Holy Productive Hiatus! Public Domain Returns!


Okay, let’s see … turn the crank a quarter-turn to the left, then a whole turn to the right.  Flip those two toggles, pump the handle EXACTLY six times — no more, no less — and check the gauges.

Wait, is that hose supposed to be leaking that weird Day-Glo goop?

Foot on the pedal, count to three, turn the key, hit the start button and …

We’re back!  Welcome to Public Domain! Year Two.

Man, I missed this place.

*Sniff sniff* Although I probably should’ve emptied the wastebaskets before I locked up last month.  Downside of setting up your secret lair deep in an impenetrable underground bunker: no windows to crack open.

I wish I could say I took the month off blogging to relax, slipped off the cape and cowl and into a nice bathrobe, maybe have a drink and snuggle up to my Batgirl, like Adam West here, but that would be a blatant lie.


October was one of my busiest months yet, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

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One Year Later … Public Domain’s 1st Anniversary

Michael allan leonard public domain blog nerd geek comics comic book

Hard to believe it’s been a whole year since the very first post here on September 30th, 2012.

A name change (this blog was, initially, called ‘Thought Balloons’ for the first couple weeks), one fairly extreme theme change makeover, and one hundred and eleven posts later, and most of the time, I still don’t really know what I’m doing … but I’m much more confident about my ignorance and ineptitude.

These past twelve months have been a pretty big year in terms of getting motivated and off the same-old, same-old hamster wheel.  It started a few months prior to launching Public Domain!, but really got rolling along when this odd little space popped into existence.

Since the September afternoon where I struggled with trying to figure out what to write in the inaugural post I have:

  • Launched a webcomic, DoorMan Online, on multiple hosting sites.
  • Formed a publishing company called Chimeratron and started the research to self-publish my own material.
  • Began work on starting a print and merch making studio, Vintage Robo Design Co.
  • Started developing about a dozen intellectual properties with various partners.
  • Took on an as-yet-secret project that hopefully will get underway soon.
  • Delved headfirst into social media and started both a Facebook page for PD as well as an accompanying Tumblr.
  • Met a lot of very cool, very creative people that I might not have crossed paths with otherwise.

The support and encouragement I’ve gotten from Public Domain! has lit a creative fire in my belly that I’d been missing for years.

I went from pining and daydreaming about getting my writing career back on track to cannonballing right into the pool with zero regard for the prospect of failure (or looking like an idiot).

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Hit Me With Your Best Spam: 5000 Views

spam viking

Ah, spam.

Every so often, just to make sure someone’s valuable comment didn’t get vetted down the wrong chute, I like to take a few moments to review the spam folder here at Public Domain.

Bonus: its pidgin English (and sometimes pidgin Spanish, and occasionally pidgin Klingon) makes me laugh.  As in launch steaming hot Tully’s French Roast coffee out my nostrils and all over the keyboard and desk guffaw.

It’s totally worth the sticky space bar and, for a couple of days, because my nostrils are singed, everything smelling like I lit Juan Valdez’ bean-laden burro on fire and pushed it into a wood chipper.  You can’t make stuff that golden up.

See what I mean?

In just a few short inches down, you’ll forget all about that last joke of admittedly questionable taste, because you’ll be chuckling so hard and wondering why I don’t just let the spambots write this thing on a regular basis.


I will, however, not mention the actual name of the spam contributors.  Not only to protect the innocent, but also because I am not entirely convinced that it’s a situation not unlike the classic horror film Candyman, where posting an actual spambot’s name on your blog will cause it to come out of the screen, sneak up behind you, and after scaring you half-to-death, offer to sell you cut-rate mail-order ‘enhancement’ pharmaceuticals or fake designer handbags.

The actual text of the spam, though, that stays word-for-word how it was sent to me.  I couldn’t punch that up any more than it already is without biting someone’s ear off and getting a facial tattoo.


Let’s start with someone who is a big zombie fan and tried to add this to one of my The Walking Dead reviews:

If you’re have a hard time getting calmed down at night, it could possibly be due no less than in part to a excess of caffeine through the entire day. There are three major explanations why “you” want a Zombie apocalypse to happen.

At which point the post stops, leaving me hanging.

Since spambot didn’t give the answer, I will.  My three major explanations as to why I want a zombie apocalypse to happen:

1.  Stupid, arrogant, rude people, and the fact that my non-writing day job forces me to interact with considerable numbers of them on a regular basis.

Seriously, you gather twenty random selected people in a room and ask them who wants to see a zombie apocalypse happen and EVERY hand that shoots up into the air will belong to someone who has to deal with the public for a paycheck.

100%. Guaranteed.



2.  I live in a rural part of the country where the ratio of guns to people are about 3:1.  We may eventually go down under a writhing mass of undead horrors tearing out our jugulars but it’ll be damn fun while the shooting gallery lasts.

Especially if the world ends around the Fourth of July and we have access to excess fireworks to distract the zombies — that might not work everywhere, but here in the general vicinity of Western Pennsylvania, it’ll be just like George Romero called it in Land of the Dead.


