IndieGoGo Tampers With 2nd ComicsGate Campaign

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@ElectricDino12 reports this morning that IndieGoGo has not delivered him his funds on his comic book, Rebel Yell #2, even though the campaign closed back on Feb 21st.

“Indiegogo has had since Feb 21st to disperse the funds for our successfully crowdfunded Rebel Yell Issue #2, but they say that the comic has yet to be reviewed by their “Trust and Safety” Team? We’re still waiting, folks,” he reports.

The “Trust & Safety” team is the same group that began messing with Alt-Hero Q’s funds by Chuck Dixon, eventually holding backer’s funds for over a month, and then refunding all pledges in what appears to be fraudulent action by IGG.

Rebel Yell is made by a small creative team, a group that made only $541 on the campaign, so it’s not likely to get much attention by any of the major outlets, but it’s still something harrowing. This company is not safe, and is messing with multiple projects not before they go up, but after backers have given funds to it. Oddly, IndieGoGo had no problem with their Issue #1 and allowed the campaign through without any problems.

The crowdfunding platform is not safe to use at all, and it appears they’re far more willing to take action on their own to harm creator owned comic projects. Use the site at your own risk.

My Flying Sparks volume 2 is available on BackerKit, a 3rd party company which hasn’t bothered anyone, and has been very cordial on the phone with me over several conversations. iIf you missed out on the project, you can get it here and be assured the funds will get to me.

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Revolutions Need A Purpose Or They Will Not Last

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Waging the culture war is often like beating your head against a wall on repeat, hoping eventually the wall will fall down. It requires a hard head for one, but you’ll find more often than not that people you thought were on your side will attempt to put walls around you.

It sounds like a vague analogy, and it is to some extent, but it’s also what I’ve encountered since doing everything i can to start a cultural revolution in comic books in 2017. As we know, my movement I began is called ComicsGate. And since that time, it’s morphed from what it was supposed to be into a club of grown men acting like a high school mob.

And it’s not healthy. I’ve done everything I can to try to get it back on track, and still am working toward that end, because there’s a huge real battle out there.

But we have to have purpose, and remember what the roots were. I’ve been hamming on this point for nearly a month because there is a subset that won’t listen and is continuing with the same ways that are stagnating the growth and making it so no normal person would join up if they’re in their right minds.

The purpose has always been this:

  • The mainstream industry is blacklisting conservatives
  • We are opposed to that
  • We want great comics that aren’t pushing an identity politics narrative

That’s it. It’s pretty simple and a great base to start producing and getting going. I’ve put my money where my mouth is and produced 3 full graphic novels in this time to try to counter the industry, making the equivalent of monthly books with my hard work.

And meanwhile, a lot of other folk are meandering and stirring up drama with cosplayers on YouTube, muddying the points above because it’s more about their personal YouTube clicks than anything else.

Yet more are taking to blacklisting conservatives because they are trying to appeal to a “centrist” core that they imagine exists. They act like the mainstream industry only label themselves ComicsGate. It flies in the face of everything we’ve tried to create.

It’s ugly and unfocused. And it’s time for change.

We need to get back to our purpose. And those who can’t are showing themselves, because they want a few short term dollars from outrage. It’s not sustainable, and doesn’t do anyone any good. Those are the people to look out for in the movement, the ones that will do anything to maintain a buck while not producing much of anything.

Join me in fighting against the mainstream that’s in lockstep and looking for any reason to hold us down. But we have to stay with those bullet points above. Otherwise, we’re just here flailing and yelling for no reason.

My book’s now up on BackerKit for people who missed out on the campaign. Join a lot of readers who are moving comics forward in a positive direction.

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#ComicsGate Doesn’t Want Or Need Gatekeepers

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Political gatekeeping has to stop.

Last summer saw a group of guys who were forging ahead in indie comics in a way that was unique. We pushed each others books, cared about the craft, were working toward building a world where GOOD books were what mattered.

The whole point of ComicsGate was to point a middle finger toward gatekeepers, especially those on the left who try to stop right-leaning content from being seen.

Yes, a reminder is needed again that this whole movement came about because the extreme left establishment that runs comics blacklisted people on the right wing. Entire point was to counter this behavior, and to welcome independent creators with open arms who want to put BOOKS FIRST.

As I maintained this message through the fall and winter, after the crowdfunding period ended, same with the honeymoon period, some folk went into political and fiefdom finger pointing just like the establishment did. I opposed this, and I still oppose this.

Some folk saw the light, we made up. Why? Because we’re stronger together. Independents rely upon each other to boost each other because we don’t have the giant network, platform, and distribution that Disney and Warner Bros have. They are our opposition.

Now I blog today because of a group that took the IndieCron concept from me, an idea that originated on this blog. Originally, Edwin Boyette and I pushed indie books, and made an easy resource for people to find them and how well they were doing. Anyone who wanted in could be in. We weren’t gatekeepers. We were just facilitating readers connecting with creators. That’s the whole point.

Unfortunately, IndieCron got co-opted by a couple of guys who decided they would be the arbiters of what books they want seen. They became just like Disney and Warner Bros. Content they don’t like for thatever reason—politics, personal, even content they judge “aren’t going to sell” now is getting removed from their site. It’s become pointless. I’m very sad too see my idea used like this.

But there’s an answer. This is why I started ComicsCodex.com

This site is designed to promote and support ALL indies. Anyone who wants on can be on. It’s a spot for readers to connect with projects and creators. It’s not a pissing match to make some sort of nebulous statement like the other site has become.

We all need to stand together and stop the nonsense. When we divide like is being done, it divides the readers, it divides the creators, we will have LESS books getting into LESS people’s hands as a result.

My dream has always been to create something new and different. Where it’s about the love of the books. I hope you all will join me.

And join in on The Ember War before it’s too late – this book was the first one that IndieCron refused when the new owners went off the rails. None of the major YouTubers even acknowledged the book despite it being a great sci-fi book by top-tier creators who are KNOWN for performing. Readers chose the book anyway. The Ember War made $25,000+ without them. Their gatekeeping not only is pointless, but they’re not even very good at it as readers will choose what they love anyway. And they love great science fiction by an award winning author like me.

Buy it now before it closes this weekend! 

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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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Effective Conservative Artists Don’t Live In Fear

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Today we have the lesson brought to us by an artist named Mike Miller.

My history with Mike was a pretty simple one. Mike acted like a friend, had me on his live streams multiple times, because others in his immediate circle told him to. Once they told him not to, he bowed to social pressure immediately and barely had any communication with me. It’s tragic watching someone act like that, and it should have been the end of the story, but this week, Mike decided to join the pile-on attacks on me coordinated by Ethan Van Sciver and his hate mob.

Mike doesn’t attack in a “you’re a scum!” way, he’s a passive aggressive gamma male. So he came at me in the middle of this after their private DM group where they shit-talk against other creators non-stop was losing their minds on me in order to score points with them. He showed up on a thread of mine where I was pointing out how EVS’s crowd are hypocritical with a “What would Jesus do?”

A passive aggressive public insult to try to mock someone’s Christianity is certainly not what Jesus would do. As he’s wont to do, he wouldn’t stop. He went for hours, I attempted to reconcile the situation multiple times, but Mike laughed it off, called me crazy, mocked mental illness, rambled about how I associate with racists. He would not speak to reconcile, never messaged me in private, just kept on the attack.

Now this isn’t to condemn Mike for those, I’ve done that already, but we have a very important lesson for conservative artists wrapped in this: if you operate in fear for your livelihood, you’re going to lose.

The thing is, Mike has to do what he’s doing. EVS’s club is about creating drama and enemies so they can rant about people on youtube and get superchats. Ethan’s primary business is keeping youtube going, the comic book element of what he’s doing is not important to him. And unfortunately, this summer, Mike tied himself so hard to this guy, that he has no way to extricate himself without a hard landing with no parachute.

So he lives in fear.

Being A Conservative In the Arts

As conservatives, we are already at a disadvantage. You can’t go into “being a conservative in the arts” for the money. If you want money and mainstream notoriety voicing right wing views kills you.

