The Spanish Civil War

Share this post

I’m reading The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor on my little trip here, and thought I’d just pass along a little of what I’m seeing so far.

In America, we see things as so left or right, north or south, black or white — in other countries, that binary duality doesn’t quite exist. Spain had so many factions at the time trying for power in the country in the early 1930s that it’s hard to remember which was which as one turns the page in the book.

It’s always good to remember that not everything is 100% or 0%. Not everyone is on exactly the same side, that there’s different plays and coalitions at work all of the time. I tried to tell a buncha people this last year, but it fell on deaf ears, but we’re a bit smarter around these blog parts than most, so I think you’ll get it.

Supoprt my patreon and all my content, get great books, stories, comics before anyone else. Check it out here.

Share this post

What A Review!

Share this post

As I mentioned I’m out and about the next few days a little busy here for the blog, but I received a very nice review of Flying Sparks — spoiler inside that cover “Chapter 1”. This is probably the most comprehensive review of the book yet. High marks given as usual, which is nice.

Now this is the start of “Jon Del Arroz Appreciation Week” on here… I definitely am enthused about such a week on the channel 🙂 .

And as I wrote this, another review went up:

Folk are digging the book, which is really nice! Gearing up for a 22-page Meta-Man special coming out later this week which just gives a little look into that character and reveals some of the connections of the character to Meta-Girl. And of course hard at work on book 2.  As an update on that: I’ve revised all the dialogue, and we’ve finally hired the cover artist for it and I’m very excited to work with our new friend.

Hope you’ll get on board with Flying Sparks! You can buy it direct from the Arkhaven bookstore here, which now takes paypal from what I’m told:

 

 

Share this post

Some Post New Years Check In

Share this post

Hey guys, I’m going to be very busy today and probably early next week so I don’t know how much blogging I’ll do unless some major news hits. Here’s what’s in the pipeline for me:

Today, Lunch Streaming with YouTuber Nerdette and Cap’n Cummings:

I also started the last book in my Nano Templar trilogy: Glorified, after finishing my draft edits on Sanctified – now off to my editor. That’ll occupy my space on the book front for awhile.

But most importantly, I’m gearing up to release Flying Sparks: The Meta-Man Special on Amazon next week. This is going to be a market test for distribution without IndieGoGo — can my comics sustain themselves without the crowdfund system and people helping pay big amounts to cover the art costs?

Mike Abuan, the artist, was very kind in doing this book as a collaboration so I wouldn’t have to incur costs on that level, which is why we could do this one as a test. It’ll be standard comic, 22 pages, $4.99, if you have Prime, you can get free shipping with it. There will be Kindle/CBZ digital options available same day as well. Through Dark Legion, we are making a big push to revolutionize the indie industry, so this is a step toward doing that. I’m very excited and hope you’ll be on board.

The story is a silver age-style superhero adventure. It’s even faster paced than my Flying Sparks book is, and goes into the history of Meta-Man, who if you read Flying Sparks, was a bit of an enigma in the book. You don’t have to have read Flying Sparks to understand this, as it’s 100% standalone (I didn’t even leave a cliffhanger this time!), but if you are invested in the universe, the book should have a nice impact for you.

Share this post

10 Books Every New Sci-Fi Reader Should Read

Share this post

I was asked the other day by a reader where someone should start with sci-fi. There’s a lot of good books out there, but these are 10 which can give you a nice smattering of what sci-fi is. I didn’t include fantasy, but there’s a couple of books which skirt the line of fantasy from a sci-fi perspective. They’re mostly classics, they;’re not necessarily my top 10 favorite books, but each and every one of these is worth the read and especially for newer readers will paint a nice picture.

They’re not in a particular order, so I hope you enjoy.

Robert Heinlein – The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress 

An easy classic. Heinlein has to be on the list and this is his best book by far. Moon is rebelling against the Earth, doesn’t want to be governed from a far, and wants a more open society with libertarian leanings cuz they’ve learned from past mistakes.

Anne McCaffrey – Dragonflight 

The Dragonriders of Pern is very interesting. It’s fantasy on the surface but it has underpinnings of sci-fi as people on dragonback fight off spores that fall from the sky called “thread.” Very interesting stuff and the series as a whole is a wonderful world.

Lois McMaster Bujold – The Warrior’s Apprentice

This entire series is gold. Here, Miles Vorkosigan starts as a failed military cadet due to physical flaws as it looks like it’s going into a military sci-fi series, but each book is so different, has cool sci-fi concepts. Miles ends up being like a scrawny James Bond with the intellect of Sherlock Holmes as he progresses through the series. I can’t pick one in the series really that’s better than the series as a whole, but this is a good one because its’ the first Miles character adventure.