3.  See #1.  Really.  I deal with this:


And I’m ready to hit the big red button marked ‘start apocalypse’ that has a neon-green biohazard symbol on it and laugh gleefully all the while.

Next we have Best Web Hosting in Barbados, who tried to comment on Tales to Admonish #12:

I don’t even know how I finished up right here, however I thought this submit used to be good. I don’t recognize who you are however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger for those who aren’t already. Cheers!

I’m not sure how you finished up right here, either, chief, but I’m glad you did.  Family Ties!


And you’re right, this submit used to be good, then the quality went straight downhill.

A question from Wholesale Chia Pets International:

Hey! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

Dude, I don’t even know how to keep it from peeing on the carpet, let alone get it to stop growling threateningly at mobiles.  You should have seen the looks it gave me when I brought it home from the vet and had to put that big goofy plastic cone around its neck so it didn’t chew out its stitches.

It was like phasers set to INCINERATE YOUR SOUL.

Bit of a nasty-gram from Fake Rayban Scam who apparently didn’t like the review of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns:

What’s up, I just wanted to tell you, you’re wrong. Your point doesn’t make any sense.

Maybe, but like Logan, my points are sharp.


Snikt!  I mean, next!

Gutstache tried to put in his two cents to our Free Comic Book Day 2013 offering, Nightstorm:

Exceptional post, Personally, i enjoy designer jewellery a lot,exceptionally Tiffany & Co bracelets, its what I indulged with. With all of your posting, There is absolutely no doubt that even more teenagers knows the style using what tiffany jewelry should bring.

Thanks, Gutstache, although I have to say while I don’t know what kind of bling she’s got, I was always a little more partial to Debbie Gibson than Tiffany back in the day.


Ah, the 1980s. When people got famous for actually *doing* stuff.

Anonymous Donna sez:

I do trust all of the ideas you have introduced on your post. They’re really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for starters. May just you please extend them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

Er, thanks, Donna, but . . .wait . . . so the ridiculously long posts like my tongue-in-cheek dissertation of the lack of Kryptonite in Man of Steel that came in at 4,100 words, or the 6K of the New Year’s Revolution series wasn’t enough for you?  Because most people would say that I probably need to shut up a little.

I guess I need to start on the epic Time Lords of the Return of the Game of Thrones’ Fellowship of the Assembling Avengers.  My kids might have to finish that one . . . and they haven’t even been born yet.  There’s a lot of walking.  And a blue police box.  And a Hulk.  And naked medieval people.

Sid Nauseous tried to ask before Askimet was all, “No!  Denied!  Talk to the hand! ”

First off I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?

Well, Sid, I start with coffee, because I have a large, irate 900-pound dark roasted primate on my back and he doesn’t let me do *anything* until he gets his fix.  Once he gives the all-clear, the neurons start to light up, I trudge upstairs to my office, plop down here at my desk, and boot up the computer.


While I’m waiting for Windows to lock and load, I look at the various piles of detrius on my desk, which at this particular moment consists of:

14 comic books (including the copy of Savage Wolverine #1 that I reviewed three months ago) 6 action figures, 4 diecast Matchbox Batmobiles from various eras of Batman lore that are sore need of dusting, 2 Rechargable AA batteries that need recharged, 1 Doctor Doom bobblehead that always makes me laugh because his oversized armored and hooded noggin does so not match his tyrannical clenched fist, 1 Darth Vader Pez dispenser still in the package that needs to go with the rest of the Pez collection on the shelf behind me, and 1 factory sealed copy of Lollipop Chainsaw for the Xbox 360 that I snatched for $20 a few months ago because my girlfriend played it at a friend’s house and said it was awesome and I still haven’t gotten around to trying.

I consider sorting through this mess, then file it under ‘Things to Do Tomorrow’, because now Windows is ready to go, and I open up whatever I need to work on, cracking my knuckles and stretching my neck like I’m going to do something that actually does involve more physicality than using my fingertips.

And then I check my three different writing-related e-mail accounts and sometimes Facebook and then there’s twenty minutes of random traipsing through cyberspace at which point I probably have to hit the restroom from the coffee I’ve been slurping and it’s break time.

Then I make another cup of coffee and actually get to work.

So, sorry, Sid, can’t really help you there.  Twenty minutes of random goofing off is par for the course.  Tolstoy did it, Mark Twain did it, I do it, you do it.


And all the great ones have messy desks.

(And now Anonymous Donna is very happy because I managed to drag that simple answer out.  Score!)

Rolf Lauren was short and sweet and completely profound:

To hit a dog with a meat-bun.

I’m going to ask my grandma to stitch that one into an old-timey sampler and hang it above my desk.

Optimus Probe asks:

Remarkable issues here. I am very satisfied to look your post. Thank you a lot and I’m looking forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

No, but the restraining order is in the mail.  Next!


Demented Reviews For Moles wrote:

What i do not understood is in fact how you are now not really a lot more well-preferred than you may be now.

Awwww, that’s sweet.

You are very intelligent. You know thus considerably when it comes to this subject, produced me in my view consider it from so many numerous angles.

