Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 7/8/16: Be kind to one another

§ It’s a pretty crappy and violent world out there. It’s hard not to just go back to bed and cry about everything. But we try to carry on because that’s the only way to make a better world someday. A few links that were going around.

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• Kris Straub with all houses matter: the extended cut

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• And Nelson Blake II, artist on the upcoming book Romulus with a letter to Cameron Sterling, son of Alton Sterling who was killed outside a convenience store.

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§ Regine Sawyer is a real dynamo here in the New York comics scene, as head of Lockett Down Productions Publications and founder of Women in Comics Collective International. After the announcement the new Iron Women, Riri, there was a lot of outcry about the fact that no black women have ever written a Marvel comic. Sawyer reminds us WE’RE HERE: BLACK WOMEN WORKING IN COMICS As she recalls, everyone dreams of working for Marvel and DC.

I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. My mother recalls me sitting quietly in the living room taking construction paper, a hole puncher, yarn, crayons and writing and illustrating my ‘first’ book at 6 years old. As I grew, the stories I wrote became more thoughtful, more complex and somehow I landed in the arena of comics. Comics became my refuge at an early age; granted I’ve always read different types of books and novels, but comics stole my heart. They combined art with the written word; I was just thunderstruck by the perfection of the blending of the two. Creating characters was an ongoing practice for me, at 10 years old I was certain that Marvel or DC would want to buy my characters. My mother even called the Marvel offices for me to see if they would be willing to. Now here I am several decades’ later, writing, creating and selling my very own line of comic books.

Artwork above by Micheline Hess from Malice in Ovenland.

§ And a very strong piuece by Emma Houxbois about the need for people to tell their OWN stories:

There are comics with transgender characters in them that I enjoy, but no one should be fooling themselves into thinking that any of them are comics for a transgender audience or can speak to one directly. Titles like Bitch Planet, Batgirl, Angela: Queen of Hel, and The Wicked + The Divine offer a sense of participation and inclusion that tell us we can share in these worlds, feel present and accounted for, and that’s worth something. But it is in no way equal to transgender writers speaking in our own voices about our own experiences, however we choose to portray it. Even the most widely acclaimed portrayals of trans characters in recent comics have all been, at their heart, little more than educating a cisgender audience about the transgender condition.

§ Here’s a long interview with Neal Adams, conducted by the excellent Alex Dueben (occasional Beat contributor). One of the things he talks about is Adams and his long hiatus from the comics industry, a hiatus that is hard to quantify becuase Adams is always at conventions sketching and chatting. Plus: Batman Odyssey. But indeed, Adams has spent most of his time as head of his own Continuity Studios:

Has most of the work that Continuity does is advertising? What exactly do you do here?

There are people in the world who think that I’m smart. A guy who runs an amusement park ride design company might call and say, we’re trying for licenses and we’d like a comic book guy who can illustrate and do these designs and then fulfill them. Which is what happened. Then the same guy asks, do you know anything about amusement park rides? I say, I grew up in Coney Island and I studied engineering. So we bounce some ideas back and forth and I started to design rides. I designed the “Terminator” T2 3-D ride. I designed much of the Spider-Man ride. In the last year and a half I designed seven rides meant for Indonesia. When you say design a ride, you either do the initial design, the creation of the ride, and then you possibly do the delineation of the various ways it’s going to be done. Then they do the engineering, which is a totally different thing.

Lots ore in a very entertaining interview. § Here’s a long and, ultimately, depressing piece where RC Harvey talks to editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes about the online abuse she received over one of her cartoons.

Since my cartoon ran in December, I’ve thought a great deal about the role of social media in stoking the resulting outrage. Although passionate criticism over a provocative cartoon isn’t new, the introduction of social media into politics and election campaigning has dramatically increased the speed and intensity of those reactions, and the repercussions for the editorial cartooning profession. This has been especially true during the volatile 2016 presidential campaign.

