Posts Tagged ‘heroes’

Heroes go to Comic Book Heaven

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015



This Friday, August 28, 2015 we celebrate what would have been Jack Kirby’s 98th birthday. Many of us will do so by following the lead of his granddaughter, Jillian Kirby. Her campaign Kirby4Heroes has, for the last three years raised thousands of dollars for the Hero Initiative in the name of her grandfather and helps to support comic creators that have fallen on difficult times either financially, medically or both. A complete up-to-date history of the Kirby4Heroes campaign as delivered by Jillian can be read here: Kirby4Heroes History Update.

The word, hero, is not used lightly in the names of either endeavor. It may be a misconception that it refers to the heroes created by the many people that have brought them to us in comic books over the years. It is, however, those talented men and women that we honor. They have been the ones with the imaginative dreams that until recently, could only be rendered in comic books  They were the ones that inspired us with their creations. They were the heroes that taught us what a superhero should and could be.

I imagine that there is a place in Heaven where comic creators go when they die. I’m sure it is off in a corner  where the cacophony of yet to be told adventures will continue to blare like a cosmic storm from their brilliant spirits.  Jack Kirby is there greeting each new soul. He  the size of Galactus, for he is the industry giant that inspired the most. Before him are the Immortals.  Not the characters that Jack created, but a different kind of hero. Creators that left us a comic book legacy that they will live through forever. Too many of them have already gone to this ink pot in the sky but Its doors remain wide open anticipating many more thanks to all the new talent the Immortals have inspired.

batgirl_yvonne_craigThis week two more of our heroes crossed through those pearly gates radiant with Kirby Krackle. First Comics co-founder and publisher, Rick Obadiah who so amiably led the charge of the first wave of independent comic publishers in the 1980’s and the dynamic actress Yvonne Craig who portrayed the original Batgirl,  inspiring more young women to want to don a cape than probably any comic book could have. Both of their contributions to popular culture and especially comic books are immeasurable. They will be missed but are assuredly reuniting with old friends in Comic Book Heaven. I hope they say, “Happy Birthday,“ to Jack, from all of us.

Don’t for get to honor Jack and the rest of these heroic creators on Jack’s birthday by contributing to the Kirby4Heroes campaign. Give your support today.

Gerry Giovinco

The Power of Independence

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

I fell in love with comics as a kid and eventually it became my dream to be a cartoonist. All I knew was that comics were incredible and the writers and artists were my heroes! The people that created the comics I loved stood on a pedestal in my eyes and were as big a any celebrity.

Surely the people that were responsible for the adventures of my favorite superheroes were as rich and famous as I expected.

I wanted to make comics and be like my heroes, so I immersed myself in everything I could find about the medium.

In the 1970’s there were not a lot of options. There were only a few comic book companies and there was not  much information on how to actually make comics. If you wanted to make comics it seemed that the only opportunity was to learn to draw in the acceptable style of those few publishing houses and don’t dare create any new characters unless you were willing to give them away to those publishers for a mere page rate that was as skimpy as could be.

How was it possible that the comic industry was the ghetto of the entertainment field? Most creators looked at working in comics as a slimy stepping stone to a bigger career in advertising,  television or film. Achievement wasn’t breaking into comics, it was breaking out.

Fortunately there was a generation of comic fans that had the same starry-eyed perception of comics as I did and were unwilling to accept the cold, hard truth that working in comics was a dead-end street.

One by one, these comic enthusiasts struck out into the world championing the medium that they believed in. They knew that the simple combination of words and pictures had power and was able to capture the imagination of large audiences. They believed that the people that had the ability to create these comics deserved to control them and to profit from them. They believed in creative independence.

It is not surprising that this independent movement began in head shops where underground comics gained a foothold in the imagination of popular culture and etched out a business model for grass root distribution to seedy establishments peppered around the country.

