support of a lot of YouTuber ecelebs, people warned me this campaign was never going to make it. I was confident that we had the best product out there with a great art team and a wonderful story by Dragon Award winner Richard Fox. I believed in The Ember War because of how awesome it is, and it’s turning out even cooler in comic form than I expected. Here’s a preview from issue 3 of the book that hasn’t been released anywhere yet:

Just super fun robots vs. drones. You can’t lose with that kind of a story. And we crossed over the $20,000 threshold this weekend without any media coverage outside of Boudning Into Comics, and very little YouTube support. It’s interesting watching the metrics on my end because I see exactly what this means for both the independent comics movement out there, and for future projects. It means we’re going onward and upward and we are creating a REAL revolution here.

There’s still time to back The Ember War. Get a great graphic novel, 120 pages of epic content, and let your voice be heard in the industry.

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IndieGoGo Makes Move Appearing To Discriminate Against Right

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Most people who follow me saw the news yesterday where IndieGoGo removed not only an active campaign — but one that had completed on its site more than two weeks ago. It appears to be a breach of contract at this point because funds were promises (as that’s how IndieGoGo works), but we’ll see what happens.

I’ve got a couple of emails into IGG as a journalist — and a concerned person with a campaign. IndieGoGo simply referred me to the terms of service which state they can take down a project for any time for any reason and it’s their policy not to communicate a reason.

If that’s the terms of service, then they’re a very shady group to utilize such a policy. How can you operate as a business by taking down campaigns that make 6-figures and giving no reason why? Of the more than thousand backers of the campaign… I’d be leery to ever use the site just because of that which hurts other projects too. Backing something and having IGG hold money for a month only to refund for no reason is very angering and makes it hard to trust the site for any project.

Chuck Dixon, the writer of AHQ said one thing: “It won’t stop us”. Which is good. We can’t give up, can’t abandon the fight just because of some big tech clowns. This appears to be discrimination based on politics because of their lack of any sort of given reason about the project, and that is something at its core which is anti-American and anti-free speech.

The SJWs have a plan. It’s to do 3 things: Destroy, deplatform, divide.  That’s their strategy at all times. I call it 3D Warfare.  They’re going to come after all of us and this is just a test run to see what happens with it.

We’ve seen that so far their attacks have been head on, but we’re going to have more behind the scenes attacks like this. YouTube. Twitter. Crowdfunds. They’re not safe. If any of us get too big, we’re at risk on these platforms controlled by them.

I’m especially afraid because I have a project published through the same company as AHQ. The Ember War is up now, and it’s raised $19,000 — money I really need to pay for the art of the book. If IGG decides I’m evil over association, I could be very screwed in terms of this book that’s half done. I need to make this happen and can’t afford to take the short term hit like some of the bigger guys.  And I believe because of my association only that my project is probably the most AT RISK of any on the site.

You can help support the Ember War and Arkhaven’s right to make comics here (for now). Thank you everyone. We need to stand together. The attacks might get worse on all of us but our resolve is what’s going to win this in the long run.

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The Comics Industry Blacklist

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I’ve already done a periscope video on this but I was quite amused to see a circulating blacklist from industry insiders. it’s fairly extensive already. I wonder how big it’s going to have to grow before they realize we ARE the industry:

Interesting at the very least. And also interesting there’s a number of personalities like Megan Fox, Ian Miles Cheong who don’t even MAKE comics. I’m happy that my sci-fi author friends L. Jagi Lamplighter, Larry Correia, and Michael Z Williamson made the list even though they’re not involved in comics in the least either. Their works are definitely worth checking out and I hope it leads to some sales for them. I suspect they’re on the list BECAUSE they’re my friends, but either way… it’s nice to see them getting some respect.

Lists like this only succeed in baking us the “bad boys” worth checking out. We are the new punk rock, I keep saying. We’re taking the risks. We’re whistleblowing on in the industry, we’re creating the exciting new content that the readers really want but they can’t get from establishment publications.

