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Monday, September 18, 2017

A World Without Marvel Or DC Comics

A world without Marvel or DC Comics. It’s something many of us can’t imagine. But it’s something that might possibly become a reality sooner rather than later.

In August the comic book industry posted the worst sales numbers in the history of the medium. Many books like X-men and Spider-Man which posted 500,000 sales in the late 1980s are now barely selling 50,000 units. Many iconic characters like Superman who sold five to six million comics in the 1950s are barely selling 40,000 comics.

Worse, comic shops aren’t ordering comics. Due to the poor sales of shoehorned SJW “diversity” characters and events like Secret Empire at Marvel, and the seven-year long debacle at DC’s rebooted New52, Convergence, and Rebirth, many comic shop owners aren’t ordering as many titles as they used to. And due to the fact that comics are non-returnable, comic shop owners are stuck with so many unsold back issues that some shops are being forced to close.

Are these the last days of Comic books at the Big Two? It’s looking like it.

While there are many comic fans out there, they don’t see a reason to buy comic books. Thanks to two decades of mismanagement at Marvel and DC’s editorial departments, both Marvel and DC have struggled to pull a profit since the 1990s collapse. After two decades of trying to bring readers back to the medium with numerous failed campaigns like revamps and reboots there comes a point where a business like Marvel and DC just can’t afford to keep producing a product that customers aren’t buying.

The parent companies of DC and Marvel, Warner Brothers and Disney may make billions of dollars off licensing and merchandising the catalog of popular superhero characters. However, the median age for a comic book reader is 40 years old. At that median age, corporations discontinue products. Why? Because there’s no place for the customer to go but the grave.

And looking at the sales of print comics in August 2017, the audience for print comics has one foot on a banana peel and the other in a casket. With the comic book industry unable to find a way to sell comics to younger readers, it’s looking more and more like we’re going to be living in a world without Marvel Comics or DC Comics sooner rather than later.

It’s hard to imagine a world without the superheroes generations grew up with. But we’re getting there.

I grew up with Marvel and DC comic books. They were how I learned to read when I was 4. And they got me through a lot of hard times in Junior High, High School, and College. I used to look forward to buying them on Fridays in High school from a newsstand in Times Square and Wednesdays on Fordham Road in The Bronx when I was in college. It saddens me to think of a world without Marvel and DC comic books. They were the place so many kids like myself who felt out of place with the rest of the world could find someone we could look up to. And someplace where we felt like we belonged.

Yeah, it was an imaginary place. But that escape from the harsh reality of broken homes, poverty, crime, and drugs helped many kids like myself get through a rough day and gave them friends who could help them get through the hard times. For some, they gave them something to aspire to when they grew up.

Yeah, there are a bunch of superhero movies out there today. But what happens when the Superhero movie craze is over? As publishers, Marvel and DC aren’t in a place to sustain comics anymore. Nor are any of the indies. The generation after this could be the first in a century to grow up without comic books. And their world will be a sadder place without them.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Case for Family Friendly Comic Books

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Comic Books are DEAD, Jim

Monday, September 11, 2017

How to Deal With Social Justice Warriors or SJWs

A Social Justice Warrior or SJW is one of the biggest cancers to ever grace American Society. The multicolored haired grandson and granddaughter of Liberals and hippies, these spoiled rotten children manipulate adults into believing they’re out to fight for various social and political causes. When in actuality they’re just out to hustle people for make work jobs, money, and free stuff. If a man isn’t on his guard, he can easily be taken advantage of by these social predators.

How do you deal with an SJW? Here are some basic tips:

Remain calm when an SJW goes into their Rhetoric. SJWs don’t talk to people, they talk at them. And instead of using facts and figures to present logical arguments they use rhetoric to play to people’s emotions. The hope is once a person is emotional enough they’ll either cave in and agree with them to stop them from shouting at them or they’ll continue arguing with them and they can make themselves out to be a victim of their abuse.

When dealing with an SJW remain calm. The reason why an SJW uses rhetoric is to catch people off guard and make them vulnerable. Once they’re vulnerable, they attack them with verbal abuse until they cave in. If you’re calm, you can listen to their illogical arguments and start applying a logical approach to dealing with shutting them down. 

Remain Silent when an SJW goes into their Rhetoric. With an SJW anything you say can and will be used against you. It’s hard, but once an SJW goes into their rhetoric, the best thing for a man to do is just remain silent. Let them keep talking. And eventually they’ll say something that puts their foot in their mouth.

Because an SJW is emotional they don’t think when they speak. And usually when they’re ranting they make numerous contradictions to their own arguments, and tell on themselves. In most cases if a guy is silent, the whole world will see the SJW as the bully they actually are, and not the advocate for the victim they present themselves as.

