Announcing The Flying Sparks Vol 2 Cover Art Team!

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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!

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Everyone’s Talking Meta-Man!

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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! 

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Meta-Man Special is HERE!

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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!

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The Distribution Problem In Comics Is Solved

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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.

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A New Year And New Innovations In Comics

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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/

 

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Some Cool Crowdfund Comics You Might Not Have Heard Of

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I know it’s closed to Christmas and we’re all tapped out on presents and the like, but splurge a little on presents for yourself. We’re here to help indie comics, that’s what we want to do to create a thriving replacement industry for the failed business model Marvel/DC have set up. And there is no rest in this business!

I’ve found some cool projects that I think are great and need your help:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/robot-western-the-comic-book-series#/

Robot Western. I like robots. I like westerns. This pleases me as a concept.

Apollo: Chariot Of The Gods

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/apollo-chariot-of-the-gods#/

A cosmic superhero adventure. I’ll be releasing my own like this next year sometime but for now, this can help you fill that itch.

Hero

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hero-book-1-full-color-kid-friendly-graphic-novel/x/7822803#/

An all ages book with some cute animal heroes.

Hiro: Blood of The Patriots

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hiro-blood-of-patriots/x/7822803#/

Super soldiers and some good pro-military themes.

The Wreck

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-wreck-into-the-breach/x/7822803#/

Some excellent sci-fi action

 

A great selection from you to choose from. Back some indie projects and support indie comics!

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On Bullying And ComicsGate

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One of my main principles is I’m anti-bullying. I started #ComicsGate because I received information as a journalist that Richard Meyer was being bullied by professionals to the point where he was going to get harassed at conventions and possibly have people harm him physically.

I defend those who are bullied. I pick up the mantle. This is something very important to me because I’ve seen people online driven to near-suicide because of online bully mobs.

When people are using the hashtag I popularized along with help from PJMedia (a great conservative news site) to bully comic creators and people into the will of one very cowardly youtuber, I’ll take up the cause, doesn’t matter who you are. You are not alone. You have my support.

I’ve seen their pattern. Yesterday I was targeted by a major ComicsGate creator with him coming to me on social media passive aggressively trying to attack me and claim I’m somehow being “unChristian”. Of course, when people do this on social media, they do this to bully christians. He kept at it for HOURS (I don’t know how this guy expects to do work or finish books when he has time to do this to people). The objective is to get me to lose my cool and come at him hard while being “concerned” and then go to his audience and tell everyone how he was “just being a concerned friend” and have them mob pile on me with a “see? Jon is a terrible person!”

They do this to everyone. I see it almost daily. There’s bait, it’s incessant, they will harp on someone until the person gets fed up and responds, then they attack the person hard for responding. It’s been every case so far.

The good news:

There’s a lot of us who have been under this attack. We are a tight knit group because of our shared experience. There’s a network here who’s got your back and we won’t equivocate, we won’t abandon you because of the pressure of some anonymous trolls.

Don’t be afraid! At the end of the day these guys are the biggest cowards I’ve ever seen. They hide in their DM chat together and rely on anonymous mobs to do their dirty work and won’t stand up for anyone or anything. The more people speak and stand together, the less power they have.

It can seem overwhelming but if you get hit by this mob, contact me, I’ll put you in touch with people who it’s happened to, we WILL support you as best we can.

We’re about comics and principles, not mobs and outrage over here, and that’s what we’re going to deliver.

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It Must Be A Slow Sales Month For ComicsGate

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Looking at the December numbers on IndieCron, an idea I helped start but now they blacklist me from being mentioned because they’re ordered to, it’s pretty dismal to look at. The outrage cash has pretty much disappeared into the coffers of a frog comic that may or may not be ever made, and to a legal offense fund (not defense) against a mentally ill industry insider.

Don’t believe me, go to IndieGoGo and look at the numbers books are bringing in.

Part of it is Christmas, true, but people with huge followings like Mike Miller are actually pulling in less backers for his current project than my The Ember War got, and both had similar situations where we launched before fulfilling our other campaigns. It’s a good comparison. Miller by his following size from Lonestar should be doing 3 – 5x what I do on my projects (this is not a slight against him, Mike has been one of the few people within comicsgate to be cool to me, it is just an analysis of the business model and the problems arising. I 100% support and endorse his projects.).

