Marvel VS Image!

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I finally found an idea worth pursuing in comics. An Image/Marvel crossover.

Imagine Punisher in The Walking Dead.

Imagine Wolverine and Witchblade. Silver Surfer in SAGA.

Captain America and Spawn.

Daredevil and the Darkness.

Most of the big Image names work at Marvel anyway, guys like Jonathan Hickman have multiple books out by both companies. So why not get together and make a good old fashioned crossover classic?

Facebook Cold Turkey

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So I’ve decided to once again attempt to quit Facebook. In all honesty, it has been harder than cigarettes by x1000. I think some of us get addicted to things like Facebook for much the same reason we have addictions to anything; it produces a quick, little moment of euphoria. We like to know we’re needed and liked and we find that quick buzz of self-gratification when we see people posting messages for us online. We also like the spectacle of outrage, when we can jump in and act indignant. After eight years I’ve come to the point where I absolutely despise Facebook and the way people act on there.

Truth is, most people really shouldn’t be interacting with each other. 50 year old veterans are not going to have anything in common with a 20-something college girl and shouldn’t be debating with them on topics like abortion. A white 60 year old mother of four really should have something better to do than discussing black on black crime with guys who pose giving gang signs.

In real life, you tend to move in herds, either with your family, your social group or your career. You go for lunch with co-workers, not the people who work for the local pharmacy, or have a coffee with another person in the factory, not the CEO of your competitor. The people you meet then have some basis of identifying what kind of person you are or at the very least can appreciate your position in the herd. With Facebook, that basic level of respect and community is gone. What you have is people who have no qualifications, no experiences, no knowledge of particular subjects all throwing around theories and condemnations about issues that are beyond their realm of reality. Everybody is an expert on everything, and the real experts are ridiculed or ignored. It’s a strange, weird, way of interacting with each other, a method that I find depressing and infuriating.

The only people who seem to really thrive on Facebook and find any joy in it are those who have some level of success; with loyal fans as friends, you get a lot more positive feedback. In my case, the entire thing was nothing more than a huge drain of my time that could have been spent writing.

I don’t recall one “Facebook Friend” out of three or four hundred people, ever buying any of my books. I have had people contact me through Twitter and e-mail saying them bought them, but never anyone in my “social network”. I can count the number of times that important book posts were shared on my fingers.

Now I don’t expect people to buy the books, but I kind of hoped that since I spent 8 years online telling people how great someone’s work was, that they would at least reciprocate that easy little bit of promotion. Nope. Hell, at this point I’d have been lucky to get someone to hit like button.

My family will be able to keep in touch through my wife’s page and anyone who is an actual fan of my work will be able to contact me at any time. I put my e-mail address in every book. Those who actually were friends should have no problem finding and contacting me, but as far as I know, I don’t actually have any. I have acquaintances who I am close with that work together with me on certain projects, people that I have a lot of respect for, but those people live all over the world. Hopefully they’ll still follow my blog, Twitter and Google + site.

I’m tired of Kickstarter requests, tired of being tagged in other people’s work, tired of political debates, tired of white people who post about black crimes every day but deny their racism (I am pretty sure that calling the dead kids of the colored community thugs who deserved it is some kind of racism). I am tired of people half my age with half my IQ trying to debate issues with me based on their feelings, tired of being bombarded with promos for other people’s projects or from companies I have interest in supporting.

I’m tired of being called negative because I have standards and convictions that make other people feel bad. I’m tired of believing in personal responsibility and having to fight with people because I won’t march in their self-pity parade, or because I defend people being attacked because of their beliefs. Homophobes and racists still have a right to their own feelings and thoughts and guess what? They are protected from abuse and bullying too, no matter how many people may want to see them hanging. If they aren’t bothering anyone, why should they be bothered?

Yes, this is a long ranting post, but I feel that the more I share my disgust with Facebook and the people who called themselves “Friends”, the less likely I am to go back.