Understand that an SJW is FULL OF SHIT. Most SJWs talk about how they’re all about fighting for some social cause or some political cause. However, all you have to do is take a long hard look at this multi-colored haired brat holding an expensive Starbucks latte and an iPhone to understand how FULL OF SHIT they actually are. They talk all about helping poor underprivileged people and making things “equal” for them, but are living very comfortably as they benefit from exploiting causes to get things they didn’t earn.

Like the Pro-Black AFROSIMPTRICK or the White Feminist, there’s more shit coming out of an SJWs mouths than out of their asses. But all an SJW can do is TALK. When it’s time to take REAL action, you’ll never see an SJW around to take it. Because that’s work. And SJWS hate having to do actual work.

DO NOT GIVE YOUR PERSONAL POWER AWAY TO AN SJW.  The reason why SJWs Shout at people is to make them submit to them. The whole goal of an SJWs’ bully tactics is to make people submit to doing things on their terms.

The natural response for most men, when confronted by SJWs is to defend themselves and their position. However, that’s giving an SJW power. And SJWs use that power to control situations and people.

While you can’t control the SJW, you are in control of yourself and your actions. Understand it takes two people to argue and one to walk away. Walking away from an SJW allows you to keep your personal power. No matter how much shaming language they use when you walk away understand that you are in control of you, and the only way they have power in the situation is if you continue to listen to them.

Deal with an SJW on YOUR terms, not theirs. One of the big mistakes men make dealing with Social Justice Warriors is doing things their way. What most people don’t know is that Social Justice Warriors are extremely manipulative. And when they get their way they have a nasty habit of moving the goal posts and changing the terms of the agreement. So instead of you giving them what they want, they keep using their victim status to get more and more stuff out of you.

When a man deals with someone on their terms they are not compromising for anyone. In the face of an uncompromising person the SJW will usually leave in most cases. Yeah, they’ll talk a lot of shit about you when they leave, but don’t worry about what they say. What you do is the most important thing. If you maintain your resolve, the SJW will understand that you are a person whose boundaries they can’t break with their rhetoric and shaming language.

Establish HARD BOUNDARIES. SJWs will do whatever they can to grab power in a situation. One of the biggest mistakes people make with SJWs is trying to accommodate them when they whine about whatever injustice they say they’re fighting against. Unfortunately when you give an SJW an inch, they take miles. Over time they’ll be running your life and telling you what to do and how to live.

Establish a hard boundary with them from day one and let them know that you will not deal with them no matter how loud they shout or how long they protest. Since SJWs hate things like rules, structure and boundaries, they’ll usually leave and never come back.

Understand SJWs LIE. SJWs LIE. And they LIE all the time. For an SJW lying is a way of life. SJWs often twist information to manipulate people into doing things they want. When they combine their lies with their loud argumentative approaches, they can easily make a weak-willed person cave into doing things on their terms.

A man has to understand NOTHING coming out of an SJWs mouth is the truth. Everything they say has been twisted and distorted. And in most cases it’s been twisted to make them out to be the victim of someone. Whether it be the “Patriarchy”, they “Evil White man” or “The System” An SJWs enemy is always some Phantom Menace. And you become one of those Phantom menaces just for simply disagreeing with them.

Understand SJWs Double Down. Not only do SJWs Lie about everything, they double down on their positions. The hope is that if they double down on their position that the individual will eventually cave and do things their way.  Combined with their argumentative loud talking points and shaming language, most weaker willed people, especially Beta Males will just cave in.

The only way to deal with this kind of liar is to maintain your resolve. Understand no matter loud they shout, no matter what shaming language they use or threats they make in their protests, they do not have what they want. And the only way they can get what they want is for you to give it to them. Give them nothing and eventually they will go away.

DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH AN SJW. Another big mistake men make dealing with SJWs is negotiating with them. When a man negotiates with an SJW he gives them leverage. And the SJW will use their leverage to control the situation.

Because SJWs are notorious LIARS, a man must NEVER negotiate with an SJW. Again, an SJW will just use their leverage to make themselves out to be a victim and use their victim position to move the goal posts to negotiate a deal where they get more stuff out of the person they’re targeting.

Do NOT argue with an SJW. One of the big mistake men make is trying to argue with an SJW. SJWs are emotional and will not listen to logic. Masters of Oral Combat, they use ad-hominem attacks and shaming language to control conversations and manipulate people. Many believe they can shout people down and make them submit to them just based on being loud, not having a better talking points.

Most shouting matches with SJWs turn into a circular argument. And in a circular argument things go around and around with no end. A man can NEVER win a circular argument because circular arguments aren’t based on logic. They’re based on emotion. And the goal of a circular argument is to use rhetoric to wear someone down until they get tired enough to walk away from the debate. And when you walk away, they launch into their shaming language and try to make themselves into a victim.

