tilmon: (nina paley)
Only 10 days behind now!

This is a bit off track, maybe, but I don't think I should talk about independent cultural creators without talking about one of the most significant developments in funding since corporate sponsorship: crowdfunding, There are many different resources for crowdfunding, each with their own focus. For cultural funding, Kickstarter is the place to go.

A lot of artists have recently begun looking to the power of the internet to fund their projects. They post their proposals online and then solicit funding from the general public, accepting any amount. With enough interest and support, $1 and $10 donations build up into money to make movies, music, and other arts. By gaining support in this way, creators are able to maintain 100% control of their work, instead of forfeiting their rights to Big Content. Some creators specifically announce that they will use Creative Commons or Copyleft rather than traditional copyright. If breaking the bonds of traditional copyright is important to you, you can direct your support just to those creators who feel the same way about it.

There's all kinds of projects just begging for your spare change, but since this one is both geeky and fan-oriented, and the video pitch demonstrates such great understanding of the relationship between creators and fans, I've chosen to link you to Inspector Spacetime. (LJ won't let me embed this video for some reason, but you can watch it at the link.)
tilmon: (nina paley)
If I'm diligent, perhaps I will catch up on my self-appointed mission of pointing out non-SOPA affiliated artists.

I've mentioned a bit of music, and a ton o'comics. But no video up to now, which is too bad, because there is a lot of great independent video. And even more that is just plain weird. Somewhere along the border of great and weird, lies Pain Dante. Since most of the people who read my LJ are Japanese culture fans, and especially ikemen fans, PDS has to be the first video channel I link to for Independents March.



I'll get back to my comics this week. And also listen to a bit of music.
tilmon: (nina paley)
cover of finale to Royal Historian of Oz

The Royal Historian of Oz, by Tommy Kovac and Andy Hirsch, is a wonderful return to Oz. It's the tale of a teenage boy who is held hostage in Oz while Ozma and her court attempt to get his father to return items he had taken from them. Not that his captivity is unpleasant. It's just...well, it's just pretty much the mind trip you might expect if you were stuck in Oz with the earnest characters from the series of Oz books. (You didn't know there was a series of books? You don't know who Ozma is? It's OK, you don't have to know beforehand, though knowing makes you appreciate Kovac and Hirsch's respect for the official canon.) The last couple of installments of Royal Historian are available in digital format, but the graphic novel is the only way to have the entire work now.
Read more... )
tilmon: (nina paley)
I had thought I'd catch up about 5 days ago, but, you know, life...

So, here I am to get several days of Independent Creators caught up!

Day 6

I am still going through my Staples stash. Last time was Batcave Cove. Today, it's Monica Gallagher's When I Was a Mall Model. Gallagher is probably best know for her series, Gods and Undergrads. I better post this right away, because today is the last day of her 10% sale, which also includes stuff in her Etsy store. Those of you who regularly check your LJ Friends Page can get a bargain. Everyone else, this is why you should check your Friends Page. ^______^

I picked up When I Was a Mall Model simply because I wanted to know what being a mall model was like. What I got was not only her reminiscence about her time as an actual model, but a nice introspection about goals and work. Gallagher's art style allows her to show a modeling world where the models are, of course, pretty, but at the same time doesn't focus your attention on their appearance. 

Pages in When I Was a Mall Model

When I Was a Mall Model is a fast read, perfect for work breaks on busy days, and a great introduction to a wonderful storyteller and artist.
tilmon: (nina paley)
In which I didn't expect this ending...

Last year at Staple, I bought a sweet little comic from a Portland, Oregon, couple in which they each told their own side of how they met and came to be a couple. When I saw them again, with the same table location, I decided I would try a different offering. What I bought was Batcave Beach. Aaron Whitaker wrote the story, and Melinda Tracy Boyce did the artwork. It was bright, watercolored, with a guy dressed as a pink-paisley ghost on the cover. I figured it would be sweet. Damn them! It was funny right up until the end, at which point the story took a completely unexpected twist, and now I have to get the next chapter to find out what the hell happens. To get a taste of the art and story style, please click on the cover art below.

click here to go to preview page
tilmon: (nina paley)
No, I haven't forgotten this project! But I did get distracted. Honestly, it was for a good cause: Staple Expo 2012!
Staple Expo program booklet

One of the best ways to support independent media creators is by attending local events. You get to talk to the artists in person, review new works, and connect with fellow fans. When you go to an event such as this, you will see a wide variety of styles and levels of production quality. My personal preference in graphic stories is for black & white or 4 color. I've never been much into glossy color. But as long as the story and the graphics work well together, I'm game for anything. Here's my story purchases for this year:

Batcave Beach, Royal Historian of Oz, When I was a Mall Model, Local Heroes, After Twilight

I'll tell you about each one of these and post links to their creators' sites, and catch this project up!
tilmon: (Default)
I'm late, but it's still March 3 in Texas!

