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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Legend of Mad Matilda Concept Cover



Over the Memorial Day Weekend I had a chance to draw up a concept for a cover for the last book in the Spinsterella Trilogy The Legend of Mad Matilda. With all the Black and white, it kind of has a Tim Burton feel to it. I think that’s a plus with the book being a Goth YA novel.


The story behind the concept is supposed to be Mad Matilda holding up the arrest placard at Central Booking before she’s photographed, but I can’t draw hands for shit. There’s supposed to be a nervous look on her tired face. With her about to be locked up, she’s scared of what’s coming in the future.


Since this is Mattie in her 1990’s Goth prime, I decided to change some things from her sophisticated Black Widow look in Spellbound and my previous concept art featuring the initial sketches of Mad Matilda, the Industrial Rave Queen. I drew inspiration for Matilda’s outfit from watching several Goths on YouTube. Her pigtails are inspired by Goth YouTuber Rose Nocturnalia, and her T-shirt is inspired by ones I saw YouTubers Ligeia Resurrected and It’s Black Friday wearing in some of their videos. I would have went with a basic T-Shirt, but I when saw many Goth YouTubers wearing modded out T-shirts I decided to go in a different direction.


To keep the image from being a straight block of black, I decided to do what I’ve seen many Goths do and use texture and shades to make the Blacks stand out. I used colored pencils to add texture to the leather on her collar, cuffs and belt, and ink pens to give her hair some depth. Then I brought out the black marker to give her clothes a cotton feel. And for a pop of color to draw readers to her face, I decided her barrettes and pendant would have a pop of red.


I’ve made a lot of progress on The Legend of Mad Matilda, and the book has come a long way since I started writing the first draft of it in February. At this stage I’ve done the page layouts and I’m in the middle of editing the second draft. Like Spellbound, it’s reading like a movie, and I’m doing my best to keep this last book consistent with events in Spellbound and Spinsterella.


I’d love to get Legend of Mad Matilda to readers with this concept as the cover designed by a professional artist. But with me still out of work, the only way that’s going to happen is with donations from readers. So if you’ve enjoyed the first two parts of The Spinsterella Trilogy, and you want to see this AWESOME cover concept on the third done by a professional artist, donate to my Paypal or to my Patreon!


Friday, May 26, 2017

SJS DIRECT SUMMER EBOOK FREEBIE FOR JUNE





Get Isis: The Beauty Myth for FREE on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/312311

Get The Thetas for FREE on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434485



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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Thoughts on The Black Lightning Trailer




I caught the CW’s Black Lightning Trailer at the library last week. And because I was so busy with making videos and editing Legend of Mad Matilda I didn’t have time to write a review. At first I was excited. But now that I’ve had time to think about things it looks like a….Meh show.


Yeah, it’s Black Lightning. And he’s a Black guy with electric superpowers. But there’s not much electricity sparking this show. 


Greg Berlanti and Mara Brock Akil’s Black Lightning seems to be a fusion of The original Tony Isabella concept from the 70’s and the 1990’s comic series. In the trailer it looks like Jefferson Pierce was Black Lightning up until 2005 when the nights of fighting to make a difference in the streets was getting to him. So he decided to hang up the suit and become the principal of his local high school and raise his family.


Twelve years later the gang The 100 are back stronger than ever. And they’re terrorizing the Black community. And now that Jefferson Pierce’s kids are coming of age and being threatened by the 100, A Hero must rise again. Or One man must come back to make a difference at 50.

Meh.  

When you look at the trailer it looks like something big is going to happen when Jefferson Pierce is putting his suit back together and getting ready to take on the bad guys and clean up his community. Then if you’re an old head like me you realize you saw this show on Netflix. And it was a lot better when it was called Luke Cage.


And even better when it was called M.A.N.T.I.S.


Yeah, it’s Black Lightning and he has is own TV show. But it’s DRY. Predictable. By the NUMBERS. With an off-the-shelf premise and off the shelf villains. Why is it every time we get a Black superhero they’re always taking on street hoods? I’d like to think there’d be some variety in the rogues gallery.


