Novelist Mike Baron made a name for himself in the comics industry with a legendary five year run on Marvel Comics’ first ongoing series for The Punisher, a popular anti-hero that recently got his own Netflix series. Now, the award-winning writer is set to stir up controversy with his next comic Thin Blue Line. With superheroes popular in both comic books and film, this graphic novel is unique in that the protagonist is a single mother who works full-time as a cop. Baron was inspired to write the story to show his support for law enforcement agencies and officers.
“I’ve always ripped stories from the headlines, as readers of Punisher and Nexus can attest,” said Mike Baron. “The country’s slide into anarchy is the stuff of drama, and one reason cop, lawyer, and doctor related shows are so popular.” Baron adds “most police officers are civic-minded individuals who just want to serve the public. The narratives pushed by the ‘defund the police’ crowd are inaccurate.”
The comics industry has drastically evolved in recent years, with the likes of Mike Baron making a mark with his own creations such as Nexus, The Badger and this year’s hilarious Florida Man. Over the course of his career, the Eisner-winning writer of comics and novels has worked at Marvel, DC Comics, Valiant, and Dark Horse Comics, writing many of the biggest titles in the industry including The Flash, Green Lantern, Star Wars, and dozens more superhero and sci-fi tales. With Thin Blue Line, Baron is bringing a twist to the traditional superhero plot with a gritty, realistic, and wildly entertaining tale featuring a diverse cast of real world characters.
Mike recruited artist, Joe Arnold, a full-time police officer, who personifies the experience and helped accurately depict the plight of an average cop. He also brought in inker Jeff Slemons, who is an outstanding artist in his own right. Other artist who have contributed are Sergio Cariello and Butch Guice, who provide the cover art.
“I’ve known Joe Arnold since long before he became a police officer. Joe was always drawing and was a regular at our local monthly comic meetings, along with many other industry pros like Gabe Eltaeb. Joe was a natural fit for the project and brought authenticity to Thin Blue Line.”
Baron and his team pitched the tale to numerous publishers after the completion of the artwork. However, none were willing to take a chance after learning it depicted the “Defund the Police” movement in a bad light. Consequently, Mike and his team decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign in order to raise the finances to color and letter the book and then distribute it themselves.
“We had enormous success self-distributing my Florida Man graphic novel earlier this year” Baron said, referring to a humor comicbook based on his series of novels. “That comic was ‘neither fish nor fowl’, although there are fish and fowl in it – and my readers loved it!”
Thin Blue Line illustrates the plight of cops in a thrilling way, with a portion of the proceeds from the campaign going to three police assistance projects. One is for training cops in de-escalation and Brazilian ju-jitsu which protects both the officer and the suspect. Artist Joe Arnold is an experienced ju-jitsu practitioner and uses it in his work as an officer. The other two organizations memorialize officers who were killed, and support the families of fallen officers.
To learn more about Thin Blue Line, visit thinbluelinecomics.com