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Friday, June 29, 2018

Shawn Reivews Netflix's Luke Cage Season 2

--> The first Season of Netflix’s Luke Cage lost a step on the Back Six episodes with The Judas Bullet and Diamondback’s clumsy story arc. However in season 2 not only has Netflix’s Luke Cage managed to find it’s footing again, but it’s moved right past the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to become the best superhero adaptation Marvel has ever produced.

Netflix’s Luke Cage takes the characters of the Marvel comic to another level in season 2. In the second season of Luke Cage, Luke is trying to follow the Late Pop’s advice and keep moving forward. As he moves on towards rebuilding his life, he’s dealing with the consequences and ramifications of being Harlem’s hero. No longer an invisible man in the shadows he’s out in the spotlight. And as that light shines on him we’re left to ponder if the bulletproof Black man is on his way to becoming a god or if he’s on his way to becoming a monster.

As Cage ponders offers and endorsement deals for his newfound popularity he struggles with his relationship with his estranged father, his straining relationship with Claire Temple who worries that she won’t be able to help Luke if he gets hurt again. While the bulletproof Black man is twice as invulnerable from the second Power Man Bath he took later in Season 1, we realize that the man inside is vulnerable to the frailties of his humanity as he takes numerous blows to his ego from his friends and his enemies.

While Cage investigates who’s behind producing a brand of heroin with his name on it, he’s drawn into a mystery involving Shades, and Mariah Dillard who are out to sell their guns to go legit by to buying a black-owned plastics company. Shades and Mariah want to force the owner to sell it to them for pennies on the dollar so they can get rich at his expense. However, what they don’t know is that the buyer for their guns is the mysterious Bushmaster a Jamaican gangster from Brooklyn who wants to expand his territory into Harlem as he looks to get revenge on the Stokes family. With Bushmaster taking out the competition, it becomes a Battle for Harlem as Mariah and are looking to sell out the Black community and Cage is looking to protect it from the deadly and vicious Bushmaster who has powers equal to Cage himself.

With Bushmaster Marvel Studios FINALLY learns how to write a Bad Guy. Bushmaster is a complete BADASS who DOMINATES the screen in EVERY scene he’s in. From his swagger to his badass Eddie Gordo style Tekken 3 Capoiera moves Bushmaster lets everyone know he’s the one running the show when he’s onscreen. Whether he’s in a scene with Cage or with Mariah or on his own, he’s got such presence onscreen you just want to see more of him in every episode.

All I can say is Luke Cage Season 2 is a CLASSIC. Artistically, Cage Season 2 takes its craft to the next level with beautiful cinematography, strong acting, and top notch writing. The visuals for every episode are like a fusion of Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and Tim Burton’s Batman. Combined with the hip-hop, blues, and jazz tracks used in every episode and we’re transported to a Harlem that feels so distinct you feel like you’re being taken to a world that’s completely different than anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I love the use of contrast in the visuals between Cage’s Harlem and Bushmaster’s Brooklyn. How Cage operates out of Pop’s Barber Shop and how Bushmaster operates out of a Caribbean restaurant. And I love the use of music to set tones for scenes. Whether it be Jazz, hip-hop, R&B or Soul, Cage uses music that becomes a character just like many of the parts of Harlem and Brooklyn become characters in the storyline for the season.  

With Luke Cage Season 2 we finally have an example of what I’m talking about regarding MORE. Instead of giving us the flash of MCU movies, we get SUBSTANCE that makes for compelling storytelling. Cage gives us a group of rich multidimensional characters in a complex and thought-provoking story arc that takes us into the WHOLE Black community and shows us the WHOLE Black experience. Each episode feels like it’s CRAFTED not manufactured like Marvel movies like Avengers: Infinity War. Every line has a purpose, every action has a reason. There’s layers depth and nuance to the storytelling and Harlem feel like you’re in a world that’s all it’s own in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While Cage Season 2 is rock solid, it does have it’s flaws. I’m not a fan of all the gynocentrism that’s trying to creep into the show. The scene where Cage is playing Cap’n-Save-Em’ in one episode to Cockroach’s girlfriend had Cage simping on a level I saw in  Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. Yeah, I get that Cage is a hero. But a streetwise Brotha is smart enough to understand he doesn’t put the cape on for females who chose their abuser. That kind of brother would be smart enough know with his criminal record he needs to let the cops do their job in this case.

