Capturing Hearts and Minds

One of the aspects of the current culture war that many other people have a touched on, but never drilled deep into is the ongoing cultural Prisoner’s Dilemma faced by productive members of society and the SJW locusts. Over the last few decades, the SJW locusts have made out like bandits, always choosing the “Betrayal” option, while men of good will continue to choose “Loyalty”. In the last few years, the men of good will have finally found their spine and begun flipping over the table rather than play along with the locusts.

Consider that our society features two main cultures. On the one hand you have the normal people motivated by normal desires. They get up, work hard, raise families, retire, and do what they can to propagate the cycle for another turn of the generations. It’s hard and often thankless work, but at the end of the day, it’s a far more satisfying life than the emptiness of pursuing short term fun and games. It’s also a lot more expensive in terms of time and money, and so considerably less appealing to short term thinkers like the SJWs.

They might be driven by emotional stimulus, rather than rational, but they aren’t stupid. The childless weirdos know thier legacy will die with them, and they need to fill the hole in their lives somehow, so they turn their attention to the fertile fields planted and raised by others. Squandering their lives on short term pleasures and short term thinking means capturing the hearts and mind of other people’s kids serves as the expedient means by which they can pass their destructive worldview along to the next generation.

Which creates the prisoner’s dilemma. Let somebody else bear the cost of raising children, then swoop in to steal the harvest through cartoons (like Xhe-Ra), comics (from the Big Two), and the education system. The American Remnant foolishly trusted the conservatives to conserve that last one, but we’ve learned our lesson and don’t intend to let the rest of the culture go without a fight. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first it’s worth observing a few other points about SJW attempts to capture the hearts and minds of the children of normal men.

For one, childless weirdos lack the experience necessary to have anything useful to pass along to children. They are the last people anyone should trust with thier children’s time or attention. All of their ideas about what kids are, what they like, and what they want, are mere theories with no practical basis in real-world knowledge. Having never experienced the personalities of children – in the womb! – they adhere to the idiocy of the blank slate theory. Having never watched children instinctively reach for toys – at the chromosomal level! – they adhere to the idiocy of gender neutral play time. Having never experienced in real time the relentless needs of the mind of a child, they assume their own experience suffices. This despite the utter failure of their own stunted childhood that to provide them with a deep appreciation of actual adulthood, which is self-evident given their inability to act like an adult and take on their adult responsibilities.

For two, many of these SJWs infiltrate children’s media as predators. But don’t take my word for it. Take it from somebody who lived it.

Either way, these are the last people anyone should entrust with their children’s precious time and attention.

Much to the chagrin of traditional households across the country, Corporate America loves hiring the childless weirdos because they are cheap – no extra mouths to feed at home, you see. But Corporate America gets what it pays for, and that means hollow stories featuring hollow characters having hollow adventures. And the resultant consumer revolt, as seen in tanking ratings (TV) and sales (comics and lit), demonstrates that parents have way more control and influence than Corporate America or their SJW servants realize.

Any media produced for children has to clear the parent hurdle first, or it won’t ever see the light in their children’s eyes. The end-run around parents that worked so well with the education system is failing when faced with the everyday judgement of the marketplace. Parents are turning their backs on their beloved childhood memories as the locusts prop up distorted simulacra devoid of the context and inspirational foundation that made those tales and characters so beloved in the first place. Children might fall for the demons draped in skin-suits of 80’s characters but their parents see through the flimsy disguises.

Which means, like so many other properties hauled out She-Ra revamp – actually, given the way the producers have adopted the de-feminizing strategy of feminism, it could actually be called a devamp – will fail. As it does, we can expect the usual water carriers in the critical media to blame “toxic fans” for not pretending like the skin-walker versions are improvements on the original in fairly short order and to no avail. She-Ra will die a quiet death, and the locusts will move on to another field to ravage.

