Tag: WGA

High Profile Comics Creators Band Together To Support Hollywood Workers With GENERAL STRIKE Comic

High Profile Comics Creators Band Together To Support Hollywood Workers With GENERAL STRIKE Comic

WGA Members/Comic Creators GRANT MORRISON, MATTEO PIZZOLO, and BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS join forces with TV Writers behind THE BOYS, DAREDEVIL, and WINNING TIME for new comic book Celebrating the Power and Success of the Strikes

Pre-orders open today for GENERAL STRIKE, the new comic that will help support workers impacted by the Hollywood Labor Strikes

PRESS RELEASE:

(September 26, 2023) A new comics anthology curated by the creators of CALEXIT aims to celebrate the Hollywood Labor Movement’s massive success and also support workers impacted by the dual Strikes as the WGA closes its historic new deal with the studios. Titled GENERAL STRIKE: Calexit and Other Tales of Fighting the Good Fight, the collection of new stories dedicated to the struggle for economic equality is written by WGA members, and publisher Black Mask Studios is matching the writers fees with donations to the Entertainment Community Fund.

With official pre-orders opening today, GENERAL STRIKE is hosted by a brand new comic book heroine (labor organizing badass Gen. Strike) and features stories by a roster of WGA-writers including writer/producer/WGA NBCU Lot Coordinator Judalina Neira (The Boys, Gen V, The Flash), Rodney Barnes (Winning Time, The Boondocks), Tamara Becher (Doom Patrol, Daredevil), Daniel Dominguez (Seis Manos), Charley Feldman (X-Men 97, Teen Titans Go), Grant Morrison (Happy!, All-Star Superman), and Brian Michael Bendis (creator of Miles Morales and Jessica Jones). The project is being run by WGA-member writer and publisher Matteo Pizzolo (Calexit, Godkiller, Rogue State).

“Our initial idea was to put together an anthology of new stories set in the world of Calexit, but, when we proposed that to the creators, they envisioned using Calexit as a launchpad for something bigger that could help support the community through the strikes,” explained Pat Shand, head of Black Mask Special Projects. “And that’s how General Strike came together.”

GENERAL STRIKE is an anthology comic of genre stories about characters fighting the good fight against injustice, linked by the theme of confronting economic inequality. All of the stories are written by striking guild members. In addition to paying Marvel/DC-level writers’ rates, Black Mask is also matching the writers’ rates with donations to the Entertainment Community Fund, and the creators retain ownership of the IP to their stories and characters.

“With the longest running dual-strikes in Hollywood history reaching a crescendo, this is an amazing moment to celebrate the power and solidarity that got us here and also to keep telling stories that inspire us to fight these good fights,” said Calexit writer/co-creator Matteo Pizzolo, who is overseeing GENERAL STRIKE. “The WGA and SAG strikes are part of the bigger labor movements growing across the country and around the world, but they’re also unique because they focus on creative artists – the public outpouring of support we’ve seen here hasn’t always been the case with past Hollywood strikes. It’s really inspiring and we’re hoping this project can honor that and also support the workers who are still struggling due to the impact of the strikes.”

Comics’ newest superhero Gen. Strike, a bubblegum-chewing labor organizer, comes to life in a set of covers by comic book artists Tyler Boss (4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, What’s The Furthest Place From Here?), Iolanda Zanfardino (Alice In Leatherland), Ben Templesmith (30 Days Of Night), Ramon Villalobos (America Chavez), Creees Lee (Lab Raider), Elisa Romboli (A Thing Called Truth), Amancay Nahuelpan (Calexit), and Darick Robertson (The Boys).

Artists illustrating the GENERAL STRIKE stories include Antonio Fuso (Something Is Killing The Children: House Of Slaughter), Jamal Igle (BLACK, The Wrong Earth), Butch Mapa (Star Wars Adventures), Tyler Jenkins (Grass Kings), and Josh Hood (We Can Never Go Home).

