Category Archives: Politics

California Has Made Getting and Selling Autographs and Limited Edition Items More Confusing and Labor Intensive

2000px-flag_of_california-svgIn early September Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1570, a consumer protection law aimed at fake signatures on sports memorabilia. The legislation has been the subject of a lot of chatter lately sparked by an impassioned blog post by Eureka Book Sellers. As usual, the discussion is full of hyperbole as to what the law does and does not do, and let me begin by flat-out saying it’s bad legislation that accomplishes little to solve the issue of fraud autographs.

Championed by celebrities like Mark Hamill (who we’ll point out make a decent chunk of change by selling autographs) the law does the following:

  • Expands the definition of “collectible” to mean an autographed item for sale in or from California by a “dealer” to a consumer for five dollars or more
  • “Dealer” is defined as a person who is mainly in the business of “selling or offering for sale collectibles in or from this state, exclusively or nonexclusively, or a person who by his or her occupation holds himself or herself out as having knowledge or skill peculiar to collectibles, or to whom that knowledge or skill may be attributed by his or her employment of an agent or other intermediary that by his or her occupation holds himself or herself out as having that knowledge or skill. “Dealer” includes an auctioneer who sells collectibles at a public auction, and also includes persons who are consignors or representatives or agents of auctioneers. “Dealer” includes a person engaged in a mail order, telephone order, online, or cable television business for the sale of collectibles.”
  • Whenever a dealer sells, or offers to sell, an autographed collectible in or from California, the dealer has to provide a certificate of authenticity at the time of sale. That certificate has some specifics that need to be met:
    • Shall be in writing (does a computer print out count?)
    • Signed by the dealer or authorized agent
    • Feature the date of sale
    • Must be in at least 10-point boldface type
    • Contain the dealer’s legal name and street address
    • The dealer must retain on file a copy of the certificate for no less than seven years
    • It shall describe the collectible and specify the name of the personality who autographed it
    • Specify the date of sale or be accompanied by a separate invoice with that information
    • Contain a warranty
    • Specify if the collectible is offered as a part of a limited edition and if so it has to say how it’s numbered and the size of any prior or anticipated edition. And if that’s not known, it should state that it’s unknown.
    • Indicate if the dealer is bonded or otherwise insured to protect consumers against errors and omissions and if so, provide proof
    • Indicate the last four digits of the dealer’s resale certificate number from the State Board of Equalization
    • Indicate if the item was autographed in the presence of the dealer and if so the specific date, location, and name of the witness
    • Indicate if the item was obtained or purchased from a third-party and if it was the name and address of the third-party
    • Include a serial number that corresponds any identifying number printed on the collectible item, if any. That should also be on the sales receipt and if that receipt is printed then write the number on the receipt
    • A dealer shall not present an item as a collectible if it was not autographed by the personality in his or her own hand
    • You need to post a sign close to where your collectibles are that let consumers know you need to provide them with a certificate of authenticity
    • Mail order dealers have some other things they need to do, especially if they advertise
    • If you plan on selling autographs at conventions you need to displace a “specimen example of a certificate of authenticity”
    • Consumers who don’t receive a certificate of authenticity with the above, or if it’s got false information, shall be able to receive damages equal to 10 times actual damages, plus court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, interest, and expert witness fees. Plus the court can award additional damages
    • Dealers in the state must have a valid resale certificate number from the State Board of Equalization
    • A dealer may be surety bonded or otherwise insured for purposes of indemnification against errors and omissions

And there’s some things promoters need to do as well, such as warning any dealer about the above with specific language provided:

As a vendor at this collectibles trade show, you are a professional representative of this hobby. As a result, you will be required to follow the laws of this state, including laws regarding the sale and display of collectibles, as defined in Section 1739.7 of the Civil Code, forged and counterfeit collectibles and autographs, and mint and limited edition collectibles. If you do not obey the laws, you may be evicted from this trade show, be reported to law enforcement, and be held liable for a civil penalty of 10 times the amount of damages.

There are exemptions to the law as far as what a “dealer” is….

