Official Statement On The Personal Attacks In Dynamite Entertainment’s Centipede Book

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Last night I discovered that a print book of Atari’s Centipede property referenced me in multiple places by name in an effort to defame and diminish me as a comic creator and a human being. The most egregious of these statements was “Jon Del Arroz is a never was fat piece of shit who blames everyone but himself for his ineptness.”  Bounding Into Comics posted the relevant panels in the comic here. 

What letterer Taylor Esposito was hurtful, wrong, and about the most unprofessional thing I’ve ever seen come out of the industry. This book went out to hundreds of shops, and my name is now circulated in thousands of print books without my permission, and in a demeaning fashion. This sort of thing has no place in fandom, and is especially shocking to be done to a minority creator like myself. It is bullying, pure and simple.

Esposito owes me an apology.

However, I have been in contact with Dynamite Entertainment, who apologized themselves and said they were unaware of the situation and that it slipped past editorial by mistake. They also say it’s been corrected for the trade paperback edition. They also very cordially said they would support my Flying Sparks indiegogo effort as I’m trying to launch my own comic career.

I believe them.

It would have been very easy for Dynamite to ignore me and to let this go, but they in their quick response and quick taking action to remedy this are doing the right thing. The company was hoodwinked by a rogue contractor who has lost the trust of the entire industry by inserting personal animus into a book, and saying the most horrific things about a fellow creator. They understand this, they are doing what they can to make it right even though the hurtful damage has been done.

I do not want my fans and followers to boycott Dynamite or take any action to try to harm them. As I said, the company has been consummate professionals to me and I appreciate their efforts they’re going to to make this right. We do not want to be like our political opponents and go down the line of “an apology is not enough!” That sort of thing is what dehumanizes and hurts people for doing the right thing, and Dynamite is doing the right thing here.

Personally, I am supporting two Dynamite books monthly: Dejah Thoris and Swashbucklers. As you are aware if you read this blog, I always put my money where my mouth is. I will continue to buy these books and thank Dynamite again for their quick action they took in this matter.

If you want to support me, again, don’t hurt this company, but do support Flying Sparks, my IndieGoGo comic. It features art from a long time Dynamite artist, Jethro Morales, who worked on Dejah Thoris and Green Hornet. Despite the mistake in Centipede, this company is an ally.

Thank you everyone.

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Conservative YouTube Commentator Alleges Assault At Gencon

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Jeremy Hambly has had a crazy few months in the world of Magic The Gathering. First, Magic went after him for mocking a cosplayer on twitter after she had rallied a number of players to harass and mass complain about him, just like we’ve seen done with various conservative personalities in different hobby-entertainment industries. Magic seemed to justify his ban because he posted memes featuring a cartoon frog created in MS Paint on his feed.

But as ComicsGate exploded, Hambly became a defender of those getting attacked on the right. This raised his profile again and the gaming and comic industry turned its attention to him.

I reported last year two incidents: first, in breaking the story that creative professionals in the comic industry were going to attempt to frame Richard Meyer for a crime at New York Comic Con, and second, that I sent an email to Worldcon, voicing concern for the safety of conservative personalities at conventions. They refused to respond, but later banned me under the guise of removing “racist bully” elements from their convention, libel that makes it more prone for people to attack me at future cons.

Now we have an escalation with the first real violent incident against a conservative personality at Gencon.

Hambly did not capture the incident itself on video, but does have a number of eye witnesses afterward who all confirm someone asked his name and came up and started throwing punches at him. There is a glass window at a restaurant that is shattered where the attacker punched as well.

Hambly says he is leaving Gencon, as the convention has done nothing about this in several hours since the incident, and police did not come to assist him. He rightfully believes that he would not be safe at the convention any longer.

This disturbing trend of attacks on conservatives in geek culture is getting out of hand. The left is in charge of all of these cultural institutions from Gencon to Worldcon to SFWA and all of the major companies in the industry. They need to stop with their “punch a Nazi” rhetoric and speak out against violence unequivocally. This has gone too far. Someone’s really going to get hurt simply because they don’t like the way we voted. Violent intimidation is literal fascism.

