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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Progress Report


It’s been a while since I last wrote a progress report. Well, that’s because I’ve been incredibly busy. Making a lot of power moves and moving forward.

In Late November I moved from my old South Bronx Apartment to a new Place in Parkchester. The new room I have is a lot bigger than my old one, and I have space for things like a desk to do my YouTube Videos. I didn’t have much time for writing or blogging for the last two months because I’ve been busy packing and adjusting to life in another part of the Bronx. So that’s why there were vlogs and those vlogs were so sporadic. But with me getting settled I’m trying to get back into regular blogging.

Thanks to the donations of patreon and Paypal donors I celebrated a major milestone in 2018. 2018 was the first year where ALL the SJS DIRECT Universe books had covers on them done by comic artists. Every book from Isis: Escape From Transylvania, Isis: Imitation of Life, E’steem: The Sands of Time and John Haynes: A Conversation With Death had covers done by Bill Walko, Mike Williams, and Drew Swift.

And two of the SJS DIRECT 2019 books have Bill Walko covers on them. Isis: All That Glitters and E’steem Goddess of? Both feature Bill’s art on the cover. Both of these covers really POP, I especially LOVE all the little nuances in the All that Glitters cover. And Bill’s Avarisk The Tormentor is PERFECTION!

 Having the covers 90-180 days in advance helps a lot in the pre-promotion of these two awesome books Hoping that leads to paperback & eBook sales! 

In early November I made my third appearance on Obsidan Radio. On that show we discussed my new nonfiction book THE MAN CRISIS. It was a very productive two hours and I was able to discuss many of the struggles today’s men are going through, struggles most mainstream media just won’t talk about.

Sales for THE MAN CRISIS have been brisk, the book has sold close to 80 copies so far in Kindle and Paperback and has received several international sales. It’s received three-five star reviews on Amazon and every man who has read it has told me that the book has helped them in some way.

With THE MAN CRISIS I’m planning on taking the book out of KindleUnlimited this Spring and launching a Smashwords and Nook edition for readers on those digital platforms.

SJS DIRECT Fantasy Flashback Fall was a success. E’steem:The Sands of Time was a HUGE hit (Well, for POD standards) and it’s the best-selling E’steem series book to date. E’steem: The Sands of Time has received two five-star reviews on Amazon and most readers who have picked up the book enjoyed it.

Isis: Imitation of Life was slow out the gate, but managed to get a lot of people reading it on Kindle Unlimited. The book is starting to pick up a little momentum, but I’m taking a wait and see approach to it.

I’d love to do another series of Fantasy Flashback stories, but I need to see where sales go. I have a Golden Age Isis story I’d love to do involving Mobsters and an LEON the Electronic Negro, I’m eager to write and I’d love to show readers more of E’steem’s past in Ancient Egypt.

John Haynes: A Conversation With Death has been a HUGE HIT this year. Most people who have bought it love this book, and many tell me it reminds them of DC’s Constantine.  Everyone raves about the Mike Williams Cover and say it’s exactly how they imagine John looking.

John is starting to become one of the most popular characters in the SJS DIRECT Universe, and building a following. Readers like the strong masculine presence he has and they relate to him on a personal level. 

With the success of John Haynes: A Conversation With DeathI’m eager to get the second book of the John Haynes Series John Haynes: Dark Succubus out. The manuscript is already edited and laid out. All I need is a cover.

I’d love to have Mike Williams design the cover for Dark Succubus and a refresh cover for The Temptation of John Haynes.  But he’s been having some health issues, so I don’t know if he’ll be available. 

Dark Succubus out sometime in 2019, so be on the lookout for it!   

Right now I’m finally getting back to work on the third John Haynes series book, John Haynes: The Man With Nothing to Lose. This one is a follow up to events in the early chapters of The Man Who Rules The World, and has John taking on an old enemy from his troubled past.

Still trying to iron out John Haynes: Taking Care of Business story which expands Lilith Graves role in the SJS DIRECT Universe. That story will take us to Williamsburg Brooklyn and have John dealing with The Manga Girls and…Hipsters. And maybe John will run into a certain baker from a downtown Brooklyn bakery who readers haven’t seen in a decade.

Thanks to the success of A Conversation With Death, people are picking up The Temptation of John Haynes and its sequel The Man Who RulesThe World.   And they’re also picking up John’s appearances in Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess, Isis: Bride of Dracula and Isis: Escape From Transylvania.

Isis series books continue to pick up sales, Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess, Isis: Samurai Goddess, Isis: Night of the Vampires, Isis: Bride of Dracula, and Isis: Escape From Transylvania. All the second story arc books with the Bill Walko covers sell strong, But Isis Bride of Dracula is the runaway sales leader, People especially LOVE that cover!

And I recently had someone pick up the entire run of Isis series books in November. In paperback. That made my Holiday.