  • “Dealers” don’t include licensed pawnbrokers
  • An online marketplace that is not primarily in the business of selling, or offering for sale, collectibles, in or from California
  • The personality who signs the memorabilia

Get all of that?

Lets begin with the failure of the law…

johnhancockThe exemptions are the first problem with the legislation. The fraud that exists with online sellers through eBay is rampant and though there’s no numbers as to how bad it is, the legislation begs individuals to move their business online solving nothing at all in reality. But, eBay’s lobbyists are strong and their money flows regularly to California politicians. Check out 2015 through 2016’s donations and I’m sure the company’s donation of $15,000 to Jerry Brown’s run for Governor had no impact at all (and $5,000 to his Attorney General race). In general, the company’s donations to California’s politicians has greatly increased in recent cycles. When it comes to rampant forgery online, California elected officials apparently don’t care.

The exemption of the personality who signs the memorabilia is also hypocritical. I’m not sure if I’d really call this a failure, but there’s irony in the fact the celebrities who have demanded certifications themselves don’t have to provide one. What’s good for the rest isn’t good for them. And, I guess they don’t stand by their autograph, and as a consumer I wouldn’t trust any I didn’t see them sign in person. Autopens do wonders.

Finally, there’s already protections for consumers about fake autographs, this legislation really creates a consumer right to a certificate of authenticity. There’s already laws to protect against forged signatures. In other words, it’s not needed. Those who break the law by selling fake autographs will now likely continue, just with a piece of paper. There’s no difference in practicality of what was and what is when it comes to fighting this issue. Consumers had a right to sue then. Consumers can now sue now for the same thing. What is needed is for celebrities to file lawsuits, not consumers, put the onus on them, but then again, they can’t be bothered by providing a piece of paper themselves for authenticity.

There’s also the weird…

The legislation goes into defining “limited edition.” A consumer can request proof that the films, electronic coding, molds, or plates used to create the collectible was destroyed after the edition is up. It also decides to delve into the debate on “mint condition” to mean an item that must never have been circulated, used, or worn, with no signs of aging, and otherwise free of creases, blemishes, or marks. There’s no use of “mint condition” in the legislation other than to define what it is.

What’s the actual impact to comic dealers and comic creators?

For creators, there’s little impact by the legislation. They fall under that personality exemption so they can continue to go about selling autographs directly.

For dealers, the impact is much greater. There’s the signage that will now had to be had if they’re selling autographed materials in their store or their booth at conventions. In reality, the legislation is worded so poorly it indicates everyone that sells collectibles needs the sign, but I don’t think that’s the actual intent or how it’ll be enforced. If you’re selling autographed items for $5 or more you’ll need to provide a certificate and keep it on file for seven years. Yay more paperwork! I’d also expect more lawsuits by individuals looking to make a good buck. The fact is anyone can sue anyone and there’ll be a nice business coming out of this legislation potentially. Dealers should also be aware of any autographed items they’re purchasing, such as from Diamond, in that they’ll now need to provide a proper certificate of authenticity. I know autographed items I’ve purchased through Diamond in the past have had one, but they didn’t comply with the above.

For consumers, this is a good thing in that, in theory, it should scare off some sellers of forged autographs. It also means you get to keep a certificate of authenticity somewhere, so more items for you too.

The up in the air…

Since this includes all autographed items this now includes greeting cards as mentioned in Eureka Book’s post, something that wasn’t intended, unless that item is less than $5. Then “agent or intermediary” that is defined under dealer isn’t defined as well.

The bigger impact is signings in stores. If a comic creator comes to a comic shop and then signs items before leaving, that may fall under the celebrity exception, but maybe not? If the shop is selling the item at a celebrity signing, like what happens in shops, is one needed?

In reality…

The legislation is a failure of those who drafted and lobbied for it, but also a failure of those in the memorabilia industry for letting it get passed. This has been something that’s been lobbied for quite some time and went through the legislation process. Where was the comic industry speaking up about this when it was going through that? Where was our lobbying effort? We have a CBLDF, is it time for someone to look out for creators, stores, and consumers when it comes to matters beyond free speech?

