Pleased to announce I’ll be livestreaming with Chuck Dixon on Wednesday, August 1st at 7 PM EST to talk about our crowdfunding projects, the state of the comic industry, the changes to the future, and I’ll probably gush at Chuck over his 90s Robin run, cuz Stephanie Brown is bae.
Watch the stream here and please share!
Support Trump’s Space Force by Chuck Dixon:
Support Flying Sparks by Jon Del Arroz:
Over the weekend, I launched a new page in conjunction with Edwin Boyette and popular YouTuber That Umbrella Guy. The page is meant to track the sales of Comicsgate-based projects in order to provide an aggregate amount of sales, plus help people find new projects to back. Our intention is to capture all of ComicsGate within the page and have some nice updates over time so we can see how our sub-industry is going that started with the mega-success, Jawbreakers: Lost Souls.
It’s called Indiechron and the name comes from Comicchron, the traditional comics sales tracker.
The page is in its infancy, as we are just coming up with the concept and trying to get this going. I’ll pin it to the top of my main page earlier so there will be an easy link in the navigation bar for people who want to check on it. We’ll update every few days at the least and are trying to add projects as people tell us about them.
If anyone out there is good at WordPress I can use some technical help because as of right now there’s a small issue with the width of it and I can’t seem to push the width wider. Other than that, we’re open to feedback on how to present the content. This is a work in progress.
If you want to support ComicsGate, make sure to pick up Flying Sparks on IndieGoGo! Flying Sparks features writing by me, a cover by Jon Malin, cover colors by Brett. R Smith, now unlocked an interior chapter cover by Will Caligan, and we’re fast approaching a stretch goal to have a beautiful print of Meta-Girl done by Timothy Lim. A lot of the community is involved. Check it out here.
Now over $10,000 in backing!!!
Part of the reason my stuff keeps selling is I’m constantly selling. It’s a pain in the butt, it’s not very fun, it makes my social media accounts not very fun too (I’m sorry friends!) but it’s a part of the game in order to get the next leg up. I’m focused on business first, and over the last several days, I’ve hit a zillion livestreams to promote Flying Sparks. Here’s some of them and I’m going to be continuing this blitz over the next week:
This one was really fun, focused on writing/art and craft:
Ian Miles Cheong:
Weaponized Nerd Rage:
Mike S. Miller:
I think I even did a couple of more but I’ve been run so ragged the last few days I don’t remember. If i missed your channel, sorry! This is probably more video content of me than you ever wanted but here you go. Every one of these helps connect with new readers, and that’s so important. Gotta put in work.
Thanks everyone who had me on, is going to have me on and especially those who watched and backed Flying Sparks!
They tried to shut me out when my first book came out, removing me as a speaker from my beloved BayCon and turning all of my friends against me. That book went on to be nominated for the Dragon Award.
They tried to mock me and tell me I was “applying for a job at Marvel Comics the wrong way” blasting a nobody author with fake news when I called Marvel out for blacklisting conservatives. That got me a job at The Federalist and expanded my reach like crazy.
They tried to shut me down when I whistleblew on the publishing industry, and how they discriminate against male authors. My next book went on to sell even better and won an award.
They then mocked me, sent a whole mob from a big New York Publisher to try to diminish and lie about me and claim I didn’t actually accomplish anything. That made me a successful crowdfunder.
They are running scared. We are actually changing the culture with every project we push, every friend we make, every person who reads. They smell defeat, and they’re lashing out harder than ever before.That’s what this is all about.
Do not fear them. They can’t actually hurt you. Some of their lies will sting, some of the friendships you lose will be a bummer, but the people who abandon you are not your friends anyway, the lies will glide off you because you have the truth on your side.
God is with us. We are fighting against evil. The evil took the form of corporations controlling the entertainment industry. They did so unopposed for decades, but we are able to get our own platforms out and get heard now. Speak loudly. Speak without fear. Speak the truth. Good will come. We are victorious already because He was victorious for us.
Thank you everyone for funding Flying Sparks in 3 days. This is incredible and it’s all your support. This is a big signal to the establishment publishing, that’s why they’re spending the last 3 days trashing me very publicly.
But now it’s in different products, different genres, different audiences. They can’t say “it’s not real” because the dollars are there and VERY public. Everyone wants good, fun artistic projects like science fiction and comics used to have. And we have a lot more coming. Help us get to the stretch goals so we can commision art from disabled veteran Will Calligan and community organizer Timothy Lim. Both have been target of attacks like me and I can’t wait to commission their work!
