Posts Tagged ‘Gerry Giovinco’

Corporate Comics, the Exodus…Again

Monday, June 25th, 2012

There has been a lot of buzz lately about creators walking away from cushy contracts at Marvel and DC to strike out on their own, the most recent being Paolo Rivera whose eloquent blog post on the subject offers wonderful insight to his personal motivation.

The reaction from fans and comic related news media would make you think that these creators are venturing to the dark side of the moon on the first experimental space vessel not built and commandeered by NASA. This reaction mystifies me because it shows a disregard of the history of comics and the vibrant atmosphere of the current comics marketplace.

People that are surprised that top rated talent are leaving the Big Two should rather be asking, “why has it taken so long?”

The pros and cons of working for corporate comic companies have been established for decades.

Sure, you get to work on characters you know and love, there’s a steady check so long as you are a hot commodity, maybe some benefits, maybe some royalties, oh and the exposure to Marvel and DC‘s huge fan base can elevate you to star status. But in the end you own nothing, you had to be careful to create only within the parameters of the existing universes or run the risk of watching a character you created make beaucoup bucks for the corporation while you get nothing in return and, when you are no longer hot or are out of favor with the editing staff, there is no work and you live as a pariah.

There was a time when working in comics was the most loathsome career path for a writer or artist. Lousy page rates, no royalties, rights or recognition. You worked in comics merely as a stepping stone into advertising, television or film. This was true until the sixties when Marvel, or more accurately Stan Lee, made working in comics seem almost glamorous. The money got a bit better and creators began imagining actual careers in the field. By the late seventies creators began to realize that even though their names were plastered all over the books, they were still not getting much in return for their efforts and especially their unique creations which were now wholly owned by the corporation they worked for.

Creator’s eyes were fully opened in 1978 when the first Superman movie was released and they watched Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster battle for morsels of the enormous profit generated by the character they had created and sold for $130 nearly forty years earlier.

It became clear that there was a deficiency in the business model of the comics industry. Why was it necessary for the comics publishers to fully own the copyrights and trademarks of all the intellectual property they published? Other book publishers do not operate this way and neither do other forms of entertainment where royalties and residuals support creators long after their work is created. Don’t get me wrong, there are good and bad contracts  everywhere necessitating the need for lawyers and agents but it sure is nice to have the opportunity to negotiate your terms.

The success of the Underground Market in the sixties and the rise of the Direct Market in the late seventies created opportunities for comic creators to work outside of the traditional corporate confines of the comic industry. Creators, disgruntled by the usual terms with which they worked at corporate comic companies, turned to the successes in these markets and began to strike out on their own. Many targeted the Direct Market that had established a secure venue for such properties as Jack Katz’ s First Kingdom, Dave Sim’s Cerebus the Aardvark, and Richard and Wendy Pini’s Elfquest. This defined a new model where creator’s could find success owning their own characters and marketing direct to the distributers with the benefit of minimal risk provided by guaranteed pre-orders and a no-return policy.


Alternative publishers took note and began contracting creators defecting from the corporate comic companies, offering creator owned contracts that included fair page rates, and royalties. The eighties opened the door for true creators rights and as the alternative competition gained a foothold in the industry, the corporations  began offering publications that were vehicles for creator owned properties and they structured some type royalty arrangements.

Since the inception of the Direct Market there has always been an opportunity for creators to have alternative options. Marvel and DC, however, have maintained  a strangle hold on the Direct Market which they control by sporadically flooding the market with superfluous content in an effort to successfully drive out or contain alternative publishers. There have, however, been a few exceptions where talent has been able to break free with enormous success and plenty of other instances where independent creators have had comfortable, rewarding careers by most standards.

The Direct Market is no longer the panacea it once was for comic creators who now realize how easily the market can be manipulated by the Big Two and the near monopoly of its primary distributor.

Fortunately the internet has provided a wide open space for creators to play and have direct access to the customers themselves. Print on Demand providers and affordable, minimum-quantity print runs has eliminated most of the upfront risk of comic production and crowd funding has created an avenue for advance orders establishing revenue streams.

Competition is brisk and there are more comic creators than ever before, presenting a huge variety of unique creations that go well beyond the constrictions of the superhero genre. The distribution of digital content for mobile devices is giving comic creators the opportunity to reach new markets that just a year or two ago may have seemed impossible.

