Featuring the Webcomics and Graphic Novels, Fantasy and Sci-Fi by Mark Oakley!
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What is, Thieves & Kings?

“Thoroughly engrossing self-published black-and white fantasy saga. [. . .] This is a story for fans of Bone, Elfquest, Nausicaa, or Harry Potter to fall in love with; highly recommended for teen and adult fantasy readers everywhere.”

   -The Library Journal

Learn about Mark Oakley and his work!

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Read a 25 page
sample chapter!





Mark’s sci-fi Web Comic!

Stardrop! Featuring the space Princess Ashelle living on Earth.
Bi-weekly webcomic!

Email Me!


or write to. . .

I Box Publishing
#1 - 614 Main St.
Wolfville, NS  B4P 1E8
Canada



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RETAILERS:
Stardrop Book 3 Order Links for Retailers


Articles of Note:

The New Fascism


Tribes and Reality


What's up with all the Anti-Russian sentiment?


How to Stay Sane in an Insane World - Top 3 diet changes (not what you think!)


MadMax and Tomorrowland - Reality Splitting Decisions...


Star Wars the Force Awakens - JJ Abrams is a Lightweight


The Mysterious meta-Jenny


I Will Not Hate Because You Want Me To


Response to Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing


Art Software Review - OpenCanvas 6


Why Facebook is an unreliable tool for the Self Publisher


Three Questions from a Beginner Cartoonist


Comics in the New Media ~ How to Publish Comics on Tablets and eReaders Without Getting Ripped Off


Mark at the Movies:Superman, Man of Steel. Propaganda to dim the spirit and fan your fears.


Mark at the Movies: What do, Mirror Mirror, Hunger Games and Cabin in the Woods all have in common? More than you think!


Drawing Democracy


365 Days of Digital Cartooning - Drawing Comics on a Tablet PC


UPDATED!
Tablet button bar Button for Photoshop / PaintTool Sai / MangaStudio5


Photoshop CS4 vs CS5 Speed Comparison for Tablet PC


Photoshop Speed-Up Trick for Digital Art


Portable Drafting Board - Drawing Comics Outdoors

 

 
   Stardrop. . .

Connect with me on Facebook!
STARDROP



Please become my Patron! It's super-easy; see Patreon to find out how. -Now, don't worry; everything will remain free to read here, (many of my readers do not have credit cards, after all). But I'm a full-time cartoonist and I need to pay the bills. There are hundreds of folks reading, so those who are able, please consider chipping in with as much or as little as you choose. Even a buck a month would be a blessing! Those of you who have already extended your support, oh my goodness, Thank-You! It literally means the world to me!

Also.., Jenny Mysterious is now LIVE and will have regular weekly updates! Yessss! Been a long time coming. Jump to her section below. Thanks everybody!

New Episode #280 - Next Episode, Thursday April 6th
webcomic Stardrop by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com

                        

 


Digital Editions Now Available


"High Resolution For Tablets!"
$8.25 CAD
Download Stardrop Volume 1    Download Stardrop Volume 2

-No DRM -No Hassles -Super High Quality -Whole Books with all the extras!

Technical note: I'm using a new sales system for this which doesn't require all kinds of complicated filling out of forms and such. The back-end magic is worked by Gumroad, an awesome new on-line system designed just for digital content; easy payment, reliable delivery, no mucking around. -And holy smokes! They play fair, taking 5% + 25 cents per transaction. Are you paying attention Apple and Amazon? This is how it's done.


NEW! Stardrop eBook
Now Available!

(See the Studio News (below) for the scoop on this!)



Tip StarDrop's cartoonist!

Visit the Australian StarDrop Mirror.
(Thanks to Andrew and Katherine for their wonderful support over the years!)

 
 
   Jenny Mysterious. . .
Read the latest stuff before everybody else. Become a Patron!

June 24th, 2017
New Pages posted - 185 to 187
I've decided to publish the long-talked about Jenny Mysterious free on-line, with new pages every week, starting right now! BUT I am asking folks to become Patrons. Please support my comics with as little or as much as you choose with a monthly subscription, (even just a dollar would be fine!). It's really easy. See my Patreon page for details.

-Check out the cool perks!

Thanks everybody!


webcomic Jenny Mysterious by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com
    

Please Vote! (You can vote for both Jenny and Stardrop without conflict.) Thank-you!
    New: Reader's Art!


 
 
   Thieves & Kings. . .

Sample Chapter from, Thieves & Kings, Volume 3, "The Blue Book"

Thieves & Kings, page from the graphic novel series by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com

Thieves & Kings is not a webcomic. It's an all-ages fantasy/adventure graphic novel series which I've been working on since 1994. It is nearly done; I hope to wrap up the story in the 7th volume, (currently in production). The chapter featured here offers a good example of what it's like to read Thieves & Kings. --It's a peppy sequence, and it contains both regular comic pages, and some text pages. It doesn't show much of the title character, (Rubel) and none of the Shadow Lady, but Heath and Varkias carry the show quite nicely. I do hope you enjoy this sample of my work!