It’s very exciting stuff. On the other hand, Bleeding Cool seems to be the first to admit there’s something to this industry sea change. Rich Johnston interviewed Vox Day this morning and I found this to be a very interesting comment to him: “You’re not an outsider hoping for a seat at the establishment table anymore. You did it, you’re in.”

It’s hard to deny the sales of his work and those associated with him. We’re upending the industry and we’re very effective. And that’s why we’re both so hated and loved simultaneously. But Bleeding Cool is a big bell weather. The times they are a changin’.

Support my book The Ember War and change the balance of the industry once and for all. We’re almost there for funding!

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The Fine Line As An Artist

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As an artist it can be tempting to “play the same old hits” and keep the money train going. But artists also need to be flexible and venture out into new content too or everything will get stale.

This comes on because I saw Lindsey Buckingham last night, the former guitarist of Fleetwood Mac. He played a set of mostly rarities, things he hadn’t done in concert before, and just a couple of his hits. The crowd was wanting the same old songs (except me and a handfull of others) but he stuck to his guns and did a lot of stuff he’d never performed before. And actually, this whole tour bucking Fleetwood Mac — which would have paid him substantially more money — is because of keeping his artistry up.

He’s in a tough spot because doing this does disappoint some of the fans, but he’s also played his greatest hits train for decades now, so he’s done his time.

I think it’s important to keep balance in anything you do, whether that’s writing, art, music, because the joy of creating comes through, and when it’s not there, it shows to your audience and readers. Even if it means not maximizing dollars to an extreme.

In fiction writing, the way to maximize your dollars is to stay in ONE SERIES. Not even deviate with different series in the same genre, but to keep it all the same. I can’t do that as an artist cuz I’ve got too many books on my mind. There’s a balance there though as I’m trying to bring all of my books up to trilogies or slightly longer so that folk can get a good experience there.  And there’s also a balance to other aspects of the art making in that I’ll talk about on one of my writing youtube streams soon.

Food for thought. It was an enjoyable show last night.

Something I’m doing that’s different is adapting a sci-fi novel to comics. It’s an incredible challenge and it’s produced a very fun book. Check out the Ember War here. It’s very close to funding and needs you to push it over the top!

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Flying Sparks Out To Digital Backers — WINNING!

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I wrapped up a lot of the print process yesterday and got word everything is under way, so I figured it was a good time to drop the digital edition of Flying Sparks to backers. Check your email and spam folders for an email from Jon Del Arroz if you backed and missed it.

I’m so excited to be able to be one of the first in our movement to get everything out to backers so you all can read. I never expected the book would get this much traction, thank you everyone again for your tremendous support!

I think the story turned out a lot of fun and I’m excited to be able to bring you more adventures of Johnny and Chloe in the future. We’ll be getting those all ready for you soon.

For now, Jethro and my next project is The Ember War. Jethro is working very hard on the pencils right now (60% complete) and I’ve got 24 pages of the 120-pager left to script so this will occupy us for the rest of this year on the comic front. I’ve got a couple other projects in the pipeline which are smaller — including a full 24-page story of Dynamite Thor, who is a character from one of the quick backer stories that I sent out as a bonus. People have been telling me they love that character and I try to give the readers what you want!

For now, check out The Ember War. It’s ALMOST to its 20K funding, it just needs your support to get there!

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A ComicsGate Divided And How To Get It Back On Track

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It looks (perception wise) like there’s been wave after wave of defeat in the movement to save comics from the clutches of the radical leftists at Marvel and DC. The movement both grew a little too fast and lost its purpose over the last month or so, and there’s a few natural reasons for it.  Fracturing is happening on a few levels:

