“We have a difficult time talking about things in comics. This is weird in that any reasonably large Twitter feed will tell you that people in comics talk all the damn time. So it’s not lack of practice, obviously.
“A lot of what was specifically distressing about the reaction to the video was how many old, corny, early Internet argument constructions still hold sway, ways of arguing that that should have been dragged into the light and staked a long time ago.
“That people shouldn’t be allowed to complain unless they solve the problem they’re complaining about is a ludicrous notion given two seconds thought.
“That a huge subset of superhero comics fans chose to regard this video as they’ve processed every argument since 1974 with a critical component — as some sort of full-bore assault on themselves and their tastes — is just sort of pathetic at this point.
“That comics people tend to cede to corporations some “right” to do whatever the hell they want as long as they don’t get put in jail, without criticism, because that’s the obligation these companies have to their stockholders remains stunning to me. It’s alarming partly because it’s a repugnant view, or at least I feel that way, but also because the history of comics is full of examples of companies and businesses acting humanely rather than inhumanely, making a choice of one thing over another on the basis of something other than ruthless self-interest.
“After 15 years working in comics and 14 and a half months on the comics Internet, I never need to see the word “hypocrite” again.
“Ditto the idea that anyone that criticizes anything does so from a cross-armed position of moral superiority and it’s that assumed smug state, rather than the argument or issue itself, that needs to be brought down.
“We have a lot of hang-ups, the comics community, and it will be much easier to move forward if we’re honest about when those come into play. We might at least try to find new ways of saying these things, so that we know something is being said instead of clichés being brandished. This wasn’t our finest discussion.”
That’s a quote from Tom Spurgeon’s rather lengthy reaction to Eric Powell’s video trumpeting creator rights. I’ve broken it up because Tom tends to write very densely and in a way that isn’t particularly friendly to the people that most need to hear his message (140 characters, Tom), and this is the internet, and I can do that. Go read the whole article, http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/index/a_brief_reaction_to_a_video_thats_already_been_taken_down/.
A fellow named Mysh e-mailed me out of the blue to let me know about his Queer Haiku Comics, being released online under the name “Imaginary Encounters.” Unabashedly gay/queer haiku poetry that he’s written, and is adapting into single-page comics. He’s got a really lovely art style that is exactly appropriate to his poetry, and it possesses just that right mix of playful and erotic that had me go through his entire archive when I should’ve been busy with other work.
Head over to http://www.queerhaiku.com/ to see his work to date, or grab a sneak-peak at the whole project on Facebook. I’ve put up a couple of examples of his work at the end of this post, under the cut as they’re a touch NSFW ;).
I just had curry for lunch so this seemed appropriate. This is the mozzarella cheese curry Andrew had in the curry-shop behind the comic book store (Nakano Shoten) in Jimbocho. Japanese curry and cheese–two great tastes that go great together! Not shown: boiled new potatoes, also delicious.
I forgot to post the MURDER CAN BE FUN strips until right now (sorry!) cuz I was out all day on Sunday, my normal “do your internet work” day. And then yesterday was an amazing, productive meeting with The Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa (Gatineau, actually) who I’m doing some consulting work for, and getting ready all of the stuff for our Natsume Ono announcement today (awesome) and then I went for ramen, had a few beers with friends, and fell asleep for 14 hours (ugh).
What I’m trying to say is, things are busy and good, and I’m apparently not as sick of talking about myself as I thought I was… :-/
For balance, here are some cool things that people I know are doing:
ITEM! A bunch of my friends were nominated for Shuster Awards, which recognize excellent Canadian contributions to the medium of comics. I personally know 95% of the nominees, so I will refrain from congratulating them individually. Instead: Congrats to all of you! Full nominees list at http://joeshusterawards.com/.
ITEM! The lovely Erika Moen and the cubby Jeff Parker have launched a new webcomic venture: Bucko. Verdict: First three pages are awesome. http://www.buckocomic.com/
ITEM! Heidi MacDonald is celebrating a year of independent blogging at The Beat today. Congratulations, Heidi! http://comicsbeat.com/
ITEM! UDON is doing an open-call for Mega Man Fan Art, for their new Mega Man Tribute art book. It’s a contest that I’d enter myself, if I had time to sit down and draw something, so I feel like all y’all should go enter it too. Seriously, it’s hype. Head over to http://www.megamantribute.com/ to see the rules and details. Contest closes February 4th at 1pm!