UPDATE: Jeremy has identified his attacker thanks to some eyewitness help. The fellow is on Twitter and his identity is out there. Jeremy says he is going to call the police and press charges according to the linked tweet below:

https://twitter.com/TheQuartering/status/1025052205173428224

If you support conservative creators’ rights to exist within the industry peacefully please consider supporting Flying Sparks, the comic of a hero and villain in love, available on IndieGoGo now. 

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The Best And Easiest Way To Maximize Your Indie Publishing Sales

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We’ve seen how over the last year, the biggest successes seem to have come from teams of authors co-writing, as they can get their projects out slightly faster than others, and create these shared universes where the plot just keeps coming. They both bring in their fanbases, there’s a lot to binge read, and boom, suddenly you have megasuccesses.

But we can’t all get co-writers who are on the same page as us and willing to push several books all that easily. There is one thing we can do, however, to mimic their strategy and maximize our own returns on our books we release.

People want series. It’s the name of the game. And often times, people won’t even check out a series until you have 3-4 books in it, so they can get through as much as they can. It’s part of the current psychology of the reader. The problem is, if you release book one, write book two, release that, and go on repeat, your sales for the first and second drop off and out of Amazon’s algorithm priority before the third gets anywhere near ready. This hurts that strategy.

Peter Grant tried something similar, experimenting with his own sales, with his new release, Cochrane’s Company. waited until he had a trilogy, got them all ready to go, and released them one month after another. The results were astounding. His books didn’t just take off in a linear way, the sales compounded exponentially. All of the books got boosts, and they all promoted each other because Amazon viewed them all as new releases in the window. It meant he wasn’t just making $4.99 every time someone clicked through, but $14.97!

The stacking releases works, even if you don’t have a co-writer. Hold your book, keep it a trilogy or more if you don’t have time to write a book a month. If you do — well you’re gonna be ahead of the game. But this works every single time I’ve seen it tried. This is how you build audience with the modern amazon. It’s pulp speed ahead out there and it’s a surefire way to maximize the sales of your books.

I’m doing the same this summer with my #SummerOfSteampunk. I’m putting out sequels to my award winning  For Steam And Country with “Knight Training” this month, The Blood Of Giants in August, and Fight For Rislandia in September. I’ll let you know how it goes on my end when I’ve already got a book 1 that’s been out for a long time. If you want to catch up on that you can check it out here.

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Last Night On YouTube

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Yesterday we did an impromptu reading of the beginning of “Knight Training” which will be the novella sequel to For Steam And Country out July 18th. Edwin did a great job reading. We followed up with a discussion of my books and the comic industry so worth the watch!

Make sure to grab For Steam And Country and get ready for the #SummerOfSteampunk if you haven’t already. You won’t want to be behind when Zaira and her crew become the epic fighting force needed to save Rislandia! Check it out here.  

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An Open Letter To Kevin Roche Of Worldcon

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Last night I had a dream, and it’s a dream that I want to see become reality. It’s one where divisiveness, hatefulness, and petty politics can be overcome by rationality, love, treating each other like humans.

I dreamt that I was at some house party where Kevin Roche, the chairman of WorldCon, was attending with several friends (though this is to you, Kevin, thousands of people are going to read this so I need to define who you are). Dream Kevin immediately panicked just from seeing my face, threatening to call the cops to get me removed, even though it wasn’t his place. But then something magical happened. I stepped forward, palms up, in peace. “Kevin,” I said, “Let’s stop all this. I’m here. Let’s talk.”

Dream Kevin looked me in the eyes, nodded, and called off his friends who were about to try to get me removed.

We had a conversation. I talked about how I’ve only been trying to ensure my own safety because of people on the internet actively trying to harm me, and how I’d never in any capacity threatened to violate any rules at the convention (just like real life). We had the conversation I’ve wanted to since November of last year when I sent this email to you:

A full two months before your epic banning proclamation, where you still haven’t told me the specifics of why I was banned from your perspective, only referencing vague “rules” which apply to no one else, you knew there was danger to conservative authors. You did not reply. I guess it would be admitting there’s a bias issue with the con.

