Webcomics and Graphic Novels, Fantasy and Sci-Fi by Mark Oakley!


What is, Thieves & Kings?

“Thoroughly engrossing self-published black-and white fantasy saga. [. . .] This is a story for fans of Bone, Elfquest, Nausicaa, or Harry Potter to fall in love with; highly recommended for teen and adult fantasy readers everywhere.”

   -The Library Journal

Learn about Mark Oakley and his work!

Read a 25 page
sample chapter!

Mark’s sci-fi Web Comic!

Stardrop! Featuring the space Princess Ashelle living on Earth.
Bi-weekly webcomic!

RSS News Feed RSS News Feed

Take a look at my Patreon Page
Check out the video!
Join the Forum!

Email Me!

or write to. . .

I Box Publishing
PO Box 2341.
Wolfville, NS  B4P 2N5


   Thieves & Kings. . .
Read the latest stuff before everybody else. Become a Patron!

Welcome. It has been a long wait for the faithful, but here we are!

The story picks up here where Thieves & Kings Book 6 "Apprentices Part I" left off...

I'll post new pages every week.

webcomic Thieves & Kings by Mark Oakley www.digital-comics.net

   Stardrop. . .

Please become my Patron! It's super-easy. See Patreon to find out how. -Now, don't worry; everything will remain free to read here, (many of my readers do not have credit cards, after all). But I'm a full-time cartoonist and I need to pay the bills. There are hundreds of folks reading, so those who are able, please consider chipping in with as much or as little as you choose. Even a buck a month would be a blessing! Those of you who have already extended your support, oh my goodness, Thank-You! It literally means the world to me!

webcomic Stardrop by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com

   Jenny Mysterious. . .
Read the latest stuff before everybody else. Become a Patron!

May 10th, 2020
New Pages posted 278 to 280

webcomic Jenny Mysterious by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com
   News From the Studio. . .

Reality Splits

November 21st, 2015

What Your Favorite Movies Say About Your Reality

Essay time!

So which reality will YOU end up in?

That's easy.

Which one are you drawn towards?

I'll make it easier. -Which films do you like? Let's look at two in particular... They happened a while ago, so everybody has had a chance to see them or not see them and to have allowed the experience to settle. Let's do some less than immediate, non-sound bite pop culture examination here.

So... Mad Max, Fury Road and Tomorrowland. Two big, big films which both hit theaters at nearly the same time.

Mad Max! -A story about a man and awoman in an Apocalyptic Wasteland drama, everybody hurting and dying of thirst, bullets and barbaric ignornace in a radioactive hell on earth. The film was well-shot, exciting and featured charismatic actors.

Tomorrowland! -A story about a girl and a boy who discover another world. -In a different dimension overlapping our own. The drama revolves around how our world is doomed to become.., well, an apocalyptic radioactive hell on earth because everybody is choosing it to be that way. That is.., the world is being blanketed by a psychological broadcast of doom in an effort to alert everybody to the dangers of our destructive, violent ways; essentially: "Smarten up and have a nice planet to live on, or continue along towards your own destruction." But guess what? Humanity doesn't take the warning as a warning. Rather, they gobble it up! They accelerate toward the hell-on-earth because that is what they want! They can't wait to get there! How can our heroes solve this problem?

Tomorrowland was also well shot, exciting and populated with charismatic actors.

One of these two films did bigger business than the other. (Like, a lot bigger.) -One of them made millions of dollars. The other one lost millions of dollars. Guess which.

Now the coolest thing was that Tomorrowland was actually a direct comment on its own failure at the box office and the success of Mad Max. How meta is that? Neat!

Today we have that video game, Fallout 4. -It's enormously popular, because running around killing people in an apocalyptic wasteland is an attractive form of entertainment, huge fun, for many people. At one time I would have agreed, but now... Well, I seem to have shifted. I watched a walk-through of the game on YouTube because I've always been intrigued by stories in video games. Except this time I quickly bored of the spectacle. Watching violent people collect weapons and kill each other looks both miserable and endlessly tiresome. What a lousy game!

Except... wasteland survival at one time seemed like a really exciting adventure to me. So what changed? -Well, obviously I did, but why? What gives..?

"Fun" generally equals "Learning", as far as I'm concerned. When the body and brain are trying to figure out how to survive and excel, humans need to practice and explore the limits of their bodies, brains and environment. This takes practical experimentation and lots of it. It's a survival imperative. So the Brain makes learning Fun. Turns all of that vital practice into Play. -Makes climbing trees and throwing rocks or playing with tools and dolls and all that stuff inescapably attractive, precisely in order to train the attached human for successful existence in Reality.

