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Recounting the last six weeks, with a list of some of the funny accusations we received: including being a leftist plant, bigot, hack, diligent, etc!
Tuesday August 16 2010
We had a pretty good month. Just to record all this properly, here's a posting of things from July to about mid August:
First up, we haven't documented this really: Our thanks go out to The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, featuring Comics with Problems in two segments in July. Both segments were a surprise to us, and our thanks to the show.
Segment 1: Don't Ask Don't Tell — including a performance of the site. We dropped our plate during dinner to the following:
And from the following week, what, Again? Segment 2: The George Wallace Comic Book as integrated (pun?) into a larger piece on race and that bizarre Sherrod story:
New and Ridiculous
Our favorite consequence of putting these kinds of things up online is the inevitable charge that we are hoaxing. A few links on that in the Tea Party Comix piece below, but first, (cue the megaphone) this just in from Madrid...
Comics with Problems on the front page of both the national and global edition for the full day at elpais.com
By far, the weirdest moment of August was seeing Comics with Problems on the front page of El País, the largest newspaper in Spain. (August 2, 2010)
Of course, to reference Banksy, the Gorilla in the room here is the Tea Party Comix controversy. A bit of a backstory on that: We've had issues one and two on the site since March (a direct link to that first post) That's an extremely long period in Internet-time, so for our posting of issue three to blow up like it did:
Egad, a month ago that number was "About 18 results".
As we were saying, for it to blow up like that, all we can do is think to thank the Tea Party for being so fucking crazy the past few months. A sort of performance-based viral marketing for their underground comic book. We personally thank Mark Williams, and for a while thought he was the ghost illustrator. But anyway, Tea Party Comix:
Read the Tea Party Comix story on this site: Update number one | Conclusion
To test to see if your stomach's good for it, here are two samples of the Kind of Comics in Tea Party Comix, which insert an Aunt Jemima type blackface Obama as the villian in various parody covers of old comic books:
So, the full story on how this got around in the web:
Tea Party Comix were first noticed by only non-American blogs, the most noteworthy being La Cárcel de Papel, who blogged it in March.
And then, bang: We get the third issue in the mail.
Laura Conaway, a talented writer for the Rachel Maddow blog, notices issue three on our site and is also the first to note our subsequent posting of a letter from the Tea Party Comix artist. To our partial relief, Conaway had become interested in this story herself, and also contacted and received a letter from the Tea Party artist. Read and compare the two notes. (the one sent to NBC, the one sent to us)
There are a number of verifiable details that the email came from the artist himself. In both instances the style of ALL CAPS and "quoted" word emphasis matches numerous material online to the ebay seller. Also the emails came from the same account the material was purchased. If MSNBC hadn't posted a letter themselves I was ready to also post the envelope which matches the handwriting to the lettering on the comic. But I also have to thank MSNBC for their post, because I was unclear on how to handle the email, and posted it redacted prior to their supporting message.
As for what links to follow next, we begin this strange set of before-and-after sets of links. That would be: before we posted the letter from the comics artist, and after we posted the letter. We also posted a number of images of ebay sales and other details, all seen here.
Anyway, as for before-and-after sets, the best three belong to Talking Points Memo, Bleeding Cool and Ace of Spades. All these links are worth reading.
Our favorite comments come from the conservative Ace of Spades blog, its moderator "Ace" indicates:
After last night's post several commenters pointed out that the comics' style actually resembled some of Ethan Persoff's own work which made me suspect that he was the actual person behind the comics.
Well today he issued an update and disclosed that he had been in contact with the author ... So at this point it doesn't seem to be a leftist plant after all, but it's not clear what relationship, if any, that Kalb (the artist) has with the Tea Party movement. But hey the Narrative must roll on. (h/t to Coondawg68 )
Leftist Plant! (we repeat our joke, What leftist plant? A Ficus?)
Btw, you might wonder what the "h/t to Coondawg68" means. So was I, until I recognized it. Coondawg68 is the handle of one of the more vocal "I insist this" people insisting we made these things, directly tweeting us accusations. His tweets are amusing, Here's the full set:
Dear Diary, Day One:
Dear Diary, Day Two:
Dear Diary, Day Three:
Ending on a joke:
Other Fan Letters from the Ace of Spades threads:
It doesn't take long to determine that the author of these comix is liberal douche-nozzle Ethan Persoff himself.
All one has to do is locate his website and peruse his work history.
Browsing that website, it seems the proprietor has all manner of stuff dedicated to bashing conservative figures, like the Glenn Beck Halloween diaper mask and the Sarah Palin lipstick collection (classy shit right there). So we got ourselves a dedicated leftist who seems to have single-handedly found direct proof that the Tea Party is all about hating a black man in the Presidency. Well la-dee-fookin-da!
Since this asshole demonstrates a casual knowledge of obscure comics covers, it's not too much of a leap to assume he could have simply traced the images himself. That's assuming he has the talen to do even that.
Oh PUHLEAAZE! It only takes about two seconds of searching his website to find out that Miss Ethan Persoff is himself a drug-addled COMIC BOOK ARTIST who previously published nasty comic books of Bush f##king McCain, and who has a whole circle of drug-addled liberal comic book artists, who draw in the exact same style as those phony ass "tea party" comics.
Note: "American Elephant" linked "exact same style" to a page from Paul Krassner's The Realist. They are correct, we drew that, too!
"American Elephant" reminds us...
WE INTERRUPT THIS PIECE FOR THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT ... We're now just two postings from completing The Realist Archive Project. Click here for August's update that includes a scary as sh/t piece by Robert Anton Wilson, "Troot St. Blues" poem by Allen Ginsberg, the Return of Jesus Christ - and, in horror of horrors, "The Peanuts Memorial Orgy", which I advise against clicking, unless you don't mind boiling your childhood. (We love the image, incidentally)
WE RETURN YOU NOW TO THE PREVIOUS PIECE, ENTITLED "TEA PARTY COMIX REACTIONS" ...
So those sorts of comments are fine, especially since they're from a conservative site. We were surprised to see Talking Points Memo had a bit of a tinfoil curmudgeon, though. And what a name!
What sort of Scott Pilgrim nonsense are we experiencing when our top Internet critics are named CoonDawg68 and Twirling Fartknocker? Anyway, Mister Fartknocker (if that sir, is your real knocker-nym) seems quite infatuated. The following is a brief series entitled:
THE BEST OF TWIRLING FARTKNOCKER
and three days later, even after our disclosing ebay records, a cross-verified email, etc:
Hey, T.F. ruse, this! Kidding. All amicable jokes aside, we appreciate your oddly stated compliments about our presentation of this material.
However, comment of the year really goes to Talking Points' lyrus, who believes we are something, and in dire need of psychiatric help:
Thanks, lyris! We love your work, too.
Finally, in all oddness, someone youtubed the Tea Party Comix. Individual or organization entitled APRAMA, or "A Post Racial America My Ass" (pretty funny) Anyway, here's a weird slideshow of Tea Party Comix with Louis Armstrong: