How Social Media Saved the World

It cannot be understated that we are living through a history-making difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling victim to a global pandemic and everyone is else either staying home or acting brazenly stupid. It shouldn't be surprising, though, that one of the upshots of all of this is that there has been a rise in meme-making.

First defined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 as a cultural idea that takes on a life of its own and is passed down through generations much the same way that genes are, the word "meme" has itself taken on a life of its own to define pictures made and passed around on the Internet that often lampoon various aspects of life. I don't think I've seen any new memes in the past few days that weren't about the COVID-19 epidemic. But this isn't the first time a global catastrophe has been made fun of in what could be described as a "childish" fashion. In fact, one of the memes I've seen compared the uptick in Cor…

Project Spaceman LampPost

When I was very young, about first or second grade, my school had what they called a Young Authors Faire. Every kid had to write a story and the school would publish them with whatever publishing material they had lying around. The object, of course, was to foster in our little minds a creativity that would be so important in years to come. This was my first introduction to writing.

I wrote a story called The Lumberjack and the Dragon. About a fearless lumberjack who was able to wield his hefty axe into battle with a vicious dragon who somehow fit inside his closet, The Lumberjack and the Dragon was obviously a novel of epic proportions. Written, illustrated and even bound by yours truly, this small book would be the perfect catalyst to a glorious writing career! But, alas... From this path I strayed.

As the son of two musicians, I sincerely began to believe that music was my path. It started with piano, moved on to saxaphone and eventually guitar. I walked the musical path all through high school when I realized that I wasn't really the music I craved... But, rather, the lyrics. The words! The stories, symbology, creativity and wit expressed not by what the singers were singing, but by what they were saying. It wasn't until I took a year-long class at Nicolet Bible Institute that I had my epiphany: I was a writer. And I want to write movies.

Why movies exactly? Well, I've never been quite into stories without pictures. Of course I had a cursory knowledge of comic books; I had a small enough talent with drawing, but not nearly enough to have the patience to draw an entire story. Still, the visual element must be maintained for me to keep interested. Movies were perfect. They were a colaboration of several different artists and the screenwriter was just one. I could come up with an awesome story and have someone else put it on the screen for everyone to see! If only someone had told me then what I know now: it's all who you know, I know no one, and I'm too shy to introduce myself.

Back to square one. I'm a writer. I want to write movies. I have to start small. I have a cusory knowledge of comic books... comic books... I had recently bought my own copy of the Watchmen graphic novel to see what the fuss over the movie (which was then in production) was. I realized after reading it that comic books can be a collaboration, too! I don't know why I didn't realize it before, but there is a guy who writes the story and there's a guy who draws it out. Sometimes there's even a seperate guy who writes the letters! This was a perfect idea. Thanks to the many self-publishing services on the Internet now, all I really needed to make a comic book was a story, an artist and a plan. This is how I would break into the business. This is how I would introduce myself.

Anyone who is familiar with me probably already knows about Project Spaceman. I'm in the process of working with artist Kevin Hackbarth to turn my short story, Dark Matter, into a comic book. Well, that's just the beginning. There's another project in the works: Project LampPost. Working with an idea that formed almost a year ago, artist Meagan Gallagher and I are taking a movie script that I completed recently and transforming it for the glossy pages of graphic novelia. Dark Matter will be a short, small comic book. Street Light Inerference will be a long serial culminating in a collective story worthy of the label "graphic novel."

I started with a story from my childhood because the end is both the climax of that story and yet still just one step of several to come. And even that is not yet written. It may never be unless I am able to gather the support of friends, family and all those interested in independant creative production. If you are interested in supporting me in this endevor, there are two things you can do right now: 1) Click Dark Matter on the top of this page and buy yourself a copy of my short story. The proceeds from this will go a long way toward helping me achieve my goal. 2) Click the PayPal Donate button on the left side of the Green Asterisk home page. If you tell me who you are and how much you donated, I'll be sure to send you a signed first edition copy of both Dark Matter and Street Light Interference: book 1.

Thanks for endulging me this wall of text. We're starting to work on the comic books right now, and it'll be a while, but it'll be worth it. Look forward to concept drawings and previews as the weeks wear on! And tell your friends about this exciting new comic book publishing company: The Green Asterisk!


  1. Jennifer Neal11/12/12, 5:38 PM

    Good luck on the project!

    And I know exactly what you mean about music! I'm a huge lyrics person myself. :)


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