Archive for the ‘CO2 Comics’ Category

Saturday Weekly Update | Dog Boy

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

New page of DOG BOY by Steve Lafler now available.

DOG BOY Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.


Thursday Weekly Update | Bughouse

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

New page of BUGHOUSE by Steve Lafler now available.

BUGHOUSE Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.


Cartooning with the Magic Pencil

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

A while back I wrote a four-part blog series called The Process of Penciling for Comics.

Here are the links to them in case you missed them: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

In Part 4 I covered the mythic Magic Pencil and how my college anatomy teacher, Martha Erlebacher espoused the virtues of the good ol’ #2 Ticonderoga.

The truth is any pencil that a cartoonist can wrap their fingers around can suddenly become magical when applied to a piece of paper.

This was recently, profoundly demonstrated by cartoonist Elana Pritchard, who under advisement of her mentor, animator-director Ralph Bakshi, documented her two-month long detention in the women’s division of the Los Angeles County jail system.

The result was an amazing series of cartoons that vividly depicts her first-hand encounter of life behind bars that she drew with just a golf pencil and any scrap of paper she could find!

Those exploits were shared by her in LA Weekly.


The piece is wonderful evidence that Neil Gaiman’s words from his famous 2012 University of the Arts commencement speech:

“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.

Make good art.”

Elaina Pritchard, in a tough situation, became the MacGyver of cartoonists. She found a way to make her art with a stubby golf pencil that became magical in her hands. She is an inspiration not to let our tools stop us and for us to empower the tools that we have, especially when it comes to making good art.

What will your magic pencil be?

Gerry Giovinco

Saturday Weekly Update | Dog Boy

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

New page of DOG BOY by Steve Lafler now available.

DOG BOY Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.


Thursday Weekly Update | Bughouse

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

New page of BUGHOUSE by Steve Lafler now available.

BUGHOUSE Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.


Weaponizing Free Speech

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

The response immediately following the attacks on the office of the French satire publication Charlie Hebdo where twelve people were killed by two Islamic terrorists was an overwhelming rally in support of free speech.

Unified cartoonists world-wide who had seen several of their own gunned down, dashed to their drawing boards and fired back with a salvo of cartoons that characterized the tools of their profession as weapons. Pencils, pens and paintbrushes became guns, swords and bombs, all aimed in a retaliatory stance at the terrorists who would dare to challenge their freedom of expression. All made emphasis of the romantically popular notion that “the pen is mightier than the sword.”

Many rediscovered what had originally attracted them to the medium and what slain editor/cartoonist, Stephane Charbonnier fully appreciated since his office was firebombed in 2011 after his publication featured a caricature of the profit Mohammad on the cover; cartoons are powerful weapons in the arsenal of free speech. Charbonnier and his staff were relentless in their use of them in retaliation since.

Many cried that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an attack on the right to freedom of speech. In reality it was a violently vulgar and barbarically murderous response to Charlie Hebdo’s unfettered exercise of their freedom of speech. The terrorist’s retaliation with lethal force only emphasized the true power of expression executed by the publication.

Free speech, as characterized by the cartoonists of the world, can be a weapon! It can be used in many dangerous ways to harm others and in most cultures, including our own, it is limited in some way to prevent things like, libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, hate speech, public order and security. Free speech, like any right, requires that we accept responsibility and accountability for our use of it.

Charbonnier understood this and was willing to die for his right to be provocative.

“I don’t have kids, no wife, no car, no credit,” he said two years after the 2011 attack. “Maybe it’s a little pompous to say, but I’d rather die standing than live on my knees.”

He died with journalists and cartoonists that shared his conviction but also endangered others that may not have, including his police bodyguard that was Muslim and the students held hostage by his assailants days later substantiating the fears of the French government that implored them to tone down their provocation.

Many of us who also value the responsibilities our freedom of speech would have a hard time being as provocative as those at Charlie Hebdo. Few in the world are, either out of fear of reprisal by extremists or out of an unwillingness to offend or degrade another’s race, religion or culture. We may not be able to respect Charlie Hebdo’s message or point of view,  but it is hard to not be impressed by their conviction and accountability.

Art Spiegelman intelligently described the mission of Charlie Hebdo this way in a recent interview:

“It’s a magazine that’s just trying to afflict. It’s trying to take full advantage of the ability to stir things up. And that’s—in a world where everything is stirred up, I’ve heard all of these discussions about, “No, no, no, we mustn’t stir things up, because it’s such a fraught situation.” But what are we supposedly—in our culture clash of civilizations, we’re not trying to find a culture that’s so repressed it can’t function; it’s one where we have to look at various issues from various points of view.”

This is the true value of free speech, the opportunity to compare points of view, no matter how extreme, in an effort to understand our own. Just as good cannot be measured without evil to compare it too, neither can opinion without an extreme right or left. Eliminating the extreme only narrows the range of the opposition until there is none. Imagine a world where we can have no opinion.

