Monday, August 07, 2006

Home Agin, Home Agin...

... and much to do, so short blog posts today, as time permits.

Arrived home to a pleasant surprise: Alex Afterman of Heretic DVD shipped me a fat parcel of the Jersey Devil minicomic/booklet the CCS Year One alumni team and I cooked up in short order earlier this summer for the upcoming (September 29th) DVD release of Stefan Avalos & Lance Weiler's The Last Broadcast. The comic looks great, and the whole package is pretty sharp. I'll make time later this week for some scans, so you can all finally see some of this before Halloween season rolls around.

Good timing, too -- this will be a real shot in the arm for the new DVD minicomic project the same team and I are working on. Nothing like holding one printed job in hand while another is already underway.

I feel like anything I do, draw or write is utterly trivial given the shitstorm we find ourselves in the orbit of, day after day, with the escalating violence in a number of theaters of war around the world and ever-escalating nuclear race -- the fruits of the Bush doctrine, damn the man and his cronies all to hell.

So much for 21st Century -- Bush, Cheney et al have successfully destabilized the entire globe with their bullshit preemptive war policies, empowering other fanatics and extremists to new extremes, which in turn has prompted -- well, you know. It's at a boil-over point where one has to ask, "well, why wouldn't Iran [etc.] want nuclear weapons now?," given the complete breakdown of diplomacy in the wake of the Bush "fuck diplomacy" doctrines.

Ah, I'll shut up. It's Monday, you don't need me grumbling and ranting about this. What a shitstorm we're all in: fanatics and religious zealots (including our Prez) on all sides, pounding the crap out of one another, and damning any in the crossfire.

Vermont is hosting a few interesting film events this week; here's one of 'em close to home that I happen to have info on, with more to follow tomorrow on this weekend's upcoming Home Movie event:

* Here's the schedule for the Kopkind Grassroots Film Festival starting this coming Thursday Aug 10th and running until Saturday August 12th, at the Organ Barn at Treefrog Farm, Guilford, Vt. It's open to the public, screenings begin at 7pm (plus Sat afternoon, 3PM showing); sponsored by First Run Features and The Center for Independent Documentary.

Thursday, August 10th 7pm: Anti-Nuclear Films from an Anti-Nuclear Family

During the 1970's a small group of activists who lived communally in Montague, Massachusetts became deeply involved in fighting nuclear power. Some members became organizers and others produced media. Daniel Keller, Charles Light and their company Green Mountain Post Films created a number of films on the issue that were key educational and organizing tools for the growing grassroots anti-nuclear movement. The filmmakers will present excerpts from three of their films, LOVEJOY'S NUCLEAR WAR (1975), (1978), and THE LAST RESORTSAVE THE PLANET (1979.) More on the films can be found
  • here.
  • A discussion on films and grassroots organizing about Nuclear Energy Plants will follow with filmmakers and guests.

    Friday, August 11, 7PM: Cruel and Unusual

    Filmmakers Janet Baus and Dan Hunt will be in the Organ Barn to present their remarkable film that is now being seen in many festivals around the nation. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL is an unflinching documentary on the lives of transgender women in men's prisons. Shot over three years, this high-definition documentary film challenges the viewer's basic ideas about gender and justice through braids of poignantly graphic stories, vibrant landscape portraits and stark prison footage. The film has just recently won the Audience Award at New Fest, (NYC), the Jury Prize for Best Documentary at Frameline (San Francisco) and the Freedome Award at Outfest (Los Angeles) "This moving and thoughtful documentary raises awareness about the abuse, isolation and poor medical care faced by transgender prisoners. We hope that the film's insight will be a springboard for new policies that adequately protect this vulnerable community."— ELIZABETH ALEXANDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ACLU NATIONAL PRISON PROJECT. Following the film there will be a discussion with the filmmakers, members of the local transgender community and prison reform activists.

    Saturday, August 12th, 3 PM and 7PM

    3PM: The Peace Patriots –Narrated by Janeane Garofalo with music by Steve Earle, Pete Seeger, Ani DiFranco, and Billy Bragg is an intimate portrait of American dissenters reflecting on their personal participation as engaged citizens in a time of war. Director Robbie Leppzer focuses on activists living in our area of New England, the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, who oppose the U.S. invasion and on-going occupation of Iraq. After the screening Robbie Leppzer will comment on recent articles that indicate the U.S. peace movement is “floundering” – Is it? Come and add your thoughts…

  • 7PM: The Devil’s Miner: A film by Kief Davidson & Richard Ladkani

    **WINNER Chicago Film Festival - Best Documentary – Silver Hugo**
    **WINNER Woodstock Film Festival - Best Documentary**
    **WINNER San Diego Latino Film Festival - Best Documentary**

    Two brothers, 14-year-old Basilio and 12-year-old Bernardino, work deep inside the silver mines of Cerro Rico, Bolivia. In the mines, which date back to the sixteenth century, it is said the devil determines the fate of those who enter. The devil is everywhere, watching - carved statues called "Tios" are scattered throughout the tunnels, and the miners, including the young brothers, bring offerings to them daily.

    Before the screening of the Devil’s Miner, we will present Rick Borutta’s short film, BEAUTY OF OUR HANDS. In Cape Town, South African women's empowerment groups not only employ women in arts and crafts, but they often teach them additional skills in business, language and creativity.

    Following the screenings, Cleo Godsey from First Run Features, which distributes Devil’s Miner, will discuss how they work with grassroots groups on using films to organize. A recent screening of Devil’s Miner helped a German Non-Profit raise 1.2 million dollars to be used to help children working in the silver mines of Bolivia.

    For those who are interested in attending the Kopkind Grassroots Film Festival and need directions to the Organ Barn at Tree Frog Farm in Guilford, Vermont, should contact the administrator of Kopkind, John Scagliotti at

    FYI, Kopkind was launched nine years ago as a living memorial to the late journalist Andrew Kopkind, who wrote on politics and culture with a matchless style and depth for national and international publications until his death, in 1994. The project, which brings together journalists and grassroots activists puts on seminars in Guilford VT for its visiting participants in the summer and hosts a number of free public events. Kopkind is a non-profit educational foundation. The Board’s president is renown journalist JoAnn Wypijewski.

    Hope this proves of interest to some of you in driving distance...

    Well, for those of you far away from southern VT, or seeking something a little less socially redeeming, let's see if this provides some diversion.

    Cartoonist (and Eros Comix vet) John Roberson has just posted some of his adult comics online -- but before you click on the link, note -- and warning! -- that this site is not worksafe and is for adults only.

    It's not my cup of tea, but as a longtime fan of John's comics work, thought some of you might be interested --
  • "The Sickness" Roberson Comixxx!

  • John writes, "I got invited onto the launch of this. They tell me mine are the dirtiest comics on the site so far, which must mean the others are really tame.;) ...And they're having me do this three times a week. So bookmark it, if it's yer cup o'tea. ...hoping for fame, dammit..." Ladies and gents, John Linton Roberson, topless (and so much more) comics from Bottomless Studio, and here's hoping we all get to read John's Sawney Beane comic sooner than later.

    As my old Johnson State College roomie Joe Mangelynx used to say, "See you in the funnies!”