Tuesday, October 16, 2018
SUPPORT BILL WALKO’s HERO BUSINESS GRAPHIC NOVEL ON KICKSTARTER & JOSH HOWARD’S T-BIRD & THROTTLE ON INDIEGOGO!
Two of my favorite comic artists are crowdfunding to get their books published. And I want to help get the word out about their awesome projects!
This week Bill Walko is launching a Kickstarter to print the Hero Business Season 2 graphic novel. The Hero Business is a FUN webcomic that’s The Avengers Meets NBC’s The Office and reminds me of the late great Dwayne McDuffie’s classic Marvel comic Damage Control. I never miss a Hero Business strip, and here’s a GREAT opportunity for you to find out how awesome this comic is!
A few years ago I backed the first season graphic novel for The Hero Business, and I’m backed this one on the first day it was launched! When you support Bill’s Kickstarteryou’ll have a chance to get both the first and second season in paperback or digital or you can opt to donate on one of the higher reward tiers for one of the variant covers, the Hero Business mug and the new AWESOME Hero Business pins!
And Josh Howard is raising funds on indiegogo to publish the second issue of T-Bird & Throttle. Having read and reviewed the #0 and first issues I can honestly say this is one of the BEST comics of 2018. After reading those first two issues I was so eager to find out what happens next in this story, I made my donation on the first day the project was launched!
Along with the second issue, Josh is offering the first and #0 issues and some awesome extras like variant covers and commission sketches if you decide to pledge on one of the higher reward tiers.
Bill’s Kickstarter just launched yesterday and is ¼ of the way to getting funded!
Josh’s indiegogo is half past there and has been extended for two more weeks. I really want to see both these GREAT artists get their projects funded, because I want to get great comics in the hands of readers and both these GREAT artists build a larger audience of readers!
You can donate to Bill’s Kickstarter until November 15th.
And you Can donate to Josh’s indiegogo Until the end of October. Let’s get these AWESOME projects funded!
Saturday, October 13, 2018
This Friday Netflix announced that it’s cancelling Iron Fist, one of the five series based on Marvel Comics superheroes on the streaming service.
And I’d have to say this was a mercy killing. After completely emasculating Danny Rand over the course of 10 episodes there was place for Iron Fist to go after Season 2 but downhill.
It’s hard to find a reason to keep watching a show after the lead character has been turned into a complete BITCH. Danny Rand was too PASSIVE to be a hero, letting every character push him into the background of his own show. And when he gave away his own power to Colleen Wing, it just was the last straw.
The show was supposed to be called IRON FIST. But Danny Rand acted like IRON WIMP. Instead of having BALLS of STEEL his NUTS were crumpled like TIN FOIL and dropped in a pocket of Colleen Wing’s purse.
Yeah, Season 3 promized Orson Randall and the Immortal Iron Fist. But the problem was Danny Rand wasn’t presented to be the MAN he needed to be in the first two seasons. For all the setups, there was no PAYOFF in Danny learning how to be the MAN who used his martial arts skills to protect those in his community from those who would threaten it.
It was hard to see Iron Fist someone as a hero when he couldn’t even protect himself. When writers have Iron Fist, the world’s greatest martial artist hiding behind WOMEN and having women help him fight his battles, viewers has no reason to CARE about watching his series.
The biggest problem with Netflix’s Iron Fist is that the writers just didn’t understand MEN. From the start, Danny Rand was written from a gynocentric perspective and that made him too passive and too unassuming to be a hero. He radiated no masculine energy and had no masculine presence. Heroes are supposed to be written with confidence, self-assurance, and intelligence and even a bit of cockiness.
Yeah, I get that Danny Rand is supposed to be this Martial artists raised by humble disciplined martial arts masters. But I’d like to believe even the most disciplined American martial artist would have some swagger. Former Power Rangers, Austin St. John, Walter Jones, and Jason David Frank are humble guys. But they still had swagger. Confidence. And their strong masculine presence gave us a reason to watch Power Rangers in the 1990’s.
