Posted by Rolando Garcia on Nov 28, 2011 in Non-fiction
Let me get this out of the way: this is not a commentary on whether religion is good or bad. Mostly because I think that it’s not inherently either… but that’s a post for another day, maybe. This is more of a mental exercise.
A recent study showed that atheists may be the single most distrusted minority group in the whole world. I didn’t need a study to tell me this. It’s pretty obvious we’re more likely to vote for a Muslim president than an atheist one. Our culture seems to have a really hard time believing that someone could behave as a good, moral person without the belief of punishment from a supernatural deity.
But consider this: most religions have enough loopholes around amoral activity to make them effectively useless as a deterrent. I’m going to pick two examples because they’re easy and quick and I don’t have a million hours to write this entire treatise, so don’t take this as an exhaustive study. Anyway:
* Catholicism and various other branches of Christianity have penance. Very simple concept: you go to the priest, you confess all your sins, he tells you to say some prayers and absolves you. Would you trust anyone who could rob you blind – or worse – and only have to worry about getting to a priest before they die?
* Some Muslims believe that straight up murdering people who’ve done nothing other than not believe in their god is not only is forgivable, it can get you the big prizes and sexy rewards in heaven.
All it takes is a slight shift in perspective and you begin to see what a crappy argument “only religion encourages morality” truly is. Ultimately, if someone wants to be a dick, they’ll find a way within their personal religion to get away with it. More importantly, though, if someone wants to be a good person, they’ll be a good person, regardless of their religion or lack thereof.
And just because it’s appropriate, here’s a repost of a Blue Beetle and Phantom comic drawn by Jess Kirby with words by me:
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Nov 24, 2011 in Comic
Here’s a little sneak peek at an upcoming page of Revenger that’s certainly appropriate for today. Enjoy the turkey!
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Nov 21, 2011 in Non-fiction
, Writing Process
For the past few months I’ve been contributing to the New York blog, Fucked in Park Slope. It’s been a lot of fun. Somewhere along the line, I thought it would be fun to create custom images for my articles using Google Images and photoshop (technically, I use GIMP, which has a lot of photoshop’s features but is free). I got hooked. It’s been interesting to find out how much I enjoy it. Sometimes I’d almost rather just do these than write a piece. Then I start writing and I can’t stop. Both are fun.
Here are some of my favorite “photoshopped” images (they link to their respective articles, too):
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Nov 17, 2011 in Comic
Art by the always awesome Jess Kirby. She’s as creative as that other Kirby.
Share! Copy the embed code:
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Posted by Rolando Garcia on Nov 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
Rolando to Michael:
Name: The Honest Politician
Type: Human with no meta powers.
Contemporaries: Ominus I
This guys is a bit of a silly Silver Age style villain for stories about Ominus I and maybe even “Young” Revenger when he was still a sidekick. He thinks politicians are really just crooks and they should at least be honest about it. So he decides his crook gimmick will always be to tell the truth. When he makes a promise to rob a bank on a certain day for a certain amount of money, he intends to keep it. The catch is that he’s so smart that even with the information ahead of the time, Ominus is often one step behind (until the the last minute when Ominus catches up to him). His backstory is that he was lied to be a politician so he created this persona, promised the politician that he’d rob him blind and then proceeded to do it. He liked it so much, he kept doing it. I don’t have a lot of ideas for his visuals. A top hat and a mustache could be funny (or not). Run with it any way you want.
Michael to Rolando:
Here’s the sketch for the Honest Politician. I had a image in my head of the squinted eyes, the big, toothy grin, and the perfect hairdo. Maybe this could be his mask. Let me know what you think. If you like this, I’ll go ahead with the inks.
Rolando to Michael:
I love the idea that it’s a mask. It’s perfect. And if we ever wanted to bring him back during the “modern” age of Revenger or Ominus II we could make him be really creepy by having him had plastic surgery to forever look like the mask.
Check out the final results of our work on 30 Characters!
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Nov 10, 2011 in Comic
I know not all of you are following the action going on at the 30 Characters Challenge, so here are two of my favorite new characters. I created them in conjunction with Revenger artist Michael Powell.
She was born and bred a rich, spoiled brat. She was a selfish little monster of a girl, hiding her nastiness behind a button nose and her long curls. If you didn’t give her what she wanted, or even looked at her funny, an earth shaking tantrum was sure to follow. And right behind that tantrum were daddy and mommy to give their little princess whatever she wanted.
