Here’s What You Need To Know On Flying Sparks Volume 3

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This series is about to get wild and blow up. 

Tomorrow, we launch the third volume of my superhero epic, making me one of the only people in indie comics to be able to bring about a quality book at an issue-per-month equivalent since I started delivering last year.

When we started, people were clamoring to start a new revolution in indie comics to make a rival to Marvel and DC. I am accomplishing that by putting out quality stories at the same rates they do. This is your industry change you demanded. This is the horse you can bet on to keep putting out the work and build into something much bigger.

In FS3: the relationship drama heats up. Secrets get revealed. We’re starting to peel back the onion as to what’s really happening with all these powered individuals running around.

Johnny is faced with a deep descent into darkness as his criminal empire grows.

Meta-Girl faces the most unbelievable danger of her journey as a hero so far.

And the plotlines are starting to converge.

So here’s the deal:

The Kickstarter will go live at 7 AM PST tomorrow.  We want to rush this and fund as quickly as possible because that will get Kickstarter’s promotional algorithms into gear and promote the book to as many people as possible, in hopes of getting new readers.

As a special bonus: if we fund on DAY ONE, Miss Sashi will design a body pillow cover for Meta-Girl.

You read that right. A Meta-Waifu. IT’S_HAPPENING(RONPAUL).jpg .

We have all sorts of crazy stretch goals planned that just gets cooler as this goes along, so I hope everyone will come in hard and make sure this series keeps going strong. It’ll send a signal to the comic community at large that Flying Sparks is here to stay.

REMINDER: Kickstarter does NOT charge until the end and on the condition that it funds. BACK IMMEDIATELY to help the book along. There is no need to wait until a paycheck because you do not get charged right away.

It all depends on you. I’m super sick, having intended on making a video about this rather than just giving you text but I can’t stop coughing. I won’t get much YouTube support because those guys have made it clear they’re not about building an industry change in comics, but just extracting money for themselves. The readers and word of mouth will be everything.

So tomorrow:

  1. Back Flying Sparks 3 right away.
  2. Share the backing on social media.
  3. Share posts around about the book, talk about how great volumes 1-2 are. Let your friends know. Post to different groups on Facebook or MeWe.  

Let’s get this critical mass so we can move into Phase 2 of my plans to build a superhero universe to rival Stan Lee’s creations.

The story and series only gets better as it goes along. I layer characters and build them deep so there is a lot to uncover still. I hope you’ll join me.

For those loyalists: thank you for your support. I couldn’t do this without you!

Jon

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Twitter Suspends Cartoonist For Pro-Life Cartoon

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It doesn’t matter how big you are, how well known you are or not, the thought police are going to come after you.

Mike Harris drew a cartoon likening the “they’re not really humans just clumps of cells” to the way the Nazis treated their victims in gas chambers. It’s a very poignant cartoon, and makes you think about how disgusting abortion really truly is.

Twitter didn’t like how effective the messaging was, apparently.

He’s now suspended for the act of daring to speak his mind.

This is another incident of double standards, as the left can call us nazis all day long on the site, but once we use the same type of messaging, it’s now “offensive” and “against community standards?”

All of this is an attempt by big tech to hold down the grass roots swell of artists and influencers who are rebelling against the machine before the 2020 election. They don’t want our message out like we got it out last time, and they will use everything in their power to stifle our speech.

Support Mike Harris and check him out here. 

If you like my blog, make sure to check out my work. Flying Sparks 2 is now out digitally to backers. you can get your comics instantly, no wait, no hassle, no delays from the crowdfund, they’re done and available. 332 pages delivered in 9 months in the business. Grab them here.

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Who Would Want To Work For Big Publishing?

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DC Comics just announced that they are shit canning Tom King from Batman, a writer praised for his work on Mister Miracle and largely responsible for a lot of the acclaimed work in comics right now. He had a full arc planned for 100 issues, a storyline that wraps up over that period, and everything he’s set up just gets pulled right out from under him.

Why?

I guess sales. I understand it on the company end, but chasing a few thousand sales over and over is what got comics into this mess to begin with.

