The CBLDF Holiday Party: Short Interviews with Pretty Much Everyone, Ever

Categories:  News

CLBDF party

When they’re not defending the First Amendment rights of comics artists and retailers in places like Rome, Georgia, The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) throws one hell of a party. Held at Manhattan’s Village Pourhouse, this past Monday, the list of creative forces on-hand ran the gamut, from everyone’s favorite hairless house DJ, Moby, to counterculture guru, Douglas Rushkoff, to comics luminaries like Kyle Baker, Nick Bertozzi, Dean Haspiel, and Paul Pope.

In lieu of shoving our digital recorder in any one face for too long, we opted to stick to a set of three uniform and primarily holiday-themed questions, comprised with the help of benefit ringleader, Jeff “Jah Furry” Newelt.

For those keeping track, the questions are as follows:

1. Do you have any new projects on the market that would make for a good holiday gift?
2. What is a good comic-centric holiday gift that you yourself were not directly involved in creating?
3. Why are you at the CBLDF party, anyway?

Given the steady flow of alcohol consumed throughout the course of the evening, it just seemed easiest to keep things simple. You too can join in the fun by taking a shot every time someone mentions Shooting War, the new Jack Kirby omnibus, or Bookhunter. That should get you well on your way. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to join the CBLDF for some sweet tax-deductible year-end goodness.

A ton of three question interviews can be found, after the jump. A short Flickr set of the night can be found here.

Kyle Baker

1. Special Forces is the new book, and a good Christmas present is The Bakers. It’s a good present for your mother.
2. I’ve mostly been reading Joe Kubert’s Sgt. Rock comics because I’m doing this war book, so that’s all I can recommend.
3. I live a block away, and I couldn’t get out of it. No, that’s not true. Okay, it’s kind of true. I support what they’re about. I like them. I keep waiting for someone to ban me, but it never happens. Everything I do is designed to be banned, but it never happens. Like Nat Turner—there’s a reason why no one’s ever done a Nat Turner book. Or Special Forces, it’s about the war in Iraq. It’s a really offensive book and people are getting upset about it. But I think one reasons that I don’t get picked on that much is that what I like to do is make things that are offense but true. That’s the great thing about the new Iraq book that I’m doing, it’s based on a true story, so people get upset about it, but they can’t call me a liar. In the first issue, I picked articles specifically from ABC and CBS, specifically because they’re the most mainstream news organizations around. It’s not just me saying these things, it’s the corporate media, too. And with Nat Turner, it’s a story that nobody talks about, but it’s 100-percent true, and everyone agrees that the man was one of the most important figures ever, but still they don’t want to tell the story.

Charles Brownstein [CBLDF]

1. In terms of holiday gifts, has a huge variety of amazing signed graphic novels and comics that will appeal to any comics fan, from a signed Frank Miller 300, to the signed complete Bone, to more esoteric stuff. And if you don’t see a book that you’re interested in, you can always sign up for membership to help us fight the good fight.
2. I really, really despise the holidays, so I would recommend something satirical and pointed in nature, like Army@Love by Rick Veitch, which is the only comic that I religiously follow from the store the day it comes out. It’s awesome, pointed political satire that’s the Dr. Strangelove for the 21st century.
3. The real reason I’m here is to say thank you to all of the people who believe in the CBLDF enough to really sign on the dotted line, become members, and put their expression and voice into the fight to defend free expression in comics.

Kevin Colden

1. I don’t have anything out that’s strictly mine, but I’m in the House of Twelve #4 anthology.
2. The Charles Schulz biography (Schulz and Peanuts) is great. It’s the most engaging biography I’ve read in a long time.
3. I am here because the CBLDF is the best friend of everyone who works in the comics industry and I want to do everything I can to support them. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to do that, but I’ll do what I can.