  1. The overwhelming wins and successes brought a lot of heat and scrutiny on everyone because it went more mainstream than ever imaginable. Indie comic creators are making REAL MONEY and this is a huge threat to the establishment.
  2. We’re at a stage where there’s like 20+ outstanding crowdfunds. A couple like Iron Sights and Stardust have started to fulfill, but most people are out hundreds of dollars without much to show for it yet, so there’s a frustration.
  3. Because of the first two, large YouTubers with big fanbases are coalescing together and getting more insular – which means less attention on budding indie projects that aren’t from artists with already substantial fanbase, creating frustration among the smaller indies who feel as if they supported these guys who blew up and aren’t getting return support.
  4. There’s a GLUT of books on the market now. Just too many to keep up with.
  5. A subset of the group thinks if they signal they’re “not conservative” to the fake news media, they’ll somehow win their approval and get back in with establishment comics.

These factors together make for overwhelming negativity in a group that somewhat was formed because of intense emotions against establishment comics. But what’s resulting is a PSYOP from the mainstream media, from comics professionals, which has trickled down through the internet and reached everyone else in an attempt to divide, destroy, and tear everything we’ve built down.

They’re scared because they don’t want this to actually turn into CONTINUAL success. Our enemies believe if they stop everyone right here, they’ll be able to make this just a blip in crowdfund history rather than have a new industry emerge.

Here’s the thing. We can’t control the media attacks. We can’t control the creator attacks. We have to stop getting frustrated about those or caring about those. It doesn’t matter what SJWs think.

I repeat, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT SJWS THINK.

You can’t appease them. You can’t stop or slow their attacks. You can’t donate money to LGBT causes and get in their good graces and have them stop calling you homophobe. They don’t care. They aren’t rational. They are just NPCs repeating what the fake news says. All they know is you’re going for their “diverse and inclusive comic industry” and you’re a threat to it.

Whether you want to be “right” or not, you’re associated with right wing people in their minds because most of this group is right wing at least to some extent. Most of the creator names who are big are Trump supporters. That’s WHY they hate us and this group at its core. It can’t be changed with a “we’re not ALL trump supporters” response. Just ignore them. NPCs are only programmed to say the few lines they regurgitate.

It’s hard to realize that there’s no way to be rational with a group, because we are mostly rational people but we have our own irrationality which is that we have the tendency to think like us. SJWs do not think like us. They have a modus operandi that is always consistent, never changes, and is easily predictable. You can read about this in the book SJWs Always Lie by Vox Day. 

If we address this, stop caring what they think, and just care about our projects and the projects of our allies – and furthermore use the tactic that they do — which is stop talking shit about our allies’ works and only say nice things about our allies’ works, we will weather this and we’ll come out ahead.

That’s such an imperative thing. I may get the urge to be a critic as well. There’s been people who have shown me their work, I’ve seen some of the books in process and believe me, there’s elements that I’d want to fix, or there’s people I very much want to give a good shaking because of their public persona / online profile.

You’ll note I haven’t. I never talk bad about anyone of the creators even remotely adjacent ally to me, even people who are attacking me or sending their minions to attack me. Why? Because it only helps to tear us all down. It’s not a threat to me that someone else has an IGG that’s successful. It’s not taking from me. I don’t need to show anyone that I’m purity testing someone else because it doesn’t help my bottom line, and it doesn’t help the other creators’ bottom lines.

Unfortunately some have taken that stance of mine and used it as license to attack and distance themselves from me with some smug commentary. Folk know I won’t really hit back proportionately so I’m a “safe target” to those who have fallen prey to the divisive PSYOP of the SJWs that’s running right now. It needs to stop.

The landscape will change again when the big projects mostly get out there and are shown to be complete. Once hundreds of thousands of dollars are FULFILLED, there’ll be more talking about work, less of this. But for now – don’t punch right and keep supporting indie comics as they’re out there. That’s the only thing we can control while we’re waiting. Stay calm. Stay the course. Trust in the results that are coming. Don’t swing right.

I’ve got a book to get back on working on. It’s called The Ember War and it’s currently 60% complete on the art side, more than 90% funded! It’s epic action sci-fi like you’ve never seen in comics before .Check it out here. 

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