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...
The Revolution will be All-Ages or won’t be at all.
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 the reflection that came with the short release we gave away this year.
The Comics Liberation Day (the Mapache version of the Free Comic Book Day) has become a personal commitment. We set out to do it every year and this was no exception. On this occasion we put together a beautiful little publication with a chapter of Elisa y Los Mutantes, along with a loose interpretation of the El Viudo character from Futuro Esplendor, both comics written and drawn by the Mapache team. Covers were illustrated by El Gran Rod and they are cool as heck.
Ever since we started giving away comics once a year we’ve wanted to include a reflection about Comics Liberation (whatever that means).
We believe this year’s reflection is quite interesting and want to share it with you.
THE REVOLUTION WILL BE ALL-AGES OR WON’T BE AT ALL:
“I’m a simple man with complex tastes.”
– Calvin (Calvin & Hobbes)
Hot dog factories don’t care about vegetarians.
Nowadays, the counterculture makes inroads into old horizons, tearing down the extravagant walls it locked itself into, to discover a tender universe where free thought was never a sin; where ideas are soft and simple, and sprout like mushrooms. Where god’s inexistence has already obliterated satan, leaving man overwhelmed before the spontaneity of his own acts. It is a good time. It’s windy up here … on the edge of apocalypse.
Theodore Roszack used the term counterculture to define and understand the 60’s cultural revolution and its attempt to create a new society by opposing the prevailing cultural system.
A comprehensive social movement rallies against all taboos imposed by power and is set aside by the latter into the adult literature section. Not like hadn’t happened before, but still that generation of thinkers and creators should have overcome that subtle barrier that separates children from the rest of the world. Capitalism was not going to give away its children so easily. Next to that barrier there is a machine that can turn any revolutionary idea into a Monkees feature film, and all who cross must necessarily pass through it.
It’s been a long time and we have become McDonaldized. Television has set aside children. It knows that by producing little it spends even less, and that hypnosis is quite effective. Movies compensate their lack of content with special effects and artistic affronts trained in the art of dropping jaws and closing minds. All efforts made by the underground to cross the barrier set by capital crash against censorship and content classification. The countercultural message is transformed into “adult only” material.
The biggest issue here is that we play along, creating inside this imposed ghetto and trying to build a new world from a secluded corner. That’s precisely where counterculture has lost its strength, by forgetting one of its fundamental principles: construction.
Under this scenario, a silent revolt starts knocking on the door.
We’re coming for your children…
A few days ago, an article by Kate Leth on the “Comic Alliance” website proposed the following:
LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender) content can and must be for all ages.
The author proposes a cultural struggle by taking our comics with LGBT content and putting them next to Garfield at the bookstore. This way, LGBT themes, which were never exclusively for adult readers, will be available for children who can and may need to identify themselves with these marginalized realities.
Curiously, today’s children’s comics attempt to win over adult audiences. Here’s where we strike back. We attract children with stories that might shock the religious conservative, but never the 6-year-old girl who might be surprised, but never scandalized.
We have realized that our comics can deliver a rebuttal to the power’s cultural upbringing, striking at the root of the issue instead of waiting for adolescence to guide us into these wild paths.
This way we can gain ground on Batman, destroy Barbie’s beauty standards, shatter Hannah Montana’s teenage soap opera, smash the patriarchy and demolish the castles built by monarchical narrative (no more princes or princesses); building, from below, the seeds of a new culture.
Let’s break the stupid myth they want us to believe: that because we think or feel in a certain way, we are not children, which is the same as saying that we are not human.
May comics be free and may freedom be comics.