Flying Sparks Volume 2 Is Live!

Share this post

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!

Share this post

I Fought With The Mob And I Got Ties #FlyingSparks

Share this post

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.

Share this post

#ComicsGate Doesn’t Want Or Need Gatekeepers

Share this post

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! 

Share this post

Alterna Comics’ Peter Simeti Gets Swatted

Share this post

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: 

Share this post

Introducing IndyCron

Share this post

 

Back on July 30, 2018, I unveiled IndieChron, crowdfund tracking of independent comics from my site here meant to highlight indie books and show how much of a dent they’re making in the industry from their successes.

The point was this: we would promote indie books, have a good spot for people to find links and be able to surf and find books they want as a kind of news aggregator.

It was a spreadsheet, I was updating by hand with Edwin Boyette, and while it served its purpose, it was ultimately taken by a twitterite named PixelTraitor who made a much better site out of it and so I let them do that.

The purpose was always support indie comics. It was always “whoever asks to be on, can be on”. Those was always our plan as, in July, my group I was involved with was very inclusive and wanted everyone who makes and loves comics to be a part. It was a true indie revolution for the positive.

That changed over the last month as this group got taken over by alt-left internet trolls who form harassment mobs to try to harm different creators of all stripes. The site that I allowed to take over from my spreadsheet began gatekeeping books off over personal politics between creators — the antithesis of what my movement and indycron were supposed to be about.

So I sent forth with a great guy Joey D (the programmer of IndyCron) to provide what it was always intended to be: a hostpot for news for indie comics. We’re upgrading the way it’s looked at with a focus now on promotion of indie works. We want it very clear and easy to read, something folk can find any book they choose and click on the books.

The best part is we don’t only track IndieGoGo, a site with about 1/100th the amount of indie comics that Kickstarter has — but we have the main kickstarter site as well. This helps us fully get the scope of what’s out there on the market. I’m also using a news feed to talk about comics the come out through other means and even have a pull list for indie comics in the comic shop.

It’s a TON of work. Just adding these and doing the blog and sourcing news weekly is going to be a chore. I don’t get paid from it, I’m paying for the hosting and site. This is all to help indie creators and readers have a very organized site where they can peruse and find projects they want to support.

Comics on the site don’t necessarily have my endorsement, as that’s not the purpose. This is a news website like anything else. If, say, Ethan Van Sciver puts up a book, I will list it. If Gail Simone puts up a creator owned book, I will list it. We at IndyCron will not discriminate as that’s not our job or roll here, just to promote indie comics.

Anyway, the site is here, so check it out.

And if you like what I’m providing and do want to support, please just check out my book, Flying Sparks: Meta-Man Special which I released directly to Amazon. Silver Age-style fun, $4.99. An affordable and available indie comic like everyone asked for.

Share this post

Announcing The Flying Sparks Vol 2 Cover Art Team!

Share this post

We’re getting a lot prepped for the next few months of releases. Letters are getting done on chapter 4 right now, and we’re messing with some formatting issues on 5 and 6 to get this all ready to go before the campaign even starts. With our new systems in place, we’re going to have direct shipping from the printer so I can keep my time focused on writing and producing more comics, with the goal to ramp up my work so I can release books monthly by 2020.

We won’t be crowdfunding every book, but will be strategically be doing certain ones like Flying Sparks in graphic novel release format in order to raise money for art for the others. This system is already working well with our first test of the sustainable market on amazon with Flying Sparks: Meta-Man Special. It hit #1 last week upon release, and has had great reception from readers so far.

It’s getting high time we announce our cover artist for volume 2. It’s someone I’m extremely excited to work with after seeing his pin up work he did for Meta-Girl as a sketch on his YouTube channel last year.  If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s creator of Pakkins’ Land, Gary Shipman!

Gary Drawing Meta-Girl:

Gary’s a veteran artist in the industry with more than 20 years under his belt, with the aforementioned Pakkins’ Land doing great in the indie market and garnering him a good following. He’s got his 2018 sketchbook up for sale now on IndieGoGo, and is a phenomenal artist and a wonderful person. Colors will be done by volume 1’s cover colorist, Brett R. Smith, who’s worked for Marvel and did the colors for Trump’s Space Force by Chuck Dixon and Timothy Lim.

