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Support a BEB author: Tales of Nihilism
Blue Ear Books author Stephen Russell is seeking ad partners in a sequential art story told from the point of view of an everyman, a nobody who lives in a world of superheroes.
Editor’s note: Stephen Russell is a talented writer working with me to publish a memoir of his time serving in combat in the United States Army in Iraq. Stephen’s book is gripping and a rare thing in my world: a book whose author brought it to me fully formed and well composed. I’ve edited it, and will edit it some more before it’s published, but the accomplishment is Stephen’s own, and I daresay that when you read it, you’ll agree it’s a compelling account of what is at stake for a human soul as well as for society when we send young people into combat.
Stephen is also an artist who writes and draws graphic novels. He and a partner are publishing a comic to premier at Plastic City Comic Con in Massachusetts this August. They’re seeking paid advertisers to support the project. If you might be interested in reaching an indie comic audience and/or in supporting Stephen’s work, read his description below and consider contacting him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ethan Casey
Tales of Nihilism
I am Stephen Russell, the author of Tales of Nihilism, published on Global Comix, and I am currently working to publish a memoir of my deployment to Iraq in 2006 with Blue Ear Books. I spent ten years in the military as an 11BP or Airborne Infantryman and have traveled the world and the U.S. to create unique experiences. During this journey, I felt the need to create an artistic project from what I have seen and learned along the way.
It is in this spirit that I created Tales of Nihilism, a comic anthology that hopes to undermine societal norms we take for granted. It is a sequential art story with a main story, as well as a series of comic strips and short stories that mock or show the absurdity of society. Each story has a purpose in and of itself, but the stories occasionally intertwine.
The goal of the publication is to harness the emotions that drive us as a society, to show that nothing is as pristine as we are told. The book aims to tear down and mock our culture, our heroes, and our way of life in order to encourage us to question whether humanity is truly on a path to success - or more importantly, a success we can be proud of. In order to do that we must drop our ego and settled perceptions of the world and ourselves and see things in a different light. Why is it that we allow people to sleep under bridges or die of hunger? Why do we take for granted our safety and community? Are we all just waiting on a hero to fix our world?
The main story, The Ballad of Phillip Kirschner, is a tale from the point of view of an everyman, a nobody who lives in a world of superheroes. What would it be like to pay rent and insurance, work, and deal with the already crushing standards we already live with? If you add in the fact that literal gods battle in the open streets, then something tells you that it wouldn’t be pleasant. Phillip loses his job, his girlfriend, and his apartment and finds that the world has relied on the structure set around superheroes for so long that the institutions our government has guaranteed in our social contract no longer function. He takes it upon himself to change the system and give back what has been stolen along the way. With the complete lack of hope and support, can he find himself and become the hero of his own story?
Plastic City Comic Con
Plastic City Comic Con is a convention in Fitchburg, Massachusetts that curates the vendors to ensure that the focus is on indie artists, writers, and creators. Large vendors and celebrities are not allowed to ensure that when people arrive, they will be able to focus their money to buy the art of the hard-working indie creators present. Tales of Nihilism will be premiering its first physical publication at the event, as well as a few prints and merchandise. The goal is to entice publishers and comic shops to build a relationship for physical publication, as the current comic is hosted online and has a steady following and donations.
We are trying to partner with advertisers, as this unique event will be a golden opportunity for small businesses. Building a community of small businesses that share and network is essential to growth and success. With this event focused on indie creators and the little guy, it goes without saying that small businesses would be appreciated by the participants. It is being hosted for one day, August 19, 2023, and we are hoping to have 25 copies available per issue (currently there are three published issues). We wish to promote the 1/4-page ads, and your ad will be printed across 25 copies of whatever issue you choose to support for the duration of this event. We have checked mainstream and indie publication rates for advertising, and we have lowered our rates to a much more manageable cost to reflect that not only are we small, but this is only for the event at this time. Thank you.
- Stephen Russell, email@example.com