Editorial cartoonists are a thick-skinned group; we’re used to getting negative feedback from irate readers telling us we’re idiots and how terrible our cartoons are. Many of my colleagues have received death threats as well—but this was different. In my almost 25 years as an editorial cartoonist, I have never received the level or amount of misogynistic vitriol I did over that cartoon. In addition to comments like the ones above, I was Twitter trolled, my archived cartoons doctored, and my photograph tweeted with the caption: “Makes fun of Ted Cruz’s children, aborted all of her own.”

§ Welp, I’m just all sunshine and light today, aren’t I. Interestingly, media theorist, comics write Douglas Rushkoff has a theory about how social media fueled so much anger on every side of every issue. 



Most of us thought digital technology would connect the whole world in new ways. The Internet was supposed to break down those last boundaries between what are essentially synthetic nation states and herald a new, global community of peers.

National governments were considered extinct. Internet evangelist (and Grateful Dead lyricist) John Barlow dismissed them in his Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace 20 years ago: “I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us.”

But the Internet age has actually heralded the opposite result. We are not advancing toward some new global society, but instead retreating back to nationalism. Instead of moving toward a colors of Benetton racial intermingling, we find many yearning for a fictional past when people like to think our races were distinct, and all was well.


It’s as true as it is troubling. Many more interesting thoughts in this essay. 


Comments

  1. Aaron Browne says

    ” But we try to carry on because that’s the only way to make a better world someday. ”

    -Sooo very sorry but what the h3ll is that supposed to mean today any way…????
    I have been all over Europe, Canada, and visited North Africa -for example I have met students in Cairo who were very kind, and wanted me to visit class with them, but did not make a fuss when their University did not allow a foreigner on campus, I have met Germans who have volunteered to serve in the military (as opposed to community service), I have met both Slovenians, Croats, and Serbs who had fought in a ‘civil war’, and I have met many people in ‘the USA’ who are from ‘hoods’ and ‘ghettos’, and I have worked with outsourced labor to the extent that I have been the only ‘American’ in the office while the remaining employees are from India -*** AND the only people who get off talking about not only guns, but specifically, and consistently all over ‘the USA’ the people I meet who get off having discussions about when it is legal to KILL ANOTHER HUMAN BEING are hicks / red necks/ suburbanites. I am sooo sick of hearing things like how ‘people who live in the city are part of the populist vote, so we gotta decimate if not hinder the lives of city dwellers cuz they are all a bunch of f’n liberals…’ -this is at places like Honeywell in Phoenix, at Microsoft in Redmond, at Ford in Dearborn, and at Citizens Bank in Rode Island. -What The F()c^! Im talking this type of b.s. discussions have been going on my entire ‘adult’ ‘life’ in, and out of work even.

    Cooperation, tolerance, training/learning from others ‘different’ are all taboo concepts in ‘the USA’. How does sports build “team work” in this fake country, considering that people who are all gung-ho about sports at work feel ENTITLED to make people who are not into sports a target for alienation, abuse, and just something to be mean towards for their own amusement??? How is it that all over ‘the USA’ if someone is over 31 w/no kids, no baby’s mamma, then co-workers feel that they are ENTITLED to make a game out of trying to ‘out’ that person as ‘gay’ with either passive aggressive or direct assertive forms of abuse and homophobic references and insinuating remarks “OOHHHH, OK then -dont ask dont tell I guess” all smug as if its just some statement to say and then laugh at -WTF!!!!

