Posts tagged: comics

When Child Porn Laws Go Bad

You are a criminal.  You may not have known that but if you are fairly media savvy then most likely you are a criminal based on this conviction of a comic book collector.

Here’s the quick summary: a man who is a prolific collector of Japanese manga (comics) was found guilty of child pornography because of artwork in a series of manga that he was importing depicting depraved sex acts with children.  According to the article, this is a man who collected ALL types of manga and not just this style which puts him in the realm of what should have been considered an art collector.  He faces up to 15 years in jail.

So here’s the problem – this is a victimless crime.  There is no one who has been hurt… no one who has been wronged…  no one to be compensated.  These are drawings of fictional characters.  And the law has been left purposely vague (although less vague than the first iteration) so that it can cover things it was never meant to cover.  So now a comic collector is being put in jail and resources that could have been used to catch and prosecute real child pornographers has been wasted.

Welcome to the new world that allows for an idea to be illegal.  The most common anology to this is that if we play a video game that has us kill a virtual person are we then considered a murderer?  Sounds far-fetched doesn’t it? Now think about every school shooting over the past few years and how many times video games were blamed as influencers of the mentally flawed people who commited these crimes.

So where does the line get drawn?  Do we need to burn every copy of Lolita?  Should fans of Dakota Fanning get thrown in jail for watching Hounddog?  I guess we can’t make any more gang movies… ya know, unless no one dies of unnatural causes in them.  Slumdog Millionaire should have been X-rated based on this kind of thinking (oh wait, everyone loved it and it won awards).

What’s your opinion? (please read the article or be familiar with the case before venting)

Free Comic Day tomorrow

Tomorrow, Saturday May 2nd, is Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) at comic book stores across the country and internationally. Stores will be offering unique 1-day-only titles from Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, Archie, Bongo, DC and many other publishers. Click here and look on the left side of the page for the FCBD Shop Locator and input your ZIP code to find your local participating comic stores.

The number of comics available to each customer is determined by each store but every person is guaranteed at least one free comic.

Number 50

Today’s comic posted over at A Little Scary marks comic strip number fifty.   This is a huge milestone for me and my pet project.  I never thought I would stay with it as long as this but it’s been fun coming up with new stuff under a constant deadline.  I can also be proud that I haven’t missed that deadline once so far.  Once I started on that twice a week schedule of Mondays and Thursdays I’ve stuck to it.  Granted the times have varied wildly while I was in Hong Kong and then moving here but they are always up some time in the morning.

I need to thank Yoshi from Hello! Yoshi for giving me the idea for today’s comic.  I never would have thought of that if it hadn’t been suggested by him.  Ever. Never-ever.  Thanks Yoshi.

Now if I can just make it to the 100 mark I’ll be all set.  Eventually, I’d like to go to a three days a week update schedule as well but I’ll need more time to dedicate to that to ever achieve it.  And with a baby on the way, I just don’t see that happening any time soon.

The ethics of joke writing

Wow, that title sounds impressive.

To be honest, which I mostly am, I do not write the jokes that get posted on this site.  Anyone who bothers to read all the crap e-mail their so-called friends and family will already know that.  I cherry pick my favorites from the billions of jokes floating about the internet.  Often I find myself editing them for spelling, grammar, formatting and sometimes content because refinement is not always a bad thing.  I mean let’s face it – not all jokes are good.  However sometimes I’ll run across an absolute crap joke that has a good idea that can be fixed.  I still don’t claim the jokes as mine when I do that, but I like to think I bring the quality up a notch or so at least.

On the other hand, the jokes at A Little Scary are mostly my own.  There have been two instances where I took a funny conversation from the now defunct inpassing.org site and adapted them into a format and relevance to fit the comic.  And as long as that old overheard conversation website stays down, I can claim those jokes as mine still.  But it also sucks because it was the original overheard conversation site on the web and it was a great source of motivation.  I mean seriously… people are really stupid sometimes.  I’m living proof.

One upcoming comic is actually an old e-mail joke adapted to fit the comic strip format of A Little Scary.  The punch line is the same, but everything else was created new for the strip.  I’d like to think that I can claim that as my own because 95.8% of the content is created by me if you count the “artwork” as well.

So if you’re still reading this post, you’re probably starting to fidget and wondering what my point is.  Well, I have to be honest: I really don’t know.  I guess the point is that you should always give credit where credit is due.  This is true in general as well as at work and in dealing with everything and anything.  If you feel you can only get ahead by taking credit for other people’s work then you really need to admit that to yourself and take a step back and decide if that’s really who you want to be.  Nobody likes a fake.  Not even other fakes.  And no matter how good you are at faking it, there’s no substitute for making something yourself, something you can be proud of and honestly feel good about with no regrets.  Nothing can top that.

In case you’re wondering, no I’m not writing this because someone has wronged me in some way.  I’m just sharing a small part of what makes me tick, so to speak.  I think it’s an important life lesson that most people have been on one side of or the other but it seems to get overlooked.  People often miss the big picture because they are either too busy trying to keep up the illusion or too busy being depressed or mad that someone took credit for their work.

No of course the zen thing for me to tell you at this point is to be the better person when you find yourself being taken advantage of in a situation like this.  That would be the proper way to handle things.  But to hell with that.  If someone takes credit for my work I get pissed.  And I start looking for ways to let everyone know it.  Of course you have to know when to pick your battles, but seriously, I don’t like that and I will let you know about it.  However, the one thing I can do add a little zen back to that is to promise I will not take credit for other people’s work.  My career is not that important nor anything else.  You know, unless like the person who should get credit is already dead… and there’s no way for it to come back to me.  I never said I was stupid or naive.  Just honest.  Mostly.

Mondays: Nature’s payback for weekends

The cat wouldn’t stop meowing and howling all night.  It’s been sick for over three or four days and is just starting to feel better.  All that sleeping during that time had oviously been stored up to stay awake all freaking night.  And then when it seems that he has quieted down an amazingly loud and bright lightning storm erupts right outside our windows sending out big dog (Chini) into hysterics and climbing over us to be protected.  She’s terrified of storms for some reason and the one this morning was a doozy.  She whimpered and pushed and shook for at least an hour or more keeping us both awake even more.

Over all I don’t think either of us got more than an hour of consecutive sleep last night.  I am so wiped out today I’m barely even functional at work.  Maybe some ice cream would help.

Most of the weekend was a lost cause due to taking the cats to the vet and going back and forth to pick them up or to ask questions.  In the off times, I did a little drawing in Illustrator and then got my troll Hunter in World of Warcraft to level 50.  Leveling is so much faster than it was a year ago.  There seems to be more money available too because I’ve never had so much in game before.

When I get home tonight, all I want to do is take the dog’s out for their evening walk and then take a nap.  Eating dinner is optional at this point.  I’ll work on Thursday’s comic tomorrow.  I’m to burnt to do it today.  Today’s up on time though.  As usual.

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