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A St. Louis Police Union Rallies Around the Punisher Logo to Show Support for Cops Under Investigation

An investigation is underway by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police department regarding officers who published “concerning” images and statements on social media. A police union has asked its members to post the “blue lives Punisher logo” to show support for those officers.

The Punisher logo has been embraced by law enforcement as a symbol of “the war against those who hate law enforcement” according to Ed Clark, the president of the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association.

Clark seems to ignore the fact the Punisher is a vigilante who works outside of law enforcement and unlike police officers tries not to kill innocent individuals. In the comics, the character is a vet whose family is killed by the mob for witnessing a crime. He then seeks revenge in a one man war against crime.

The St. Louis Police Police Chief John Hayden released a memo that indicates he has a better understanding of the character. In it, he states the logo “does not coincide” with the department’s “mission to protect life and property and achieve a peaceful society.”

A project cross-referenced police officers with their social media posts uncovering racist and anti-Muslim posts implicating 22 officers. The city’s chief prosecutor has added those officers to a list the officer won’t take cases from.

The Punisher’s creator Gerry Conway has spoken out on the subject:

Whether you think the Punisher is justified or not, whether you admire his code of ethics, he is an outlaw. Police should not be embracing a criminal as their symbol.

The Punisher himself addressed the issue in a recent comic:

Marvel has been silent over the use of their intellectual property.

Around the Tubes

Avengers: No Road Home #1

We’ve been covering Toy Fair all weekend and we’ve still got a lot coming! So, stay tuned for more toy awesomeness. While you spend this Presidents Day waiting for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Kotaku – An Open Letter To Game Developers From America’s Largest Labor Organization – Will the unionization of the video game industry lead to the unionization of comics?

Chicago Tribune – Owner of La Grange Chimera Comics to give away his Oak Lawn store — with an essay contest – Go and enter!

Halifax Evening Courier – Burglars ransack Halifax house and flee from scene with rare comic books – If anyone has any info, contact the police.

Reviews

Talking Comics – Avengers: No Road Home #1
Monkeys Fighting Robots –
Criminal #2
AIPT –
The Green Lantern #4

Review: Journey for Justice: The Larry Itliong Story

Journey for Justice: The Larry Itliong Story

When it comes to labor organizers that come to mind, most people usually think of names like Jimmy Hoffa. Ashe is one of the more well-known names, but on the West Coast, most people would refer to Cesar Chavez, who co-founded the NFWA (National Farm Workers Association). These names I would primarily get to know through their portrayals onscreen.

Jack Nicholson would portray Jimmy Hoffa in Hoffa, which showcased the veteran diverse talents for playing unique characters while adding his own flavor. Then there was mas Michael Pena’s reserved yet penetrating portrayal of Chavez in Cesar Chavez. I enjoyed the movie, I even smiled a bit when I realized the movie included the Filipino farm workers who had fought for equal rights, but I was quickly disappointed when I realized they were mere background characters and not much else was seen from them the rest of the movie. These men and women to this day don’t get the credit, they deserve for their part in the labor movement.

In the latest offering from Bridge Delta Publishing, they tell the life story of a man they call “one of the fathers of the West Coast labor movement”, in Journey For Justice: The Life Of Larry Itliong.

We meet Larry, or his given name, Modesto Dulay Itliong, who was born in the Philippines on the island of San Nicholas, where he grew up and went to school until sixth grade, because the area was so poor that it did not even have a high school. His neighbor would write the young Larry, where he told him of the promise America would give, of better education and equal opportunity, ideas that were also reinforced at school, during which time he Philippines was still an American territory. As he dreamed of being an “abogado”, a lawyer who would help people and American education would open that door for him. When he arrived in America, he came to Seattle, Washington, here he met other Filipinos and swiftly found out that if you have brown skin, no matter your experience or schooling, the only jobs you can get would be service jobs like farm workers. He would go on to work several different jobs, but the job where he kept on coming back to, was as a farm worker. This is where he learned of the disparity of pay between white workers and migrant workers. Which gave him an education on labor law, including the right to form a union and just how much money migrant workers were making for these farms. Unfortunately, this was also when the Great Depression rendered many people without jobs and money, which caused many Americans to blame Filipinos and other immigrants for dire states which lead to two laws aimed at Filipinos, one which barred Filipinos from entering America and the other sending Filipinos back to P.I. without ever being able to come back to America ever again. Larry would stay and organize labor strikes up and down the West Coast with AWOC (Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee), and eventually brought Cesar Chavez and the rest of the NFWA into their first labor strike in California, realizing their strength in solidarity between Filipino and Mexican farm workers, a major detail that was missing from the movie. In a year’s time, the two unions became one, now being called UFW (United Farm Workers) and would go on to carry out a five-year long strike against grape farmers. Their efforts worked, bringing the 30 different farms to the table to negotiate a deal with UFW, to pay fair wages and improved working conditions. He would eventually fall out with the leadership at the UFW, who he felt did not do enough for Filipino workers and would resign. This did not stop him from fighting for Filipino Americans, as he would travel all over the country and speaking wherever he was asked to, until he was diagnosed and died from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Overall, it’s a harrowing life story that shows the fragility of the promise that America gives dreamers around the world and the stark realities they face once they come here. The story by Dr. Dawn Bohulano-Mabulon and Gayle Romasanta is well researched, relevant, and heartfelt. The art by Andre Sibayan is lush and vibrant. Altogether, a story that is definitively American and one that stays with you long after reading it.