This is possibly the best and most challenging time to be a comic creator ever.  Working for a corporate comic company is now a choice, not the only viable option if you intend to have a career in comics. Corporate creators have a better understanding of their role as  cog in the corporate wheel and are more careful as they juggle being creative without abandoning rights to personal creations.

Corporate comics are once again a stepping stone to a respected career but creators no longer need to leave the comics industry. They just need to declare their independence and take control of their destiny as comic creators.

The revolution to establish these freedoms for comic creators has spanned decades. There have been many victories and many casualties. Alternative companies have come and gone, creators have basked in the limelight then vanished from the radar. Some have celebrated success while others have anguished over failure. Through it all it has been the audience that has benefited the most, paying witness to a variety of comics that would never exist if they were limited only to the corporately owned IP of two publishers.Next week, as a nation, we celebrate the independence of the United States of America, a country that established freedoms and inalienable rights that did not exist prior to the signing of the Constitution. Those same rights grant us the opportunity as comic creators to freely express ourselves through our work and to pursue a free and open market. As a comic creator, take a stand  and be independent. As a comics fan, support independent, creators and publishers.

As a comic community declare every Independence Day as Independent’s Day and applaud a bright future for the art of creating comics.

Thirty years ago as two of the co-founders of the alternative comics publisher Comico the Comic Company, Bill Cucinotta and I were focused on these same ideals. Through Comico we had many triumphs yet succumbed to tragic failures.

We never lost the dream.

This Fourth of July weekend we will celebrate our third year in our new publishing incarnation as CO2 Comics. We will be rejoicing our continued freedoms as Independent Publishers, armed with technology that did not exist thirty years ago, experience, and a continued love for comics. Our Declaration of Independence will be the announcement of three new print publications that will be immediately available to our readers.

We know how exciting it is to publish comics beyond the walls of the corporate comic companies!

So next time you hear about a comic creator’s exodus from the corporate comic world just remember, “it ain’t anything new.” It is an opportunity created by the efforts of many over many years.  Show your support, buy their comics and celebrate their independence!

Celebrating Thirty Years of Comics History!

Gerry Giovinco


Original Comic Art and Digital Comics: The Common Bond

Monday, May 28th, 2012

A stroll around a comic convention is a lot different today than it used to be when it comes to experiencing original comic art which for me, as a young aspiring comic artist, was the highlight of any show. I would always immediately venture directly towards artist alley where pros and amateurs alike would form a welcoming community of comic art practitioners. To me it seemed less like an opportunity for the creators to market their work and more of a joyous reunion of folks with a common bond: The love of comics and a need to create them.

Maybe it is just a product of comic conventions no longer being the casual events they used to be, held in basement ballrooms of fading city hotels with the most sophisticated displays being a hand lettered card stock sign hung on a pipe and drape background.  Professional comic artists were not viewed as the superstars they are today. They were heroes that we related to more like a favorite uncle who always new how to appeal to our inner child. Their art touched us in a personal way that established a relationship that was respected between them and their fans.

Those were the days when you did not wait in line to meet your favorite creator. At best you gathered around their table and shared as a group, listening to their stories, watching them sketch, and learning from their teachings which, though small casual tidbits of technique, were gems of insight into the magical world of creating comics.


Stacked high on their tables would be pages of original art that could be thumbed through and purchased  for prices as low as ten or fifteen bucks! The opportunity to scan through those pages was a chance to stare into a window of a professional comics bullpen. Each page told a production story that was highlighted by the scents of bristol board and india ink often commingling with odors of white-out and rubber cement.

To be able to view those pages and see script notes in a corner, blue lines behind lettering, pen strokes appearing as a texture on the surface and brush strokes laying a deep wash in large shaded areas with a barely visible “x” etched in pencil beneath was a hands-on lesson in every page.

I always got a kick out of seeing revisions. Panels or words would be cut out with an x-acto and replaced with art that was cut to fit perfectly into the hole and secured from behind with a strip of masking tape. Splash pages had photostat logos pasted on leaving a trail of ever yellowing rubber cement beneath.

Every page was art, yet each was also just a mechanical, a production board from which final films would be photographed on large upright “stat” cameras. Each was a path of history, chronicling the creation of the page through the hands of the writer, penciler, letterer, inker, editor and production hand. Void of color, the line art resonated with a power of its own lending a new found appreciation for comics in black and white that would empower the independent comic publishers of the day.