Now here’s where I take it a step further and really show what a jerk I am: I am also cancelling all collaborations and partnerships I have with anyone. Any scripts I wrote for anyone that haven’t been published yet, I am taking back. Anyone I solicited to work with, sorry I bothered you, but I can’t continue forward. I don’t want to keep working on projects that go nowhere. I am only going to write my own books or take paying gigs. Few people ever come through for me and I am tired of waiting for collaborators who will never have the same dedication I have to my work.

I’m not going away, I’m just scaling back. I’m sorry, people of Facebook, but I don’t want you and all your baggage in my life anymore. In fact, I’ve wasted enough time on this post, time to get back to the next LEGION book!

This is Day 1.

Latest Update

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So the latest Legion book should be available by the end of October. After that is done, I’ll be working on SPIRA, my first fantasy novel and LONDON UNDEAD. It would be great if LU was done in time for Christmas but we’ll see. LegionBOOK3COVER

The Cat Prince was made available on Amazon a while back. Did you check it out? It’s a nice children’s book for Halloween about the importance of freedom and choice.

Each Legion book continues a current story while building future stories, as well as giving a glimpse into the past. So what is coming up in the future? Here are some hints:

A Dyson Sphere

Count Orlok

Superhuman Zombies

Alan Moore’s Watchmen

Flying Sharks

Roman Chariots

More Superhumans!

Artifacts Follow-up? No, sorry. . .

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I am completely unmotivated to make comics. I apologize Claudia Balboni,Rob Doria and Anthony Hary. I was really excited when Artifacts came out that I could take a shot at making comics but I simply don’t have the confidence anymore in the industry or my luck.

To those wondering why, when all three artists are fantastic creators, here is why: I can’t afford to pay them a page rate and I don’t have the confidence in my ability to come up with a pitch that publishers will like. I am certain that I could make great stories, but no one is going to cover the cost and I cannot do it myself. I no longer have it in me to wrangle and seduce such high caliber artists when I no that even if the submission gets made, it might never get published.

I just can’t take seeing another batch of artwork rotting in a digital cell somewhere. I’ve got too many past submissions that are mocking me to want to waste the time of the artists anymore. Even if we did get picked up, what are the chances of making money? Slim to none. Sure, we might break even and if there was extra money, that would go to the artist, or the art team or letterers or someone else other than me.

I just don’t have the energy to shovel coal into the creative furnace just to stay in the same place or move an couple inches forward. I don’t have enough faith in my abilities or the industry to expect an artist to shovel the coal to move my train that doesn’t seem to go anywhere. . .

Sorry guys, the best I can do is keep promoting your work and I hope you can find a collaborator with deep pockets and high hopes!

Even IF we were to get the five page submission package ready, I’d still have to write the pitch itself and then who would I send it to? Most comic publishers aren’t taking submissions and those that are, aren’t offering any money or aren’t big enough to have a budget that can even promote the book. Getting noticed and breaking even isn’t good enough anymore and in all honesty what affect will producing another comic have? I’ve got two issues of the Legion plus the Artifacts book from Top Cow and no one has contacted me about working for them. If all my novels don’t impress the comic publishers, why even bother? So I can write X-Men? So I can maybe get a book out that can piggyback on Kirkman’s Image books and get lost on the shelf with the Marvel/DC creators?

It’s just not a healthy industry for newcomers and I just don’t have it in me to waste the time anymore on a girl who doesn’t like me when the books are treating me so well. . . .

October News

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The Corrupter is now available through Smashwords. It took some time to get that book formatted right for their server. Price is the same as Amazon, $3.00.

I am going to try and finish the Legion Book 3 in time for Halloween. Fingers crossed over here!