Story: Dr. Dawn Bohulano-Mabulon and Gayle Romasanta
Art: Andre Sibayan
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Comic Book Men Production and Writers Attempt to Unionize

comic book menWhile a union dedicated to just comic creators has been discussed for decades (and probably be a while before one happens), the production and writing team behind the show Comic Book Men have been attempting to. The effort is being organized by the Writers Guild of America East.

Original Media is the company behind Comic Book Men, Swamp People, Inkmaster, NY Ink, LA Ink, Miami Ink, The Rachel Zoe Project and much more. In 2014, the writers and producers voted overwhelmingly to unionize and join the Writers Guild. The vote was 42 to 9. It was a part of a campaign by unions to organize writers in the reality television business. The goal is to provide the kind of benefits and working conditions writers on scripted shows receive. The claim is reality show writers put in long hours without extra pay (some work up to 70 hours a week) and denied insurance and other benefits.

Since then the WGA East has said that Original Media has “refused to bargain in good faith.” Original Media is also being investigated  by the National Labor Relations Board for “failing to bargain in good faith, and by the wage and hour authorities for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from their freelance workforce.” The Writers Guild has successfully negotiated collective bargaining agreements with at least three other nonfiction television production companies.

In 2013 the editorial crew of Swamp People walked off the job due to a dispute with Original Media. The walkout was due to “unfair labor practice … unlawfully interfer(ing) with employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act by interrogating employees about union organizing activity.”

The WGA East is currently running a campaign to have individuals post labor-friendly tattoos on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #InkMasterUnion to show support. Below is some suggested text from their alert.

  • Workers on @SpikeInkMaster deserve a fair contract. @OriginalMedia needs to ink a deal #InkMasterUnion
  • I have ink. I watch@SpikeInkMaster. I want @OriginalMedia to stop #Unionbusting & sign a fair contract #InkMasterUnion
  • I Support @OriginalMedia Workers right to a fair contract #InkMasterUnion

We have reached out to the stars of Comic Book Men and Kevin Smith for their comments. The show airs on AMC.

Fantasy Flight Announces Delay Due to Port Dispute

FFG-Logo-BlueFantasy Flight Games took to their site to announce the delay of numerous releases due to the dispute currently taking place between the Pacific Maritime Association and the workers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The labor dispute has hampered shipping causing delays not just for Fantasy Flight, but also Wizkids, and most recently IDW Publishing.

The following new products have currently been affected by the unloading complications:

  • Rogue Squadron cycle for Star Wars™: The Card Game
  • Fly Casual supplement for Edge of the Empire
  • First wave of Imperial Assault Ally Packs and Villain Packs
  • The Lost Realm deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
  • Star Wars: Armada Core Set
  • Star Wars: Armada Dice Pack

The following product reprints have currently been affected and are delayed:

  • X-Wing Core Set
  • Y-Wing Expansion Pack
  • TIE Advanced Expansion Pack
  • Millennium Falcon Expansion Pack
  • Slave I Expansion Pack
  • A-Wing Expansion Pack
  • TIE Interceptor Expansion Pack
  • B-Wing Expansion Pack
  • TIE Bomber Expansion Pack
  • Z-95 Headhunter Expansion Pack
  • TIE Defender Expansion Pack
  • E-Wing Expansion Pack
  • TIE Phantom Expansion Pack
  • Imperial Aces Expansion Pack
  • The Genesis Cycle for Android Netrunner: The Card Game
  • Talisman Revised 4th Edition
  • Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition
  • Elder Sign
  • Deathwatch

It is unknown when things might return to normal.

West Coast Port Issues Delay IDW Releases

IDW PublishingFor those who haven’t heard, there’s been massive issues with shipping in the United States due to a labor dispute that has slowed down, and at times shut down, the Long Beach, CA ports. The problems there have affected companies who rely on it to receive material from around the world. Wizkids and Fantasy Flight Games have both seen delays to their releases due to the issue. A strike in December delayed comics from IDW Publishing, and it looks like it’s happening again.