The best way to shut down an SJW is by taking action. When they start getting emotional and looking to argue, walk away. It takes two people to have an argument but if you leave, you’ll have your personal power and your intangibles of manhood intact. And that’s all that matters.

Understand that SJWs eat each other. SJWs aren’t loyal to anyone. While they’ll all come together to pretend to fight for a cause they’re actually all out for themselves and what they can get at someone else’s expense. If an individual SJW can negotiate a private deal with a target, they’ll abandon their cause and turn on their own Showing the world what hypocrites these people are.

Shutting down SJWs isn’t an easy thing. But it can be done. Once a man cuts through all the bullshit rhetoric an SJW shouts at him, he’ll just understand he’s dealing with a spoiled brat who talks about changing the world but what they really want is the status quo. Because without the status quo of the so-called Patriarchy being in charge they wouldn’t be able to continue to enjoy many of the privileges they enjoy in life like those iPhones they like to carry or those expensive Starbucks lattes they like to sip on after a hard afternoon of protesting for people they’ve never met or given half a shit about. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Summer Progress Report

Working during the summer reading season was a struggle this year. Due to my long-term unemployment and shortage of funds I couldn’t afford to pay for any new covers for many the 2017 books I planned to publish. And most of the 2017 catalog wound up delayed. With no new titles to launch for the summer reading season I had to change the way I marketed books.  And by the Grace of God I actually managed to make some progress.

Isis: Samurai Goddess performed fairly well throughout the summer. After getting a four-star review from a reader on Smashwords, readers continued to pick up the action packed Martial arts Isis series adventure. I even pulled a paperback sale of the book!

E’steem Little Girl Lost was a surprise hit on Smashwords, performing far better than Isis: Samurai Goddess! Even with a generic cover, the tale where the Devilish Diva she helps a lost little girl find her way home went over HUGE with readers. Whenever I posted links the book on numerous Facebook groups people shared those links with other people, and the book got a strong word of mouth online.

I have to wonder: Was Little Girl Lost popular because it featured E’steem helping a child? Or was it the return to wardrobe malfunctions and jiggle humor? The villain Brimstone Jack? Or was it the Demon Strippers?

 The success of E’steem Little Girl Lost showed me that a basic comic book story where heroes take on bad guys still can find an audience with casual readers. I wish Marvel and DC would make this kind of story, because I believe it’s the kind of story that would bring readers back to comics.

My campaign to promote older titles was a complete bust. Most people weren’t interested in trying older titles I offered for free on Smashwords in spite of a heavy promotional campaign featuring videos on YouTube and a big push on social media like Twitter and Facebook. To cut the losses, I cut the campaign short in July and moved on.

However, to my surprise there was a run on Spinsterella in July. When I made the book a part of Smashwords July campaign the eBook got a LOT of downloads. And this was BEFORE I uploaded the new cover by rundoteexe.

 Spinsterella and Spellbound continue to sell well on other platforms like Kindle. And over the spring and summer, people have been asking me when the final book in the Spinsterella Trilogy, The Legendary Mad Matilda would be coming out. With people asking about the book, I’ve been working hard throughout the summer to get the book ready for print so readers could get the final part of the Spinsterella Trilogy this year.

Over the Summer I did a couple of articles for Oshay Duke Jacksons’ One was on Black Barbershops, another was about how Single mothers teach their sons a feminine work ethic. I had a couple more planned but he didn’t need anymore right now. So I’m holding onto those until he’s ready for em.

With the money I received from writing the articles for and a donation I got from a YouTube viewer, I hired Mike Williams, artist of the Deak Sledge Webcomic to design the cover for The Legendary Mad Matilda. Mike did an AMAZING job on the Legendary Mad Matilda cover; with a single image he tells a very compelling story that’s definitely going to get readers’ attention when the book is released this Halloween. After seeing his work on The Legendary Mad Matilda Cover, I definitely want Mike to do the cover for Isis: Imitation of Life. His style definitely fits the time and tone of that story!

Thanks to God, Oshay Jackson and Mike Williams, The Legendary Mad Matilda got put back on the publishing schedule. And working with them this summer I got to participate in Black Group Economics. I took Black dollars I got from working on a Black Website and paid a Black artist to design the cover for my book. So Black dollars got flipped in the Black community three times. That’s something I’m proud of doing, working with Black men on something positive and keeping Black dollars in the Black community.

On the nonfiction side The Simp Trilogy eBooks also got a surge of sales on e-readers. Men continue to pick up all the Simp books on the regular, and the books continue to get an audience in the U.S. and abroad.

