Archive for the ‘Death Fatigue’ Category

Outsourcing Comics

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

 

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Last week’s blog post, Power Outage at Marvel, suggested that Marvel and DC, in an effort to cut costs, might consider suspending their publishing arms and focus on licensing their characters to other comics publishers to minimize their expenses and risks.  This concept might be a little extreme considering the two industry giants have each been making comic books for over 75 years but there is no doubt that the depth of their intellectual property is now more valuable in other forms of entertainment media and as a license option.

Marvel and DC, however, could understandably balk at the idea of farming out their comic books to others but would still need to cut costs in production or do a radical shift in marketing of comic books if they intend to effect things like DC’s reported two million dollar fiscal loss or Ike Perlmutter’s legendary thriftiness at Marvel.

Given that the current climate of American industry is a willingness to outsource production and manufacturing to foreign countries, it has to be considered that this be a logical possibility for comic books. Recent polls have shown that comic book writers are more popular now with readers than comic book artists, and though the art is definitely more labor intensive, it is also seemingly more interchangeable by today’s standards. What are the chances that art production could be shipped overseas, especially to India where great strides are already being taken in comic art production?

amazing_world_of_carmine_infantinoThere is precedence for this in comics. Carmine Infantino in his insightful autbiography, Amazing World of Carmine Infantino,” describes how, in an effort to stave off a comic artist strike in 1971, He, Joe Orlando, and Tony Dezuniga, went to the Philippines where artists were used to getting $2 – $3 a page. Their plan was to have Tony and his wife run a shop with artists where DC paid $45 – $50 per page plus 20% to the Dezuniga’s for their management effort. Later, a young Filipino artist comes forward at a convention complaining about being paid only $5 per page and it became clear that those running the show in the Philippines were robbing the artists and DC blind. Carmine does a wonderful job of not making a direct accusation but gives us enough information to explain possibly why the Dezunigas do not return to New York until 1977.

The influx of Filipino artists did prevent a strike and it did give us the great talents of Rudy Nebres, Alfredo Alcala, Alex Niño, Nestor Redondo and Gerry Talaoc just to name a few, but we may never know how much it set back the value of American comic artists in the industry.

We are living in a global economy where we are happy to see our electronics, clothing, food and everything else farmed out to people working in other countries for slave wages by our standards. It is sad to expect that the same will happen to our comic books. Many companies already print in China and elsewhere and nobody complains. Who knows? The next issue of Superman or Spider-Man could be drawn by a kid from India working for peanuts.

Just another reason to support homegrown, independent comics.

Gerry Giovinco

Copyright and the Art of Shaming

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Last week’s blog, Copyright Law is Changing! Is it Time to Hit the Panic Button?, was predicated in response to a viral video, Everything You Know About Copyright Law Is About To Change, generated by a credible source that according to this post on Graphicpolicy.com , Don’t Believe the Hyperbole, There’s No Orphan Works Law Before Congress, is completely untrue leading thousands of people to share, watch  and spread erroneous information with an agenda.

Oh, the power of the Internet!

The bottom line, as I said in my post and which was repeated on Graphic Policy, please, get educated about copyright and about anything else you may be passionate about especially when it comes to information shared on the web because, too much of it is either biased, false, or just plain fantasy.

People on the internet seem to get a kick out of being stirred up. In regards to copyright protection this could be an advantage to folks trying to protect works that have been infringed on. Face it. Nobody wants to go through the expense of hiring lawyers and marching to court in a copyright suit when it is much easier, less costly and sometimes more damaging  to shame an infringer on the internet.

We all got to see how shame was used to drive the dentist that hunted and killed Cecil the lion underground long before authorities even had a chance to file charges. It is much easier to get the public worked up in a lather over killing a beloved animal than it may be over copyright issues but it has been done successfully many times.

Neal Adams used this public shaming technique back in the 1970’s when he orchestrated a deal between DC and Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The Swipe Files on Bleeding Cool regularly hang infringers and plagiarists out to dry. We all remember what a mockery Shia LaBeouf became after his repeated plagiarisms. Marvel is no longer haunted by the perpetual public shaming of how they screwed Jack Kirby now that a deal has been settled with the Kirby family.