IDW has announced that the titles that were to arrive on February 18 won’t be making it. In an announcement they said:

Due to the ongoing problems at West coast ports, our normal shipping procedures have been completely interrupted, causing unpredictable delays. Regrettably, this has resulted in all our books planned for release on 2/18 to be delayed. We’ve looked at every possible scenario to prevent this, but the situation is completely beyond our control. We are taking steps to improve this for the immediate future, but the books and products that are currently on the water cannot be re-directed. We will be updating our weekly releases and keeping you informed as the situation works toward a resolution. We understand this is not an ideal situation, and apologize for any inconvenience this causes, and look forward to things getting back to normal in ensuing weeks.

To keep things fair, they will also be delaying their digital releases that week as well.

With all the delays, which costs publishers money, you wonder if it’s finally at a point it might be cheaper to print domestically?

Catch below the jump to ge tthe full list of titles that won’t be making it to shelves.

Read more

Listen to the Archived Broadcast of Graphic Policy Radio With Guest Tom Christopher

Monday night has come and gone and so has the latest episode of Graphic Policy Radio with guest comic creator Tom Christopher.

As an artist Tom has been involved in Fanzines, Underground Comics and the New Wave comics movement, but he is probably best known for his seven year run as inker on Marvel?’s Silver Surfer. Since then he has worked on a variety of titles from Marvel and DC including Spider-Man, X-Men, Superman and Batman. He is also a writer penning the definitive biography of Beat Generation writer Neal Cassady and documented early comic book history.

Tom recently was involved with a comic produced by IBEW Local 1245 to teach new union members about the history of the union and what it means to be a union member and we talk about that comic as well as political comics throughout the year.

It was a great discussion with lots of tidbits of history.

Graphic Policy Radio With Guest Tom Christopher

GP Radio pic MondayIt’s Monday which means a brand new episode of Graphic Policy Radio, This week we have a guest, comic creator Tom Christopher.

As an artist Tom has been involved in Fanzines, Underground Comics and the New Wave comics movement, but he is probably best known for his seven year run as inker on Marvel?’s Silver Surfer. Since then he has worked on a variety of titles from Marvel and DC including Spider-Man, X-Men, Superman and Batman. He is also a writter penning the definitive biography of Beat Generation writer Neal Cassady and documented early comic book history.

Tom recently was involved with a comic produced by IBEW Local 1245 to teach new union members about the history of the union and what it means to be a union member.

We’ll be talking about his career and that latest project as well as unionization in the comic book industry.

So join us this Monday and chat with us by calling in at (619) 768-2952 or chatting on Twitter @graphicpolicy.

Listen in LIVE! And join us by chatting with your questions.

IBEW Turns to Comics to Teach About Unions

Comics345_000Though comics might be known for their spandex and capes, they have a long tradition of being used for political and educational purposes though. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) has turned to comics to tell the story of the hero of the “union men and women who made the American middle class.”

Local union chapter Local 1245 in Vacaville, California earlier this year published First Day. It’s a 20-page comic that goes over the history of Local 1245 and the labor movement. It’s given to all new members in their orientation packets and so far the reaction has been positive.

The comic was created by the communications director of the local union Eric Wolfe and artist Tom Christopher.

“First Day” tells the story of a new employee at California utility PG&E. The worker tells his son about the IBEW and all the good benefits that being a member bring his family, while recounting the struggles that helped create the labor movement and Local 1245.

This was part of an effort to engage younger members in new ways. This is needed as the utility industry, of which the IBEW is involved, shifts it’s demographics as older employees exit the work force and new members join. The goal is to educate this younger generation about Unions, something many have no experience with.

This is a first step though. Wolfe wants to use the comic book format in other literature like training materials.

The IBEW represents approximately 750,000 active members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government.  The IBEW has members in both the United States and Canada and is one of the largest organizations within the AFL-CIO.

I wish they had something this cool when I joined a union many years ago and great to see a forward thinking use of the comic medium!

(via the IBEW)

Around the Tubes

It’s a new day, did you listen to our awesome episode of Graphic Policy Radio last night? No? Well you missed out!

Around the Tubes

The ComiChron – Flags waving: Justice League of America #1 sets new high marksAmerica!

ICv2 – Warners Loses One in Supes Fight Luther!

Bleeding Cool – French Creator Unions Reach A Deal Over Digital Rights Interesting stuff.

The New York Times – Miles to Go Before He Sings I now have a mission. We will get him to sing.

Bleeding Cool – Nike’s Iron Man Air Force 1 Sneakers Kind of want?

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Dial H #10

The Beat – Relish

The Beat – Shadowman #5

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