Thank you!  I’m almost feeling sorry that the defensebots kicked your automated butt to the curb.

Its like women and men aren’t interested unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs great. At all times handle it up!

I . . . uh . . . yeah.


Someday we’ll find it, the freakshow connection:
the lovers, the weirdoes, and me.

Okay, if you’ve read this far, there’s a point to this foolishness.

Monday, June 10th, Public Domain got it’s 5000th view — actually its 5100th view, but I knocked off a hundred views because there’s a day I know the spambots pillaged the stats.  I didn’t want to do a simple  ‘Whoo-Hoo! 5K’ post as I thought that would be sorta tacky, but at the same time I’m kind of proud of it, as well.

I usually close each post by saying ‘thanks for dropping by’, but I really do appreciate the support.  The discipline I’ve learned over the last six months by trying to be here at twice each week, if not more, to juggle verbal plates on stage, as well as the encouragement of the two hundred-plus people who signed up to follow means a lot, and has helped me shake off a multiple year funk and get back to my old overambitious fighting weight.

Earlier this year, I challenged myself to a New Year’s ‘revolution’, as opposed to a mere resolution, to really overthrow the self-doubt and procrastination and get things on track for myself, and I’ve lined up a ridiculously ambitious amount of projects.  I’ve got six books that I’ve got in the planning stages to self-publish through my Chimeratron ‘brand’.  My long-time collaborative partner, artist James E. ‘Doodle’ Lyle and I started a new venture, Vintage Robo Design Co., to develop a line of affordable nerd-themed prints and eventually t-shirts and other merchandise featuring our own original creations, like Wolfman:


Wolfman © James E. Lyle

I’ve been in early talks to start a group blog with a number of other writers that I think will be fun — sort of a nerd Avengers, bringing together a disparate group of people together for a common goal, to make something cooler than we could do on our own.  There’s a blog that goes along with Vintage Robo to not only promote our merch but celebrate classic sci-fi / fantasy art and visual design.  I’d like to do a blog centered around short fiction, my own to start with, and then expand it out to allow others to come in and have a really great collection of prose, poetry, and illustrations, sort of a magazine-style online publication.

And right now I’m getting in the home stretch of getting James and my DoorMan comic up and running as a webcomic.  Our self-hosted main site still needs quite a bit of work, as it hasn’t quite gotten where I want it to be.  We do have version of the comic up on several webcomic hosting sites, and while they’re not quite as polished as I’d like yet, if you’d like a sneak peek, you can hit up any of the following links:




DoorMan © Michael Allan Leonard and James E. Lyle

DoorMan © Michael Allan Leonard and James E. Lyle

I’m very excited to get involved in the webcomics space, as this is something new to me, and even with a just a cursory glance, I’ve seen a lot of impressive works there that I didn’t know existed.  I’ve already got plans to do another webcomic starting later this year called Grow Odd Monsters, that will be a sort of Mad Magazine satire-fest using old public domain comic materials — if you’ve seen the irregular Tales to Admonish! strip I’ve been doing here on PD, that’s sort of what we’re going for, only on a bigger and crazier scale.

And I have a feeling DoorMan and Grow Odd Monsters won’t be the only webcomics I’ll end up involved in — I love the idea of being able to do comics and get them up immediately, rather than go through a process of months if not longer to see them reach publication.

To get all those plates spinning, though, is going to take just about all of my free time, and then some — which means I’ll probably have to cut back a little here on Public Domain, at least for the next few weeks to hit my goals with the DoorMan webcomic.  Rather than sacrifice quality, I’ll trim back the quantity and make sure the posts that do go up here are the best I can make them and still have time to get to this buffet of creativity I’ve set out for myself.

I do want to thank everyone for their support, because without that vote of confidence, I wouldn’t have had the ambition to set all these cogs into motion.  Whether any or all of them succeed or fail, it’s stepping back up to the plate that I shied away from for so long.  My days as of late have been crazy and sometimes insanely long, but I absolutely love it.  Writing, researching, learning new skills, helping to design logos and marketing plans — every day is a new challenge of some some sort, and it pushes me harder and farther than I thought possible.  Whatever happens with these projects, I’ll come out the other side being a better person, period.

And I’d especially like to thank Sam Leung at Cheesetoastieandvideogames for nominating Public Domain for the Sunshine Award, and I recently became aware that I was nominated for the second time for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Tracy Cembor back in February.  I’m already working on the acceptance posts and trying to make them a little more than just random ‘things to know about me’ — it’ll take a while but I think they’ll be worth it, and hopefully interesting and inspiring reading.

I also need to apologize to writer Daniel Pike, who nominated PD for its first Very Inspiring Blogger Award: I promised a review of his novella, The Wolf of Descarta, back in March, and thanks to a screw up on my part, it took me a while to get a copy of the collection it appeared in, RealLies.  When I did get a copy it ended up lost in the shuffle of books and papers.  The review is forthcoming, and that will be a priority.

Thanks again, everyone, for visiting Public Domain, and no joke at all there.

— mal