Today’s Lunch Stream Featuring Mike Baron!

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I’ve been friends with Mike for awhile now, and am very excited to have him on the stream. The coolest part is every time I look him up, I see he’s done MORE stuff that i loved as a kid. Punisher, Star Wars adaptations of the Timothy Zahn novels, Archer & Armstrong from Valiant Comics, of course his legendary creation Nexus with Steve Rude. Just a lot of awesome stuff.

Of course… then he had the problem that he came out of the closet as a conservative in the industry. So you suddenly don’t see him on these books. He’ll talk about the experience and what he’s doing now here:

Make sure to like, subscribe, share so we can get this yotuube channel cranking!

 

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A Free Short Story For Everyone!

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I’m relaunching my Patreon in earnest, with a slightly new format as everything comes out. Already got some big tier backers on there so I really appreciate that last night!

But mainly, I put up the free story so you can check it out and see the type of content I deliver regularly. The story is “Love IRL” and I’m about to release a sequel to it for short story backers. Lotta great content coming out these next few months so do check it out here. The free story is the most recent post.

Other than that, really focusing a lot more on the fiction end of things lately to try to get all my obligations caught up. I have a lot of comic work to do on top of the novels and shorts so this should be very fun going forward!

 

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Busy Month!

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I don’t really have a blog topic today because I’m a million miles and hour on all my projects, which are super numerous. I have to figure out how to get the blog off of the malware warning lists too cuz it’s really hampering traffic (and haven’t had time to look into that too much).

I’m trying to put in finishing touches on my short story collection here which i’m hoping to get out in time for Christmas for everyone, which is taking priority. The stories are showing up on my Patreon, link up top for those who want to check out my work early.

Make sure to check out the Lunch Stream in the meantime. Subscribe and get our count up, costs nothing there, we’re growing very nicely on the content. But In lieu of blog typing I can do some nice talking over lunch 🙂 .

And only 48 hours left on The Ember War. Get it while it’s hot!!!

 

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Still Not Tired Of Winning: Ember War Edition

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People have told me don’t do this, don’t do that for my entire artistic career. I get warned constantly about my memes being too spicy, or my journalism being too on target, or being at the center of conflicts where I’m defending free speech, or associations with different friends who are helping fight the culture war. I’ve been warned from day one never to be who I am or say what I believe, and I have to keep reminding everyone who reads: those warnings are all pointless.

There’s naysayers everywhere. People root for you to fail in life. It’s a really bizarre thing. I don’t know if it’s human nature to be negative, jealousy, different combinations of events, but “You can’t do it. You didn’t build this.” seems to be a common theme among non-creators and non-influencers. It feels like literally with every project I have to go out and prove them wrong.

And we did so again. After losing support of a lot of YouTuber ecelebs, people warned me this campaign was never going to make it. I was confident that we had the best product out there with a great art team and a wonderful story by Dragon Award winner Richard Fox. I believed in The Ember War because of how awesome it is, and it’s turning out even cooler in comic form than I expected. Here’s a preview from issue 3 of the book that hasn’t been released anywhere yet:

Just super fun robots vs. drones. You can’t lose with that kind of a story. And we crossed over the $20,000 threshold this weekend without any media coverage outside of Boudning Into Comics, and very little YouTube support. It’s interesting watching the metrics on my end because I see exactly what this means for both the independent comics movement out there, and for future projects. It means we’re going onward and upward and we are creating a REAL revolution here.

There’s still time to back The Ember War. Get a great graphic novel, 120 pages of epic content, and let your voice be heard in the industry.

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Flying Sparks Out To Digital Backers — WINNING!

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I wrapped up a lot of the print process yesterday and got word everything is under way, so I figured it was a good time to drop the digital edition of Flying Sparks to backers. Check your email and spam folders for an email from Jon Del Arroz if you backed and missed it.

I’m so excited to be able to be one of the first in our movement to get everything out to backers so you all can read. I never expected the book would get this much traction, thank you everyone again for your tremendous support!

I think the story turned out a lot of fun and I’m excited to be able to bring you more adventures of Johnny and Chloe in the future. We’ll be getting those all ready for you soon.

