Much is happening with Occupy Comics… we’ve just been in stealth mode while we picked the fleas out of our hair and stockpiled cans of Axe body spray.
But here’s the latest update, already live on Kickstarter and now here as well for your reading pleasure:
It’s time for your annual Occupy Comics update!
Ok, so first of all, this update has nothing (intentionally) to do with DC Comics’ announcement last week that they’re doing an Occupy-related comic that’s not actually an Occupy-related comic… or whatever. Just weird coincidence that Occupy is returning to comics all at once.
So… if you haven’t noticed, the collected Occupy Comics book is late. I updated a bit in the comments about why this occurred, but mainly the “projected release date” was really a pretty broad guesstimate a year out… we’re managing a lot of moving parts here and a large coalition of volunteers, so it’s been a bit of balancing when to close the book out and stop accepting late contributions.
I’ve literally still been receiving new pieces this week, and the book will really benefit from all these late inclusions.
Also, I’ve been really busy Instagramming pictures of my lunch. I mean, c’mon, gotta have priorities here.
BUT we’re finishing up the book now and Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow so I’m confident the book WILL be done by… Good Friday. Why not? We’re finishing it for Lent. Haha.
It’s interesting how the timespan has affected the voice of the book. There are the pieces that came in right away that are really in the thick of Occupy and the events on the ground, expressing it and documenting it in real time. Those are a great and important time capsule… it can be easy to forget what it was like at the time, even now just 15 months later, amid the revisionary haze of bias and trolling–so going back and reading those early pieces today is actually kinda startling and refreshing.
The newer ones are more reflective in a really interesting way and also forward-looking at the ongoing Occupy-related initiatives… there’s one written by Matt Miner (upcoming Liberator) a resident of Rockaway who was aided by Occupy Sandy when he and his whole community were let down by FEMA and LIPA and The Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. That one in particular demonstrates the continued importance of Occupy, and I’m really glad it’s going into the book. I’m hoping we’ll have pieces about Strike Debt and Rolling Jubilee and other post-Zuccotti incarnations of Occupy as well.
In a weird way, it feels like the whole thing has come full circle.
Those of you who followed the project from the beginning will recall that we started this before any of the media hoopla. Originally this was about drawing attention to Occupy and its themes and goals before the media was giving it any attention.
Then it suddenly became a media sensation and our little project went along for the roller coaster ride.
Now the press has left, the camps are long cleared, and Occupy is generally being presented by the media as having fizzled or failed, which is completely wrong… it’s just changed forms.
So, personally, I feel Occupy Comics is as relevant and urgent today as it was on Day One… maybe not Day One of the Kickstarter, but Day One of the project itself. After all, one of the points of this project was that there should be more forums for this conversation than just the encampments and the coverage by a media more interested in police brutality videos and snarky gossip than actual coverage of the issues inspiring the conflicts.
To that end, we are still planning to release the stories of Occupy Comics volume 1 more broadly beyond the Kickstarter, but we are also committed to making sure you, our faithful Kickstarter followers, receive all and more content than anyone else… and you receive it first.
The comic shop version will be re-organized from the comics you’ve received, but they will consist of mainly the same content.
We’re slating issue 1 to be in comic shops on May 1 for May Day (coincidental that DC is also releasing it’s own Occupy book the same day) and the issues will continue monthly from there.
We are committed to getting you the collected Occupy Comics book before that comic shop street date for the first retail issue, the only potential snafu is that hardcover book printers have really long turnarounds. But you’ll certainly have all the content digitally before May 1.
Also, we are honoring our commitment to and deep appreciation for our Kickstarter pledgers by sending you all the comic shop versions of Occupy Comics volume 1 as free digital downloads.
Our top priority is to finish volume 1 and get it read by as many people as possible (and continue raising funds for Occupy-related initiatives), but if it goes well and everyone is happy with the experience and we feel it is beneficial to the movement in its own modest way, then I could see it continuing on as a politically-themed comics anthology like RAW or World War 3 Illustrated. I think something like that could be really cool and important, but that’s a ways away.
So, as always, thank you so much for supporting this project and we hope you’ll stick with us as we finish phase 1 and move on to new & exciting adventures bringing these stories inspired by Occupy Wall Street to you and more readers who aren’t as cutting-edge and with-it as you.