I’ve also started writing SPIRA, my first fantasy novel, which is quite exciting. It’s always fun to start a whole new series, especially when it is in a new genre. I never understood authors who only write one genre, even Stephen King, who dominates in horror, still tries his hand at sci-fi and straight fiction sometimes. There is a blog featuring some extras and short tales about SPIRA and the larger world it occupies.

http://www.spiraletters.blogspot.com

It involves a missing royal family, two feuding empires, a terrible secret and a hero who is master of stone magic and a heroine who wants desperately to find a mythical treasure.

Magic will be a major factor in the book, more than in the Game of Thrones TV series but less than a typical Dragonlance book. Most of my knowledge of magic comes from D&D and Palladium games, so magic will have very clear rules, even if they aren’t explained right away. Magic takes energy, personal energy that everyone has but that magic users adapt to specific ways. All magic requires fuel, but how and where that fuel comes from depends on the skills and backgrounds of the caster.  For some, it is stones, for others, it is their soul or ‘chi’. . . .

Website!

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You guys are aware I have a website, right? It’s just like this page but with a soundtrack and a store.

http://rikman117.wix.com/ravenstudio

Check out the library while you are there, there is always a free story, either from me or one of the writers I like whose work is in the public domain.

The Corrupter is now available from Smashwords and Google Play. Legion Book 1 & 2 as well as the Corrupter have all been streamlined for a better reading experience. I kept the fonts and design aspects for the print books, but the digital books are now easier to load and manage across different devices. The misalignment of Chapter 14 of the Corrupter has been fixed as well.

Here’s the rough draft of the cover for Legion Book 3: Broken Arrows

LegionBOOK3COVER

LEGION BOOKS UPDATED

I decided to add chapter breaks into the Legion novels and clean up some of the layout problems I was having with the Kindle copies. If you’ve already purchased the books they should update automatically, if not, now would be a good time to try them out!

Book MAGIC and DEATH MACHINES are now available from GOOGLE PLAY as well. Ignore the guy who writes about Hitler (I really should start putting these books under Raven Heisenberg’s name. . )

https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Richard+Evans

The Legion: Book 3

The Legion finally makes their move against the Proletarian and his new Soviet Empire.

Black Flag must enter the Gulag, a holding pen for foreigners and criminals, in order to retrieve a genius who just might have a way to stop the Proletarian permanently. But getting in and out of Russia without the Proletarian or Octobriana noticing is going to be the toughest challenge the Canadian Legion have ever faced.

COMING SOON!

LegionBOOK3COVER

A CIVIL RIGHTS Story

I’ve been in more than my share of arguments regarding government policies and how they affect minorities; whether they are gay, straight, black or Asian. There are more lawsuits than ever before and people get caught up in the lynch mob mentality, targeting any business or company that impeaches on the so-called “rights” of certain groups. I am all for equality for all people, anything else really doesn’t make sense, but I am not a supporter of government dictated equality. Let me explain why, in the best way I know how; in a story.

There are two men, Saul the white man and John, the black man. Saul owns John up until the moment where it becomes illegal to own slaves. Now Saul has a whole in his business that needs to be filled and John finds himself a free man.

John becomes thirsty and heads for the nearest well. Saul sees him and blocks his path. “This is my well, find your own!” Saul says.

Here, John’s life splits into two different paths, one on Earth A and one on Earth D.

On Earth A, John heads to the municipal government to complain. Water is a necessity and access to clean water is a right that the United States firmly supports. On his way, he meets a few other travelers, all with the same experience. The government is moved by their pleas and decides that water is a right and that those who have should share with those who have not.

On Earth A, John is escorted by armed guards to the well where he drinks, a smile on his face. The people with wells no longer want to live in a place where they can be forced to share, so they move away to an area that they think offers more protection from forced equality.

On Earth D, thirsty John returns to his small portion of land. He realizes that with a little hard work, he can dig his own well. He enlists his brother and several other neighbors who had been turned away from Saul’s well and they make a brand new well. Not wanting to be the same kind of man as Saul, John lets anyone who is thirsty drink from it.  John’s brother takes his newly acquired skills at digging wells across the state, digging wells  for other black communities.