It is still possible to marvel at original art at conventions but the atmosphere is so much more hurried that it is difficult to be absorbed into each piece. Those “uncles” are slowly passing away leaving a void where once was a nurturing wisdom behind the craft of each page. In its place is a new energy that is equally intoxicating, a new brand of comic artist with an entrepreneurial spirit hawking their own works.

It is  thrilling to see the new, unlimited variety of comics, invigorating to see the community widening to include a wave of talented women that was always sadly lacking in that bygone era. What is missing is the original art, replaced by an ernest need to sell small print runs and assorted related merchandise or to direct readers to a growing web-comic. The art exists, but digitally, and can be panned easily on an iPad evoking a sterile creative process free of the sensory stimulators that fueled a personal romance with comic production in my formative years.

As I sit here at my keyboard, I’m suddenly realizing that I am now one of those “uncles” I came to embrace. Not that I could hold a candle to any of them but I have an opportunity to share from my experiences, as they did, only from the venue of this blog instead of a convention table. The new generation of comic creator, who creates digitally, shares too, through all kinds of forums and social networks on the internet.  An aspiring comic creator no longer has to wait, as I did, for an annual comic convention to experience the knowledge of a comic pro, they can watch a tutorial on Youtube or follow a comment thread on Facebook!

Yes, I miss the sensory experience of the creative process of comics. Yes, I wonder if creators are losing an opportunity to cash in by not having physical comic art to sell.  But it is not worth pining over any of my attachment to these relics while I am witnessing the future of comics as it blossoms before my eyes. The community of comic artists is no longer small and relegated to a musty convention hall. It is vast and continues to grow. It exists at our fingertips any time we wish to access it.

Today’s comic artists are creating much more than original art. They are creating the future of the medium. Support them any way you can if you love comics. Go read their web comics. Buy their print on demand books. Order their merchandise. Join them on forums and share ideas. Learn from them and teach others. We are all part of the same comics community that began in those old convention halls. Embrace that past and build the future.

Bill Cucinotta and I, here at CO2 Comics, are committed to both and are excited to be part of this growing comics community of artists with a keen eye on the future. No matter how comics are made we intend to maintain that common bond we always had with those comic creators in artist alley: The love of comics and a need to create them.

Celebrating Thirty Years of Comics History!

Gerry Giovinco


Monkey & Bird Mini-Comic

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Part I: How the Book was Built

by Joe Williams

Bill Cucinotta told us about the Philadelphia Alternative Comic Convention a while back, and Tina Garceau, Bill and I all planned on attending to see what the other kids are up to as Tina put it in her articles at Willceau Illo and Bleeding Cool. I decided that I didn’t want to go empty handed so I decided to turn the first chapter of Monkey & Bird into a printed mini-comic. It would be small enough so that I could do it inexpensively and easily. I knew it would look awful in black and white so I wanted to do it in full color. I explored my options and looked into pricing.

I got quoted a price that was more than fair so now it was time for the hard part – the layout.

(more…)

CO2 Years Old!

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Can you believe it? Two years have gone by since we launched CO2 Comics hoping it would become a unique cooperative of comic talent featuring a collective of great comic features. Naturally we initially turned to our long time friends and allies that have had ties with us since our days as founding publishers of Comico the Comic Company.

Comico The Comic Company owners, Top: Dennis LaSorta, Phil Lasorda, Bottom: Gerry Giovinco, Bill Cucinotta

Chris Kalnick, Joe Williams, Andrew C. Murphy, Reggie Byers, Bernie Mirealut, Bill Anderson, Rich Rankin and Neil Vokes all contributed to the early success of the realization of our goals for CO2 Comics. The faith that they all had in our ability to  present their work while respecting their rights as creators, supporting their complete ownership and actively promoting their features and services as artists was a complete and humbling honor.

It became our duty to surround their works with with other great features and talent. CO2 Comics was always intended to be a place where readers could come to enjoy one feature and discover other comic treasures that they may not have found if those works had stood by themselves.

In just two years the list of contributers has grown to include twenty-two talented creators and two dozen exciting comic features. The impressive list of talent yields a number of nominated and award winning creators along with brilliant new talent that will deserve recognition for their mastery of the medium.