When I think of Iron Fist I think of type guy in the style of Austin St. John, Jason Frank, or 1980s B-Movie star Michael Dudkioff’s Joe from the American Ninja movies. Joe was the kind of guy who was quiet and humble, but could throw out some playful one-liners as he used some oldschool American resourcefulness in his martial arts fighting style to beat his foes. Like Joe in the American Ninja movies we needed to see Iron Fist BEATING THE SHIT out of 20 guys in 10 seconds, in fast-paced martial arts sequences like Austin St. John, Walter Jones and Jason Frank did on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
With Iron Fist I wanted a show that was 1993’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on steroids. A show that featured fast paced marital arts and BIG action sequences with lots of chumps getting WRECKED and boss villains getting their asses kicked. A show that spent its three episodes showing how a lost Danny Rand wound up in K’un L’un, grew up being taught by those Masters the discipline he’d need to get home, working towards EARNING the Iron Fist. Then as the season progressed, he’d leave K’un Lun, return to earth making money in cage fights, starting a dojo with Colleen Wing tagging along as he actively laid out a strategy to take his company back, then started dealing with the Meachums using strategies he learnd from those masters.
Then as season 2 went on we would have had the Steel Serpent Storyline. With a big muscular Tong Po looking dude from the 1980s Kickboxer movies playing Davos, not that Beta Incel they cast to play him. After Danny beat Davos with the help of Shang-Chi he would learn about Orson Randall coming to the city looking for him.
That show would have EASILY gotten a season 3. But because the writers wrote Iron Fist as a passive, unassuming Beta Male who let himself get overshadowed in his own show by EVERY MEMBER of his supporting cast that’s why Iron Fist got cancelled.
The lesson here for Netflix and Marvel Studios regarding the failure of Iron Fist is to let the HERO be the CENTER of his show. If a show is called IRON FIST we need to see IRON FIST doing all the cool shit, not side characters like Colleen Wing. People want to see the MAIN CHARACTER doing THEIR THING in a show with their name on it. In an ACTION show we want to see the HERO being ACTIVE taking the LEAD and TAKING CHARGE in their OWN STORIES.
What’s sad about Iron Fist is that the show never actualized its potential because the writers and producers couldn’t execute on concept. Every episode of Iron Fist should have been a martial arts movie with big superhero movie special effects, but the producers just gave us a meandering cop show with no story and no substance. Then as the second season progressed they decided to push girl power on Danny Rand’s show, minimizing and emasculating their own hero.
Giving us every reason to Change the channel. Or click out and watch someone else like Luke Cage. Everything Luke did in Season 2 Danny should have been doing in Iron Fist.
Iron Fist should have been an action packed martial arts show with fast paced martial arts, intriguing stories about an American applying far eastern philosophy in the west as he adjusts to life in America. With the right writer Iron Fist could have been a martial arts classic. But due to incompetent showrunners with a jumbled vision all we got was a mess of a superhero show. Thankfully, Netflix put this show down before viewers could suffer another season of terrible writing, terrible acting and piss poor production values.
I want to thank the executives at Netflix for cancelling Iron Fist. You did us all a great service by ending this horrible show. When a TV show shows no signs of improving you just pull the plug.
Sunday, October 7, 2018
This month I’m proud to kick off a special event in the SJS DIRECT Universe: Fantasy Flashback Fall.
In the Fantasy Flashback Fall stories I give readers a look into the pasts of the characters in the SJS DIRECT Universe while taking a moment to teach a lesson in African-American history. These unique stories are designed to educate readers about Black culture and the Black experience while entertaining them with an action packed adventure.
The first book that will be released in Fantasy Flashback Fall on October 22nd will be E’steem: The Sands of Time. In E’steem The Sands of Time we get a look at Princess E’steem’s past in Ancient Egypt before she became a demon. As she works towards getting a time displaced teenage John Haynes back to his time of 1987, readers will learn about life in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian culture and learn about the role the Heliopolitan gods in the building of Egyptian civilization.
