Jack Katz Creativity – Appearance Sunday, February 10, 2019 East Bay Comic Con

By Seth Singleton

Why Creativity Matters

On Sunday, February 10 I’ll be meeting with Jack Katz at the East Bay Comic Con in Concord.

Tundran of the First Kingdom

Jack is the creator of The First Kingdom and is currently drawing Beyond the Beyond.

I had the chance to speak with Jack about his work and beliefs. You can listen to the first conversation Jack Katz: On Creativity, Synchronicity, Fear, and Romantic Beauty and Human Tragedy and stream it here.

A Little Bit About the Man

As an artist, Jack has spent his whole life dedicated to drawing, writing and getting his thoughts out to the universe. His working life as an artist has spanned a number of waves of comic book development and his paintings reach down into the present from their original roots back in the early years of 20th century American illustration and art.

His most enduring accomplishment has been the production of the original 24-issue graphic novel known as The First Kingdom. Many have said it was the very first independently published graphic novel and it began to be re-issued as a four-volume set in the spring of 2005.

Jack Katz and his opus

Aside from his drawing and painting, Jack has written extensively through the years on his ideas exploring the place humans have taken in the universe and the directions in which they may or may not take in the future.

Today he teaches anatomy for figurative art students and continues to work on his comic book projects. Currently in the works as well are a number of publications and videos presenting his distinctive ideas of teaching figure drawing.

The Original Cover for The First Kingdom

Recent publications included the first volume of a collection of sketches Jack has done over the past decades that illustrate for the advanced figurative art student the many different ways in which the dynamic human form can be expressed. With over one-hundred-fifty pages, the book is entitled Anatomy by Jack Katz, Vol. 1.

Will I see you there?

Leave me a comment below if you think you might be attending or have a story to share.


Dave Campbell Talks About Self-Publishing The Calling, Groovy U, And The Value Of A Public Commitment To Your Audience

By Seth Singleton

The Value of a Great Conversation

I know that I am having a good conversation with someone when I can share a genuine laugh. I don’t know how many times Dave Campbell and I laughed during our talk, but I do know that each time felt like an authentic connection with a committed artist. 

Finding a Faith-Based Writing Partner

Dave spoke honestly about pursuing his dream of drawing a comic that was faith-based. There were false starts and interruptions. But things changed when he met writer Jeff Williams at a men’s bible study. That was the beginning of a commitment to start and finish a graphic novel they would eventually title The Calling.

Making a Commitment

Through it all Dave and Jeff knew that everyone from that men’s group remembered their conversation. Dave knew that every night when he came home from work that his children were watching him sit down to draw. He knew that they would be watching if he stopped. 


Sharing the Calling

Dave matched that commitment with a website where he promised that every Monday he and Jeff would publish a new page from The Calling. Week after week, page after page, their comic grew into a published graphic novel. Single issues followed, and later a trailer.

Your next Mission, Should you Choose to accept

But, the mission wasn’t over. By now, Dave’s daughter was a self-published author currently enrolled at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She approached her dad about developing a comic together. She writes and he draws. The result is Groovy U. 


What’s Your Calling?

In The Calling, Silk is a rising star in a street gang who experiences a Saul-to-Paul conversion that mirrors the story of Christianity’s prolific New Testament author. But, accepting a mission from God does not always look the way you think. 


How Groovy are U?

Groovy U is the story of Grovingston freshman Kacy Spade. Kacy is infiltrating her campus as a member of the ancient assassins The Order of the Blackhood which are contradicted by her introduction to The Way. How Kacy chooses to respond will change the course of her life.

God Allows u-turns

The books are stories about changing your direction when your beliefs are challenged. A theme that Dave knows can be hard to address in comic books without becoming a reason to disengage. Which means addressing the challenge of seeing how far he and the writers can take a story without losing credibility. It’s a responsibility he is willing to accept.

The Future is in the Branding

Along the way, Dave has discovered how to market his books online, through trailers on YouTube, and with his own action figures. His vision for the future is a brand that he wants to continue building when he retires from his day job. 

Who is Dave CAmpbell?

Does he always look like this?

Enjoy this brief bio for more about Dave Campbell 

Raised in Ecorse, Michigan (Detroit area), Dave Campbell started drawing at an early age. Soon after, he gained an affinity for comics and further developed his drawing skills by using them as reference material. After high school, Dave went to the University of Michigan’s School of Art & Design, where he earned a BFA degree in graphic design.

In his adult life, Dave has worked at design firms, managed in-house art departments, pursued a career in music, and even started a team uniform company which he operated for 5 years. Through all of this, Dave never lost his love for the comics, which led to co-creating The Calling with writing partner Jeff Williams.

He is currently working on issue #2 of Groovy U, a new series written by his daughter Shelby Campbell. By day Dave works as an associate director of content management for a company that provides insight and analysis for various industries. He resides with his wife and three children in California’s bay area.

Which hand wins?

