Image Comics CFO’s Thin Defense Of Attacking Christians

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On Sunday, the CFO and one of the original founders of Image Comics, Erik Larsen, posted a tweet mocking Christians. It was duly reported by Bounding Into Comics as something egregious and insensitive to the religious — especially done on Palm Sunday.  Many people on Twitter were offended by the tweet, and Erik Larsen joined in the fray himself to defend his insensitive remarks.

There’s been a curious silence by Image Comics, who is already under fire because one of their creators was trying to harass a veteran by trying to stir up rumors about his discharge (which was an honorable one), going so far as to state she wished that he had died during his tour of duty. It appears there is a problem at the company with an extremist group trying to attack different classes of citizens.

Several comic fans posited — if he had made an image mocking Mohammed during Ramadan, what would the comic companies and media react?

Larsen’s response was rather unkind to those who were offended:

Larsen hasn’t openly attacked Christianity in his comic, but he has placed President Trump in a villainous role in his Savage Dragon comic, creating an outcry among conservatives last year who saw Larsen’s “heroes” attacking the president in a quite literal fashion.

His defense of his actions rings thin to commenters on the matter, who very rightly see this as an anti-Christian middle finger on social media, on top of the toxic politics that’s appearing in his and other Image books. There appears to be a culture problem at the company where they can’t focus on making fun comic content — but they’re constantly signaling what fans they don’t want, and turning readers away because of their extreme views.

Readers also note that prominent conservatives are never allowed to shrug off anything they say as “just a joke”. Why should it be different for left-wing creators who show their intense bigotry through offensive commentary?

Calls to boycott Image Comics are now sprouting up across the internet. We will follow this story and report if real apology comes down from Larsen or the company, or if there will be any change within Image Comics related to these events.

In the meantime, if you want to support content of a creator who doesn’t hate you, read my new novel, The Stars Entwined. It’s getting comparisons to Babylon 5 and classic Star Trek. Join modern readers in building a movement of fun, classic stories again, and check out The Stars Entwined here.

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Contributing To A New Site

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I’ve been reviewing comics on here for some time, lately with my quick shot simple reviews as of late to try to give a feel for what comics I’m liking reading in this environment where so much of the industry is either bad or full of toxic negative identity politics.  But I”m pleased to announce that as of yesterday, I joined the team at Bounding Into Comics.

This site has been doing work for a long time, posting comic news, reviews and interviews. They were the only comic site to even give mention to The Ember War comic adaptation, that as a novel series, sells better than any Marvel or DC comic out there except the bigger events. It’s got a professional team with a great property, so why did it not get mentioned?

We know why. The comic news world is almost worse fake news than the legacy news networks. They’ve become social justice propaganda outlets which has overridden their primary function of reporting on comics.

But Bounding Into Comics has different voices, ones who still care about comic books, which is why I’m proud to join them.

I’ll primarily be reviewing books by Valiant Comics, Alterna Comics, and Akhaven Comics, with a few other indies scattered here and there. People need to be exposed to comics beyond just Marvel/DC and reviewing the alternatives, even if it gets less clicks than the legacy names, is the way to make sure the industry is healthy and thrives. I’m committed to doing it, so look for my reviews over there (which i’ll cross post to here as much as I can).

The first I did was Right Ho, Jeeves #2, which came out earlier this week. You can read the review here. 

If you like my review work or thoughts on stories, you’ll probably like my stories even better. Support my Patreon for a new short story and more every month. 

 

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Quick Shot Comic Reviews: March 1 Edition

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My pull list was fairly small this week, so I only have 3 books to review:

Ninja-K vs. The Valiant Universe #2

This is an underrated little title. I’m not sure it takes place within the general Valiant continuity, as I believe this was originally meant for a tie in for a live action web series Valiant was going to try to do with the character, but that project went off the rails. We ended up with this comic instead. Ninja-K is on the run after having stolen some weapon from MI-6. All the valiant heroes are after him and he’s just trying to survive.

It’s really fun, high action, good character development, it’s really everything I want out of the Valiant universe but have trouble getting in the main titles that seem to get bogged down in politics or boring backstory in the main titles as of late,  not living up to the beautiful art they typically procure.

This art  is  a little more standard comic  than their big books, but it works really well. I highly recommend this series but I’d read a little of the first Ninja-K series (complete already), Unity, X-O Manowar so you can familiarize yourself with some of the characters first. It works without that, but you may care more if you know them.

8/10

Silencer #2

DC’s  John Romita Jr. Book  is back for its second issue. I feel like he settled into the art a little better in this issue which makes it flow a lot more nicely. When I read this, I thought, “wow, here’s a character with a motive, who’s developing, who can change and isn’t stagnant for ‘iconic’ status, and it’s a breath of fresh air for the DC Universe.”

And that  about sums it up.  Silencer was visited by Talia Al Ghul last issue, trying to force her into her old life as an assassin, even though she’s trying to raise a family. This issue deals with fallout from that as she takes an aggressive stance toward trying to get away from it. Great action, cliffhanger ending, and I’m excited to see where this series goes. Best new character from the Big-2 in over a decade.

9/10

X-O Manowar #12

If you’re familiar with  me at  all, you know this is my favorite comic out there. I tell people on  repeat to pick it  up. In this arc, Aric has become Emperor of a planet Gorin — and in peace, things have gone drastically wrong. There’s a planet-wide famine,  and his most trusted advisors have plotted  to remove him from his position, and succeeded. He’s left stranded and naked in a desert, and has to fight his way out.

This issue hit on every emotional cyllinder. Matt Kindt, the writer, spent so long setting up this world building and emotional stakes for what occurs here, it’s pretty amazing, and  here it’s  really starting to pay off on  the personal level for Aric. I’m pretty sad that we’ll be leaving the planet Gorin after all this is done (the next arc says it’s Aric’s return to Earth) but this has been a masterpiece so far.

My only complaint is the art quality on this arc has dropped pretty drasticlally. The first 3 arcs had some of the best art I’ve ever seen in comics, so it’s a tough bar, but they should have rotated back to one of those rather than bringing in someone with such a drastically different style.

9/10

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Quick Shot Comic Reviews – Valentines Day Week!

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Reviewing up a selection of comics I read this week in brief snippets:

Bane: Conquest #9: The start of a new arc here, where Bane is assembling a team to go after the dastardly secret society Kobra. Interesting introductions to several characters, though a little slower than a lot of the book has been so far. A set up issue that needs more context. Art seemed to go a little less detailed in backgrounds and the like too, felt a little rushed. 7/10

Rebel Dead Revenge #1: Written and drawn by Gary Kwapisz, I wasn’t sure what to expect on this. We have a horror tale set in the civil war where the devil’s starting to take control of people via his evil magic. It was about the most gripping comic I’ve read this year and I’m excited for the next issue. 10/10

Batman: White Knight #5: Definitely a middle issue, but Batman is slowly losing everyone and it’s amping up. Very interesting as is the whole concept of Neo-Joker. This series is coming along very nicely. 9/10

 

Dark Ark #5: Cullen Bunn’s first volume of his evil Noah’s ark series wraps up this week. Very interesting issue. I love how it went. Even though I’m not usually a horror fan this had a lot of compelling concepts. It’s kinda interesting how both this book and Armstrong below used a Noah’s Ark element and both of them (spoilers) killed off unicorns.Great comic overall. 8/10

Armstrong and the Vault Of Spirits #1: A bit of a throwaway one shot, but this had some good fun for it. I don’t love Fred Van Lente’s humor a lot of the time — and he loves to insert identity politics jokes into those, but he didn’t really do that in this issue — this seemed to be a sort of reintroduce all of t he characters in this Valiant Universe realm more than anything else. Art was very pretty, story was inconsequential but enjoyable enough. 7/10

If you like  the comics I like, you’ll probably like my fiction writing too. Check out my highly reviewed For Steam And Country, which will also be available on audiobook as soon as Amazon approves it!

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Quick Shot Comic Reviews

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I’m back for another round of brief reviews of all the comics this week as I couldn’t pick just one. I missed last week so there’s a smattering of titles in here.

Go West #1 (Alterna) by Gareth Gunn and Saint Yak

A post apocalyptic horror about a man who’s family gets slaughetered and he goes out to get revenge. A lot of visceral moments, art is nice. I like the simple, yet very clearly horror coloring style, it works well with the book. Overall, I think I typically see more vignette pieces from Alterna that don’t offer enough worldbuilding for the complete story, but what we do see is always fun and very easy to justify with their low price point. Enjoyable first issue.  8/10

 

Silencer #1 (DC) by Dan Abnett and John Romita Jr.

I picked this up on a whim. Art wise you like Romita or you don’t. I tend to like him because he’s very expressive. This book really is a great opener for a comic. Lots of personal drama, good tie in to the DCU, fresh characters who you care about in personal situations and good battle alike. A very promising start.  10/10

Ninja-K #3 (Valiant)  by Christos Gage and Tomas Giorello

Giorello is one of my favorite artists working today, and this book is absolutely beautiful visually. The story has some good action and an interesting backstory of a Ninja-C from the program. I think Valiant has a tendency to get repetitive in its overarching storylines and pushes a dark “you’re not really fighting for good like you thought you were!” a little too often. It gets tired after a few books of it, but on its own this issue stood well. Valiant really needs to focus their worldbuilding and line so it’s a little tighter. 8/10

Quantum & Woody #2 (Valiant)  by Dan Killbesmith and Kano.

The layouts on this are a jumbled mess, hard to read, and the storyline is very choppy. I gave it a second shot after the first issue but I think this is it for me. The art looks pretty enough but as a comic, this is pretty close to unreadable.  3/10

X-O Manowar #11 (Valiant) by Matt Kindt and Ryan Bodenheim

After what I believe was a filler issue to give purely villain background, we’re back to Aric and his planet where he’s become Emperor and everything’s fallen apart. Bounty Hunters come to take him down, which we find out is a betrayal. It’s got some call back to the previous series (Kindt really likes the character Gin-GR I see) and is the most standard comic storyline of the series so far. Thoroughly enjoyed the story. It’s also the weakest art of the series so far with the new artist. Coloring’s off in spots and Aric’s beard looks unnatural, so points dinged for what otherwise was a great book. 8/10

Robyn Hood: The Curse #1 (Zenescope) Chuck Dixon and Julius Abrera

Zenscope has been running with this modernized Robin Hood character for awhile, but this is the first I’ve read because of Dixon’s involvement. Art is phenomenal, 90s Top Cow style, while Dixon spun a very fun tale. There’s some cheesecake lesbian innuendo which I laughed at, but overall this is a good start to a miniseries 9/10.

 

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Comic Review: Right Ho, Jeeves #1

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Today marked the release of Akrhaven Comics’ 2nd outing, the first issue of the adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse’s classic, Right Ho, Jeeves. I’m a reader who’s coming in not having read the book in which it’s been adapted from, so I can’t comment on how faithful it is to the original, and I come at this purely from a standpoint of “is this a good comic book?”

What’s interesting is by the nature of this story is there’s a lot of potential for talking heads. When I mention this in comics, it usually means a lot of “telling” or having people talk back and forth which doesn’t communicate a story well in a visual manner. Dialogue drives this book. It’s a humorous book based on wit and character alone, and it’s actually very daring as an adaptation as a second outing because of that.

I’m pleased to say that Dixon and Kwapisz managed to change the sceneries, the characters, and have them DO things to keep the story driving and flowing. It’s a cut above most comic books I see when it comes to heavy dialogue,and it’s a testament to the skill of the artist and writer how well they pulled this off.