My YouTube Channel has grown quite a bit over the past few months. Right now I’m getting closer to 4,000 subscribers. As I’ve built my audience on YouTube, I’ve been told that people online have been talking about me on numerous other forums. And some say that I should have way more subscribers on my YouTube Channel than I have right now. While I haven’t ever been concerned about popularity, if people want to make my subscription numbers go up, subscribe my YouTube Channel so we can get to the 10,000 mark many say I should have or the 100,000 mark that’d get me a silver play button.

Still Struggling. But I managed to make a little progress. I’m still working towards getting the other four books Isis: Imitation of Life, Isis: House of Isis, E’steem Ascension, and Isis: Escape From Transylvania back on the publishing schedule. If I get another job or enough money in donations to PayPal and Patreon to pay for covers, more books will go back up on the schedule. I’m hoping to get more books up sooner rather than later!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Just got my proof copy of The Legendary Mad Matilda Paperback…
And it looks GREAT! Decided to go for a gloss cover for the first time in years, because I thought it would make the mugshot art pop. And the gloss makes it look just like a photo!

Having the book in hand I just love Mike Williams’ art on the cover. Every time I look at it I see something new in the image. There are so many little details that make this image come to life, and those small nuances add to Matilda’s story. 

The Legendary Mad Matilda will be coming to paperback and Kindle on Halloween! You can pre-order your copy at Smashwords, Nook, and the iBookstore today!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Marvel Studios is in TROUBLE

Marvel Studios is in Trouble.

After watching Netflix’s Defenders, Jessica Jones, the back six episodes of Luke Cage Iron Fist, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming it’s clear to me that there’s a serious quality control issue regarding their productions. And if Disney doesn’t take a minute to correct course on Phase 3, the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may come sooner rather than later.

Plain and simple Marvel is putting quantity over quality these days. Instead of taking their time and producing out one or two quality films over the course of a year, they’re rushing out three or four movies and three or four Netflix Television shows. That’s way too much product to come out over the course of a year.

With the oversaturation of product has come a clear decline in quality. These days Marvel Studios products are nowhere near as good as they were in 2008 when Iron Man debuted, and in 2010 when Captain: America: The First Avenger came to theaters. Instead of well-crafted films that are true to the source material, producers are making compromises like they did with Spider-Man: Homecoming, focusing on too much humor like they did in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, letting half-assed scripts pass like they did with Luke Cage’s Back six and miscasting actors like Finn Jones as Iron Fist.

Thanks to the saturation of so much Marvel product in a calendar year the audience is starting to get tired. Yes, people like superhero movies. But Marvel Studios has released so many products at such a breakneck pace that it’s getting harder and harder for the audience to consume it all. Viewers need a break between the movies and the Netflix shows to digest it all. But Marvel Studios continues to churn out product hoping to make short dollars at the long-term expense of the brand.

Yeah, Marvel Studios movies like Spider-Man Homecoming and Guardians 2 open big. But lately they’ve dropped off as much as 50-75% in the second and third weekends. And shows like Defenders premiere big. But once the word of mouth from all the bad reviews gets around people stop watching. That’s not good for the long-term of the Marvel Studios brand and the Marvel brand at Disney.

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is a chain of stories. And all it takes is a few weak links to break the chain and have fans walking away for good. I’ve been seeing hairline fractures form in links since Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. And the links of Jessica Jones, Cage’s back six, Iron Fist, Guardians 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Defenders are so brittle that it looks like the chain is going to snap when the weight of Thor: Ragnorok, Black Panther, Ant-Man & The Wasp and Avengers: Infinity War are added to it.

As I see it, Marvel Studios really needs to SLOW IT DOWN. In the entertainment business LESS IS MORE. And a few well-crafted films and TV shows can sell better than a dozen poorly made ones. Thanks to the disastrous year Marvel has had regarding quality I’m actually starting to see weak spots in the Marvel Studios machine. Too bad Warner Brothers can’t get anything off the ground related to its DC Comics Film adaptations. The opportunity is RIGHT THERE for them to capitalize on and the best they have to offer is a sucktacular Justice League.

At this point I believe the right indie studio with the right project could actually give Marvel Studios a serious run for its money. A quirky small indie film, a teen movie, a romantic comedy, a human drama, or some original fantasy of sci-fi franchise could actually wrest a #1 box office spot from a Marvel Studios film next year. Black Panther, Ant Man & The Wasp and even the $500 million dollar Avengers: Infinity War are all vulnerable at this point. And smart studio executives should no longer be scared of having their films compete with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. With the audience fatigue from all the Superhero movies and TV shows one great small film could take them down.

Marvel Studios is in trouble. Will some executive at one of the other Big Six studios take advantage of their weakness?  Time will only tell.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Netflix’s Dysfunctional Defenders

I wanted to write a review of The Defenders, the new Netflix series that debuted last week. Unfortunately, due to the dysfunctional way the first episode was written I couldn’t make any observations regarding the program. However after the first episode was over I came to one conclusion about Marvel Studios.