For now, Jethro and my next project is The Ember War. Jethro is working very hard on the pencils right now (60% complete) and I’ve got 24 pages of the 120-pager left to script so this will occupy us for the rest of this year on the comic front. I’ve got a couple other projects in the pipeline which are smaller — including a full 24-page story of Dynamite Thor, who is a character from one of the quick backer stories that I sent out as a bonus. People have been telling me they love that character and I try to give the readers what you want!

For now, check out The Ember War. It’s ALMOST to its 20K funding, it just needs your support to get there!

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A ComicsGate Divided And How To Get It Back On Track

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It looks (perception wise) like there’s been wave after wave of defeat in the movement to save comics from the clutches of the radical leftists at Marvel and DC. The movement both grew a little too fast and lost its purpose over the last month or so, and there’s a few natural reasons for it.  Fracturing is happening on a few levels:

  1. The overwhelming wins and successes brought a lot of heat and scrutiny on everyone because it went more mainstream than ever imaginable. Indie comic creators are making REAL MONEY and this is a huge threat to the establishment.
  2. We’re at a stage where there’s like 20+ outstanding crowdfunds. A couple like Iron Sights and Stardust have started to fulfill, but most people are out hundreds of dollars without much to show for it yet, so there’s a frustration.
  3. Because of the first two, large YouTubers with big fanbases are coalescing together and getting more insular – which means less attention on budding indie projects that aren’t from artists with already substantial fanbase, creating frustration among the smaller indies who feel as if they supported these guys who blew up and aren’t getting return support.
  4. There’s a GLUT of books on the market now. Just too many to keep up with.
  5. A subset of the group thinks if they signal they’re “not conservative” to the fake news media, they’ll somehow win their approval and get back in with establishment comics.

These factors together make for overwhelming negativity in a group that somewhat was formed because of intense emotions against establishment comics. But what’s resulting is a PSYOP from the mainstream media, from comics professionals, which has trickled down through the internet and reached everyone else in an attempt to divide, destroy, and tear everything we’ve built down.

They’re scared because they don’t want this to actually turn into CONTINUAL success. Our enemies believe if they stop everyone right here, they’ll be able to make this just a blip in crowdfund history rather than have a new industry emerge.

Here’s the thing. We can’t control the media attacks. We can’t control the creator attacks. We have to stop getting frustrated about those or caring about those. It doesn’t matter what SJWs think.

I repeat, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT SJWS THINK.

You can’t appease them. You can’t stop or slow their attacks. You can’t donate money to LGBT causes and get in their good graces and have them stop calling you homophobe. They don’t care. They aren’t rational. They are just NPCs repeating what the fake news says. All they know is you’re going for their “diverse and inclusive comic industry” and you’re a threat to it.

Whether you want to be “right” or not, you’re associated with right wing people in their minds because most of this group is right wing at least to some extent. Most of the creator names who are big are Trump supporters. That’s WHY they hate us and this group at its core. It can’t be changed with a “we’re not ALL trump supporters” response. Just ignore them. NPCs are only programmed to say the few lines they regurgitate.

It’s hard to realize that there’s no way to be rational with a group, because we are mostly rational people but we have our own irrationality which is that we have the tendency to think like us. SJWs do not think like us. They have a modus operandi that is always consistent, never changes, and is easily predictable. You can read about this in the book SJWs Always Lie by Vox Day. 

If we address this, stop caring what they think, and just care about our projects and the projects of our allies – and furthermore use the tactic that they do — which is stop talking shit about our allies’ works and only say nice things about our allies’ works, we will weather this and we’ll come out ahead.

That’s such an imperative thing. I may get the urge to be a critic as well. There’s been people who have shown me their work, I’ve seen some of the books in process and believe me, there’s elements that I’d want to fix, or there’s people I very much want to give a good shaking because of their public persona / online profile.

You’ll note I haven’t. I never talk bad about anyone of the creators even remotely adjacent ally to me, even people who are attacking me or sending their minions to attack me. Why? Because it only helps to tear us all down. It’s not a threat to me that someone else has an IGG that’s successful. It’s not taking from me. I don’t need to show anyone that I’m purity testing someone else because it doesn’t help my bottom line, and it doesn’t help the other creators’ bottom lines.

Unfortunately some have taken that stance of mine and used it as license to attack and distance themselves from me with some smug commentary. Folk know I won’t really hit back proportionately so I’m a “safe target” to those who have fallen prey to the divisive PSYOP of the SJWs that’s running right now. It needs to stop.