Soon comic shops began to spring up in similar fashion offering a fix of a different nature. The Direct Market for comic books sprouted in back-alley garages, flea market booths and trunks of cars. It was this testament to the love of comics and independent entrepreneurship that created opportunity for independent comic publishers to begin to achieve success and compete directly with the giants in the industry.

Just a few publishers of Creator Owned Comics

The Independent Comic movement has been going strong now for nearly forty years and has changed the face of comics forever. Comics are no longer a dead-end street but are now a viable art form with venue opportunity lurking at every corner.

Comics is no longer a medium controlled by just a few publishing houses with strict style limitations. Comics can be published by anyone and distributed globally thanks to current technology. Like any medium or business, it is a delicate balancing act between success and failure but it is invigorating to at least have the opportunity to try.

When I think back to how I imagined comic creators as rich and famous I realize how naive I was to believe that talent equaled wealth. I am glad however that I never lost the dream that making comics might equal happiness. Those of us that have that need  to make comics know that it is the same obsession that drives every artist, athlete or professional that does what they love.

Independent Comics created the opportunity for anyone with that drive to actually be able make comics. Independent comics opened the door to an endless possibility that did not exist unfettered in this medium when i was a kid.

This is why CO2 Comics continually celebrates  Independent Comics and deliberately was founded on Independence Day. We are determined to acknowledge that there is always more to comics than what the big companies have to offer.

Independent Comics have proved that comics are a unique form of creative expression and their richness is not found in the money they make but in the people that make them.

At CO2 Comics every day is Independence Comic Day!

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco

Life Imitates Comic Art

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Susie Cagle

The Occupy Wall Street Movement is growing to monumental proportions and as it does we are paying witness to more and more conflicts between protestors and police. In Oakland the conflict hit home to those of us in the comic industry when comic artist/journalist Susie Cagle was teargassed  by Oakland Police while covering the protest as a member of the media.

Reading her account in an interview on The Daily Cross Hatch and watching Youtube videos of the conflicts arising there and elsewhere struck a sickening yet familiar chord with me that paralleled a theme used successfully in comics where the hero becomes the villain in the eyes of the public.

Since the terrible 9/11 tragedy of the the World Trade Towers in 2001, police officers along with firemen, first responders and military personnel have all been hailed as heroes. These men and women are real heroes that touch our daily lives and sacrifice their own to protect ours. Memorials, monuments and statues have been erected all across our country in towns big and small, over the last decade, paying tribute to their valor.

These same men and women are now portrayed as the villains in this unfolding drama, shown in armor, wielding weapons and battling the very innocent, unarmed people they have sworn to protect. Suddenly, they are the target of taunting, name calling and general public hatred. Sound familiar?

Spider-man was publicly painted a villain by J. Jonah Jameson, Bat Man upholds the mantle of villain in Dark Knight, The X-Men are hated for their superior mutant powers though they strive to protect the weak. Even the supers in the Incredibles are forced underground because the were presented to the public as a potential threat to society. The list of superheroes painted as villains is long.

The story is always the same. In the end it is the public that becomes the victim as it is left without its champions, its defenders, its heroes. In the comics the hero always overcomes and saves the day.  Unfortunately in real life, that is not always the case.

The Occupy Wall Street Movement has wakened America and the world to the imbalances of the haves and the have nots  but its campaign is in danger of dividing the people along our own social lines of defense.  Those officers are as much a part of the 99% as anybody. None of them are millionaires.  They are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters. Let’s not turn on them. Embrace them.  They have proven that they will put their life on the line for the public. They are our heroes.

Villainy wants the public at odds with the police and military. It is a distraction from the real issues of corporate greed and corrupt government. It is a battle that needs to be won and will need our proven heroes in order to succeed.

The heroes in comics are fictional and we all cheer when they come to the rescue. We can’t believe that they were ever forsaken. Let’s learn a lesson from our comic books and keep our focus on the real villains: The one’s with the most to gain at the expense of everyone else.

