THIS SICKNESS 8 from Bottomless Studio, featuring John Linton Roberson, Emily Kaplan, Chad Parenteau, Charles Alverson, Gianna Ratto, Chris DeWildt and a cover by Molly Kiely. 100 pages! Available in print & Kindle at Amazon!
I Didn't Write That!
20 February 2012
  "How I Killed My Father"

A rare autobio piece written by me, now up at MartianLit. The title is somewhat ironic.

Somewhat.
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18 February 2012
  Where's This Week's LULU? Plus Michael Netzer

...not that you asked. It's briefly on hiatus(probably no more than a week or two if I get my ass in gear), because I'm working on two stories that have deadlines, which I'll tell you more about when they're done.

In the meantime, catch up on it so far here, here and here.

Also, you should read this post by Michael Netzer on the current creator's rights conflicts occurring over BEFORE WATCHMEN and GHOST RIDER. He points out an aspect that others have only touched on: that DC and Marvel are not actually there to sell comics. It's the supposed weakness of the comics industry that is used often to justify the ridiculous rights situations in comics. Which is useful for their parent corporations, Warner and Disney, because then they get to gather up intellectual property cheaply to exploit in media outside of comics.

So essentially, if you give anything at all to DC or Marvel, if you sign over your rights to them: you're a fool no matter how good the deal seems.
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12 February 2012
  Invaders from Mars (1953, William Cameron Menzies)



Early and awesomely creepy science fiction film.

It makes up for what it lacks in special effects (and costumes) in sheer paranoid, expressionistic flourish, and the cinematography boasts a nice, stark use of color(the color equivalent of noir) with deep contrasts, blacks, and very symbolic perspective shots. All reflecting the terrors of a child's mind.


As well as the impressive Helena Carter.


More horror than science fiction, really, and reminds me a bit of David Lynch, specifically BLUE VELVET, in feel.

Here's the whole thing.






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11 February 2012
  Why You Should See W.R.: The Mysteries of the Organism (Dusan Makavejev, 1971)



It's a documentary about the persecution of Wilhelm Reich by the US government. It's an avant-garde satire. It's a time capsule of a way of life, and a country, that no longer exist(though the actors in the Yugo portion of the film are largely Serbian, I was informed when I watched it with a Yugoslavian girl, a friend my friend Angel had brought over--in Chicago in 1989)It's a Yugoslavian softcore soap opera.


It's crazy and wonderful as fuck and it's one of my favorite films. It's from 1971, as a strangely large group of films I like are, and it's Dusan Makavejev's greatest film, W.R.: THE MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM. It is not like anything you will ever see, and it is not even a little afraid to be silly. It's a reminder that the avant-garde, the wing of it invented by Luis Bunuel--a wing Dusan very much occupies--is supposed to be fun.


To be play.

Also, I have a thing for Jagoda Kaloper, and she is part of the inspiration for Vladrushka's daughter Berlin. Oh look, there she is.


In fact, the whole way this film deals with the subject of sex, and mixing it with satire and philosophy, had an enormous effect on the comics I do now. (and you can see a quick reference to Dusan in Vladrushka here, and if I have to tell you by now anything to do with her is NSFW, then you're just dumb)


When there are movies like this, why the fuck should I care about Hollywood's garbage?


Now buy it here. Enjoy. Feel. Laugh.

Also, here are excerpts from two of Reich's books: Listen Little Man and the Function of the Orgasm. Anna Freud did her damnedest to eradicate him, but his unruly concepts that are no use to corporations live on.




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  Whitney Houston 1963-2012

Very sad. I was never a fan but still, her presence was completely unavoidable when I was much younger. The woman could sing, once upon a time, even if I never liked any song she sang. Rather than attempt any evaluation of her legacy, I will leave it to the experts.

What I find disturbing is that Courtney Love has managed to outlive her.

Time for Elton John to find some new words for Candle in the Wind again, I suppose.
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  Alan Moore's Video Chat (to Raise Money for Pekar Statue)

...to raise money to install a sculpture in honor of Harvey Pekar in the Cleveland Heights Public Library, a goal that happily was reached. Among other things he refers to adaptation as "evil"(which I take exception to) and reveals the biggest point of friction between himself and Michael Moorcock is which was ripped off more by Grant Morrison. Moore insists it's Moorcock, Moorcock insists it's Moore.