Online people fight their own wars behind the strength of their social networks. Cartoonist Jess Fink, for example has raised awareness of her experience with Todd Goldman on her Tumblr and it has reached the audience of Comics Alliance.

Shaming like this does not have to happen. Usually when a copyright or trademark holder recognizes an infringement they notify the infringer with a Cease and Desist letter. Rational people realize that they have been caught or have infringed unknowingly and respond apologetically and appropriately to immediately rectify the situation.  The real crooks get defiant and retaliatory, responding with a sense of righteousness and self entitlement that is beyond reproach. That is when it is time to bring it on but be wary, their moxie is generally driven by knowledge of their own deep pockets and a willingness to drain your resources legally.

I recently witnessed an artist who recognized a logo he designed on an unauthorized website. He had designed the logo for a company that used it as their trademark. He took it upon himself to notify the site that unless they had permission from the TM holder that they should not be using the logo. The initial response was the dreaded, “Don’t worry I’ll give you both credit and you will enjoy the great exposure!” When that was not deemed acceptable the infringer became a jerk acting like he was the violated one. This all played out very publicly on social media where the support apparently was strongly on the side of the artist. The logo was eventually removed and both sides agreed to remove the involved posts. Hopefully this is the end of this situation and both sides are content with the end result, though I am sure each has a stink eye out for a potential libel suit.

Avoid the shame. Play fair and don’t infringe on peoples intellectual property. If you wouldn’t steal their car why is it OK to steal their art? If you don’t understand how this works it is time that you get educated on the basics of Copyright and Trademark.

Gerry Giovinco

Copyright Law is Changing! Is it Time to Hit the Panic Button?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Copyright law is about to change and creative people all across the U.S. are going into panic mode!

Everyone else could care less. Both reactions are extreme because copyright law as it stands today effects so much of our daily lives that complete enforcement of it would be nothing short of dystopian.

If you care at all, and you should, educating yourself on the current copyright law is important. It can easily be found at http://www.copyright.gov/title17/.

If you want to understand what the fuss is about concerning potential changes then you need to watch this tedious but eye opening podcast video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDoztLDF73I

The most significant part of the Copyright Act of 1976 that most people either do not understand or appreciate is that you possess ownership of copyright the moment you express a thought by affixing it to something tangible. There is no requirement to register a copyright or even attach a notice though both are beneficial. Every single person has copyright ownership of every original scribble, note, photo, video, doodle, craft, song, tune or anything else tangible that they ever created from the moment they created it provided they did not copy it from something else. Copying something without permission would be infringement of another’s copyright.

NOTE: Ideas are not protected by copyright! Only the physical expression of an idea is. Someone can have the same idea for a story or a picture but if how they tell that story or draw that picture is different there can be no conflict.

Instant ownership of copyright makes life a lot easier for creative people because they do not have to pay to register every single thing they create but in a world where now everyone is creative and able to publish their thoughts and pictures tangibly on the internet we are inundated with copyrighted material at every turn and surrounded by copyright holders.

Most people are not aware of the significance or value of copyright and consequently, as we go about our daily lives sharing or copying or quoting all the material we have such easy access to, we have unwittingly become a nation self-entitled of copyright infringers!

John Tehranian outlines in his must read paper Infringement Nation: Copyright Reform and the Law/Norm Gap”  how easy it is to rack up a huge infringement liability on a daily basis.

“By the end of the day, John has infringed the copyrights of twenty emails, three legal articles, an architectural rendering, a poem, five photographs, an animated character, a musical composition, a painting, and fifty notes and drawings. All told, he has committed at least eighty-three acts of infringement and faces liability in the amount of $12.45 million (to say nothing of potential criminal charges). There is nothing particularly extraordinary about John’s activities. Yet if copyright holders were inclined to enforce their rights to the maximum extent allowed by law, he would be indisputably liable for a mind-boggling $4.544 billion in potential damages each year. And, surprisingly, he has not even committed a single act of infringement through P2P file sharing. Such an outcome flies in the face of our basic sense of justice. Indeed, one must either irrationally conclude that John is a criminal infringer—a veritable grand larcenist—or blithely surmise that copyright law must not mean what it appears to say. Something is clearly amiss. Moreover, the troublesome gap between copyright law and norms has grown only wider in recent years.”

