By Mark Tapson:

Recently I read a page-turner of a new novel with the eye-catching title Sons of Bitches, which centers on a young Jewish artist who releases a comic book boldly depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This naturally makes her a target for outraged Muslim fundamentalists, and their death threats force her to hire former biker hoodlum-turned-private investigator Josh Pratt. Justice, revenge, and mayhem ensue.

This is obviously a reflection of the real-life experiences of such artists as Mollie Norris, who apparently still remains in hiding years after merely suggesting an Everybody Draw Muhammad Day, and frequent FrontPage Mag artist, former Muslim Bosch Fawstin, who was targeted by terrorists at the Draw Muhammad event in Texas a couple of years ago (a contest which Fawstin won). And then, of course, there was the massacre of twelve employees at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in response to their “blasphemous” depiction of Muhammad on the magazine cover. Violating Islamic blasphemy laws comes with a high price – but so does submitting to them.

At the Freedom Center we understand that politics flows downstream from culture, so we want to begin highlighting the work of right-leaning creatives who often face ideological resistance within the entertainment industry. Today our spotlight is on comics creator, writer and novelist Michael A. Baron, the author of Sons of Bitches.

Mike Baron is the creator of the superhero comics Badger and (with artist Steve Rudd) Nexus. His other comic credits include FlashPunisherDeadman and Star Wars. He has written for Ellery Queen’s Mystery MagazineCreemFusion, the Boston Phoenix, the Boston Globe, and numerous other publications. Baron’s latest work is a series of novels (four so far) called Bad Road Rising published by Liberty Island, a publisher whose offerings push back against political correctness and the left’s cultural dominance (its motto is “Let Your Right Brain Run Free”). Baron is the author of three horror novels as well, and a science fiction novel called Whack Job, all published by Wordfire Press and available from Amazon, as is the Bad Road Rising series.

I invited Baron, who – full disclosure – is a friend of mine, about his new novel and his thoughts on politics, art, and the comic industry.

Mark Tapson: Mike, how would you describe your conservatism, your political outlook? Have you always been a conservative?

Mike Baron: I think so. I grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota. I think the main reason I’m conservative is because I chose reason over emotionalism. I was an emotional kid and I didn’t like myself. I didn’t want to be that way. I refused to identify as a victim. It took me a long time to grow up, but my instincts were always to do what made the most sense. Attitude is everything, and a positive attitude made more sense to me than a negative one. Funny thing is, both my folks were pretty liberal, and my dad worked on George McGovern’s campaign. I remember riding to the airport with Senator McGovern. I read a lot of science fiction. In those days, authors like Robert Heinlein, A.E. Van Vogt and others rooted their stories in a strong sense of individual liberty and achievement. Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge McDuck had a profound effect on me.

MT: How do you express your conservatism in your work? Or is that even a consideration for you? Because unlike many artists who are leftist, conservatives are less inclined to put politics at the forefront of their art.

MB: Mark, my first three rules are, 1. Entertain. My first job is to entertain the readers. It has nothing to do with politics. 2. Show, don’t tell. 3. Be original. Every writer brings his own experiences to his fiction, and my writing naturally reflects my view of the world. I was a terrible cynic, and I hope that I’m becoming less cynical, but a healthy cynicism is part of my world view. I remember novelist John D. MacDonald’s character Travis McGee complaining how the airlines attempted to infantilize everyone back in the sixties! My fiction is heterodox because of my world view, but my characters express my world view through their actions, not through words. I think that’s very conservative. I don’t make politics the focus of my art but any careful reading of Nexus will reveal that both Steve and I are conservative, in that we accept that the world is messy and imperfect, and attempts by government and committees often make things worse.

Continue reading the interview at FrontPageMag.

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And collect all four of Baron’s books and get caught up before books five and six drop soon:

Bad Road Rising, Book 1: Biker

Bad Road Rising, Book 2: Sons of Privilege 

Bad Road Rising, Book 3: Not Fade Away

Bad Road Rising, Book 4: Sons of Bitches

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