Tor Books is very scared of me. So scared they’re trying to shut my promotional platforms down by having their followers mass report me after they harass and gaslight me. It’s absolutely crazy that a company would do this, but this is where we are in 2018. Why? I’m a #1 Amazon Bestseller, a successful crowdfunder, an award winning author. All without their approval.
I mentioned the other day how Tor employee and the EIC’s wife Teresa Neilsen Hayden started harassing me on Twitter by making a passive aggressive snide remark on my character and telling her following I’m not really a #1 Amazon Bestseller (I am). I naturally sent her a screen shot back to prove the fact, but it didn’t matter. This was the first time she had interacted with me ever, and it was an attack from her position at Tor with the obvious attempt of trolling an independent author:
Teresa spent a whole day harassing me and fellow conservative author Robert Kroese. She’d tap in threads, make absurd claims specifically with the intention of getting us angry by broadcasting complete lies, and then block anyone other than the authors themselves who said anything about it to make it appear as if there was an echo chamber responding only on her side and that there as no dissent from what she was saying. She spent a FULL DAY targeting me over and over and then blocked me once I posted too many facts about her falsehoods. She sent dozens of tweets in this harassment effort.
After it was determined she couldn’t get away with lying about my Bestseller status, she immediately proceeded to bash the bestseller tag as if it were no accomplishment. She spent another FULL DAY doing this over multiple tweets, engaging a hugo nominee in the process to help make the attack escalate and create a “pile on” effect.
Then she had the gall to act as if I were the aggressor for questioning why this is okay with Tor that someone very public from their company goes out and harasses independent authors and tries to knock them down as they’re getting to a successful point. That is not an ethical thing to do with your competition as a large corporation, after all:
But that didn’t stop there. Even though I’m blocked, not responding, have moved on for my life. All of yesterday was still a “I hate JDA even though I’ve never interacted with him” day on her feed with multiple character assassination attempts:
Ironically, she most recently has accused me of “predatory behavior” which is exactly what she’s doing from her position at Tor:
She even got other authors like Steven Brust, Wesley Chu, and James SA Corey to jump on a pile on of me and start making nasty tweets about me, mocking my bestseller status. But what did Twitter do? Well, her fans mass reported me in an effort to hold me down.
Twitter blamed the victim. Why? Because I’m conservative and they’re the liberal publishing establishment. Now I’m out of being able to use my promotional platform for a week because Tor Books harassed me. This is more than messed up, and I believe it was completely intentional on Teresa’s part. I’m now shut down and unable to promote my books to my 5,000 fans for a whole week:
It makes sense. I was getting HUGE momentum. I still have my #1 Bestseller, they can’t take that away from me. But the very week after that, I’ve launched a crowdfund campaign in a completely different genre – superhero comics, and that’s proving to do well also. In just 3 days I’ve gotten 95% of my funding goal of $6,000. This scares the hell out of the establishment because not only am I doing great on Amazon, but now I’m showing I can be a fundraising machine for creative projects.
Moreover, my books are all better than theirs. Even though Tor author Steven Brust wants to throw shade at me without reading my books in an effort to keep the gatekeeping going:
I can’t promote my project anymore. They took that away from me, and that is very wrong for a big company like Tor to do on every level. Please go out and share this post and share Flying Sparks with the community. They’re not going to hold me back or slow me down for a second. I’ll just find other avenues and you will NOT silence me, Teresa.
Working in comics has always been my dream. Well before I finished my first novel, I’d been writing comic scripts. I worked on a viariety of web comics with different artists of varying amateur skill who would pair with me… most only lasting about 4-5 pages before they burnt out and wanted new and fresh projects (artists are really flakey!). I’d written a few shorts that appeared in a couple of anthologies as well, just to try to test my abilities as a writer and make sure I could make a script flow. But I wanted to have the big show, a real comic book that was serialized like the old books I used to read.
It wasn’t long before I began craving a superhero universe of my own. Flying Sparks actually started as a “hey what if I told the perspective of a villain who’s really just like a fence trying to make his way and survive, and he really doesn’t want anyone to find out about his powers or business…” and eventually i hit upon the character of Meta-Girl.
Meta-Girl To The Rescue!