As technology continues to advance it is becoming easier identify when we are being infringed upon or pirated. This is great for people who make their living creating things but what about people who may want to make their living suing people for infringing on their copyrights of photos of the family dog  or that viral cat video we all like to share? Do we really want to live in that kind of police state? Will we stop being creative because we are afraid of being infringed upon? Will we stop sharing  socially for fear of being accused of infringement?

Before 1976, copyrights had to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office similar to registering a patent or a trademark. This helped to identify copyrights that had a perceived value and allowed others to be considered public domain. Registering was definitely less convenient and more costly than the current system but may be not such a bad thing.  Unfortunately, part of the changes to copyright procedure currently being considered is privatizing the registration process. Are creatives about to be corralled into money making scheme for some greedy corporate entity with huge lobby interests in Washington?

In the aforementioned podcast video at about 20:30 in to it, editorial illustrator and copyright champion, Brad Holland, talks about a company called the Copyright Clearance Center who already conveniently owns the website www.copyright.com. He talks in detail about how this company, which has been around since 1978, (the year the Copyright Act of 1976 when into actual effect) collects fees from schools libraries and copy centers for permission to copy images and text to the tune of $300 million a year! This is similar to music collection societies like ASCAP or BMI. Mysteriously, however, creators seem to be kept out of the loop when it comes to distribution of these funds collected by the CCC. Apparently they have all the infrastructure in place to register, manage and police copyrights while making boatloads of money at creator’s expense.

Now let’s look at the elephant in the room – Work For Hire. One of the biggest issues in the Copyright Act of 1976 is that it did not do a great job of defining Work For Hire, a point that was vehemently defended by musicians anticipating their ability to terminate rights granted to record labels after 35 years as defined by the Copyright law. This is a glitch that has big companies scrambling to make deals with creators who may be closing in on that term. It is the main reason Prince was able to settle an agreement with Warner Bros. and the Kirby family was able to settle with Marvel/Disney. It is the main reason why a lot of deals are being struck quietly behind closed doors before the proverbial shit hits the fan.

If Copyright law stands as it is, where creators own copyright from the moment of creation, any freelancer who did not sign a declaration of work for hire and was not actually defined as an employee of the company currently holding the copyright could terminate rights of use of their contribution to the work. Anything published after 1975 is currently fair game for future reversions.

Using comics as an example, say I am a letterer of an independent comic of the 1980’s and I was paid to letter a comic by the author or the publisher but as a freelancer and had no signed agreement  that this was exclusively considered Work for Hire. According to copyright law can’t I consider that I am the “author” of the lettering on that comic and copyright holder from the time I penned it to the paper? If I decide I want to revert my rights by terminating the rights of the current holder, can I? If I can revert my rights, any reprint would require new lettering to replace mine or a new deal would need to be struck with me for a new term. Imagine if the Inker or the colorist did the same. This could prevent a work from being republished and it could create havoc for current publishers holding reprint rights.

Imagine if this happens in film where creators from many disciplines come together as freelancers to create a movie. It may sound far fetched but this is the backbone of this revival of the Orphan Works Copyright Act of 2008. It in theory seeks to make works accessible that are unable to be recopied into digital format by Libraries and Schools because copyright permission cannot be obtained by creators that cannot be located.

The argument is that  our culture is being deprived of accessibility to works because of the inadequacies of the copyright law which intends, in part, to restrict perpetual ownership of works so they can be absorbed by the culture that supported and inspired it. This is the reason that the new law intends to have copyrights registered, to enable identifying creators but I bet it will also redefine the Work for Hire clause to prevent the mass migration of rights from corporations to creators. This is a  classic case of misdirection that speculates  most freelancers will not be aware or willing to pay to register copyrights on every work they did thirty-five years ago under a questionable Work for Hire situation, sweeping one big elephant under the rug.

Copyright law has three significant objectives: Identify the copyright holder,  protect the rights of the copyright holder for the term of their copyright and limit terms of copyrights so works can ultimately be absorbed by the society that cultivated it.

