Friday, Feb. 3, 8pm
CBLDF and Austin Books Join Forces for FundraiserYou might not have heard about it, but if you're a fan of comic books, cartoons, graphic novels, or sequential art, recent events in the state of Georgia have a bearing on you and your favorite artistic medium. Gordon Lee, the owner of Legends, a comic book outlet in Rome, Ga., is in court and facing several serious charges resulting from a 2004 incident in which a minor was inadvertently given a copy of Alternative Comics' Free Comic Book Day giveaway issue featuring part of a Nick Bertozzi's historical comic The Salon. The excerpt in question showed Pablo Picasso meeting fauvist/cubist Georges Braque, which is fine and dandy. What was neither fine nor dandy was the fact that Picasso is depicted in the nude; that got Lee saddled with a "distributing material harmful to minors" charge, among several equally serious others. Currently, the trial is winding its way toward conclusion, with several counts being dismissed. But hey, like they say, it ain't over until Yogi Bear sings.
Enter the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a not-for-profit legal assistance outfit founded by Denis Kitchen (of renowned underground imprint Kitchen Sink Press) that's helping to defray the legal expenditures of the Lee defendants and, now and in the past, many other comic authors, artists, and shop owners who otherwise might find themselves run roughshod over by the ever more conservative and cash-flush powers that be.
"Jiminy! This is serious!" We hear you cry. "How can I help?" Glad you asked.
Venerable comic book nexus Austin Books is sponsoring a fundraiser and membership drive for the CBLDF and "to support the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community" on Friday, Feb. 3, 8-11pm, with special guest Terry Moore, author/artist of the multi-award-winning Strangers in Paradise, on hand to sign copies of his work and make like the four-color superstar he is. Ten bucks gets you in the door and a chance to win door prizes, schmooze with Moore, and take advantage of 50% off back-stock comics and 25% off graphic novels and trade paperbacks. Plus, you get to bask in the glow of knowing you did the right thing in an age of increasing wrongness.
Also This Week ...Actually, also on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 7pm, albeit at BookPeople: The always formidable Utter Reading Series showcases novelist Scott Blackwood and poet Randall Watson. Go forth and absorb.
Speaking of Blackwood, he writes in to say that UT's Undergraduate Writing Center is working with the Carver Museum & Cultural Center (1165 Angelina) to offer free writing consultations, which themselves launch on Tuesday, Feb. 7, albeit at 5pm. The consultations which can cover everything from résumés to poetry, letters of complaint to letters of recommendation will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5-8pm. For more information, call 974-4926.