And I wasn’t a fan of Piranha Jones and all the cooning he did in one episode. The entire party where made an appearance for Piranha Jones to get the money comes across like a minstrel show with the White boys seeing cage as one big Joke. Wanted to see Cage Check that, but the episode went on with no correction of the cooning.

And I’m definitely not a fan of the use of the N-Word throughout the season. In season 1 of Cage everyone was dignified enough to not to use that word. Seeing the use of that word is one of those things that concerns me.

Netflix still has some issues with writing and pacing, the plotting is a little uneven in some episodes and the pacing of some episodes still slows things down. Some episodes like episode 6 and 7 had scenes that were repetitive and dialogue that ran too long, and some scenes like Bushmasters second fight with Cage were completely unnecessary. Netflix would have a PERFECT show in Luke cage if they’d just tighten up some of their production values and learn when enough was enough. 

In spite of my misgivings regarding some of the production and story issues regarding Season 2 I can honestly say there definitely need to be some Emmy nominations for Cage this year because this show took it to another level. Mike Cotler is in top form as Cage, Alfre Woodard gives her best performance of her career as Mariah, Simone Missick is KILLING it as Misty Knight. Practically Channels Jack Nicholson for his cerebral performance as Bushmaster. And Salli Richardson-Whitfield needs to be nominated for a director Emmy because Episode 4 of Cage was a MASTERPIECE from FADE IN to FADE OUT. The cast and producers need to be rewarded for doing an AMAZING job on this show, and if this show got no nominations from the Emmy people that’d be a CRIME.

You can’t miss Luke Cage Season 2! Every episode of Cage isn’t just a superhero show, it’s an EXPERIENCE. With Luke Cage Season 2 Marvel Studios finally has a series that’s on the level of Tim Burton’s Batman 89 and Chris Nolan and David Goyer’s The Dark Knight. Cage Season 2 gets my highest recommendation; this is a season you just CAN’T MISS!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

THE MAN CRISIS Sample Chapter

I've been Busy writing THE MAN CRISIS over the last week. Finding a stride on that book and I haven' t had to blog. I hope to have a review of Netflix's Luke Cage Season 2 up soon (Up to Episode 6) and I have a review planned for Josh Howard's T-Bird & Throttle #1 planned. Until Then here's a sample chapter of my upcoming Nonfiction book THE MAN CRISIS.