Edgar Rice Burroughs – A Princess Of Mars

The John Carter series really defines manly adventure. He goes from situation to situation in a cool world that’s out of control cool.

Frank Herbert – Dune

Dune is really the epic fantasy in space. It’s your Game of Thrones but better as you delve into the world of Arakis and the geopolitics of the entire universe here. It’s so big it’s impossible to really describe in a couple of sentences, but it’s one of the best books ever written.

Ensign Flandry – Poul Anderson

I wasn’t sure which book of Poul’s to put on here because there’s so many excellent concepts, but from a fun perspective, starting with Flandry won’t steer you wrong. Earth’s empire is in decay, and it’s being accelerated by an enemy called the Mersians who are just picking at the outer fringes. Flandry needs to put a stop to a plot of theirs to take over a world wtih intelligent life.

Spider Robinson – Stardance 

This is an underrated classic I can’t believe doesn’t get more attention. A dance troupe is formed who wants to perform zero-G dance and start a new art form, aliens take notice. The character depth and the attention to detail on how dance in space would actually work makes this novel one of the best out there.

Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

One you probably heard of. Zany sci-fi concepts to make you LOL all the way through. This is humor all the way as Earth has been declared a demolition zone for galactic imminent domain.

Jack Vance – The Dying Earth

Technically a series of short stories, this book really has a crazy beautiful world. The sun’s exhausted, everything’s falling apart, just the attention to the setting across these stories is incredible.

Ray Bradbury – The Martian Chronicles

This is another fix up of short stories which flow together that show man’s colonization of Mars. It’s got a nice mix of action/adventure with the “science problem” style fiction so it’s enjoyable on a lot of levels and because it’s a bunch of shorts, you get a nice smattering of different stories.

And if you already like sci-fi, this list, or just want to try out something new, you can get my book Make Science Fiction Fun Again. I wrote a book of short stories that are all over the map in sci-fi, so there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy, but with a focus on FUN and WONDER like the old books listed above. Grab it on Amazon.

 

Share this post

Meme Of The Day: Anime And Subtitles

Share this post

It’s a new year… and I”m super sick and in bed not having the brain capacity to blog this morning. So I’ll just post up a meme and call it a day.

If you missed it yesterday, my comic Flying Sparks is now available in high rezz digital and print on the Arkhaven store. Bypass crowdfunding, amazon, all big tech with our new awesome distribution: 

Share this post

2018’s Top 5 Game Changers In Comics

Share this post

There was a lot of shake up in the comic industry in 2018, and a lot of cool experimentation that went on. There were a lot of interesting developments in the industry as a result, though we’re partially only speculating their long term effects. Let’s dive in:

5. Matt Kindt –  Matt is the creator of Mind MGMT and this summer he launched a couple of projects which blew the doors off of the creativity of comics and what can be done with the medium. He bought a 2-color Reso Printer, learned the craft of printing and physically making comics himself, and did a comic which made sense in the medium. He made a chick-tract style comic that acted as a recruiting borchure for Mind MGMT with a twist. And finally, and most impressively, he made a “read along record” comic, which the story told in by the narrator was different than what you’d read on the page, and everything came together in a magnificent way. Utilizing comics in a way that pushes the boundaries of what the mediums can do makes Matt Kindt a game changer like few others in the industry.

4. Richard Meyer / Diversity & Comics –  Meyer made the transition from Youtube Commentator to creator, and it spurred a summer of incredible crowdfunds from people getting their foot in the door producing their own work. Earlier in the year, it looked like this was going to be a bigger long-term shake in the industry, but a lot of the momentum from the summer tapered off pretty quickly, so the long term effects have yet to be seen. Regardless, Meyer produced his Iron Sights and got it out, and he did shake the industry for a portion of the year.

3. Alterna Comics – Alterna comics has been chugging along for 10 years with their indie press. This year they really hit the map and got big when they came under fire for refusing to denounce a portion of their readers. They sold thousands of books in their online shop. Alterna is using “newsprint” to make comics cheap again, with price points on their books of $1.50 and $1.99 which makes them attractive compared to the big companies. They also have been working on alternative distribution methods and setting up a printer service for indie comic creators.

2. TKO Presents – This group came out of nowhere in recent weeks and had names like Garth Ennis, Joshua Dysart and Elizabeth Bretiweiser working on books for them. They are foregoing the comic shop business model for an experimental model on their website which is a 6 issue limited series — you can buy digitally, as issues, or as a TPB. The first issue is free as a sample and you have to buy the rest. This is a really neat way around the dying-comic shop model and worth watching to see how they succeed.

