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"Kool Aid Gets Fired"

Posted by libhom Friday, October 15, 2010

Comic Con entrance badge"Kool Aid Gets Fired" is the title of a fab comic book I found last weekend at New York Comic Con NYC. It is topical in many ways, including job loss, jobs being replaced by technology, and the ruthless and arbitrary power of corporations over people. Seeing Kool Aid frown and smoke cigars alone was worth the reading. I liked it so much I bought the mug too.

You can find out more about this and other work by Tim Piotrowski at www.glitchworks.com. "Kool Aid Gets Fired" even has its own webpage, with a funny animation. One difference between comic and graphic novel signings and regular book signings is that the artists often draw little illustrations with them. The one of a cranky and dejected Kool Aid rocked.

This was the first time I went to a Comic Con, and I got lucky, stumbling into the Small Press and Artists Gallery section before going to the main convention hall. That's where I found out about the trials of poor Kool Aid. I also bought a few issues of "How to Survive Working in Retail," a zine format book which details the tribulations of young people stuck in the lower rungs of our service economy. I found fab queer content in the form of the "Cavalcade of Boys" set by Tim Fish which I'm looking forward to reading.

The quirkiest thing I found was "God the Dyslexic God." I bought the first issue with a blenderized version of pantheism and an apparent opposition to animal experimentation. I also found a printouts of a couple of promising web comics, "Curls" and "Revolvers."

I should point out that the American Library Association also had a booth, where they promoted their 2009-2010 banned books brochure. The ALA also has a list of resources on stopping bullying against queer youth.

I got burnt out on superhero comics a while back. Maybe being middle aged is part of the reason. In any case, New York Comic Con, like comics in general these days, has subject matter much broader. My first senses of this were buying "Ghostworld" after seeing the movie and with Alison Bechdel's autobiographical "Fun Home", the latter being something that every queer should read.

Rediscovering the comic book art form is really refreshing, especially since there is a lot of content that appeals to my interests later in life. I wonder how much could be done with comic books and graphic novels to communicate liberal views and values. There was a lot of nutty rightist content at Comic Con too, but it didn't have a monopoly by any means. I hope the voices in comics from the left get more numerous and louder.

 

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