Dixon introduces all of the characters in the story on the first page, giving a pertinent description along with a visual. The visual is where this really takes off as the characters are so well defined and cartoon-ish looking, just like they should be for a comedy like this. They nailed the classic cartoonist feel to a tee, and it instantly prepared the reader fo what was ahead.

As the scenes ensue, there’s a couple of plots going on — one in which Bertram (the main character and narrator) is forced to get a job, and another in which Augustus Fink-Nottle, a silly looking man, dresses as the devil to try to impress a woman at a party, and of course it goes disastrously wrong.

What’s amazing to me is how adept Dixon is at giving the characters different voices in the dialogue, while simultaneously ensuring that the reader has to read this in their minds with a British accent. Coming off reading a vastly different book by Dixon in Robyn Hood #1, in which he captures a modern girl playing superhero in her young 20s in America, the pure depth of voice and breadth Dixon can reach is really astounding.

Likewise the art by Kwapisz is amazing. There’s some extremely detailed panels, keeping with the cartoonish styles, but he even shifts the tone of his art for flashbacks depending on the vantage point. There’s one scene in particular in which Fink-Nottle sees himself a a hero and the art switches to his vision of the world and it’s very nice to look at. Bonus points to Kwapisz as he drew horses in the same cartoony manner and pulled those off — as any comic artist will tell you, horses are extremely hard to draw, let alone give distinct character like in this book.

This isnt’ an action-adventure comic. And it would be foolish to read it as such. This is a literary work turned into a literary comic with humor and cartoonishness playing a large part of the theme and aesthetic. And by Jove, Dixon/Kwapisz nailed it. If Arkhaven keeps up this kind of quality, they’ll be competing with the big companies in no time.

9/10

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A Crowdfund to Help Will Caligan – Blacklisted For His Conservative Thoughts

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I know everyone is waiting on my information with SFWA where I have hard evidence the board of the organization conspired to ensure I was blacklisted within a single day of my application, and then took a full month to invent a reason to justify it. It was pure discrimination over my being an outspoken political figure, and even a lot of authors on the left are seeing how dangerous the precedent is of turning the organization from a professional guild with objective standards to “we’re going to let in who we like or not.”

But there’s something far more important than me that needs addressing.

Will Caligan came to national prominence last week, as PJ Media exposed that he was blacklisted as a comic artist because of stating his very reasonable thoughts against a male on male sexual assault that was in the media at the time. The outrage brigade went after him and took away his jobs as an artist, urged the blacklisting of him from other companies, and tried to defame and destroy him.

Whereas I’m a commentator for large media outlets, Will is just your average guy trying to make a living. Moreover, he’s a disabled veteran who served America proudly, and is a true brave warrior. The fact that he would face this kind of discrimination is appalling and we must do everything we can for him. We cannot leave someone like Will behind.

And we’re not. That’s why there’s a new crowdfund campaign to keep Will working in comics. Vox Day has donated any property published through Castalia House — backers choice, for Will to be able to draw via adaptation. As of this writing, it’s already raised $11,600 for him. Moreover, comic legend, Chuck Dixon, creator of Bane for Batman, has donated his time in order to pen a script for Will to draw.

Will Caligan’s Comic

Please support this effort and help a great guy who’s been blacklisted.

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Bounding Into Comics Ember War Interview

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Bounding Into Comics interviewed me yesterday about The Ember War, which is linked here. Interesting how they’re the only comic media outlet to pick up the announcement, with The Ember War books outselling the vast majority of Marvel/DC comics. It’s almost like the media doesn’t want any competition to the Big 2. Oh well, we’ll show them how to make great comics anyway! And Bounding’s work is appreciated. Very nice interview which you can read here.

If you want to help me produce comics faster, try supporting my Patreon!  I give you short stories, deleted scenes and first drafts from my books and I use the proceeds to fund artistic work. Those who have signed up already tell me it’s great value. Come join us! 