Over here at SJS DIRECT Isis lives in Harlem and she has yet to take on a street hood. She’s taken on a resurrected Nubian Queen, a Greek goddess, a psychotic cosmetics mogul, She-demons, a campus stalker, a Cybergoddess, Vampires and Dracula himself. And When I get the money she’ll be taking on Pro-Black Hotep priestess and trying to escape from Transylvania If I can imagine up different threats and mix up the rogues gallery of my heroes to make it fresh for my readers, I’d like to think that DC Comics, Greg Berlanti and Mara Brock Akil could mix it up and make Black Lightning interesting for the new viewer.  


But I’m not expecting the first season of Black Lightning to be on the level of Supergirl Season 1, Flash Season 1 or Arrow Season 1. Unfortunately, from the looks of things we’re gonna get M.A.N.T.I.S season 1 in 2017 complete with the same special effects from 1994.


Yeah, there are some things I liked about Black Lightning’s trailer, like seeing him be a father and a family man. But with characters on Arrow and The Flash and Supergirl taking on heavyweight threats like Grodd, King Shark, I’d like to think Black Lightning could do better than take on a street gang in his first season. Part of a superhero show is giving the hero a credible threat, and I’m just not seeing a serious threat to Black Lightning from The 100 like I did with The Master from Buffy Season 1 or Callisto in Xena Season 2.



I’m still on the fence about Black Lightning. And I’m holding out hope it’ll be good. But with the mediocre trailer, weak badguys and the fact that a Mara Brock Akil and Greg Berlanti’s track record on Black male characters I’m just not seeing much to get excited about. Throw in the fact that Black Lightning won’t be interacting with Arrow, The Flash or Supergirl in the Berlantiverse in Season 1 and there’s no reason for me to buy into this series I’ll tune in for the first episode. But I’m still not sold on an entire season.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ta-Neshi Coates Needs a Crew To Teach Him Superhero Comics



Ta-Neshi Coates career as a comic book writer has been a disaster. His Black Panther is considered the worst run in the character’s history. And his latest opus: Black Panther & The Crew was cancelled after the second issue due to poor sales.


All anyone has to do is look at Ta-Neshi Coates premise for Black Panther & The Crew why it’s a poor seller and how out of his depth he is as a comic book writer. While he can write a bestselling nonfiction book like Between the World and Me, he doesn’t know what makes for a compelling comic book story.


In Coates’ Black Panther & The Crew Harlem is patrolled by robot cops. And a robot cop kills a Black Civil Rights Leader. And in the aftermath, Black Panther, assembles a crew of Black heroes including, Storm, Misty Knight and Luke Cage and Iron Fist to find out who killed him before the city explodes in a riot.


That entire premise is fucked up. And anyone who understands comic and fantasy writing like myself can tell you where Coates went wrong. You’re gonna tell me In the Marvel Universe, a place filled with superheroes the City of New York is gonna use robot cops to patrol only a Black neighborhood. And when a robot cop kills a Black activist, Black Panther has to assemble a crew of super powered Black people and a “down” White boy to solve the case.


Even if we suspend our disbelief, the entire foundation of his premise is just ABSURD.


Coates says he’s trying to make a commentary about Police brutality and the Black Lives Matter Movement in the story of Black Panther: The Crew. Unfortunately, the premise he proposes to tell that story defies logic even in the Marvel Universe.


The robot cop concept just doesn’t fit organically in the New York City of the Marvel Universe, where police unions would definitely protest about robots taking their jobs. And the mystery behind who killed the activist doesn’t seem like the kind of threat Black Panther would have to assemble The Crew to get involved in. All those incredibly powerful characters getting involved to solve a mystery Misty Knight, Cage, and Iron fist could probably solve on their own? It’s a jumbled mess of a story that makes no sense.


When I read that synopsis it’s clear to me that Coates just doesn’t understand basic fiction elements like establishing a main character, what they want, and why readers should care. Nor does he understand how to develop a villain into a credible threat the reader can believe is dangerous. Generic robot cops seem like a way to not establish a villain and to create a stand in for the White cops he wants the Black heroes to beat on.


And the superheroes he puts in the story don’t fit into the story organically either. They’re just shoehorned in just because they’re Black. Why would the King of Wakanda CARE about a Black activist being killed in Harlem? Hasn’t he got his own problems to deal with Wakanda being in ruins due to Coates’ critically panned run? If anything that shows me how little Coates understands his own continuity.


