(Introduction for issue #4)
Welcome, fellow humanoids. In this issue we will be focusing on who and what you believe in. But before you get into my story and into this issue, I just want to say that the idea to do this specific issue came to mind right before my 2nd issue was released, and as some of you know, I have been working on this issue for quite some time now. I must say it has been my most difficult, most expensive, and my biggest accomplishment that I have and will ever do in my life with The Outcast, and not to mention, to me anyway, the weirdest.
Although one might get the idea that I am trying to make a mockery out of some of the individuals interviewed, my main goal in this issue is NOT to make a mockery of the individuals interviewed (Christian and other) and for what they have to say or represent, but too make each side and the readers alike question themselves and to make them think in what they believe in, if anything at all.
Two of the things I've always practiced are respect and being true to my self (despite my weaknesses), no matter who was against me. Sure, I've been disrespectful in my life towards others, but I'm sure we have all been disrespectful in one incident or another, and hopefully, as I have, we have learned from that mistake and have accepted the fact that everyone is different. Next to free-will, individuality is one of the greatest things in life in my opinion. Also, I don't care if you're a Satanist, a Jew, a Christian, an atheist, each individual will always have his or her opinion about their beliefs, the life they live, no matter what we all follow. Sure, some of us share similar philosophies, but we all know we will always have that little extra thing that makes us all have individual thought patterns (to all of you Death heads - R.I.P. Chuck! You are missed by many Metal brother!).
As time progressed in my life and in the creation of this issue, my life and my ideologies started shifting in a matter that no one would have ever imagined, especially me. But as one reads on, one will read what I mean by this statement. Most of you around me already know, but to those who only know me by snail-mail or whatever, I just hope you can, as a few others have, accept and respect my change.
For those of you who have known me since my El Pecado and Before Dawn Magazine days, most of you may have noticed the negativity I had towards Christianity, but in this issue one will see a new Mike so to speak, so just be prepared for anything that you are about to read. This is definitely the most personal issue that I will ever release (I think). It was scary for me at first thinking about the things that I have typed not knowing how people in this scene will respond to it, but who knows? I just hope that the people that I have been writing to for a few years now, and these past few months, will be able to accept, respect, and keep an open mind to the changes in my life.
The art-work that is on the cover of this issue has different meanings to me. This drawing was intended for my 2nd issue, but decided to hold on to it for future use (different issue), and now I see why, as fate would have it, it fits perfectly with the theme this issue focuses on. When I gave JB my idea, I basically told him how I wanted it and the man drew it up for me. I must say he is definitely a talented individual with a great imagination. He has done a lot of the art-work for this issue, as you will also see with some of the borders on some of the pages.
The baby symbolizes my birth. The inverted cross symbolizes a period in my life when I denounced Christianity and God. The world behind me symbolizes how I've never really fit in, and how I've always considered my self an outcast. But is there really anybody on this earth that doesn't feel like an outcast in one point in time (or all of the time)? I really don't know about everyone else out there, I'm just speaking for my self at the moment. Just the way I feel some people view me (mainly within my family), and the way some people might see me when this issue is released.
The demonic looking things and the skull surrounding the baby was JB's idea. Although I didn't give him the idea to draw them, when I saw the final product, it fit perfectly with my personality and imagination. Not only from my past, I found it fitting due to the fact we are all surrounded by it (evil), living on this fallen planet.
Well, there really isn't anything else to say, except thank you for picking up this part of my life up and I hope all of you reading this can appreciate the time, honesty, and effort my contributors (and friends) have put into this issue, this creation. A big thank you goes out to all of you newcomers that have contributed to this massive issue, but I want to send out an extra special thanks to all of those who have been with me since the beginning; you all know who you are!!!
Peace, Love, His, yours - Mike