 Marvel Studios is in trouble.

Lately, Marvel Studios has been having trouble maintaining the high level of quality it established in earlier films like Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger. Since Avengers: Age of Ultron the brand has been in a serious decline. And since the debut of Netflix’s Iron Fist and Spider-Man: Homecoming the brand has been in freefall.

And another textbook example of the brand being in decline is the first episode of Netflix’s The Defenders. Instead of opening the series with a strong episode with a compelling inciting incident, Netflix’s Defenders opens with an entire episode filled with exposition. When you spend your first episode explaining what happened at the end of every other series that’s not a good start for a TV series.

A good start for a TV series is opening with the inciting incident, the main characters, the bad guy what they want, and explaining to us WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

And after watching the first episode of The Defenders I didn’t see much reason to care about anything. Old characters, a bunch of exposition, an old woman finding out she’s about to die and…An earthquake. How does this relate to the formation of The Defenders? And what are they going to defend the city against?

The first episode didn’t do a good job of explaining the story to the viewer. Instead of getting excited to see what would happen next I was left feeling…Meh. The same feeling I had when I was watching the trailer for this show.

Meh is not how you want people feeling when they watch a superhero show. Meh means people don’t tell their friends about your show. Meh means they click out after watching the first episode and go back to watching cat videos on YouTube.

If the first episode is an indicator of what’s to come the writing on this series is gonna be flat, by the numbers and uninspired. Far below the high standard established by Marvel Studios in 2008.

From what I’ve seen in recent projects it’s clear to me Marvel Studios has a writing problem. Their writers just don’t know how to write a script these days. I’ve seen so many first-year screenwriting mistakes in their most recent projects like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Iron Fist and the back six episodes of Luke Cage it’s not funny.

A good Superhero TV show gives you a reason to watch it in less than 10 minutes. By the time the first ten minutes of the first episode of CBS’ Supergirl was over I was HOOKED. Why? Because it opened BIG with a HUGE inciting incident. In it we saw the main character, what she wanted and was given a reason to care about her.

But with The Defenders we got NOTHING. No inciting incident, No main character, no reason to know what they wanted, or to care about them. Even the bad guy was an afterthought in that opening episode.

It’s clear to me that the writers at Marvel Studios are becoming too emotionally attached to the characters in the MCU. They see these characters as their friends not as integral parts of the stories their adventures are featured in. So instead of giving the audience compelling action adventure stories they write exposition filled stories to ensure they don’t have to deal with any sort of serious conflict or the consequences from it. So we see them hanging out mostly instead of taking on the challenge of overcoming bad guys.

It’s also clear to me that Marvel is trying to apply the same story model that they use for modern comics for their movies and TV shows. Where they drag a story out with expository sequences for multiple issues to make it long enough to fill a trade paperback. While that approach may work for selling comics it’s not what works on TV. On TV when an episode takes an hour to set up NOTHING in a first episode it’s the KISS OF DEATH for that show. Because viewers aren’t as patient as comic fans. They’re not going to WAIT for a story to set up. If nothing happens in the first ten minutes of a show they’re going to LEAVE.

Marvel Studios is IN TROUBLE. And if they don’t get their shit together they’re going to be in the same place that Warner Brothers is right now. There’s no defense for what was presented onscreen in that first episode of The Defenders. If your writers can’t start out strong then there’s no reason for viewers to finish watching a series.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Thanks to the support of YouTube donors, & some money I got from writing a couple of articles for, The Legendary Mad Matilda will be coming to Paperback & e-readers this Halloween!

Mike Williams, a regular reader of my blog and the artist for the AWESOME Deak Sledge Webcomic designed the cover for Legendary Mad Matilda. He did an AMAZING job with the art on this cover. His style is a perfect fit for Matilda’s Goth aesthetic and the dark tone of the story. I love how he made all the blacks different shades and textures to show the difference between the cloth and leather Goths wear, and how he used shadow and light to provide a contrast to the Tim Burton style stripes on the background. He’s added great depth to the story on this cover and those little touches he’s that bring the story of an African-American Goth to life. It looks just like I imagined the mugshot Matilda has on her vanity in Spnisterella.

The greatest part of putting this project together was being able to participate in Group Economics. The money I got from Black donors on YouTube and freelancing for the Black owners of website was paid to a Black artist to design the cover by a Black writer to publish a story featuring an African-American Goth. So at the end of the day Black dollars went from Black hands to other Black hands and were circulated in the Black community three times through three Black businesses.

I’m happy to be able to be able to get this book to readers; many readers in the Black community and the Black Goth community, and the Goth community have been asking when the conclusion to the Spinsterella Trilogy would be released, and I hated telling them the book had to be put on hold due to my financial issues. Now that the book has a cover, everyone can find out what led to Matilda leaving the Club scene and becoming an employee at Amalgamated Consolidated. Will there be more stories featuring Matilda Crowley? Depends on how the sales of this book go.  

