Silent No More - I try to imagine the government coming to my house one morning and taking my five year old daughter and eight year old son away to a boarding school hundreds of kilometres away. I try to imagine that at this school, my children’s hair will be cut, their dastars (turbans) and kakkars (article of faith)will be removed and they will be forcibly baptized as Christians. I try to imagine that they will be beaten for speaking Panjabi, reading Bani (Sikh scripture) or trying to maintain their religious and cultural traditions. I try to imagine that even their basic health needs will not be looked after and they may well die from treatable infections and diseases. And then, I must admit, I am not able to imagine the rest; I can not bear to imagine them being abused, assaulted, beaten and raped.
That is what occurred in this country for one hundred years as the Canadian government, along with government sanctioned church groups, kidnapped First Nations children from their homes and took them to residential schools where unspeakable horrors were committed on them. Of course the history of colonization in the Americas does not begin with the Residential School system but is in fact a legacy going back centuries. It is estimated that 90 to 95% of all indigenous people living in the Americas were killed by smallpox within the first century after European first contact in the late 1400’s. It is difficult to fathom death at that scale. Those that remained had their land stolen and were forced onto reservations to live as non-citizens in their own lands.
patrickcurley asked: Is there any advice you can give to an aspiring writing, any suggestions on breaking into the industry? What is you're creative process for coming up with story ideas and then turning those ideas into script?
Honestly, everyone seems to break into the industry differently. Everyone also seems to have a different idea of what “breaking in” means. I was making and self-publishing comics for nearly two decades before I managed to land a publishing deal. For me, that was “breaking in”. I wanted to have someone have enough faith in my work that they would publish it. I wanted to just focus on the writing.
My advice is mostly this: just make comics. Stop talking, start doing. Write scripts and find artists. Start small, with 5 or 10 page stories. Set a deadline and stick to it. Get a few of those done before trying to move on to anything larger. Short stories give you the experience of the collaborative process without having to make a large commitment. Finding artists for short projects is also infinitely easier than finding someone for a 5-6 issue miniseries — especially when you are an unknown commodity. Additionally, with shorts, you get that gratification that comes with completing a project more easily. That’s important when you’re starting out — knowing that you can do it. It also allows you to evaluate and work on weaknesses without having to worry about it disrupting a larger story.
If you have some sort of 200 issue epic you want to do, put it on the shelf. It will likely NEVER happen. I meet too many aspiring writers stuck on a grand, long term idea, who refuse to do anything but that one idea. If the idea is good, it’ll keep. If you want to be a writer, you’re going to have to be able to write more than one thing, so don’t get hung up on one idea. Be fluid. Put yourself in a position where you can move on to something else if one idea isn’t working.
Once you start completing stories, my advice is to put them online for all to read. Put them there for free. Don’t worry about making money at this point — there’s barely any to be made, you’re chasing nickels and dimes when you start out. Better to have your comic available to as large an audience as possible than it is to keep it closed off for what might be pizza money. What you’re after early in the game is exposure. You want people to see your work.
Once you start to get your work out there — and providing it’s any good — you’ll start to meet other like-minded folks. Knowing people and making those connections is an important part of “breaking in”. Creators will often recommend other creators that they like when they have the opportunity. I’ve done it myself - pointed publishers in the direction of an artist or writer whose work I really enjoy. It’s important to note that the work MUST be good though — I’m not going to recommend a hack artist or writer just because they’re a friend.
As for how to turn a story idea into a script… man, that’s a tough one. I find that a lot of writers have different methods. My advice would be to check out some comic scripts. Compare them to the final product. Take them and break them down into scenes. Where are the beats? How are scenes broken down? How many panels per page? Does the panel count vary? Why? Work backwards from the comic and create an outline for it so you can get a sense of how much story you can fit into an issue, into a page. You can find a bunch of scripts here: http://www.comicbookscriptarchive.com/archive/
Read books on writing. A lot of people shit all over books on writing, but most of those same people have read a metric ton of them. Books like “Save The Cat” by Blake Snyder is a screenwriting book that promotes the worst sort of Hollywood dreck that I absolutely hate, but it still has some solid advice. Understanding how other people approach writing a story, be it novel, film or comics, will better inform how you approach it. There are always tips and tricks to be learned. Take what you need, leave what you don’t.
