Award winning writer of ‘The Punisher’ comics Mike Baron has revealed he will self-publish his new pro-police graphic novel ‘Thin Blue Line,’ a response to the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots, and calls to defund police.
In an interview with Fox News, Baron discussed his upcoming book and revealed what went into its creation, how he planned to publish it, and who refused to publish it.
“Well, I always say, ‘I don’t choose my stories, my stories choose me.’ And like every one of you I was watching television during the long hot summer of 2020, when we saw talking news heads in front of cities that had been burned to the ground explaining they were mostly peaceful riots,” said Baron.
“And then politicians started to cry for defunding the police, and my reaction was, ‘Are they insane?’ Civilization depends on the rule of law. You are either for the rule of law or not.”
He went on to say that the story he had written in ‘Thin Blue Lines’ would probably not have raised any eyebrows just 20 years ago, but given the current hyper-political context it has proved to be quite controversial.
“Because there are a lot of people out there who think they can replace the police with social workers. Well, that’s not true,” he explained.
Baron mentioned that another reason he wrote the book was that he personally knows many police officers and knows them as “dedicated civic individuals who joined the force to make a positive difference in their communities.”
The author also acknowledged that there are certainly bad cops out there, but reiterated that the book isn’t about them. He went on to emphasize that the novel isn’t meant to be overly political, or didactic, and that it’s more about the story and the drama.
Baron also talked about his experience sending the novel to most major publishers, all of which rejected the book, some quite vulgarly.
“We submitted it to every major publisher, and a number of others. The polite ones just gently passed, but the impolite ones, and they are some of the bigger publishers in the industry, their responses were vulgar and nasty. And we weren’t surprised.
“We didn’t expect anybody to pick this book up. We know what the comic industry is like. The comic industry is like any other branch of entertainment. It’s split right down the middle. And we did publish a couple of their responses with their names redacted. But we always planned on publishing it ourselves,” he said.
One publisher in particular, Apex Comics in the UK, replied to Baron’s request by asserting that the novel and its title were racist, implying that the same could be said about the author.
“Would never support this. It’s one thing to show cops, but the Blue Line has shown itself to be a racist movement that seeks to protect corrupt cops from justice and supports institutional racism. Naming the book that suggests a lot about the writer and comic. So big no from me,” wrote the publisher.
This indie publisher just rudely & publicly rejected our book with prejudice and without solicitation, while demonstrating their ignorance of the institution of law enforcement, and history of the #ThinBlueLine A shame anyone thinks this sort of response is civil or appropriate pic.twitter.com/zZ0nzWNKLU— Thin Blue Line (@ThinBlueLineCmx) January 2, 2022
After Baron shared the response on social media, Apex Comics took to Facebook to complain about being harassed (author’s spelling below).
“So earlier today i made a comment on an award winning dc comics writers book, that i couldnt support a book about cops brutaly beating people. I drew attention to the name of the book (which i wont share) and its racist connotations.
“Just checked my inbox to find messages from all types of comic creators and youtubers insulting me. Telling me I will never make something so good and that I’m whats wrong with comics. Basically Comicsgate want to blackball my company,” Apex Comics wrote.
Baron’s ‘Thin Blue Line’ novel has already earned over $47,000 from crowdfunding on IndieGoGo and almost $30,000 on Kickstarter. In the interview with Fox News he revealed that some of the proceeds from the sales will be sent to several police charities.