Category: Lifestyle

With Further Ado #066: Spooky Reading with Ghosts

With Further Ado #066: Spooky Reading with Ghosts

Happy Halloween!  Have you been partying at Halloween Parties all weekend? Are you ready for trick-or-treaters tomorrow?  And what do you hand out to the kids? Candy? Comics? Anything’s fine by me, as long as you’re not one of those dentists that gives out dental floss. What a bummer that is.

There’s something about that quaint, retro-spookiness of Halloween that makes it all so much fun. I especially applaud the hard-working entrepreneurs of Retro-Go-Go and all their wonderful Halloween merchandise. There’s such a charm in that idealized notion of Halloween that their creative seasonal merchandise evokes.   Continue reading “With Further Ado #066: Spooky Reading with Ghosts”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #062: Cow Belches

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #062: Cow Belches

I love digging out under-reported facts that go against the grain of common wisdom. It’s the demonstration mode of the old axiom “Live and Learn.”

For example, it is common wisdom that one of the more serious contributing factors to global warming is cow farts. Yes, I said “farts.” Get over it. Of course, the people who most like to perpetuate this wonderful myth – outside of the vegan Morlocks – are people beholden to the energy industry. They don’t want you to cut back on gasoline consumption or get into renewable fuel sources. They don’t want you to maintain the anti-pollution standards that have brought massive reductions in air crap. You know, the very standards that our current president and his fellow Trumpublicans abolished, killing tens of thousands of people each year. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #062: Cow Belches”

Comic Writer Engaging in Performative Allyship and Inappropriate Behavior- What Now?

Comic Writer Engaging in Performative Allyship and Inappropriate Behavior- What Now?

Without a knowing the bigger picture, you could think he was delusional. But with the whole story, there is no other way of looking at it than he is a manipulator.

Did you insert yourself into someone’s trauma for personal reasons? Are you being a supportive person or just an angry one?

Was that an “innocent flirtation” that you just made, or are your comments actually harassment?

These questions are important. Actions have consequences. Even online actions can lead to real damage.

The world we live in is changing all the time. Sometimes for the worse, and sometimes for the better. One of the ways that our society has been changing for the better over the last couple of years is that there is greater accountability required by people who have preyed upon the vulnerable and engaged in inappropriate personal behavior. The #MeToo movement has made it more difficult for everything from unwanted overly familiar innuendo to sexual assault to be brushed away or excused.

There are two types of goals for exposing unacceptable behavior publicly. The first is punishment. Punishment for the offender. Unfortunately, even though the victims are justified in their desire for some level of retribution, that doesn’t always work out.

An example of that is the public declaration of Chris Hardwick‘s behavior in a past relationship by Chloe Dykstra. He laid low for a short time and made some public statements without admitting guilt, and now he is back on TV and getting paid.

Sometimes, people are cast out from their positions of celebrity. Truly, it should be a privilege to be a public figure and be celebrated. That includes comic book writers and artists. Companies are free to employ whom they chose, and consumers are free to support who they want, but people have a right know when someone is behaving badly, especially if that person is in the public arena.

We saw, last year, that Eric Esquivel was fired following revelations of abusive behavior, and recently Dark Horse Comics stated that they would no longer work with Brian Wood because of multiple allegations of unacceptable actions. In the case of Jai Nitz, comic writer and college guest lecturer, it took the reaction of the University of Kansas banning him from the campus for the comics community to take notice of what had been a pattern of terrible acts.

The second goal for exposing inappropriate behavior is awareness. Awareness that the actions are wrong, and that the perpetrator is engaging in this behavior. We mentioned awareness that the behavior is wrong, and that is the meat of this post.

There are people who prey on the vulnerable and the abused by portraying themselves as an ally. Some people use the trauma of others for their own benefit. They frame the other people’s injuries with their own feelings.

One such person is comic writer C.W. Cooke. He is a pretty well known in the indie comic circuit, especially online. Until very recently, he has been quick to comment and insert himself in the raging at bad actors in the comic community.

There is a difference between being a predator that breaks laws and someone who crosses the barriers of acceptable social interactions. The latter can cause personal pain and often result in very real trauma.

Continue reading “Comic Writer Engaging in Performative Allyship and Inappropriate Behavior- What Now?”

FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics

FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics

Flame Con 2019 was held this past weekend August 17-18, 2019 at the Sheraton Times Square in New York City. We were lucky to be in attendance and had a terrific time.

Flame Con is “the world’s largest queer comic con”, and this was its fifth year. The event features comics, arts and other entertainment, while hosting creators and special guests from all corners of the LGBTQ fandom.

There was a fantastic array of creators from corporate publishers and small, independent, often self, publishers. The atmosphere was intensely joyous. While the show floor was a little tightly packed, the visitors made their way through the aisles with little complaint. The placement of featured guests was spread out around the show floor which was an inspired decision.

Continue reading “FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics”

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #044: “I want to take your guns away.”

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #044: “I want to take your guns away.”

I’m done making excuses, personally. I’m done forgiving, allowing exceptions, or offering platitudes to the other side. I have been lucky that no one I know has been affected by gun violence specifically. That even in that assertion I am not fully sure of it — considering all of the recent mass shootings — seals the deal. My name is Marc Alan Fishman, and I absolutely want to take all your guns away from you and everyone you know. Continue reading ““So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #044: “I want to take your guns away.””

With Further Ado #049: A Rose By Any Other Name

With Further Ado #049: A Rose By Any Other Name

I’ve known Rose Del Vecchio, and her co-founder Jenny Cheng ever since they participated in my Fangirls Lead the Way panels. Together they run an innovative company called FanMail.com. A forward-looking Geek-focused company with an entrepreneurial streak a mile wide. The things that strikes you immediately about Rose is that she’s the real deal. As San Diego Comic-Con approaches, it’s important to catch up with Rose, a person on the front lines of both entrepreneurism and geek culture.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #049: A Rose By Any Other Name”

With Further Ado #048: Innovation & the Comic Shop Retail Model

With Further Ado #048: Innovation & the Comic Shop Retail Model

This weekend we had an amazing family wedding in Buffalo. Whenever I’m in town, I like to drop in on the local comics shops, especially the funky Gutter Pop and the traditional Queen City Bookstore. (I’ve written about these two shops recently here.)

Just as we were wrapping up all the festivities from our weekend wedding, I tried to squeeze in a stop, and a little retail therapy, at Queen City Bookstore. To my surprise, they were closed in order to devote 100% of their focus Sunday to the Buffalo Comic Con.

Rats!

The Buffalo Comic-Con is a fun show. Captain Action exhibited there a few years ago and we had a grand time. I had a wonderful time getting to know comic artist Kevin Nowlan as we were on a panel together.

But, still… I was bummed out that Queen City Bookstore was closed. So, I used Waze to guide me out of the city and on the way out, was surprised to see a storefront sign that read: Iron Buffalo Comics. Games. Coffee.

Screeeeech! I mimicked an Adam West “Bat Turn” (minus the parachutes emerging from my car) and my wife Kathe and I stopped in for a visit.

Iron Buffalo is a funky, new comic shop. It’s still in its infancy but you can see that this store, like so many new comic shops, is trying something new.

Here’s how they describe themselves: Continue reading “With Further Ado #048: Innovation & the Comic Shop Retail Model”

The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit

The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit

Earlier this month the Illinois legislature passed and sent to the governor a bill legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana. Within 24 hours, I had received a half-dozen emails and texts asking me when I was moving back home.

I’ve been gone a third of a century, but – like most obnoxious Chicago ex-pats – the city remains imbedded in my heart. The people, the traditions, music and the folklore, and the highly dangerous but totally fabulous junk food that is all such an integral part of the city’s culture remains remarkably seductive. Continue reading “The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #040: PRIDE and Prejudice

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #040: PRIDE and Prejudice

So, if you’re like me — always a day late on the pulse of what the kids are in to— no doubt you just stumbled into Taylor Swift’s newest earworm, “You Need To Calm Down”. Like all of her work… its cotton candy made audible. Lyrics, if you don’t pay attention to them, are superficial and trite as an eight grade girl trying to be edgy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find the song nauseatingly catchy.

But, as with most things in the post-millennial age, Swift’s single here is more than just audio saccharine for the summer. It’s also a companion music video that takes the lyrics to literal heart, and regurgitates the track as it’s clearly meant to be directed: a pride anthem for the LGBTQ community. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #040: PRIDE and Prejudice”