“But think of the art!” – Dispatches from Dystopia

UnionThere is this common tune, that great art (and great art movements) comes from periods of strife and political unrest. While it’s most famously seen in music, take rap or punk as examples, pushing back against oppression is also a major influence on the British comic book scene in the 80’s. The panacea we’ve been offered for our current political/cultural woes is “If Margaret Thatcher gave us Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, and Neil Gaiman, just imagine what kind of fiction Donald Trump will inspire?”

It is a weak remedy at best. At worst, an extrapolation on the theme that artists need to suffer to create.

It’s bullshit.

What artists need is to have the freedom and luxury to create without fear. Without despair. Without the knowledge that as they create, evil men are doing evil things and we are seemingly powerless to stop them.

But we’re not powerless. While our entrenched politicians might have failed us, the people have nonetheless risen up. We’ve pushed back. We keep pushing back. We still have a long way to go, but inch by inch we are reclaiming our soul.

In November of 2016, I felt defeated. Gutted and terrified of the future. I abandoned the hopeful novel I’d been writing and instead started to fight back one of the only ways I know how. I started writing my way out.

Cobalt City: RESISTANCE was conceived post election almost as more of a therapeutic tool than a novel. In November 2016, I needed a hero. I needed to hear that everything was going to be okay, that someone was going to MAKE it okay.

I found myself wondering, “If this (or something similar) happened in Cobalt City, how would people react?” This novel is the answer, and it’s the biggest event novel I’ve done since my first, Cobalt City Blues.

It’s taken a lot of work, faced a lot of setbacks, and passed through a few hands to get where it is. But Cobalt City: RESISTANCE is almost ready to be live. I’m finalizing the last edit pass before formatting. A cover and promotional art has been commissioned. The launch date set. I’ve been pushing against a very hard goal. It was important for me to get this out with time before the 2018 midterm elections. It was important for me to send a message that together, we have hope. That together, we can make a difference. Because heroes cannot do it alone.

No one is coming to save us.

We have to be willing to put in the work to save ourselves.

The bare minimum is to be an informed voter. Be involved at the state and local level, especially with District Attorney races as they help set the agenda for what (and who) is criminalized. I want to see record voter turnout this year. Because it counts more than ever before.

And on October 9th, look for Cobalt City: RESISTANCE.

Together, the heroes of Cobalt City have defeated organized crime families, extra-dimensional conquerors, demons, & demigods. Whatever threat rose to threaten their world, they rose to face it head-on.

They were not prepared for the hate-filled media icon Lyle Prather to worm his way into the Presidency of the United States. Amid ongoing protests and outrage, President Prather assembles his cabinet, filling it with a veritable “Legion of Evil,” while stripping away rights and protections for the nation’s most vulnerable. He has even gone so far as to start filling remote “Isolation Centers” with Muslim American citizens. The people are powerless to stop him. Congress, apparently unwilling. Hate and violence are on the rise. Hope is hard to come by.

What the world needs now is heroes.

Join Gato Loco & Snowflake, Huntsman & Libertine, Archon & Gallows, Madjack & Kara Sparks, Stardust & the Wrecker of Engines, and many more as they re-examine what they stand for and what they’re willing to risk to win back the soul of a nation.


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