A Meta-Man Review That Gets It

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It’s very rare to find a review that really captures everything I was trying to do with the story. Professor Geek really drills into pretty much every intentional storytelling move I was making while doing this:

  • Intentional “cheesy” (I prefer campy) 1960s silver age melodrama feel in some of the dialogue because of the setting time period
  • the transition from that to the sorta dark ending which passes the torch to the more modern times book
  • fast paced action, of course a hallmark of mine
  • And seeing how it ties into the main book (some folk missed this cuz I didn’t spell-spell it out)

You can watch the full review here. Regardless, Professor Geek is clearly a critical reader who understands books. It’s a treasure and rare.

And of course, don’t take his or my word for it, pick up Meta-Man Special for yourself!

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Is Anime Falling Into A #MeToo Trap?

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It seems nothing is safe anymore. Geek culture is out for blood, generally directed at men, right wingers, and Christians. It appears even Anime voice actors are getting thrown under the bus with “seek and destroy” mob tactics on social media.

Last night, YouTuber Yellow Flash posted a video about Vic Mignogna, an actor who did some of the voice work on the extremely successful Dragonball Super Broly. As the film became popular, accusations about the actor started to come out. There’s so many and it’s such a litany that it looks like a concerted effort to destroy him rather than having much basis in reality. Yes they leveled charges:

  • Anti-Semitic
  • Homophobe
  • Harasses Women

It seems the tactic now is just to throw the kitchen sink at someone who “must be destroyed” by SJW culture mobs. As it’s gotten so intense now, it appears as if this group is getting very frightened at the advances Christians and conservatives have made in culture.

Yellow Flash didn’t make any concrete statements as he is investigating this as well, just pointed out what was being said to let his viewers decide. But at this point in our culture war, one has to be suspect of accusations without evidence. I definitely recommend watching his video on the situation as he’s done some good diligence so far. Most of what I’ve been able to uncover in my research of Vic appears like he’s just a friendly guy who, like many actors, is used to hugging, kisses on the cheek and the like at conventions from and to fans alike, and then situations were twisted in order to vilify him.

The first instance I came across of similar last year was with the Fan X Con, where a writer who’s been a big bestseller was shamed and defamed because another writer claimed he kissed her on the cheek after a panel. The author in question says he lived in Italy and, culturally, that’s what Europeans do to greet each other. The convention originally dismissed the issue, but when it was pressed by feminists and celebrities, they threw the author under the bus.

With Vic Mignogna, as a vocal Christian, it appears like he’s getting the same treatment where the mob is trying to stir up nonsense about him in order to destroy him and his career. I will be monitoring the situation closely to see if anything concrete comes out, but for right now, it appears to be more an anonymous alt-left troll mob than anything else. Unfortunately, the media is all too gleeful to play along because they don’t want good Christian role models to exist in culture.

We need to uplift and stand with our cultural brethren who are unfairly under attack and push back against these internet outrage mobs. It’s only going to get worse from here on out as we are actually making a dent in culture.

Like my fight against the secular-satanist controllers of culture? Support my Patreon. I deliver great books, stories, comics to my supporters monthly. It helps fuel the blog here and everything I do.

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Introducing IndyCron

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Back on July 30, 2018, I unveiled IndieChron, crowdfund tracking of independent comics from my site here meant to highlight indie books and show how much of a dent they’re making in the industry from their successes.

The point was this: we would promote indie books, have a good spot for people to find links and be able to surf and find books they want as a kind of news aggregator.

It was a spreadsheet, I was updating by hand with Edwin Boyette, and while it served its purpose, it was ultimately taken by a twitterite named PixelTraitor who made a much better site out of it and so I let them do that.

The purpose was always support indie comics. It was always “whoever asks to be on, can be on”. Those was always our plan as, in July, my group I was involved with was very inclusive and wanted everyone who makes and loves comics to be a part. It was a true indie revolution for the positive.

That changed over the last month as this group got taken over by alt-left internet trolls who form harassment mobs to try to harm different creators of all stripes. The site that I allowed to take over from my spreadsheet began gatekeeping books off over personal politics between creators — the antithesis of what my movement and indycron were supposed to be about.