 

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Comics Publishing Sinks To New Low In Blackballing

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Megan Fox breaks it down in a crazy new expose on what’s happening at the independent comic level. Marvel wouldn’t even HIRE someone who’s conservative in the first place, so this ends up the last place Wil Caligan can get a job.

Caligan, a conservative Christian, had little chance of survival in that environment. One hint of wrongthink could spell curtains for any artist, writer or producer in today’s comics climate. In Caligan’s case, he made the catastrophic mistake of voicing his opinion about a pop culture story about a straight man rebuffing a kiss from a transwoman.

A few weeks ago, rapper Ginuwine was caught in an uncomfortable situation where a transgendered male to female tried to kiss him. When he rebuffed the advances, the internet accused him of transphobia. The lesson here seems to be that if Harvey Weinstein tries to kiss a woman, that’s assault. But if a transgendered person tries to force someone to kiss him there is a requirement for the victim to prove a lack of transphobia by complying. Caligan posted his thoughts on this situation and then all hell broke loose.

It’s absolutely crazy that he can’t state what he thinks about a really dangerous sexual assault on his own facebook page without the PC police trying to destroy his livelihood. This is what anyone who speaks out faces  I talk about this article and more on my YouTube:

We have to start supporting people like Wil to allow artists to speak freely and create the art they want at the independent level. The time for buying products from people who hate us and blackball us is over.

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Richard Fox’s The Ember War: Comic Adaptation!

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Yesterday, Castalia House made a big announcement,  which is going to make a much bigger splash in the entertainment world than a lot of people might realize. I’ve signed with their new comic imprint to adapt Richard Fox’s bestselling military science fiction novel The Ember War into a graphic novel. Fox is one of the biggest science fiction authors in the field right now, including having won the Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction last year.

The Ember War itself is a masterpiece of military science fiction. When I first read the book I immediately messaged Fox with, “Wow, this reads just like a movie.” And it does. It’s fast paced sci-fi action with an incredibly epic plot and memorable characters. If I were in Hollywood, I’d be optioning this for a film immediately. It’s really that good.

I’m not in Hollywood, but I am in comics.

Vox Day and I have been talking about Alt-Hero, brainstorming for our co-written work in the universe for the last couple of months, and as he’s ramped up his new comic publishing house Arkhaven Comics, he was looking for additional content to keep the ball rolling while they’re building up the brand. Both being huge military science fiction fans, we started talking what genre books would be the best to adapt over several conversations. Between Vox and I, we have access to a lot of the greats, and you’d be very surprised as to some of the books we could get the license to and were in our discussions. But The Ember War kept coming up in those conversations as one of the best, and being so hot in the modern market, it made a lot of sense to pursue adapting this book in comic form.

We both contacted Richard Fox independently, and he was about as gracious as possible with the idea of his world being turned into comics. We’ve had several great conversations about a lot of things he’d like to see, and questions I’ve had to make sure we create the most faithful adaptation possible.

I’ve actually had the news for a couple of weeks, all the while I’ve been working on diligently on rereading the novel and starting on the script. You might have seen my social media posts about my “super secret comic project”. This is it. My paper copy of the Ember War is dog-eared in more than a hundred places, highlighted all over the place, I’ve pulled direct lines and descriptions from it. We’ve also got all the descriptions for the physical appearances of the main characters done, which Richard Fox worked on with me. It’s been a lot of work so far but it will be well worth it!

Right now issue 1 is on track to be written script-wise this week. We have a phenomenal artist who’s one of the best in the industry lined up for this, who has also worked on a lot of books you’ll probably recognize. I can’t wait for that to be announced. And it will be soon. His work is absolutely beautiful and will be great on this series.

As Castalia House mentioned in their announcement, this book will break down into 5 issues, about perfect for graphic novel form. We expect to have the first issue ready to go by summer, and barring any timing issues on the art front, the full graphic novel complete by the end of the year.

For now, you canhttps://www.amazon.com/Ember-War-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B010PSY6YW/delarroz-20 if you want to get in depth with the universe. Or if you’re new to me, check out my book, For Steam And Country. 

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