Chapter 4
The Decline of Male Authority

When God created the Earth he gave man dominion over it. And part of that dominion is the establishment of Male Authority.
What is Male Authority? Male authority is the acknowledgement of men and women that God has given men control over the earth. And as His stewards, men have been given the power to give orders, make decisions or enforce the obedience of other men, women, and children on the planet.
As the being with a direct connection to God, men have been given responsibility for what goes on Earth. And as His stewards that they are directly accountable to God for their actions.
In God’s natural order women taught male authority to their sons. As boys saw their mothers submitting and deferring to their fathers, they learned at an early age that a man was someone who had the same authority that God had. And because God had given men authority over the Earth had he was someone who needed to be respected above all others in a community.
Unfortunately, over the last 50 years male authority has been undermined by feminists. As feminists were given economic and political power in America by men, they began establishing single mother households and households with weak emasculated fathers. That changed the culture from one that acknowledged and respected male authority to one to that acknowledged and respected female authority.
As single mother households began to increase over the last 50 years through out-of-wedlock births and the rise in no-fault divorces, boys began to learn at an early age that female authority was superior to male authority. Because boys saw women as the ones who were responsible for taking care of them and saw women as the ones in charge of places of social environments like schools they learned to submit and defer to female authority figures instead of male authority figures.
And as those women began to speak negatively about men they taught their sons they didn’t have to respect male authority or male authority figures. When boys saw women like their mothers dismissing or disregarding the orders of a man like their father, walking away from male clerks and cashiers in stores or threatening someone like a police officer in a traffic stop, it taught boys that they didn’t have to follow the lead of a man or acknowledge the power of his position.
Most men are in crisis today because three generations of men haven’t been taught to respect male authority or male authority figures by women. While they run into mostly female authority figures like their mothers and teachers when they are younger, they often run into male authority figures like bosses and police officers when they get older. And because they have never been taught to respect male authority at a young age by their mothers, they wind up falling completely apart when confronted by a man who has any position of power.
Boys who don’t learn how to acknowledge and respect male authority at an early age grow up to become men who struggle in life. While these men have no problem submitting and deferring to female authority figures, oftentimes they have no respect or regard for male authority figures. Whenever these men run into a male authority figure they see them as an equal instead of a superior. And because they see that male authority figure as an equal, they oftentimes try to challenge that man instead of respecting the power of his position.
Thanks to the way many men have been raised over the last 50 years many men have a hard time following the orders of male supervisors on the job. Because these men do not know how to respect the power of a man’s higher position, they try to challenge that man’s power like they would a subordinate. And when they try to challenge that man or defy his orders, they usually wind up getting fired from a job.
Worse, they try to challenge the authority of those given power by the government like police officers. Oftentimes these men escalate confrontations with police into conflicts. And those conflicts can lead to a man getting himself arrested or killed by a police officer for something as simple as a traffic stop.
Men who understand male authority understand they may not like what a man says. They may not even like him as a person. But they follow his orders because they respect the power of his position. And they respect the power of his position, because they would want to receive the same respect if they were in the same position.
Male authority is paramount to maintaining a civilization or a culture. Without male authority, there is no order. Male authority creates the order that allows a structured hierarchy for men to follow the lead of other men. When boys don’t learn how to respect male authority at an early age they don’t learn one of the most important life skills that will enable them to survive in the world.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


John Haynes: A Conversation With Death
ISBN: 13: 978-1720571391

Death! On the Angel of Darkness’ day off, she decides to have coffee with John Haynes, the CEO of Morris Phillips. As they discuss the direction of his life over coffee at Trepidation, Lucifer sends Vance the Vampire and a horde of demons to the coffee house to kill him. Can The Man Who Rules The World and the Angel of Darkness overcome the dark forces of Lucifer’s Legion?

The John Haynes series kicks off with the debut story, A Conversation With Death. Coming on the heels of 2016’s The Man Who Rules The World, this story has John meeting up with the Angel of Darkness. If you like oldschool Vertigo books like Sandman and Constantine, you’re definitely gonna love this story!  

To celebrate the debut of John’s new series and my 60th book, I hired Mike Williams of the Deak Sledge comic strip to design the cover for it. And Mike did an AMAZING job on this cover! He really captured the spirit of who John Haynes is in this image. Even in the presence of Death, John appears cool, collected, and confident.

There’s a lot of great nuances in this piece. I love how the brown in John’s eyes contrasts with his skintone. And I love how he uses shadows to set a haunting mood and a dark tone that tells a great story in a single image.

From the positive feedback I’m getting on this cover on Social media this cover is a HIT! One of my readers said this is how they imagined John looking like in the stories, and I definitely have to agree with them. I definitely want to have Mike design the new cover for the refresh edition of The Temptation of John Haynes. I’m hoping I can do that sooner rather than later, that book needs a cover that does it justice!

To get new readers to try the new John Haynes series, the first book in the series is only 99 cents on Kindle! And Kindle Unlimited users read for FREE! I’m also offering a paperback edition at a low price as well for those who prefer reading a hard copy. I’m hoping many of the John Haynes fans who read about the character in the Isis series, The Temptation of John Haynes and The Man WhoRules the World pick this book up, this is a story you can’t miss!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

SJW Marvel Coming To The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Captain Marvel will be the new face of Marvel Studios starting with Avengers 4.

Damn. Just Damn. 

Let’s get something straight here. Brie Larson is NOT Robert Downey Jr.

Captain Marvel can’t even sell her own damn comic book. Why the hell make her the face of the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

But this makes sense to the passengers who ride Marvel’s Crazy train.

At this point Avengers 4 is looking like 1986’s Transformers: The Movie with Part 2 of a Star Trek: The Next Generation Season finale mixed in. If rumors are right this movie is gonna be a SHIT SHOW TO END ALL SHIT SHOWS. As the heroes try to make their own Infinity Gauntlet we’re gonna have a story with all sorts of fucked up plot devices like Alternate universes, time travel, and Dead superheroes.