Making Comics Because I Want To

Gerry Giovinco


Monday, April 4th, 2011

Making Comics Because I Want To,” has been my sign off slogan on this blog for months now and my own personal mantra since I was a youngster. It was always my dream to be a cartoonist/comics artist but somewhere in my life’s history the idea of making comics changed. Just drawing comics was no longer enough. The act of making comics included publishing them. I could not consider the work complete until it found its way into the hands of the reader.

Bill Cucinotta who has been my partner publishing comics both with Comico and CO2 Comics chides me on a regular basis when I lament not having drawn comics as much as I would have liked in my career always deferring to my publisher self. He continually reminds me that our role in making comics is just as noble. We provide the vehicle that completes the work providing a duty that many creators either have no interest or experience in and we do it well.

Over the years we have experienced a number of transformations as publishers. Originally we were self-publishers creating black and white newsprint comic books featuring our own characters. We quickly transitioned into full color and began publishing other creators whose work we respected and valued. Graphic novels were a natural evolution, Comico published several.

The WORLD Of GINGER FOX Read it on CO2 Comics

The World of Ginger Fox by Mike Baron and Mitch O’Connell which is about to complete its serialized run right here on CO2 Comics is an example of our commitment to quality and diversity. Eventually we set our sites on the internet and began publishing comics on the web. Co2 Comics has flourished, presenting an array of over 800 pages of comic material from notable creators without losing our appreciation or interest for print.

COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Volume 1

Our first print project as CO2 Comics ironically was not a comic book but a book about comics. David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW The Complete Collection Volume 1 was our departure from publishing actual comics and a big departure it was, 640 pages of text and images culled from Dave’s magazine. We produced paperback and hardback editions and explored the virtues of POD publishing.

We had crossed over as publishers. Little did we know that soon we would be morphing from CO2 Comics to CO2 Publications where we would add a new imprint, CO2 Books to our shingle with the publication of our first literary project that has nothing to do with comics.

This spring we will publish George Richard Phillip Zimmerman, Jr.’s For the Convenience of the Government, a memoir of a veteran discharged from the United States Navy for being Gay.

This is an important book to us that we knew we had to publish. It is a book about something that we as comics publishers are all too familiar with, heroes. In this case the heroes are the fine men and women of the military that risk their lives for our freedoms as Americans.

There is no doubt that these people are heroes that deserve our respect and admiration. They deserve their dignity. For too long many of these fine men and women have been denied just that, because of their sexual orientation and nothing else. This would not be accepted in our private sector and it should especially be unacceptable in our military.

For the Convenience of the Government is just one veteran’s story of how this injustice affected his life. It is our hope that the publication of this story will enlighten the American people to a grave injustice directed at so many gay people who merely wanted to proudly serve their country.

Our publication of this book is about showing support to these men and women and anybody else who is persecuted for any reason whether it be race, religion, color or sexual orientation. This support is paid forward when you read the book and share it with your friends to establish a consensus that effects change.

Support for a project like this has to begin somewhere. We and the author chose to enlist the power of Kickstarter to aid in the mission of launching this book as quickly as possible and to promote it to the vast group of people around the world that are sympathetic to this type of indignity.

Kickstarter is all about supporting a project that touches you. We invite you to please check out the project which will fully inform you about the details of the book and familiarize you with the author, George Richard Phillip Zimmerman, Jr. who states his case eloquently in a short video. As with all projects on Kickstarter, your support will be rewarded with fine offerings.

We expect to have For the Convenience of the Government available for sale by this Memorial Day Weekend. You can follow all of the updates regarding this book on or on facebook by joining the group: or liking the page:

Co2 Comics will always continue to publish great comics. We thank you for all the great support you have given us as we approach the second anniversary of our own launch in 2009 and we are looking forward to plenty of great excitement in the coming months as our transformation as publishers continues.

Making Comics (and Books) Because I Want To

Gerry Giovinco

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