My challenge to you (and anyone else reading). Set a deadline for 1 week from today. Write a 5-10 page short comic script. No excuses. No delays. I don’t care if you’re feeling ill or if family dropped in unexpectedly. If you can’t do that, just 5-10 pages in 7 days, then you don’t have what it takes to be a comic writer. It doesn’t have to be amazing, it doesn’t have to be award winning, it just has to be done. Beginning, middle and end.
If you send me a message when it’s done, I’ll even read it for you. Give you my thoughts.
Good advice from Ed Brisson. I’d say a lot of this applies to drawing comics, too.
Charity Shouldn’t Have To Be The Only Option For Comic Creators In Need Of Medical Care
By Matt D. Wilson
If you weren’t aware of it before the past few weeks, even a passing interest in the recent Internet comics community likely informed you of the medical-expense-related plight a high-profile pair of comic book creators have been experiencing . First, there was Stan Sakai, the creator of Usagi Yojimbo, in dire straits because of an extended hospital stay for his wife, Sharon. Then there’s Bill Mantlo, the co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, who was severely injured in a skating accident 22 years ago and has required full-time care ever since. (He’s been under care for two decades, but Rocket’s appearance in the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie has brought him back into the public eye.)
Both of these men have had to turn to donations from fans and colleagues to help with their considerable expenses, and those people have made admirable efforts to help these creative artists whose work has brightened their lives. Generosity is a good thing. But it shouldn’t have to be this way.
I’ve been saying this for a while now. It’s fucked up that people who give their life to an art form are left without any resources at the end of their careers.
I guess if they were “smart” they would have become lawyers.
but then what would the lawyers have read and enjoyed during their downtime? Or when they were children? Or what would they give their children to read?
Good question. I wonder if we’ll ever decide that arts have value?
I don’t want to dismiss the importance of lawyers (living in a land ruled by a written law that can be arbitrated is pretty important), or doctors, or even CEOS, but I would rather live in a world where sickness probably meant death and victims of crime had no recourse to justice but there were still artists, than live in a world with no art whatsoever. Art is part of what gives life meaning, even as doctors and lawyers ensure that life’s safe continuation.
Bitcoin was, of course, created in part to cater to libertarian dreams – to provide a way to store your wealth where governments can’t steal it through taxation or currency debasement. And it’s true! Thanks to Bitcoin, you can instead have your wealth stolen by private hackers.
Economist Paul Krugman on Bitcoin (via sickeningliberal
Everyone who thinks you can have “wealth” independent of a society collectively agreeing on the relative value of your stuff. #eyeroll
A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of any gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?
Excerpt from If I Admit That Hating Men is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning it Into a Self-fulfilling Prophecy?, by Lindy West (via lilac-time)
fucking THANK YOU
this is a BIG thing that men don’t get about feminism and patriarchy.
And you and all of your friends each want to get the top. From the base of the mountain, the top looks really small and it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be enough room for everyone. Even if it is big enough, you aren’t sure that all of your friends are going to make it all the way up. You…
I think a lot of people believe that the most successful people are these lone-wolf types but that is far from the truth.
The ones who have the best time up the mountain are the ones who have found a team to support and get supported in turn.
And the best part of this process has been the friends I’ve been privileged to make, and I’m proud to count Joel among them. Their successes bring me more joy than my own.
Also worth adding- if you want to be friends with people at the top of the mountain, the best way to do it is take the friends you’ve got, and go to the top with them. You might also make friends with some of those original people eventually. But don’t stress if you don’t. Travelling up mountains together makes the best friendships.
I still have a lot of work to do on this book, but the back cover and spine are now done.
Now I just have to make the cover flaps, draw a self portrait, redo half of the Japanese in the book (since it’s wrong), and do one final editorial pass.
If this book doesn’t kill me, it will be pretty good.