Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day’

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

Independence Day 2014

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Independent Comics Day is upon us and this year, as usual, Bill Cucinotta and I celebrate our Independence as comic publishers on the anniversary of our  July 4, 2009 launch of CO2 Comics!

It is hard to believe that it has been five years since we began posting comics on the web and a lot has happened in that brief time!  We have since posted thousands of pages of comics created by dozens of creators. Those serialized comics and our weekly blog, together, have generated  22.5 million hits!

Beyond the web, we have published, in print,  two massive volumes of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection and six graphic albums that we are very proud of:

Steve Lafler’s Ménage à Bughouse, a single volume collection of the Bughouse trilogy and Doggie Style: The Complete Dog Boy.

Don Lomax’s The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese,

Raine Szramski’s Heaven and the Dead City,

Chris Kalnick’s NON and

John Workman’s The Adventures of ROMA!

Collectively, between digital content on the web and books in print, CO2 Comics has already generated about six thousand pages of content for our readers’ enjoyment, yet we remain one of the Comics Industry’s best kept secrets!

This is fine by us because we know that true independence is earned by commitment, patience, hard work, perseverance and a belief in what we stand for. We know that there is value in flying under the radar, waiting for the moment when opportunity arrises.

Until then we continue to grow in strength and numbers, allying with creators that also appreciate the value of Independent Comics publishing to expand our content offerings!

This Independent Comics Day we are thrilled to announce six new projects that are in the works with impending release dates!

David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Volume 3 is nearing completion as we continue the fulfillment of the monumental 11 volume set!

Our relationship with DAK which has extended over thirty years and continues to grow as we now take on the formidable task of collecting two popular series formerly published under the COMICS INTERVIEW imprint.

The 36 issue run of SOUTHERN KNIGHTS is intended to be collected in a giant two volume set with well over a thousand pages of adventures of the “greatest superhero team in the South!”

The Complete  X-THIEVES, more accurately known as the Aristocratic Xtraterrestrial Time Traveling Thieves, will collect over 300 pages of the group’s intergalactic hijinks! Way too much fun to be packed between two covers!

Working closely with DAK and creators, Henry Vogel, David Willis and Mark Propst both of these features will finally be collected in handsomely condensed omnibus formats that will represent an an incredible library brought together by the joint efforts of the  CO2 Comics and COMICS INTERVIEW families!

Not all of our product, however,  will be massive collections that will buckle a bookshelf!

Raine Szramski’s HEAVEN AND THE DEAD CITY which continues its weekly serialization on our site is rolling into a a second volume for print! This beautifully painted work is a testament to Raines’ talent and long history in the medium.

Long time friends and free lance comic talents Bill Anderson and Rick McCollum have teamed with us to package their feature, SCREAMING MASKS! We cut our teeth in the indy comic market  with these journeymen creators and are excited to publish them, together on one of their own unique projects.

Finally,  my SLAUGHTERMAN title will  be collected in a single book after all these years. This seminal title which was significant in the launching of both Comico and CO2 Comics is due an archival packaging.

Yup! We have a lot on our plate and a lot for our readers to look forward to!

Please stay tuned for notifications of release dates and extended product descriptions as each product is rolled out in the coming weeks and months! We plan to charge into the next five years of CO2 Comics as dedicated to independent publishing and the creative rights of comic creators as we have ever been and we cannot wait to see what the future holds!

Happy Independent Comics Day!

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco

The Power of Three: 3 Decades, 3 years, 3 New Books In Print!

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Some say that the Power of Three has a mystical quality. We just need to look at the great pyramids and it is clear that even the ancient Egyptians knew that there is something powerful about the number three. It is used very productively in writing, design and architecture. Now the Power of Three has embraced us here at CO2 Comics. Believe it or not, something special is happening!

Coincidence or not, good things (and bad) always seem to happen in threes. I’ve always been a little preoccupied with the metaphysical so when I began to see the Power of Three manifest itself in relation to CO2 Comics I got excited and felt the need to share my observations.

Three Decades!

Can you believe it? It has been thirty years since Bill Cucinotta and I first teamed up as co-partners in a little publishing venture called Comico The Comic Company. One of our priorities when we began publishing as CO2 Comics was to remind people of our accomplishments as co-publishers of Comico.

Comico is too often forgotten about when discussion is focused on independent publishers. Maybe it is because Comico appeared most successful when it was pioneering major licensing agreements as an alternative publisher. But Comico was, at its core, a creator owned company. We began Comico with the intent to self-publish our own comics, some of which are present right here on CO2 Comics. We have always believed that creators should own the rights to their creations, be involved in the decision making process regarding their properties and be generously rewarded by the successes of their creations. We firmly believe, uphold, and defend the proclamations set forth in the Comic Creator’s Bill of Rights.

Three Years!

That’s right! It has been three years since CO2 Comics was initially launched, intentionally coinciding with Independence Day, reflecting our support of independent publishers everywhere and our commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit that drives them. We fully appreciate the competition in the comics industry and are well aware of the two elephants in the room. We believe that the future success of the comics industry lies in the hands of the independent publishers who are the true innovators in the field. Annually we celebrate our own independence as comics publishers on the 4th of July referring to it as “Independents Day!”

Three New Books in Print!

And now for the BIG news! CO2 Comics has been primarily a publisher of web comics for the last three years with our only print publication so far being the huge first volume of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection, an incredible 680 page collection of the greatest interviews in comic book history.

We have been bursting at the seems waiting to produce our first print collections derived from the dozens of comics that populate the CO2 Comics web site. Somehow one graphic tome just wasn’t enough so we put together (what else) THREE! These three black-and-white books are beautifully bound with full-color covers in both paperback and hardback editions. Keeping with the tradition of our former Comico publications, these graphic albums are all 8.5″ x 11″ so readers can fully enjoy the larger scale images of the fantastic sequential art inside! And, thanks to modern technology,  we are proud to announce that our first three comic publications are all available for purchase IMMEDIATELY!

Introducing CO2 Comics‘ first three graphic albums, NOW IN PRINT!

HEAVEN And DEAD CITY Now Available!

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.

CAPTAIN OBESE Now Available!

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 Now Available!

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.

So, yes, we are celebrating our independence as comic publishers in a big way this year and to top it off, there is also a good old-fashioned road trip by that maniacal comic creator, Steve Lafler, himself!  Steve who is also the creator of Dog boy and El Vocho, both features here at CO2 Comics, is so excited about getting the word out about his project Ménage à Bughouse that he has hit the streets in his trusty 2002 Toyota RAV4 and is traveling cross-country from his home in Mexico.

Steve Lafler Tour

Look for Steve at any of these fine locations as he blows is own horn as only a buggy cartoonist/musician can!

July 11, Ada Books, Providence, RI

July 12, MoCCA, New York City

July 14, Locust Moon Comics, Philadelphia, PA

July 17, Boxcar Books, Bloomington IN

July 18, Daydream Comics, Iowa City, IA

July 20, Time Warp Comics, Boulder, CO

July 25, Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco, CA

July 28, Cosmic Monkey Comics, Portland, OR

Yours truly is especially excited to have been invited by Steve to sit in on his panel at MoCCA in New York City on July 12!

The Power of Three is alive and well here at CO2 Comics!

Three decades since our first comic book publication as Comico.

Three years as web comic publishers on the internet as CO2 Comics.

Three books, in print, Heaven and the Dead City, The Heavy

Adventures of Captain Obese! and Ménage à Bughouse.

The Power of Three…wow.

Happy Independence Day, America!

Happy “Independents” Day to all our friends who love comics!

Celebrating Thirty Years of Comics History!

Gerry Giovinco

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