With E’steem: The Sands of Time I wanted to give Black girls a Princess story in the style of Disney’s Princess stories like Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.
I always felt it wasn’t fair that we couldn’t get a Disney Princess story with a Black princess. (In my eyes Tiana doesn’t count, because she was a friggin' frog for most of the movie and at the end of the day she married a nonblack Prince) So I decided to write a story where the Black girl could be the princess and falls in love with a Black Prince. Anyone who knows SJS DIRECT Universe continuity knows E’steem is descended from a royal African bloodline (Katia) and is adopted by Osiris, the Pharaoh of Heliopolis. So she’s a REAL Princess. And John Haynes is gonna grow up to become The Man Who Rules The World So he’s on his way to becoming a king…In the technical sense. So technically it’s a Princess story that meets the standard of Disney’s Princesses.
In my Princess story I wanted readers to see a true picture of Black-on Black love and how that love transcends time. I always thought it was a shame that we don’t get many stories of Black-on-Black love these days. With E’steem: The Sands of Time wanted to show the power of Black love and how helped two people overcome the challenges they faced.
What makes E’steem:The Sands Of Time unique is that All the Egyptian characters are Black. When I wrote this story I imagined an ALL BLACK cast of actors voicing the characters like Salli Richardson as E’steem, Michael Ealy as John Haynes, Samuel L. Jackson as Osiris, Angela Bassett as Isis, Suzzane Douglas as Mamnet, Keith David as Lucifer, Dondre T. Whitfield as Ma-Sil, and Jada Pinkett Smith as Decadia. In too many media adaptations we get an image of Whitewashed Egyptians. In The Sands of Time I wanted to show what Ancient Egyptians really looked like and the parallels between Ancient Egyptian culture and Black American culture.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Sunday, September 23, 2018
A long time ago in a ghetto far, far away I wanted to be a comic book writer. And I’m getting closer to achieving that goal.
For the last couple of months I’ve been working off and on on an Isis graphic novel adaptation of the upcoming Isis: All That Glitters. And I’m just about finished putting together the script for that book. The feedback I’ve been getting on the firstten pages of the Isis: All That Glitters script has been extremely positive. So I’m pondering going from a script to developing it into the first comic of the SJS DIRECT Imprint.
Isis was originally supposed to be a comic book. But because the comic book industry was impossible to break into back in 1999 when I created the character, I wound up turning it into a series of Superhero Prose/Fantasy/YA books. With the books growing a following in paperback and Kindle, I thought it was time to take that next step into making Isis into the comic book it was originally planned to be.
It was a lot of WORK writing Isis: All that Glitters. Comic writing is NOTHING like novel writing or screenwriting. Comic writing is a very unique skill set; each part of the story has to be told with a series static images that have to be dynamic enough the reader can see them move. And translating words from a story into pictures an artist can see through a series of shots was a challenge. I had to pick just the right shots and use just the right words to describe a panel to move the story forward.
With Isis: All that Glitters I had to make several changes from the book to make the comic book version of the storywork. Some scenes from the original book were cut, and others changed to fit the story model. But I did my best to remain true to the original story I wrote.
I’ve always wanted to do comics. And I learned a LOT about writing comics working with comic artists like Bill Walko and Mike Williams designing covers for Isis and E’steem series books and books like The Legendary Mad Matilda and John Haynes: A Conversation With Death. And I used all those skills to work towards putting together a pair of comic scripts for the first Isis Graphic Novel.
The Isis Graphic Novel I’m planning will be about 64 Pages and feature two stories, The Isis All That Glitters feature and an adaptation of E’steem: No Good Deed and maybe a pinup or two of the Goddess next door and Hell’s aspiring Angel. Right now I’m working out the logistics of how much things will cost before I start contacting artists and lay out plans for an indiegogo. If I can get a great artist to work with me on the project I’d love to raise funds for an indiegogo and once that’s done eventually sell the book on Amazon on Kindle in eBook and Paperback formats.
