Monday, September 26, 2016

The LGSM Story part 2

I can only imagine what it was like for the two groups to meet for the first time, but even though 1985 doesn't seem that long ago, and Boy George and Culture Club were all over the airwaves, it must have been a serious adjustment for both groups. 

I'd never heard Bronski Beat before, and checked them out (the Internet is a wonderful thing.) This was one of their hits which must have been performed at the Pits and Perverts Ball. Check it out for your 80s flashback (or a sample of what your parents listened to - all 80s music sounded like this as far as I can remember.) 

To me the most significant aspect of this story is that the strike ended (the miners lost) and yet they still showed up for the Gay Pride parade, just to support the people who helped them. This was not quid pro quo, this was true friendship.

Next week I'll show you the "Oasis of Peace."

Monday, September 19, 2016

The LGSM Story

I plan to update once a week, and keep each story to two pages. If I get enough of a following I'll change that to twice a week. Some stories will need more that two, and I'll play that by ear (or fingers) as I go along.

I learned about the LGSM from the movie "Pride" (2014 BBC Films, Directed by Matthew Warchus and written by Stephen Beresford.) Here's a link to the trailer: Pride trailer.

Once I started researching the subject, I found that the movie was very accurate in its portrayal of the historical events, down to the paint job on the vans. Several of the original LGSM members met with the cast during filming, and participated as extras in some of the crowd scenes. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Page Two

So what to do, what to do... I tried a couple of times, even came close once, to finding a regular gig as a political cartoonist. I was already a member of the AAEC (American Association of Editorial Cartoonists) and I put things on the web site fairly regularly. Here's a sample of the animated ones:

 At the same time I began to go to adult classes with the Rabbi at temple, mostly for another project I was working on. I spent a lot of time considering religion and its aspects. Then, with all this churning in my head, I saw the movie "Pride" on the cable.

I really connected to this picture, not because I was Welsh or gay (neither) or because the acting was particularly good (although I'm a big Bill Nighy fan) but because it showed what could happen when people who normally don't associate or even like one another can do when they get over themselves and connect with each other.

So I came up with this idea. As always, it seems like a good notion right now, and I've identified several stories to draw about.  Brian Fies, who wrote the amazingly good "The Last Mechanical Monster" used this technique of posting stories via a blog, and it seems an idea worth borrowing. Thanks Brian- I promise I'll return it one day! If you have any thoughts, suggestions or feedback, just respond down there - no, down more - lower...lower... yeah, click there. Thanks!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Page One

So it all started when my friend Matt Sullivan decided to start a newspaper. An extremely intelligent and educated man, he has also a tendency to be... "impulsive." As his good friend, I felt obligated to comment on this new idea.

"Why don't you just give me a check every month?" I suggested. "I'll cash it, keep half, and throw the rest in the Potomac River. You'll accomplish just as much."

As he usually does, Matt gave this the thought it deserved and one-upped it. He asked me to start doing a political cartoon. All of a sudden Matt's project seemed like a good idea. I rolled up my sleeves, grabbed some paper and drew my first cartoons. They stunk.

Matt ran them anyway, and I started to churn out my doodles on a regular basis. Matt stopped being my friend and became my editor, so we would yell and insult each other, just like real political cartoonists do. Finally after five years, I felt like I was starting to get the hang of it.

"This is your last cartoon" said Matt. "We're closing down."

The Rock Creek Free Press, "A Fiercely Independent Newspaper" was successful and self sustaining, but Matt was tired of all the effort that went into production and distribution. Fine for him, but what about MY needs? After my attempts to get him to keep the paper open so I could continue drawing proved futile. I took to hanging out on streetcorners, mocking public figures in crudely rendered marker on the blank pages of the Apartment Hunters Guide. I also sold some cartoons (five, to be exact) to, then THEY decided to stop publishing cartoons. 

Faced with my newfound skill being reduced to an interesting hobby, I began to consider other options. I had explored the technique of developing "graphic narratives" to report on non-fictional stories using sequential art. In all these cases, I was reviewing positive, fun or even silly events as my subjects ( but that didn't seem to fit what I wanted to accomplish. (to be continued...)