I believe it is fair to say that the current copyright law has some inadequacies, mostly in regard to how staggeringly unenforceable it is at its most basic level. Policing every infringement on a daily basis would be impossible and if it were we would not want to live under those conditions. But for those of us that rely on the value of our works and their copyright for our income, it is time to be attentive to how we may be affected by changes and become involved with how a new law is constructed.

Is it time to hit the panic button? Maybe not, but it is time to get educated about copyright and to ensure that any new copyright law benefits everyone fairly.

© 2015 Gerry Giovinco (just in case)

Just in Time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Santa has something special for that growing number of fans out there that are building their complete set of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection.

VOLUME THREE is ON SALE NOW!!

VOLUME THREE, like the two volumes, before is packed with over 650 pages if incredible interviews from members of all aspects of the comics community! Though every interview is an amazing slice of comics history, who could pass on reading interviews these included industry giants: Jack Kirby, Frank Frazetta, Archie Goodwin, Walt &Louise Simonson, Frank Miller, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Steve Gerber,  and many more!

Remember, It is never too late to jump on the bandwagon and start your collection of any CO2 Comics product from David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection to any of our great graphic novels and t-shirts because they are all available on-demand any day of the year!

For your convenience, here is a complete list of all available product:

COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection Volume 1 by David Anthony Kraft – 680 pages

Paperback  Edition – $34.99

Hard Cover Edition – $54.99

Comics_Interview_Volume_2_Standard_cover

COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection Volume 2 by David Anthony Kraft – 688 pages

Paperback  Edition – $34.99

Hard Cover Edition – $54.99

COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection Volume 3 by David Anthony Kraft – 656 pages

Paperback  Edition – $34.99

Hard Cover Edition – $54.99

“The Greatest Collection of Interviews in the History of Comic Books!” these are the first three volumes of an eleven volume set that compiles the entire 150 issue run of David Anthony Kraft’s celebrated Comics Interview Magazine. Featuring interviews with nearly one hundred comic book professionals and fans, many of which are legends in the industry, this volume has 680 black-and-white pages of incredible photos, illustrations and text that will dazzle your eyes and remind you, page after page, why comics are special to you. A must-have reference work for every comics library, collector and researcher COMICS INTERVIEW accesses the heart and soul of the comics industry which has given the world 70 years of comic book art, literature, and tradition.

If you love comics — you will love COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection!

All volumes are available in both Premier and Standard editions featuring your choice of  Classic or traditional  COMICS INTERVIEW  logos!

Doggie Style – The Complete Dog Boy by Steve Lafler – 488 pages

Paperback  Edition – $29.99

Hard Cover Edition – $49.99

Imagine an enthusiastic, ambitious young artist of the 1980s who happens to have an enormous golden retriever head on a human body. Given to flights of fancy and the odd meditation on the truly mundane, this Dog Boy searches for meaning, all too often via a six pack of Rainer Ale pounders!

Steve Lafler sat down from 1882 to 1988 and drew nearly 500 pages of Dog Boy. Most of the time, he drew with no script, and in fact looked to emptying his mind before putting pencil to bristol board.

The entire results are collected here in in the 488 page omnibus, DOGGIE STYLE The Complete DOG BOY! Now you can pay witness to the genius that flowed from Steve’s streaming consciousness as he created one of the most truly independent comic works of all time!

NOTE: Content intended for MATURE readers.

Heaven and the Dead City by Raine Szramski – 64 pages

Paperback  Edition – $14.99

Hard Cover Edition – $24.99

There is nothing alive anymore in the Dead City – or is there? Two cities: one dead… …the other, vibrant and alive. But for Palus, the supposedly enlightened city of Zivvon was dead in a different way. Their intolerance of earth magick in favor of the intangible church-sanctioned magic of heaven weighed heavily on him. After all, Palus had been born a witch. Two cities: one beautiful and flourishing… …the other, not quite as dead as it would seem. Yaira knows this as well as anyone. It wasn’t safe to linger within the walls of Tac. Her mother had made that mistake and paid the price for it. Her father had warned her – Get in, get what we need and get out! But Yaira had inherited her mother’s curiosity. And now something in the Dead City was growing curious of her.

