It’s with extreme sadness that I announce that my webcomic, I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space!!!, will be leaving the web in a couple weeks. It’s going to be taken down on November 5th.
This is by my own choice, a very difficult choice. As you may or may not know, the rights to LPFOS were bought by Platinum Studios in 2006. In the years since I first became involved with them, more and more of their shady practices have been revealed, to the point where I can’t be involved with them in any capacity anymore. I tried to get the rights back through many different avenues, but there is nothing I can do.
Right now, Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space is one of the comics Platinum is most proud of. They can show it off to investors as a success that they created, despite not doing a thing with the property except for one small print run 6 years ago. I have not seen a dime from them since 2007. Once the initial 6 issues they commissioned were over in 07, I was “allowed” to keep working on the series, which I did because I enjoyed the characters, but I received no payment. I received no support in any other capacity. I built the comic up by myself and with some gracious help from Hiveworks. Platinum Studios did nothing but hold it back. I had plans for a 4th and 5th arc of the comic, but ended the series this past January when I realized things with Platinum would never get better and as much as I loved these characters, I was being taken advantage of by continuing the series.
So I have to take it off the internet. I won’t let my work be used to boost the reputation of this slimy company even a little bit. I’d rather see it disappear. This decision was reached after more than a year of trying to salvage the pieces of this portion of my career, and several fits of crying until I’m too exhausted to get off the couch. I want to give you guys some time to say goodbye to it, read it one more time before it goes away.
I had great plans for it. I was hoping to print three TPBs so people could have the books in print form, and even redrew most of the first six issues in higher quality so the books would look so nice. The image above is one of the new covers I painted for one of the issues in the books. I had a script for an old-timey radio show a la Thrilling Adventure Hour. Oh, and I had a script for a full length stage musical, with a kickass composer lined up. He wrote two songs before everything imploded. These comprise a good half of my “secret projects” for the past two years that I was just itching to tell you all about, waiting for when the time would be right to reveal it. I guess everything comes out at a funeral. Again, all of these things were done without the help of Platinum. I flew out to California in 2011 for a meeting with them about these projects, which they were all gung-ho for when I was there, but once I was back home, all support was cut before it was anything more than a handshake.
I can’t help but feel so foolish. To have sold the rights in the first place, even if I was just a naive kid. To have let them blow smoke up my ass for years. To have ignored the scandals happening all around them, with so many other creators bringing grievances against them. To have continued the series for so long under such circumstances. To have held out hope I would be different and not get bit by this snake.
Young creators, please know that “getting published” is not the be-all-end-all of doing comics. There are so many people in this industry who will take advantage of your eagerness to be a “real comic artist.” Yes, you DO need a lawyer, I don’t care how must you trust that publisher, how big or small. Every contract, every time. Don’t sell something for what you think is a fair price. Know what the fair price is. Know what your value is. Know what the industry standards are. If you can’t get a good deal, don’t take a bad deal and hope for the best. Don’t take a bad deal and tell yourself it’s better than no deal at all. There are so many other avenues.
Well. That’s about it, folks. Thanks for reading, thanks for all the amazing fanart throughout the years, and the cosplay, and the lively discussions. If there’s one thing keeping me from regretting ever creating Susie and the gang, it’s you guys. I will always keep those good memories.
I drew a 9 page comic for an upcoming anthology - jetplastic.net
I can’t post the whole comic yet, but I can show you these 2 splash pages.
I’ll let you all know when you can read the whole thing!
Sample from my short buggy comic, about business deals going sour. Little drama ensues, fighting happens.
Today is the last day to PREORDER your copy as it will be closed Morning morning Eastern time.
Thank you for reading and passing the word!
This has been a great summer for bisexual books. Like Shiri Eisner’s Bi Notes for a Bisexual Revolution which also came out this summer, Anything That Loves is one of the most impressive bisexual books I have read it a very long time.
The sheer diversity is staggering. In this…
Review of the anthology where one of my personal stories appears.
Here are some snapshots of the first print run of PUPA that I produced and handbound for TCAF including a size comparison with my usual comic books - it’s in international A6 size which is a lot larger at about 8.25” by 6”. The second larger print run is going to be in done in Taiwan so the print quality and book quality will probably be even better!
