Posts Tagged ‘heroes’

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


Transformers

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 www.fortheconvenienceofthegovernment.com or on facebook by joining the group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php? or liking the page: http://www.facebook.com/4.the.Convenience

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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