A complete pastiche of hot garbage and flies. 

And it looks like Marvel is gonna kill off fan favorite characters and replace them with the Marvel versions of Kup, Arcee, Blurr, Springer and Rodimus Prime. And after Marvel kills of many of your favorite characters in the Avengers finale they plan on replacing them with the cinematic versions of Kamala Kahn, Miles Morales, and RiRi Williams. With Bucky Cap as Rodimus Prime in Avengers 5.

I can see the crying kids in the theaters when fan favorite characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor die. And the Marvel Merchandise featuring the new n’ improved heroes rotting on the shelves just like their 1986 Transformers contemporaries.

It’s clear the magic is gone from Marvel Studios. And the cancer from the SJW Marvel Comics has taken its place. So it’s time to get off the crazy train.

I doubt we’re gonna see another 20 movies from Marvel Studios at this point. The wheels are falling off the bus, and it’s only a matter of time before the MCU winds up in the same fucked up spot that Star Wars is in right now.  

At this point I can honestly say Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios are both FUCKED. And since the SJWs who run Marvel are hellbent on destroying this storied brand again, all I’m doing is getting myself a big bag of popcorn and keep watching the dumpster fire burn. 

Friday, June 15, 2018



A couple of days ago Marvel Comics announced plans to relaunch two poor selling series Unstoppable Wasp and Iceman.

The definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing and expecting a different result. And Marvel’s editorial department is Arkham certified crazy.

It’s official we’re in the last days of Marvel Comics. The only question is how bad will the comics get be in the next few years. Will they get Charlton Comics bad,


I’ve seen some shit shows over the 39 years I’ve been reading comics. And I have to wonder how bad the final comics in the Marvel Age of comics will be.

For over 20 years I’ve held out hope that Marvel could get its shit together and turn things around. But when I see their new Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski and their Vice President of Content and Character Development Sana Amanat doubling down on a failed diversity campaign and relaunching a pair of poor selling books as part of their false start initiative, I can honestly say Marvel is FUCKED at this point.

It’s a shame to see a storied brand like Marvel fall into ruin, but at this point all I can do is hope that some other publisher like SJS DIRECT, Boom! Dynamite, or Action Lab can build something out of its ashes. Or some indie creator like Richard C. Meyer, Chuck Dixon, or Ethan Van Sciver can create a new hit character that wins over readers.

Why am so indifferent about the impending collapse of Marvel? I went through the five stages of grief mourning the loss of the Classic DC Universe in 2011. But when it comes to Marvel’s impending demise I’m not feeling that pain.

I guess being jerked around and screwed over by Dan Didio and company at DC for the last 8 years has thickened my skin regarding the insanity that goes on in the comic book industry. 

While Didio was just incompetent, Marvel is doubling down on its failed diversity agenda with malice of forethought. And with them putting a middle finger up at comic fans like myself, I’m at the point where I DON’T GIVE A FUCK.

And since I have closure, I’m predicting that the Marvel Age of Comics will probably be over by 2020. With Sana Amanut and SoyBoy Cebulski insisting on publishing and promoting books no one wants and comic shops can’t sell, Disney will be forced to pull the plug on Marvel’s publishing division once the remaining comic shops close and the losses mount up to the point where they become unsustainable for Disney.

At this point I’ve become indifferent to the madness called the comic book industry. And with me numb to the craziness of so-called comic pros, I’m just gonna get myself a big ass bag of popcorn, sit back, and watch the dumpster fire burn. The books that’ll be coming in the next few years are gonna be 32 page TRAIN WRECK!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Taking on Butthurt Black Comic Fans on CBR. Com

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

No Hope, No Change For SJWMarvel Comics

On June 2, 2018 Marvel Comics went out of business.

 On CBS SaturdayMorning Marvel Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski and Vice President of content and Character Development Sana Amanat announced their plan to double down on their failed diversity campaign by turning Marvel Comics into a lifestyle and entertainment brand instead of a comic book publisher.


Damn. Just Damn.

With this new direction Marvel has just joined Dell, Fox, and Charlton Comics on the comic book publishing scrap heap.