And Coates shows me how little he understands his characters. Black Panther is a master strategist. He wouldn’t overpower a team like this. Instead he’d choose individuals who would be able to help him handle the threat effectively. I’m still scratching my head to how Storm fits into this Crew or how she’d be able to help deal with this threat. If anything, this seems like a threat Cage, Iron fist and Misty Knight could handle by themselves, and the Black Panther name is just tacked on the title as a cash grab. 


When I look at Coates’ Black Panther & The Crew it’s SJW/diversity writing at its worst. There’s no care to the story or care for the execution of the concept.  It’s all about ramming the ideology of Black Lives Matter down people’s throats.


Now I wrote a story similar to the one Coates uses in Black Panther: The Crew with Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess. And it featured the Black heroes of the SJS DIRECT Universe taking on an atheist Black scientist who used nanites to turn herself into a Cybergoddess who sought to murder Isis in the hopes of taking humanity in the next step of human evolution. And in that story I followed up on plot points established in Isis: The Beauty Myth, took Isis’ feud with Raheema Sanders to the next level, made a commentary on Darwinism vs. Creationism, connected the worlds of Isis and John Haynes, and gave readers an exciting action packed adventure in one 80 page story. So I know the premise Coates was trying to use works.


Unfortunately Coates just didn’t know how to execute the concept. Comics are about characters having fantastic adventures in amazing stories, not pushing political agendas.


Coates tries too hard to push his political activism in his comic book stories and it prevents readers from escaping. Comics and sci-fi are supposed to make a commentary in between the lines of the story, not put it in people’s faces. This is why his comics fail to resonate with readers.


It’s clear to me that Coates is just the wrong man to be writing comics at Marvel. While his background and his resume are impressive, he just doesn’t understand the medium of comic books. He needs a crew to teach him the medium of comic books, the story model, and how it works. Comics are supposed to be an escape from people’s everyday lives, not a platform for pushing the political narrative of Black Lives Matter. People buy comics to read about heroes kicking ass, not be presented with an editorial from the op-ed pages.



Friday, May 19, 2017

CW’s Black Lightning Won’t Be a Part of the Berlantiverse-WTF?




I’ll admit that I wasn’t too enthusiastic of the CW’s Black Lightning from day one. With Greg Berlanti and Mara Brock Akil in charge of the show I walked in expecting a disaster. However, in spite of a Black feminist and a White male in charge of producing a show about a Black male character I had one reason for watching the show: To see the expansion of the DC Universe on Television. However, now that I know that Black Lightning won’t be a part of the Berlantiverse, I now have a reason to make that clean break from Berlanti’s DC TV shows after this season is over.


The whole idea of Black Lightning not being a part of the Berlantiverse is troubling especially when you consider his relationships to several characters in the DC Universe. Black Lightning had a significant role in Superman’s extended universe. Living in Metropolis, He’s worked with and fought against Superman. So having him as part of the same shared universe to interact with Supergirl Superman, and James Olsen, the Guardian of the Friendzone would be an opportunity to expand and diversify Supergirl’s world. And With the show being a midseason replacement, it’d be easy to build into a ratings bonanza for the first episode by segueing into his show with an initial episode establishing him in a Supergirl episode with Tyler Hochelin’s Superman guest starring. 


Plus with the show being set in Metropolis, Tyler Hochelin could feature in a couple of episodes as the Man of Steel to show how significant Metropolis truly is to the Berlantiverse.


It’d also be an opportunity to expand Arrow’s world as well. Black Lightning was a core member of the Outsiders, and so it’d be a no-brainer to have Black Lightning teaming up with Arrow for a crossover. Season 5 gave us Green Arrow and the Outsiders, so why not have one of the founding members on the show as a part of the team?


But Black Lightning won’t be a part of the Berlantiverse. So we won’t be getting those stories. Because Black Lightning won’t be interacting with any of DC’s other characters onscreen.

Damn. Just Damn.

Berlanti had the opportunity of a lifetime to redeem himself in the eyes of many Black comic fans like myself. But He, Mara Brock Akil and Warner Brothers drop the football One Mo’ Gen.
Damn. Just Damn.


You’d think after emasculating James Olsen in Season 2 of Supergirl and turning DC’s resident badass Mr. Terrific into a bumbling stumbling idiot that Berlanti would be focused on making Black Lightning a shining light that presents a positive portrayal of a Black male superhero onscreen that would prove capable of standing with the rest of DC’s top heroes like Arrow, Flash, Superman, Supergirl and the Legends of Tomorrow. But with him in his own world we won’t see him being a hero in the DC universe on TV the same way we saw Falcon, War Machine and Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War.


