Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

Should Artists Boycott the NFL?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Why do people feel that creative professionals should provide their services for free?

It is a common discussion in almost every field of the arts.  There seems to be a general misconception that doing what you love should be reward enough and if it isn’t then surely “exposure” will seal the deal. People working in creative fields fight an uphill battle every day to justify their worth and to be paid fairly for the work that they do.

Most creative professionals are specialists in their field and some are so uniquely talented and widely respected that they actually command tremendous incomes for their services. It is a matter of supply and demand. Simple economics.

Apparently, none of that matters to the National Football League who, though they have no problem signing players to multimillion dollar contracts, they notoriously pay cheerleaders less than minimum wage according to several law suits brought against them.

This year NFL bean counters have decided that the Superbowl Halftime Show garners such tremendous exposure that, for the first time, the acts are being requested to pay for the right to perform!

Yes, the NFL wants to now charge a fee for the performers to work, citing the fact that in recent years those that have performed have seen a significant spike in revenue on record sales and concert ticket sales. That supposedly is too much reward for the high profile halftime performers that had previously played for free.

The Superbowl Halftime performance is no longer a lavish show intended to help attract and maintain the largest global viewing audience possible to justify thirty second ad fees of four million dollars. The NFL considers the performance an advertisement for the entertainer and wants them to pay up.

Consider the list of superstars that have performed at the Superbowl since 1991 when arena acts began providing the entertainment and try to imagine any of them needing additional exposure to promote themselves.

1991 – New Kids on the Block

1992 –  Gloria Estefan

1993 – Michael Jackson

1994 – Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, The Judds

1995 – Patti Labelle, Indiana Jones & Marion Ravenwood, Teddy Pendergrass, Tony Bennett, Arturo Sandoval, Miami Sound Machine

1996 – Diana Ross

1997 – The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi), ZZ Top, James Brown

1998 – Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, The Temptations, Queen Latifah

1999 – Chaka Khan, Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Savion Glover

2000 – Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton,

2001 – Aerosmith, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly

2002 – U2

2003 – Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting

2004 – Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, and Justin Timberlake

2005 – Paul McCartney

2006 – The Rolling Stones

2007- Prince

2008 – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

2009 – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

2010 – The Who

2011 – The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Slash,

2012 – Madonna, LMFAO, Cirque du Soleil, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, Andy Lewis

2013 – Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child

2014 – Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers

That’s a pretty impressive list of the top entertainers in the world that have performed for free though all of their expenses including production, entourage of stagehands family and friends were covered, presumably by fees paid from a sponsor.

But now that Bruno Mars saw a 164% spike in record sales the week after his performance last year, the NFL wants a cut.

Imagine the balls needed to ask Katy Perry, Rihanna and Coldplay to participate in the new Payola plan? What are they, chopped liver?
Of course not! They are the NFL’s three top choices for this year’s performance and they now have an opportunity to set a standard.

Caving in to the greedy requests of the NFL would be a setback for anyone in a creative field where it will become more acceptable for artists to be expected to pay people for the opportunity to enjoy their work. It is bad enough that too much content is already made available for free in an effort to build an audience.  It’s time to stop the bleeding.

The Music Industry and more importantly the performers have a responsibility to tell the NFL where to go. The entertainers helped to build the Superbowl into the sensation that it is. They are an integral part of the attraction that draws more viewers than the game itself.

Let the halftime show go back to college marching bands and watch the channel surfing extravaganza begin. Then next year schedule the VMA’s or the GRAMMY’s opposite the Superbowl and put on a show that no one will want to miss just to prove the point.

Apparently this idea is gaining steam according to this plan outlined in a Forbes piece by Will Burns:

“So here’s the plan. First, say “No” to the NFL. Then start immediately planning a free combined concert on February 1, 2015 at the exact same time as the Super Bowl halftime. Sell the broadcast rights to the concert to ABC or CBS (the Super Bowl is on NBC). Invite advertisers to forego the Super Bowl Halftime show and, instead, advertise during this free combined concert for half the price of the Super Bowl.”

All artists have a responsibility to show solidarity and boycott the NFL on this matter before they start asking designers and filmmakers to pay for the opportunity to make commercials and game day graphics because, “Hey, we don’t want you to brag that you produced an award winning ad that the people liked. You might make some money.”

If the NFL manages to get away with this it is guaranteed that other corporations will also consider the practice, especially media giants that will claim they will build a star studded career for a fee or a cut of all future revenue.

Tell the NFL to “NFU” before it is too late.

Gerry Giovinco

The Comic Company:

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010


Enter at your own risk

An ominous, orange glow cast its pall across South Philadelphia in the spring of 1981. It was a sign plastered with fluorescent tempera paint on a thirteenth floor window of the ARCO Building on Broad and Spruce streets, home of most of the classes taught at PCA, Philadelphia College of Art which is now known as the University of the Arts, one of the most respected art colleges in the country.

Room with a view

The letters that read “DUCKWORK” could be seen as far south as Veterans Stadium where the Phillies had won the World Series just months before and marched past PCA in their triumphant parade that rocked the City of Brotherly Love.

Behind the window was the office of a motley group of art students banded together to publish a “student” newspaper by the same name.

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.

DUCKWORK, though tacitly supported by the school, was never a school newspaper. It was a publication commandeered by an assembly of comic art enthusiasts led by myself that defiantly produced comics in an educational environment that, at the time, considered the medium to be kitsch and derivative.