But the responsible parents will be there, standing guard. And with each iteration, fewer and fewer consumers will be there ready to give up their hard fought legacy. Instead, they will look elsewhere for new alternatives.  Two prime examples leap to mind.

And it’s not just major players like this that are working to deny locusts access to the fertile fields of our children.  Thousands of decent men and women have taken up the pen to produce content suitable for the preservation of civilization and the continued prosperity of future generations.  My own tale of a decent man caught up in a fight bigger than any he imagined and fighting to save his family – and all of Galactic Christendom – from the predations of an alien empire makes for a clean, inspirational, and fun alternative to the major media productions.  Suitable for you and your kids, you won’t be disappointed.

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Cirsova Volume I Kickstarter

Cirsova Magazine represents one of the crown jewels of the great Geek Spring that we’ve all been enjoying these past few years.  One of the early trickles of content that has turned into a deluge that I can’t even keep up with, it has introduced me to a host of otherwise unknown and hard to find authors.  Some of the best working today, and more than one of whom has grown from a mere yellow name on a pretty cover to an author that I would count as not just inspiration for my own writing, but also as a friend.

If you haven’t read it yet, you can find all of the back issues on Amazon.  Better yet, why not take this last chance and back the Kickstarter for the final two issues.  For just ten bucks an issue you can get physical copies delivered to your home, with digital copies thrown in for good measure.

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Mother Russia

From “Adam Wreck”, a perfect entrée into comic books for kids, we turn our attention to “Mother Russia“, a much darker tale written and illustrated by Jeff McComsky.

Set in the fictional 1943 ruins of Stalingrad just a few weeks after the horrors of war gave way to the horrors of the zombie apocalypse, “Mother Russia” features one of the Motherland’s female snipers holed up in a watch-tower, passing the days by pot-shotting at the undead hordes wandering the streets below.

The ruins of Stalingrad make for a perfect zombie tale.  Plenty of corpses.  Plenty of ammo.  Plenty of supplies laying around ready to be scrounged.  Throw in the forced détente between Nazi survivors and Commie survivors, and you’re left with a three way fight with no easy protagonists.  To overcome that limitation, McComsky gives you a female protagonist whose vulnerability makes her the easy sympathetic point of view.  Add in an early bit of heroics to show that she isn’t the usual sort of Communist monster, and the story easily sucks the reader into its dark world.

Her counterpart and foil and reluctant partner, a grizzled Nazi officer carrying the shade of Otto Skorzeny on his shoulders makes for the perfect partner.  Abrasive  and difficult to like, particularly given an early betrayal/massacre by his hands, his strength and dedication to duty make his later heel-face turn profoundly satisfying.  As with the other titles I’ve read from Alterna, “Mother Russia” presents a strong character piece leavened with moments of action and heroism that represent the best comic books have to offer.

The black and white art is used to good effect to paint the bleak backdrop of Zombie Stalingrad, and the camera never shies from the horrors of war.  Add in some unforced cursing, and you get a book that’s not for the younger set, but one for fans of zombie action and darker character studies alike.

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The Death of an Icon

Bradford C. Walker, one of the better and more productive members of the cultural shift in fantasy and sci-fi circles, has a new IP on the way – The Star Knight Saga!   Look at this great concept art, and hit up his site for more information and a look at the full picture.

For the past 30 years, nothing has been as iconic a representation of the Star Wars universe as the light sabre.  The look and the sound of the thing immediately conjures up the image of a brown-robed warrior-monk who fights for truth and justice.  Those brave few men whose discipline and training allow them to use such a dangerous weapon to great effect.

The power-sword has never been unique to Star Wars.  From Fritz Leiber’s “rods of wrath”, violent energy blades that appeared in his 1943(!) story, Gather Darkness, to the late 1970s Sunsword of Thundarr the Barbarian, and everything in between and following along, the concept of a sword…but more powerful and visibly radiating that power, is a stable of science-fantasy.  And yet, something about the implementation in Star Wars made them seem more rare, mysterious, and unique that setting in a way that no other IP could match.

