Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Wall Street’

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

Broadcast Blues

Monday, October 17th, 2011

This week I read a blog post by Warren Ellis who did a great job of examining the possibility of a lost opportunity regarding webcomics in relationship to the newly popularized digital distribution of comics. If you have any interest in this sort of topic it is a lengthy but worthwhile read.

About a month ago I had written my own wordy post on the subject which, if you missed it, can be found here I covered a lot of the same issues that Warren Ellis did and came to similar conclusions. Warren and I should get together over a cold one some time.

He used the term “broadcast” when describing webcomics which I thought was a brilliant analogy especially regarding distribution of content.  When I think of broadcasting comics via the internet it reminds me of ham radio and the network of amateur radio enthusiasts that have the opportunity to express their right to freedom of speech over the air. It is an activity that they enjoy and do so because they want to, not because their ulterior motive is profit.

The internet offers comic creators, wether amateur or professional, the opportunity to exercise our inalienable right to make comics however we please.  It is a powerful tool for the medium that I hope will never be completely overlooked in the name of monetization as creators seem determined to rush toward digital distribution and turn away from the web.

I can’t help but look at the Occupy Wall Street folks struggling to coordinate the power of their voice and draw a comparison to webcomikers taking a stand in the name of making comics. Both groups have a need to publicly express themselves and are doing so with limited structure and a lot of passion. Like the garbled message of  the protestors not all webcomics meet with warm reception but, like the message or not, you have to be proud that we live in a country that gives us an opportunity for free expression and that it is being exercised.

Having the courage to find a voice and the ability deliver that  message is what is important wether it may be politics, opinion, music, video, art or comics. The internet gives us that freedom as comic creators, even if it does present a difficult venue to generate revenue from our precious content. We need to preserve its use for its value as a powerful forum for our freedom of expression through webcomics.

So, buy a comic book or graphic novel, pay to download an app and a bunch of digital comics, enjoy your purchase and support a comic creator but please bookmark your favorite webcomic, surf the web frequently for new webcomics that you have yet to discover and support the growth of the comics medium.

Make CO2 Comics one of your bookmarks and we will continue to do our best to bring you quality innovative comics. Thanks for being on the receiving end of our broadcast!

Making Comics Because I Want To

Gerry Giovinco

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