The biggest reality is the legislation is passed and signed by the Governor.

What can you do?

You can still make your voice heard. Contact Governor Jerry Brown or contact elected officials in the State Senate and the State Assembly. Most importantly, pay attention at your state level to make sure you speak up before legislation like this is even passed.

The law takes effect in January.

Today is National Voter Registration Day – So Register to Vote Here!

Today is National Voter Registration Day. We want you to take advantage and make sure to register to vote so you can make your voice heard in this year’s election and the elections to come! If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the state of the country or politics.

I don’t care about your political leaning or who you plan on voting for, just do your civic duty and register to vote. We’ve taken the opportunity to do our part by using Rock the Vote’s handy widget to make it easy for you to register right here or click the image above and get the process started.

As a site, we’ve taken it up as a task to register as many individuals as we can. So, if you’re not, do so and help spread the word!

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Fox Searchlight Announces Voter Registration Drive Around The Birth of a Nation

the_birth_of_a_nationTo support National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Fox Searchlight Pictures will be launching a Nationwide Voter Registration initiative to encourage Americans to register to vote. Fox Searchlight has aligned with theater chains and voting partners, who will hold voter enrollment in theatre lobbies on National Voter Registration Day prior to special promotional screenings of The Birth of a Nation. The initiative will continue opening weekend of The Birth of a Nation — October 7th-9th, 2016.

The acting talent from The Birth of a NationNate Parker, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Aja Naomi King, and Gabrielle Union—have recorded the following PSA to raise awareness about exercising the right to vote which will be shown prior to the promotional screenings on September 27th:

Fox Searchlight has teamed up with voting organizations who have worked to staff the local theatres in each city: The League of Women Voters; Delta Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.; National Coalition of Black Civic Participation and its Ohio Unity Coalition and North Carolina Black Youth Vote Network; NYC Votes; and National Voter Registration Day.  The program includes the following participating theatre chains and independent theatres nationwide: Bow Tie Cinemas; Emagine Entertainment; Malco Theatres; Marcus Theatres; Wehrenberg Theatres; Amstar Cinemas; Movie Taverns; The Grand Theatres; Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA; Glenwood Arts Theatre, Overland Park, KS; Little Theatre, Rochester, NY; Midtown Cinema, Harrisburg, PA; Tower City Cinemas, Cleveland, OH; Cedar Lee Theatre, Cleveland Heights, OH; Cinema Arts Theatre, Fairfax, VA; Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI; The Neon, Dayton, OH.

The objective for the initiative is to encourage everyone to be a part of U.S. history by highlighting everyone’s right to vote, encouraging registration and underscoring that their voices and opinions matter. Currently, 20% of all people who can legally vote in this country are stopped by technical roadblocks when they try to register. This presidential election will be especially challenging, as many current laws lack the protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act was passed to overcome many legal barriers that individuals faced when exercising their right to vote but section 4 was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.

Set against the antebellum South and based on a true story, ‘The Birth of a Nation’ follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher whose financially strained owner Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer) accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself, his wife Cherry (Aja Naomi King), and fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.

The Birth of a Nation also stars Mark Boone Jr., Dwight Henry, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith with Penelope Ann Miller and Jackie Earle Haley, and is produced by Nate Parker, Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Preston L. Holmes.

Dragon Con 2016: One Last Time with Team “March”

For the third year in a row, the team behind the critically acclaimed and award winning March trilogy came to Dragon Con to discuss the book and the real life inspirations behind it. This year was particularly auspicious since not only was it following the release of the third and final volume, but it was also artist Nate Powell’s first ever Dragon Con. A drop in the bucket compared to co-writer Andrew Aydin’s nineteen, but it was still a welcome sight to see the entire team Aydin, Powell and Representative John Lewis together at the con for the very first time.