So I sent forth with a great guy Joey D (the programmer of IndyCron) to provide what it was always intended to be: a hostpot for news for indie comics. We’re upgrading the way it’s looked at with a focus now on promotion of indie works. We want it very clear and easy to read, something folk can find any book they choose and click on the books.

The best part is we don’t only track IndieGoGo, a site with about 1/100th the amount of indie comics that Kickstarter has — but we have the main kickstarter site as well. This helps us fully get the scope of what’s out there on the market. I’m also using a news feed to talk about comics the come out through other means and even have a pull list for indie comics in the comic shop.

It’s a TON of work. Just adding these and doing the blog and sourcing news weekly is going to be a chore. I don’t get paid from it, I’m paying for the hosting and site. This is all to help indie creators and readers have a very organized site where they can peruse and find projects they want to support.

Comics on the site don’t necessarily have my endorsement, as that’s not the purpose. This is a news website like anything else. If, say, Ethan Van Sciver puts up a book, I will list it. If Gail Simone puts up a creator owned book, I will list it. We at IndyCron will not discriminate as that’s not our job or roll here, just to promote indie comics.

Anyway, the site is here, so check it out.

And if you like what I’m providing and do want to support, please just check out my book, Flying Sparks: Meta-Man Special which I released directly to Amazon. Silver Age-style fun, $4.99. An affordable and available indie comic like everyone asked for.

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Knight Training Now On Audio!

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You’re probably noticing a lot of product promotion posts and a lot of writing stuff this year and wondering what’s going on on the blog? Well, I’ve got a LOT of products, and I’m spending a lot of my time getting them ready, trying to crank them out, trying to do advertising and mailing lists… it’s a big job ramping up to where I’m at workload wise. But there also hasn’t been a lot of interesting stuff going on culture wise to commentate on. Everything’s been kind of flat and dead for the last few months. I think a lot of folk in the establishment finally accepted that I’m here to stay.

But we’re not here for that, we’re here because Knight Training is out on audio. My narrators are cranking away at all my remaining books, and this is the beginning of it.

If you missed Knight Training, it’s my #1 Bestseller from last summer, it’s a coming of age story of a boy becoming a steampunk knight– the special forces of my Rislandian world. I wrote this because of popular demand for a story featuring my James character, and folk were very receptive to the story. If you were on my mailing list a month ago or so, you got a free ebook version (so do leave a review!).

It’s not on audio, so everyone can enjoy it in every format. Check it out here (and it’s also available on the audible app of course).

 

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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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My Endorsement Of Mary Robinette Kowal For SFWA President

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I am pleased to announce my endorsement of Mary Robinette Kowal for President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America!

Some folk might ask why I endorse? As the leading Hispanic voice in Science Fiction, it’s crucial to make my stance heard on this very important matter for science fiction writers. It’s important for marginalized voices like mine to be heard and to be a part of directing the future of sci-fi.

Ms. Kowal is a writer’s-writer, a true champion of the craft, with an open mind, and a genuine spirit to help other writers get ahead. Whereas a lot of the industry seems to try to hoard what it’s got in fear of precious readers finding greener pasture, Kowal uplifts other writers and understands that as the fruits of labors grow, as does the readership and customer base.

She also understands that a guild like SFWA is not meant to be an exclusionary political club nor extremist ideologies to push out others. Writing is for everyone. And I’ve confirmed via conversation with her a very important aspect of why I endorse Ms. Kowal—she opposes discrimination within the guild over political affiliation.

I’ll get more to that later as I’ll go through her excellent platform and why it’s crucial for SFWA if it wants to regain its stature as a relevant organization in today’s publishing climate.

First – health care. I thought this was already a thing with SFWA. It’s one of the primary reasons I’ve wanted to join is to have access to a health care co-op for insurance. That by itself is a very valuable service I thought they offered, and is 100% crucial in today’s world, but it looks like it’s not actually part of their scope. This needs to change quickly as it’s one of the most important benefits to authors who are independent contractors.

