December 8th, 2012

Peter G

Why Petey Can't Be A Professional Comic Book Penciler

When I draw, I try to make the characters pose realistically.  A lot of comics, you see the men in dramatic poses and the women in sexy poses that you would never see everyday people doing (this actually becomes a gag in Sound Waves #13.  A man on the dock has an underwater speaker that is playing mermaid songs.  Rhapsody approaches him on the dock and breaks into a series of precious girly poses to make the guy tell her what he's doing.  Then it's back under the water and her body language is normal again).

This is the main factor in standard comic book art -- realism is bad.  Dynamism is more important.

Even when it doesn't make any sense.

DC is publishing a Starfire one shot under their DC Universe Presents title, and here's the cover.  I have stared at this thing for several minutes, and I not only cannot figure how Starfire is flying since the curve indicates she is traveling sideways (like the cartwheel jump in Strider), but I'm trying to figure out how exactly her boobs are not popping out.  Can you figure it out?  Answers on a postcard, please....

Epic Fail

Times Are Changing, Nothing Stays The Same! -- Quiet Riot, "The Wild And The Young"

Well, we haven't had any political stuff here in a while.  Let's fix that, shall we?

Long time ago, Chicago elected Harold Washington, a black man, as mayor, the first black mayor of Chicago.  He died in office, and his successor was Eugene Sawyer, a black man, the second black mayor of Chicago.

When Richard Daley was running for mayor, he slipped and said Chicago needed a "white mayor."

When the press pounced on this like a pack of starving wolves, Daley said they were misquoting and what he said was Chicago needed a "wet mayor."  And when asked what the fuck that meant, he changed the subject.

At least Daley recognized that saying things like that was very very bad.  But not the Romney Republicans.  They are continuing to prove that we made the right choice in not voting for Mittens.

Mittens' campaign basically boiled down to, "A black man can't be president!"  Now, in the weeks since the election, the chant has become, "Only a black man can be president!"  Because demographics are now so fragmented, appealing to white upper class men doesn't work anymore.  Oh, what a shame, everybody who can vote their conscience is doing so!

Basically, the R's want to continue to be exclusionary and use that as the path to dominance, even when it shoots them in the foot.  After pissing off blacks, single mothers, Hispanics, gays, middle class people, poor people, just about everyone, the R's still found another group to piss off, Americans with disabilities.  Before the Senate was a UN treaty declaring how people with disabilities are to be treated in the world.  Basically, it's the law we currently have on the books, so nothing for us would change in the least, but other countries around the world would have to step things up.  Passage required a 2/3 vote to pass, 67 votes for.  Final score?  61-38. John McCain (R - Arizona) and Kelly Ayotte (R - NH) backed it and lobbied for their party to support it for two reasons:  1)  It was a human rights issue, and 2) it would make the R's look even worse than they already do.  Two R's initially supported it but voted against it when the time came.  Those voting against it said it would be ceding countries' sovereignty to the UN.  OK, yes, the UN is notoriously anti-US.  But this had nothing to do with sentiments about the US of A.  This was about human dignity, and the D's are now laughing at the R's for another public relations debacle.  They are literally the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

Interviews with black voters revealed yet another way the R's Hindenburged their own Presidential campaign.  Most of you remember the voter identification laws that were passed in most states.  Black voters saw this as an attempt to bring back the Jim Crow laws that kept them from voting, and it motivated them to hit the polls.  I guess that didn't work they way they were hoping it would.  One lawyer on the news was explaining, "We thought the voter ID laws were a thing of the past, something our parents and grandparents had to fight.  Now we see it happening to us.  We had to step up."

It's no secret by now (even the R's themselves are openly stating it) that Mittens' campaign underestimated the turnout to vote for Obama.  They thought voter apathy would keep his supporters home and they would coast to victory (Mittens ignored states that traditionally skew white like Ohio to pitch in places like Pennsylvania.  He wound up losing those white skewing states like Ohio).  They didn't realize that their dismissiveness actually united voters against them.  Once again, with a two party system, your options are to vote FOR a candidate or AGAINST the other.  People registered their anger by throwing their support behind Obama.  There's an old Polish proverb that says, "Friends come and go, enemies accumulate."

The result is the R's are now completely rudderless.  They now see the traditional political machinations that they rehearsed and perfected all these decades are now completely worthless.  Need proof?  Look at the debt ceiling talks.  Obama's proposal for the debt ceiling is copied significantly from a proposal Senator Mitch McConnell (R - Mars).  It features a provision forcing the Treasury Department to hand over control of the debt ceiling to the President.  D's at the time called this the "McConnell Provision".  Of course, back then, the R's thought they were going to win the White House.