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A big theme at the start of the panel was happiness and relief. The series has been in the works since about 2009 and to have all three volumes out and to be so well received has been nothing short of “euphoric” according to Aydin. There was a great amount of pressure the two felt to get not just the story of Lewis right, but of everyone else involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Powell especially talked about the devil of the details in some of the more extremely well documented events such as the March on Washington and the Selma to Montgomery marches and how doing right by the people who were there means getting the details of what they were wearing that day right.

As for Lewis, he is extremely happy with having the third book finally be out and was practically kissing it when it was in hand. He credits Aydin and Powell so much with getting the story out there into the world, calling them his “young brothers” and praising their ability to “make the words dance and sing.”

A lot of what has come up for March in these panels over the past three years is how resonant the story still is in our current social and political climate. That was purposeful according to the team, with the idea that the book would not only tell a story that Lewis feels responsible to tell as the last living member of the Big Six, but as a guide for the future of the movement. Lewis still absolutely believes in nonviolence and that if it can be done right in America, maybe we can be a model for the rest of the world. As for Aydin’s view on tackling the weight of that history, it boils down to seven words: “Follow your heart, and follow John Lewis.”

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With the story of March expanding past Lewis’ life in later volumes, the team took a focus on bringing up two major parts that don’t get brought up in history books a lot: the political maneuvering that happened behind the scenes and the importance of the women who were on the front lines. The political maneuvering was something of a challenge for Aydin and Powell, who were trying to effectively portray it in a graphic format. It did lead to particular artistic choices though, with Powell taking pride in a panel in Book Three where he drew the cords of the phones spoken on during the Mississippi Freedom Summer as a twisted spider-web of maneuvering and intrigue.

When it comes to the women, Book Three focuses particularly on activists Annie Cooper, Amelia Boynton and Fannie Lou Hamer, who Lewis names as “the soul of the Mississippi movement” in the book and whose televised testimony at the Convention’s Credentials Committee in 1964 was famously cut off by an emergency press conference by President Johnson specifically to divert the press away from her words. When asked about writing about Hamer and the other women involved during the movement, Lewis was point blank on the why. “Women did a lot of the dirty work and never get the credit.”

As the panel came to a conclusion, Lewis did a lot to emphasize his faith in today’s youth for carrying the movement forward in ways they weren’t able to back then and even giving credit to his younger colleagues in the House for being able to use Periscope and Twitter to broadcast their gun violence sit in earlier this year when the CSPAN cameras were cut off. Towards the end, he told the story of going to another convention where a second-grade girl asked him a very simple question: “Representative Lewis, how are you so awesome?”

By the end of the panel, I was asking myself the same question.

The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie Announces Secret Path with Graphic Novel by Jeff Lemire & CBC Film Special

secretpath-bookGord Downie began Secret Path as ten poems, incited by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario, fifty years ago, walking home to the family he was taken from over 400 miles away. Gord was introduced to Chanie Wenjack (miscalled “Charlie” by his teachers) by Mike Downie, his brother, who shared with him Ian Adams’ Maclean’s story from February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.”

The stories Gord’s poems tell were fleshed into the ten songs of Secret Path with producers Kevin Drew and Dave Hamelin. Recording took place over two sessions at The Bathouse Recording Studios in Bath, Ontario, November and December 2013. The music features Downie on vocals and guitars, with Drew and Hamelin playing all other instruments. Guest musicians include Charles Spearin (bass), Ohad Benchetrit (lap steel/guitar), Kevin Hearn (piano), and Dave “Billy Ray” Koster (drums).

In winter 2014, Gord and Mike brought the recently finished Secret Path music to graphic novelist Jeff Lemire for his help illustrating Chanie Wenjack’s story, bringing him and the many children like him to life.

The ten song album will be released by Arts & Crafts accompanied by Lemire’s eighty-eight page graphic novel published by Simon & Schuster Canada. Secret Path will arrive on October 18, 2016, in a deluxe vinyl and book edition, and as a book with album download.

Downie’s music and Lemire’s illustrations have inspired The Secret Path, an animated film to be broadcast by CBC in an hour-long television special on Sunday, October 23, 2016, 9pm east.