Ménage à BUGHOUSE by Steve Lafler – 408 pages

Paperback  Edition – $24.99

Hard Cover Edition – $39.99

Ménage à BUGHOUSE collects the funky jazz noir BUGHOUSE trilogy by Steve Lafler in one volume.

Tenor saxophone maestro, Jimmy Watts, leads his talented band of bugs from the swing era into the uncharted maelstrom of Bop. And as he and his band mates claw their way to the top of the jazz world, they must fight the temptation to be consumed by addiction to a substance known as “Bug Juice”.

NON by Chris Kalnick – 52 pages

Paperback Only – $14.99

This collection of the comic strip NON, The Transcendental Extraterrestrial by Chris Kalnick will tickle your soul. NON’s unique perspective of our humanity is a window through which we gain profound insight through the sheer simplicity of his observations. This little alien is a teacher and his thoughts are inspiring. NON’s epilog, A Sensory Neuron’s Quandary, will redefine life’s purpose for those seeking a pointed answer.

52 pages of powerfully, humorous, light-hearted introspection that is beautifully drawn by Kalnick will satisfy your need to be one with the universe but will have you begging for more NON adventures.

The Adventures of ROMA by John Workman – 98 pages

Paperback  Edition – $19.99

Hard Cover Edition – $29.99

This 98 page graphic novel is created by John Workman, whose extensive experience in the comic book field is evident in every panel. Workman introduces us to ROMA, a woman of mystery…even to herself… as she finds life, death , love, and perhaps mankind’s final redemption in this fantasy/science fiction graphic novel. ROMA is the story of a girl who is so much more than merely super-human!

Beautiful art, compelling story and haunting questions make ROMA irresistible.

The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese by Don Lomax – 108 pages

Paperback  Edition – $19.99

Hard Cover Edition – $29.99

The Heavy Adventures of CAPTAIN OBESE. Originally published by WARP GRAPHICS in the late 1980s. The comic has always been near and dear to Don’s heart since looking at CAPTAIN OBESE for him is like looking in a mirror. The comic collected some flack from the whining politically correct crowd back when it was first published but who other than a morbidly obese artist should depict a morbidly obese super hero? That was back in the days when everybody was thin. Today? CAPTAIN OBESE is the norm.

T-Shirts – $19.99 each

COMICS INTERVIEW T-Shirts featuring retro and Platinum COMICS INTERVIEW Logos.

Death Fatigue T’s- The syndrome that is gripping the readers of comic books all across the nation. Is there no end to the carnage that is being brought upon our favorite heroes by the editorial staffs of the biggest publishers in the comic industry?

Super Death Fatigue

Bat Death Fatigue


Cap Death Fatigue

Spider Death Fatigue

Now is your chance to put together your wish list for Santa or get that special gift for the comic fan or historian in your life.

Gerry Giovinco



Free Comics Every Day!

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

The first Saturday in May has become an major holiday for comic book retailers around the world! Free Comic Book Day has been described as “Christmas” for comic book fans because it is the one day of the year that anyone can go to a comic book shop and get comics for FREE! This successful marketing bonanza is highly regarded as a great way to get new people into comic shops and introduce them to comic books.

What a great idea! Who can pass up getting anything for FREE?!!!

But why waste such a tremendous idea on only one lousy day each year? Why waste the other 364 days having to dole out hard earned cash for your comic fix?

What if you could get FREE COMICS EVERY DAY? Just the idea of it makes your head want to explode; doesn’t it?

Well hang on to your jockey shorts, boxers, panties and thongs because FREE COMICS EVERY DAY have been right at your fingertips all along!

Go ahead, type it in: freecomicseveryday.com… and poof! Off you go to a magical place where comics are FREE every day at right here at CO2 COMICS! No Waiting! No Marking your calendar! No standing in line hoping to get a freebie before it runs out!

FREE COMICS EVERY DAY!!! A dream come true for every comic fan! Check it out! Over a thousand pages of comics updated daily with new material!  Dozens of features by comic creators that have worked for every major comics publisher in the biz! Top notch comics!