Now?  McConnell is filibustering the proposal.  In other words, a senator is filibustering the plan HE CAME UP WITH ORIGINALLY.

The biggest bright side to all this is the accursed Tea Partiers are dead as a political power.  On the scale of public influence, they come in somewhere between la crosse fans and people who call in to the Art Bell show.  Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina is leaving his post.  He wasn't voted out, he's resigning, gone next month.  He was one of the people helping lead the Tea Partiers and getting them elected into office.  Him leaving and heading for a job at the Heritage Foundation think tank means the writing is on the wall -- his following has made him a liability (others who embraced the Tea Partiers, like R Reps Allen West (FL), Joe Walsh (IL), and Chip Cravaack (MN) were voted out, and three more R Tea Partiers just got pulled from key committee assignments).  He also blasted John Boehner, the Speaker Of The House, who had the thankless task of trying to keep the Kamikazees (the Tea Partiers elected to the House whose refusal to compromise nearly shut down the government several times last year) from giving the D's ALL the seats in the House.  You don't get this kind of infighting when everyone is on the same page.  The Tea Partiers have a bad reputation among the general public so, in the best tradition of John Stuart Mill, people are leaving them behind so as not to be judged by association with them.  To quote Lou Reed, "Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they're done."

(It just occured to me that, in less than a paragraph, I referenced both John Stuart Mill and Lou Reed.  Yup, you won't find THAT kind of diversity on any other blog!)

Now, the election for 2016 is up in the air.  Obama is trying to get Bill Clinton to become ambassador to Ireland, which will keep Hilary from running in 2016.  The R's, despite all their followers telling them they want the election to be about the issues, are in denial and want it to be about "white makes right" again.

Part of me is sad the world won't end in 2012.  And part of me can't wait to see what 2016 brings.....
Peter G

Every Part Of This Post After The Pic And Before The Parentheses Is A Joke!

Here's a preview pic from the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special....


Providing the voices is some overrated British actor named Sir Ian McKellen.

Don't you hate it when actors slum for a paycheck?

(You know, with classic Who, no one ever went on to star in bigger and better things and the closest they got to a special guest star was Alexi Sayles.  Now?  Look at how much things have changed!)
Let Me Tell You Why That's Bullshit

Starstruck, Legally Struck

I frequently write in my posts, "We must look out for each other."  This is because the world is full of predators.  Many go after easy prey that don't pay attention, but then there's the next level, where predators go after people who aren't plugged in to the system and don't know what's happening is either not how it's supposed to go or they would never go along with it if they knew what would happen.

The most obvious example of this is any visual designer trying to get work for one of the Hollywood majors.  A common part of the deal is that, by signing up, the studio now has the rights to whatever was in your presentation portfolio that you showed them.  This is not some new development, places like Disney have done this for ages.  In fact, Sony Pictures just got outed for doing it when they recently posted for storyboard artists and visual development artists on their own site.  Many even put in the addendum that anything you create in your spare time while in their employ is theirs as well (and it's not just entertainment media that does this.  The Red Cross has a stipulation that they own any journal writings and such you do just in case you decide to make a book or movie.  The Red Cross is low, but I didn't know they were THAT low).

In the 80's, Marvel Comics created an imprint called Epic.  It was home for creator-owned comics and had some astonishing stuff come out.  Yeah, you had weak shit like The Trouble With Girls, but you also got Marshall Law, Groo, and The One.  The whole selling point was it was CREATOR OWNED.  Marvel held no rights, they were allowed to print this stuff.  Marvel owned NOTHING.

Everybody still with me so far?  That's good!

So, Marvel was bought by Disney a couple of years ago.  And someone has been going through their records.  Mike Kaluta and Elaine Lee created an Epic comic called Starstruck.  After Epic folded, they took the title to Dark Horse and to IDW.

The other day, Elaine Lee got a Cease And Desist letter from Disney, saying that Starstruck was Marvel property.

Lee and Kaluta dug through their records (remember, this was the 80's, before electronic filing) and dug up their proof of ownership, the Marvel deal, everything.  Conventional wisdom says that it was someone just looking to make a splash with their bosses in legal.

But remember, watch those terms and conditions.

Get a lawyer to read anything you might sign.

Keep organized files.

And spread the word about these tactics.

We must watch out for each other.