You can pick up the two previous stories in the trilogy Spinsterella and Spellbound in paperback and e-readers on and online bookstores today. And Check out Mike’s Deak Sledge Strip, it’s one of the best webcomics online today!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Shawn Sends a Submission to Dynamite Comics

I recently sent a query to Dynamite Comics. With my extensive background writing strong heroines in fantasy like the Isis series and YA novels like Spellbound I thought I’d be a great fit to work with their catalog of strong sexy heroines like Red Sonja and Vampirella.

I’d like to think I meet the basic qualifications to be a writer at Dynamite. I’ve read essential books on comics like Origins of Marvel Comics, Son of Origins and Bring on The Bad Guys and The Superhero women by Stan Lee in addition to thousands of comics over the last 30 years. I’ve read extensively about pulp magazines, the historical predecessor of Comic books that featured characters like Doc Savage, and The Shadow, the grandfather of Superman and Batman. And I’ve read books like Syd Field’s Screenplay and Robert McKee’s Story to further develop my writing craft.

Over the last decade I’ve honed my writing skills writing novels and novelettes featuring strong Black heroines. And in the five years I’ve been writing the books in the Isis series and the E’steem series I’ve learned how to work writing on a tight publishing schedule producing multiple titles in a year. Many of my readers say Isis and E’steem read like comic books, and they’re actually designed to be just like 2-3 issue story arcs in comics. Many people say I have a strong visual style to my writing and I’d love to actually see what a story I wrote would look like as a comic.

What would I contribute to Dynamite Comics as a writer? As a writer I’d like to think I could write comics with the same multidimensionality and depth that I put into the Isis series and the E’steem series and in my YA novels like Spellbound and The Thetas. One of the big problems I’ve noticed with superheroines is they aren’t usually written with any sort of depth and multidimesnonality and that’s why their characters never build a following and stories don’t resonate with a larger audience of readers. Many superheroines have a flashy look, but oftentimes their stories usually don’t have any substance. So most readers don’t relate to their characters or identifies with their experiences in a way that makes them care about them. I’d like to write those stories that gave the ladies the same depth and substance that the guys have, and hopefully reach a new audience of readers with my approach to storytelling.

And that approach to storytelling has had some success for me at SJS DIRECT. From my experience writing Isis and E’steem and books like The Thetas, Spinsterella and Spellbound I’ve been able to reach larger audiences of women and casual readers in America and in foreign markets on digital platforms. So I know with the right stories a series can not only get comic fans to take a look, but get new readers and casual readers to pick up a title and become regular readers. When readers pick up a story from SJS DIRECT like the recent Isis: Samurai Goddess or E’steem Little Girl Lost they often go back and pick up the previous titles in the series.

I really think I can build a following of readers in comics. Currently many people look for my comic book related videos on YouTube and many readers have been y comic book related blogs for years. So there’s an established audience of potential readers for Dynamite to capitalize on. If I announced I was writing for Dynamite it could possibly build some anticipation from a marketing perspective and might even lead to strong sales for any series of comics I worked on.  

Will I get a response from the editors at Dynamite? I don’t know. But if I got the opportunity to submit a sample to them I’d make an effort to give them my best work. And if I got a chance to work for them I’d try to submit stories on the same high level of quality I establish for my SJS DIRECT Universe titles. I’ve always wanted to work in comics, and I’m hoping for the opportunity to show a publisher what I have to offer as a storyteller one day.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Do We Really Need All These All-New “Diversity” Heroes at Marvel?

Battle Star.
Giant Man.
Night Thrasher.
Collective Man.
El Auguila.
White Tiger.
Living Lightning.
American Eagle.

These are just a handful of the characters of color who have been part of the Marvel Universe who haven’t gotten a significant push in years, if not decades. However, Marvel believes we need an Asian Hulk, A Female Thor, a Female Wolverine, a Black Captain America and a Black Female Iron Man to present a fair and balanced picture of diversity in between the pages of Marvel Comics. 

My question is: If the editors at Marvel are so serious about diversity, why don’t they try to push one of the existing characters of color in their catalog?

All these characters I mentioned have established followings in the main Marvel Universe. Many are just one story away from getting over with readers to the point where they could carry their own limited series. Some like Night Thrasher and Shang-Chi have even carried their own books in the past. So why not give these characters a push?

 Because it doesn’t get press. It doesn’t get controversy. It doesn’t make people get upset on message boards or talking about Marvel Comics.