Meta-Girl is really a combination of a few archetypes in comics to form the ideal character I want to write. Ever since I came across Chuck Dixon’s Robin in the 90s, I had a fascination with Stephanie Brown — a plucky girl with a lot of will who refuses to take no for an answer and the tenacity to keep at it through all adversity. I also really liked the relationship dynamics between her and Tim Drake, as it reminded me a lot of the old Spider-Man books where they’d focus a lot on personal plots with Mary Jane in his younger days. I took a little bit of Stephanie, but i didn’t like the dark aspects of her background or of the Bat-Family in general… so I threw a little Supergirl into the character.
I then thought it would be fun to make her have gadgets and not actually powers. It meant she’d be starting from scratch, not naturally stronger than everyone, not able to fight, she just has to use her smarts, her willpower, and the advantages her gadgets gave her. Maybe this came from my Steampunk fascination, where gadgets really rule the day (and you can read about in my primary novel series), but I shook all those aspects together and came up with Meta-Girl. You’ll see she has a real Superman-like character in the background, Meta-Man, and a strange relationship that’s guardian-like as he looks over her. I keep this a secret as to how they’re all related and what the backstory is, but I reveal it in a later book. The world I built goes back all the way to the 1950s and the Korean War, and there’s a lot of depth that doesn’t make the page that I hope to be able to revisit in future stories.
I even made 2 scripts for Meta-Man audio dramas to fill out the oldschool period piece aspect of his vibe.
But this stuff is all in a folder, waiting to be developed. And that’ll come later, God and readers willing.
Up, Up, And Away!
Today, we have the first 3 issues of Flying Sparks on IndieGogo, and the main story is about Meta-Girl and the original villain, Johnny Benvinuti, as their paths cross, intersect. It’s a hero and villain in love, but neither of them know about each others’ secret lives. These first three chapters really set the world, the stage for a groundwork of an ongoing series where it’s about 1/2 relationship drama and 1/2 superhero story. My focus is on characterization as always, and I think you’ll really fall in love with these characters.
My artists are a big portion of what makes this awesome, an they did a great job. I have Jethro Morales, a long time collaborator, doing art. He comes from Dynamite’s Green Hornet and Dejah Thoris, and my colorist Sanju Nivangune comes from Zenescope entertainment. Both long time industry veterans and it shows in the quality of the art. It’s worth buying just for them alone.
This is my first foray into comics crowdfunding, and I’m nervous. This is my dream, this is what I want to be doing even more than my novels, and this is what I hope the future will hold for me. It all begins with Flying Sparks, and if the readers like it, there’s a lot more where this is coming from.
My goal is a modest $6,000. I’ll be honest, the goal even doesn’t cover the art costs of the issue, but just the printing, production, and the brand new cover by my great new friends Jon Malin and Brett R. Smith. My hopes though is to do quite a bit more than this in order to really build this Flying Sparks universe out into something special in these years to come. I’m okay with funding at this point because I want this story to get out to the world and to push comics forward and change the industry.
We can make this happen as a community, and I thank every one of you for being there with me on the journey so far. This community has been so amazing, and so supportive, I’m glad I have the best fans and friends in the world here to take this next step with me.
So let’s see how it goes. If you’re on my mailing list, you received an 8-Page preview on Friday. I hope you liked it, and i hope you’ll check out Flying Sparks on IndieGoGo.
Please share with your friends!!
Most people who frequent here are familiar with the movement, but former D.C. Comics artist Mike S. Miller, who’s currently running the Lonestar IndieGoGo campaign, wrote a nice analysis about the movement for people who aren’t quite familiar with it:
As the comic book world braces for its annual mecca to San Diego Comic Con, there is a storm brewing beneath the feet of its biggest publishers: Comicsgate.
There has been a growing dissatisfaction with the direction main stream comic books have been going in the past few years. In a time of unprecedented media attention for comic books from the three biggest publishers in the industry, and a period of economic growth unseen in the last thirty years… the comic book industry lost over seventy million dollars last year.
But that money hasn’t all just disappeared. A burgeoning new movement that has been labeled ‘Comicsgate’, has managed to pick up enough of those lost readers to sell over one million dollars in the past three months, and the movement is growing every day.
What is ‘Comicsgate’?