DUCKWORK Covers 1 & 2, Cover #1 illustrated by Bill "Fostex" Foster, #2 by Gerry Giovinco with inks by Bill Anderson

Our pseudo-fraternity proclaimed each of us as DUCKS and, as a proud rogue clan, we wreaked havoc on the school with our publication and our mischievous pranks some of which might have us arrested if done today.

Bill Bryan who is now at CBR Woodworking where thay make incredible furniture for offices and corporate spaces among other things.


Evan Nurse was a Jr. Duck who attended a cartooning class on weekends at PCA for young students. Evan's senior prank at Sharon hill H.S. was to join the girls Lacross team. They let him play but they made him wear the kilt. He is now an AV instructor at an area High School.

PCA had very little sense of community at the time. Because of this, our little group managed to control Student Council and Arts Council giving us the opportunity to allocate funds and office space for our ventures. The DUCKS ruled!

DUCKWORK Covers 3 & 4, both illustrated by Gerry Giovinco

DUCKWORK quickly became a magnet for cartoonists especially after it became known that I was attempting to start a comic book company named Comico with two friends of mine from high school, Phil LaSorda and Vince Argondezzi.

DUCKWORK Covers 5 & 6, #5 illustrated by Bill "Cooch" Cucinotta, #6 by Matt wagner

Bill Cucinotta, my partner here at CO2 Comics, knew of me and Comico from Creation Conventions and was enthusiastically involved with DUCKWORK from the start.

Nick-named Cooch, his loyalty and ability to get the job done whenever needed along with his knowledge of the direct market derived from his experience working retail at Fat Jack’s Comic Crypt, Philly’s premier comic shop made him invaluable. It would later make him the most logical choice to fill the void left by Vince Argondezzi’s abrupt departure from Comico’s initial partnership well before our first book Comico Primer would be published.

Edwin Arocho is now a fine artist and musician living in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The list of colorful guys and gals that frequented DUCKWORK’s office is peppered with talented artists that went on to creative careers. I’ve included photos of several DUCKS. It is easy to see that besides comics, we were seemingly, also influenced by the movie Animal House!

Danny "Hank" Lange followed his dream and actually learned to play that guitar. He recently did a sound track for an award winning film. Check Dan out here:


The fall of 1981 brought a new landscape to PCA. Two older buildings across the street had been purchased by the school and turned into dorms. One of these dorms would quickly become a DUCKWORK annex and be dubbed the SWAMP. The SWAMP was home to new DUCKS, Matt Wagner, Mike Leeke, and Dave Johnson, three guys that each would later play a role in the accomplishments of Comico.


Joe Cursio was another Jr. Duck who hung out at DUCKWORK and is now living

DUCKWORK was populated by students that lived on campus and commuters who often crashed at the office or the SWAMP. SEPTA strikes were usually great bonding experiences for the commuters of which I was one.

Joe "Zig" Zigler rarely showed up with clothes on... Joe is a fun pal that we've managed to lose touch with. Joe, if you are out there, drop us a line!

One commuting DUCK who recently has emerged on the web-pages of CO2 Comics with his wife and former PCA alumnus, Tina Garceau, is Joe Williams who has recently posted several great flashbacks about DUCKWORK on his blog at
You can read Joe’s 5 part DUCKWORK retrospective here.
By the time the spring semester had ended in 1982, a total of six issues of DUCKWORK had been published.

It was the end of my junior year at PCA. Phil Lasorda’s older brother Dennis had just purchased a duplex in Norristown for his Physical Therapy practice. He had offered us the opportunity to run Comico out of the half he was not using.

It was time for this DUCK to sink or swim. I left PCA to pursue a dream. Cooch came along as well. Without its leaders DUCKWORK quicky faded away but Comico was about to become official.

When it came time to take the big leap of faith, Vince chose not to commit and Bill took his seat at the drums. Phil, Cooch and I were now the standing partners of Comico as we began to solicit our first publication.
Matt Wagner was a prolific contributer to DUCKWORK and continued to contribute as Comico took off. Matt’s feature Grendel first appeared in Comico Primer #2 and went on to become an iconic character in comics. Comico also published Matt’s Mage the Hero Discovered.

Matt Wagner, The Comic Artist Discovered.

Mike Leeke was significant as an artist on ROBOTECH and later went on to pencil Bill Willingham’s popular ELEMENTALS.
Mike’s contributation to CO2 Comics. The Amazing Liberteens, can be seen Here.

Mike Leeke, who would later become the penciler extraordinare of ROBOTECH and ELEMENTALS is just thrilled that he can hide all of his mechanical pencils and rapidograph pens in his tremendous fro!

Dave Johnson was also a penciler on the ROBOTECH series.

Dave Johnson, former denizen of the SWAMP and penciler on ROBOTECH The Next Generation for Comico.

Joe Williams along with his wife Tina Garceau creates Monkey and Bird which is featured here on CO2 Comics.

Joe Williams is now a featured artist here on CO2 Comics with his wife Tina

Bill and I have ironically redeveloped our webs. We’ve gone from DUCKWORK to Web Comics with a long history in between.

Bill "Cooch" Cucinotta reclines on a cardboard 3-D project that was retired to the hall in front of the DUCKWORK office

Ouch! Gerry Giovinco, is another Duck trapped in a world he never made!

NOTE: In 1984, two years after the DUCKWORK crew had disbanded at PCA, Jim Carrey makes his Hollywood debut in an NBC television series titled “The Duck Factory” about a quirky group of animators trying to keep their studio alive. Kinda makes you wonder…

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