Downstream of Miller, it’s an even more dismal story, books are really not making it at all now. Even the bottom tier that used to scrape by in funding aren’t finding their legs. I’ll be highlighting a few indie comics later on the blog this week to try to get some attention for these creators who aren’t getting much love from the YouTube eceleb community.

So it was interesting to wake up to find messages to me “why are they losing their minds on you now?”

I honestly didn’t know. I have not been the most active on social media lately as I’ve been spending time working on stuff.

Sure enough, someone dredged up an old tweet of mine from a month ago where I rightly called out the main group that’s responsible for the division in indie comics, the harassment of everyone, and brought up the fact that they only tend to pick on women and minorities. There’s a pattern that’s impossible to deny.

Well, the phony outrage train started again even though I’ve been pretty much absent. This is what they do. This is why they run off anyone who even mildly questions what’s going on with the crowd. The MO is this and I’ve seen it too many times to buy into it now:

1. They set off their followers into fake outrage.
2. They repeat it over and over and twist it “OMG, Jon is ‘basically’ attacking you PERSONALLY cuz you’re associated with EVS!” Note the word basically, as this is a tactic I used to see the left do to me when I was coming up in sci-fi comics. I never said anything about these guys personally nor do I know most of them or have negative opinions of them, at least until they launched.
3. They act en masse through their followers leaving hundreds of angry messages, tweets, saying all sorts of nasty stuff, pure harassment. 
4. They wait until they get called on it.
5. They throw a fit because they’re called on it and put their hands up and feign like they’re getting attacked and then start the cycle anew with followers who didn’t see what’s going on in full, so they think their favorite creators are being attacked when it’s those guys doing the attacking.

It’s happened so many times now to so many people it’s beyond absurd. That’s what I saw back in September and why I washed my hands of it.

I can only assume it’s because it’s a slow sales and news month.

I’m here to create comics, I’m working my tail off, and i guess that bothers a few of the bigger folk who can’t seem to get their comics done. But here’s the thing: I’m not afraid of anyone, I believe in truth, justice, and the American way. That’s what comics is about to me. I’ll always defend those who are getting attacked unjustly and are in the weaker position because that’s what Christ would do. I cannot be controlled, I cannot be manipulated. I am fully independent and don’t rely on any of these guys’ youtube shows for sales.

That’s why I’m dangerous to the mainstream industry and to those who want to act like their clones.

But you can’t stop the signal.

Flying Sparks isn’t just out to backers, it’s even on Amazon now. Anyone can get it at any time, which you should, cuz unlike most indie comics, this features quality writing by an award winner and #1 Bestseller combined with pro art from a great artist who’s worked for Image and Dynamite. Everyone who’s read it, even reviewers who don’t like me much, agree that it’s a great book. How many folk can pull that off?

Buy The Physical.

Buy The Digital. 

 

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Flying Sparks: Meta-Man Special Cover Reveal!

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I’m pleased to present what will be the art for the cover of the Meta-Man special, art by Mike Abuan and colors by Levy Ramirez.

Meta-Man takes on his nemesis Doctor Malicious and his communist commandos! 

You’ll get to see some of the history of Meta-Man in this book, though it doesn’t take you back to his origin. I wrote his origin as an old-time radio drama which I produced myself and lost all the files for years ago. We may make it again at some point, may convert that into a novel or a comic book, not sure yet, but this book both is meant to be a fun stand alone adventure and gives a bit of a reveal of how he ties into Chloe in the Flying Sparks main storyline (it’s pretty subtle so I’ll be interested to see who pieces things together).

If you want to catch up on Flying sparks proper, it’s on Amazon now, you can do so here.

 

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Flying Sparks Now Available On Kindle!

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We’ve done it! The book is now available for print on demand and on Kindle so anyone can get Flying Sparks at any time. And you’ll want to too. Every reviewer has given high praise to the story, most notably for the care I took with the character work. It’s going to be a cut above most of the other indie comics out there.

Working on volume 2, which I’m planning to launch on IndieGoGo in February. Volume 2 dials up both the emotional and the action intensity to a significant degree. You’ll love where this story goes. I’m trying to see if there’s a way to get sketches/original art from Jethro on this as one of the perks, which will be a lot of fun. I might need to get a couple of those for myself.

If you’ve already read it from IndieGoGo, make sure to leave a review! 

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