Comicsgate is an alliance of comic book fans, critics, and creators who have found common cause in standing up against what they see as a hard push by social justice warriors into their hobby. A push that has corrupted or politicized the industry they have spent a lifetime cultivating. Fans have simply been walking away from the hobby in droves (as the industries falling profits attest). Critics entertain those disgruntled fans through social media and YouTube channels, giving shape to a movement that has been years, if not decades, in the making. Creators, some of whom have been the subject of blacklisting at companies run by said SJW’s, have found common cause with critics and fans alike, and thus was born an alliance: Comicsgate.
Who is ‘Comicsgate’?
Comicsgate is the people who share the same belief that those who run the major publishing companies in the comics industry are treating their fans poorly. In part due to their constant pushing of social justice or other political ideologies. In part due to some creators and editors outright insulting the fans who disagree with said ideologies.
Comicsgate is not about political ideology or identity. There are conservatives and liberals, there are black and white, gay and straight, Christian and Atheist, and everything under the sun. Where comicsgate people disagree is not where they put their focus. It’s where they agree that they ally: Comics are about entertainment, not political or ideological proselytizing. That is the line in the sand that has brought a disparate group of people together to change comics as a medium back to what it was when they fell in love with the genre.
The movement means business.
A few months ago one of the better known critics in the Comicsgate movement was told to ‘put up or shut up’ about his critique of comic books. Richard C. Meyer, aka ‘Diversity and Comics’ on Youtube and Twitter, took the challenge to heart. Hiring Marvel artist Jon Malin and colorist Brett Smith to create his own comic book, ‘Jawbreakers’ and sell it through Indiegogo. And did it sell. To date, the book has sold over $364,000 and climbing. No small feat for an independent comic. And just the start of a wave of comics in the Comicsgate alliance.
Next came Ethan Van Sciver’s ‘Cyberfrog: Blood Honey’, a re-birth of the Green Lantern artist’s 25 year old creator owned title, which has broken all records in the crowd-funding of comic books at a whopping $443,000 and growing every day.
Mitch Breitweiser’s ‘Red Rooster: The Golden Age’ launched just a few weeks ago, and has already broken the $90,000 mark.
Chuck Dixon’s ‘Space Force’ launched out of the gate last week and has reached $30,000 already.
And latest to the game, launching just this weekend and already breaking the $25,000 barrier, is Injustice artist Mike S. Miller’s ‘Lonestar: Heart of the Hero’.
These, along with a handful of other titles have cumulatively brought the fledgling movement of Comicsgate projects to a height no one could have imagined three short months ago when Jawbreakers first hit the crowd-funding platform. And with the audience of the critics and the creators alike growing day after day, this seems to be a movement with real feet.
Watch out Marvel, DC, and Image comics. The customers you’ve been taking for granted have found a new venue for spending their hard earned money. With a little luck, and a bit of business sense, the Comicsgate alliance could well shape the future of the comic book industry itself.
The movement is thriving so much, a million dollars is nothing to scoff at, especially where the industry is at overall right now. It’s only going to keep moving as well. I’m coming out with my crowdfund for my comic The Ember War, the story of a hero and villain in love. If you want to support comicsgate, support this because it’s got writing by me, cover by Graham Nolan, and there’s stretch goals to include even more people. Check it out on IndieGoGo now!
Honestly, it’s starting to look like we have our own little pocket industry here. While the books I’m talking about now aren’t making the $300-400k amount, they are making far more than most other first time comic kickstarters that I see launching.
The most recent success story is Mike S. Miller’s Lonestar: Heart Of A Hero. Miller is another former DC Artist who has an extreme amount of artistic talent, and his superhero has a cool patriotic theme which appeals very well to our budding movement. He just launched over the weekend and already has made more than $20,000 for a 48-Page book.
Shortly before that was Trump’s Space Force, by veteran creators Chuck Dixon, Timothy Lim and Brett R. Smith. This over-the-top pro-Trump concept has been on the minds of many ever since Trump announced a space force, and with this level of talent, it has the whole industry excited. In its first week, the single-issue book has made more than $25,000.
Mitch Breitweiser’s Red Rooster has also reached near-Ethan Van Sciver level of success since it’s come out. His new superhero is a very unique concept and with him and his wife doing most of the artistic work, and friend of the movement Mark Pellegrini on writing duties, people took to this project very early on. It should break $90k this week.
And Blake Northcott, writer of Aspen Comics’ Executive Asisstant Iris put out a kickstarter for a new novel, not even a comic. It broke $10,000 in tis first weekend and is on its way up, and I haven’t seen many prose books do this kind of funding at all.