Until lately.  It started with the over saturation in the Prequels, then became worse when any random waif or garbage man could pick one up and use one effectively and without lopping off his own arm accidentally.  The death of the light sabre’s stranglehold on our imaginations probably came when one of the two most iconic wielders of said weapons chucked his family heirloom lightsaber over his shoulder with a silent shrug.

Okay, Luke.  I’ve followed your lead when it comes to trusting myself, choosing my friends over my own training, and loving my father come what may.  If you think light sabres mean nothing, who am I to say otherwise?

For some time now, and I’m only just noticing this major shift in my own perceptions, the light sabre is no more special or unique than dark lords, space fighter dog fights, or planetary princesses in need of rescue.  It’s just another energy blade, and so just one more aspect of space fantasy that doesn’t immediately conjure up images of the Skywalker family.

Looking at Mr. Walker’s promising artwork, it struck me that it doesn’t look at all derivative of Star Wars.  It’s its own thing, still well within the space fantasy genre, but it doesn’t have to fight its way through a lot of Star Wars baggage to establish itself.

Congratulations, Disney.  In your handling of Star Wars you squandered more genre real-estate than you realize.

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Adam Wreck

Getting my comic book fix while waiting for the next Al*Hero to drop, I ordered up a few copies of the second best deal in comics these days.  Alterna Comics uses newsprint and ink that rubs off on your fingers for that extra old school charm.

Adam Wreck“, written and illustrated by Michael S. Bracco, presents a sci-fi take suitable for younger readers.  The titular character’s genius parents take

their reluctant son off earth in search of extraterrestrial life. The good news is that they find it. The bad news is that the first aliens to meet mankind are space pirates, and Adam soon finds himself stranded on an alien planet, determined to find his way back to his parents. Aided by the usual sort of Northwest Smith style opportunist, Adam’s adventure provides a solid story with the sort of thrills suitable for younger readers.

The pirates are scary enough to threaten, but silly enough not to lead to bad dreams. Adam’s parents represent a strength of the title – they are loving, brave, clever, and outmatched early enough to justify a rescue by their young son. The art is suitably cartoony, and the touch of orange and blue coloring is used to good effect. The design of the aliens and spaceships are fun and creative.

I wouldn’t recommend “Adam Wreck” for serious connoisseurs of sequential art as a medium of exploring the subtle distinctions between good and evil, and man and monster.  But it does make a perfect gateway drug to lure your children into the wider world of graphic novels.

 

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Immediate Gratification

Comics.

The events swirling around the major comic producers swirling around the drain have inspired me to jump on board the MACGA (Make American Comics Great Again) Train.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of men like Vox Day and Ya Boi Zack and Jon Del Arroz, I’ve found a wealth of fun and exciting new fiction to enjoy.  But as I’ve shifted my entertainment resources away from video and toward sequential art, the analytical side of my brain has churned away at the question of, “why comics?”

My initial shift away from mainstream producers and towards small and independent publishers was as a happy consumer of OSR material written to recapture the D&D spirit of my youth.  Heady times, those were, filled with the exploration of imaginative spaces that most mainstream publishers had turned their back on in favor of recycling and repackaging the mess of influences of the rulebook’s semi-official implied setting.

Over the last three to four years, my focus has been on supporting the alternative media culture by producing long form fiction of my own (ahem) and lending my vocal talents to the works of other fine authors (again I say to you ahem, ahem).  But over the last couple of years, it’s hard not to notice that some of the biggest waves are hitting the world of comic books.  The old gray publishers in lit-ra-chure are hemorrhaging readers, but they’ve got a pile of snooty answers as to why the unwashed and grubby flyover folk don’t cotton to know book reading.  With the smash success of Marvel movies, which should be driving readers to Marvel comics in droves, there’s no such hiding from the evidence that when you get woke you go broke.

