As most of y'all know I try and give updates every month about comics I've made for you, comics I'm in the process of making, stressy thoughts on politics and maybe some tea for your ear pieces.
I'm tryin to think of what's new and of what's new what's interesting? Hopefully you already reading Black Flags, which is a short comic for Believer Magazine about a kid that lived next to a "commune" I was living in in New Orleans. I don't want to spoil the ending, but I already messed it up a bit with the tags...This month Black Comix Returns is out, which is a "sweeping index of contemporary, active, black artists in and around the comic book industry cast spotlights on just under one hundred black artists." I got asked to be in the first one by John Jennings, who is an excellent cartoonist, educator, and festival organizer, and I'm happy to be included in the second one. John invited me to collaborate with him on projects way before anyone was all that into my comics and I'm eternally grateful. It came at the beginning of some deep feelings of frustration with the indy comics scene, their festivals, and the scene I was in in New Orleans. It was nice to start carving out a separate space from my normal social circle, even though John and the Sol-Con ppl were probably not happy I showed up with a white girl and was still in my dirty punk phase. I got new shoes and a hair cut John...still with the white girl doe. (lol)
I went to the Center for Cartoon Studies last month and I'll be doing a talk at Bryn Mawr tomorrow, both of these are about my time in New Orleans, the failure of punk ethics, and the glory of mutual aide. At CCS I added I chunk about limiting how much you rely on career to give you a sense of purpose and value. I've been chewing on concepts of living outside of definitions of professionalism ever since I started reading Alfredo M. Bonanno's Let’s Destroy Work, Let’s Destroy the Economy It was refreshing to read a European bank robber that admitted robbing banks (or I guess they want me to call it "resource reappropriation") was still a job that required crafting your life around professionalism. I'm not sure what the alternative is to professionalism. Bonanno is usually good for solid logistical answers over the poetic vagueness that characterizes most modern Insurrectionist's texts (I would link to the Insurrectionary Text generator, but it's sadly long gone.), but I'm not sure a solid answer exists. I think Murray Bookchin described capitalism as the water we swim in, which means we're all capitalists by default unless we find a way to exist in a different context.
It's a weird time for me to give presentations on finding happiness outside of traditional conceptions of success, I drew in sweaty squats and punk houses for years with little attention so talking people about finding happiness and support among your friends sounded more convincing. Now post money moves and awards I feel like I'm coming off smug now or that being a 30-something anarchist is some back door to artistic success. It is definitely not. Also all this hand-wringing about professionalism felt less hypocritical when I wasn't cashing checks from Vice and Houghton Mifflin.
Speaking of Vice I thought I would mention that I'm not going to work with them anymore. I don't think I need to post links about the culture of Vice and the company's involvement in the gentrification of Brooklyn for y'all to know what's up with them. Also Nick Gazin's insulting 2017's "best comics" article is uniquely famous among comics people at this point (in a way that a review article never is to his credit, I guess?) that you probably thought of is as soon as your read "Vice," so I don't need to go into why he's an decent enough reason to avoid publishing comics with them as well. I'm a bit embarrassed that I ever worked with them, tho we all work for shitty people to make rent because most of the people with access to money are pretty shitty. I guess that's my loose attempt at a defense. I'd actually resolved to stop working with Vice before Nick Gazin's horrendous article because he'd sent me an unsolicited review (not the first) for Your Black Friend that ended with "I think if you made this longer and had more of a show-dont-tell storytelling approach you could make something that could be of major importance to comics and society." I've got a huge ego I try to keep on the DL, along with an overly pessimistic opinion about what comics can be to America society and I STILL was like "NIGGA this shit is ALREADY important." Maybe I'm tripping, you can tell me if I am.
AAAAAAAAAAAAANYWAY. I hope y'all have been enjoying the comics. You can expect a comic about Martin Luther King Jr. and memory vs commemoration, a short comic about about people fighting to remove a mural of Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia (You already know I like to write about vandalism.), and some updates about the Funhouse show in NYC.
ok, that's all for now. Pieces.