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  LULU Chapter 3, p. 52



They say the cover-up always makes things worse. And bad puns don't help.

Chapter 3, p. 52. Click and read!



Also: original art for chapters 1 & 2 now for sale at Sketchmaven! Don't forget: chapters 1 and 2 available in THIS SICKNESS 6-7 at Amazon and Createspace. (now for Kindle as well)

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07 February 2012
  Komen Foundation: Karen Handel Out

Not being complete morons, the Komen Foundation has forced the resignation of Karen Handel, their right-wing zealot VP who managed to destroy their reputation within 48 hours. The damage is considerable--pretty much the nightmare scenario for any nonprofit-- but that's a step in the right direction.

I imagine Handel will be annoyed and start punching random women on the street for not being pregnant.
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06 February 2012
  Max Landis: The Death and Return of Superman

I honestly can't believe I sat through the whole thing but I did. And it's good.



I have to admit, it shows me just how little attention I paid to superhero comics 1987-2000, because honestly? Okay, we're going to go into fanboy shit here. Apart from Superman dying and Coast City being blown up--which I only knew by reference anyway, not from direct reading(DC, in its "events," never stops making reference to these incidents), I knew none of this.

And if I were reading superhero comics then I'd have never looked at it. Because if I see the name of Dan Jurgens I usually avoid it anyway. I learned that back when he was first on the Superman comics, whichever ones he was on. His work has the quality of being relentlessly ordinary, and goes on about fanboy shit I just do not care about. Reading a Jurgens comic is a lot like listening to the guy in this film, except that the guy in the film is funny. I remember having a glance at ZERO HOUR in the store and then putting it back, feeling sorry for Jerry Ordway. So I'd have been unlikely to pay attention anyway.

So I really didn't know any of the stuff this guy describes.

Well, till now.

But what it really underscores for me is this: all this crap happened and it DOESN'T MATTER. Wait long enough in superhero comics and NOTHING matters.

Which begs the question: why bother then?

By the way, this isn't what broke death in comics. What broke death in comics was the return of Jean Grey.(whose death was what made death in comics a sell point to begin with; few recall this, she's been dead and come back so many times now--how strange, with a name like Phoenix) And as I recall, her death was completely justified, grand, dramatic, and emotionally heart-wrenching; and something that just felt unthinkable at the time. While her return--in X-FACTOR, I think--came off as an afterthought. Also, this "coma" resurrection plot device was also first used there.

I am ashamed to know this.
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05 February 2012
  Komen Foundation Debacle: Karen Handel Busted

Information from inside the Komen Foundation shows Karen Handel was indeed behind the decision to defund Planned Parenthood and to attempt to make it look nonpolitical.
"Karen Handel was the prime instigator of this effort, and she herself personally came up with investigation criteria," the source, who requested anonymity for professional reasons, told HuffPost. "She said, 'If we just say it's about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.'"
One can assume the decision--which, despite what you've heard, like the one for Planned Parenthood, still stands, since the defunding was for the next grant cycle anyway--to defund stem cell research was hers as well. This right-wing zealot hijacked the charity for her own political agenda and Komen allowed her to, shattering their reputation for...what purpose? Because no one could think the Komen Foundation could last very long even after one such break of trust. One wonders if the idea was to destroy two women's health organizations in one shot.

Not that Komen is pure anyway, and this matter has given people reason to start examining if they're worth returning to as something to donate their time & money to. Besides that they treat other cancer charities not as colleagues but as competition, there's also the fact that only 19% of what they take in goes to research, a pretty pathetic ratio for any nonprofit(and I've worked in them on the bookkeeping end, so I know), which people are starting to notice.

Komen, you can only fire Karen Handel now. You are busted. Do it or you will soon cease to exist. This is shameful mismanagement of a nonprofit that was already not so well-managed--at least in relation to its supposed mission--to begin with.
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  New Rosa & Annalisa drawing: "Hanging on the Tip of Your Tongue"

A new drawing featuring Rosa & Annalisa, who I haven't drawn since 2005. I'll be doing more with this later.

Click to enlarge


Update: Now a second page as well. This feels like it wants to be a story.

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04 February 2012
  LULU Chapter 3, p. 51



Schwarz demonstrates his courage, gaining Lulu's undying respect.

Chapter 3, p. 51. Click and read!