So.., what Reality do you think you're preparing for when you play Fallout 4 and find yourself attracted to Mad Max's dusty, bloody world?


Now, I'm not writing this as a form of judgment or condemnation. If that's where you need to go next, then that's just how it is. There's a reason for every experience and lesson in life. I'm sure there's plenty of stuff to learn, plenty of adventures to be had out in a radioactive, kill-or-be-killed wasteland. It wouldn't be part of the Creation otherwise. God likes Fallout 4, and everybody is invited. If they want.

But if you happen to be done with all that stuff.., fed the hell up with the shooting and the fighting and the living in pain and fear, well, there are other alternatives...

See, it's like this...

Every choice you make sends a signal to the Universe about where you belong. Those signals build in strength over time, like a tectonic forces increasing along the mantle of your reality. And when enough choice pressure builds up... Pop! Split! Reality collapses into the most appropriate one for you.

Does that sound like science fiction? Or pop psychology based on hippie dippie theory?

Guess what? It's not. That's my conclusion after spending the last few years banging my head against Quantum Mechanics and the double-slit experiment and relativity and all that stuff, trying to make heads or tails of it. There are a few points I'm not settled on yet, but the reality splitting thing.., yup. That's how it is, folks. So just be aware; that's the premise I'm working with from this point forth. Take it or leave it. It's your choice.


Don't get me wrong.

I am absolutely not advocating ignorance.

"Uh.., excuse me?" I hear you ask. "Who said anything about ignorance?"

That's a fair question. Here's what I'm on about...

I know people who will be blind when this line of text strikes their eyeballs. They'll read the stuff above this paragraph and take it as a valid excuse to practice ignorance and self-delusion. It is not my intent to grant that permission through this essay. -And I'm sure they won't read that sentence either. It just blew past them and they're well into fluffsville right now, twisting my words and my intent to suit their own desires. I've seen it happen countless times before, and you know what? Fine. Fine. That's their choice, but I still need to get it out there. Crossing my tees and dotting my eyes before I continue...


So here we have the big old world, and it's full of.., well, a whole lot of insanity and violence. Every single system in the world is back-to-front. The food we eat is wrong. The money we use is wrong. Medicine, energy, industry and education... all loaded down with backwards thinking. And to top it off.., there sure is a whole lot of shooting and killing going on.

And this is all stuff happening by choice. None of it has to be this way. -And it became this way through two channels; Through Force and through Trickery. -A new child born into this world is locked into slavery without much chance of escape; the psychopathic world set the rules and organized the terrain. As that child grows into adulthood, his or her life is channeled and limited through forcefully removing choices and through trickery, lying about how best to live, what is real. -All so that growing person does not stray from the prescribed prison grounds. The way out of this rat trap is through Knowledge Accumulation and through the Application of that Knowledge. Learn and Do. Pretty obvious, right?

Now, of course no single person can change the world, but you can learn about the world, and with that knowledge, make choices which matter. Each choice and act which matters, makes a little bend or dent in the fabric of reality. Little pushes. Each decision is a signal to the Universe at large that you see what is going on, you don't like it and you do not fit with it and will not be made to fit.

This doesn't mean what it might seem to mean. -I don't mean actions such as going out to parade in the streets waving fists and flags and Donald Trump mannequins. What it means is refusing to treat your neighbor with disrespect. It means choosing to help people who need help. It means deciding to share your resources when it would be easier not to. To take a courageous positive step when it is easier to hunker down and continue in a 'safe' but miserable pattern. It means being the one to stand up when others are too afraid.

It means choosing to spend your time learning and improving your skills and your mind and your body rather than playing video games, drinking booze, taking drugs and watching TV and avoiding reality.

It means looking reality in the face rather than lying to yourself.

Because realities.., split.

Things can get worse or they can get better. The reality you end up living in is entirely up to you; it is the result of the choices you make.

And I mean that in a very real sense. The reality you envision and choose step by step, is the one you end up in.

If you are into Fallout 4 and Mad Max... well, polish off your gas mask and prepare to brave the radioactive wastelands.

If you are into Medieval Recreationism, well.., get ready for lots of mud, crop failures and black death.

And avoiding dark stuff is how you get there. -Which is a confusing statement. I understand, so let me try to clarify how it all works...

So, some might think, "Hey! I will not focus on negative things, because I don't want to live in a negative reality!"

Sounds good, right?


Wrong. No.

By ignoring reality as it currently is, you cannot make effective choices. You are in fact, tacitly accepting the current reality. It doesn't cease to exist simply because you are not looking at it.