Seeing those three heroes onscreen in Captain America: Civil War still ranks up there as one of the greatest moments in cinematic history for a Black comic fan like myself. Three Black superheroes in a movie. And all three presented in a way that makes them the equal of any of the major white characters. It’s a shame we won’t get that moment in the Berlantiverse.


Shit.


With Black Lightning not being a part of the Berlantiverse, many comic fans like myself have no incentive to buy into the show and start watching it. And now fans like myself who were apprehensive about the show are thinking about finding something else to do when it comes on.  


At this point I’m expecting Black Lightning to be a trainwreck. No connection to the Berlantiverse, No interaction with other DC Comics characters. Plus with a Black feminist and a White man writing and producing a TV show about a Black man I’m expecting nothing less than a disaster on the level of WB’s Birds of Prey. When Black Lightning comes on the CW I’ll tune in for the first episode. But that’s just to see how bad this show will be.


Just when you thought DC couldn’t find a way to create a fail greater than epic, they find new ways to make their properties suck that much harder.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Bringing Balance Back to Batman




Over the last 30 years Batman has stopped being Batman.


How did he stop being Batman? Over the last 30 years comic book writers, editors, artists and fans haven’t applied any objectivity to their craft when the approached or wrote stories for the character. So instead of the character being his own person with his own life, and his own “voice” he’s become a cipher for whatever writers and artists want him to be.

Back in the 1970s when Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams were hired to redefine Batman after the Campy Dick Sprang era and the 1966 Television series, there was a serious effort made to bring Batman back to his roots in the Batman comics. And during that time Batman was presented a balanced person with room in his life as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, Batman. During this time Bruce Wayne was considered just as important to a Batman comic as The Dark Knight. And Bruce had time to do things like enjoy his own life. He was driven to fight for justice and protect Gotham City, but he also had time to have a little fun too.


And yes, even Batman cracked a smile or laughed from time to time.


During the O’Neill/Adams Era up until about Knightfall writers understood that Batman was called the Dark Knight. And that there was a place for chivalry, honor and a code of conduct in Batman comics. These were the values that Thomas Wayne instilled in his son and what was core to Who Batman was as a hero.


And those core values that Thomas Wayne instilled in his son was the line between Batman and his rogues. Batman knew where the line between driven and obsession was and stayed right behind it.


Unfortunately over the last 30 years the line between Batman and his rogues has blurred. And the reason why it’s blurred is because many Batman writers and Batman fans have become just as obsessed as Batman’s rogues. We have a lot of Dark in the pages of Batman comics and Batman media. But none of the chivalry and honor of the Knights of medieval lore who were one of his inspirations.  


And thanks to their obsession we don’t see any balance or objectivity to Batman, his rogues or Gotham City.  For them everything is about Batman, not Bruce Wayne, or his life. In their eyes Batman is the real person and Bruce Wayne is the fa├žade. If Bruce Wayne needs to be Batman all the time that’s when Bruce has crossed the line between driven and obsessed.


I remember a Superman animated episode where Clark said if he were Superman all the time it’d make him go crazy. I’d like to think the same would happen to Bruce. Every human being needs downtime away from the job, even Bruce Wayne.


And sadly he can’t have that because these days Batman isn’t his own character. He’s a cipher for whatever fantasies writers have for him. A Gary Stu who knows any and everything, he’s capable of using Green Lantern Rings, understanding Apokoliptan, Kryptonian and Thanagarian tech and is capable of taking on or cosmic level villains like Darkseid all by himself.


Seriously who needs the Justice League anymore when Batman can do everything? And who needs the Justice League When Batman has designed an armor capable of beating his friends?


The way I see it there really needs to be balance brought back to the Batman character. Yes, he cares about Gotham City. Yes, he seeks out justice for those who can’t get it in the dark and the shadows. But there needs to be room for the chivalry, and honor that establishes Batman’s code of conduct. That’s what makes Bruce a Hero, and that’s something that’s been sorely missing from Bat books over the last 30 years.


