Monthly Archives: December 2014

Inferno Los Angeles – year in review

We’ve been in publication since the beginning of 2014, and we knew from the beginning that publicity would be an uphill climb.  Nobody knew who we were as creators or a publication, and we were asking people to pay $30 for our book.  We had no connection to publishers, distributors, or publicists, not so much as a cheat sheet to go by, and we had to sink or swim in the cutthroat world of publishing.

But we came in with certain advantages.  First is the book itself.  The simple beauty of the layout and the artwork draws people in immediately.  And we kept it a perennial, meaning we expect to be actively selling this for at least the next couple of years.

Indeed, the traditional publishers’ schedule of “two month media blitz and forget it” couldn’t really apply to us when it took us a few months just to get into Barnes and Noble.  Not to mention nobody would look at us until we had a physical copy to show them.

With that in mind, this year went better than we could have hoped.  We exhibited at several conventions, including San Diego Comic-Con, Wondercon, Amazing Las Vegas Comic-Con, and a preview at Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco.

We’ve experimented with various forms of advertising. From online ads, to an ads in local journals, to a small neighborhood billboard.

We’ve had successful signings at events and bookstores, too many to mention here, but which include iconic stores as Barnes and Noble on 3rd St Promenade, and Meltdown Comics, Hollywood’s premier comic book shop.

Our reviews are still lacking, as reviewers tend to like already established productions.  But we got a small review in Fanboy Comics and a great writeup in The Argonaut, a local LA Beach Cities paper with a circulation of about 30,000.

Looking back, I would say bookstore appearances have been our best bet by far.  Bookstores remain irreplaceable as a place to meet authors and find new and exciting material, and that remains our greatest asset.

So, looking to next year, our biggest issue remains the same.  Once people see us, they love us.  The issue is to get people to see us.  We will keep pushing for more book reviews, more writeups, and more book tours, in Los Angeles and other cities.

UKIP – from a joke to a threat

It’s a testament to just how rare sentient thought is within the human race.  The UKIP’s recent electoral successes sparked the predictable frightened reaction from dominant journals like the Economist.

And I say that by looking at the tone of the article.  Britons have genuine concerns about issues like immigration and the cost of the EU, issues the UKIP are riding high on, but this article is not concerned with that.  Rather, it attacks UKIP on the very issues that characterize a fledgling party: lack of organization, not-so-well-thought-out platform, or that they’re just riding on “charisma” (whatever that means).

Such are issues for UKIP to discuss among themselves, not for outsiders to criticize.  Success and growth bring new challenges.  The UKIP need to figure out how to handle their success and prepare for the next step of refining their message to reach a wider audience, actually handling power, and exercising it successfully.

Rather, the issue here for the rest of us is the vacuum in the discussion, or as they say, the elephant in the room.  From my desk all the way here in Los Angeles, the issue isn’t even so much immigration itself, it’s that the immigrants are not being absorbed into British society, and are instead just festering on the margins, feeding off its safety net, and threatening to reform it in their image.

Muslim immigrants, specifically.

It is an issue that The Economist has made oblique reference to in the past in this study: They Can’t Imagine Not Working.  It’s one thing to welcome immigrants, it is another to make sure society actually benefits from them, rather than them being an albatross around its neck.  And it looks like England is drifting from the American benefit version to the European albatross version.

Why not admit it?  In these days where politics has embraced social media, it is easier than ever to see what people are frustrated with.  There is no way established institutions can deny what’s happening in the British population.  On the flip side, it’s easier than ever to respond to it.

Like I said though, I’m just a guy sitting at my desk in Los Angeles, reading what the papers and select tweeters tell me.  But this is a question I’d like to see discussed.  And I’m not alone.  If the Economist, the Tories, and other parties are willing to enter this discussion, they will attract the attention and passion of mainstream voters, and relegate UKIP back to irrelevance.

But if they simply caricature UKIP as some stuffy old character from Paddington Bear, they are leaving the UKIP’s main issue, and main cause for success, unanswered.  That will give them greater and greater power until they can solve the problem themselves.  If the UKIP really are the demagogues people say they are, it’ll be a much less effective solution than what could have been done by enlightened statesmen.


Response from ADL re: UCLA Divest motion

For those of you who don’t know, UCLA’s student government recently passed a motion calling on the UC to divest from Israeli companies and academic institutions.  As an active Bruin, this disturbs me greatly.  I wrote to the ADL, this is their thoughtful and complete response.  I figured I’d make it publicly available.


Thank you for contacting ADL regarding your concern, especially as a UCLA alum, over the recent passage of a BDS resolution targeting Israel by the Undergraduate Student Association.  We are well-aware of this particular situation and worked diligently with the UCLA Jewish and pro-Israel students, staff and faculty in helping them determine their best course of action.  We reported on this situation last week on our website and Facebook page.  I have included the links for you below:

·         ADL Los Angeles Blog: Jewish Students Display Strategy and Strength in Face of BDS Movement on Campus

·         Access ADL National Blog: California Campuses See Increase in Anti-Israel Activity

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns, both on and off campus, are something that ADL has been fighting since they first became active.  We are a great resource for Hillel professionals, Jewish and pro-Israel undergraduate and graduate students, university administrators and campus leaders on issues related to anti-Semitism, responding to anti-Israel activism and developing pro-Israel programming.  ADL provides most of its support “behind the scenes,” empowering students, faculty and staff to stand up to effect change.

ADL has a multitude of resources, including a Webpage talking about BDS and other anti-Israel activities in the U.S. and how to combat these activities, as well as one specifically for campus issues, College Campus Affairs.  All of our resources and publications are free and available to the public.

We appreciate the time you took reaching out to us about this.  Please continue to check our website and social networking pages to see further updates about campus activities and what ADL is doing on campuses across the country.


ADL (name redacted)