Take a look at the roster of creators here at CO2 Comics and you are bound to be amazed at the comic book pedigree and variety that exists on our site:

Bill Anderson – Skrog


Kevin Atkinson – Eaten by Planet 29

Mike Baron – The World of Ginger Fox

Reggie Byers – Crescent


Bill Cucinotta – Death for a Dollar


- Skrog


Tina Garceau – Hot Topics


Monkey and Bird

- There’s No Escape From A Deadline


Gerry Giovinco – Slaughterman


Robert Jackson, Jr. – The Amazing Liberteens


Chris Kalnick – Depth Charge

- Non


Onrie Kompan – Yi Soon Shin


Steve Lafler – Dog Boy


- El Vocho


Mike Leeke – The Amazing Liberteens

Liberteens Update

Don Lomax – Captain Obese


Bernie Mireault – Cable

- Death for a Dollar


- Isaac vs. Eli


- Of the Spheres


- To Get Her

- The Jam Lives (a motion comic)


Andrew C. Murphy – Pressed for Time


- Reflections

- Victor


Mitch O’Connell – The World of Ginger Fox


Rich Rankin – Gauntlet


Raine Szramski – Heaven and the Dead City


Frank Thorne – Ribit


Giovanni Paolo Timpano – Yi Soon Shin

Neil Vokes – Gauntlet


Joe Williams – Hot Topics


- Monkey and Bird


- There’s No Escape From A Deadline


Besides having published over 800 pages of comic art in the last two years we have also taken on the monumental task of publishing David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection. The first of the eleven volume set had 680 pages that were painstakingly cleaned and reproduced in both paperback and hardback editions. Volume two is currently in the works. This project is the testimony to our love of the comics medium and its rich history.

COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection

Our commitment to the history  of comics and the current state of the industry is also highlighted weekly on our CO2 Comics Blog where we feature a  weekly article covering everything from our Comico history, production techniques, creator’s rights and frequent editorializing on the state of the market have drawn a lot of attention industry wide.

As if publishing a ton of great comic related material on the web and in print is not enough for two guys,  we needed to create a new imprint, CO2 Publications so we could publish a 372 page literary book, FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT A Memoir of Veteran discharged from the Navy for being Gay  written by  George Richard Phillip Zimmerman, Jr. which was just released over Memorial Day Weekend.

For The Convenience Of The Government

Over our first two years we have published nearly 2,000 pages of material and maintained a rigorous schedule on an exciting site that has attracted over 4.6 million hits to date.

The best part is, WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED! Last year, as we celebrated our first anniversary, we compared our accomplishments to our early publishing days with Comico and noted that we were far out front and we still are, thanks to the support of all the great talent that joins us and allows us to present new work daily.

We also need to thank our readers who continue to grow in numbers. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing with your friends. We became comic publishers nearly thirty years ago because we believed our comics were not finished works until they were experienced by the readers. We recognized early on that as publishers we played a significant role in the realization of a comic as a completed work and we intend to continue to be that conduit. CO2 Comic’s mission is to get great comics in front of as many eyes as possible. Please help us with your enthusiasm by continuing to share the comics you enjoy here with your friends and by returning often.

Finally, it is no mistake that we celebrate our anniversary  over the Fourth of July weekend. As publishers we have always been motivated by the spirit of the Independent movement with our emphasis being on creator’s rights.  Comics, for us, are a medium of freedom. Free thought, free speech, free enterprise.

We want to turn  Independence Day into Independents Day for comic fans and make it a time to celebrate the diversity that all of the Independent comics publishers have brought to the world. There are a lot of great comics out there that are not brought to you by the usual pair of suspects and we hope hat you will continue to find some of the best of them right here at CO2 Comics.

Making Comics Because We Want To

Bill Cucinotta and Gerry Giovinco


Digital ComiCards™

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

KISS, my ass!

That had to be what Diamond was thinking when they began unveiling their plans for digital distribution through comic shops. The convoluted program that included plexiglass holders for weekly printouts, Avery labels, a cryptographically secure method to generate random codes along with multiple pricing variations between print and digital product was enough to make heads spin. And that was just the beginning.

Diamond’s obvious disdain for the tried and true KISS principal is either evidence that they are overthinking the concept of digital distribution as it relates to comic shops or they have absolutely no clue as to what they are doing.

Keep It Simple, Stupid,” needs to be pounded, repeatedly in every discussion about digital distribution in comic shops or it is absolutely destined for failure. Digital downloads are simple, inexpensive, impulse products that scream convenience at every level. Complicating the process is just antithetical.