And that’s not all!

There are blog posts, galore, covering tantalizing issues of history, technique, creator rights, ethics and observations that concern comic fans everywhere.

All FREE!

CO2 COMICS may just be the best kept secret in the industry! Now the cat is out of the bag! So what are you waiting for? Saturday?

SNORE! ZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!

Click on that colorful  FREE COMICS EVERY DAY banner and immerse yourself in a ton of great comics NOW!

Once you experience all the great FREE comics at CO2 COMICS you will want to be a HERO and share your dazzling find with all your friends on facebook, twitter and all the other social media outlets that everybody is hobnobbing at when they should be hanging at the dang-blasted, water cooler.

CO2 COMICS wants to be in your network too so don’t forget to click on all those colorful icons of your favorite social site.

All this FREE stuff has got to be making heads spin out there! Don’t worry you can spend some money if you have to!

CO2 COMICS and the creators on-board like to eat too so there is plenty product available that does require a price to pay. You can buy the three beautiful graphic novels Heaven and the Dead City, The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese! and Ménage à Bughouse along with two volumes of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection all available in paperback and hardback editions.

If you want some swag you can get any of the four, ultra cool DEATH FATIGUE T-SHIRTS http://www.deathfatigue.com/index.html.

Please, make it a point to visit links to creator sites, support their other projects and services and tell your friends to do so too.

So there you have it, FREE comics are a great marketing tool that allows everyone to be a winner when enjoyed properly!  We hope you do stop by your local comic shop on that first Saturday of May  and load up on some free comic books, just remember when you’re done to stop by CO2 COMICS and get your FREE COMICS EVERY DAY the rest of the year!

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco


Making Comics is Risky Business: Part 1

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Mixing art and business is an unfortunate necessary evil. Most forms of art, though created for very personal reasons, are not complete until they are viewed or experienced by an audience, establishing a mark on the culture of society. The vehicle by which art reaches the audience is where the business acumen is required.

The work of a comics artist reaches its audience through publishing, which until the turn of the twenty-first century required a network of production, printing, marketing, distribution, wholesalers and retailers. Every step of which required that some money changed hands. It was clearly a business.

With the dawn of the new millennium came the rise of the webcomic. Comic artists could reach their audiences by publishing comics on the internet with minimal expense and great success though little money changed hands. Creators still struggle to find ways to monetize this form of publishing and distribution blurring the line between business and hobby.

Publishing and distributing comics digitally via apps on mobile devises is an attempt at a hybrid form of distribution, combining the digital delivery of webcomics with the distribution sensibilities of traditional print publications to generate revenue. Requiring retailers, bar codes and distributors this looks more like a business model the industry is familiar with.

Today, comic creators are motivated to make comics for the same reasons most artists create in any medium, it is in their blood. Creating comics defines who they are and offers them a form of expression that they are most comfortable with.

This was not always the case. Making comics had long been merely a means to an end. Creators made comics simply to get paid a meager page rate by the publisher  and go straight to the bank.

As creating comics has matured as an art form, creators, especially those that self publish or work on “creator owned” projects,  have struggled with an identity crisis. Are they creating art, doing business, or both? Are they succeeding or failing?

This identity struggle is compounded by the perception of the public. Why would anyone make comics if they are not getting paid? Many comic creators find they have to justify the enormous amount of time they spend executing their work to family and friends who question their priorities. Ironically the loudest critics are often those that find comfort in endless hours of scrap-booking, golfing, fishing, playing video games, surfing the internet,  watching television or engrossed in fantasy football.

The reality is that there are many identities that can define a comic creator and no comic creator needs to be defined by every identity. Creator, hobbyist, professional, self publisher, independent, publisher, webcomiker, artist and business person are just some terms that can define who comic creators are. Much depends on the personal motivation of the individual comic creator. Success can only be measured by the accomplishment of the creator’s personal goals.

If a comic creator’s goal is to make money with their comics then they need to be clear that for them, making comics is a business. Regardless how much effort they put into creating the art they need to be equally involved in marketing the work wether it be to other publishers, or through self publishing. Many will discover that creating the comics is the easy part.

