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Eric D July Gets 30,000 Orders Worth $2.5 Million For 'Non-Woke' Comic

Eric D July is a libertarian contributor to the conservative network Blaze TV, founded by Glenn Beck. And when he had a comic book to crowdfund, they were happy to highlight this to their readers and viewers, and to label it as "non-woke". "Woke" is defined as being aware of injustice in society, especially, but not limited to, racism. Which doesn't seem anything that most people would be opposed to, especially superhero comics, which would seem to be all about fighting injustice but, I guess, welcome to the internet.

Eric D July Gets 30,000 Orders Worth $2.5 Million For 'Non-Woke' Comic

The comic book Isom #1, is to be written by July, drawn by Cliff Richards, coloured by Gabe Eltaeb and lettered by Eric Weathers and is intended to launch a new multi-book comics universe, the Rippaverse. Isom is described as telling the story of a superhero who has come out of retirement, "Avery's sister, Altona, gives him a call and wants him to visit an old friend by the name of Darren Fontaino. Another family friend that was interning with Altona has gone missing and she last heard that she was dealing with Darren. But Darren has much changed since he was hanging out with Avery when they were young. He's a cold-blooded shot-caller and one of the most feared men in the city. This visit turns into one of the longest days in Avery's life. Around these parts, people call 'special beings' Excepts. And unfortunately for Avery, he has the luxury of running into some of them. The Alphacore and Yaira have their own set of conflicts. A man built like a tank by the name of Santwan reappears and he's had previous confrontation with Avery." Which sounds a bit like tackling injustice in society to me.

Either way, the "non-woke" label saw the story picked up by Fox News and the New York Post which have helped spread the cry further, and the revenue, already in six-figures, soon went into seven-figures. Almost 30,000 preorders worth over two and a half million dollars, that is a remarkable achievement for a new comic book property right off the bat, no matter who promoted it. Though the price for a 96-page comic of $35 plus $10 shipping might seem a bit on the high side, if it wasn't for the virtue-signalling possibilities. If Eric D July wants to create a long-running collectable comic book universe for the Rippaverse, he might want to try and bring some economics of scale into play or risk bankrupting his followers. Even with today's comic book inflation, a 96-page superhero comic usually sells for $10-$12 from a comic shop.

Because Eric is indeed, thinking long term, and has a code of ethics for his publishing plans, which can be summed up as no multiverses, no time travel, and an official continuity timeline. I am not entirely sure these count as ethics, but with multiversal storylines sprawling across different media recently, this might be a real measurable point of difference for the Rippaverse rather than the more ephemeral "non-woke", though less likely to get Fox News headlines. Oh and keeping reboots to "a minimum", though that is not exactly Plato either. In the past, this kind of acclamation from a publisher yet to publish their first comic book has been seen as putting the cart before the horse, but it does acknowledge his ambition

Eric D July also told Blaze that "I'm not in the business of lecturing people and telling people exactly how to live their lives. But there are universal truths that I will acknowledge and I think that's what's sort of missing, because people have, unfortunately, definitely in comic books these days, put other stuff at the forefront, and telling a good story is secondary. Acknowledging those universal truths are secondary if they are ever acknowledged at all." This does seem to be in conflict, what is important, telling a good story, or acknowledging universal truths?  And if truths are universal, do they need to be acknowledged? Aren't they, by their nature, already acknowledged? And if someone thinks those truths aren't universal and doesn't believe in that, isn't calling something as a universal truth, and putting it in the forefront of a story "lecturing"? Questions I'd love to ask.

The Blaze also refers to July saying that Rippaverse Comics will also be a place where content creators, artists, writers, and anyone else in the comic book industry who feels alienated by big corporations can come and tell their stories without fear of censorship or judgement. "There are a lot creative people that are in our space, on our side of the line of thinking, in support of the value of liberty. No matter whether you are conservative, libertarian, or whatever, and they're just undiscovered. They're in hiding because they have to work for the old guard," he said.

I did get a flavour of, to paraphrase the Blues Brothers, "we have both kinds of politics here, conservative and libertarian". But there are many places outside of the corporate controls who publish comic books and many self-publishers who choose to do it themselves and have done for decades. Just not everyone has been able to frame it in such a way to get coverage from their media employer, as well as Fox News and the New York Post.

There is also another question to ask, and stumbling across this accidentally last week, caused all manner of ructions. Running a crowdfunder on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo gives some measure of assurity of the pre-orders listed, but running a crowdfunder on your website does not, there is no independent voice to state that you got the orders you say you do. So if you make a headline of it, how can that be verified? As it stands, the Rippaverse crowdfunder does not have verification, there is no independent source to confirm the order numbers, but it has been reported repeatedly without that caveat.

It's certainly a believable figure though, especially given the media profile Isom has received. And still with many months of fundraising left on the crowdfunded. Is eight figures next?

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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