And the medium of comics is perfect for the sort of analysis and discussion and criticism that drives changes in the market.  You can read a title in 20 minutes rather than the five hours it takes to read (or listen to) a novel.  That means everyone can read and comment in the same day or two.  That’s a much easier method to build a culture and find likeminded souls than long fiction.  It also means a chance to expand your circles and encounter new names and new faces with new ideas instead of the usual Commentariat approved and appointed spokeslizards.

From a content producer’s standpoint, talking about comics makes a lot of sense as well.  The turnover rate allows for easy daily content, and the reduced cost – from a time perspective if not money – also makes spotting trends, analyzing them, and reporting back to your friends so much easier as well.    They also make for a nice and easy break from diving deep into prose.  When the kids act up or the wife needs a hand, you can drop it and come back without losing that deep fugue state that makes prose reading so much fun.

With all this in mind, expect more comics content here at my blog, but don’t worry about the usual pulpy goodness and authorial analysis and cultural critique.  We’ll be getting into that as always.  We’ve just added a piquant new comic spice to the stew.  I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy the new recipe.

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GoFundMe Reccomendation: Alpha Dog Studios

You might remember the news from earlier this year about Will Caligan, a comic book creator fired for wrongthink.  He has also been tapped to help produce Arkhaven Press’ upcoming Wardogs graphic novels.  (And boy do I have a great announcement about that IP coming down the pike!)

His active GoFundMe campaign to help fund more fun projects right now sits at about $1800 out of the $4000 target, with only a few days left.  Why not head on over and toss a few bucks in the pot?  I myself threw a ten-spot at him, which will net me a copy of Grimm #1 and two 10-page stories, one of which features Cherry Bomb, who I assume is the perky lass shown in the picture.  I’m not exactly sure, and I don’t exactly know.  What I do know is that the artwork looks fun and breezy, and Will doesn’t hate cis-hetero-garble-bargle monsters like me, and these days, that’s all I need to know to help a brother out.  Why don’t you go and help him out, too?

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A Great Question

Nixon May asks:

How do you stop giving money to people who hate you when everybody hates you?

The process of weaning yourself off the major media teat takes real, conscious effort, but it can be done.  As with all of our ruts, all of those routine parts of our lives that have become second nature, you can’t just wake up one morning, make sweeping changes, and expect them to stick.

You will have a lot more success if you make gradual changes around the edges, and if you can surround yourself with likeminded souls who will help provide positive reinforcement for your new found independence.  Here’s a few gradual changes you can make right now:

  • Stop going to movie theaters, and start hitting up the RedBox.  You can still see the latest message fiction wolf dressed in Marvel sheep’s clothing, but instead of feeding the Beast $10/person plus concessions, give it $1.50 for the whole party.  Not only does that cost Marvel Studios a lot of money, it also means they don’t get the free positive publicity for a huge opening weekend.  Those knock-on effects are more powerful than you might realize.
  • Ditch the major pro sports and become a fan of your local minor league teams.  The ESPN dominated leagues have weaponized your love of sport against you, but you can still get that fix without all of ESPN’s thottery by turning your eyes and your money to the local minor league teams.  They love the support of the community, and are generally still so desperate for fans they can’t afford to pick sides in the culture war.   (Exercise caution – some exceptions do apply.)  And for God’s sake, stay the hell away from the MLS – the relentless desire of the major media outlets to is as direct a challenge to American culture as anything else they’ve got going on.
  • You wouldn’t believe how many excellent comic book crowdfunding campaigns are going on right now.  There’s no longer any excuse to cling to the DC and Marvel lines.  They are on their deathbed and savagely fight off any attempts to supply them with the medicine they need to regain their health.  Take a deep breath, cut back to two titles a month, and learn to enjoy the hunt for comic book pros who don’t hate you.
  • Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.  Scale back gradually.  If everyone who longed for a return to honest brokers in the media cut their “they hate me, but I just can’t resist” budget by half, we’d see an overnight change in the content being delivered.  No industry can long survive a 50% cut in income, and if all you do is cut your contribution by that much every year, you join a growing crowd of people denying oxygen to the fire consuming American culture today.