We also have a stretch goal pin up being done by another fan favorite, Miss Sashi. I’m very excited to have these folk on the team! Volume 2 really ramps up a lot of the action and the drama all the way around within the series.

If you haven’t gotten volume 1 yet, you can catch up on Amazon here:

And make sure to grab Flying Sparks: Meta-Man Special, my direct to amazon release at a low price of $4.99!

Share this post

Everyone’s Talking Meta-Man!

Share this post

What a day! Despite having a hate campaign against me where several reviewers said they couldn’t review the book because they feared harassment from ComicsGate, some reviewers were very brave with their channels. Please give them likes and subscribes to let them know that people love them for being brave and being a REAL alternative to Marvel and DC!

And Bleeding Fool did a great article on the book which you can read here: https://bleedingfool.com/comics/del-arroz-releases-flying-sparks-prequel-meta-man/

We gotta support the media that’s reinforcing positive change in the industry or we’re going to get nowhere. It’s very important to give these guys clicks and love to make sure this can be a sustainable thing, just like it’s important to come out with monthly, affordable books on the creator side.

Even though the book got up a little late in the afternoon and the print edition got delayed by Amazon (it’s up now here amazon has it at a different link), it’s doing great:

Almost to that #1 spot. Help push Meta-Man over the top! 

Share this post

Meta-Man Special is HERE!

Share this post

Been hyping this for a couple of weeks, but now Flying Sparks: Meta-Man Special is available, my first release of the year.

You can get it in Kindle format on Amazon or you can get it in CBZ from the Arkhaven store direct.

The print version is in Amazon’s system and takes a couple of days to get set up so check back regularly if you wanted that edition. I’ll make another post when it goes live.

I developed a full world for Flying Sparks, different heroes, different stories, and in different media. I’ve gotten a couple folk asking about the Origin of Meta-Man, but that I wrote as a old-time style radio drama, which unfortunately I lost the files for the recordings of it awhile ago. I’m not sure if we’re going to redo that in audio form, as a novel, or as comics yet, but we’ll get it out there to fill out that part of this world later.

This book is a Meta-Man standalone adventure, meant to be a fun book like you’d get in the Silver Age. It also answers the question as to why he cares about Chloe aka Meta-Girl which was set up in the main Flying Sparks storyline.

Mike Abuan did the art on this one, a great guy out of Southern California who just wanted to help out and be involved. Thank you Mike!

Pick up your copy of the book — as this is our first major test of the “direct to amazon” market to see if we can make sustainable comics without crowdfunding. If the base is there, I can produce a lot more books like this!

For the last fifty years, Meta-Man has been an enigma—a reclusive hero who does his duty but shies away from the public eye. What happened? Who is he?

Unlocked from the archives for the first time, you can dive into one of Meta-Man’s early adventures and get a glimpse into his heroic world as he works to stave off a plot from his nemesis Dr. Malicious and his communist commandos! Can Meta-Man prevail, or will the U.S.S.R. interfere with the American presidential election and spread the reach of the Iron Curtain across the globe? Read this action-packed superhero comic and find out!

Share this post

The Distribution Problem In Comics Is Solved

Share this post

Peter Simeti, owner of Alterna Comics, made a post inquiring as to whether would support a crowdfund to “make a new distribution system” for comics the other day. He’s interested to see what people would pay for that. Overwhelmingly, comics fans acknowledge Diamond Distribution’s role in being a problem for comics, and of course, the vast majority of Simeti’s followers voted yes, they would fund such an effort.

Here’s the thing — alternative distribution exists. Even Simeti has his own system where a comic shop can buy direct from him for cheaper than they can buy books at Diamond, though it requires certain quantities to do so. Just like all Distribution.

Comic shops have not adopted his platform very much however. Why? Because they put in their monthly orders from Diamond and 90% of the product they sell is available as a Diamond Exclusive. If they want to try to help Alterna, they’ll just buy a couple of books from there and not have to have a quantity minimum for shipping. They’re already in there to do their order, they don’t want to have to remember to do something new for $5-10 in profit a month.

