Posts Tagged ‘South Jersey’

Lights Out!

Monday, August 29th, 2011

As I begin to write this week’s blog the East Coast is hunkering down in preparation for landfall of Hurricane Irene. Here in South Jersey all of the shore points have already been evacuated and Irene isn’t expected to hit for two more days! I live inland about forty minutes from the coast and I am getting nervous about the potential for the severe damage that can be caused by this historic storm. Today we received a rolling message from the electric company warning about the very real threat of drastic power outages and informing us that those outages could take days to correct.

Those of you that follow this blog know that Tuesday is the regular day for this to post and fortunately Bill Cucinotta will be finalizing the post from Philadelphia, which is also in the path of the storm but significantly inland. Thankfully the city is not nearly as susceptible to damage and outages caused by trees as we are buried here in the heavily wooded Pinelands, home of the fabled Jersey Devil.

I hope against odds that come Tuesday I will be able to enjoy reading this post and be able to visit all of my favorite places on the internet. More importantly I hope that everyone in the path of this storm fairs well and comes through this ordeal safely.

All of this talk about the lights going out is making me think about how dependant we have all become on our computers and other electronic conveniences for our information and amusement. I’ve started reminiscing about those simpler times when I looked forward to reading a stack of pulpy comics on a rainy day. I have to wonder how kids today will get by without power to supply their iPods, iPads, gameboys, cell phones, laptops and televisions.

Even the creative process grinds to a halt when the lights go out. More and more writers and artists are dependant on their computers as their primary tool with which to create. I know I’d much rather peck away on the keyboard, making corrections instantly as I clack along. The option of writing this blog with pen and paper is now just about as obsolete as writing it in hieroglyphics.

Regularly, I review old-school comic creating techniques, most recently looking at the basics of just drawing a line without the use of a computer program. Sure, artists are always dependant on tools to execute their ideas but in the past primary tools were simple and more dependant on the skillful hand of the creator than a complex program brought to life by the power grid.

Have we become so dependant on creating digitally that we are in danger of losing the freedom of our voice as creators when the lights go out? I think that Irene may teach us a brief yet tough lesson, especially if some of us are without power for several days. Besides the fact that milk will go bad in a warm fridge, some of us are about to find out that we need to maintain our ability to create with analog tools like paper, pencils, inkruling pens, brushes, nibs, and rulers.

The ability to create with our hands not cuffed by a computer will give us the opportunity for greater spontaneity, greater freedom and greater control of our own creative destiny. I am not insinuating that we should abandon the use of the computer for creating. Absolutely not! In many ways digital art has opened up an infinite number of doors for creative opportunity. I am suggesting that just as a little league ball player has the fundamentals pounded into his skill set to make him a better player, young artists should master the use of the rudimentary yet traditional tools of the medium to assist in making them better comics artists.

Someday, when and if the lights do go out, It will be the comics artist that has mastered the basic skills that have been used for decades that
will have the advantage and be able to create without the use of a power cord.

Making Comics Because I Want To

Gerry Giovinco

The Gutter – Turkey Day

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

OMG it is already Thanksgiving!

Where does the year go? 2011 is right around the corner and soon we will all be looking back examining this past year that has seen a lot of dramatic shifts in the comics industry.

Most folks think of Thanksgiving as Turkey Day, a chance for the whole family to gather and give thanks while feasting on the juicy bird packed with stuffing and served with a harvest banquet reminiscent a of a meal shared between the Pilgrims and Native Americans.

Believe it or not, turkeys and comics have a close connection for me. I actually think about it often when I peer out my window here in a very rural area of the the South Jersey Pinelands where I live. Besides being on the constant lookout for the Jersey Devil, and dodging deer that prance in my headlights, I experience wild turkey by the dozens as they flock through my yard on a daily basis.

The site of them always conjures back the memory of a giant print of an Arnold Roth illustration that was on display promoting a show of his work at the Philadelphia College of Art. He was an alumnus there, and it as were my Comico and CO2 Comics partner Bill Cucinotta and I attended college during the early 1980’s.

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.

Bill and I were also instrumental in publishing a student newspaper, DUCKWORK, at PCA and managed to appropriate the photostat print that was mounted on foamcore after the show was over. We displayed it in proudly in the DUCKWORK office until it later migrated to the Comico Studio in Norristown where, unfortunately, it has since been lost.

Duckwork Covers 1 & 2

The image depicted two contrasting iconographies of America in passing. On one side was a valiant looking Madame Liberty with a stoic Bald Eagle by her heal. The other side depicted a more humble and much less arrogant interpretation of Americana, a haggard, pipe smoking, frump of a woman content in her baseness, accompanied by a lowly turkey.

Ben Franklin actually preferred the turkey over the bald eagle as the national symbol.

“For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage…”


That turkey, as presented by Mr. Roth and described by Mr. Franklin, came to symbolize comics for me.

Colorful and defiant, native and common, comics find their strength of power in their ability to access the masses and deliver the purest presentation of the message of a sole creator simply using words and pictures.

Underestimated by other media, artists and literati, comics open a unique dialog between to the common folk and the creator who respectfully wishes to communicate directly to them.

As the year quickly comes to a close I am thankful to be reminded by the humble turkey why comics are so important to me. The gobbler primes me for all the comic related resolutions I have in mind for the New Year.

I still, however, have a lot of expectations left for 2010. With the Christmas season upon us, we at CO2 Comics are anticipating that many of you will deem our first print publication, David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Volume 1, a top pick on your list to Santa.

David Anthony Kraft's COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection Vol 1

We were surprised to discover that the beautiful Hard Cover edition of CI ranked #3 in Lulu’s Comics and Graphic Novel category this week!

David Anthony Kraft is still drooling over the book himself, exclaiming on facebook, “Knocked out by COMICS INTERVIEW HARDCOVER! Getting up from ground — it’s that good! Lays open flat, like a bible. Can’t BELIEVE how great it is!”

Of course, DAK is biased as are we but we have been thrilled and thankful for the generous response and collective appreciation of the book from people who have had the opportunity to hold one in their hands.

A quick reminder that the Premier editions of both the Hard Cover and the Paperback featuring the Platinum version of the classic, original COMICS INTERVIEW logo will be available only until midnight of New Year’s Eve 2010. So, if you are a collector and want to guarantee that you have this limited edition in your library, act soon!

Comics Interview Premier Edition

One last note regarding COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection. Lulu has been offering generous discounts of up to 20% off for books available on their site. These limited time offers are well worth benefitting from and we will do our best to keep you informed here on the blog and on the CO2 Comics facebook page.

Become a fan of the page and you will be sure to receive these promo updates and be the first to know what is going on here at CO2 Comics.

While we are on the subject of Christmas lists make sure you stop by and check out our newly released DEATH FATIGUE t-shirt line. If you are tired of watching your favorite heroes die the temporary super-death get your very own DEATH FATIGUE swag now!

Captain Obese

I hope that you all have had a chance to check out our latest addition to CO2 Comics, Don Lomax’s The Heavy Adventures of CAPTAIN OBESE. Don’s comic feature is sure to make a large impression on you and make you hungry for more.

Don’t worry! CO2 Comics won’t disappoint you! There will be at least one more big content announcement before 2010 becomes just another space odyssey.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Making comics because I like turkey,

Gerry Giovinco

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