On the other duopoly’s front, Marvel is actively lying in their solicitations to customers on what a book is about to try to get people to check out a new character. No one buys new characters because Marvel/DC set it up so that I WILL BUY BATMAN/SPIDER-MAN NO MATTER WHO’S WRITING IT I LOVE THE CHARACTER, by their own devices, and flooded stands for decades with just those characters to cater to that mentality, and so new characters never stick. It must be maddeningly frustrating to have a book and not even have someone be able to read a real solicitation about the character and have to dupe them into reading in hopes they’ll stick (they won’t). What a shitty audience that the companies feel compelled to do this. I

With marketing departments lying, getting yanked before stories get finished in things that have been planned for years, having crazy tight editorial oversight, having to cater to crossovers that pull your characters out of their stories and planned development, it sounds like pure torture as a creative to work at these companies.

People ask me all the time “which character would you want to write?”

The answer’s always the same: my own.

I get to write what I want, pace the stories how I want, release how I want, and it keeps the energy fresh for me every time. I don’t have anyone telling me what II can and can’t do, I have no one pulling my storyline from me. Why would I want to change that to write some fan fiction on some character I don’t have any control over, who the next writer when it inevitably turns over, will just undo everything I did for his run?

It sounds like complete torture.

I’ll stick with what I’m doing. And you should too, because my characters actually develop and have meaningful arcs in Flying Sparks. Volume 2 is still available, I just shipped out all of my last book, The Ember War. This will be going to print in the next month or so so get in before the variants are gone forever!

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IndieGoGo Tampers With 2nd ComicsGate Campaign

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@ElectricDino12 reports this morning that IndieGoGo has not delivered him his funds on his comic book, Rebel Yell #2, even though the campaign closed back on Feb 21st.

“Indiegogo has had since Feb 21st to disperse the funds for our successfully crowdfunded Rebel Yell Issue #2, but they say that the comic has yet to be reviewed by their “Trust and Safety” Team? We’re still waiting, folks,” he reports.

The “Trust & Safety” team is the same group that began messing with Alt-Hero Q’s funds by Chuck Dixon, eventually holding backer’s funds for over a month, and then refunding all pledges in what appears to be fraudulent action by IGG.

Rebel Yell is made by a small creative team, a group that made only $541 on the campaign, so it’s not likely to get much attention by any of the major outlets, but it’s still something harrowing. This company is not safe, and is messing with multiple projects not before they go up, but after backers have given funds to it. Oddly, IndieGoGo had no problem with their Issue #1 and allowed the campaign through without any problems.

The crowdfunding platform is not safe to use at all, and it appears they’re far more willing to take action on their own to harm creator owned comic projects. Use the site at your own risk.

My Flying Sparks volume 2 is available on BackerKit, a 3rd party company which hasn’t bothered anyone, and has been very cordial on the phone with me over several conversations. iIf you missed out on the project, you can get it here and be assured the funds will get to me.

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Sparks are FLYING! It’s the Last Day

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We hit $15,000 this morning! Which makes me so happy because it means all backers are going to be getting the Meta-Girl: Origin short comic as a PDF. People have asked me to detail out her origin forever and it’s nice to finally get it done. Here’s a sample of the first page of that if you haven’t seen it:

So excited. Jethro’s gotten so much better at art as we’ve gone along, much more detail and consistency. It’s a joy to keep working with him, and this success means we will for sure be working together for at least a Volume 3 and Volume 4 of the series.

The campaign is wrapping up today, so if you haven’t backed yet please get on board! These books are statements both to the industry and to our movement’s community so running these numbers up does mean a lot.

To promote the end of the campaign, as well as Chuck Dixon’s Airboy #51 which is currently running on IndieGoGo, the two of us are going to stream today. It’s been awhile since I’ve talked to Chuck, you won’t want to miss this.

Make sure to subscribe to the channel too. Getting those numbers up costs nothing and ends up having a big impact for me. Once we get to $1K I can start monetizing the youtube as well.

All around exciting though. Flying Sparks 2 hitting this $15K threshhold is a big deal, especially since I cut the prices and didn’t offer all of the tertiary items on the main page like I did last time. This book is my pride and joy so I hope you’ll check it out!

