Going Viral

A week ago a sleepy Dutch suburban town was shocked when thousands of “partygoers” invaded the streets, raiding shops and damaging private property. What had happened? A teenage girl had announced her Sweet Sixteenth on Facebook and forgot to make it an “invitation only” event. A friend of a friend decided it would be a good joke to invite all HIS (500) friends, urging them to invite more. Soon it became a ‘Project X’, after the movie in which a party totally spirals out of control.

Food for ethical philosophers.

Who is to blame in such a case? The girl? Facebook? I myself had a signing the day before, for which I made an “open” invitation on Facebook, and only seven people showed up…

It’s also food for behaviorial sociologists of course: what makes people abandon morality when the are in big groups? Is it peer pressure? Anonymity? The interesting thing about the internet is, though, that we’re all individuals sitting behind a screen, mostly in our own autonomous environment. So what made thousands of people, more or less rationally deliberating with themselves in front of their computer at home, think that it would be a good idea to harrass a 16-year old girl and an unsuspecting town…?

I’m not providing an answer here. I’m just bringing it up because I’m fascinated by the phenomenon of “virality”.

Yesterday, a Spanish society for Applied Philosophy, the Sociedad de Filosofía Aplicada (SOFIA), pointed my book ‘Philosophy, a Discovery in Comics’ out to their 33.000 followers on Facebook by directing them to my Facebook page for the book – and in less than 24 hours, I got more than 500 new “likes”! On my computer screen, I see people all over the Spanish speaking world nudging their friends about the book, sharing pictures from it, giving positive comments – it’s a really exciting phenomenon to witness when it’s so close and positive!

Which is good, because I’m a bit sick right now. While my work is apparently getting noticed all over the globe, I’m tucked away in my bed and in a snot-laden head.

(Most probably a virus.)

 

Regarding voter suppression

Ordinary people forget, or they didn’t pay attention in their high school civics classes:

“Governments…deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of their ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it….”  –Declaration of Independence

In other words, citizens are being denied a basic right by the very institutions they’ve created, and by the leaders to whom they’ve given certain rights and the privilege of representing them. Wake up people: Government is your creation and serves at your pleasure. Politicians are your servants. Go into your polling places. Overturn their tables. Shove aside their lackeys. You decide, not them! Vote the beggars out!

At Last! Geary’s Treasury collected: NBM in November

Here’s what’s being solicited at your comics bookstore this month from NBM: at long last, what you’ve all clamored for, the very first Treasury Compendium!

A TREASURY OF VICTORIAN MURDER COMPENDIUM Including Jack the Ripper, The Beast of Chicago, and Fatal Bullet
By Rick Geary 
In this first omnibus volume from Geary’s increasingly storied Treasuries of Murder: the first trilogy of murders that made up the very first volume of this series, Jack the Ripper as only he can narrate it, The Beast of Chicago about H.H. Holmes, possibly the first serial murderer with chilling methodical means and The Fatal Bullet about the assassination of president James Garfield.

6×9, 228pp., B&W hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 9781561637041

See Previews *  see more Geary

NEW from EUROTICA:

A somewhat delayed solicitation due to, ahem, oversight. This will actually ship in October:

 

 

 

 

 

SIZZLE #55

Cornnell Clarke’s very next Peanut Butter adventure in college sex steps up to the orgy level with some serious kionk thrown in! At last, Omaha is nearing completion in this issue! Don’t missd the builup to the grand finale! Also, more of Mona X, Gambedotti’s 3 of a Kind, District 69, It Could Happen to You. With a beautiful cover of the erotic actress Katsuni.

Quarterly magazine, full color, 8 ½ x11, $5.95

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NEW FROM PAPERCUTZ

First off, go check out the spiffy new site!

New this month:

ERNEST & REBECCA #3 “Grandpa Bug”

Guillaume Bianco, writer

Antonello Dalena, artist

Rebecca is a vivacious 6-year-old girl whose best friend happens to be a germ named Ernest. He’s not only Rebecca’s best friend — he’s also her partner in mischief, adventure companion, and confidant. In this third volume of the award-winning series, Rebecca and her older sister Coralie are sent to spend the summer in the countryside with their grandparents, away from their mother and father, without Ernest. Rebecca is lost and scared without her friend, but things begin to change when she meets a dog named Missile and her “Grandpa Bug,” both of whom want nothing more than to be her friend.

6 ½ x 9, 48pp., full-color hardcover: $11.99

ISBN: 978-1-59707-353-0

THE SMURFS #13 “Smurf Soup”

by Peyo

“Cartooning’s craftsmanship at its height.” — The Comics Journal

When Gargamel meets a giant with an insatiable appetite, he comes up with a plan to use the giant to destroy the Smurfs: tell him that Smurfs make the most delicious soup in the world! Papa Smurf catches wind of the plot, and begins to create a potion that will enable them to turn the giant, nicknamed “Bigmouth,” against Gargamel. But when Bigmouth stumbles into the Smurfs village, the potion isn’t ready, and the Smurfs must distract the hungry giant, or meet an untimely end inside its belly.