There is a very simple and proven way of giving the retailers the opportunity to cash in on digital downloads.

Gift Cards!

It is so glaringly obvious that when Bill Cucinotta and I first began researching it last year we emailed the idea to Steve Geppi himself because we figured that Diamond would have the best chance of implementing the program.

It must have gone to his SPAM file!

It was so obvious that Marvel had already issued a couple of gift cards for Marvel Digital that were available in regular stores!

Just a thought...

Nearly every major retailer in the country has gift card kiosks that feature a variety of cards for everything under the sun including downloads for video games and MP3 players. Raise your hand if you ever purchased an iTunes card for a gift or received one from a well meaning friend or relative that did not know what to get you.

Gift Cards are a multi-billion dollar business because they are simple, convenient and familiar.

Diamond should be partnering with one of the leading gift card program companies to distribute collectible gift cards that would function just like an iTunes card. The buyer can purchase a card in a $10, $20, $50 value all with an assortment of collectible images on them that would act as advertisements for various publishers. (Marvel would hope that if the card had Marvel characters the holder would download Marvel comics as would any other publisher) The card in reality would give the holder open access to the entire iBook Store or Android App Store and hopefully the holder will buy all kinds of comics.

Retailers would get a cut of every card sold, and God knows that speculators will cause the collectible cards to have inflated value over and above face value making them much more potentially profitable to retailers than initially intended.

Diamond could swing the cards into every gift card venue in the country promoting comics while creating a collector frenzy that could parallel Pokemon and Yugio.

It’s a simple idea. It is practiced over and over by every type of company. And it generates huge amounts of money.

Just imagine miniature comic book spinner racks with tiny plastic cards that feature comic covers sitting on a counter. It could be the most profitable square foot in the whole store and it is a POS impulse product.

Who wants to make some money?

Since Diamond has dropped the ball we are ready to run with it. We’ve already named the product Digital ComiCard™ and are looking financial partners to make it happen. If you are seriously interested contact Bill or me directly.

Diamond, we’d be happy to play with you but please, keep it simple!

Digital Comics do not have to leave the local comic shop behind. Let us
show you how.

Making comics because I want to.

Gerry Giovinco


Appless Comics

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Apps, apps, apps! That is all we hear about anymore, especially when the discussion is about digital comics. Maybe I’m dense, too old fashioned or just plain stupid but I have to admit that I just don’t get it.

I know that there are apps for just about everything. Apple boasts over 300,000 apps available just for the iPhone. There are thousands of apps for Droids, Smartphones and Blackberries too but, face it, apps are a brilliant marketing tool for “App”le more than anyone..

Now that the iPad is on the scene everyone and their sister can see the potential of comics flourishing on that brilliant 9.7 inch screen and of course the imitators are already popping out everywhere.

In the midst of all this commotion we have all been sold the idea that an app is needed to be able to read comics on these portable devices. An app! Quick run out and get one so you can read comics! Hurry, hurry, hurry!

If you are a creator or a publisher you especially better get a jump on it before you are left in the dust. Times-a-wasting! Lock into a deal, NOW! Tie up your rights and spread that wealth with Apple, the app developer, and the publisher leaving little for the creator before it’s too late!
Hurry, hurry, hurry!

What a bunch of sheep we are. Happy to be herded to a promised land by the carrot of new source of possible revenue.

WAKE UP!!

SMELL THE COFFEE!!

STOP BEING A PANSIE!!

Let me bring you back to Earth with a simple truth. You do not need an app to read tons of great digital comics on a computer, a net book, an e-reader or a cell phone.

You don’t need an app!

All you need is a browser.

If your device can read Flash files your options are even greater.

New devices are coming soon from Samsung and Blackberry that read Flash. Soon Apple will have to include it as well. Even if they don’t Flash created with HTML 5 is readable so eventually all web comics will be an easy read on any tablet or phone, app-free!

If you are a creator or a publisher, post your comics on the web, market a PDF download, or make your own app if you feel that you really have to and guess what?

You are in command!

You have control over your content, no censorship, no digital rights management that ties up your property indefinitely and, if you wish to sell your works, get paid directly from your readers without sharing any of the profits except your PayPal fees.

I know this all sounds like blasphemy!

The digital comic download is supposed to be the savior of comics and finally provide a source of revenue to creators while opening up the huge untapped market of the masses.

The magic bullet!

But it is not.