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A Retrospective Look At Matt Kindt’s X-O Manowar Run

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One book is responsible for getting me jazzed about comics again after I’d been unexcited for several years. I’d been burned far too many times by Marvel/DC with event after event, retcon after retcon, and just a lack of fun or wonder coming from them.

X-O Manowar by Matt Kindt and Tomas Giorello changed that for me. Its bright yellow cover with an art homage to the original Star Wars poster drew me in. I didn’t buy it the first time I saw it. I looked at it, thought “wow this is cool,” and it took my 3rd week into the comic shop to give it a shot.

When I looked inside, I saw the interior art was even better than the cover. Giorello did such amazing work I was shocked to see it in comic form. It really was like watching a science fiction movie unfold in front of me.

I didn’t know much about Aric or his armor at the time. I just saw a haggard man, beaten down from war, wanting to escape it all, living with some smokin’ hot blue chick and being depressed. He gets forced into service and it becomes relentless epic battles for four issues.

Each arc breaks down very neatly and the titles of the graphic novel volumes really give an insight as to the character study as a superhero is looked at in a different lens each time: Soldier, General, Emperor, Visigoth, Barbarians, Agent, Hero.

Kindt loves to do this in his writing, I’ve noticed. Take a character, dissect him, and peel back the layers so we can see a study of what’s going on character wise. In this volume of XO, he also did it with the roldbuilding of the planet Gorin. The first 12 issues build up this whole planet in a way that’s a mastery of science fiction, that I loved to see and it really made me sad to see Aric leave the world, even though it was inevitable during the story.

Now artists rotated, and the tone changed, but it was mostly pretty good up until this point.

I feel like the shift when Aric was attacked by Bounty Hunters and decided to leave the planet after his ascendancy created an intense blowback of unintended consequences (a nice anti-war narrative despite the hero being such a master, and done in a subtle way that it didn’t overwhelm the book). The art teams weren’t quite as good from this point forward and the book felt like it struggled directionally, as well as diving into “we’d better answer the questions that were left from the prior run and how we got here.”

There were points that just didn’t flow quite right with the narrative, and that’s okay. Over a 26 issue run one would expect some issues, I don’t think it detracts from the overall work.

The most jarring was the reveal of why Aric left to begin with. This provided a full stop character reset for Aric, really undoing everything that was done in the first run of new Valiant XO. I was pretty upset when I saw the issue, but it also made a lot of sense with the main story. There was some content put in here clearly for diversity points too which makes me roll my eyes to see in comics, but it’s small enough that it didn’t overwhelm the run thankfully. I still wish this whole aspect of the storyline wasn’t done because I think breaking up families and tearing all that apart at this point really ends up a cliché thing in comics, and I’d prefer seeing a family stay together with a heroic, honorable character like Aric.

But, it was done. It broke the character. It was the worst possible thing to happen to a character, and creating those low points creates excellent drama. We watch Aric recover and go back to what he was before, working for secret agencies against alien threats because as an alien threat himself, he’s the one weapon who can stop them.

The series then wrapped up by bringing the consequences of Gorin to Earth, as Aric gets hunted. The hero isn’t left in the dust with his family gone, but we see the hot blue chick Schon come to Earth to stand by him, which is fulfilling for the arc. Aric is firmly back on earth and ready to be a superhero again. We also got a nice return to Giorello’s art to close it out. I wish they would have used him more for consistency, but I understand why Valiant would put him on book launches and events with how talented he is.

The final issue was a lot of wrap up, mostly the arc already done and we’re saying goodbye to this run. The art is very pretty, it definitely feels like a closed book now and done. I am just sad to see it go, since this really is what it looks like to read an epic work by a science fiction writing master.

If you like my analysis on Matt Kindt’s writing, try out my book, Flying Sparks. It’s got TWO days left and readers say volume 1 was “the best indie comic of 2018.” I know you’ll enjoy it! Back today! 

 

 

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Flying Sparks Volume 2 Is Live!

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I left you with a cliffhanger in volume 1…

…the resolution will leave you breathless.

Mob Ties picks up right where book 1 left off, and I put my foot firmly on the action gas pedal and never let up. It just gets bigger, crazier.

There’s new deadly villains.

There’s new devastating secrets.