But beyond that, her points:

New opportunities to help our members diversify their income streams

This is very important in the modern world. It’s what I’ve been championing. I’ve had a lot of success on alternative income streams over the past year, one that’s allowed me to qualify for SFWA 50x over. I offered to share some help with the officers over the past year personally, and have been met with being ignored or derision each time. It’s very odd, as shouldn’t professionals in a position representing all SF/F Writers of America be supremely interested in revenue streams and how to accomplish them?

Fortunately, Kowal is. If we can see change here, and we have a president like her who is open to new ideas and fresh innovations, it can help all the writers all the way down the line who can benefit from information like I have which could move a lot of writers from poverty and not being able to actually do this professionally, to having real income streams.

Strengthening the Nebula Conference as a professional development conference

This is crucial as well. Writing Conferences need to be more about business, how to help authors get ahead just like in point one. We don’t need to spend hours endlessly debating whether Tolkien was racist like happened at the conference in 2018. How does that help anyone? In fact, trying to hurt the reputation of the genre unjustly like that only turns potential professionals and readers AWAY, because they rightly view this as a toxic outrage culture center. And no one needs more of that, we all have Twitter already.

If the org had classes on how to properly utilize ads and social media, building mailing lists, outreaching toward readers, and focused there, it would be imminently helpful toward writers who have to master these skills if they want to be competitive. Ms. Kowal, when you win, and if you read this – I volunteer to assist with these efforts!

Protecting our rights for free speech

This is super important especially to marginalized authors like myself. So many conservative-libertarians live in fear of what will happen if they make their positions known. I have author after author say they’re afraid to speak up against the mobs out of fear they’ll get shouted down, kicked out of groups, bullied, and harassed out of the guild and/or different publishing houses for even centrist beliefs. They approach me in confidence because they know I will defend their rights as artists.

The type of stories that are allowed to be published are imminently one-sided, and it’s been a detriment to science fiction publications as a whole. I look forward to Ms. Kowal’s defense of conservative ideals and our abilities to speak without fear. That’s what being an artist is all about.

Outreach to underserved and underrepresented writers in the SFF community

Again, the most important aspect of this, as the most underserved and underrepresented writers in the SF/F community are conservatives and Christians. These groups feel like they’re not welcome anywhere within the sphere of publishing, and it needs to change.

I’m confident Ms. Kowal will enact change here, which is the primary reason for my endorsement. I also volunteer to act as an ambassador to the conservative/Christian writing communities on her behalf, as many writers feel they can safely speak with me in confidence, when their concerns might get them ostracized or their businesses hurt if they voice their issues elsewhere. With me in such a role, we can repair the bridge in fandom so we can make it about books again, and selling for authors, and not about petty political squabbles.

Ms. Kowal has demonstrated to me personally that she is sincere in this effort by attempting to assist me with Worldcon 2018 when they horribly discriminated against me last year because of my outspoken beliefs, and because I was under threat of physical harm being done to me at their convention by extreme left-wing agitators.  The cycle of victim blaming must stop, and Kowal has assured me SFWA will not be an organization that will treat conservative authors as 2nd class citizens. This is a human rights issue and very big for me!

But Kowal also puts her money where her mouth is. When I was coming up and needed promotion as a writer, Kowal featured me on her blog not just once—but twice, and the second after I’d already become a prominent outspoken conservative within the community. She cares about books FIRST – and this is what sets her apart from others.

I’m excited for her tenure so I can finally join the professional guild (as is my due) without being shut down and held to standards others within SFWA are not.

Taking full advantage of our 501c3 status to apply for grants that will allow SFWA to be a more active and useful organization for our members

This is great. I love charity and my wife and I have organized many successful charity events in the past. It’s all about helping others in our time on this planet, and I look forward to helping out with these initiatives as well. When God blesses us with gifts, it’s our duty to use those gifts for those less fortunate.

 

This platform has me energized like very few moments before in my career. I am excited to stand with Mary Robinette Kowal for a brighter future, one that would have been envisioned by the greats like Heinlein or Asimov, one where we can grow both as writers and as humans together. We will make science fiction fun again!

Speaking of making Sci-Fi Fun again, if you haven’t checked out my short story collection, you’ll definitely want to! It’s got a wide variety of fun adventures and you’ll love it if you love classic sci-fi. Read it here!

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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 Spanish Civil War

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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.

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What A Review!

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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:

 

 

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