The other thing you can do, the most powerful reinforcement you can find, is to surround yourself with people who think like you do.  Just hearing, “I don’t give money to people who hate me,” on a regular basis reinforces that idea, and when you stop to look at RedBox you’ll find yourself much more hesitant to feed your card in the slot.  You might still have a few must-see items (I’m looking forward to catching the Bruce Willis version of “Death Wish” myself,) but just remembering how little respect for you the producers have will raise the bar for parting with your money.  Over time, that little denial will add up, and eventually the powers that be will be forced to admit that maybe forcing their own agenda into beloved traditional IPs was a mistake.

And of course, if you want to give money to a producer who doesn’t hate you, why not give this audiobook by Chuck Dixon a shot?  It’s a vampire tale in which the recently turned blood sucker got suckered by a thot, and follows his struggles as he tries to adjust to his new undead life.

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Secrets of the Nethercity – Backed!

One of the casualties of my nascent writing career has been my table time rolling them bones behind a DM screen.  To get a minor fix, I do still enjoy a good D&D read from time to time.  Lately though, even that limited amount of delving has suffered due to the dearth of quality material produced by companies that don’t hate me.

The flip side of the, “Don’t give money to people who hate you,” is, “Do give money to people who don’t.”  Given the way tabletop RPGs have been browbeaten by the hate mobs these days, it’s getting harder and harder to find new and worthwhile material suitable for the tabletop.  That’s where Alexander Macris steps in with, Secrets of the Nethercity, a fine new addition to the ACKsiverse.

For three thousand years, the secrets of the Nethercity have been hidden. Now the delving of man has breached the ruins, and the lore and treasures of the ancients wait in the darkness below for those bold enough to seize them. But an inhuman evil slumbers in that darkness, and the time of the Awakening is at hand….

It’s a big dungeon, but clocking in at 240 rooms geared for mid-level play it’s a little too small to be considered a mega-dungeon.  It’s also built for a more d20 style experience than this old grognard can enjoy, but as an old grognard, it’ll be a simple matter to streamline the thing for B/X.  If it ever hits the table, that is.  Just in case, I sprung for the hard copy, which is a requirement for the hasty notes and scrawled HP tracking in the heat of battle.

And if it never hits the table, this purchase will make for a fun read.  Macris knows how to write a functional adventure with an entertainment value holds up under the weight of tfw no players, without the need for extraneous details (read: the dreaded, “this room once held [long list of things] but is now empty.”)  Add to that the value of keeping the fertile ground of the tabletop hobby well watered so that it can outlast this temporary influx of social locusts who are like, totally into Big Bang Theory and all that nerd stuff, once they move on for other fields to scavenge.

 

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Sudden Danger – Now Live!

Princess Karenina never expected her honeymoon to include murdered frontier sheriffs, exiled mobsters, and murderous robots, but she never expected to spend her honeymoon married to one of the galaxy’s most stubborn smugglers.  A simple mission for the Star King’s spymaster turns ugly when she and E.Z. Sudden stumble onto a planetary conspiracy to steal the valuable land out from a quiet colony of communal scholar-farmers.

On sale now exclusively via Amazon, Sudden Danger continues the adventure started in the Happy Frogs Award winning Sudden Rescue.  It’s the story of a blue-collar long-haul space freighter captain and his surprisingly resilient new bride as they try to move forward in a universe plagued by genocidal robots, vicious mobsters, and roving shiploads of interstellar pirates.

With all of the thrilling fights and chases and escapes from certain doom you’ve come to expect from the humble and hardworking tramp space freighter captain E. Z. Sudden, and all of his princess’s charms, this novel touches on the deeper meaning of heroism, handled with a light touch that will leave you smiling and ready for more.

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