When women like Sana Amanat use the term “Lifestyle Brand” comic fans better watch out. Because Lifestyle Brand means they want comics to be for women. Which is why we’ve been getting these emasculated and cucked superheroes for the past two years and this push towards Mary Sue Superwomen like RiRi Williams, Captain Marvel and America Chavez who can do almost anything.

Amanat wants people to look at Marvel’s red logo and just think Entertainment. Unfortunately, most comic fans haven’t been entertained by Marvel comics for two years now. When readers take a look in between the pages of a Marvel comic today they don’t get the action and adventure generations up with. No, they get terrible stories filled with exposition, identity politics and shoehorned diversity and stereotypes that would put Gimme A Break, Diff’rent Strokes and Webster to shame back in the 1980s.

In that report Amanat and Cebulski doubled down on pushing Marvel’s failed diversity campaign that many comic fans call SJW Marvel. A campaign that has seen sales plummet over the last two years and put the Marvel publishing division in freefall.

The definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing and expecting a different result. But this is just business as usual at Marvel Comics. When something fails at there they just do keep doing it and finding new ways to fudge the numbers.

Captain Marvel Not getting over with readers? Just keep relaunching her series to avoid admitting the direction for the character is a FAILURE. Kamala Kahn Ms. Marvel barely selling 10k copies? Just tell the world that she sold 500,000 copies in between her numerous cancelled series.

What’s sad is that Marvel continues to double down even in the face of the industry being in crisis. Even after numerous comic shop owners told Marvel they need them to change their direction from the identity politics at the 20l7 New York Comic Con and 50 comic shops closing in the same year they continue to push the same diversity agenda that has driven people away from their products.

And it continues to push a diversity initiative even though there isn’t much diversity in Marvel’s offices in editorial or in their bullpen. For all this so-called diversity push between the pages at Marvel, there are STILL NO Black comic editors and NO Black comic pros working at Marvel.

I wonder how many more comic shops are going to be forced to close as a result of Cebulski and Amanat’s insistence on trying to promote comics as a “lifestyle brand” to a phantom audience that doesn’t exist.

In addition to saying that they were changing Marvel into an entertainment brand Marvel was going to fix the “boy” problem.

When I heard this I just saw the undertaker put the nail in the coffin for Marvel Comics publishing division. The core audience for Marvel comics are boys and men.

What Amanat and Cebulski don’t understand is that there is no Boy problem. Boys have been the primary audience of comics for a reason.

Comics are a VISUAL medium and boys are VISUAL. Boys are attracted to the comic book medium because it allows them to read in the way they best process information: With their eyes and their hands.

Girls on the other hand are more analytical. And that’s why they’ve liked reading YA fiction like Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew since the 1940s. And why they go out and buy books like Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Twilight instead of comic books.

If there’s a problem, it’s Cebulski and Amanat not understanding the core customer base for comic books. Boys have been the primary audience for comics since the inception of the industry. As they transitoned from pulp fiction like Doc Savage and The Shadow in the early 1930s, they were the ones who built the industry with their dimes and turned it into a billion dollar business 75 years later.  

If it wasn’t for boys Comic books wouldn’t be an industry. There would be no Comic conventions, no Saturday morning Cartoons, no video games, no action figures and no movies. Boys made the “lifestyle” behind the hobby, but Cebulski and Amanat want to take that hobby away from the boys and men who built it.

For a comic publisher like marvel to say there’s a boy problem is like McDonald’s saying it has a children problem. It’s the KISS OF DEATH.

But Amanat believes there’s a problem with boys in the comic book industry. The customer who bought comic books for the last 75 years. The customer who made that Red logo an international brand. The customer who has been fighting to save Marvel in an effort to save the comic book industry.

With that CBS this Morning report where Cebulski and Amanat put the nail in the coffin for Marvel Comics as a brand. Now that most comic fans know that there’s no hope of anything no changing for Marvel Comics they can now officially move on from the brand. Now that comic fans like myself have closure, I can feel comfortable about walking away from Marvel as a publisher.
rom Marvel as a publisher.