If we allow ourselves to be led down the narrow road of the app it is business as usual. In the comics industry we know who wins. Everyone else loses. Even the readers.

Look, as a publisher, I have gone toe-to-toe with Marvel and DC in the Direct market. I’ve waded into the dark and murky waters of the mass market. I was there championing the rise of creators’ rights and the proliferation of independent publishers from the beginning. I know what I’m talking about.

As a comic creator and publisher I sought the Holy Grail and it wasn’t profit. I’d be lying if I told you money wasn’t part of the motivation but the real prize was freedom.

CREATIVE FREEDOM!

The internet gives comic creators the opportunity to enjoy creative freedom like never before. Creators can reach a global audience with little expense and retain complete ownership of their works.

Creators don’t need to be confined to an app. They need to be creative and they need to discover creative ways to generate revenue.

When Bill Cucinotta and I conceived of CO2 Comics this was and continues to be our mission, to create a cooperative community of comic creators that support each other to reach a wider audience with diverse material and to maximize the profitability of our individual intellectual property by exploring product options of digital, print, merchandise, other media and licensing.

In a year and a half we have amassed nearly a thousand pages of comics from over twenty distinguished creators that attract about ten thousand hits a day. We have published a 680 page book that is the greatest collection of comic interviews in the history of comic books. Most importantly we have created a venue that supports the creators that share in our mission by helping them sell their print products, services and merchandise while maintaining complete ownership of their creations.

We are just getting started.

I know that I am coming down pretty hard on apps, but I am just trying to make an important point that I believe has to be made.

Apps can be part of a successful comic marketing strategy but I don’t think that they can be viewed as a panacea for the entire industry or surely the little guy will get crushed, unnoticed in the shadow of the usual giants and trampled by the rush of new readers herded by powerful marketing machines toward product they are already familiar with.

Comic creators need to take advantage of the internet while it is still inexpensively accessible. Maximize it as a resource while you still have a chance. Don’t be distracted by the temptations of a huge corporation whose sole motivation is profiting from the work of every creator possible.

That “app”le looked good to Eve, too and look where it got her.

Making comics because I want to.

Gerry Giovinco


The Gutter – Turkey Day

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

OMG it is already Thanksgiving!

Where does the year go? 2011 is right around the corner and soon we will all be looking back examining this past year that has seen a lot of dramatic shifts in the comics industry.

Most folks think of Thanksgiving as Turkey Day, a chance for the whole family to gather and give thanks while feasting on the juicy bird packed with stuffing and served with a harvest banquet reminiscent a of a meal shared between the Pilgrims and Native Americans.

Believe it or not, turkeys and comics have a close connection for me. I actually think about it often when I peer out my window here in a very rural area of the the South Jersey Pinelands where I live. Besides being on the constant lookout for the Jersey Devil, and dodging deer that prance in my headlights, I experience wild turkey by the dozens as they flock through my yard on a daily basis.

The site of them always conjures back the memory of a giant print of an Arnold Roth illustration that was on display promoting a show of his work at the Philadelphia College of Art. He was an alumnus there, and it as were my Comico and CO2 Comics partner Bill Cucinotta and I attended college during the early 1980′s.

John "Bondo" Rondeau settles in front of a huge print that we had "aquired" from a show at PCA that featured a famous cartoonist alumnus, Anrnold Roth, who ironically had been expelled from the school when he was a student.

Bill and I were also instrumental in publishing a student newspaper, DUCKWORK, at PCA and managed to appropriate the photostat print that was mounted on foamcore after the show was over. We displayed it in proudly in the DUCKWORK office until it later migrated to the Comico Studio in Norristown where, unfortunately, it has since been lost.

Duckwork Covers 1 & 2

The image depicted two contrasting iconographies of America in passing. On one side was a valiant looking Madame Liberty with a stoic Bald Eagle by her heal. The other side depicted a more humble and much less arrogant interpretation of Americana, a haggard, pipe smoking, frump of a woman content in her baseness, accompanied by a lowly turkey.

Ben Franklin actually preferred the turkey over the bald eagle as the national symbol.

“For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage…”

(http://www.greatseal.com/symbols/turkey.html)

That turkey, as presented by Mr. Roth and described by Mr. Franklin, came to symbolize comics for me.

Colorful and defiant, native and common, comics find their strength of power in their ability to access the masses and deliver the purest presentation of the message of a sole creator simply using words and pictures.