“For 148 days, WGA writers have been pencils down/picket signs up. But I’m stoked to pick up the pen again as a part of GENERAL STRIKE. Black Mask is serving up allyship with this comic anthology benefitting Hollywood’s not-for-profit lifesaver – the Entertainment Community Fund,” said Judalina Neira, Writer/Executive Producer (The Boys, Gen V, The Flash).

“This is a pivotal moment for our business and it’s projects like this that show our solidarity in the most difficult of circumstances,” said Rodney Barnes (Winning Time, The Boondocks).

“This strike isn’t just about writers in Hollywood, it’s about the exploitation of labor. As a proud member of the WGA and a recipient of Strike Fund assistance, I jumped at the chance to participate in this anthology,” said Tamara Becher (Doom Patrol, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Daredevil).

“Indie comics are special because risky and subversive stories and fresh, new characters can be created without a lot of meddling,” Pizzolo said on the standing-room-only Activism In Comics panel at San Diego Comic Con. “In comics, creators can be especially daring and vulnerable and create visual rallying cries because it’s such a personal medium, just a couple of creators working unfettered to make a story you can hold in your hands.”

The creators of Calexit have a long history of using their comic for activism. Previous initiatives include raising money for families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump Administration’s Border Crisis, running voter registration on the showfloor of San Diego Comic Con, supporting Indivisible’s Get Out The Vote campaign, donating to bail funds during the George Floyd protests, featuring interviews with organizers and grassroots candidates in the comic book’s backmatter, and using comic profits to form the SuperPAC “Become The Government.”


For more info and how to support this project visit the Kickstarter project page.

Brainiac On Banjo: Important Advice For Freelancers

Brainiac On Banjo: Important Advice For Freelancers

Well, we know where we’re going but we don’t know where we’ve been, and we know what we’re knowing but we can’t say what we’ve seen — “Road To Nowhere,” written by Tina Weymouth, Chris Franz, David Byrne, and Jerry Harrison

The Ritz Brothers “Here Kitty Kitty”

Deadlines are a pain in the ass, but let’s face it: you became a freelancer because you were tired of holding down a real job. However, work is still work no matter what the clock thinks, and that realization puts you on the Road To Nowhere. You are going to have to up your “cover your ass” game, and I’m going to lose a few friends by letting a few cats out of the bag.

You can not succeed without knowing the rudiments of grammar school arithmetic. Yes, yes, I know. No math. That’s the main reason why you quit flipping burgers. Nonetheless, it is important to know how to do some simple addition and subtraction, the latter simply being adding in reverse. Here’s why: Let’s say your deadline is 11 AM Monday, and it is now 7 PM Sunday. You think it will take you about three hours to do your work. You’ve got dinner tonight, the latest issue of Hey Kids! Comics! to finish, and those teevee shows aren’t going to stream themselves. Then, it’s time for your late-night snack (you are a freelancer; act like one!), and then, you should get a little sleep. When do you start on your deadline?

Well, like everything else in life, that’s a trick question. Your deadline is 11 AM, it will take you three hours to do the job. You weren’t going to do it the night before; if you were, you would have started it back when you landed the gig. So you’re going to subtract three from eleven and start working at 8 AM.

Yeah, of course you are. Out of habit, you’re going to stay in bed until 9:30 or until your brain starts working. At some point, maybe around 10 AM, you’re going to remember you should wash the dishes. After all, everything in life is a choice.

Okay. Let’s say your editor actually gave you a real, honest deadline. I realize there’s only one editor in the history of deadlines who does this, and he’s the one writing these words right now. Silly me. “If you treat people honestly, they will be honest with you.” This is, give or take, the funniest thing I’ve ever said.

However, more frequently I’ve had to explain why they put the word “dead” in “deadline.” We’ll talk about the psychology of editing some other time; this piece is to offer advice to freelancers. So here’s some advice.

First, become an editor. Listen to the talents’ excuses for being late. They know what they’re doing, as they do this part for a living. Write down or memorize the best ones. Then, when you are freelancing and your editor wants to know if you are still among the living, use one of those excuses. Of course, you’ll need to remember which lines you’ve used on which editors — that is how lying works.