Jim Zub, the creator of Skullkickers, recently did a brilliant job of breaking down the distribution of revenue from an average comic book, exposing the harsh reality of the current print comic market.

His breakdown is a harsh reminder that any business is defined by risk. It requires a certain fortitude to brave the risks of any business, especially comics, where the boundaries of the frontier are in a tumultuous state of change.

There  are those that will dive in recklessly, overconfident and self absorbed with their talent and convictions and there are others that will carefully assess the risk, learn the market, take educated chances. Good business stock is found in perseverance, awareness, flexibility, diligence, quality, dependability and accountability

In the end, it may be something as arbitrary as luck that dictates success, being in the right place at the right time. No one wants to admit, however,  that succeeding at comic publishing is as chancy as winning that half billion dollar Powerball Lottery.

Risk has more recently become the burden of the comic creator where before it was that of the publisher, distributor and retailer. Next week I will take a more detailed look at how this has changed in the risky business of comics.

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and CO Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

The Holiday Season has begun and for many it also kicks off a shopping frenzy marked by two of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday, of course is the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers, enjoying the day off during a long weekend, line up in front of retail stores at ungodly hours so they can savagely storm the store for “doorbuster” deals. This has become a holiday tradition for many and usually results in flaring tempers, small riots and of course a lot of bargains for the not so faint of heart.

Cyber Monday is for civilized folks who have discovered that shopping online is the way to go. Perched in front of their computer, tablet or with cell phone in hand, they can shop for anything they want on the World Wide Web and have it shipped to their doorstep. Online retailers have taken note and offer their own deep discounts that Monday after Thanksgiving.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not the only days with creative monikers. Religion has supplied some of the most notable like Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Professional Football has given us Super Sunday, the busiest television day of the year where the world parties and gather’s around the tube to watch the Superbowl.

Let’s not forget Small Business Saturday, in this tough economic environment where small, local vendors are struggling to survive, Small Business Saturday is a wonderful reminder that they are out there and desperately need your business throughout the year. Small businesses, whether they are local or on the internet,  generally will offer you personalized customer service and genuine appreciation of your patronage. Remember that this group includes all those small press independent comic publishers and creators, your favorite web comics and your local comic shop!

Tuesday, however, has been earning its own nickname on the comic scene now for the last three years. Here at CO2 Comics, Tuesday is a big day!  We like to call it “C-O Tuesday!” It is the day that our weekly blog comes out pontificating on all aspects of the comics medium including history, technique, news and opinion. It is also a day when we take time to promote creators and projects that appear here on the CO2 Comics site.

Fans have discovered that CO2 Comics is a place they want bookmarked in their browser and to follow on facebook and twitter @co2comics. Updates are posted throughout the week as reminders for comics that are continually serialized on a weekly basis here but CO Tuesday has become our weekly kick-off and a chance to get into the heads of Bill Cucinotta and I as we direct the publishing duties of CO2 Comics.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, of course, are all about retailers getting their hands on your money. Hey, we’d like your money too, but at CO2 Comics you can read tons of great comics for FREE! In fact, we hope that you will enjoy what we offer so much that you would love to own some of it in beautifully bound books available in paperback and hardback editions. Each book is delivered directly to you hot off the press in immaculate condition!

Right now you have four great titles to choose from:

The huge first volume of an eleven volume set of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection, an incredible 680 page collection of the greatest interviews in comic book history. Volume two is in it’s final production stages and will be released shortly.


HEAVEN And DEAD CITY Cover

Heaven and the Dead City by Raine Szramski – This gothic fantasy is a tale of two cities, one beautiful and flourishing… the other, not quite as dead as it would seem. Raine Szramski lavishly hand-paints each panel in her unique style that brings both cities to life with a Victorianesque, Deco quality that will absorb readers into this world of magic, mystery, and adventure! 64 pages.


The Heavy Adventures of CAPTAIN OBESE Cover

The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese! by Don Lomax – Finally collected in one handsome volume the adventures of Don Lomax’s favorite fat boy, originally published by WARP Graphics in the 1980′s, chronicles the amazing story of the world’s fattest super hero. Don Lomax is a long time veteran of adult comics, celebrated creator of Vietnam Journal and author of Marvel Comics’ The Nam. 108 pages.