There’s new intense romance complications.

All of this and more in Flying Sparks volume 2: Mob Ties.

It’s available on Kickstarter right now, and we’re running a campaign to cover the art and print costs like before. It’s a new platform, but I hope you’ll join me. We need to make a statement and show this wasn’t just a one time thing, that you’re here for GREAT BOOKS and not just because of last summer’s events.

If you didn’t back the first wildly successful campaign, we got you covered. There’s tiers for book one and the Meta-Man special so you can catch up on the Flying Sparks universe. But also look at all the great stretch goals. We’re adding more value to this books with a Digital #1s pack and more that mean this book is the best bang for your buck out there.

If you love the 80s books with Spider-Man and Batman where their whole lives dropped because they got caught in a mob war, and the epic romance you’d get with Spidey and Mary Jane or Batman and Catwoman… this is the book for you.

Back Flying Sparks today!

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I Fought With The Mob And I Got Ties #FlyingSparks

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Only 6 days until we launch Flying Sparks Vol. 2: Mob Ties.

I’m so excited. Flying Sparks has been so well-received it’s rejuvenated my love for comics all the way around. My vision when I created this was to get a superhero world that transcended comics. I want to expand to audio dramas, film, and more to create a whole experience around this story that is unparalleled. A full multi-media experience, stuff that stretches my limits artistically and brings you the coolest content possible.

And we’re getting close to this being a reality. The first volume raised over $30K, which allowed me to branch out into more art, side stories, character bios, and other books which are coming down the pipeline and being created as we speak. I’ve got 7 graphic novels in development, 3 of which will be part of a shared superhero universe built around Flying Sparks.

But there’s a lot more to go. This flagship book is going to pave the way for so much, and volume 2 really is so much fun it blows the first one away. Anyone who reads my novels knows that after any set up in book 1, I go full bore with break-neck paced action, and Flying Sparks is no exception.

Johnny has to fight a full on gang war. So does Chloe. It’s going to get really difficult for our protagonists to keep their lives secret from each other. Lots of conflict on both the personal and the plot-action level.

There’s a ton going on and I love how this story is building. Thank you everyone for supporting so far and I hope you’ll back the campaign.

Over the next week I’ll be putting up some preview art, talk about the exciting stretch goals and more.

If you missed the first book, no problem. It’s available on Amazon now. Or you can get it through the campaign as well.

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#ComicsGate Doesn’t Want Or Need Gatekeepers

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Political gatekeeping has to stop.

Last summer saw a group of guys who were forging ahead in indie comics in a way that was unique. We pushed each others books, cared about the craft, were working toward building a world where GOOD books were what mattered.

The whole point of ComicsGate was to point a middle finger toward gatekeepers, especially those on the left who try to stop right-leaning content from being seen.

Yes, a reminder is needed again that this whole movement came about because the extreme left establishment that runs comics blacklisted people on the right wing. Entire point was to counter this behavior, and to welcome independent creators with open arms who want to put BOOKS FIRST.

As I maintained this message through the fall and winter, after the crowdfunding period ended, same with the honeymoon period, some folk went into political and fiefdom finger pointing just like the establishment did. I opposed this, and I still oppose this.

Some folk saw the light, we made up. Why? Because we’re stronger together. Independents rely upon each other to boost each other because we don’t have the giant network, platform, and distribution that Disney and Warner Bros have. They are our opposition.

Now I blog today because of a group that took the IndieCron concept from me, an idea that originated on this blog. Originally, Edwin Boyette and I pushed indie books, and made an easy resource for people to find them and how well they were doing. Anyone who wanted in could be in. We weren’t gatekeepers. We were just facilitating readers connecting with creators. That’s the whole point.

Unfortunately, IndieCron got co-opted by a couple of guys who decided they would be the arbiters of what books they want seen. They became just like Disney and Warner Bros. Content they don’t like for thatever reason—politics, personal, even content they judge “aren’t going to sell” now is getting removed from their site. It’s become pointless. I’m very sad too see my idea used like this.

But there’s an answer. This is why I started ComicsCodex.com

This site is designed to promote and support ALL indies. Anyone who wants on can be on. It’s a spot for readers to connect with projects and creators. It’s not a pissing match to make some sort of nebulous statement like the other site has become.