Just a reminder that this is the last weekend to preorder a copy of PUPA! Proceeds go towards helping honey bees.
For $23US, you get for an A6 size book with
- 100 pages B&W!
- 11 pages colour!
- 1 colour pullout!
and shipping from Taiwan is already included in the price!
The book will be perfect bound and will be gorgeous.
Our 27 contributors include:
I’ll be closing down preorders sometime Monday morning EST. After that if you want a copy you will probably have to track one down from a contributor who will be selling copies of the book at events or online after the preorder period.
Thanks to everyone who has been supporting the project thus far! We look forward to getting the books in your hands sometime in late October/early November.
here’s a sneak of my contributions!!!
JUST A WEEK LEFT FELLAS!!
signal boost !!!!
PUPA PREORDERS START TODAY!
PUPA is an anthology with comics and illustrations about insects from 26 artists from around the world.
$23US (includes international shipping from Taiwan)
- A6 size
- 100 pages B&W
- 8 pages colour
- 1 colour pullout
Now available for preorder from September 21st - October 12th! The print run will be limited to preorders, but a small number of books will be offered for sale after the preorder from contributing artists. If you want a copy please order one today! Books ship October.
Proceeds from book sales will be going towards The Foundation for Preservation of Honey Bees. The book cost includes international shipping and helps us cover Paypal fees and conversion fees (from USD to TWD).
We will only print books based on the number of preorders and books requested by contributors. Once they are gone they will be gone! I helped Lawn edit and design the book. We would really appreciate your support. Thanks for looking!!
I’m late to the party but I am in this anthology! My comic is short but I still giggle thinking about it. Preorder here.
I didn’t plan to stop doing Douchebags of Comics, but I’ll admit I lost some enthusiasm for it right when it was starting to catch on, because as more people started seeing it, I started spending more time fielding people who were outraged and offended by things that I had said. I don’t regret anything that I said in the blogs attached to the drawings I did, but I started to feel like maybe people weren’t taking the whole thing in the spirit in which it was intended.
I liked using the word “Douchebag” because it has a variety of connotations and I could use it to write about people ranging from hardcore hateful nutjobs like Orson Scott Card to creators who have said or done some douchey things but who aren’t nearly as awful. Some of the responses I got outraged that I called so-and-so a “douchebag,” though, made me kind of wonder if people knew what I meant by the word. I had somebody tell me they thought I was verging on libel by calling people that. Really? Calling somebody a name isn’t libel. It’s not accusing them of a crime, and I don’t think I accused anybody of anything that they hadn’t said of their own volition and that wasn’t already a matter of public record. I’ve had a discussion numerous times about the odd way that people seem to think freedom of speech applies to somebody saying something awful, but does not apply to another person responding to that, and it still confuses me.
But I never planned to stop doing the cards, and then good ol’ Mark Millar came along and said something that made me think, “Well now, if that isn’t the very definition of douche.”
I think the word “douchebag” was invented for people who say things like: “The ultimate [act] that would be the taboo, to show how bad some villain is, was to have somebody being raped, you know? I don’t really think it matters. It’s the same as, like, a decapitation. It’s just a horrible act to show that somebody’s a bad guy.”
I think anybody who is asked a serious question about rape and replies, “I don’t really think it matters,” is automatically a douchebag.
I had been kind of on the fence about whether or not I would make a Douchebags of Comics card of Mark Millar, because I really did like the Kick-Ass movie. I liked it, though, without actually having read the book.
The interesting thing that a lot of people I’ve talked to have gone through with Frank Miller is the long process of realizing that he’s not joking, there’s a lot of how he really sees the world in his comics. I defended Sin City for years because I honestly thought I was reading satire. I thought he was sending up the most adolescent tropes of crime comics and noir stories. And then you realize, he wasn’t really in on the joke.
The Kick-Ass movie is hyper violent, has a child saying “cunt,” and so on, but the premise was “real” people taking on superhero roles, so the idea seemed to me to have people who you actually care about- Which you do, thanks to really good performances by Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz- and who have real emotional lives, and then to put those people into the ridiculous cartoon tropes of some of the worst superhero comics. I thought that the movie was *commenting* on those tropes, not *celebrating* them.