 
 
   The Walking Mage. . .

The Walking Mage webcomic #2 - Fired

The Walking Mage is a complete story. Originally it was done in black & white, (which you can check out here, if you like). I wanted to experiment with color and so began by using a computer to color the Walking Mage for its print release. After a few panels I decided that it would be a lot more fun to paint it by hand, and so switched to water-color around episode six.

The story itself is quite a good little yarn; funny and pointed in many places, as political satire ought to be. I was actually quite surprised to learn this! I found myself laughing out loud in several places. --I don't know why this story in particular was so hard for me to accept, but it was. I avoided reading it for several years after it first went to press. The ending is rather abrupt, but it was a serial strip, after all.

So anyway, after having let this web-comic languish in the digital attic, I've decided to pull it out and post it again for all the world in its full-color glory. This is the first time the Walking Mage has been available in full color on the web. I hope you enjoy the adventures of Quinton and Varkias. Cheers!

 
 
   News From the Studio. . .

Star Wars the Force Awakens - My Reaction
 


Mark Oakley
December 22, 2015

Is it socially acceptable to think J.J. is a lightweight or am I going to get dumped on by the entire universe?

Force Awakens was a fun ride with lots of shine and kinetics, but it lacked the deep structure and maturity which made the originals great.

I felt like the originals happened to real people in a real place, truly invested in their adventure. J.J.'s felt like the whole thing was make-believe.

Lucas studied spirituality, read and understood Joseph Campbell. He hired real air craft engineers and asked them to design ships as though sci-fi technologies actually existed. He understands politics and social dynamics.

Lucas was smart.

-He lost his way with his later efforts; he'd grown bored with the franchise, ignored the importance of networking with peers, isolated himself, got lazy. But, blow me down, even with its million flaws, Phantom Menace wasn't lightweight.

Does J.J. ever visit the library? He needs some interdisciplinary knowledge to flesh out the realities he projects.

I felt like the whole thing was written by a well-meaning 12 year-old, really trying to not screw anything up, but there's only so much you can accomplish when you're a 12 year-old. Every 20 seconds, I felt reminded of this.

Now.., check this out. Imagine! Force Awakens might have been a *great* film if the Pixar folks had gotten a chance to edit the script, (or toss it out and write another one entirely). -Well, to be fair, among all the terrible ideas there were a few good ones. They were just poorly realized, poorly stitched together. It lacked insight. It needed guidance. Imagine if the team which brought us "Inside Out" (so filled with subtle expressions of awareness) had the power to make changes and ask pertinent questions, -and then had the power to prevent J.J. from walking into doors, or embarrassing himself.

Here's one example. Just one...

Han has never fired Chewie’s bow caster weapon before? He was comically taken aback by its capabilities. Gosh! Had he never handled it or thought to ask his best friend at any time over the last 40 years, “Why that weapon?” Never assembled through observation and the natural osmosis of constant companionship, the strengths and weaknesses of Chewie’s choice in armament? Apparently not. In J.J.'s script, Han discovered it all in the exact same moment J.J. discovered it. Because in the mind of a lightweight, all experiences and discoveries exist only when YOU personally experience and discover them. There are no other souls out there living and learning. YOU are the center of your own little baby bubble, and everything is a projection of your own special, snowflake of a mind.

In a real film made by grownups, Han would have carried with him that deep knowledge. Of his friend, of his universe and how it worked. He would have moved through the scenes, not like a doll in the hands of an enthusiastic kid, but as an adult man who had really lived through war and love and life. It would have suffused every moment and every action, and we wouldn't have questioned it. We would have believed, because Harrison Ford is a very capable actor. Instead, we got... this.

And so this entire film was a consequence of that same process. The Star Wars universe for J.J. was a giant spherical screen with himself at the center, projecting his daydreams outward, so that it all looked and felt the way he wanted it to look and feel. He described the writing process as being one of, "What did Star Wars do that was Fun?"

Dude. You're missing the point. Star Wars *knew* things. It thought before it spoke. It didn't just try to copy what was fun.

But without deep knowledge, how could he be expected to fill in the blank spots with things which make sense to people who have endeavored to learn how reality actually works?

Lucas had the depth of understanding to recognize that the universe is in fact a 3 dimensional phenomenon, filled with other minds, not just his own.

But for all of that...

It was fun. I liked it. In the same way I like the enthusiasm in a passionately written piece of Mary Sue fan fic. I'll go see the next one.

But the time of greatness has passed.


 

-Mark Oakley
Wolfville, Nova Scotia,
December 22nd, 2015

 

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