In the last month we have seen two significant challenges to free speech: the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the threats against Sony’s film, The Interview. Both instances show that it is possible to instigate violent and heinous responses to an expression of an idea especially when it is interpreted as an assault with a weapon as potentially dangerous as free speech operating from an extreme position.

Free speech for all intentions should initiate an open discussion that represents all sides even if no agreement even if no agreement can be reached. Nobody should ever be made to die or be threatened for their expression of ideas. Words and pictures do not kill! It is an unfortunate reality, however, that for some, the discussion inevitably and sometimes predictably concludes in violence.

Political cartoonist/journalist Ted Rall recently stated in a brief editorial,

Political cartoonists receive threats. After 9/11, especially, people promised to blow me up with a bomb, slit the throats of every member of my family, rape me and deprive me of a livelihood by organizing sketchy boycott campaigns. (That last one almost worked.)”

This is a hard lesson that has been learned throughout the ages and as Charlie Hebdo and Sony experienced –  free speech is not speech without consequences.

Maybe before we continue to weaponize free speech we should re-embrace its ability to invoke peace and use its tremendous power to make art  not war.

Gerry Giovinco

Monday Weekly Update | ROMA

Monday, January 12th, 2015

New page of The Adventures of ROMA
by John Workman, now available.

ROMA Update

Click here to read this comic NOW!

Saturday Weekly Update | Dog Boy

Monday, January 12th, 2015

New page of DOG BOY by Steve Lafler now available.

DOG BOY Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.


Thursday Weekly Update | Bughouse

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

New page of BUGHOUSE by Steve Lafler now available.

BUGHOUSE Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.


The Irony of Marvel’s Film Right Deals to Spider-Man, X-Men and The Fantastic Four

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

There has been plenty of rumor and speculation of late about the possibility of Spider-Man appearing in Marvel Studios’ film adaptation of Civil War.  Why it could be a problem is that Sony owns the film rights to Spidey, not Marvel.

Don’t expect any X-Men or Fantastic Four characters in Civil War, either! The film rights to those characters are owned by 20th Century Fox.

Back in the late 1990′s when Marvel was struggling in bankruptcy part of their restructuring strategy was to sell film options for most of their significant properties. This all worked out great and saved the company which eventually was able to reacquire most of the rights to their characters with a few exceptions. Most significantly Spider-Man, X-Men and The Fantastic Four, which have all established successful film franchises for Sony and Fox, and have been unattainable by Marvel.

Marvel has maintained a warm relationship with Sony and in light of Sony’s recent financial difficulties and public humiliation due to the corporate hacking and dissemination of private emails, Marvel may have some leverage to work out at least an addendum to their contract that will allow them to crossover  ol’ Web-Head into the MCU.

Things with Fox, however are not so warm and fuzzy! The permafrost is actually developing a glacial quality which may only get more complicated after Quicksilver, who was featured in Fox’s X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, appears in Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

Marvel has also tossed the gloves, regarding their relationship with Fox by canceling the Fantastic Four comic book and killing off Wolverine, the most popular character of the X-Men comic books. Marvel has made a conscious decision to not support Fox’s attempts to market these two properties. They have even stopped the marketing and  production of toys and other licenses of the characters.

Ironically, Marvel is getting a wee taste of their own bitter medicine. What they are experiencing in not too dissimilar to what comic creators have experienced in the comics industry for decades. Creators develop and cultivate a character then, in order to survive, they sell to a company like Marvel in what appears to be a good deal at the time.  Eventually the creator watches helplessly as their character is maligned by reboots while they share little, if any, of the profits from their creative labors.

Spider-Man, X-Men and The Fantastic Four have long been among the crown jewels of the Marvel Universe and, though Marvel must have some say in how the characters are presented, it must fry them to not have complete control creatively and financially, especially now that Marvel has proven they could successfully build film franchises on their own.

Marvel, at least,  has some clout and can go toe-to-toe in a fight. Creators usually are not so lucky and have to wait, like the Kirby’s did, for something like availability of copyright revision terms to at least challenge ownership. This , can usually take more than a lifetime and sadly Jack Kirby could not personally enjoy the rewards himself after his family settled a new deal with Marvel twenty years after his death.

Now that Marvel knows what it its like to watch helplessly while someone else stewards their property maybe they could develop a modicum of sympathy for creators. Could this be why Marvel has lately been working out settlements with creators behind closed doors? More likely they are shoring up any other possible contactual cracks that could cost them any amount of control of their valued IP in the future.

This may or may not be the last time that Marvel is burned by a rights dispute but for now it sure is fun watching them squirm like they made most of the creators do for the last seventy-five years.

Watching how this battle between studios plays out may be as entertaining as watching or reading stories about the superheroes involved. At least the fate of the Earth is not at stake. Popcorn anyone?

Gerry Giovinco


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