Also: original art for chapters 1 & 2 now for sale at Sketchmaven! Don't forget: chapters 1 and 2 available in THIS SICKNESS 6-7 at Amazon and Createspace. (now for Kindle as well
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03 February 2012
  Robert Hughes: SHOCK OF THE NEW at Ubuweb

One of the best art documentary series of all time (along with AMERICAN VISIONS) which you can see here courtesy of Ubuweb.
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  Cut To Ribbons: Komen Foundation Stops Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research Too

Holy CRAP.

I was kind of being satirical when I suggested that the Komen Foundation's new pro-life agenda would also entail their stopping funding for embryonic stem cell reaearch, which is right now a vital cancer research field. And which pro-lifers are vociferously against.

But they are in fact doing that and pro-lifers are loving it. They cut $12 million for embryonic stem cell research yesterday and no one noticed.

The Komen Foundation deserves to be smashed into nothing as an organization. They have betrayed their mission, cancer research, and women everywhere. This is insanity. Why are they letting Karen Handel's pro-life agenda destroy the valuable work they have done and their reputation?

Or is destroying the Komen Foundation somehow the point of what's happening here? Because officials are resigning right and left and no woman wants to donate or to participate in their races. And everyone is now boycotting anything with their pink ribbon. (note: Yoplait is one of those)

Their reputation has now been, well, cut to ribbons.

I do not understand what they think they will gain through this. But the Komen Foundation has become a right-wing trashbin and it's tragic. They have taken a cause that was not controversial, curing cancer, and have poisoned it with petty and crazy politics. Obviously curing cancer is no longer their misssion.

What IS their mission now?

Donate directly to Planned Parenthood and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center(which does pioneering work in stem cell and other cancer research, is a major Komen grantee, and will suffer because of this) today.

UPDATE: Today the Komen Foundation, not being suicidal, I guess, restored its ties to Planned Parenthood and apologized. (and admitted that it was political, though I'm not sure they realize they did) But I don't see Karen Handel being fired nor do I see them changing this new stem cell policy. Do not stop the pressure till these things happen. Handel has to be rooted out.

Further update:

No, it turns out they reversed nothing at all. Boycott stands.
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01 February 2012
  Vile Komen Foundation: You Didn't Go Far Enough

Say, Komen Foundation: how courageous of you to cut poor women off from breast cancer screening by cutting off your connection to Planned Parenthood.

Hey, now that you've got the gushing reptilian love of the pro-lifers, you do realize you're being inconsistent.

See. cancer research relies on stem cells these days, which they're now allowed to use again. Like Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a great organization I used to work for, and who get a substantial amount of their money for their pioneering research(they invented the bone marrow transplant) from Komen. (speaking of which, just give to FHCRC directly here. They do fine pioneering work--they invented bone marrow transplants, for one thing--and they have nothing to do with Komen's sins.)

And where do those stem cells--the useful undifferentiated ones--usually come from again? What was the reason the pro-lifers want stem cell research wiped out?

Basically, if you're going to curry the favor of the pro-lifers, you'll have to abandon ALL funding of any useful cancer research institutions. You fucking vile idiots.

But I guess your new VP, the failed (and Palin-endorsed)pro-life GOP gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel, had an agenda and got what she wanted, eh? Funny how you would hire someone in such a position that stands for an anti-woman cause.

Despite Komen's attempts to the contrary, though, they are not the only foundation funding cancer research. There are many, many other worthy foundations that do not hate women and fund vital science toward actually curing the disease. Who care about women's lives, not political agendas. Give them your money, not Komen. Abandon Komen. Let it rot.

And give to Planned Parenthood because they really need it now, and our country needs them.

UPDATE: Guess what the aforementioned VP, Karen Handel, tweeted last night--and deleted--which got screengrabbed and is now making the rounds:

"Just like pro-abortion group to turn cancer orgs decision into a political bomb to throw. Cry me a freaking river."

Uh-huh. No malice there at all. And by the way, this rule that they can't support any organization under investigation? It's a brand-new rule that was instituted exactly the same time GOP congressmen started the bogus investigation of Planned Parenthood. Most likely it was only instituted for the purpose of cutting them off. This looks like a coordinated strategy for which Komen is being used as a weapon.

And as long as they remain another right-wing weapon, they deserve no donations or respect.

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"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791
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