Now on Earth A, the black community only has old, abandoned wells that they were given by the government when the white community moved.

On Earth D, all black communities have nice, new wells.

We’ve been living on Earth A for fifty or sixty years but Earth D is where we should be.

Now, people will say that Saul should be punished, I mean why should he be allowed to discriminate against who uses his well? Because he built the fucking thing, that’s why.  And if John decides he doesn’t want certain types of people drinking from his well, guess what? That’s his choice too.

Of course some bleeding hearts are going to say “Well if everyone discriminates, there will be people dying of thirst!” Sure, the ones who can’t dig a hole. Everyone else will learn how to dig a well. Everyone will have the skills needed to survive.

Fifty years later on Earth D, Saul’s out of business because the black people with their own wells don’t do business with him. On Earth A, the government is trying to figure out how to force Saul AND John’s children to share their wells with Andy, the gay man who has sued them both. . . .

So ask yourself, do you want to live in a world where people overcome bigotry and discrimination through hard work and learned skills that generate a strong economic base to counter such discrimination?  Or do you want to live in a world where the government enforces multiculturalism to the point where people comply but deny their own racism and/or homophobia?

I prefer to see Nazis wearing their swastikas, not forced to hide them in their homes. Then I can clearly tell who the enemy is.

Plus This. . .

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“Well Raven, it’s easy to be critical, to sit upon the chamber door and point out our flaws, but what can be done about it?”

It’s true, it is easy to judge. How can we increase sales in comics? Well every publisher is different. However, there is no good reason for Marvel to be selling only 55,000 copies of Avengers. Here’s how you improve that.

Rocket  Raccoon books should be available through Scholastic book orders for young grades, not in comic shops. Get those types of characters into schools. Set up a GROOT GROWS program that helps plant trees in poor inner city  neighborhoods. Show those kids the value of reading and working with nature. Start a contest in various American schools offering them a chance to write a Marvel comic. Get the kids talking about the characters and award the winner an issue of their own. Most writers in comics have no experience other than reading comics anyway, let the kids have a go at it, it can’t hurt.

Take some of the huge profits from the films, produce a million copies of the comics based off those films and give them away for FREE. Let people know they exist outside of the comic stores, some of which are no better than an old backroom speakeasy.

Synchronize your comics with the films and television shows. Make sure they feed into each other. The world doesn’t want Moon Knight or another variation of a book on mutants. Have one consistent system across the board and use it.

Stop being afraid of black people and women. Don’t just throw them a bone, give them an opportunity to raise up others in their community. Let a black editor run a line of black characters and let him hire who he believes is best for the job, regardless of color. Give Gail Simone the same position over a batch of female superheroes, see who she can bring in to raise interest and reach that market. What is the worst that can happen? You’ve consistently hired certain writers whose books are always cancelled and you’ve made some massive mistakes in the past, so what can you lose by doing this? If Gail Simone has an audience, than feed it! Give her the ingredients and let her have control of the kitchen, to hire the cooks and waiters she KNOWS the industry needs. I’m not even a fan of her work, but I know if you want to make money, its with the people that people love. It’s really that simple.

The comic industry isn’t like the publishing industry. The editors don’t have years of credentials and education, they are just guys that happened to be in the office when they needed someone to oversee the books.Tom Brevoort is a nice guy, he’s very helpful and truly loves his job. But he has no real world experience. He’s never worked anywhere but Marvel. Replacing him with two new, exciting, editors would not be a bad thing. Sacrifices have to be made in the name of progress and I’d rather the changes start at the top and work their way down rather than the other way around.

Marvel finally published a SHIELD comic and did they hire a world renowned writer, one with a history of writing subtle, conspiracy books? Someone who understands the dark corners of the world of espionage and has given the world numerous such stories over the years? No. They go with Mark Waid, their TV show guy. Sure, he’s decent enough, but the idea of reading any more comics from him just makes me want to have a nap. . .

It’s that simple. It really is.

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