What was my first reaction?

“Kevin, call me.” i attempted to talk. I didn’t do anything wrong. I still haven’t, and you, other than a statement libeling me as if this is some grand crusade for a mostly white Worldcon staff to remove a Hispanic in the name of “racism”, couldn’t be bothered to respond again. There was lots of bothering with removing comments from Facebook in my support so it looked like everyone agreed with this. If you had time for that, why not a call?

Of course, then there was the Hugo Award nominating party on March 31st. I showed up. I was there. I caused no trouble at a Worldcon event. No one tried to bother me. The Worldcon committee (including you) KNEW I would cause no trouble at your event, which makes the defense of what was done to me before very flimsy. But still,  I came up to you, I broke the ice quickly. Why couldn’t you take 30 seconds just to talk with me and work out whatever your fears are?

I followed up on the message and received this response (at least you’re responding now!):

Another refusal to talk. Why are you so quick to make public proclamations libeling about “racist bullying” when you won’t stop to take a breath and see what happened? Isn’t liberalism about open mindedness, tolerance, love? That’s what I hear all the time, but it looks to me that the only people who don’t care about race, gender, sexual orientation, or creed seems to be conservatives or libertarians. LibertyCon this weekend had a wide group of diverse individuals and I never even saw the subject broached once. Everyone loved each other. Everyone came together in fandom and fun. This is what WorldCon could and should be.

But the track record’s been very clear: I’ve been to Worldcon, never caused an issue. I went to FogCon this year, where it was very hostile toward me, no issue. LibertyCon had me as a guest along with John Picacio — your worldcon partner and identarian — no issue.  Even at your event with the awards, no issue.  So you can’t defend even the possibility that you think I would cause an issue. There were issues to my safety that you refused to address by even conversing with me, however?

Let’s change all this. I know you’re in a tough position. You have several folk attending your con who are just hateful, angry people, and you’ve made this a very public mess that if you even talked to me, you’d be seen as a traitor to your political team. I get that. But why be a political team? It’s almost July 4th. We’re Americans. We should be on the same team. It starts with talking like human beings. Let’s see what we can accomplish, Kevin, rather than letting Worldcon continue on a path of hatred that’s telling half the country long term that they’re not invited. It’s a bad business strategy, and I can help. I’ve always only wanted to help.

You have my number, call me.

 

 

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LibertyCon Is The Undisputed Best Convention In The World

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I spent the weekend at LibertyCon in Chattanooga TN, and I’ll do my best to tell most of the story in pictures, because that’s a lot more fun, but this convention had so much going on from dawn until next dawn (they certainly don’t stop at dusk) that it was incredible. Programing had me running so ragged I barely was able to do much else other than what they had me listed as, and that’s not a bad thing. I’m far more comfortable WORKING than doing anything else, so when a convention fully utilizes me as a fairly charismatic speaker and event organizer, I actually feel far more appreciated than I would otherwise.

So kudos to the programming folk right off the bat.

I started off with a reading (which is on video), where I had the great author A.M. Freeman doing an interpretive dance to my rendition of “The Snake” by Al Wilson, followed by a sneak peak at The Adventures of Baron Von Monocle 2: The Blood of Giants (which will be out in August). Quincy Allen actually coaxed me into doing Zaira’s 16 year old female voice for the dialogue… I’m not sure I’ll do that again so if you want to laugh at me, you’ll want to watch that.

Then came the Superversive Panel, which was very special for me in particular as I was on a panel with Jody Lynn Nye, who was one of the first people to teach me how to write at Dragon*Con. I owe everything to Jody, her class did wonders for me, and she is the classiest, coolest professional in the field, so it was a pure honor for me. I introduced myself on this panel as President of the Jody Lynn Nye Fan Club.  It was a lot of fun.