6.5 x 9, 56pp., full-color paperback: $5.99

ISBN: 978-1-59707-358-5

6.5 x 9, 56pp., full-color hardcover: $10.99

ISBN: 978-1-59707-359-2

DANCE CLASS #3 “African Folk Dance Fever”

Béka, writer

Crip, artist

Julie, Lucy, and Alia are best friends who share the same passion: dance! A new year of classes has begun and this year, in addition to their regular ballet and modern dance classes, the three girls are introduced to a new style — African folk! Powered by deep percussion-based music, this style is unlike anything they’ve ever tried before. While the girls enjoy their new art form, problems at home and in the classroom threaten to cause them to have to stop taking their dance classes. Can the girls balance their studies and their extracurricular activities, or will they have to give up dancing for good?

6 ½ x 9, 48pp., full-color hardcover: $10.99

ISBN: 978-1-59707-363-9

MAKE SURE TO ORDER THROUGH YOUR FAVORITE COMIC BOOKSTORE NOW

or you can always place your order direct with us on either NBM’s or now Papercutz’ site.

 

boingboing.net Takes a Look at TAXES, THE TEA PARTY AND THOSE REVOLTING REBELS

If you spend anytime online, sooner or later you’re going to come across boingboing.net, one of the web’s best and widest read sites, which covers everything fantastic or interesting.

Today, editor Cory Doctorow reviewed Stan Mack’s book, Taxes, The Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels: A History in Comics of the American Revolution, much to our delight.

Here’s some excerpts of what he had to say:

“Mack’s history of the American revolution is simultaneously breeze and accessible — drawn and told in the style of wicked editorial cartoons — and a deep look at the conflicting motives, attitudes, and narratives of all the parties to the American War of Independence.

The truth is a lot grimier, a lot more tangled, and a lot more interesting. 

This humanized account of the dawn of the American project is a beautiful piece of work, and a strong tonic against the whitewash of history. “

 

Read the entire review here.

Of Cats Past, Part Three

For seven years, I was the proud owner of four cats – or more accurately: I was proudly owned by four cats, which is quite an army.

They provided me with ample material for my daily webcomic in 2005-2006:

 

Yes, I was a blonde once. And “mauw” is indeed Dutch for “meow”.

 

Don’t Forget To Visit Us At SPX This Weekend!

This weekend, you can find some of the most prestigious names in comics at the 2012 Small Press Expo (aka SPX), including NBM Publishing (At tables A8-A9)

We’ll be bringing both two talented cartoonists and the debut of our newest title (six weeks before street date!)

Stan Mack will bring his new book, Taxes, The Tea Party and Those Revolting Rebels: A History in Comics of the American Revolution and will be signing throughout the weekend.

A cartoonist de-mythologizes the Founding Fathers and makes them more ‘like us'”says The New York Times. Uncannily relevant to today’’s world. Learn about the original revolt against taxes: the Boston Tea Party, and the original Occupy movement: the Rebels in revolt against the status quo. A whimsical and informative pictorial history featuring a chubby, insecure King George III, rebellious and misunderstood colonists, loudmouthed and insensitive aristocrats, and more. Updated from the original “Stan Mack’s Real Life American Revolution” published by Avon books in 1994 .

Stan will be appearing at the NBM booth throughout the weekend and can also be found on Sunday at the 4:00 PM panel, Images of America: Real and Imagined
 at the White Flint Auditorium alongside Nick Abadzis Dean Haspiel and Ben Towle. Isaac Cates will lead these four artists in a conversation about images of place in comics.


Also joining the festivities is Brooke A. Allen, creator of A Home For Mr. Easter, which remains one of comics’ strongest debuts in the last few years.

Tesana has never really fit into anything before but her daydreams. But when making an attempt to connect to her peers by joining in a pep rally planning committee she suddenly discovers a little white rabbit that lays brightly colored eggs. Realizing that she may have found the real life Easter bunny, Tesana embarks on an epic quest in an effort to get him back to his natural habitat and into safe hands. However as she progresses on her fanciful journey she gains more and more undesired attention until the quest becomes an increasingly madcap race to stay ahead of greedy pursuers and find a safe place for her new friend…wherever that place may be. It’s Tesana against the world!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to pick up a copy at the show.

And finally, we will be premiering Abelard, from artist Renaud Dillies and writer Régis Hautière!

 

The charm of Renaud Dillies strikes again: after the mouse of Bubbles and Gondola, here is another dreamer, little chick Abelard. To lure pretty Epily, Abelard sees only one solution: to catch the moon for her! So off he goes to America, the country which invented flying machines. Armed with his banjo and his proverb-sharing hat, he launches out on the country roads, meets Gypsies, then Gaston, a grumpy bear with whom he will share a good bit of his way… As opposed to dreamer Abelard, Gaston has his feet firmly planted on the ground. With this funny animal road-movie where the absurd becomes poetry, Régis Hautière and Renaud Dillies offer us another small jewel.

Can’t wait to see you at the show!