Mike already burned his bridges hard by being an abrasive guy who’s passive aggressive about such views to the establishments in his field at Marvel/DC. He has NO way back to them.  As a comic artist, that’s career suicide. And unlike some others, Mike is no moderate. He’s a pretty extreme right winger. Yesterday he was championing the Border Wall independent funding project, laughing about how much money it was making to keep Mexicans out of the country. The things he’s said about homosexuals on public forums are cause to make anyone blink. The thing is, he’s already painted himself into the “extreme right wing corner” where he gets called racist, sexist, homophobe more than anyone else I know.

He can’t go back, and he knows it’s career suicide and he’s going to struggle feeding his family. As I understood it, he was in some pretty hefty debt before this whole comicsgate things began. He needed the Lonestar money badly, enough to do anything for it.

There Is No Trust Between Anyone In EVS’s Arena

Here’s where EVS came in. Mike was on his show day in and day out, the guy did raise tens of thousands of dollars for Mike. So Mike cannot risk crossing the guy.

When you’re a conservative in the arts and you cannot risk crossing people, it’s already a formula for trouble.

We cross people by existing. It’s what we do. We’re extremely controlversial because we voted wrong. Nothing can change that. Being in that situation, we have to know that social pressure to virtue signal against other right wingers is going to be CONSTANT, and we also know that engaging in that and going around pointing “racisssst” at people (as Mike did to several of my friends this week) and then going and slamming other conservative artists’ works (as he did with my Flying Sparks yesterday though I know he hasn’t read it), is detrimental.

The problem is Mike’s in .a tight spot. His recent IndieGoGo campaign got less backers than my second campaign The Ember War when his first did nearly 7x my backing. That big of a delta and swing is because people stopped trusting Mike, and a lot of the people he recruited from EVS don’t actually care about BOOKS. It’s the wrong audience that was targeted for expedient cash rather than trying to build something long term, but that’s another story.

Mike’s blown through the Lonestar money and needs it and sees the IndieGoGo Van Sciver train drying up, and doesn’t know what to do. But Van Sciver is still helping him with what remains of that train for a few thousand bucks now instead of tens of thousands, so Mike is afraid. He has to attack when his master says attack or he has not cash train left.

I’ve seen this happen to people before in conservative circles. This is why it’s so important to build your own platform, have your own thing and NOT rely on someone. EVS’s titanic is sinking fast, and they’re all running very scared because of it. They’ve got a group of people who aren’t on the right at all dictating things, harassing people, pointing and shrieking racist at everyone who crosses them, and Mike is in abject fear of that.

It’s a tragic story, and nothing can be done about it. I can’t repair things with Mike while he’s living in fear, because Mike will always be too afraid of a little backlash to do what’s right. His master Van Sciver requires people disassociate with others in order to please him, and one cannot serve two masters, as Jesus taught us.

The Lesson

If you’re a conservative in the arts, this is a lesson for you. Do your own thing, don’t care what others think. Don’t bow to social pressure ever. Build your own platform and don’t rely your family’s existence on someone–especiallly on a youtube/social media personality — because it’s a tenuous circumstance to start. E-fame almost never leads to people getting rich.

It may be slower building an audience, but sticking to your principles, sticking to producing (Mike is also 4 months late on his project and it’s looking like he’s going to be another 3-4 months if he gets it out at all) rather than joining in the chorus attacking other conservatives will get you the right fans: ones who are loyal and principled.

Loyal and principled are the type of readers I have, and I know that I don’t have to risk purity tests or offending them, so I can speak the truth without a problem.

Mike, brother, I’ll forgive you when the time comes (which I believe will be in the next year or so). But as of right now, even with forgiveness it’s going to be hard to trust you completely without some major changes to the way you operate. The ship is sinking, you can keep trying to ride it but it gets more dangerous as it falls further into the icy water. But also know this: it’s better to do what’s right early, before it’s cool to do so, because then people know they can trust and rely upon you as a man. That’s valuable.

