And Now, For A Brief Aside

Okay kids, time for fun and games. Here’s a fairly easy one: First person to tell me where this is EXACTLY gets a free signed copy of After Issue One.


And I’ll even throw in the postage, cause I’m such a nice fucking guy.

Blood and Bloody Ashes

robert-jordan.jpg Some degree of autumn had fallen over Charlotte finally last night, and I spent the greater part of it scouring the northern part of the city for money in the form of pizza delivery tips. What, you didn’t think an indy book got published for free, did you? Anyway, I was out late, and it was when I began my usual internet perusal for the evening that I came across the bad news. It seems that the creator of the Wheel Of Time put down the mountain. Robert Jordan had died. It was a strange and immediate blow to the head. I, like many other fantasy readers of yesteryear, had virtually grown up on Jordan. Every few years (some less few than others), the man could be counted on to provide an absolutely riveting saga, self-contained in one overarching super-saga of a barely conceivable scale. It was, quite frankly, all that a detail oriented uber-geek could have asked for.

If I were to bother calculating the accumulated hours spent reading, re-reading, analyzing, pondering over, and discussing the dizzying variety of the series’ aspects, both by myself and with others, I would probably come up with a percentage of time expended in my youth comparable to a ‘Star Wars’ related figure.

And that run-on sentence should tell you more than anything else about the matter. To put it in the off-color vernacular: Robert Jordan was the shit, and it’s a shame he’s gone. He had a capacity for epic storytelling that informed (and still does) almost every aspect of my own writing, especially as relates to character development. He was the first writer to show me what a story COULD be, even in concept. And all the different things it could mean if you let it. It’s a rare accomplishment for any story, or series of stories, to deal with any human experience to a truly enlightening degree. The Wheel Of Time did so with many human experiences. Some have argued it damn near addressed them all. Future generations are going to come to learn him like Tolkien, most likely. One day I’ll be able to say I briefly shook his hand.

Eye Of The WorldAnd yet, I can’t bring myself to be sad. Just a little awed. What Robert Jordan wrote will outlast his presence on this world for hundreds of years or more. The tale he crafted, incomplete or not, is going to stand out and inspire generations of readers and writers for long after his original fans get themselves re-spun by the Wheel. He left this world something that may come to touch millions, if it hasn’t already. Any writer would do well to hope for a tenth as much. Perhaps one day, the Wheel will spit me out again, and I can come to see the results of a world three thousand years after The Wheel Of Time was first committed to print. Perhaps we all will, including Mr. Jordan. For now, I’ll leave you with my favorite Aiel proverb:

“Life is a dream from which we all must wake before we can dream again.”

Tai’shar Charleston.

Out for now…

– Paris “Rev” Battle

Can I Ask The Civilized World a Reasonable Question?

What in the name of Bridget’s Holy Cunt is going on at the DMV? It’s not bad enough that they make you renew your license on your birthday, when you should have other things on your mind to avoid thoughts of your patient toil toward death. Instead I have to stand in the sort of waiting line that makes such thoughts fucking inevitable. And at the end of said line, I find that the DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES is INCAPABLE OF ACCEPTING AN ELECTRONIC DEBIT CARD.

Paris AfterForgive my caps, but I need that to sink in. Despite the percentage of my paycheck that goes to taxes (NC residents, check your last pay stub and prepare to nod in agreement), and despite the fact that said taxes are supplemented by the “court costs” associated with getting a traffic ticket around here, the DMV apparently can’t afford a simple card reader and hook-up that’s found in every other civilized institution of monetary exchange in the fucking free world.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the sort of stress that gives birth to run-on sentences. Dealing with public servants is sometimes enough to make one wish for the collapse of it all…

Oh, speaking of which… Big announcement.

After, issue one, is PRINTED. As you can see, it’s actual, solid, and looks good under natural light. That’s right, folks, for a paltry financial pittance of only THREE U.S. dollars, you too can own the
first part of this epic tale of the post-Apocalyptic South. How, you ask (or would ask, if you were actually talking)?

Well, that’s the sticky widget about publishing an indy book, isn’t it? Always the distribution. At this PRECISE moment, the surest way to secure a copy of After is to find me and hand me three dollars. Now, I realize this may present a problem for some of you, as you might be states away, or concerned that I may try to attack and cannibalize you. For you such people, good news is on the way. VERY soon, we’re going to have information about how to order After online.

So we’re set in motion. And for those of you few and far between who are ACTUALLY along for the ride this project is going to be, send me an EMail direct at If anyone ever comes to me claiming to be my first fan, I wanna verify it.

Out for now…

– Paris “Rev” Battle

Post Dragon*Con Report (And the Current Status of “After”)

MarriottThere’s something about returning home from a convention with the breadth and scope of DragonCon that leaves one in an odd mental state for a day or two. After four solid days of sensory inundation on that scale, coupled with the ingestion of traveling food and copious amounts of alcohol, it takes a bit to decompress and become re-used to a world where Imperial Stormtroopers don’t provide floor security and every other room isn’t occupied by a trashed and darkened impromptu hentai cinema.

But while my foggy brain readjusts to the sunny and structured normality of the so-called real world, it seemed an opportune time to update the world on where things stand with the first three parts of 501st_stairs‘After’. Spreading the word down in Atlanta was a blast, true… but the specifics of a project such as this properly belong on the internet where even the most far-flung comic book loving geek can have
access to them.

As it stands, “After” is the most independent of independent books, but we’re looking for a home. Publishers both large and small will be finding copies of issue one on their submissions desk in droves within the month. Ours is now the struggle of a comic book seedling spore, drifting on the wind and looking for fertile ground to anchor to, so that we may one day take root and grow into a mighty oak with actual distribution.

In the meantime, Memetic Press will be bringing information as to how to order your very own copy of After Issue One online, to be mailed to your door as soon as fate and the United States Postal Service can manage. Details are forthcoming, and all proceeds will be going to keeping this train rolling on its own steam for as long as possible.

In other news, it looks as though this site itself is set to rapidly evolve into my very own blog, to share stories from the world of a struggling comic creator. Those interested in the process (or involved in it on their own projects) should check back here as I’m not modest about sharing the secrets of my trials and errors.

Me With FlyerSo that’s where we stand, and that’s the direction we’re moving. I wanna thank anyone who took the time and interest to talk with me at DragonCon, and all parties involved should feel free to hit me up at A good long friends list never hurt anyone, after all.

Out for now….

– Reverend Battle

Memetic Press @ HeroesCon 2007

Pg2_complete And, like two sojourners striking out across a sea of fandom, Trickster and Rev didst set forth unto HeroesCon, armed with blank paper, fliers, open eyes, and a cheerfullyPg14_2 bickering disposition. Soon, they were joined by Memetic Press Senior Story Advisor And Coordinator, Steven Jones.  Their powers combined now, they roamed the aisles of the Charlotte Convention Center.

Pg1_completeAnd there was a reckoning. 

Actually, just an announcement, comfortably madePg6 now that issue one is, to use the common parlance, in the can.  So a grateful thank you to Heroes themselves, everyone who attended the convention, and everyone we ran into on the floor.  Now, here’s the announcement, and some sample art by Marcus Kiser that owns more than should be allowed by law.

– Rev