Today, how about something completely free and mellow? This is my darling friend Jun Miyamoto's latest song, a jazzy electronica number in celebration of spring. 



Please leave him a comment if you liked it.
tilmon: (nina paley)
Continuing on with my version of Black March, I offer another independent creator to you.

cover of Family Man by Dylan Meconis

Dylan Meconis has made a name for herself in gothic horror comics. Her first web comic, Bite Me, details the lives of a vampires in Revolutionary France. Through the support of her readers, it was published as a graphic novel (currently out of print). Her second comic features a minor character, a werewolf, from Bite Me. Mind you, she started her comic long before Twilight was even in book form. In Family Man, German religious scholar and closet agnostic, Luther Levy, is recruited to lecture at an obscure college. The tale is complex, and Meconis often seems to go off on a tangent. I promise, she never introduces something she doesn't pick up later! The first volume of Family Man has already been collected in print form. You can catch up with the story online, or order a print copy to read the prologue and first two chapters--160 pages for only $20.
tilmon: (nina paley)
Continuing on with my version of Black March, I offer another independent creator to you.

cover of Family Man by Dylan Meconis

Dylan Meconis has made a name for herself in gothic horror comics. Her first web comic, Bite Me, details the lives of a vampires in Revolutionary France. Through the support of her readers, it was published as a graphic novel (currently out of print). Her second comic features a minor character, a werewolf, from Bite Me. Mind you, she started her comic long before Twilight was even in book form. In Family Man, German religious scholar and closet agnostic, Luther Levy, is recruited to lecture at an obscure college. The tale is complex, and Meconis often seems to go off on a tangent. I promise, she never introduces something she doesn't pick up later! The first volume of Family Man has already been collected in print form. You can catch up with the story online, or order a print copy to read the prologue and first two chapters--160 pages for only $20.
tilmon: (nina paley)
Guess what day it is! Yes! The first day of Black March. 

Rather than simply not buying anything, I think it would be a better, as well as more feasible, idea to make an effort to reward those artists and companies that did not support SOPA and do not support ACTA or any similar measures restricting free speech and the exercise thereof. Therefore, I'm dedicating March to these heroes of creative content, these people more interested in participating in culture than in controlling it.

I can think of no better person to begin with than Nina Paley and her luscious animation, Sita Sings the Blues



Paley has been a true champion of copyright reform. As she puts it in her FAQ for Sita,
Q: Why would corporations hang onto all these old copyrights if they are going to make it so hard to use them?

A: Well, there's a good answer to that. The corporations that hold these copyrights are media companies that also control most of the new media that comes out. Estimates vary, but it's said that 98 percent of all culture is unavailable right now because of copyrights. So the reason they hold the copyrights isn't because they want to get paid, it's because they don't want all the old stuff competing with the media stream that they control now.
Please, if you enjoyed Sita Sings the Blues, especially consider buying the fan-subbed DVD. What could be nicer than supporting an artist who supports fans making her work more accessible to a larger audience?

The Sita icon is going to be our guide for these posts during Black March. If you have suggestions for other artists (any language!) I should feature, please let me know! If you enjoyed this, please let me know in the comments. And if you know of a large content-owning company that is on the side of the angels, let's hear about them, too! 


 
tilmon: (nina paley)
Guess what day it is! Yes! The first day of Black March. 

Rather than simply not buying anything, I think it would be a better, as well as more feasible, idea to make an effort to reward those artists and companies that did not support SOPA and do not support ACTA or any similar measures restricting free speech and the exercise thereof. Therefore, I'm dedicating March to these heroes of creative content, these people more interested in participating in culture than in controlling it.

I can think of no better person to begin with than Nina Paley and her luscious animation, Sita Sings the Blues



Paley has been a true champion of copyright reform. As she puts it in her FAQ for Sita,
Q: Why would corporations hang onto all these old copyrights if they are going to make it so hard to use them?

A: Well, there's a good answer to that. The corporations that hold these copyrights are media companies that also control most of the new media that comes out. Estimates vary, but it's said that 98 percent of all culture is unavailable right now because of copyrights. So the reason they hold the copyrights isn't because they want to get paid, it's because they don't want all the old stuff competing with the media stream that they control now.
Please, if you enjoyed Sita Sings the Blues, especially consider buying the fan-subbed DVD. What could be nicer than supporting an artist who supports fans making her work more accessible to a larger audience?

The Sita icon is going to be our guide for these posts during Black March. If you have suggestions for other artists (any language!) I should feature, please let me know! If you enjoyed this, please let me know in the comments. And if you know of a large content-owning company that is on the side of the angels, let's hear about them, too! 


 

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