The landscape will change again when the big projects mostly get out there and are shown to be complete. Once hundreds of thousands of dollars are FULFILLED, there’ll be more talking about work, less of this. But for now – don’t punch right and keep supporting indie comics as they’re out there. That’s the only thing we can control while we’re waiting. Stay calm. Stay the course. Trust in the results that are coming. Don’t swing right.

I’ve got a book to get back on working on. It’s called The Ember War and it’s currently 60% complete on the art side, more than 90% funded! It’s epic action sci-fi like you’ve never seen in comics before .Check it out here. 

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Last Day For Steam And Country Sale

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Last week I launched the conclusion to the Adventures of Baron Von Monocle trilogy, the Fight For Rislandia. This week, both books one and two are on sale, and For Steam And Country is only 99 cents.

This is the perfect time to pick up all three books in the series and get in if you haven’t already.

For Steam And Country:  ONLY 99 CENTS ONE DAY!

The Blood Of Giants: (ON SALE 2.99)

The Fight For Rislandia: 

People are already asking if there will be more — I don’t have anything left in the stash, this is everything I wrote for the series. I’ve got a trilogy I’m working on, 2 alt-hero novels to release, a tie-in for The Stars Entwined, a short story collection and several comics in the pipeline. It’ll be a sec but with how well Knight Training did, I certainly will be doing a follow up to that. James’ 2nd adventure will overlap chronologically with The Fight For Rislandia. Eventually I want to do a wiki for the series, will probably need some help with that.

Hope you enjoy! And make sure to leave reviews, especially for the later books! They need to catch up.

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The Mark Of Zorro In Comics

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As the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction, I realized there was a small hole in my pop culture knowledge in that of the character Zorro.

Zorro was created in 1919 by Johnston McCulley, with the short novel, The Curse of Capistrano, which ran in the magazine All-Star Weekly. The story was soon adapted to film, and the mad success of the movie made Johnston write a lot more stories (he wrote 5 serialized novels and 57 shorts in all).  The first novel is very self-contained, and also ends with Zorro unmasking and revealing himself to everyone, as well as his betrothal to a woman Lolita, not leaving much room at all for the character to exist. McCulley simply ignored any continuity and wrote Zorro pretty much as if the first book never happened from there out.

The story is about a man who dresses up as a vigilante and rescues Californians from a corrupt government in the early to mid 1800s. McCulley doesn’t pay much attention to actual history either, but creates a California suitable to his ideas.

But despite several popular movies and serials, Zorro didn’t enter the comic medium until 1958, when the Disney show reenergized the character. it was the same year McCulley died, incidentally, when Dell launched its line based on the show with the Bernardo and the fat Sergeant Garcia as hallmark characters, Disney adding a lot to the Mythos.

The first Zorro comic run came out through Dell, and is comprised of many short one-off adventures that range anywhere from 8 pages up to 32. It’s most notable for several issues drawn by famous artist Alex Toth, who added a beautiful signature touch to the work. The series ran for 15 issues total over three years and is currently collected in 2 volume: The Complete Dell Pre-Code Comics and The Complete Alex Toth by Hermes Press. Overall, these are fantastic comics, and well worth the read. I believe some of these are adaptations of Disney episodes, but I’ve been unable to source the Disney episodes of the show to confirm.

Those books were later reprinted by Gold Key in its own series lasting 8 issues, which marked all there were of “official” Zorro comics until much later.

Zorro returned in 1991 from Marvel Comics in a series that lasted 11 issues. These stories were just adaptations of a new TV show on the air. The stories come across rushed with some poor art and very poor pacing through most of them. They’ve not been collected or reprinted.

In 1993, Topps launched its line of Zorro comics which lasted 12 issues (plus a 0). It actually began in a miniseries called Zorro vs. Dracula, a 2 issue warm up to the series. MacGregor developed a rogues gallery for Zorro to make him more like modern superheroes featuring Moonstalker, Machete and most famously, Lady Rawhide. This series has some internal continuity as it develops, and Don MaGregor and Mike Mayhew paint a wonderful scene which gets borrowed from in later Zorro runs. It abruptly gets cut off, promising more story called “Matanzas” — which gets made into an IDW standalone graphic novel many years later that is edited to stand alone, but picks up very nicely where this comic left off and does seem to maintain some internal continuity there. Lady Rawhide also received her own Zorro spinoff from Image Comics a couple of years later that went 5 issues.