And it needs to be established that Bruce isn’t perfect. He isn’t always right. And it’s Okay if he needs to ask for help. Batman may be one of the world’s greatest detectives, but he shouldn’t be on the level of Mr. Terrific, the world’s third smartest man, Pieter Cross, one of the world’s foremost experts in medicine or capable of understanding alien tech from Krypton, Thanagar, Atlantis, or New Genesis. What makes the other characters in the DC Universe special if Batman knows just as much as they do? 

 A writer needs to work towards drawing the line in the sand that separates Bruce’s character from his bad guys.  And they need to work towards establishing limits for Batman’s abilities in team settings. The other characters in the DC Universe need an opportunity to show what makes them special when they stand at Batman’s side on a team like the Justice League or in a major earth shattering event.


Moreover, a writer needs to re-establish Bruce as a character in the Bat-Books. As I see it, it’s Bruce who controls Batman, not Batman controlling Bruce. Batman is Bruce’s creation and he needs to be shown being in charge of things. Bruce decides when Batman goes into action, not Batman.


And Bruce decides when it’s time for downtime. While Batman took an oath to protect Gotham, he understands he needs to have a balanced life in order to do his job at Wayne Enterprises and patrolling Gotham City effectively. There has to be more to his life than putting on a Batsuit and sitting in the Batcave. As I always saw it Being Batman was only something he did for a couple of hours a couple of nights a week from about 11PM -3 or 4AM regularly when it warranted or when there was a Justice League mission he needed to be on.


But because many comic fans and comic writers don’t understand balance in life they think he’s Batman all the time. And because they don’t understand balance we have Gotham patrolled by about eight or nine people yet the streets are less safer than they were in the 70s when Batman & Robin patrolled Gotham with the occasional assist from Batgril. I find it crazy that Batman who now has a literal army of crimefighters working with him in Gotham including Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Huntress, Spoiler, Azrael, Batwoman, Batwing, Red Hood Red Robin and Catwoman but he has a harder time fighting crime today than he did when it was just him, Robin and Batgirl in the 1970s. With all those people working with him along with Jim Gordon and the Gotham P.D. Gotham should be the safest city in the DC Universe.


That clearly shows how me how out of balance Batman’s world has become. And why it’s so important to bring Balance Back to Batman’s world. Yes, Batman’s world is filled with criminals with psychotic obsessions. But Batman himself is a balanced and sane individual who cares enough about people to go out of his way to protect them from the same types of criminals who murdered his parents. And while he’s driven to fight for justice, he knows where the line is and his limits. Yes, he’s dressed like a Bat when he fights crime. But he’s still a man. I’d like to see Batman go back to being a character with his own personality and his own voice and tell his own stories, not be a cipher for the fantasies of comic fans who want to live vicariously through his cowl.


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Friday, May 12, 2017

Comic Book Event Fatigue -Are Events Obsolete?

Been Busy editing Legend of Mad Matilda so I have to post a video for a blog again :( Some of you have already seen this one, but I hope to have a new blog up soon.



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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Shawn Reviews DC Icons Static Action Figure



When it comes to DC products these days, my wallet is closed. However, there are rare cases when I can recommend making an exception.


I got the DC Icons Static Action figure as a gift from family member this weekend. Knowing how much I loved Milestone Comics back in the day, they didn’t want me to miss out on it. Characters of color in action figure form are rare, and Milestone characters are rarer than that. So if you’re a fan of Milestone’s characters like I am, you have to pick up this figure.


Fans of the Static Shock animated series won’t probably recognize this version of Static. That’s because this figure is based on Static’s costume from Static #1 of the original Milestone Comics line. And it’s a spot on representation of that comic. He literally looks like he jumped off Denys Cowan’s classic cover and dipped himself in plastic.


Static has most of the articulation a super-poseable figure should have such as:

Ball, neck,
Bicep swivel,
Ball shoulders
Double elbows,
Wrists,
Upper torso joint,
Ab crunch,
double knees,
calf swivel,
ankles,
and Rocker ankles.

I missed the thigh swivel and waist articulation on most Marvel Legends and DC Universe Classics on this figure, but Static has enough range of motion to do many of the standard poses.


Originally, The DC Icons Static figure was supposed to come with alternate electric hands and Static’s trademark coat. But that stuff didn’t cost out. So we got an alternate head with a Malcolm X hat, an electric base and a manhole from Dakota City for him to fly on. I’d rather have his trademark coat than that useless masked head. When everyone thinks of Static from a Milestone comic, we think of his X cap and his coat.