Nikki Cook

1. I don’t have anything specifically in print, right now, but there’s a really good book out, called Suburban Glamour #1, that I did a pin-up for. The book was done by Jamie McKelvie, for Image.
2. I’m really, really hoping that I get Batman 100 for the holidays. That’s what I really want.
3. I really, really believe in the cause. I love Charles [Brownstein] and there’s a lot of unfortunate things going on, right now, and I think if we simply show up and support, it will make a difference. I’m really positive about the whole situation.

Sarah Glidden

1. If anyone wants to give a mini-comic as a gift, but I don’t know…I think that anyone who would get that would feel kind of cheated out of a gift. It’s got to be a stocking stuffer. It’s the first chapter of my graphic novel, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.
2. I’d recommend The Fart Party by Atomic Books. It’s a great gift, especially for dads. Persepolis is a really good gift. Persepolis for moms, Fart Party for dads.
3. Because it’s a really good cause, and all of my friends are here…

Dan Goldman

1. I have a new graphic novel called Shooting War, which has been out for about three weeks, from Grand Central Publishing.
2. I’m a particularly big fan of the new paperback collections of Love & Rockets. I think that those will do more to bring in people that don’t read comics than anything else.
3. I just did a CBLDF benefit part in San Francisco, and I wanted to give some love back, because they really helped me when I was on tour.

Dean Haspiel

1. I don’t have anything out that would make a good holiday gift. What I do have free comics that I do online at Act-I-vate. That’s my gift to comics people. I have Brawl in print, which is a three issue miniseries for Image that features “Billy Dogma” and “Panorama.” Me and Michel Fiffe are doing it, basically our psychotronic comic. I think The Quitter would make a pretty good gift—I also think Another Day would be good for Pekar fans and people who like auto-bio. So, yeah, I guess I do have some stuff that people can pick up for Christmas. For Christmas, The Quitter, for Kwanzaa, Brawl. For Channukah, you get them both.
2. I was asked that at News-a-rama today, and I had to think hard, because I could list 100 comics. Shooting War by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman is a great book. I also enjoyed the Paul Karasik Fletcher Hanks book (I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets). I’m also a big fan of Jack Kirby, so The Fourth World Omnibus. And my favorite comic, right now to read is Scalped, on Vertigo.
3. Partially because of Jah Furry, partially because of Charles Brownstein and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, partially because of my ex-roomate and really good friend, Nick Bertozzi, but also because I believe in comic book rights, and I believe that we get scrutinized fairly often. And also because I have a scene in Brawl #3, where a flower comes out of the heroine’s vagina, and I have a feeling that I might be needing the CBLDF too, so I might as well show up and make face.

Miss Lasko-Gross

1. I have Escape from Special, which is out from Fantagraphics Books. I’m working on the followup book—I’m about 120 pages in, out of 175. And then there’s House of Twelve #4—I have a “auto-bio” horror story, which is about a whiny auto-bio cartoonist who goes to war.
2. For the most uptight person you know, get them Lost Girls, and watch the bitter dissapointment wash over them.
3. I believe in what they do, and I believe that we may need them one day, because my husband, Kevin Colden, seems intent on doing something that will hurt some reader so deeply that we’ll lose our house.

Alec Longstreth

1. I just finished a series of 26 paintings—The Animal Alphabet. I also have Phase 7 #12, 11, 6, and 5 or so. And the Dvorak ‘zine and the collection of Phase 7 #1-4.
2. What I’ve done the last five years is just get one comic for each member of my family, because they’re not really comics people, so it’s sort of opens up the whole genre that we already know about. My dad’s into historical fiction, so I got him Louis Riel one year, and Age of Bronze—where it’s historical, but it’s still a comic. Also, Bookhunter by Jason Shiga is an amazing book.
3. I’m here because I was invited to be here! The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is protecting the first amendment rights for artists, writers, and retailers. I gave them $30 worth of comics—I don’t know if it’s going to raise any money, because there’s cool stuff here, but it’s definitely a good cause. I’ve been a card carrying member for six years, or so.