And working with these characters would require a writer to actually do some research. In order to work with one of the characters of color I mentioned here, a writer would have to do some research on the Marvel Universe. They’d have to dig deep into the back issues or the archives on comixology and read hundreds of issues to get a sense of the character and their backstory. Then they’d have to plan a story featuring that character that fit organically into the Marvel Universe.

It’s a lot easier for a novice to work with Sam Wilson on Captain America than to write a Lemar Hoskins story that dug deep into the mythos of Captain America. It’s a lot easier to write a terrible America Chavez story than to work with Silverclaw, Firebird, or Living Lightining. It’s a lot easier to work with Kamala Kahn than to develop stories around Dust, who was becoming a fan-favorite X-Man.

Why? Because making up stuff means that a creative team doesn’t have to do the hard work of researching a characters’ backstory. Studying their history. Finding out what worked and what didn’t work and crafting stories that weave organically into the tapestry of the Marvel Universe.

I have to wonder if this new push for diversity about actual diversity or is it just grossly unqualified people trying to cover for the fact that they don’t have the skills to write Marvel Comics? A creative writer with an understanding of the Marvel Universe would have no problem finding a D or E list hero of color and putting a fresh take on them that made them interesting.

Yeah, people are talking about Marvel Comics diversity heroes online. Unfortunately, they aren’t selling many copies to readers. Instead of their new heroes of color bringing old and new readers together to share their interest in a superhero, all they’re doing is alienating the core customer base of White Males and pushing many minority readers away with their paternalistic stories featuring countless old racist stereotypes repackaged in brand new boxes.

The way I see it, Marvel doesn’t need new people of color in their major character’s roles. What they really need is real diversity behind the scenes. Most of the qualified White males who made up Marvel’s editorial staff in the past have been replaced by grossly unqualified White Females. And instead of White men writing characters of color, we have grossly unqualified White female editors working with incompetent writers of color such as Gabby Rivera and Ta-Naheshi Coates. That’s why Marvel Comics attempt to diversify their universe is one of the greatest failures in comic book history.

There’s a great catalog of characters of color at Marvel Comics. And a seasoned creative team of qualified writers, artists, and editors could take one of those characters to the next level if they were given a chance to work at the brand. Yes we need more creators of color in comics. However, instead of Hiring employees based on the color of the skin, Marvel really needs to start hiring writers, artists, and editors based on the contents of their portfolio.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Writer Burnout

A lot of writers go on for years crafting great stories. Then some reach a point where their work isn’t as great as it used to be. The plots they write make little sense, the pacing of their stories starts to slow, characterizations and “voices” are off, the storylines they write aren’t thought out, and sometimes the ending has the reader saying WTF?

It’s a clear case of writer burnout.

What is Writer Burnout? Writer burnout is where a writer loses their passion for writing. The spark that inspires their creativity dies down. They lose their love for storytelling and they just start going through the motions, writing just because they feel they need to, not because they want to.

What causes a writer to burnout? Sometimes it’s working with a character for too long. Sometimes it’s working in the same genre for too many years. Sometimes a writer is just plain tired after working multiple projects year after year. 

All the signs of Writer Burnout are usually on the page of their work. Instead of writing a story that’s fresh and exciting, they write uninspired stories with no heart, no energy and no soul. The story doesn’t flow in an organic fashion because they try to force things  that don’t work to work. And in some cases they stop caring about the quality of the stories they produce and let all sorts of mistakes from grammatical mistakes to major continuity errors go by.

In most cases when the writer doesn’t care the reader notices. They don’t see clear pictures of the action in their imaginations. They don’t hear the voices of the characters. They don’t “feel” the spirit of the story on the page. Instead of a story having a heart and a soul, the entire reading experience feels DEAD.

If the writer doesn’t care about writing the story when they start it, the reader won’t care enough to read it when they finish it. Readers feel that passion, that energy and that heart on the page. And that’s what compels them to keep reading.

How does a writer overcome Writer Burnout? By stepping away from the keyboard. Sometimes a writer gets so caught up in the imaginary worlds of their characters that they don’t take time for their own personal lives. When a writer starts to feel themselves getting burnt out, it’s a sign from their bodies and their minds that they’re tired. And they need to take a rest.

Sometimes a burnt out writer will keep trying to write a story that they’re stuck on just to finish it. They hope to push through hoping to reignite the passion they had for writing; however, this is one of the worst things a writer could do. Sometimes a break is the best thing a writer could do for their bodies and their minds.

Writers often spend a lot of time in front of the keyboard. And being in front of that keyboard for hours a day every day of the year can lead to a writer becoming disconnected from the world. And that time they take away from the keyboard can help a writer reconnect with the world and draw inspiration from it to tell their stories.