The Spinsterella Trilogy books continue to do well.  Spellbound, Spinsterella and The LegendaryMad Matilda get strong digital sales.

I’d love to bring Matilda back for more stories. Started a short called Spinsterella & The Spooky Girl and I have a concept in my head for Spinsterella’s Summer Vacation inspired by proposed Beetlejuice sequel Beetlejuice Goes Hawaian movie that never got produced. I thought it’d be hilarious to see Harlem’s Goth Girl head to L.A. in a comical story set between The Legendary Mad Matilda and Spinsterella.  

I would also love to do another story featuring a Goth heroine. I want to get to work on Lilith Graves story in Eternal Night. Maybe I can finally get started on that book along with 2020’s Isis and E’steem stories soon. I want to have Isis throw down with Nemesis in Isis The Main Event and E’steem take on SJWs before the next big story Isis: Revenge of the Cybergoddess. Still have those loose plot threads with D’lilah from Samurai Goddess that need resolving.  

Currently I’m working on an indiegogo for the first Isis graphic novel. If I can get the funds I’m planning on hiring Bill Walko to design the first comic book in the SJS DIRECT imprint. The graphic novel will feature TWO stories Isis: All That Glitters feature and the E’steem: No Good Deed short.

I’ve already talked to a letterer, and I’m currently in the market for a colorist on the project.

If the indiegogo for the Isis graphic novel is successful, I’d love to offer readers comic adaptations of earlier Isis series stories and possibly an adaptation of John Haynes: A Conversation With Death.

The official launch date for the Isis Indiegogo is March 5, 2019. Mark your calendars!

At the request of my viewers I started doing livestreams three weeks ago. The livestreams have been a tremendous success, with me connecting with my audience talking about books, comics and fantasy and generating book sales. I’m hoping to use the streams as a platform to launch the Isis graphic novel indiegogo when it launches in March.

I passed 9,000 YouTube subscribers last week, and I’m at 9,200 so far. Getting closer to 10K subs and I’m hoping to pass that milestone sooner rather than later.

I’ve decided to give up on the Job search. October marked 10 years since I lost my last job at City College and I realize I’ll never work at another person’s job at this point. I’ve been looking for work for 10 years now and at this point it’s a lost cause. A decade out no one in corporate America is gonna give me a chance to work for them. So I’m just gonna focus on building up SJS DIRECT, my YouTube Channel and my projects like the upcoming indiegogo. Since I can’t work for someone else, I’m just gonna have to work for myself.

Working hard and making progress. Moving forward. Hoping that I get my big break soon.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Shawn ROASTS Netflix’s Punisher Season 2


I had been anticipating Netflix’s Punisher Season 2 ever since I saw the last episode of the first season. Unfortunately, all of the promising storylines and character development of the first season were pushed to the back burner so Netflix and Disney’s producers could push a gynocentric narrtive about how SKRONG the WAHMEN were as they used Frank’s show as a soapbox to take potshots at Donald Trump. I didn’t think it’d be possible to emasculate a character as masculine as The Punisher, but here we are. The Simp levels on this show are WAY over 9000.

Punisher Season 2 runs off the rails within the first five minutes of its first episode. After being cleared by Agent Madani last season, Frank under the new alias Pete Castiglione is riding in his battle van on a road trip to start a new life. He’s stops off in Detroit for a beer at a roadhouse bar. And after meeting the sexy bar owner he runs into trouble. And I don’t mean the bad guys. Frank’s Simp levels start ratcheting up to the 5000 level when a guy hits on the her owner and Frank immediately starts playing the White Knight to defend her honor. After a hook up, Frank decides to drive her home where he finds out she’s got a son. And decides to take everyone out for pancakes.

Damn. Just Damn. The Punisher dating a Single Mom. Never thought I’d see one of Marvel’s most badass heroes turned into a SIMP but here we are.  

After all of Frank’s simping, later the second season’s storyline begins when Frank returns to the bar and Amy, a teenager on the run comes in. She’s being followed by some Christian cult members who want what’s in her backpack or something. They confront her and Frank goes into the ladies room. Not to put on his skull vest to become The Punisher. No, he puts on a Ben Cooper™ Cape and Mickey Mouse Galoshes to play Captain-Save-A-Hoe.

*FACEPALM* Somebody get Frank a Copy of STOP SIMPIN. And have him read my blog Why Real Men avoid Single Mothers.

After Frank’s Simp levels go over 9000 he kills the cult members and saves Amy, then Frank takes down more cult members and his possible girlfriend winds up getting herself shot trying to play a SKRONG WAHMON. Frank winds up shooting it out trying to get her to the hospital and we start the Billy Russo subplot and the Simp levels start heading the levels we usually see on the CW’s Flash. While Agent Mahdani who thinks he’s faking, Krista, the psychiatrist who is treating him has a love jones for him.