    HERE: That scene when Peter Parker was all arrogant letting that thief run by him while he was all self absorbed (y’know just before that same guy killed his parents), and yet there were only just a few pages from Parker being a typical ‘American’, until the whole “w/great power comes great responsibility” b.s. we are supposed to believe -YEAH, well for the rest of this first half of this century we need to change that time of actualization to go from a few pages to like, FOREVER -That is ‘American’ culture, you got to have that next “Peter Parker” peck at his screen, and make efforts to only message people that fit his comfort zone even though they are in the same room as him, and they have to all make an effort to be mean to people that are different (and they must say things like “well, helping and just being nice to -the other side- is like a win for them, so we gotta keep other Americans down, cuz they are like an ‘enemy’…” -and then show how that new character beats down hard on people different for fun sometimes, while saving the world and acting ‘responsible’, and speaking all ‘professionally’, and following ‘corporate policy’ covering his own ass…’ -and make sure they all have pride in being ‘American’, but they never discuss nonviolent protesting, going to town hall or city council meetings, or anything that may improve livability, because we have to live in a fake country where getting cancer if a matter of when (not if -that part in Guardians of the Galaxy where his mom died was just placed in to brand a connection with ‘getting cancer’, since no real heroes exist to make sure companies that have patents on genetic sequences that can be used to cure cancer are not used… So like good ‘Americans’/consumers we just walk around going on walkathons to raise money so nothing will ever get done,… except hate on each other, and outsource other ‘Americans’ out of work…

    Seriously, you guys are delusional if you think any of this is going to stick -THE MESSAGE THIS ARTICLE MAKES IS MORE ABOUT RECOGNIZING THE EVIL, nothing that really has to do with where the rubber meets the road so to speak for ENABLING, AND ENHANCING participation in democracy, nonviolent protesting, just getting around w/out constant grueling traffic, being able to have fresh health food that is both affordable but EASILY ACCESSIBLE, living in a place where side walks exist for humans (not just there to justify some budget that has sidewalks just for looks right along five lanes of asphalt going no where -there is no where to go except parking lots, fast food, junk food, strip malls, NOTHING IS CLOSE, and THERE IS NO WHERE TO GO -and yet according to the CDC the consumption of heroine and synthetic heroine has QUADRUPLED since 2000 -while everything thing is made to break down, and take your money and TIME: Besides lighting candles, and expressing how we all have concerns and ‘good intentions’ how come no one wants to make sure high school grads know about participating in town hall meetings, and such, and meeting credible nonviolent protesters -things are only going to get worse, and if you do not teach people to act constructively and nonviolently, then get ready for some protesting that is going to go seriously bad in many kinds of messed up ways more and more frequently…

    Create sequential about the real ‘America’ -how nothing that any of us say will make anything ‘better’ -WHAT IS GOING ON THAT MAKES YOU THINK THINGS ARE GOING TO GET BETTER -work ethic, education, experience, and cooperation have no value in this fake country where regardless of salary and education the majority of an ‘adult’ ‘American’ ‘life’ is traffic, pushing someone’s corporate policy, having your brain be exposed to ads disguised as entertainment w/zero journalism, and thinking of ways to be smug / pretentious about being either a passive aggressive or assertive bigot-consumer. We can seem ‘nice’ and treat others ‘OK’, but there is no long game to enable or perpetuate livability, cooperation, healthy food/water/air, participation in government, or just plain ignoring others that are ‘different’, =over all, in the long run there is only profit, cost savings, consumerism, and bigotry at the end of the day. Regardless of thinking one is ‘republican’ or ‘democrat’ how are we not consumers that pretend to be ‘American’?

    And then you are like, “Many more interesting thoughts in this essay. ”
    -Yo, c’mon wimp, whatchu got???! Whatchu want???!?!!?! CMON!!! Women did not get the right to work and vote by leaving the ‘country’ or by writing such articles -GIVE US YOUR ACTION PLAN TO MAKE IT BETTER. You know there is no way ‘Americans’ can do anything out side of treating each other like crap, and keeping their heads down like good consumers/employees while treating others ‘different’ like crap -how is it that ‘Americans’ think they are all experts on ‘Darwinism’ while no one has read Origin of the Species, or can have a conversation about Leroy Hood, or Gregor Mandel??? Look there other way, and make sure to follow corp policy to keep you job, because the USA still exists, right???

  2. Aaron Browne says

    By the way -my bad… : I wrote “y’know just before that same guy killed his parents” -I meant *uncle* -y’know… You know what I mean… (pshaw…’) LOL! This is great. I love you guys… (No one is ever even re-visiting this page…) :oP

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