The train keeps rolling. This movement is not just something stuck on a couple of lucky YouTube stars, but it’s people committed to fun comic books across the board. Even with so many projects in just a span of a couple of months, these books keep funding — which means there’s a lot of readers out there who are very excited for the movement. It’s rolling. This is the summer where the comic industry changes. We are building something new together.
Comics are a lot like science fiction, and I’m working to change that industry as well. I write fun books just like the comics I’m about to put out, and if you haven’t checked out For Steam And Country, now’s the time. A sequel novella, “Knight Training” is coming out this week, followed by 2 more full books this summer. It’s the #SummerOfSteampunk. #MoveTheNeedle in Science Fiction and read For Steam And Country today!
Ever since I came out of the closet with how I voted, it’s been one thing after another in an attempt to gatekeep me out of the industry. It started with a convention removing me from their speaker circuit as most readers are aware, with many of the same people from that convention then enacting a full ban in an unprecedented move at Worldcon, so they literally wouldn’t have to even see a conservative because it might trigger them.
When I started getting big last summer, the lone professional writer’s guild Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America decided had their president go on a blacklisting and defamation campaign—not only to try to make sure markets wouldn’t publish me, but asking authors to not speak with me.
Her antics led to attacks from big NYT Bestsellers like John Scalzi and Chuck Wendig, both of whom would ramble about me on their blogs and twitter out of nowhere in an effort to try to destroy me.
SFWA’s president’s followers also went way overboard in those months, doxing my children, posting about their medical issues, and all culminating in sending an anonymous spring-loaded package to my house. SFWA’s president has never apologized, never told her fans this was over the line, but last week made bizarre false accusations about me (without naming me) on Twitter to further escalate the rhetoric.
It only gets crazier on the comics side.
A year ago, I wrote an expose about how Marvel Comics blacklists conservatives. Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool turned it into a fake news hit piece on me (I was a nobody at the time, so very odd he would dedicate a piece to that on his site). From there, I had several trolls come over from the SJW comics fandom. They still follow me around to this day, though I’m not sure what they want as they’re not looking at my work. Several anonymous people, making account after account to just come say nasty things to me. And they’re all white males attacking a Hispanic, I might add.
But these last couple of weeks have had complete harassment of professionals who have fans in the #ComicsGate crowd by online cowards who are actively attempting to hurt our businesses.
Both Ethan Van Sciver and Diversity & Comics have IndieGoGo campaigns running, and both campaigns were hit by duplicate mock campaigns to try to confuse buyers and frighten away customers. They were identical in every way, making clear impersonation attempts to fraudulently raise money based on the names of these hardworking professionals.
On top of that, the imposters took to twitter making mock accounts of EVS, D&C, Mitch Breitweiser, Brett R. Smith, Jon Malin, and me. They went to trouble trying to make a number of identical tweets to us, and then set to following all of our fans. I was inundated with messages (do you have another account, were you banned?) for a few days as the person harassed me and others. Eventually, the person broke the bit and started making posts rambling about how terrible President Trump is, making it look like I was doing it.
On top of this, the same person (I believe, as it’s all anonymous) made accounts dedicated to mocking my Christianity, made more accounts to mock my science fiction writing, and just continued over and over to just make out of left field nasty remarks. The other comic professionals received the same.
This is the type of harassment the SJWs all claim they face, and then never actually have anything beyond someone criticized their work and it sent them into a mental-disorder aided tailspin. It’s being done to us, and it’s being done on levels that would absolutely break these people if they truly had to face it. They’re trying to mess with our psyches and make the pressure so immense that it forces us out of the business. Why? Because we’re starting to be successful. All of the crowdfund campaigns have done very well so far in comics, and we’re bypassing the gatekeeping establishment that’s been culling comics for decades. For the first time. This is a revolution like indies were to Amazon several years ago in books, and they don’t want that to happen to their fragile comics.
But we’re going to keep going. And we’re going to keep winning. It just needs to be out there how much pressure we face simply for the act of speaking out.
In a society where everyone’s got telepathic bonds, it’s very hard to speak out when you see problems going on in your society. The pressure that mounts is even worse. Commander Tamar has to deal with this among the Aryshan people as they’re getting drawn into an interstellar war that will be bloody for both her people and the humans they face. Read how she handles herself in The Stars Entwined.