Since there’s no hope of anything changing at Marvel, I’m going to focus on the future of comics, indie comic publishers, webcomics and creator owned comics. And instead of making Mine Marvel I’m going to encourage everyone to start to collect SJS DIRECT.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Progress Report

I’ve been working hard over the past six months. Pushing hard towards what I hope will eventually be a break.

This April I started launching the summer books of the SJS DIRECT 2018 Catalog. The first book, Isis: House of Isis sold better than I expected on Kindle and had some paperback sales.

I wasn’t expecting the book to do that well due to the generic cover, but to my surprise there was interest in the story where the goddess next door took on a Hustling Hotep High priestess in Harlem. From what readers are telling me they really enjoyed the story, especially the ending.

The second new book I released this year, Isis: Escape FromTransylvania featured a MASTERPIECE Bill Walko cover. I’d have to say this one was one of Bill’s BEST covers featuring Isis and John, I could easily see this one in a Scholastic catalog for kids of all ages to buy!

Isis: Escape From Transylvania was a strong seller, getting Kindle and paperback sales. And the feedback from readers has been extremely positive regarding Escape From Transylvania. Readers really enjoyed the story, and many want me to write another vampire story.  

Hot on the heels of the release of Isis: Escape From Transylvania there’s been a surge of sales for Isis: Bride of Dracula. Maybe people are catching up on the Vampire arc, or they’re catching up on the Isis series overall. But right now Bride of Dracula is and neck with Isis: All About The Goddess for the best-selling Isis series book overall.

With the success of the Vampire arc, I’m pondering releasing another vampire story in the future to flesh out the Vampire Lore in the SJS DIRECT Universe. Anyone interested in a Lilith Origin story?

Thanks to the surge of sales of Isis: Bride of Dracula, there’s been a surge of interest in John Haynes.  And that’s led to a surge of sales of The Temptation of JohnHaynes and The Man Who Rules The World. That interest in John Haynes is one of the reasons why I’ve decided to start a John Haynes series and give readers more stories featuring The Man Who Rules the World of the SJS DIRECT Universe.

The first story, John Haynes: A Conversation With Death will be Available on June 19th on Kindle and in Paperback! And to get readers to start picking up John’s series the Kindle edition will just be 99 cents! And the paperback will be priced lower than my regular Isis and E’steem series books to get people into John’s first story.

The summer catalog is going to be short this year. Originally after I released John Haynes: A Conversation With Death I had planned to release E’steem: The Sands of Time in June, but I’m going to hold off on releasing that book until the fall.  I’m moving some books around for a promotion I’m working on called Fantasy Flashback Fall I’m working on to revive interest in the flatlined SJS DIRECT FANTASY FLASHBACK series.

Originally, the SJS DIRECT FANTASY FLASHBACK series was supposed to focus on the past histories of characters like Isis and E’steem in different eras like Ancient Egypt, Ancient Nubia, and Jim Crow 20th Century America. So far I’ve only written one book in the FANTASY FLASHBACK series, Isis: Death of A Theta.  So releasing both books together will allow readers to jump on the FANTASY FLASHBACK series and learn something about Egyptian mythology and Black history while reading stories featuring their favorite heroes.

As part of the SJS DIRECT FANTASY FLASHBACK relaunch, I want to put Isis: Imitation of Life back on the schedule to be published in conjunction with E’steem: The Sands of Time. I believe launching both books together would give readers a chance to see how Black people were a part of Ancient civilizations and how Black people contributed to historical events in different eras.

Backlist Isis series books have had an increase in sales as well. Isis: All About The Goddess got some paperback sales and Isis: Wrath ofthe Cybergoddess has also had an increase in sales over the last few months in paperback and eBook. And Isis: Samurai Goddess has seen an increase in paperback and eBook sales as well. But the biggest surprise to me was seeing an Isis: The Beauty Myth Kindle sale. That book’s cover wound up on a lousy book cover website. But since it ties directly into Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess I guess someone picked it up. One day I’m gonna re-do the cover to Isis: TheBeauty Myth, but I just need to get the money together. I’ve got a fun comic book concept that I think people would enjoy seeing for that one!

