Archives for posts with tag: activism

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The Jackie Ormes Comic Book Memorial Library is now open to the public and members of WonderRoot Community Arts Center in Reynoldstown, Atlanta, Georgia. I started the project at the beginning of this year and finally installed it on Friday. The library wouldn’t be possible without some generous donations, particularly from Oni Press and Valiant Comics. You can see that Oni donated some great runs- look at all those volumes of The Sixth Gun! Obviously the library could offer a more substantial selection and I encourage y’all to donate to this venture- if you don’t know what to donate, shoot me an email at waynexiaolong@gmail.com and I’d happily provide suggestions- you could tell me a little bit about yourself and I’d recommend a donation that matched not only the library’s needs, but your spirit as well.

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I chose to dedicate the library to Jackie Ormes for a number of reasons. Her role as an activist is not limited to breaking the color barrier in the newspaper funnies. The content of her comic strips, particularly Patty Jo n Ginger, confronted all sorts of society’s hypocrisies. Her approach to social change and criticism kept a good sense of humor, but didn’t cower away from a fight- this is much the spirit of WonderRoot Community Arts Center where social change and art share equal footing in their mission. We also have the same birthday.

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In addition to an assortment of comics, the library also features two plaque that I made. One features a portrait of Jackie Ormes, pretty standard commemorative fare. The other features a collage I put together of Jackie’s comics work. The frames were provided by Creative Reuse, a fantastic WonderRoot program that resells donated art supplies at incredibly cheap prices- getting materials into the hands of folks who’ll use them.

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I was also able to secure some signatures for the books from a few creators.

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Rob Vendetti signed a copy of X-O Manowar Vol. 1: By The Sword during Free Comic Book Day at Criminal Records. I also had him sign my personal copies of both Surrogates books, The Homeland Directive (which you should read if you haven’t read it!), and the first collected trade of his work on Green Lantern, which he told me was the first copy of that trade he’d signed yet which is nice for me.

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I ran into Ted Naifeh at this year’s Dragon Con and had him sign volume one of Courtney Crumrin. Oni Press actually donated volumes one through four, but I didn’t feel like carrying around four hard cover books with me at the convention in addition to the other books I brought to get signed.

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At that same Dragon Con, I ran into Andrew Aydin and he personally donated a copy of March Book One, which is created with Civil Rights icon and U.S. Congressman John Lewis and artist Nate Powell. If you haven’t read March, I strongly recommend it. Of all the books in the library, this one probably fits the snuggest with the spirit of the library.

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Again, if you’re interested in donating, please contact me. Just off the top of my head, some classics the library could use- Watchmen; Maus; Perseplois; Liberty (the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund collection); Saga; Pride of Baghdad; some Fables; Green Lantern Green Arrow (the Adams-O’Neil search for the soul of America run); Girls; Criminal; Stray Bullets; Feynman; The Manhattan Projects; The Underwater Welder; and certainly any collections of classic underground comics, Golden, Silver, Bronze, etc. Age stuff, and some manga. In the meantime, I encourage you to go check it out- grab a comic and escape to an extraordinary world.

 

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A group from Liberty in North Korea , an organization that helps North Korean refugees resettle in the United States and South Korea, has been touring the southeast US for the past ten or so weeks, giving presentations on the way their organization works and what the people in North Korea are doing themselves to subvert the Kim regime. While in Georgia, they visited several schools and churches, but I don’t think they stopped at too many places like WonderRoot Community Arts Center. They really seemed to love the place as much I do and the WonderRoot members who caught their presentation all appeared touched by these people’s dedication to help the North Korean people. Everybody was impressed with their van. In addition to arranging for them to visit the arts center, my wife and I hosted these traveling activists in our home. We prepared Sichuan Hot Pot, which as always was very delicious.

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In this picture: (Clockwise starting at 12 o’clock) Harley Quinn glass, lotus root, cucumber, wintermelon, thinly sliced beef, ground beef with cilantro (for yuanzi), pork tenderloin, fake crab meat, spring onion, cilantro, garlic, oyster sauce, sesame oil, golden needle mushrooms, oyster mushrooms. (in the middle) the hot pot, split in two- one for vegetarians and people who don’t love spicy food and one real hot pot.

They were excellent guests and left in the morning. We sent them off with a watermelon, a roll of toilet paper (when outsiders come to Georgia in the spring, their sinuses all be blowing up and shit), and two panda portraits off my wall (beauty with cheetah and paranoid cherub on the piano). Now there are two empty spots on my wall. I will probably fill one of them up with this portrait of the three traveling activists:

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In this picture: (left to right) Bernadette, Brian, Yoona

Mesoamerica Resiste (outside) by the Beehive Collective

Mesoamerica Resiste (outside) by the Beehive Collective

Yesterday I have the privilege of attending one of the Beehive Collective’s touring workshops for their gushingly beautiful and incredibly detailed work ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! which illustrates many of the issues at play in the Plan Pueblo Panama (P.P.P.) or Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project.  The collective put all of their resources to work to craft the piece including numerous illustrators, scientists, and contributions from local people throughout the area affected by the PPP. Two women, Meg and Mandy, toured with the piece and gave thorough explanations of the many themes, metaphors, and assertions of the work. You can learn more about the Beehive Collective and their touring schedule by visiting their site and I strongly encourage that you do.

Mesoamerica Resiste (inside) by the Beehive Collective

Mesoamerica Resiste (inside) by the Beehive Collective

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