When a writer starts to feel like they’re burning out, the best thing they could do is take a break from writing. Go out for a walk, Go see a movie. Go do something that’s not related to writing. Sometimes that break can lead to a breakthrough that can lead to a writer getting their passion for storytelling back and lead to them writing great stories again.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Isis Coming To DC’s Legends of Tomorrow To Spite President Trump

Isis is coming to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

Producer Marc Guggenheim says he wants to take a Jab at President Donald Trump So he’s introducing a Muslim Superhero based on DC comic book heroine from the 1970s.

A Muslim Superhero named named Isis. Based on the goddess from Egyptian Mythology.

Damn. Just Damn.

Can’t Marc Guggenheim see the contradictions here? Most Muslims don’t want anything to do with the Heliopolitan faith or the gods of Heliopolis. So why would a Muslim heroine name herself after a goddess of another religion?

But Diversity. Even though it doesn’t make any sense. Because President Trump is alleged to be Islamophobic.

Can these producers please leave their SJW politics out of these DC TV Shows? It’s bad enough that Supergirl Season 2 was infested with so much feminism that it became unwatchable. And it sucked the life out of Riverdale when the Berlanti Productions’ writers decided to turn Chuck Clayton into a cipher to take a potshot at Bill Cosby. Now the producers are looking to use Legends of Tomorrow to take a Potshot at Trump.

Well maybe Mark Guggenheim needs to get the mote out of his own eye before looking at Donald Trump’s plank. Because when it comes to Black men these liberals have been practicing racism on their shows for the last few years.

James Olsen was went from lead and love interest in the back half of Supergirl Season 1 to becoming emasculated in his role of Guardian of the Freindzone in Season 2. John Diggle has been Oliver’s butler for 5 years. Mr. Terrific has been changed from a heterosexual man who was world’s third smartest man in the comics into a bumbling, stumbling gay idiot. And both Firestorm and has been neutered and asexualized.

So the pot shouldn’t be calling the kettle black.  I find it funny that James Olsen can’t have a relationship with Supergirl on CW’s Supergirl but Barry Allen and Steel can have relationships with Iris West and Vixen on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.

But Trump is the racist. Yeah right.

The liberal producers who are still butthurt about Donald Trump winning the election are just as racist as they allege Donald Trump to be. They want to include a Muslim Isis into the Legends of Tomorrow to jab him but their attempt at “diversity” shows us how racist they truly are. If they really wanted to prove that they weren’t racist to everyone they’d do something about the stereotypical way Black men are depicted on all these Berlanti shows.

Seriously, I just want to see a good superhero show where good guys take on bad guys. And we’re not getting that on most of these Berlanti productions. Instead of telling stories that are true to the source material we’re getting people trying to push their own political agendas. The 2016 election is over. Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti need to just move on and just make some great superhero shows.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Isis: Escape From Transylvania Sample Chapter

I’m in the middle of writing a cover letter and outlining some new Isis and E’steem series stories. So here’s a sample chapter of Isis: Escape From Transylvania, the sequel to Isis: Bride of Dracula and Isis: Night of The Vampires!  

Chapter 15

As John slumps over into the headrest, I look over to Lucretia across the cabin. “Hey, can we get some pillows?” I request. “Mr. Haynes seems to be jetlagged.”
While Lucretia grabs a pillow out of the overhead compartment, I let out a long yawn as my eyes water. That’s weird, I never feel jet lag. And I fly across multiple time zones at high altitudes all the time. I can understand John boy being tired from working all those long days in the office, but I shouldn’t be feeling anything ten minutes into a transcontinental flight.
As Lucretia approaches us with the pillow for John, she greets me with a smile as I take it from her. As I get up out of my seat to put the pillow under his head I start feeling dizzy. “Are you all right Isis?” Lucretia  asks.
Wait a minute- we’ve never met. So why does she keep calling me by my name? When I look out the window and don’t see her reflection in it I realize we’ve been set up. “You’re a Vampire!” I bark.
Lucretia ’s eyes grow wide as I lunge at her. On seeing me putting up a fight, the other two stewardesses rush over to her as I stagger into the aisle of the cabin. As I try to swing at them, they grab my arms and twist them behind my back. “I should have known you demons were liars!” I snarl.
“We’re far from through with you goddess! ” Lucretia says opening up the jewel on the large silver and onyx ring on her left ring finger. “You’re both going to pay for what you did to my father!”
Lucretia points the spray nozzle inside at me and shoots me in the face with pink dust. Oh my God! That’s the Sandman’s dust of dreams! That’s what they must have put in my shake! I do everything I can to fight off the effects of the drowsiness overtaking me as I’m shoved back into my seat, but it’s too strong. The last thing I see before everything turns black is Lucretia ’s smile.

Isis: Escape From Translyvania is one of several titles delayed because I don’t have the money to pay an artist to design the cover! So if you could donate to my Patreon or my PayPal, I’d greatly appreciate it!