Unless Alterna really creeps up on the Big-2 (which won’t happen in comic shops), their platform won’t matter.

It’s because the hard truth is the specialty comic shop is part of the distribution chain that is part of this monopoly. Marvel/DC > Diamond > Shops> Marvel/DC collecting customer base. It’s how it works. Customers buy mostly Marvel/DC at these shops and have forever. The percentages aren’t really changing. They will special order product for customers who ask for specific things that are coming out, but they’re not out there stocking the indie revolution. Regardless if my book Flying Sparks was available to every comic shop in the nation (it is, which I’ll get to), it doesn’t matter, they’re not going to grab it and feature it.

That chain isn’t something one can penetrate without being an Image Comics, and even then, Image only has a couple of big sellers and the rest are in the same obscurity land that Alterna or Kickstarter/IndieGoGo books are.

It’d be like trying to start a book store distributor for books, not carrying anything by the big 5 publishers, and throwing hands up and saying why isn’t Barnes & Noble buying from me.

The thing is, in books, other options were set up, and those other options won. They cut into the big 5’s almost full market share and now indie books represent almost 50% of the market. How did they do it?

The same way Arkhaven Comics has built what they have so far. The distribution system went out to a broader customer base, to everyone. Anyone can find the book and buy it at any time, and get it delivered free through Prime. If you don’t want to use Amazon as the outlet, you can buy direct through Arkhaven’s very own bookstore which the distributor handles its shipping and processing so they’re not in the business of holding a warehouse of print like it’s the 1980s, and hiring people to ship themselves.

That’s what a distributor does and is for. Getting the producers out of the shipping business, handling all that themselves so we are free to create product. Making the product available to people to purchse at any time. This is the modern way to do things, this is why Amazon’s won out in almost every industry so far (and why even Marvel/DC cater more toward Amazon/Comixology sales than a lot of specialty shop buyers) because there’s an ability to go wide there without a consumer having to travel ever increasing distances to a specialty book shop.

Arkhaven took great pains to set this up, has good printer discounts which make indie books cheaper and more hassle free than a lot of alternatives, it’s available in multiple formats (Kindle, CBZ digital, Print), and the books are ALWAYS available. The distribution system is a solid one and doesn’t rely on anyone else, which is the same way I’ve sold thousands of copies of my steampunk novels without the gatekeeping of big publishing or agents.

And the best part is, any quality comic creator could come, show up, make the deal and make it happen, as it has been since September lsat year. The only reason the clique on twitter won’t acknowledge it is because of a few YouTubers who don’t even represent 1% of the market share. Those YouTubers are bitter and don’t want a solution so they can keep complaining about problems. Stop listening to YouTubers who don’t care about comics, and start producing and paying attention to the actual solutions in the industry.

You can get Flying Sparks on Amazon or through the Arkhaven Bookstore direct. I ran out of my initial print run, but it’s still available cuz of this awesome distribution system–and even better, we’re able to charge lower prices than I originally anticipated because of it. Check it out and pick up the book now.

Share this post

A New Year And New Innovations In Comics

Share this post

Unlike a lot of the guys who launched crowdfunds over the summer who are still struggling to try to get their works done and haven’t figured out what to do on distribution as they’re exploring the same tired traditional options which historically don’t move the needle at all, we’re continuing to innovate and make the books available at affordable prices for all, while producing so much great content it’s mind-boggling.

For the first of the year, I’m pleased to announce you can now avoid all evil-tech and still read Flying Sparks. No supporting Amazon, no IndieGoGo, it’s available direct and in a higher quality digital format than anywhere else.

Yes it’s now available as a CBZ from the Arkhaven Direct store! Read the book that’s launching my comic career, and get on board now, because I just finished up my dialogue edits for Flying Sparks Volume 2: Mob Ties and it’s going to blow you away.

Buy the CBZ here:

http://arkhavencomics.com/product/flyingsparks/

 

Share this post