08/02/2016

Aaron Cockle here today with Mickey Z circa 2012-2013; Bill Sienkiewicz revisits old work; syndicated comic strip pulled for some reason or another; The Routledge Companion to Comics costs $240???; Dabaie/Hart Comics; Rowhouse Auction continues

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Mickey Z‘s 2012-2013 output for CW is this week’s Featured Comic.

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X-Men: Post-Apocalypse
At the big comic convention recently held in San Diego that promotes all of the big super-hero movies, artist Bill Sienkiewicz spotted some work he’d made for a super-hero comic 30 years ago being used to promote the release of a super-hero movie. As an artist with a grievance, Sienkiewicz went to the only place these days where one’s frustrations can be vented, and stated:

This practice is hardly unusual standard operating procedure for corporations. Even so, it still rankles. I’m one guy. I’ve been doing this comic-book thing for years. I’m aware most everything is Work-Made-for-Hire. Still, I received no prior notification (a common courtesy), no thank you ( ditto), no written credit in any form whatsoever either on the piece or in connection with the premium, absolutely no compensation and no comp copies of the album.

Aside from the discussion of why these corporate, hegemonic, known-to-be-exploitative structures are still propped up by consumers (and creators), there’s a conversation to be had about making a living through your art-making. Is the short answer ‘We deserve better’? Or do we get the comics, art, culture, politicians, etc we deserve?

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Grammar Confusion or Terrorist Plot?
Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis had a comic strip pulled from syndication on July 27, possibly due to an implied reference to the Islamic State, the Salafi jihadist militant group that follows a fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam. Facebook has blacked out the strip on Pastis’s page, but it’s been posted numerous times in the comments section. Apologies for linking to Facebook so much today.

Betsy Gomez at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund had this to say about the matter:

As private entities, newspaper editorial staff are certainly within their rights to make decisions about the content they run in their papers. However, the removal of the strip raises concerns over self-censorship. Further, removal of a cartoon as relatively inoffensive at Pastis’s buys into the fear that terrorists like those who attacked Charlie Hebdo and other cartoonists around the world are trying to instill in the populace. The answer to such fear isn’t to remove a cartoon, but to support the free expression of those who would question the terrorists’ actions and the authorities that overreact to terrorist attacks by stepping on fundamental freedoms.

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I Can’t Believe This Book Costs $240
The Routledge Companion to Comics, edited by Frank Bramlett, Roy T. Cook, Aaron Meskin, 456 pages, $240. I understand that this is a textbook of some kind, or as the book’s description says:

This cutting-edge handbook brings together an international roster of scholars to examine many facets of comics and graphic novels. Contributor essays provide authoritative, up-to-date overviews of the major topics and questions within comic studies, offering readers a truly global approach to understanding the field.

Maybe the whole thing was Risographed, and that’s why it costs so much? There don’t appear to be any samples or excerpts available, but if anyone at Routledge/Taylor & Francis would like to send CW a review copy, we’d be happy to take a look at it and let you know what we think.

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Ali’s House
The strip, made by Marguerite Dabaie and Tom Hart for King Features Syndicate back in 2008, has found a home at Go Comics.

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Rowhouse Auction Items: July 31-August 6
New items available for this week. Email Frank Santoro at santoroschoolATgmail for a password if you don’t already have one. If you already have a password, it is the same from last week. All funds go to helping keep the lights on and further developing the school.

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