Stay in Touch

Visit Parade Comics and Heed The Calling

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Steer Clear of The Resolution Trap by Avoiding These 4 Types of Nonsense to Cultivate Your Awareness About the Dangers of Self Help

On a Road to Self Acceptance with Tara Massan and Seth Singleton

We Start Out with a Check-in

The Butte and Camp Fires have made the air quality in Oakland very dangerous. 

I share a few personal examples including the joys and discomforts of wearing an air mask on a daily basis.

Tara is enjoying a snowstorm that she describes as just normal for where she lives in Minnesota. Tara welcomes the snow because it coats the bleak winter landscape when it is dry.

Don’t let your New Year’s goals end up in the gutter

When Self-Help Goes Bad

There are two main sections Tara wants to address:

The Dangers of Self-Help and Nonsense we have heard of ourselves. 

The Dangers of Self-Help

  • Self-help can reinforce feelings of shame and guilt and being less than
  • Self-help can enable avoidance and procrastination
  • Self-help creates more analysis by paralysis
  • Self-help is a diminishing return

Self-help creates the urge to say I want to fix this…

That’s great if you want to live to your potential.

But diving in can become, “I can’t fix a problem until I fix what is wrong with me.”

Self-Help is a business that sells information

Not a product that is tangible 

To keep you hooked you have to keep fixing what is wrong with youYou don’t have to be or think a certain way to be worthy

It gets you addicted to the idea that you are not enough.

  • What’s wrong with you?
  • You should be doing this?
  • Needing help
  • Find a coac
  • Guilt is not help
  • Not Good Enough
  • Never be Good Enough
  • You’ll Never Be Good Enough Until You Do This
  • There’s Something Wrong You

Self Help is a product of searching and discovery

Specific examples and results

  • Self-Help as a bandaid 
  • And a form of avoidance
  • Meaningful action
  • Build a door to enter a room
  • I kind of cut her off here
  • Embracing the suck 
  • Rumi- all the answers you seek are within you
Photo courtesy Makarios Tang on Unsplash

4 Types of Nonsense

1. You learn to be successful by listening to successful people

  • How many people have followed this advice and failed?
  • How many did not follow and succeeded?
  • Do you they have a hidden variable like luck or money?

2. Positive Psychology 

  • Good to ask what is the positive here?
  • This has led to “Avoid Negative Thinking”
  • Address a deep confliction
  • Negative reveals discovery about self
  • Negative attitudes reveal unreal expectations
  • It’s ignoring that you are sick
  • Negative perception
  • You will experience both
  • Sometimes its a bad mood and you don’t have to sit in it
  • But to ignore it is to make yourself sick

3. Procrastination

  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Procrastination can birth a new idea
  • It doesn’t make you a bad person
  • Recognize an indicator 
  • Take a minute to pay attention

4. Follow your PassionDoes not mean, “Screw your job.”Or that you are Entitled to live your life only by your terms

  • your passion may not be your income
  • It may not lead to greatness
  • Beware Misrepresentation 
  • Passion requires work
  • Invest in your passion 
  • You still have to do something about it

Developing Your Awareness 

  • Think Critically
  • Be comfortable seeing things that might not feel comfortable.

This podcast is Part 3 of a series on Self Acceptance.

For Part 1 click here.

Tara Massan

Tara Massan is a Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, and Lifestyle Coach.

She helps chronically stressed out adults create healthier lifestyles by addressing their obstacles through her 4 Pillars of Health: Mindset-Movement-Nutrition-Rest.

She is also the creator of Be Moved and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, US Weekly and the Huffington Post.

She has contributed to over 20 publications with one purpose: To help others live a healthier life.

You can connect with Tara by visiting her website www.taramassan.com or emailing her at tara@taramassan.com

Seth Singleton…

is a storyteller. He is the writing team editor at Blue Alchemy Studios and its upcoming release, Planet Rise.

A free-agent writer who works by project and contract, Seth believes that stories are a common thread that connects us all and that everyone has a story to tell.

To contact him about a writing or podcast project email him at sethsingleton@gmail.com

What do you do when it doesn’t feel like Christmas? A few thoughts about perspective

By Seth Singleton


What’s in a feeling?

Christmas is so much more than a day on the calendar. It is a time of magic and wonder in the eyes of many children and adults. But, Christmas is also a state of mind.

It’s as much a day on the calendar as it is a day of presents and games and celebration.


Yesterday was Christmas Eve.

It was also my father’s birthday.

That morning he woke up in a hospital bed waiting for a scheduled date when he will be wheeled into the operating room for open heart surgery. I don’t think it felt like much of a birthday and today probably doesn’t feel like any Christmas that he remembers or imagined.

But, he also taught me that Christmas like everything else is about perspective. Sometimes seeing past the challenges and complications is about changing the way you are looking.

There are other times when the real trick is learning to change where you are setting your sights when you look. 