The Secret Path is produced by eOne and Antica Productions Ltd. in association with CBC. The Secret Path was created, written, direction, and composed by Gord Downie, with illustrations by Jeff Lemire. The film is executive produced by Mike Downie, Patrick Downie, Gord Downie, and Sarah Polley. Jocelyn Hamilton is executive producer for eOne Television and Stuart Coxe is executive producer for Antica Productions. Justin Stephenson is director of animation.

The broadcast date marks the fiftieth anniversary of the morning Chanie’s body was found frozen beside the railroad tracks only twelve miles into his journey.

Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation via The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at The University of Manitoba. The NCTR is dedicated to preserving the history of the residential schools in Canada, making this history known, and moving our country forward on the path of reconciliation.

Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history – the long-supressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system – with the hope of starting our country on a road to reconciliation. Every year as we remember Chanie Wenjack, the hope for Secret Path is that it educates all Canadians young and old on this omitted part of our history, urging our entire nation to play an active role in the preservation of Indigenous lives and culture in Canada.

Jeff Lemire has released a statement about his involvement:

I first met Gord Downie and his brother Mike back in the winter of 2014. They wanted to discuss a potential project and, over coffee, they told me the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack. Gord was then in the final stages of recording his incredible songs based on Chanie’s life and he shared the rough mixes with me in the hopes that I would be interested in creating a graphic novel to accompany his album. Before we left the coffee shop I knew I was going to do it. I had to. Chanie’s story is one that will not let you go once you hear it. It’s a story that can’t be ignored. And yet, somehow, it has been ignored. By nearly all of us.

Growing up white in Southern Ontario, I never learned about Chanie Wenjack or about any of the tens of thousands of other indigenous children like him who were part of Canada’s residential school system. This is such a massive part of our country’s history, yet our schools didn’t teach us about it. Why? Maybe because it’s easier to live with ourselves if we pretend stories like Chanie’s never happened. But they did happen, and still happen. Chanie Wenjack lived and died, and no one knows his story.

I’ve spent the last three years living with Chanie’s story and living inside Gord’s music. Gord’s haunting songs introduced me to Chanie Wenjack. Music is universal. It crosses languages and cultures and speaks to everyone, and I’ve always felt the medium of comics could do the same. It’s our hope that one day Secret Path will be taught in schools and that it will help to shed a light on this all too often ignored part of Canada’s past. I think, above all else, that’s what Gord and I wanted to create: something that can’t be ignored. Every Canadian should know Chanie Wenjack’s name and I hope Secret Path helps to make that a reality.

Downie released a statement as well:

STATEMENT BY GORD DOWNIE
Ogoki Post, Ontario
September 9, 2016

Mike Downie introduced me to Chanie Wenjack; he gave me the story from Ian Adams’ Maclean’s magazine story dating back to February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.”

Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to walk home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor how to find it, but, like so many kids – more than anyone will be able to imagine – he tried. I never knew Chanie, but I will always love him.

Chanie haunts me. His story is Canada’s story. This is about Canada. We are not the country we thought we were. History will be re-written. We are all accountable, but this begins in the late 1800s and goes to 1996. “White” Canada knew – on somebody’s purpose – nothing about this. We weren’t taught it in school; it was hardly ever mentioned.

All of those Governments, and all of those Churches, for all of those years, misused themselves. They hurt many children. They broke up many families. They erased entire communities. It will take seven generations to fix this. Seven. Seven is not arbitrary. This is far from over. Things up north have never been harder. Canada is not Canada. We are not the country we think we are.

I am trying in this small way to help spread what Murray Sinclair said, “This is not an aboriginal problem. This is a Canadian problem. Because at the same time that aboriginal people were being demeaned in the schools and their culture and language were being taken away from them and they were being told that they were inferior, they were pagans, that they were heathens and savages and that they were unworthy of being respected – that very same message was being given to the non-aboriginal children in the public schools as well… They need to know that history includes them.” (Murray Sinclair, Ottawa Citizen, May 24, 2015)

I have always wondered why, even as a kid, I never thought of Canada as a country – It’s not a popular thought; you keep it to yourself – I never wrote of it as so. The next hundred years are going to be painful as we come to know Chanie Wenjack and thousands like him – as we find out about ourselves, about all of us – but only when we do can we truly call ourselves, “Canada.”