Underestimated by other media, artists and literati, comics open a unique dialog between to the common folk and the creator who respectfully wishes to communicate directly to them.

As the year quickly comes to a close I am thankful to be reminded by the humble turkey why comics are so important to me. The gobbler primes me for all the comic related resolutions I have in mind for the New Year.

I still, however, have a lot of expectations left for 2010. With the Christmas season upon us, we at CO2 Comics are anticipating that many of you will deem our first print publication, David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Volume 1, a top pick on your list to Santa.

David Anthony Kraft's COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Vol 1

We were surprised to discover that the beautiful Hard Cover edition of CI ranked #3 in Lulu’s Comics and Graphic Novel category this week!

David Anthony Kraft is still drooling over the book himself, exclaiming on facebook, “Knocked out by COMICS INTERVIEW HARDCOVER! Getting up from ground — it’s that good! Lays open flat, like a bible. Can’t BELIEVE how great it is!”

Of course, DAK is biased as are we but we have been thrilled and thankful for the generous response and collective appreciation of the book from people who have had the opportunity to hold one in their hands.

A quick reminder that the Premier editions of both the Hard Cover and the Paperback featuring the Platinum version of the classic, original COMICS INTERVIEW logo will be available only until midnight of New Year’s Eve 2010. So, if you are a collector and want to guarantee that you have this limited edition in your library, act soon!

Comics Interview Premier Edition

One last note regarding COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection. Lulu has been offering generous discounts of up to 20% off for books available on their site. These limited time offers are well worth benefitting from and we will do our best to keep you informed here on the blog and on the CO2 Comics facebook page.

Become a fan of the page and you will be sure to receive these promo updates and be the first to know what is going on here at CO2 Comics.

While we are on the subject of Christmas lists make sure you stop by and check out our newly released DEATH FATIGUE t-shirt line. If you are tired of watching your favorite heroes die the temporary super-death get your very own DEATH FATIGUE swag now!

Captain Obese

I hope that you all have had a chance to check out our latest addition to CO2 Comics, Don Lomax’s The Heavy Adventures of CAPTAIN OBESE. Don’s comic feature is sure to make a large impression on you and make you hungry for more.

Don’t worry! CO2 Comics won’t disappoint you! There will be at least one more big content announcement before 2010 becomes just another space odyssey.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Making comics because I like turkey,

Gerry Giovinco

The Greatest Collection of Interviews in the History of Comic Books

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

  

CO2 Comics announces that David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Volume 1 is ON SALE NOW!  

CO2 Comics has entered into an agreement with David Anthony Kraft and Fictioneer Books Ltd. to publish the complete collection of all 150 issues of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW. The collection will consist of eleven huge volumes each over 600 pages in length released one at a time on a regular schedule.  

  

David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Volume 1 has been spontaneously released with this press announcement and is available exclusively at comicsinterview.com a website built and powered by CO2 Comics.  

Comics Interview Standard Edition

Four editions of the volume are available; The Standard Edition featuring an updated platinum version of the traditional COMICS INTERVIEW logo is available in paperback and hardcover. A Premier Edition that is available only for a limited time features a platinum version of the original classic COMICS INTERVIEW logo that was constructed of type from various popular comic logos is also published in both paperback and hardcover. The Premier Edition will be pulled from the market at midnight on New Years Eve 2010. Each of the eleven volumes of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection will be released with a Premier Edition that will have limited availability. Paperback editions are now available and will list for $34.99 and Hardcovers will list for $54.99. Paperback editions are available now. The release of Hardcover editions will be announced soon.  

Comics Interview Premier Edition

Gerry Giovinco of CO2 Comics exclaims. “Bill Cucinotta and I are extremely excited and honored to be able to publish this collection of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW. We believe that Dave’s work is the most significant gathering of interviews of the greatest comic minds of the 20th century.” This work will be the greatest collection of interviews in the history of comic books”.  

Dick Giordano Interview

David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW, which was published from 1983 to 1995 featured interviews with creators, publishers, distributors, marketeers, fans and more. The timing of the original publications is significant because it allowed for interviews with comic legends from the dawn of comic books as well as interviews with young creators who are legends today. COMICS INTERVIEW effectively examined the mindset of the greatest talents responsible for the comics that we have come to revere over the last seventy years.”  