Ménage à BUGHOUSE cover

Ménage à Bughouse by Steve Lafler – The highly acclaimed Bughouse trilogy of graphic novels, formerly published by Top Shelf Productions, comes together in one giant package! Bughouse, Baja, and Scalawag combine to paint a full picture of life as an improvisational jazz musician set in an obviously fictional world where all of the characters are insects living in early fifties era Manhattan. On their road to success, the members of the band are tempted by the music, sex, money and the ever addictive “bug juice.” Ménage à Bughouse is an authentic look at the lifestyle of musicians and the challenges they face in an effort to satisfy their desire to create incredible music. 408 pages.


Monkey and Bird… a Love Story by Joe Williams and Tina Garceau is another feature from the CO2 Comics site that has ventured into print as a mini comic, self published by the creators themselves! This tiny gem is lavishly colored, beautifully drawn, and  written with intelligent humor worthy of any inter-species relationship. It’s a small comic, 32 pages including cover and only 4″ x 5.5,” making it the perfect opportunity to support the “little guy.”

If you are already proud owners of these books ad still feel compelled to to support CO2 Comics with your hard earned cash you can purchase some of the slick Marvel and DC parody Death Fatigue T-shirts designed by Bill Cucinotta or a variety CO2 Swag available at our online store.

There are also handy little donation buttons on each comic page where you can choose to support the creators individually or toss a little coin the way of CO2 Comics in general. Here is an easy access donation button if you have the urge to contribute right now!

Enjoy the rest of the Holiday Season! Please be safe and responsible because we look forward to your visits and we want everyone to enter the new year happy and healthy.

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco

Death Fatigue

Thursday, November 18th, 2010


Death Fatigue (dth f-tg) n. Physical or mental weariness resulting from the repeated need of comic publishers and editors to kill popular superheroes in an effort to boost sales.

Death Fatigue is a syndrome that is gripping the readers of fine comic books all across the nation. Is there no end to the carnage that is being brought upon our favorite heroes by the editorial staffs of the biggest publishers in the comic industry.

Apparently no hero is safe from the onslaught of pure creative genius that is so unique and riveting that it has happened to nearly every major superhero at least once in his or her career. The stronger and more powerful a hero is the greater the odds are that that character will die at the hands of the most despicable, powerful and omnipotent adversary, the editor.

It is not  the super-villains that pose the greatest threat but the publishers that bring us the stories. How many times must Superman die to rise from the ashes? Jesus did it once and changed the course of human history! Superman is making a career of it has been followed by many a costume clad hero with a Christ complex.

Just in recent memory, Batman, Captain America and now Spider-man have made their journey to the Pearly Gates only to be turned away to fight another day. Enough already!

This stuff is laughable in soap operas. What makes it any less inane in comic books? These death events are nothing more than protracted cliff-hangers like the ones in old serial films.

“Is this the end of our hero?”
“Will our hero never ride again?”
“Stay tuned for the stunning conclusion!”

We all know what happens next. Our hero survives; bigger, stronger, wiser and a lot more profitable to his publisher.

If the publishers would put half as much energy into developing new and exciting properties as they put into figuring out how to kill and resurrect the old standards the readers might actually have something worth looking forward to.

If you are sick and tired of all this mindless slaughter then you are probably suffering from the same chronic Death Fatigue that I have.

The cure?

If you enjoy comics, broaden your horizon. Investigate other genres of the form. Experiment with titles from independent publishers. Check out exciting new comics on the web.

Do not mourn.

The death of your favorite character is symptomatic of a character that has enjoyed such a tremendously popular career and has been placed in almost every other possible scenario that exploring death is the only other option.

Your hero is in a better place…Market Repositioning.

You have the opportunity to impact that market repositioning by your response to the death of your hero. Let the publishers know what you think.
Now is your chance to be vocal, visible and influential.

You can start by showing your Death Fatigue and let the publishers know that you know this is all about the money.

Death Fatigue. It’s not fatal but it is fashionable!

Show your Death Fatigue today!


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