Perhaps the most interesting part was the opening ceremonies, which were stormed by folk wearing Make Science Fiction Fun Again hats and Happy Frogs shirts.  Over the course of the convention of folk who wore or bought it, I tracked that more than 5% of people were wearing my apparel brand, so a big thank you to everyone who picked it up and ran with it! You guys are awesome. The guys over at CryptoFashion tell me that if folk missed out on the winning and want to get a good deal on next year, they’ll be running a sale this week on all of my apparel so winners who couldn’t make it can still get in on the winning.

The opening ceremony itself was so packed it went into overflow with people unable to get in. And for good reason. This was the best opening ceremony I’ve ever seen at a con. Gray Rinehart SLAYED a song he created for the event, which made everyone laugh and put everyone in a great mood. And then Chuck Gannon delivered the most entertaining convention speech I’ve ever seen in my life. The con made it clear: THIS CONVENTION IS ALL ABOUT FUN.  And they delivered.

I won’t detail all my other panels, which were fantastic and fun down the line, but the weekend continued much like that, and we also had a great time doing a Star Realms tournament on Saturday night. The parties were great, met some of the most wonderful people in the world or saw them again (shout out to Arlan Andrews, Julie Frost, Jason Cordova, John Van Stry, Mark Wandrey, Chris Kennedy and I’m sorry to probably the 200+ other folk I spoke with over the weekend I love you too but this blog would get long!).

Bottom line was the convention stuck to science fiction/fantasy, they stuck to fun, everyone was a joy to be around, there was no drama, no politics, no identity bullshit, and this is what people come for when they come for fandom. If you’re a convention, this should be your model. Fun first. Put everything else aside. Your mission is to grow science fiction, and the way to do that is to welcome everyone and have a good time, just like LibertyCon accomplished. I know certain organizers from certain places are reading this – and I most certainly am talking to you!

I also made an announcement on the Steampunk panel that I’ll be doing the #SummerOfSteampunk. If you have steampunk works coming out, join in on the hashtag, have some fun. My release schedule will look like this:

Von Monocle 1.5: James Gentry’s story “Knight Training” – July 18th.

Von Monocle 2:  The Blood Of Giants – August

Von Monocle 3: Fight For Rislandia! – September

Truly a steampunk filled summer. If you haven’t caught up on my bestselling and award winning novel For Steam And Country yet, now’s the time. It’s on amazon, free on kindle unlimited, and there’s even an audio version! Check it out here.

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One America News – Tonight 5:25 EST + Captain Frugal Tonight 8:30 EST

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When it rains it pours. I was invited to One America News tonight to be on Liz Wheeler’s program, Tipping Point. Make sure to tune in if your cable provider carriers the network, if not, they have a youtube channel here. 

And after that, I’ll be on Captain Frugal’s comic book related channel livestreaming and talking about my upcoming Flying Sparks crowdfund. You won’t want to miss it!

 

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Worldcon Protest Update: Standing Against Pedophilia In Sci-Fi

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There’s been an epidemic within sci-fi over the last several decades. Walter Breen. Marion Zimmer Bradley. Samuel Delany. These and others were known to abuse children. In the light of Sony Pictures Actor Peter Fonda calling for the rape of an 11 year old boy on his social media, it’s clear the culture has gotten so far out of control that something needs to be done. Why did this happen?

Because organizations like Worldcon and SFWA, who are supposed to merely be professional writer advocacy groups, have intentionally driven out people with good family values, banning someone like me, and yet have advocated for and given awards to people listed above who were and are openly pro-pedophilia.

This has to stop. Children are getting hurt. Their lives are getting ruined because of the tolerance these organizations has toward pedophilia.

Our rally outside worldcon will have an anti-pedophilia focus. We will be reading from Moira Grelyand’s tell all, “The Last Closet” which gives the horrible truth about what happens at conventions like Worldcon and is covered up by the people involved while they’re hard at work trying to purge all conservatives from being allowed inside.

This is the end result of this kind of politics. We will stand up and exercise our rights to speak against it. Will you join us Saturday August 18th at 1 PM outside of Worldcon and take your stand against pedophilia? The children need you.

Join our facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/479274785823669/

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