Second, just before your assigned deadline brays, put your smartphone in “silent mode” the way you’re supposed to when you’re at the movies or in Colorado attending the Beetlejuice musical. In fact, you might actually be at the movies — that’s a very handy source of motivation when it comes to blowing off deadlines.

Third, check out the weather conditions. If you are not in the same city as your editor, then you have been experiencing severe storms that have been knocking out power all over the county, and you don’t have a clue when the power company is going to fix the lines, and if your editor has a problem with that, ask them if they have a dial-up fax machine. It will help if you know they do not in advance.

Finally, if you are lucky — and, really, this is turning a pound of shit into a shit soufflé — your editor will be representing a corporation that owes you money. That isn’t hard at all; DC Comics has owed me $250.00 for a couple years now, and it’s worth more to me as leverage than its rapidly diminishing spending power. So when your editor is putting the arm on you, change the subject to “hey, I wish you were as diligent about paying me for my work as you are demanding that stuff!”

This can be great fun. If you get in first and your editor hasn’t read this piece (which is likely), you’ll be treated to a lot of amusingly defensive grunts and groans. Swiftly change the subject to the WGA strike — particularly if you’re working for DC (Warner Bros) or Marvel (Disney). Then, just as the topic devolves back to deadlines, seize the high ground and tell your editor you have got to get back to finishing your assignment.

You know. The assignment you have yet to start.

(With apologies to Chris Ryall, Jack C. Harris, Bob Harrison and all my other editors who did not know they were road-testing the details in this column.)

Brainiac On Banjo: A.I’s Just A Photocopier.

Brainiac On Banjo: A.I’s Just A Photocopier.

I’m all alone, so are we all. We destroyed the government. We’re destroying time. No more problems on the way — Clones (We’re All), written by Alice Cooper.

According to last Friday’s Hollywood Reporter, “A federal judge on Friday upheld a finding from the U.S. Copyright Office that a piece of art created by AI [artificial intelligence] is not open to protection. The ruling was delivered in an order turning down Stephen Thaler’s bid challenging the government’s position refusing to register works made by AI. Copyright law has “never stretched so far” to “protect works generated by new forms of technology operating absent any guiding human hand,” U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell found.”

That certainly is good news to creators of all sorts — not just artists, but writers and other producers of copyrightable or patentable products. However, I suspect the majority of such gifted people will not waste carbon dioxide emitting a deep sigh of relief. Damn near all of them have been to this rodeo dozens of times; more likely hundreds. The longer you stay in the business, the more you slip on corporate dogshit.

Do not think the producers and corporate princes reading about this ruling will say “well, jeez, maybe we should start acting in a morally acceptable manner.” Hell, no. The vast majority of media moguls who possess an “annual compensation package” in excess of ten million dollars per annum confuse having their package reduced by as a direct kick to their… package. Whereas that seems fair to me, my WGA and AFTRA memberships expired a while ago. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: A.I’s Just A Photocopier.”

Brainiac On Banjo: Coming — Super Attractions!

Brainiac On Banjo: Coming — Super Attractions!

Lady window shopper with a new one in the hopper whips up a chemical brew. Croaking to a neighbor while she polishes a sabre, knows how to flavor a stew. Never need to worry with a tin of “Hurri Curri” — poisoned especially for you! — “Cat Food” written by Robert Fripp and Peter John Sinfield.

I usually write this column the night before publication. Hey who knows, maybe something timely will happen on deadline. Well this time, something did happen near deadline.

I got hungry.

I just read the Superman vs Meshi manga that was released last week through one of DC’s many ever-changing, ever-shrinking online media operations. That’s not a slam against DC or its blind, deaf and dumb corporate ownership du jour. Almost all online media is struggling to figure out what to do these days, and that started well before the current noble and worthy WGA and SAG/AFTRA strikes. Just ask Elon Musk. No, scratch that; you don’t need to talk to still another self-important asshole. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Coming — Super Attractions!”