I came out with Guard Training yesterday. James as a character is fiercely loyal, and he struggles as his King tells him something he doesn’t want to hear about his personal life. Can he do what’s right under social pressure? You’ll have to read to find out! 

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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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On Words, Meanings, And How Not To Be An Idiot

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A primer on how humans communicate and how words mean things and how you can understand what they mean and not derail a conversation into pointlessness.

Let’s suppose I say “Democrats are a cancer upon society” in relation to say, their attempting to block the badly needed Border Wall with Mexico (which Mexico is gonna pay for).

It’s very clear I am speaking about Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and their current actions.

My aunt is a Democrat. I am very clearly not hating her because that would be retarded.

When you come in and go “what about your aunt” it does not have anything to do with the conversation at hand, it does not have anything to do with you, you are just derailing a discussion for no purpose other than concern trolling. Either that, or you don’t understand what I’m talking about and therefore it’s best not to comment.

Now this is an analogy, which I know talks past some people just because it requires logical thinking, but apply this to ComicsGate when I am speaking on the topic. Think before commenting. Thank you.

If you prove you can’t understand how this works after this communication, you are getting autoblocked. I’m not spending time on this.

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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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The Cardinal Mistake With SJWs and Robert Silverberg

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Robert Silverberg, a science fiction legend who’s responsible for editing some of the greatest sci-fi anthologies and short fiction collections of all time, among having one of the biggest writing careers in sci-fi himself, had a private email list with a few friends over the summer. On the list, he made commentary about NK Jemisin’s Hugo Award speech, in which she riddled with identity politics like she does everything else. He thought something along the lines that it’s a shame that people seem to be voting based on identity and that instead of celebrating and enjoying that people cared about a story, she used the platform to launch into “muh racist”, like she always does. He lamented this is not good for sci-fi, and rightly so, because it’s not.

But it is an indication of what science fiction’s become. The last decade, establishment publishing has treasured identity over story, and it’s become a trainwreck just like the speech. What Silverberg fails to understand, is it’s not like the glory days of sci-fi where it was about creating exciting stories with these people, it’s about sticking it to “the man” in the literal sense–and he is one, so he’s on the outs regardless of his accomplishments.

The problem is, he was attacked by this very crowd, despite his track record, despite his wondrous accomplishments that should be praised. He violated their most sacred law of “thou shalt not make a comment about a minority whining about racism”, and therefore the entire establishment elite must condemn and destroy him for the rest of their days. He thought he was just talking to people who loved science fiction, loved the work, just like he does, however, and this is where he made his mistake:

He tried to explain himself.

Silverberg made a post with the wrong topic in the wrong forum. He took to File 770 to do a long-winded post basically saying “I’m not racist, I just care about science fiction.”  The problem is– the people’s he’s talking to are racist and don’t care about science fiction. You can look at the comments, all they do is trash him: http://file770.com/racism-and-sexism/

Of course, sci-fi elites like Jemisin herself replied with passive aggressive drivel like you would expect. The woman has a publishing contract solely because of her skin color, sells books solely because she whines about it, and wins awards solely so people can pat themselves on the back for it. It’s a joke. She’s used her race to create her entire career, and is one of the biggest race-baiting liars out there. She can’t even be consistent enough to not attack everyone’s favorite humble Hispanic author (me) on race matters, but that’s another story.

It still comes down to this, and i’ve made this mistake with the comicsgate crowd: don’t explain yourself. Don’t argue on the internet. People who are shrieking “racist” aren’t around for rational discussion. They’re not your friends even if you think they are. They’re just trying to destroy because that’s all they know how to do. They’re deriving pleasure from that, not the books, not the work. They don’t care about it.

And that’s the state of the sci-fi industry today. But don’t worry, reader. Because in the indie world, we’re rebelling against this kind of thing. We’re making stories for the fun of it, making stories to entertain YOU, the reader.  We’re going to make science fiction adventurous again. We’re going to make science fiction full of wonder again. We’re gonna make science fiction entertaining again. And we will Make Science Fiction FUN again! Make sure to read my new short fiction collection, out today! Read the back cover to see how the establishment in publishing is panicked by me:

 

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