But even the meanest little girls don’t deserve Leukemia at the age of 11. No matter how rich mom and dad were, they couldn’t spare her the pain of treatment or the humiliation of losing her gorgeous hair. The poor little girl wouldn’t even look at herself in the mirror anymore.
In a desperate attempt to save her life, her well connected father got his hands on an experimental treatment his friends had cooked up in the most secret of government facilities. What they didn’t tell him was that the “treatment” was actually a living creature of unknown origin that could bond to and heal human bodies.
The “treatment” was administered to the little girl while she sleeping. As the creature took hold, it searched her feelings and thoughts. What no one knew was that this living, fully conscious thing fed off human feelings of happiness. When it found what the little girl desired most – her beautiful hair – it completed the bond and took the shape of her locks.
The girl woke up the next morning to find herself not only feeling much better but with a full, luscious head of hair that was even more beautiful than she remembered it. She was overcome with happiness… and the creature fed. Not only that, the creature realized that to continue its own existence, it had to help her get what she wanted. And the little girl slowly realized this little-known-fact about her new head of “hair.”
Now she doesn’t need daddy to give her what she wants. The creature does whatever it thinks will make her happy. Like get her pretty new jewelry without paying for it. Or take that new sports car she saw some loser driving. Or hurt people who look at her funny. Or whatever else Gorgona damn well pleases.
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Nov 7, 2011 in Comic
, Writing Process
Busy working away on these. This year I’m teaming up with my Revenger partner, Michael Powell. He’s drawing and I’m writing the stories. Below is a preview/behind-the-scenes look at one of the characters I actually wrote before he drew:
Type: human female with super speed
Contemporaries: Revenger, Ominus II
Details: Speedbump is constantly connected. She’s super fast and on the move – she is literally a dozen places at once sometimes. She knows more about everything that’s going on that anyone else. Her headphones are always on. She smokes a lot of pot. She’s a big stoner. She works really well with Revenger (and also in the future when he goes by Ominus) but their relationship is platonic. I mocked up an idea of what I think she’d look like (by tracing an image to get the body and then drawing the details). Feel free to change as much as you want.
That was me, in an email, to Mike. Here’s the mock up I sent him:
Now here is the awesome pencils Mike sent back. He nailed it!
I did feel something was missing, so I wrote Mike the following note:
Love it! She needs a symbol, though. Can you add something that looks like the attached caution symbols to the tanktop?
To see the final Speedbump, and to read more about her character’s story, follow us on 30Characters!
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Nov 3, 2011 in Opinion
Everyone wants digital stuff to be cheap. They think “hey, it doesn’t cost anything to print/press/ship/distribute so it should cost less to buy.” But in reality, the real cost in producing art and entertainment has never been in the reproduction and distribution. Whether it’s paper for books or DVDs for movies, those are insignificant fractions of the cost.
The real cost is paying for the creation of the content. It’s paying the writer for the year it takes her to write the novel; it’s paying the actors who spend 10 hours a day on set; it’s paying the artist who needs weeks to draw and ink the comic; it’s paying the musician for the months it takes to create the album. Not to mention the editors, producers and crews who provide all the support necessary.
And those costs are not going to change because the final product is now delivered via the Internet instead of a on a truck.
Right now, this is easy to ignore because the cost of creating content is shoulder by the old media. What this means is that when the number crunchers create a budget for say a book, they put the writer’s salary into the cost of the print version. It’s up to the sales of the physical book to pay that salary. In order to cover those costs and turn a profit, they have to sell movie tickets, hardcovers, paperbacks, and so on at a high price.
The budget for the digital edition is usually just the cost of transferring the previously created content, be it print or video or music, into a file the consumer can download. That cost is very, very small and can, actually, easily turn profit at a 99-cent price point.
But what happens in the very near future when digital becomes the primary medium? That is to say: what happens when things are created primarily for digital distribution and the cost of paying for content creation has to be shouldered by the ebook, not the print book, or by the streaming movie, not the DVD? Pretty simple: the digital edition will need to cost a lot more than 99-cents to cover costs.
And then… well then things are going to get ugly. Which is why we as creators and distributors need to stop trying to undersell our products. I know I’m guilty of it, offering most of what I create for free and maybe sometimes charging the 99-cents I just derided. But if we don’t the day will come when we have to raise our prices and then we’re going to end up like Netflix: the customer base we’ll have built is going to be annoyed by the idea of paying more for the same product and leave us high and dry.
Charge $1.99 or more today. You’ll be glad you did in the long run.