Heidi MacDonald [The Beat]

2. I think any of the fine graphic novels that just came out—Stephen King, [The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen] The Black Dossier, Buffy, or The Perry Bible Fellowship. Any one of those would make a fine gift.
3. It’s a wonderful cause, and the sandwich board sign outside said, ‘Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Party, this way.’ We really do need to stand up. A lot of countries don’t even have a First Amendment, but we do, so we should stand up and defend it. Everybody’s got to make their voices heard. It’s the least we can do.

Mr. Phil [Indie Spinner Rack]

1. We have the Awesome anthology that was put out by Evil Twin Comics and The Indie Spinner Rack. It was recently in Diamond, listed in previews as “The Indie Edge,” picked by Jeff Smith. It’s probably going to sellout, but there’s no reprints. It’s huge. It’s the hot collectable of the day.
2. How about Bookhunter by Shiga. It’s cool, and I think non-comic fans can dig it. It’s kind of comic strippish, and if you’re a book-head, you’ll get all of the bizarre little references. It’s a fun book.
3. I’m just here to get drunk and hit on Brian Heater.

Jeff “Jah Furry” Newelt [Party Organizer]

2. I believe strongly in all of the publishers’ commitment to the omnibus format, to offering an enormous amount of content in a high quality inexpensive-for-what-you-get format. Finally comics have they’re own ‘box sets.’ So, if I was going to recommend any comic purchase, this holiday, I’d say go for an omnibus by any of the companies, from DC’s Fourth World to Marvel’s The Eternals to Image’s Madman to Fantagraphics’ Hernandez Brothers and Peter Bagge’s Buddy Bradley books. The value you get in one shot is great.
3. As far back as highschool, I use to to lobby the school board and studied constitutional rights, and most importantly, practiced these rights to the extent that Frank Zappa once called me a “civic hellraiser,” and I’ve always been a comic book fan, so the combination of constitutional rights and comic books tickles my tootsies. It’s a genuine cause that’s helping people, and the medium, in real-time.

Paul Pope

1. My art book, PulpHope, or the Batman book.
2. I love 100 Bullets, and anything that Kid Robot makes is cool. Outside of that, I’d say the Marvel Essentials and the Jack Kirby omnibus.
3. A number of reasons. It’s about the community, ultimately, but I believe in the cause and I have a lot of friends here, and it’s the holidays. It’s a chance to get together with a lot of people that you don’t see very often.

Douglas Rushkoff

1. I’m not here to promote my stuff, but if people want to buy something of mine, they should pick up Testament, the third collection just came out. It’s a fun, crazy look at the bible in a modern context. It upsets the right people and empassions the right people. It’s fun that way. It’s a nice little lightning rod. So buy that.
2. Buy Shooting War. It’s a great one. It’s great for people who aren’t especially into comics.
3. I’m here because the assault on civil liberties in America is reaching a dramatic new peak today, and any inroad that people can relate to is an inroad to a huge miasma of issues that they must become aware of, so learning that someone gets arrested for selling a comic book in Alabama or Georgia is a great entre to understanding that people’s cellphone conversations are being tapped, that habeas corbus has been suspended in America, and that the CIA is burning video tape of people being tortured. Comics are a great canary in a cage for a society really hellbent on facism.

Julia Wertz

1. I have been diligently knitting dick cozies. They’re two-cents each. Send me your measurements, and I’ll knit that shit up. I don’t have any comics, just dick cozies.
2. Small Noises [by Sarah Glidden].
3. Because if wishes and butts were clusters and nuts, we’d all have a bowl of granola. [See also, Happy 50th Birthday, Peter Bagge].


–Brian Heater

No Comments to “The CBLDF Holiday Party: Short Interviews with Pretty Much Everyone, Ever”

  1. jahfurry | December 17th, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Snausome team-up interview!

  2. Dean Haspiel | December 17th, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Great write up, Brian. Now, since I came late to the party and missed out on being in the big group snapshot, who do I gotta Photoshop OUT so I can Photoshop myself IN?