Friday, 11 November 2016

This is not normal...

Politcal post, feel free to skip...

So here we are, the dawning of a new, frightening era. Donald J Trump is the president elect.

I am a social democrat. I want for a better world. I lean heavily towards equal rights - whatever that cost might be to me, an average white man.

I am married to a wonderful, smart, strong feminist who keeps me in check when I'm slipping into the bad average white male habits that have been ingrained in us for so long.

I believe that the checks and balances of the US work, and that there is a place at the table for capitalism, and the GOP - as long as we maintain social responsibilities.

I also am not saying this to shout into the echo chamber, or to blame or dream of what is and what might have been.

The DNC needs to change. They have been awful at running campaigns forever. Any talk of Howard Dean becoming chair is going back. He crested on the wave of an incredible candidate, Barrack Obama, but his 50 state plan was there for Hillary Clinton before it was there for Obama.

When the candidates for the nominees for the DNC were announced I said to a friend, and I hated myself for saying it, this isn't the time for a woman.

I didn't say it because sexism or bigotry or because I wanted to return to the 50s and make America great again! I said it because I wanted the GOP to change. I wanted them to have a period of reflection and realization that they needed to clear house of the hate and the tea partiers and the fear and the misery. I wanted them to spend a moment to think about returning to their core values of fiscal responsibility and smart small governance, rather than obstructionist idiologizing.

I didn't say it because I wanted to besmirch the talents of Hillary Clinton, or because "she's unlikable" or because "Bernie or bust!". I said it because I felt that huge numbers of average white Americans would panic. Because they'd spent 8 years feeling like the change to their way of life wasn't a move towards a different age that would possibly be better for the majority, but because they felt it was an attack on their way of life that they wanted to preserve. 8 years of them convinced that minorities were getting a pass to go ahead of them in the line.

Put a woman in front of them, and many of them would see it as a move to give the pass to women ahead of them. They don't see it as equality, they see it as a competition, a pyramid with only a little room at the top. That top has been dominated by white males and they felt that they too could make it as long as a white male was still there.

I hated myself for saying it and even thinking it, but I said that even an average white man would be a better move - not because I believe that average white men are better. This was back when I was convinced that Jeb! would be their guy.

Donald J Trump won because a bunch of white average Americans don't want to go through the difficulty of change, and because a bunch of wealthy white Americans didn't want to listen to them, but wanted to party with rock stars and drink fancy coffee.

Now we have a man in office who is at no level fit to be there. He is a grotesque, a creature of no substance and little moral fibre.

He brings with him some of the most hateful creatures in politics.

He brings with him a crowd of hate that now feel validated in being public and loud about their hate.

If you voted for him for economic reasons, you need to be the first line that stands up to that wave of hate. Not us. We didn't want him. You did.

As for the DNC. Stop the in fighting. Stop the blaming. Realize that changes need to happen. Get involved in the bloody midterms, and tracking which fights are close, which senate seats might be open or up for grabs or who needs help.

Don't just sit back. It's going to be ugly.

Monday, 3 October 2016

The Hero Code - Volume 1 Kickstarter

The Hero Code Kickstarter for volume one is now live -

You can check it out here!

Please feel free to spread the word and the love, thank you.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Hero Code 7 is done!

I've just sent the files to ComiXology and posted it up for the fine folk who Patreonize us.

Here's the cover, by David Brame, Heather Breckel, and Frank Cvetkovic;

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Sept 2016

Hello all - Long Beach Comic Con fast approaches - Sept 17th and 18th - and I'll be tabling at L3 with a test run of copies of The Hero Code volume one, an ashcan of Hero Code Theatre of War, and copies of The Black Wraith. Stop by, say hi, try the books.

Issue 7 of Hero Code nears completion (couple of little fixes and some lettering to do) and issue 8 is about half way done.

Issue 7 sees us return to our current three cast members after the stand alone of issue 6, and 8 and 9 is a two part Black Wraith story. Issue 10 spotlights Myth for a story, before we go into issues 11-15, which ends the first major chapter in the story. 16 is a flash back story before we dive into the second major arc (titled 'A War in Heaven') and we start to introduce a lot more new characters.

Here's a peek at the cover for issue 8;

Art by David Brame, colors by Heather Breckel
Couple of questions for everyone - would anyone be interested in teeshirts if I ran a Teespring? If so, any particular character you'd be interested in seeing?