We all need to stand together and stop the nonsense. When we divide like is being done, it divides the readers, it divides the creators, we will have LESS books getting into LESS people’s hands as a result.

My dream has always been to create something new and different. Where it’s about the love of the books. I hope you all will join me.

And join in on The Ember War before it’s too late – this book was the first one that IndieCron refused when the new owners went off the rails. None of the major YouTubers even acknowledged the book despite it being a great sci-fi book by top-tier creators who are KNOWN for performing. Readers chose the book anyway. The Ember War made $25,000+ without them. Their gatekeeping not only is pointless, but they’re not even very good at it as readers will choose what they love anyway. And they love great science fiction by an award winning author like me.

Buy it now before it closes this weekend! 

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Alterna Comics’ Peter Simeti Gets Swatted

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Things have gone beyond crazy in the comics world. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of comics Twitter hate, and I have to tell you, it’s about the least fun thing you can ever experience. For perspective, this is about people making 22 page cartoon books, and grown adults lose their minds over the smallest things, and once they do, they never stop.

It just continually escalates with this crowd. I don’t know if it’s part of the psychology of adults reading comics or what, but it keeps seeming to escalate to worse and worse problems, and it’s heartbreaking to watch as good people like Peter Simeti are dehumanized.

For a little background, Simeti and Alterna Comics came under fire last summer because they used a hashtag #MoveTheNeedle — a hashtag designed to positively talk about comic books and to “move the needle” for books fans wanted to see do better. Several people started tweeting about Alterna Comics (a company I’ve been supporting by buying every book they put out since early 2017), to try to get people to check out their books. SJWs lost their minds because Peter refused to denounce paying customers.

The usual outrage mob occurred. Industry people started attacking him. He was libeled Alt-Right, racist, white supremacist (he’s not white), the dangerous theme as we’ve always seen.

The left likes to say these labels don’t do anything, and it’s just some heated words that don’t matter… but at the same time they turn around and attempt to ruin people’s lives with them. And people do take them seriously. The whole “punch a Nazi” movement from the radical left has escalated to a point where they think it’s totally okay to utterly destroy someone just because they won’t help them attack the right at this point.

And that’s what we have with Peter. He’s just been keeping his head down, making comics, shipping comics. He hasn’t “taken sides” and because of that, his side was declared for him by people who want to force a war on every front.

Last night, when Peter was doing his Alterna Comics livestream, which is just dedicated to comics and creators in a positive way, someone called the police on him and accused him of a violent crime. Peter says, “According to the police, an anonymous caller pretending to be me, called up and said that I had ‘stabbed my girlfriend and that I was suicidal’.”

A pretty crazy accusation, and one police have to take seriously. He also says they came to his door with guns drawn and pointed in his face. If Peter would have panicked or reacted wrong, he could have been killed.

Over producing comic books. And he does so at a really cheap price point, he’s not getting rich off of this. He’s doing this out of the love of the genre, and this is what he gets for just trying to sell books to EVERYONE rather than sniping at a side over politics.

It’s gone too far. All this stuff needs to deescalate before someone actually gets hurt. This is just about making comic books, and the pain, the harassment, the heartburn, the death threats, the actual dangerous scenarios creators get put in because of politics (we’re not even influencing government policy at all with these books!) is beyond insane.

Let’s stand together and stop this nonsense.

Support Peter and Alterna Comics here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/alternacomics or order from your local comic shop.

Marvel writer Donny Cates made a statement on the subject saying: ‘This should be obvious but: disagreements about comics are not worth threatening someone’s life. Whoever did this is disgusting and I hope they are found out. This shit is NOT okay.” Because of this he’s coming under heat being called an asshole and worse.

Cates has the right of it. It needs to stop and we’re only going to show it can stop to the fans who are hanging on our words as creators if we show that left and right can find a way out of this and interact with one another in a friendly way. Our actions show the signals to the people who are overly-passionate about this stuff that it’s time to calm down. It’s up to us. Will you join me?

I’ve been making and producing my own comics for months, and taken a lot of heat for just doing that. Check it out and support the blog and independent creators: 

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