MAGIC WHISTLE 3.2 hits stores next month and I’m pretty proud of the issue. The only thing different is an editorial I wrote. My publisher thought it might be too topical, but I didn’t think so. The version here may be superfluous and its editing has no impact on the other 47 pages, but effectively cut out what I had to say, and I don’t feel it has a shelf-life. Others may not think so. I figured why not compromise, similar to how talk shows have extended interviews on the web or how DVDs have extra material. This is the editorial including the paragraphs deemed unnecessary:
Last issue in one piece, there was one panel I thought might raise some red flags but ultimately not one person was offended. It says right there “an offensive and racist stereotype”. That’s what it was, it was clear the joke is not an endorsement but an acknowledgment of the cartoon trope. I can see how the image alone could add insult to injury. I don’t want to be seen as one of those guys, telling people condescendingly they don’t know how to read things properly. I mentioned this all to Dave and we agreed I was just making a mountain out of a molehill.
I’m no paragon of reverence myself. In the past I’ve had negative stereotypes and even though they were meant ironically, I don’t want to keep contributing to a racist and misogynist culture. I have a long way to go on my Good White Male certificate but I try. Let me know if I err and I’ll try not to do it again. Being wrong sometimes doesn’t make me evil. If you’re offended by all means speak out, but lighten up. I won’t say you’re “politically correct”–that’s a term made up by aggressors to make themselves seem the victims. Only a total monster would purposely set off triggers of people they know, but not every worst case scenario can be taken into account. One person’s tragedy is another person’s statistic. I too get swept up in internet bandwagon outrage sometimes and forget to use the web for self-promotion and trying out jokes. Social media is great for shaming homophobic bakers but annoying when the same vitriol is applied to someone making a tasteless joke to a few friends. Must be a generational thing for me to maybe nervously snicker to myself when I see something wrong, or just ignore it.
Remember I’m pre-millennial. I just learned how to text. Each generation has a prejudice that never occurred to them until the one after them broke the circle. Here at Magic Whistle, we’re attempting to reflect a more diverse culture, however clunkily, but don’t forget we weren’t always enlightened (by “we” I mean me). People had to accept womens’ suffrage and civil rights kicking and screaming. If it were right after World War II I’d have grandchildren by now. Until fifty years ago most people became parents without ever having had sex with anyone besides each other.
But let’s talk about comics. Thanks to Danny Hellman (see dannyhellman.com) for the cover. The name Dirty Danny was meant to stay an inside joke and ended up getting out of hand. I did a strip in 1995 (See bit.ly/1Yl63f9) when everybody was always calling him “Dirty Danny”, due to the fact that his main illustrations starting out were for pornography. It wasn’t supposed to be known that the likeness was based on a real person. People still kept asking me “When are you doing the next comic about Danny Hellman?”, rather than the character of Dirty Danny. And asking him about the strips as if he had anything to do with them. Years later when he faced a lawsuit I did some art for some fund-raisers with the tongue-in-cheek slogan “Free Dirty Danny”, and the two entities became intertwined, ruining life for everyone.
And I said it last issue, but it bears repeating. I was told my comic would work and sell better as an anthology. I agreed but didn’t want it to be like others. There’s always been a schism between formalism and iconoclasm in comics, and I always felt I fit in more with the latter. True there’s always been an overlap but right now there don’t seem to be many comics meant purely to entertain anymore. If you’re old enough to remember the undergrounds and first wave of independents when they originally came out, that’s what I want to try to be.
You may not have seen what I said because the printer screwed up the first time. There was text I wrote explaining the format change and the reason for the existence of Magic Whistle 3.0 in the first place. I received my complimentary copies with blank inside covers and demanded they be printed again. Apparently copies without my approval got out anyway. If you were one of the people that bought one of those copies before the issue was recalled, the editorial meant to be there as well as Marc’s side of the story are up at bit.ly/1PN7H9A as a mini-comic, or chapbook if you prefer the term.
This issue we are joined by Seth Cooper, Brigid Deacon, Devin Flynn, Amy Lockhart, and Tom Van Deusen. Like the contributors last issue, they say more about themselves in their own words on the last page. The inside back cover by Bill Everett (1917-1973) is from Zany #3 in 1957.
If you got this at a convention and are one of those people who photographs their stash for the internet, include this so I won’t cry. We have many surprises already planned for future issues. I wanted to have chocolate inside the next issue but the budget won’t allow it.