"But... earlier you said that going to see a Mad Max film was going to send me into an atomic wasteland..."

Yeah, it did sort of sound like that, didn't it? But this is me clarifying. Read the next few sentences carefully because this is where you'll see what I'm saying...

Movies are Fun. They are about learning the rules of possible futures. What you choose to learn today might indicate what you are moving towards because you feel you need that knowledge.

News is depressing and scary and it takes work to follow a story to dig out the Truth. This is not easy. This is different.

Paying attention to and digging for truth in dark topics is not done in an effort to learn the rules for a future reality which you are cementing into place for your future self; it is done in an effort to learn the nature of the reality here and now so that a different future can be chosen; so that your decisions and actions carry weight.

Ah...! Now I'm beginning to make sense.

A map is useless until you know where the "You Are Here" dot is.


If a person avoids researching an upsetting topic; let's take child abuse and slavery as an example, then that person will be unaware of the chocolate bars being sold at the local convenience store existing as a direct result of children kidnapped and forced into slave labor. Like Oliver Twist, but real and much more horrible. If an ignorant person buys that chocolate bar while thinking s/he is avoiding a dark reality by not thinking about it, well, s/he is wrong.

Those children are still enslaved and still suffering even if people choose to look the other way and not think about it while chewing on their chocolate bar. In fact, those kids are enslaved and suffering precisely because people aren't thinking about it.

That's how tacit agreement works. Through ignorance and through deciding to remain ignorant, people are choosing to align with darkness.


When you choose to dive into the problem, to look at it in earnest, even when it disgusts you and hurts your soul to do so, you are enabling yourself to make real choices. Choices which carry the weight of Knowledge. -And that's not just a metaphor or a bit of colourful language.

People who choose with the weight of knowledge behind them can be felt from across the room. They are not sleepwalking bits of human lint; not bundles of helpless anxiety sucking energy from all those around them in an effort to maintain their make-believe world where everything is happy when really it is not. When a strong person filled with knowledge and directed choice enters the room, you can feel the air alter when they move. Watch closely, and follow their example, because they aren't going to be sticking around.

Every reality split takes them further away from this one. -And leaves perhaps a lesser copy of themselves behind.

I wonder what their world will look like?


-Mark Oakley
Wolfville, Nova Scotia,
November 21st, 2015

            News Archive




Click on a book cover to learn more about it!

Over-Seas customers, please inquire about shipping costs.

-Otherwise, I'll ship via sea mail; costs about half and takes 4-8 weeks. Thanks!

Read the back cover

The Red Book Vol.1
(154 Pages)
cover price: $18.95
ISBN 0-9681025-0-6
Pay: $15.00 CAD  

Read the back cover
The Green Book Vol.2
(260 Pages)
cover price: $24.75
ISBN 0-9681025-1-4
Pay: $20.00 CAD

Read the back cover
Introducing... The NEW VOLUME 1
Contains both the old RED and GREEN books!
(412 Pages)
$27.95 CAD

(Orders from outside Canada and the U.S. use this page please!)

Read the back cover
The Blue Book Vol.3
(184 Pages)
cover price: $24.75
ISBN 0-9681025-2-2
Pay: $20.00 CAD   

Read the back cover
The Shadow Book Vol.4
(272 pages)
cover price: $24.75
ISBN 0-9681025-3-0
Pay: $20.00 CAD   

Read the back cover
The Winter Book Vol.5
(208 pgs)
cover price: $24.75
ISBN 0-9681025-4-9
Pay: $20.00 CAD   

Read the back cover
Apprentices, Book I
Thieves & Kings Vol.6
(104 pgs)
ISBN 0-9681025-6-5
Pay: $15.00 CAD
Download Tablet Version
Read the back cover
Thieves & Kings presents. . ,
The Walking Mage
64 pgs      ISBN 0-9681025-5-7
Full Color

$11.00 CAD

Listen to Sample Tracks
Thieves & Kings presents. . ,
Music from Oceansend

$15.00 CAD

(192 pgs)
ISBN 978-0-9681025-7-2

$12.95 CAD

Stardrop Vol 2
"A Place to Hang My Spacesuit"
(208 pgs)
ISBN 978-0-9681025-8-9

$12.95 CAD

Stardrop Vol 3
"Home in Time"
(208 pgs)
ISBN 9781926496054

$12.95 CAD


The Stardrop Graphic Novel now available for eReaders!
Kindle, iPad, Android and other devices.

To finalize a PayPal purchace or just see what you've ordered so far, click the "View Cart" button

Shipping Charges explained.