Alan Moore Interview

“Because David Anthony Kraft is a writer editor himself he had the unique ability to interview creators from the position of a respected peer. This perspective is relevant throughout COMICS INTERVIEW where the subjects share their thoughts openly and frankly. “  

Dave was an editor at Marvel and writer on such features as The Defenders, She-Hulk, Captain America, and Creatures on the Loose. He has the distinction of scripting the very first story drawn by John Byrne for Marvel Comics: “Dark Asylum,” published in Giant-Size Dracula #5 and of being the editor of FOOM, Marvel’s popular, self-produced fan Magazine.  

Bill Griffith Interview

CO2 Comics is a web based comics publisher developed by former Comico publishers Gerry Giovinco and Bill Cucinotta. CO2 Comics has been growing in popularity since it first appeared on the web in the summer of 2009. About 700 pages of comics from twenty creators populates the site which is designed and maintained by Bill Cucinotta and features a popular blog by Gerry Giovinco that has been examining the history of Comico and comic book production.  

Comico was the 1980′s Independent juggernaught that published such memorable titles as Grendel, Mage, The Jam, Elementals, Rocketeer, Robotech, Starblazers, Gumby, Space Ghost and Jonny Quest along with many other significant comics and graphic novels.  

David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Volume 1 will be our first work in print as CO2 Comics,” says Bill Cucinotta. “It’s publication as a POD (Print On Demand) product provided by Lulu.com will define our commitment to marketing direct to the customer through our web site with high quality productions that have always been our legacy. We plan to redefine how print comics are delivered to readers. We couldn’t have picked a better project than this one, that through its content outlines the history of the comics industry as we know it, to usher in what we expect to be the beginning of a new and successful model for the future.”  

Comics Interview #5

Giovinco reminisces, “Dave was there for us as a mentor when we began publishing as Comico, offering moral support, insight and inspiration. His willingness to trade ad space with us as fledgeling publishers allowed us to grow and establish a significant presence in the dawning days of the direct market.  

His interview with us as Comico in issue #5 of COMICS INTERVIEW was a moment that signified to us that we had arrived as publishers of comics. It is only fitting that we come together again at the forefront of a new era for the comics market and the continual development of the foundation for CO2 Comics, the hottest new place to read comics on the web and, now, in print.  

The Comic Company: Anticipation

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

What a powerful motivator anticipation is.

When I think of our motto here at CO2 Comics, “Making Comics Because We Want To,” it dawns on me that it is the anticipation of the finished product that excites me the most and stimulates my desire to create comics.

I find that anticipation exists through the entire creative process and is later passed on to the reader. I even thrive on the anticipation of the reader’s reaction to the final work.

A single idea can initiate the anticipation process. The conception of a character or a story line launches the desire to create a comic that allows the character or story to come alive.

Comico Covers

Whether the comic is created by a single person or a production team, the anticipation of the finished product is not complete until the comic is published and enjoyed.

The reader is in a state of anticipation through the whole story. Word-to-word, panel-to-panel, the reader anticipates the development, climax and resolution of the comic’s story.

Satisfied readers continue the anticipation process by immediately desiring the next issue.

When Bill Cucinotta and I were publishers of Comico comics in the 1980′s every new product and innovation was approached with great anticipation on our part.

Primer #1

We couldn’t wait to see our first comic, Primer #1, in print. I remember the excitement of the day it was first delivered in boxes to our studio. It was a proud moment for us but it was only the beginning.

At the time, we were not prepared to anticipate Comico’s future accomplishments like color comics, graphic novels, licensing deals, and the relationships we built with creators and readers.

CO2 Comics has given us a new reason to be in a state of anticipation. Every week we deliver new content to new readers and the popularity of our site is continually growing.

Very soon we will be announcing CO2 Comics’ first print project and the thrill of the anticipation is KILLING us!

Coming Soon

This project will be the single, biggest print project that we have ever attempted. It has been in the works for nearly thirty years and we promise that it will be both huge and historic.

Our anticipation is, that if you love comics as much as we do, you will love what we have in store for you.

So, please, anticipate a big announcement soon, and don’t worry. You will be able to get your copy in plenty of time for Christmas… if you can wait that long.

Making Comics Because I Want To

Gerry Giovinco

Thursday Weekly Update | The World Of Ginger Fox

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

New page of The World Of Ginger Fox by Mike Baron
& Mitch O’Connell is now available.

GINGER FOX Update

Click here to read this comic NOW!


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