Also, I am thinking of running a Kickstarter for a good sized print run of The Hero Code Volume one - collecting issues 1-5 of the series - 6x9 sized, full color, about 140 pages - is that something people would be interested in backing?


Friday, 18 March 2016

WonderCon - 2016 - AA Table B14

Hi all, it has been a while, hasn't it?

So here's what's happening;

The Hero Code

Issues 1-6 are completed. Issues 1-4 are available on Comixology now, with 5-6 coming soon.

Issue 7 is around 16 pages finished, art wise. David is doing great stuff with it!

The Hero Code Theatre of War

All issues are completed, art wise. The prologue is done, and available on Comixology. Issues 1-3 of the mini series are awaiting color, and then will go up.

Department O

Issues 1-2 are done, and on Comixology. A new artist will join us for issue 3, which completes the story. Claire Connelly - who I'm a huge fan of. Andrew was unable to finish the book, with the success of Headlopper keeping him busy (for a long time, I hope! It's a great book).

Claire will be starting work on the final chapter soon.

Black Wraith, A Life of Crime one-shot

Chapter one is done. Chapter two is finished art wise, and needs color. I think I have the artists lined up for chapter's three and four. Hopefully I'll be able to finish this up once Department O wraps.

I'll be at WonderCon 2016 - March 25th-27th - at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Artist Alley, table B14.

I'll have a few books. I'm doing micro runs for the shows.

Hero Code Volume 1, cover art by Jonathan Rector
Volume 1 of Hero Code; The Menace of the Mannequin (collecting issues 1-5, full color) - $20
Volume 1 of Black Wraith (collecting 1-4 mini, black and white) - $10
Volume 1 of Hero Code; The Theatre of War (ashcan, collecting issues 1-3, black and white) - $10
Hero Code The Theatre of War Prologue issue (with original art collector card, full color) - $10

I'm sure I'll put together some bundle deals - $25 for Hero Code Vol 1, and Black Wraith Vol 1? $40 for all four? Something like that.

I'll also have some collector card sets, which I sell for $1. People have always seemed to dig those at shows.

The next show I'll definitely be at is Long Beach Comic Con - September 17th-18th. I may have some other completed books by then.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Asking A Lot

Been thinking a lot recently about whether or not to crowd fund my projects going forward.

Are we stuck asking the same group of people again and again to give again and again?

I'm not sure about the crowd building success I've had with my projects, never sat down to look at the backers across two Kickstarter campaigns, and see which percentages are repeat backers, which are new, and what percentage of backers from the first campaign fell off from the second.

But ultimately, I've been thinking a lot about comic work this year anyway. Hero Code has become something I do for my own personal pleasure, if people read it, that's great, but I'm doing it for me, and so is it right for me to ask others to pay?

I have wishes for the series, I wish I could put books out quicker. I wish I could be sure that the story I want to tell will be told across a bunch of issues, and that the people who work with me on it are getting something out of it too.

But I'm not trying to build an empire, break into publishing, become a full time comic writer with these books, I'm just trying to tell a story that I enjoy telling.

I still think Kickstarter and the other crowd funding services available are great, I'm just not sure if I want to do more of them.

What do you guys think?

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Hero Code - Lucky 7

Work has begun on Hero Code issue 7

Hero Code issue 7 page 2 - art by David Brame
Coloring is due on issues four and five for the series, which will see the completion of the first arc, The Menace of the Mannequin.

David Brame will be taking over the art duties for the series. He provided art for issue 6 (which was published as issue 2 for a short while, a stand alone story that we put out while waiting for art on what is now issue 2 - hopefully not too confusing!).

David Brame's cover to now issue 6

The first arc is very much an introductory story, hopefully leaving enough questions for readers to want to continue. The pacing on the next batch of stories will be different, and we will see more characters introduced.

The series has been hit by delays, some unforeseen (changing artists after delays), some the usual fare for self published work (day jobs, other priorities and commitments).

I'm hoping to have a little more stability and regularity in 2016 - we have issues 4 and 5 to come (as well as seeing 6 being released on ComiXology) and the 3 issues of the Theatre of War mini-series to come.

Hero Code Theatre of War issue 1 cover, art by Gary Lister
Even just getting these five books out in a year would be an improvement on previous years publishing records - so working on future books, and hoping to get at least two more issues in the bag would be quite a leap.

I've also been reworking scripts and folding in other story lines to the series, to make the whole thing hopefully move along smoother.

As always with self publishing, we are in the hands of other fates, but fingers crossed, there will be a lot more MPS stuff coming in the future.