The Justice League Gathers Against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller, also known as, Batman, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Flash. Together they’re 5/6 of the Justice League, and in their civilian identities the five actors have spoken out against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and their support of Rezpect Our Water.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is suing the federal government over the fact the Native American tribe was not consulted properly concerning the project which spans four states. The tribe fears the pipeline will contaminate their drinking war and damage their sacred lands. The pipeline would also run through recently discovered archeological find including grave markings. Less than 24 hours after a finding was submitted with the court to stop the construction, Dakota Access desecrated and destroyed that site.

So far, over 260,000 have signed a petition voicing their opposition to the pipeline which will damage the Standing Rock reservation and has been the subject of protests. The fight also crosses comic companies. Rosario Dawson, who plays Night Nurse on Marvel’s live-action Netflix shows, has voiced her opposition to the pipeline as well as Mark Ruffalo who plays the Hulk. The rest of the Avengers have been quiet on the issue.

Momoa has stated on Instagram “Sacred Aquaman is pissed” regarding the situation.

The protests have turned violent with protestors and private security having clashed. Protestors have had dogs attacking them as well as being pepper-sprayed.

A judge has granted part of an emergency request to halt construction of a section of the pipeline in North Dakota. Further rulings are expected Friday.

Flame Con 2: LGBTQ Activism in Fandom and Beyond Panel

At Flame Con 2, I moderated the LGBTQ Activism in Fandom and Beyond Panel talking about how fans are organizing to make fandom more inclusive AND using their love of pop culture to win campaigns in the world beyond! Panelists included Jackson Bird (Chief of Muggle Relations at the Harry Potter Alliance), Nicole Gitaua (Geeks Out), and J. A. Micheline (Writer).

Learn more about the Harry Potter Alliance and Geeks OUT!.

Cards Against Humanity Gets Political with Clinton and Trump Packs

The Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Cards Against Humanity packs were part of the gift bag at the Concert Against Humanity held by the Cards Against Humanity folks at Gen Con. The two packs are being released to the public as of today and encourages individuals to vote with their dollar for the candidate they support.

Each pack costs $4 and contains 15 cards about the two public figures vying to be elected the 45th President of the United States this November.

Cards Against Humanity has said that they are counting this as votes and when that voting ends they’ll tally up the sales and donate all of the money to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. They’re running a live total so you can see how much as been purchased for each pack.

You can get yours now.

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HBO’s inviting viewers to the launch of a brand new political movement: The GoT Party!

On August 1 (today!), in conjunction with the release of Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season on Digital HD, HBO invites viewers across the land to the launch of a brand new political movement: The GoT Party!

One party that everyone can get behind, TheGoTParty is an unique, interactive and engaging online campaign asking the series’ fans to help select the very first Game of Thrones Party ticket, pledge their support for their candidate and purchase of Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season on Digital HD (or individual episodes) from all leading digital platforms.

Choosing from beloved and controversial GoT leaders including Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister and Petyr Baelish (and their potential running mates Tyrion Lannister, Lyanna Mormont, Maester Qyburn and Sansa Stark), voters will have the singular opportunity to shape the very first GoT party and its ideals. On TheGoTParty.com, “voters” can learn more about the candidates, compare platforms and cast their ballots for the leader they feel can carry the GoT Party into the future.

Running until August 31, TheGoTParty.com will be continually updated with original video content, real-time polls and infographics, adding to the interactive excitement.  With a dedicated hashtag (#GOT2016) and multiple social media channels, the electorate (read: fans) will be able to stay abreast of the campaigns, as the GoTParty candidates do pitched battle (at the polls). Then, on September 1, TheGoTParty.com will announce the winners, adding a singular and highly enjoyable chapter to HBO’s record-setting series.

