Aaron here today with CHOICES; Squid Maps; Stuck in the Middle; Terms & Conditions; Shaw Screening at SVA.
White supremacism, economic injustice, incest, suicide, and religious persecution all make appearances in CHOICES. Re-reading this book has been an unpleasantly surreal experience. 27 years have gone by since its publication and women are still fighting to be seen as human beings. It’s frightening to see how fragile the gains made are. As a personal touchstone, the book reminds me of the special power of comics to convey complicated stories in an accessible way. As an artifact, CHOICES is a stark reminder to take nothing for granted.
Serio-Comic War Map For The Year 1877
Donna Seger at streetsofsalem posted a few years back about octopus propaganda maps from the 19th-20th centuries:
1870 marks a turning point in European and world history with the unification of Germany (as well as Italy): Europe was now “filled out” and further territorial ambitions could only be satisfied by global imperialism and/or war. The maps from this time forward reflect this jingoism and fear, but anthropomorphic satire dulls the edge. One of the first major octopus maps, Fred Rose’s “Serio-Comic War Map For The Year 1877” shows Russia as the octopus-aggressor rather than Germany, even though the Crimean War had revealed the severe weaknesses of the Russian Empire (this is reflected on the map below by a wound on one of the octopus’ tentacles–that which is located in the proximity of the Crimea). From the British perspective that this map represents, it’s a bit early to portray Germany as the aggressor, and so Russia becomes either the ferocious bear or the reaching octopus.
CBLDF Interviews Ariel Schrag
Betsy Gomez at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund spoke with Ariel Schrag about the anthology she edited, Stuck in the Middle, being challenged for removal from a school library in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
[CBLDF]: What would you say to parents who consider some of the subject matter of Stuck in the Middle inappropriate for their middle school-aged kids to read?
Ariel Schrag: Every parent has the right to monitor his or her child’s reading (or TV watching, or movie watching, etc.), and if you don’t want your child reading Stuck in the Middle, I completely respect that choice. However, there’s a big difference between making that choice for your child and making it for every child, which is what banning the book does.
My intent in editing this book was to help children who might be experiencing some of the things the characters in the book experience — bullying, rejection, acne, depression, etc. — feel less alone. These ‘messages’ are expressed through art and humor to make them more accessible and fun. In terms of foul language, sexual content, and teen smoking in the book, all the authors strove to present the teens and pre-teens in a realistic light. We may not like all of the decisions teenagers make, but if we sanitize their speech and behavior in our stories, our characters won’t be authentic. Real teens and pre-teens sometimes use these words and say and do these things. A book like this can present a good opportunity for dialogue between children and parents. Banning the book isn’t going to change children’s behavior or somehow save them from the hard truths of teenage life — I find it very hard to believe that a child would hear a swear word for the very first time in the book or that he or she would be made aware that teenagers sometimes have sexual relationships or smoke cigarettes. The only thing that can make an impact in the way children act is communication, and this book provides a platform for that.
What would you say to students in Mid-Del School District who want to read your book?
Thankfully, it is available in public libraries and for purchase at stores or online.
Cory Doctorow reviews R.Sikoryak’s iTunes Terms & Conditions collection:
In his end-notes, Sikoryak notes that he didn’t try to match the language to the action in the panels, drawing his pages first then shuffling them and flowing the text into them. What’s interesting (and revealing) is how often there is some weird confluence between the text and the pictures, and this says something important about the Terms and Conditions Sikoryak is lampooning.
“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” Screening with Director Dash Shaw
Thursday, March 16, 7-10pm
SVA Amphitheater, 209 East 23rd Street, 3rd floor, NYC
Free and open to the public.
Dash Shaw will introduce the film and Cartooning Coordinator Jason Little will interview him following the screening.
The Spring Semester of the Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers starts today! There is a rolling start date for this semester of the course, so we will continue taking applications beyond this date. There are a few spots left – just apply!
The course is 8 weeks long – 500 bux – payment plans are available.
More details can be found HERE – or email santoroschoolATgmail to apply.
A Cosmic Journey – 3-7-2017 – by Cameron Arthur
Suzy and Cecil – 3-7-2017 – by Gabriella Tito
Joanie and Jordie – 3-7-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio
Cozytown – 3-7-2017 – by Juan Fernandez