Since Static is known for his hat, that masked head without the hat is going in a fodder box. And In order to alleviate the coat situation, maybe I’ll find a Star Wars Black Obi-Wan on clearance one day and jack him for his Jedi Robe.


DC Icons’ Static figure is supposed to be in the six-inch scale, but runs on the small side.  The very small side. DC Icons are on the smaller side of the scale, that’s why they’re not a line I’d consider collecting. However, with Static being a teenager he’s fugdeable into a DC Comics display. You can probably put him with most DC Robin and Superboy figures and he probably won’t look too out of place.





I really like this figure and I urge you to pick it up. While he’s on the small side and a tad pricey, he’s a great representation of the Classic Static from the comic. This is probably a once in a lifetime chance for us comic fans to own a Milestone character in action figure form, so if you’re a fan of Milestone characters, this one is a must buy.




Monday, May 8, 2017

CW’s Flash Has Run Out of Gas





On Tuesday CW’s Flash revealed Who Savvitar really is. And with that plot twist the show has officially jumped the shark.

Yeah, I don’t need to watch this show anymore.

Who is Saavitar?
*SPOILER* Barry Allen from an alternate Universe.

Damn. Just Damn. There’s a plot twist to not give a shit about.

The big problem with CW’s Flash is that the show has ONE STORY. Last year Zoom’s story was the same as Reverse Flash’s in Season 1. And now Saavitar’s story is the same as Zoom’s. The only difference is that Season 1 was focused on the past, Season 2 was an alternate earth and Season 3 is set in future.


Can the writers of the show find something else to write about?


When it comes to CW’s Flash it’s like watching NCIS, the show where every episode is the same as the last one. Story wise The Fastest Man alive runs around in a circle in between time travel and alternate reality stories and the series has fallen into the same creative quicksand that sank Star Trek: Voyager. And Like Star Trek Voyager’s writers Berlanti’s writers are is so caught up in jargon, gimmicks, and technobabble, that they’re forgetting things like plot and character development.


CW’s Flash stated out as a fun show. And when it focused on Barry taking on his rogues it was a blast to watch. Every episode was like a DC Comic come to life. But since the middle of Season 2 the show has gotten slowed down by bad writing, sappy romance and plot twists that are absolutely ridiculous.


Barry Allen must save Iris West from being killed by an alternate reality Psycho Simp version of himself? Good Gravy, I can’t believe I even typed that. But that’s the place where Berlanti’s writers are right now.


Sadly the run downhill for The Flash is Par for the course with these Berlanti shows. At Season 3 The Flash is right in the middle of his Berlanti Curse. And Supergirl is following right behind him. On Supergirl her series what could have been an exciting an action packed Cadmus storyline has been bogged down by the Kara/Mon-El Romance and Maggie Sawyer and Kara’s Sister’s lesbian relationship. Arrow got its shit together for the first half of the season then went back to being part of the Jump the Shark Stunt show with the HORRIBLE plot twist revealing Adrian Chase is Prometheus. And I haven’t given a shit about Riverdale after Chuck Clayton gave Veronica Lodge a Sticky Maple.

I won’t even talk about Legends of tomorrow, That show has been shit on a plate with a cherry on top from day one.

I wasn’t expecting much from Flash’s Season 3. But to my surprise Berlanti’s writers actually exceeded my levels of disappointment. When writers stop using the source material for stories and start making shit up, that’s the point where I stop watching. At this point I’m about to find something else to do rather than watch CW’s superhero shows. Because there’s nothing super about them.


Riverdale fans, Tighten your chin strap. Next year YOU get to experience the Berlanti Curse first hand!



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sorry DC, I’m Still NOT Buying your Comics!

The only DC I'll Support! 



Currently in the DC Comics Rebirth storyline there have been some major developments.


Superman’s origin has been retconned one Mo’ again. Now the Classic Superman and the New 52 Superman have been “merged and their histories are one. There’s speculation that Conner Kent will get a Rebirth, but we’ll see.


Flash and Batman have met Thomas Wayne of Flashpoint. Ted Kord is back as Blue Beetle. And there’s speculation that the classic DC Universe may be on its way back again.


Sorry DC I’m not falling for the bait this time.


Fool me once, Shame on you. Fool me twice Shame on me.