I still think the movie actually might have been doing that. The comics it was based on, however, weren’t nearly smart enough to be operating on those multiple levels. When I finally read the comics, what had made me smile in the movie left me repulsed and rolling my eyes. I realized what I had enjoyed in the movie had been almost entirely due to texture that had been added after the fact to the puerile work that Millar had done.
Then I read the second series of comics. Ugh.
There are a thousand things obviously wrong and stupid about Millar’s comments on rape on any number of levels, but purely on a writing level, it’s just as repulsive. That’s Hack School 101: If you want to show a guy’s a bad guy and can’t be bothered with giving the reader any complicated portrait of him, have him rape somebody or kill a dog. You’re doing this because the villain in your hack writing is nothing more than a device, something for the “hero” to react to, so that you know he’s reacting to a bad thing. This way when you have your hero doing stupid over-the-top violent garbage because that’s all you know how to write, the audience knows they’re supposed to be cheering him because he’s doing these things as a reaction to the guy who did that bad thing.
Thus the rape scene isn’t actually there to discuss rape, it’s there to motivate the male hero to do stuff, in the case of hack Mark Millar, childish action movie violent stuff. So, in the second Kick-Ass series, we have a girl getting gang raped so that we can get to the ‘spolsions. If that’s not repulsive to you, there’s something very wrong with you.
Millar wasn’t just going for hack honorable mention, though, he was in a break-neck sprint to be Hack of the Year, so in Kick-Ass 2 there’s also a dog that gets killed. Because that’s what bad guys do. The dog gets decapitated while they’re at it. Because, you know, decapitation is just like rape.
Todd McFarlane also recently went on a little binge of stupid, sexist comics about how the portrayals of women and so on in comics are just part of the superhero genre, and that the genre is inherently for guys, so what’s the problem. He trotted out the usual logical fallacies and false equivalencies- The men are objectified too!- and generally made a fool of himself. There’s a good rundown of his comments and also Millar’s here. Let’s put aside for a moment that idea that comics are just for guys, since that’s obviously dumb and not true, and pretend that comics actually *were* just for guys- What kind of guys like this stuff? I’m assuming McFarlane considers himself a guy, so what he’s saying is that he likes stupid, narrow, sexist entertainment.
They’re not just saying that comics are for guys, they’re saying that comics are for particularly dim-witted guys in a perpetual arrested adolescence.
The fact that people saying things like this are, to some, the face of an entire art form is pretty infuriating to those of us who try to create comics on a higher level. Millar and McFarlane both got their start doing work for the big two superhero companies, and their “creator owned” work has mostly just been derivative versions of the same kinds of comics. You have an amazing art form, a medium that’s able to produce things like Fun Home and Maus, and yet when people look at it they mostly see endless variations on these same ideas, and to do something “new” with his 50th superhero deconstruction, the only think Millar can think of is to add more shock value.
So we have the same story that was used to sell kids cereal and action figures 50 years ago, only now with more rape!
Ask yourself if that’s progress.
The fans are part of the problem, as well. Many many people who refer to themselves as comic book fans are really only fans of a handful of decades-old licensed characters, and a few creators that pump out endless different versions of them. It’s like if somebody went around calling themselves a serious cineaste, and the only films they had ever seen in their life were Ninja Turtles movies. I use that as an example because I actually *like* Ninja Turtles, but I can recognize that there’s a difference between The Secret of the Ooze and Citizen Kane.
What I’m trying to say, people, is if you’re actually a comic book fan, you can do better. Stop reading sexist garbage churned out by ridiculous man children. There are actually superhero comics that have been done and that are being done today that are entertaining and worth reading, but there’s also a whole other world of art and culture out there. Read the stuff that’s worth your time, and quit rewarding the people who are producing abject junk.
ERIN RILEY’S TABOO TAPESTRY
Philadelphia based fiber artist Erin M. Riley is tackling taboo issues with her loom. She’s capturing the issues of today’s generation with very old school traditional form of storytelling. Her threads weave together depictions of female sexuality, drug use, birth control, car crashes, selfies, among others. The results of which are breathtaking in a very perverse way - most of the images will make you feel as if you’re sneaking a peek at private photos on someones phone, the element of being privy to what’s going on behind the scene but not being talked about - and at second glance you can’t help but stare in awe at the painstaking efforts that go into her work.
Erin’s work will be showing at Philadelphia based Paradigm Gallery + Studio from August 30th - October 12th, 2013. Hope you can make it out, these tapestries are sure to stir up a dialogue.
For the first time ever, this year’s Women Who Kick Ass panel at ComicCon was held in the convention’s largest venue, Hall H. Entertainment Weekly covers the panel here and it sounds incredible. A full transcript of the panel is here.
Unfortunately, the audience’s response to this panel was sexist and predictable.
A panel called “Women Who Kick Ass” follows Hunger Games. It’s in its fourth iteration, and the fact that it’s in Hall H on Saturday is a surprise. On the surface, it makes sense for this to follow Hunger Games, and it’s also likely the Con intended it to be something that would allow for the room to clear out a bit while shuffling in more people from the line that still snakes off across the street outside. But, all the same, there’s something gutsy about placing a frank discussion of Hollywood sexism, feminism, and the limited opportunities for women in the entertainment industry right before 20th Century Fox and Marvel come out to present superhero-heavy slates.
And “Women Who Kick Ass” is the most fascinating and enriching panel I attend at Comic-Con. In particular, its discussion of how sexism still rules far too often in Hollywood is terrific, with panelist Katee Sackhoff (of Battlestar Galactica fame) discussing a time an unnamed male actor pulled her arms out of their sockets while filming a fight sequence, in what she believes was recourse for her questioning him earlier in the shoot; and fellow panelist Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black discussing how a male crew member inappropriately hit on her when she was just 18 and bound to a bed for a shot. The moderator is good, in that she knows to get out of the way when the women on the panel — particularly Michelle Rodriguez — cut loose, and the content is engaging throughout.
For the most part, the dudes I’m sitting near either pay respectful attention or check Twitter, though there are some jokes from an older guy in front of me about how stupid he finds all of this. Then Rodriguez uses the phrase “destructive male culture” — as part of a larger answer about how women need to take more agency in telling their own stories — and something in the crowd flips. A certain subset of the audience begins to get more and more vocal, and when the panel runs slightly over, as all panels have done during the day, the vocalizations begin to get easier to hear, even to someone sitting clear across a giant room in a place that tends to eat sound from specific individuals in the audience; one really has to make a ruckus to be heard.
The final question — from a young woman about what aspects the perfect kick-ass woman would have — turns into a digression about the many roles that women play in real life and the few that they are asked to play onscreen. It’s all fascinating stuff, with Sackhoff talking about wanting to see someone as kind and strong as her mother onscreen, and Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira talking about the effectiveness of female political protestors in her native Zimbabwe, the sort of story that would almost never appear in a Hollywood film — but the longer it goes on, the more restless the crowd gets. When Rodriguez grabs the microphone again to follow up on a point made by another panelist, for the first time, the audience ripples with something close to jeering anger. When the panel finally ends and the five women on it proceed off to the side for photographs, something done at the end of most Hall H panels, someone shouts something from the audience, to a mixture of supportive laughs and horrified gasps, and the women quickly leave the stage. (I was not sitting close enough to hear what was said, but I confirmed with several people sitting in the immediate vicinity that it was a young man shouting “Women who talk too much!” after the loudspeaker asked attendees to voice their appreciation for the participants in the “Women Who Kick Ass” panel.)
It’s an ugly moment, an unfortunate capper to a great session, to be followed by many of the guys sitting around me offering up tired lines like “I hope they feel empowered now!” and several recitations of the Twilight mantra about ruining the Con. To be sure, most people in the room were respectful. But at a certain point, there needs to be an accounting for the fact that there is an ugliness that burbles beneath the surface of too many Comic-Con events, sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional. That’s not a task for the Con itself. It’s a task for nerd culture, and one that will require an earnest attempt to understand why this sort of ugliness rises up so often around women, lest all the nerd culture stereotypes prove unfortunately true.