If I can get the indiegogo to be a success I’d love to do a John Haynes: A Conversration With Death Adaptation with a Spinsterella and the Spooky Girl Back up feature. While I’d love to do Graphic Novel adaptations of all the Isis and E’steem series books I’m taking baby steps here. There’s a lot I still need to learn about comic book publishing before I dive into that part of the book business.
Right now I’m working out the logistics of publishing Isis: All That Glitters. I know that in addition to the artist I have to hire a colorist and a letterer if I put this project together. Comic publishing has a LOT of components and I have to figure out how they work before I launch any sort of crowdfunding so that all those costs are covered.
While I’ve still got a long way to go on this project, I’m happy to have made this much progress. I’m getting closer to achieving my lifelong dream and I’m hoping to finally have a comic book version of Isis in everyone’s hands sooner rather than later.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Just Saw the Captain Marvel Trailer. And from what I saw I can honestly say this is going to be Marvel Studios first major flop.
From the trailer Captain Marvel doesn’t feel like a Marvel Studios movie. It looks and feels like a bland and generic. Like a CW Show. That’s not what you want in a movie with a $100 million plus budget. Wonder Woman this ain’t.
Basically Captain Marvel is gonna be Marvel’s version of CW’s Supergirl. And I don’t mean fun Season 1 Supergirl. It’s gonna be feminist Season 3 SJW Supergirl, the one with no personality, no soul and no heart. The one who spends all her time preaching to the audience and complaining about her life.
Captain Marvel’s story looks like the usual one Hollywood trots out when they write their so-called “Strong” heroines. Woman crashes out of the sky, doesn’t know who she is and spends most of the movie trying to figure out her past while she prepares to take on whatever big menace she has to confront in the third act.
Very disappointing when you consider that Captain Marvel has been hyped up to be the planet moving super badass who is supposed to be helping the Avengers take on Thanos. The character presented in this trailer doesn’t do anything to make the viewer believe that she’s someone who can be a cosmic level hero or even a threat capable of challenging Thanos in Avengers 4.
Then there’s Brie Larson. From what I saw onscreen Brie Larson has the personality of a block of wood. And I don’t mean natural wood. I mean the pressed sawdust wood you get in IKEA furniture. Yeah, Larson has an Oscar, but in the role of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel She has no screen presence, no personality and no “voice” that makes you believe she’s a superhero. She doesn’t radiate any of the confidence and charisma that Robert Downey Jr. does when he portrays Iron Man or Chris Evans does when he plays Captain America. She has no energy that engages the audience. Watching Brie Larson is like watching a CORPSE onscreen.
Maybe she’d do better playing Janey Belle in a Zombie Tramp Movie. But I doubt Dan Mendoza would want to have someone as TERRIBLE as Larson playing his villainess.
The big problem with Captain Marvel’s trailer is that it just makes you feel indifferent. Unlike Captain America: Civil War or previous MCU movies like Iron Man that got you excited with all the badass action sequences, Captain Marvel doesn’t have a single scene in its trailer that makes you say I WANT TO SEE THIS. After I got through watching this trailer, I was feeling…MEH.
And MEH is not a feeling a movie studio wants viewers, especially longtime comic fans to have about the superhero movie leading up to what’s supposed to be the Grand Finale to the MCU, Avengers 4.
The way things look right now from that trailer Captain Marvel is to the MCU what the Force Awakens was to Star Wars. And I’m hoping Avengers 4 isn’t Marvel’s Last Jedi. With the rumors of alternate realities and time travel, I have to wonder if Captain Marvel is just a precursor to a film that could be Disney’s biggest failure since The Black Cauldron.
It’s clear to me from what I saw in the Captain Marvel trailer that the wheels are falling off the MCU bus. And if these frames are the best parts of Captain Marvel, then Marvel Studios first film with a female lead could possibly be its last.