Once Topps went bankrupt, the next Zorro book became the adaptation of the Antonio Banderas film of the character, a miniseries also by Don MacGregor.

MacGregor did a ton with the character, working on daily gag strips at the time which lasted for 2 years. The first of these years is collected by Image in “The Dailies” but the second are not reprinted anywhere to date.

In 2003, the Children’s book publisher Papercutz took the Zorro Franchise and decided to make 3 issue arcs for small graphic novels of the character. These continued where MacGregor’s Dailies left off with Zorro and a female companion on the run and in Yellowstone, out of California for the time. These MacGregor stories don’t have the feel of the topps ones at all, and are definitely meant for a younger age. They still have MacGregor’s expertise. 6 issues were printed which cover the first two graphic novels, when Papercutz gave up on the individual issues, but made a 3rd graphic novel volume that’s available. A fourth was promised/listed for sale in 2006 but I’m unsure if it was ever released.

IDW received the license in 2008, making several Zorro series, the most lengthy runs of the character to date. Matanzas was already mentioned which took MacGregor’s old work with Mahew, but Topps made their own continuity in their own series after that, a book lasting 20 issues. It was followed up by an 8-issue “Zorro Rides Again” series and two other books: Django/Zorro and The Lone Ranger/Zorro, the latter of which features an elder Zorro going to his death. IDW really pushed the character and continuity much further than before. They took Lady Rawhide and changed her to “Lady Zorro”, who also received her own miniseries. The books are very consistent in quality and while Topps may have the most well known run, these give those a run for its money.

The character rested for a few years an the license just changed to American Mythology, a small publishing company. This year they’ve taken french language comics and translated them to english in a miniseries Zorro Legendary Adventures (4 issues) and also launched Zorro, Swords of Hell which the first issues is coming out this month — taking the character in a direction of fighting the supernatural. And this brings us up to date, as they seem to be relaunching and redoing the character in a different vein than we’ve seen in the last 20 years. We’ll see how it goes.

It’s been a lot of reading, but most of it (aside from the marvel run) was very fun and worthwhile. The character still has a lot of room for expansion as there’s been no real definitive versions outside of Disney’s 1958 show. We’ll see what the future holds but if you’re interested in Zorro comics and collecting, this can act as a guide for what’s out there!

If you like my research, back my comic. it’s military science fiction and I’ve studied comics for decades so I’m producing a good one! Back the Ember War here.

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The Internet And False Choices

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Kanye West yesterday got in the news because he was both wearing a Trump hat and a Colin Kaepernick jumper. This shouldn’t be news at all, because what someone wears is ridiculous as it is, but Kanye was making a statement with the matter.

In the internet age, everything has become a zero sum game. You must hate this person if you’re an R. You must hate this person if you’re a D. You can’t say anything they do is good or you’re ostracized. It goes for a lot of different things in our culture.

You can’t like both Drake and Pusha T in rap.

You can’t be into Marvel AND DC. You can’t be into Jeff Lemire AND Comcisgate.

We’re al guilty of this at times, myself included. And there’s a big problem when you get into this sort of thing — it limits you.

It limits the things you see, the way you see the world, the people you come across and interact with. When everything becomes a binary choice 100% or 0% you lose out, especially when it comes to people.

People are just people. We’re all good. We’re all bad. We’re all in between. You may not like my book Star Realms: Rescue Run, but maybe you like For Steam And Country. They’re two different things from two different points in my life and with two different aesthetics, all by the same person. And that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing all the time.

The problem is when we get into groups on the internet, it becomes that. We play for likes. Those likes get us feedback when we all sway one way, different feedback when we all sway another way. The way that likes and retweets and all that has got us programmed, it’s forced so much to be a zero sum game.

The truth is, all people have good and bad about them, and most actually have good or at least good intentions most of the time. We tend to ascribe the motivations for people we would like them to have or that we think we ourselves would have in situations, especially when we’re ascribing the most negative motivations to people.

But real life is not the internet. Real life is not likes. Real life is not appealing to a singular echo chamber. It’s okay to love everyone.

Zaira’s forced into a corner in The Fight For Rislandia, where she has little choice but to engage the enemy. That’s war, but real life isn’t all a war. You can read about war in Rislandia in my new book here, and in real life, choose a better path.

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