When it comes to DC Comics they have cock teased comic fans for almost seven years making promises that the Classic DC Universe will come back.


I’ll see it when I believe it. Until then my wallet stays closed.


Goeff Johns says the developments in Rebirth are all part of a bigger story. Part of his two-year plan to make everything make sense from the mess that is Flashpoint, New 52, and Convergence. Once he explains everything regarding New 52, Flashpoint and Convergence in Rebirth it’s supposed to lead up to the Crisis of 20l8 that’s supposed to change everything back to Classic DC.


The big problem is that Johns bad writing is part of the problem. So how can he create a constructive solution to all that ails DC? For me asking Johns to fix the dysfunction in the DC Universe is like asking the Joker to cure his own insanity.


The real Crisis at DC is still in the editorial department and it’s been in the editorial department for over 15 years. Nothing is going to change at DC until the Dan Didio era ends. When that happens then many of the comic fans standing on the fence will have the incentive to go out and buy DC Comics again.

Most DC Comics fans are waiting for Didio to be handed his walking papers and his editorial regime to be sent packing. For them that would signify the end of an era and the beginning of real change within the DC Comics brand. Most DC fans want a new person in charge at DC, someone who has no connection to the original gang of four or Goeff Johns. A publishing professional who can remain objective and manage the catalog of characters and keep things consistent in the DC Universe. Someone who will set a tone and a direction for the brand and make serious efforts to repair the decade and a half of damage done by years of mismanagement.  Someone who will make efforts to check the creator excesses that have made DC Comics virtually unreadable for almost 15 years.


I’d love to see someone like Jim Shooter, Paul Dini or Bruce Timm in the job at DC. Someone who comic fans can feel confident and trust to set a course for the DC brand in the 2010s and onward. Until that person is hired by Warner Brothers there’s no reason to take any of the breadcrumbs being offered in DC’s Rebirth.


DC Comics fans want to get back to the hope. However, as I see it right now Warner Brothers isn’t really serious about changing anything. No matter what happens with DC’s Rebirth I’m still keeping my wallet closed. Sorry DC, I’m still not buying your comics.


Monday, May 1, 2017

The Legend of Mad Matilda News



Okay, I haven’t written a blog in a week. And that’s because I’ve been busy.

For the past week I’ve been pushing towards finishing the first draft of the Legend of Mad Matilda manuscript. I started this manuscript in February and for the last few months I’ve been writing a chapter to two chapters a day.  I finally finished the first draft a few days ago.

This book has been a LOT of work. Getting facts right, Getting dates right. Finding the right songs to fit a scene, Brushing up on 1990’s history. Brushing up on 1990’s Goth history. I felt like I was going crazy for a minute.


Note to readers: Don’t EVER try to write a trilogy backwards. You’ll save yourself YEARS of grief.


The Legend of Mad Matilda is designed to be the bridge book between Spellbound and Spinsterella, and answer a bunch of questions that weren’t answered in Spellbound and Spinsterella. Legend of Mad Matilda features Matilda in her Goth prime as she transitions from the club scene to corporate America. Set in 1995-1996, it’s a story set during the roughest year for many young people, senior year in college and the year after college graduation. During that time people are trying to find out what direction they’re going to go in and what they want to do with the rest of their lives.


In Spinsterella, Matilda describes the last days of the Mad Matilda era as the worst period of her life. And it’s the worst period of her life because like many young adults who finish college she’s trying to figure out who she’s going to be. I always saw people’s early 20s as a dark period because you’re out of college and you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do. It’s during this period someone starts to put off the things of adolescence and start being an adult.


And as Matilda tries to figure out who she is, she’s pondering what role she’ll not only play in life but in the Goth Subculture. While The Black Widow was Matilda’s babybat phase as a Goth, Mad Matilda is the adolescent phase of Matilda’s role in the Goth Subculture. As Mad Matilda she’s got big dreams and big plans. Readers will learn all the reasons why those plans got derailed and how she wound up becoming Spinsterella.


The Legend of Mad Matilda will be the final book in the Spinsterella trilogy. I’m gonna be starting edits soon, so this book may be out….sometime. I have a cover concept that I’d love to see rendered professionally by an artist like Josh Howard or Bill Walko, but…Money. There’s still a lot I have to do before I have a book ready for publication, but this is gonna be the DARKEST book in the Spinsterella trilogy.