Great way to cuck a bad guy there Netflix. I see you didn’t learn ANYTHING from the disaster that was Iron Fist Season 2.
Meanwhile in Michigan Frank is on the lam with Amy and after a run-in with John Pilgrim (A CHRISTIAN SIMP) and the cult members he gets arrested. He calls Agent Mahdani to bail him out and after she hangs up on him just to show how SKRONG she is. But after a change of heart she takes a chopper to Michigan to link Frank’s disjointed Trump-Bashing plot to her equally disjointed Jigsaw storyline.

As Frank returns to New York and the second season progresses Billy’s Russo’s story becomes a subplot bogged down by gynocentrism. And instead of a complex story about an incredibly handsome man coping with the loss of his looks and career starting down the dark road to becoming a top crime boss, we get a shallow predictable story about a crippled female psychiatrist falling in love with a sociopath and Agent Madani seeking to reclaim a part of herself she lost when Billy shot her in the head in the first season by taking him down. It saddened me to see Jigsaw turned into a CUCK and a complete SIMP in the later episodes and completely emasculated by Agent Madani (in an effort to show how SKRONG she was) and then executed by Frank in an anti-climatic fashion I’ve ever seen a bad guy taken down. Yeah, Frank accepts his role as The Punisher. But the road to him discovering himself and his mission is tarnished due to the gynocentric undertones of this dreadful second season.

Punisher Season 2 had all the elements of what could’ve been a great follow up to Season 1. Unfortunately, instead of executing the story that had been set up organically in Season 1 Netflix and Disney decided to inject gynocentrism, feminism, and identity politics in Frank’s story and suck all the energy out of it. Just as the action starts to ratchet up, some crap sequence featuring SKRONG women like Madani, the psychiatrist and Amy slows it down leading to the show becoming a jigsaw puzzle of disjointed storylines and uneven character development that never becomes a complete image to the viewer.

What does a billionaire’s gay Senator son have to do with a Christian Cult run by John Pilgrim? How does all this connect to Billy Russo? Sadly the writers of this show are too busy trying to take a jab at Donald Trump and White Christians to answer the questions they propose or give us a complete and cohesive story.

And they’re so busy trying to push so-called strong women that they take the show into levels of STUPID that are mind boggling. Did we need that scene of Amy kicking another girl in the crotch?

Pure penis envy there. Plus, men and women are biologically different. A kick to a girl’s vagina isn’t going to hurt like a kick to a guy’s tesitcles.

Sadly In their efforts to push strong women, Netflix and Disney completely emasculate The Punisher and Jigsaw. And instead of us seeing these military trained men using their survival skills, we get women like Madani and the psychiatrist creating co-dependent relationships with them. In the second season we see both Frank and Billy staying with women like some thug street dudes in the hood and living on the women’s terms.

Complete and utter bullshit that emasculates both men and is completely out of character for any man who has been in the military.

I wanted to see both these military men using their training and survival skills. Billy using his to build his criminal empire, Frank using his to take him down. That was the story we didn’t get to see in Punisher Season 2 because the producers were so obsessed with giving us so-called strong women that they didn’t focus on giving us a story that was true to the mission and spirit of the Punisher in the comics.

In spite of the gynocentrism, feminism, and identity politics, the acting In Punisher Season 2 is top notch. Jon Berenthal does a great job portraying Frank Castle. He gives him depth and dimension, and we see a great humanity in him as he shows compassion to those who deserve it in his War on Crime. It’s those moments with Amy or the woman at the bar that show us that Frank isn’t just a cold-blooded killer, that he’s a man looking to protect the innocent from those who believe that they are above the law and beyond it.

Amber Rose Revah is solid as Madani and Ben Barnes does what he can with Russo/Jigsaw’s jumbled mess of a story. Giorgia Wingham steals secenes as Amy and is so good I have to say she’s an actress to look out for in future roles. She’s got all the talent to be a star.

I was deeply disappointed with Netflix’s Punisher Season 2. While it had great acting and compelling action sequences, the writing was just a jigsaw puzzle of uneven storylines that don’t really give you a reason to care. Instead of trying to shoehorn feminism and potshots at Donald Trump into the show, Netflix and Disney should’ve focused on telling a story that was true to the characters and the source material. If they made Jigsaw the main villain of Season 2 and had the show revolve around him making his own militia that terrorized NYC in a crime spree only The Punisher could stop, they coulda had a CLASSIC. But instead, we get 13 forgettable episodes that never actualize the potential of the story that was set up in the first season finale.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Isis: All That Glitters Now Available in Paperback & Pre-Order on Kindle

Isis: All That Glitters Pre-order on kindle or get it in paperback today!

Bling! While Isis is making a withdrawal at the Chase bank in Chelsea, she runs afoul of Golden Shine, a blonde bikini clad bank robber who likes to steal the finer things in life. Can the Goddess Next Door and Hell’s Aspiring Angel help the NYPD put and end to her one-woman crime spree?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019