This year we gain participated in the Comics Liberation Day in Espacio Shazam. We didn’t take any pictures and this article is a bit overdue. Still, we wanted to share...
Commemorating the Free (the) Comic Book Day
We participated in the “Free (the) Comic Book Day” in Espacio Shazam with a nice and quick “Free Comics” release. In addition, LeChuck wrote another of his classic manifesto-like exhortations. Here it is, in case you couldn’t get a copy.
LIBERATING COMICS FROM THE PAST CENTURY
step by step towards a free and independent comic
“A single candle will light his way. And we — The colony once named “Morlocks”… …Will never sup nor sleep nor scurry in darkness AGAIN!”
– Marrow (X-Men Prime)
During the first half of the past century a tiny glint was born that, little by little, would illuminate a new path for sequential art: the comics fanzine.
Hand-made magazines that, by imitating and discussing their favorite masked heroes, fan the flames of a silent revolution.
Technology advances and so do fanzines. The mimeograph, a popular copy machine, allows the printing of micro-publications without needing a publisher and the world is filled with comics born from the authors’ hearts, with no censorship, no cuts, no alterations and no middlemen.
The mimeograph slowly becomes a tool of expression for counterculture, opening the door to never before seen content.
Thus underground comics are born, amidst paper, staples and scissors, writers and illustrators around the world plunge into adventure. Making their own magazines, making their way through the editorial world and forcing the large comics publishers to reinvent themselves.
Releases from small press publishers give comics new horizons by speaking from the fringes, paving the way for alternative narratives, social criticism, science fiction, comic strips and all kinds of stories that stand up against the ubiquitous tale of the masked vigilante.
Despite all efforts, alternative comics struggle against a ghetto just to lock themselves into an even smaller and more isolated place. Magazines move through narrow circles, stifling creators and ultimately discouraging production. Even so, this movement cannot be stopped. While large publishers seek new ways of restarting their universes and reusing their characters ad nauseam, independent comics deliver a healthy variety of fresh stories.
With the coming of the internet, the publication of independent comics skyrockets, allowing almost anybody to show their creations to the world. Experimentation in the sequential arts is freed from the constraints of printed paper and the creative possibilities become infinite.
Today we live in unique times: there are comics for all tastes. The idea that comics are a genre with rigid structures and recurring themes about superheroes is crumbling. Fanzine fairs take center stage all around the worlds; small publishers present themselves as “the true mainstream”, bringing their comics to all kinds of audiences.
Self-publishing has taken the world of comics by storm, and it is not slowing down. Collectivizing and seeking new channels of distribution, weaving networks through the internet, infecting and creating new authors, encouraging the common person to write construct their own stories. Suddenly, the idea of a giant publisher generating tons of content seems prehistoric, and collective initiatives become increasingly common.
The liberation of comics is just around the corner. It is not the comics industry that is taking the lead, obsessed as it is with content for mass audiences that always ends up being the same. It is not about huge print runs of magazines and book that all tell the same story. It is the massive production of creators and the absolute diversity of content that have become the cutting edge of graphic narratives. A motley mass of wild creators, shooting blindly into the sleeping crowd.
Writers and illustrators hardened by total obscurity emerge from the sewers to devour the world. They survived dictatorship and censorship. They kept on working in times of drought. They learned to forge universes with their own hands and love to teach others to do it themselves.
Meanwhile, the masked vigilante, a thousand times rehashed, sits in his secret fortress thinking of ways to get people to like him.
*video sugerido por el bondadoso brauning en su comentario de mas abajito.
Ah. ¿Como nos fue en el Free (the) Comic Book Day?
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