I was surprised to see E’steem: Ascension picked up a few sales. I wrote that book off as a flop in the fall, but maybe it’s finally starting to get some momentum. I had a lot of fears about turning the Devilish Diva into the Aspiring Angel, but it looks like the response to E’steem’s new direction has been positive. E’steem’s powers may change but the concept will stay the same. The E’steem series will still have Lois Lane style premise, filled with action, humor and…wardrobe malfunctions.    

On the Goth side of the SJS DIRECT Catalog, there’s been a surge of sales for The Legendary Mad Matilda. I wrote this book off in the fall when it failed to get the sales Spellbound had in October, but it seems like people are starting to pick it up. I’ve also seen an increase in sales for Spellbound and Spinsterella, so it looks like readers are starting to find the Spinsterella trilogy. I’d love to do more Goth fiction featuring Sugar Hill’s Black Widow, but I just need to see the sales.

I’m pondering doing another Spinsterella story, but this one would be more All-Ages/Family oriented like the Isis and E’steem series books. The rough title is Spinsterella and the Spooky girl and this one would be Matilda helping her next door neighbor a little girl learn about the Goth Subculture.

I also picked up some sales of my Screenplay books All AboutMarilyn and All About Nikki. Now that streaming is a thing, I’d love to see both of these on Netflix Hulu or YouTube Red as a movie or a TV series. Marilyn and Nikki are designed to work around low budgets and would be easy to produce.

On the nonfiction side, the Simp series books continue to sell well, and these books continue to transform men’s lives. I continue to get messages on Facebook from one of my readers who told me how the Simp Series books change their lives and help them move their lives forward. Hearing from those men is one of the things that makes my day

Right now I’m working on a new nonfiction book, THE MAN CRISIS. Like STOP SIMPIN In The Workplace, I got inspired to write this book after making numerous YouTube videos about men participating in mass shootings. Over the years I’ve noticed a pattern regarding the backgrounds and behaviors of mass shooters and realized that this violence is a symptom of a trend with men across the country who have been falling apart due to the way they’ve been raised. I plan on going in depth on that trend in THE MAN CRISIS and giving people insight into why so many men are so troubled today.

In April I got an opportunity to make an appearance on the Obsidian Radio Show. To my surprise there was a lot of anticipation of my appearance on the show from the Black fantasy and Black sci-fi communities. Unfortunately, due to my lack of internet access due to my long-term unemployment I wasn’t able to do the show in April.

However, Thanks to Obsidian’s help starting the Shawn James Initiative I was able to get the donations from YouTube viewers to buy a Verizon Jetpack and a prepaid data plan. And On May 11, I did the Obsidian Radio Show. And the feedback to that show has been extremely positive. Many of my YouTube subscribers enjoyed the show and many more went on to buy books in the SJS DIRECT imprint as a result of it. I’d love to do more shows in the future and discuss Black fantasy and men’s issues and get the word out about my work in the genre. 

On the YouTube front, I passed 6000 subscribers in April. It looks like I’m building a serious audience on YouTube talking about Black fantasy, Black Sci-fi, The Comic book industry and Men’s issues. At this pace I have to wonder if I’ll pass 8,000 to 10K subs this year. I’d love to build a platform on YouTube to get more people reading Black Fantasy and Sci-fi. I believe if more black children read it, it’d open their imaginations and they could start seeing a past and a future with themselves in it and not see themselves through a White lens.

On the writing side I’ve been working on quite a few projects that I’m hoping will be part of the SJS DIRECT 2019 Catalog. These include:

Isis: All That Glitters. In this story the goddess next door takes on a bikini clad bank robber in Chelsea. This one is a fun story gives readers a fresh take on the Superheroes vs. Bank robbers premise and shows how heroes serve the communities they live in,

E’steem Goddess of? This one picks right up after E’steem: Ascension and has the Aspiring Angel taking on a demonic dominatrix named Avarisk The Tormentor.  This one is a showcase of E’steem’s new powers and is the start of the second E’steem series story arc,

And I’m in the middle of second draft of John Haynes: Dark Succubus. In this one John is tempted by a sultry she-demon who promises to make his dreams come true.

