Two ways to feel better about your involvement in comics again

We’re now reaching what I sincerely hope is the end of Comics’ Grossest Fortnight, two weeks full of disgraceful behavior by the industry’s major publishers Marvel and DC and dire news for creator rights and ownership. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) If you want to feel better about being a reader of or active participant in an industry that routinely abuses the writers and artists responsible for the existence of that industry in the first place, I think I can point you in the direction of two ways to do that.

First, the great cartoonist Rick Trembles needs help. Trembles is the man behind Motion Picture Purgatory, unique movie rant/reviews that combine all-caps praise and/or damnation with weirdly detailed cartoon depictions of scenes from the movie (His take on Transformers 3 is a recent fave of mine.) Trembles was forced out of his long-time apartment by his landlord under suspicious circumstances, and the subsequent costs of moving and storing his stuff with next-to-no-notice have left him destitute and in need of work. If you’ve got freelance illustration work you can throw his way, or (according to him) more importantly if you’re a Montreal resident and can offer him full-time work, do it by contact him via the above link. (You can even donate directly to him via PayPal, though he says he prefers work, naturally.)

Second, with just three days to go, Dave Kiersh’s Kickstarter for his graphic novel Afterschool Special is in grave danger of going unfunded. Kiersh is one of my favorite cartoonists, and pound for pound and panel for panel, I think he’s the most underrated alternative comics creator in North America. If you’ve ever enjoyed a single note played by M83, for example, I think you’ll go nuts for his curvy cartooning of life in the ’80s/’90s teenage wasteland. A donation of $20 gets you the book when it comes out; a donation of $35 gets you the book and his previous collection as well. You can’t miss.

These are cartoonists who live and die by their own work, pursuing their own aesthetic and their own obsessions. Support them. They deserve it.

One Response to Two ways to feel better about your involvement in comics again

  1. Basque says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sean. Rick is a good friend of mine (we play in a band together) and I’ve been following this saga with his landlord since it started and helping out in whatever way I can. It really is a scary story, and I’ve been finding it difficult to get people to care. A lot of people assume that just because there are laws protecting tenants from this sort of thing – and in Quebec the laws really are quite good in that department – that this whole thing is a non-issue. I’ve seen a lot of responses to the story along the lines of: “Oh, you can fight this. Just get a lawyer.” One person on Facebook even suggested that a five-minute Google search was all that was needed to read up on the legal issues and solve the problem.

    Meanwhile, Rick’s been going through some emotional, psychological and financial turmoil. His whole life has been thrown upside down. He knows full well that there are laws there to “protect” him and that he can fight this. But legal battles take time and can be expensive. Meanwhile, it doesn’t solve his very real immediate problems, which are homelessness and bankruptcy!

    That’s not to say that there hasn’t been any support. Lots of people have been very sympathetic, and those who could helped physically or financially with the last-minute move. It’s nice to see people outside his close group of friends picking up the story. (I’m assuming you don’t know him personally. My apologies if I’m wrong.)

    PS: I agree the news from the Big 2 has been depressing lately!

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