  1. Arkhaven Comics / Vox Day.  Really the biggest shift and getting people thinking about different business models came from Arkhaven. From day one, Vox has been about setting up online stores, alt-tech and alt-crowdsourcing platforms, making hundreds of thousands of dollars before anyone else decided to try to get in on the action, and continued it — even raising $130K in 2 days after IndieGoGo deplatformed the comic the first time. Akrhaven has been producing books directly to amazon and directly through its own online shop, print on demand so books go straight from the printer to the consumer. No holding stock, no mailing stuff out themselves, it’s revolutionizing the business in way that books were revolutionized years ago by Amazon. And comics are the next logical medium to go this route. They’re doing amazing things and it should be worth noting how they shape new business innovations in the years to come. With literary works like Right Ho, Jeeves adapted by Chuck Dixon, they’re doing more with comics than a lot of other small publishers on the content side as well.

Like my list? Check out my comics! Flying Sparks is available on amazon in both Print On Demand AND Kindle. And it’s got incredible reviews.

Share this post

Jon Del Arroz’s Year In Review

Share this post

Whew. What a year! I got a few comments toward the beginning of the year of “you really need to focus on putting out your books” from people sending concern to me… well, I did. I notice I didn’t get any accolades from those same people.  Oh well, can’t please the haters as we all know.

My original intention this year was to come out with books like this:

  1. The Stars Entwined
  2. Justified
  3. Colony Launch (this has gone through a few retitles)
  4. Von Monocle 2
  5. Alt Hero Novel
  6. Von Monocle 3

So 6 books on the year.

Plans changed as I decided to push Justified to a full trilogy written before I even release book 1. I’ve completed 2 of those books as of this writing and the 3rd is outlined and will begin in the next few days.

But further complicating the plans was comic books. I hadn’t intended to get heavily back into comics at the beginning of the year, but I found that this year MOST of my writing ended up being in comic book form. The other thing that happened was I wrote a quick novella for James Getnry to take a break, and that ended up becoming my hottest seller. It’s a business decision at the end of the day. So we ended up with a release schedule that looked rather different:

March: The Stars Entwined

July: Knight Training

August: Von Monocle 2

September: Von Monocle 3

October: Flying Sparks

November: Make Science Fiction Fun Again

December: Guard Training

So I came out with 7 books instead of the planned 6, though two of them were short novellas so really it’s about the same output.

Writing wise, I’d intended on doing Von Monocle 3, Stars Entwined 2, Alt Hero 1 and 2.  Instead I did Von Monocle 3, Sanctified, Alt-Hero 1, The Ember War Graphic Novel, Dynamite Thor Issue #1, Knight Training and Guard Training, and two other comics which have yet to see the light of day. I don’t count the short stories I put out to Patreon subscribers which just happen as “breaks”.

So again, while different than intended, the productivity might have actually exceeded my original ambitions. The Stars Entwined probably was the biggest disappointment, as it didn’t sell like I’d intended. I have a whole giant space opera planned there I’d love to get to but as it looks right now, I need to set it aside for the time being because Von Monocle and the comics keep selling so well. I’m hoping the Justified trilogy will do a bit better in that regard next year.

Flying Sparks had to be the biggest surprise success on the flip side. That did so well I really pushed my focus in the comics direction as I’ve mentioned. I’m working on a TON of content related to this as a consequence. Volume 2 will be crowdfunded early next year, we have The Meta-Man Special coming out soon, and we’re also working on volume 3.

Regardless, sales have been awesome, revenue wise I exceeded my expectations by 5x so I’ve moved from “This is a hobby” to “this is a serious business” over the course of the year. Also had a lot of great successes on selling short stories, of which I had 4 anthologies in the last couple of months put out more stories by me. Because of time considerations, I’ve switched to pretty much only writing Von Monocle tie-in shorts as of late — I figure if I submit those and they get rejected, I can always put out a Von Monocle short story collection when I get about 15 of them.

Von Monocle continues to sell. I’ve got a nice ad program and it’s working really nicely from what I’ve found, but won’t bore you with the details there. It’s been a great bonus that it keeps trucking along as a series. Book 2 is almost finished on the audiobook front, same with Knight Training.

In conclusion, despite the weird YouTubers turning on me in extremely bizarre fashion in the last couple months, 2018 has been a tremendous success. The Del Arroz train is still winning and we’re gonna win even bigger in 2019!

Make sure to grab my latest release!

 

 

Share this post

Some Cool Crowdfund Comics You Might Not Have Heard Of

Share this post

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!

Share this post