Christmas may not look like we remember and it may not feel like we expect it should, but it still has the ability to remind us that we can rise above the challenges when we remember that the holiday we celebrate is a reflection of the investment we make to experience it.

About the Guy hosting this podcast:

Seth Singleton is a storyteller.

He is the writing team editor at Blue Alchemy Studios and its upcoming release, Planet Rise and a free-agent writer who works by project and contract.

Seth believes that stories are a common thread that connects us all and that everyone has a story to tell.

To send questions and comments or to contact Seth about a writing or podcast project email him at sethsingleton@gmail.com

#Christmas #ChristmasEve #Holiday #Perspective #Writing #Podcast #Family #Story 


The Jack Katz Podcast Conversation Part 2: The Replication of our Downfall and Our Steps into Wonder

Replication & Where we left off…

When we left off our conversation with Jack, a time traveler had arrived from the future, only to find he was not far enough in the past. The computers had taken over. The machines created by the computers attend to everything people needed and it made humans weak. Things sounded grim.


A recurring theme in The First Kingdom is the rise and fall of civilizations and the events that eventually bring about their destruction. A desire for immortality is among the motivations that are often driving the creators and innovators. 

One solution created is a memory serum that retains the entire scope of a culture’s knowledge. The serum can be used to share this knowledge with the replicants called Humanoids.

The Humanoids were made by a man who had a near-death experience as a child and wanted to stave off death for everyone. At one point, he takes the memory serum to prevent his own inevitable death.


“Art is the glorification of the human body.” 

         Jack Katz

The Fiction We Know is Replicated 

Tarzan is not an original story. According to Jack, there are no original stories. Jack in the Jungle and Jack the Lion Tamer were both written by PT Barnum and are the basis for the Tarzan stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Philip Wiley wrote the Gladiator which Jack believes was the inspiration for Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel’s seminal Superman.  Jack even shares a personal story about these two co-creators in the first part of our conversation.

People are Steeped in Ambivalence 

Jack is exacerbated by people steeped in the same ambivalence. He believes people are terrified and need to hold on to something. Jack has found the god of Einstein and it has allowed him to focus on completing the Beyond the Beyond.

When Jack met Charles Clarence (C.C). Beck, who was the first artist assigned to draw the character of Captain Marvel, originally dubbed Captain Thunder by writer Bill Parker, “He knew I was supposed to do Captain Marvel Jr.” 


“He already knew about me from Bulletman and Bulletdog.”

Jack Kaz

Jack remembers Beck enjoyed designing swords and hilts, and that he was a “Wonderful little gentleman.” Maybe it has to do with his belief that Captain Marvel was better than Superman.

When Jack wrote his own story of a character with immense power he named it The Last Immortal. He then introduced a girl who was dying of cancer and asked, “What can superpowers do against cancer?”


Matt Baker and Mankind

Jack claims that Baker was the best example of an artist making it in the business. Jack made the mistake of pointing this out to Baker, and when it was overheard — “I lost my job when I said he was too good for this… I said he should be working at Playboy.”

“I loved Matt Baker – admired his ability to draw women. He had a bad heart, and he was a beautiful person.”

Jack Katz

He is one of the many artists who inspired Jack to pursue his independent opus The First Kingdom.

“The Kingdom is like a silent mention,” he told me. “One day the world will be ready for substance.”

Jack Katz and his opus

This includes a trial of the fantasy that we create. As Jack points out, “Mankind can’t handle the situation he is born into — it’s the vicissitude. during the trial the judge is Consciousness. Upon the suggestion that they are all fabrications, Consciousness learns she does not have the authority she thought she had

Our conversation is interrupted by sirens, and then Jack responds that he is unlike the fabricators because “I glorify the human body. It’s our temple. The registry of our identity.”


Cycles – Skywald – dick Giordano

The First Kingdom is 1070 pages. It tells the story of many advanced societies who are brought down by the problems they create. 

“When I worked at Skywald,” Jack begins, he developed a jungle character raised by lions, not apes. Jack wanted to give credit to PT Barnum who he admires. Sadly, Barnum was a gifted writer who “took his intelligence to the worst possible places”

So, Jack honored him with the character Zangar.


It was Dick Giordano who visited Jack to make an offer from DC on a new project. Giordano had created the Charlton Comics characters known as the “Action Heroes. He later became the executive editor of DC Comics.

“The only thing interested in was The Imaginator,” Jack said. “(He) Loved the idea, but it never came off and then he died.”

“We are afraid to be original.”

Jack Katz


“Society creates its downfall.,” says Jack. “Built-in from the first breath and the pain and carried through trace memories. You cannot get rid of memory. My desire must be rewarded with punishment. It all leads to our own self-destruction.”


“There’s a kind of evil or disassociation,” he continues. “Some people are born without a conscious.”

Hear the rest of the story in the podcast at the top of this post.

Subscribe to this website and the Storytelling with Seth podcast to make sure that you never miss a story.

To hear the first part of our conversation click here.

To contact Seth Singleton click here.