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Issue #235

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment
Issue #235




  • Due to circumstances beyond my control, not to mention a big week in my personal life, there won’t be a column this week. I thought about postponing it until later in the week, but at this point I don’t see any way it could go up before Saturday and by Saturday it’s just as good an idea to leave it until next Wednesday. Sorry about that. The good news is that next week’s column will be extra length, including Questions-and-Answers (see below), a political wrapup, letters, gobs of reviews, media news and who knows what else. (You never know what’ll happen in the comics world between then and now.) I know this is two weeks in a row, but sometimes these things are unavoidable.

    In the meantime, here’s a wacky, old, rarely seen Frank Frazetta strip from his humor comics days. You’d never know he once worked on LI’L ABNER, would you? Also, check below for a couple other notes.

  • One quick political note : it looks like the government has botched its death penalty case against convicted 9-11 hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui (who wasn’t actually a hijacker or he’d be dead with the rest of them right now, but he claims he was in training for round 2). Bear in mind that Moussaoui already confessed; they don’t need to convince a jury he’s guilty. The issue is the administration’s determination to seek the death penalty, rather than life in prison. Yet, even in a hearing where nothing is really at stake for prosecutors or the administration except symbolism (yes, I know it also means Moussaoui’s death – probably after many appeals – if they win, they’re intent on victory mainly to demonstrate the USA doesn’t dick around with terrorists, and that makes its meaning mainly symbolic), the prosecution (or a concerned friend, depending on which version you find most likely) had to try to rig the outcome by coaching witnesses, i.e. instructing them on how to answers questions so that the government gets the answers it wants. Witnesses were shown trial transcripts and warned of defense arguments, in contravention of the judge’s orders. Prosecutors kept defense attorneys from having access to at least one witness, and told defense attorneys three other witnesses refused to speak with them, though none of those witnesses knew the defense was trying to contact them. None of this should happen in a court proceeding and everyone in the prosecution team knew it.

    But this is not only typical of prosecutors all over the country (not that there aren’t decent, upstanding prosecutors – probably most of them – but there’s enormous pressure to get convictions, and plenty of records, especially now that the availability of DNA testing has prompted widespread reinvestigations of death penalty cases, of prosecutors hiding evidence, witness tampering, coaching testimony, coercing confessions and a host of other ethical if not criminal violations, with, we now know, far too many innocent people going to prison… not that Moussaoui is innocent, but his prosecution fits an extensive and offensive pattern) but of the administration’s habit of waving the law like a cudgel when it suits them and treating it as purely ceremonial when it stands between them and what they want. That’s all.

    Next week, I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions about anything. Email your questions by 6PM Monday March 13th (Friday the 13th comes on a Monday this month) and if no one sends any questions, you’ll just have to suffer through what you get.

    FOR PROFESSIONALS ONLY: In the April 5th PERMANENT DAMAGE, you can promote upcoming projects you’ve got coming up in ’06. Needed are: title (and name of book it’ll appear in, if it’s part of an anthology); name of publishing house; names of collaborators; price; format; a short descriptive paragraph – really short; an art sample is optional, but if you want to send one keep it no more than 600 pixels wide, 72 dpi. Thanks. This is your big chance to stand out from the crowd, so send the info in.

    Don’t forget my two books are available in pdf e-book form at The Paper Movies Store: TOTALLY OBVIOUS, collecting my Master Of The Obvious essays on comics, culture, creativity and the freelance life; and IMPOLITIC: A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEARS, a running commentary on American life and politics in the first half of the Terror Decade. 250+ pages each, $5.95@ or both for $10.95. What are you waiting for?

    Those wishing to comment should leave messages on the Permanent Damage Message Board. You can also e-mail me but the chances of a reply are next to nil these days, given my workload, though I do read all my e-mail as long as it’s not trying to sell me something. IMPORTANT: Because a lot of people apparently list it in their e-address books, this account has gotten a slew of virus-laden messages lately. They’re no real threat but dealing with them eats up time I don’t really have, to the extent I can no longer accept unsolicited e-mail with attachments. If you want to send something via attachment (say, art samples) ask me first. If I say okay, then send. Unsolicited e-mail with attachments will be wiped from the server without being read. You can also leave messages for me and have discussions on other topics at my Delphi forum, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. Please don’t ask me how to break into the business, or who to submit work to. The answers to those questions are too mercurial for even me to keep up with.

    Those wanting to subscribe to the WHISPER e-mail newsletter should click here.

    I’m reviewing comics sent to me – I may not like them but certainly I’ll mention them – at Steven Grant c/o Permanent Damage, 2657 Windmill Pkwy #194, Henderson NV 89074, so send ’em if you want ’em mentioned, since I can’t review them unless I see them. Some people have been sending press releases and cover proofs and things like that, which I enjoy getting, but I really can’t do anything with them, sorry. Full comics only, though they can be photocopies rather than the published version. Make sure you include contact information for readers who want to order your book.

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