As the winds of change swirl around Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms, GoT fans have, at long last, the opportunity to let their voices be heard loud and clear with The GoT Party.

Concrete Park Creators Make Their Mark at DNC

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The award-winning creative team behind the graphic novel series Concrete Park (Dark Horse), Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander will be in Philly to show their support to Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention this week. Puryear will be continuing his work with art as protest group Comixcast while Alexander will actually be speaking on Tuesday, July 25 at the DNC.

“As a Black artist, I make a comic, “Concrete Park”, featuring people of color in the future. Lately, there are days when I worry we won’t make it there. This is why I was so honored to be invited to be  part of Comixcast 2016.” – Tony Puryear

Comixcast is a diverse group of progressive comics creators, artists and activists joining together with the stated goal of stopping Donald Trump. Helmed by veteran political comics writer Joyce Brabner, their efforts began last week in Cleveland during the RNC, where there were plenty of police and security teams, but apparently, few protestors. Puryear will share his unique perspective with commentary from the convention floor at the Wells Fargo Center from July 25th through July 28th. Using their pens, brushes, cameras and words, Puryear, along with other Comixcasters, including Tim Fielder (Dieselfunk), will contribute to a live feed of political comics, cartoons, photos, YouTube videos and commentary.

Follow Tony on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and his website to stay updated on his DNC converage!

tony puryear, hillary clinton, dnc, graphic policy

2008 Hillary Clinton Campaign poster created by Puryear

Puryear is no stranger to the Clintons’ political spotlight. His iconic poster for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign is in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. His wife, the actress Erika Alexander, another Hillary supporter, is scheduled to speak in prime time at the DNC on Tuesday, July 26.

“This is a historic moment for America. It’s awesome. I am honored to have been asked by Hillary to introduce Ryan Moore. It’s a bonus to do so in my adopted hometown of Philadelphia.” – Erika Alexander

Best known to TV viewers as “Maxine Shaw” from FOX’s classic sitcom Living Single, Alexander grew up in Philadelphia, was discovered and began her show-biz career there. On Tuesday night, in an emotional homecoming, she takes the national stage before a packed Wells Fargo Center audience.

Alexander will introduce Ryan Moore. Ryan, originally from South Sioux City, NE, has Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Dwarfism and has known Hillary Clinton since 1994, when his family came to Washington, DC for an event to advocate for health care reform. Brian Moore, Ryan’s father, lost his job when his employer was unwilling to cover treatment for Ryan’s health condition. Ryan has stayed in contact with Hillary ever since.

About Tony Puryear

In 1996, Puryear became the first African-American screenwriter to write a $100 million-dollar summer blockbuster with his script for the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Eraser. He has written films for Oliver Stone, Mel Gibson, Jerry Bruckheimer and Will Smith. He co-created and co-writes (with Erika Alexander) Concrete Park, 2016 Glyph Award Winner and a Best American Comic, 2013. He also draws the book. Together they have taught comics and graphic novel-making from Los Angeles to Central America to Harvard. He recently contributed illustrations for Dark Horse Books’ new adult coloring book Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color from best-selling author Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club).

About Erika Alexander

The role of “Cousin Pam” was created for Erika Alexander on The Cosby Show in 1990 and she went on to a star as fan favorite “Maxine Shaw” in the hit series Living Single in 1993, winning two NAACP awards for Best Actress in a Comedy. She recurs on the ABC Tim Allen comedy, Last Man Standing as Carol Larrabee “The Black Sarah Palin,” on Freeform’s 2017 sci-fi drama Beyond and on Oprah Winfrey’s and Ava Duvernay’s new drama, Queen Sugar, debuting on OWN, September 2016. She also co-stars in Jordan Peele’s horror movie, Get Out. Erika is the co-creator and co-writer of the critically acclaimed, award-winning graphic novel, Concrete Park, a Best American Comic 2013, and a 2016 Glyph Award winner, published by Dark Horse Comics.Alexander is an advocate for women and children and a national surrogate for Hillary Clinton 2007-2016.

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