In addition to those stories I’d like to get to work on Isis: Revenge of the Cybergoddess. I started laying out the build for that story in the epilogues of Isis: Samurai Goddess and E’steem Ascension. And I had part of that book started when my computer crashed. Unfortunately, the file was lost. But I’m hoping to get back to work on that story soon. I got some big plans for D’lilah, and I need to get her back with her New Breed partners Vance and Carlotta to set them into fruition!

And I started writing my first comic script for an Isis graphic novel. This is an adaptation of Isis: All That Glitters. I’d have to say that writing comics is a LOT different than writing novelettes, having to describe the action going on in every panel to tell the story is quite the challenge. But I’m starting to get the hang of it. I would LOVE to offer an Isis graphic novel in the future. But it’d be a LOT of work. I’d have to find an artist to commit to the project, and I’d have to raise a LOT more money than I have for book covers.

Once I got the pages laid out, maybe I could do it through a publisher like Action Lab (I Love their Zombie Tramp Series, they’d be a PERFECT Fit for Isis) or Dynamite Comics (another place Isis would be a GREAT fit at). Then there’s the promotion to comic shops and comicons. It’d be a major challenge, but I’d be up for it.

I’d love to go to a Black comicon loaded up with an Isis graphic novel and SJS DIRECT books.  Would you buy some if you were there? Let me know.  

I’ve already done concept art for the covers of Isis: All That Glitters and E’steem Goddess of ?. And both those books are already uploaded to CreateSpace and Kindle. So it’s just a matter of raising the funds to pay for their covers to get them ready for release in 2019.

Speaking of Milestones, The Cassandra Cookbook will have its 10th Anniversary this year. And the SJS DIRECT 10th Anniversary is coming up soon too! I may have to do something special for both of them!

I started to pick up some momentum over the last six months. I’m hoping I can keep building on that momentum to get a big break. All the work I’m doing these days writing books, making videos, and promoting content feels like a full-time job. Maybe all the hard work I’ve put in over the past decade will finally start paying off sooner rather than later. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

John Haynes: Dark Succubus Sample Chapter


Been Busy writing stories, so Here’s a sample Chapter of the upcoming John Haynes: Dark Succubus. In this story The Man Who Rules the World is tempted with an offer he can’t refuse from a soul-stealing she-demon!

Chapter 11

I stir out of a sleepy daze feeling refreshed from my afternoon nap. Maybe E’steem waking me up so abruptly is what threw my body’s rhythms off this morning. Looks like all I needed was a little more sleep to get myself right.
I catch the time on the clock on the nightstand and smile. 1:45, it looks like I’ll be able to prep Sunday dinner and have it on the table before five. Just as I’m about to roll out of bed I feel a presence sitting next to me and smell a familiar perfume that isn’t E’steem’s. When I look over at the foot of my bed and see Selene sitting there in her black dress and heels I paste on a smile. How’d she get past security downstairs? “Hey John.” She greets smiling at me. “Enjoy your brunch?”
“I take it our meeting at the Java Joint wasn’t a coincidence.” I reply scowling at her as I jump out of bed.
“No, it definitely wasn’t a case of Déjà Vu.” Selene says hopping off the bed. “I’ve had my eye on you for a while.”
We just met today. “I’m taken.” I say grabbing the phone off the night table.
I start punching in numbers for security’s extension. When I can’t make the numbers sequence, Selene smiles at me. “I wouldn’t waste time calling security.”
“What did you do to them?” I say dropping the receiver.
 “Nothing.” Selene says smiling at me.
“You had to do something to them-”
“Can’t do something to someone I never met-”
I point daggers back at Selene when I realize where I actually am. “We’re not in the tower.”
“Oh, your body is still in the tower. But your soul is in another place.”
Selene gestures and a flash of light takes us from the bedroom back out to the living room. When I see a brick wall where the elevator was my hands clench into fists. “What do you want?”
 Selene saunters over to me and smiles as she wraps her arms around my shoulders. “Why I want to make your dreams come true.”
John Haynes: Dark Succubus will be available….Sometime in 2019. I finished the first draft a few weeks ago and now I’m working out the kinks. I’m halfway through 2018 and I’ve got most of the fall 2018 SJS DIRECT UNIVERSE books ready for release, most of the 2019 SJS DIRECT UNIVERSE catalog already set up, and I’m talking to artists about covers. Man I’ve come a LONG way in 10 years!