Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Is the AFDI's Draw Muhammad contest erasing its own history?

 A guest editorial by Kathy Mannix

Cartoon lovers may no longer be able to access the slideshow of works submitted to the American Freedom Defense Initiative* Inaugural Draw Muhammad contest held May 3 in Garland, Tex., a suburb of Dallas. The slideshow on Photobucket was easily accessed Wednesday, May 6, when I checked out the wide-ranging talents of those who entered the contest. By Friday, May 8, I couldn't access the slideshow. Visitors to the AFDI site can still see the winning cartoon and click to view video of interviews by The United West* founder Tom Trento with attendees and graphic novelist Bosch Faustin, the contest winner. 

"Wide-ranging talent" may be a tad too kind. As I remember my only view of the works, one was a scan of stick figures on looseleaf paper, most were assemblages of stock images, and fewer than five came from the drawing boards or computers of professional artists or editorial cartoonists.

Still accessible online are the rules for entering the contest. The rules are cartoonish on there own. Rule 5 includes, "AFDI will assume that all art entered for consideration does not infringe upon the copyright of a third party. The artist shall assume all liability if an infringement claim is made." It sure seems that the estate of Norman Rockwell has an infringement claim for the event poster AFDI used at the event and has for sale from its site for $50. It doesn't seem within the realm of parody to replace the triple image of Mr. Rockwell with a triple image of Muhammad. There are parodies of Rockwell's work such as the Four Freedoms a-plenty, but self-portraiture seems a category of its own.

Rule 6 has eight bullets, including the penultimate, "The Entrant does not include any disparaging remarks relating to the Sponsor or a third party." Are all cartoon contest sponsors so thin-skinned?

Faustin's winning work shows the prophet, scimitar raised, and bubble saying, "You can't draw me!" Outside the plane of this image viewers see human hands at work on the drawing with a second bubble saying, "That's why I draw you." This cartoon won both the first prize of $10,000 and a bonus of $2,500 as a fan favorite. Reports of that double win drew me to the ADFI site Wednesday. Faustin's competitors included only one cartoonist whose work I know. An April blog post from that cartoonist reads in part, "AFDI is an anti-Muslim right-wing hate group that is intent on picking a fight with whatever right-wing Muslim hate group will take their bait." That Rule 6 infraction probably took this pro out of the running. I've reached out to him for comments on entering the contest, and await his reply.

*The Southern Poverty Law Center designates both AFDI and TUW as hate groups.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Jim Gutierrez and Undead Presidents

by Mike Rhode
Jim Gutierrez is graphic designer from Texas who's a recent graduate of UDC. One of his professors, the cartoonist Teresa Logan, put me in touch with him and he answered my usual interview questions.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
The work I do is mostly panels and it usually involves zombies. I love the undead!

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
I usually work in traditional pen and ink and I do my coloring digitally. It saves me so much time.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
I was born in 1976 in LaMesa, Texas, but I was raised in the Rio Grande Valley.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?
I was attending school for Graphic Design. I currently live in Cleveland Park.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
Well, like most cartoonists I know, I've been drawing since I was a child. I later took art classes from middle school all through high school. I would often draw comic books with my friend Renning. I later studied graphic design at UDC and that's where my passion for illustration broke wide open. I took an illustration techniques class with Teresa Logan and she helped to bring out the best in me.

Who are your influences?
Some of my influences are Doug Tennapel for his great storytelling and Nate Van Dyke, I love his line work!

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
If I could do something different in my career it would probably be to have had more confidence in my ability when I was younger. If I did I would have started my career a long time ago! Good thing is that I'm here now.

What work are you best-known for?
I think I'm known for my zombies. Most notably The Undead Presidents.

What work are you most proud of?
The work that I'm most proud of is probably the Undead Presidents. That project took me a very long time to complete. I'm glad I saw it all the way through.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?
I would like to work on my own graphic novel or strip in the future. Something zombie-related of course.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
When I'm in a rut I like to open my ears when I'm in public places. I think it's funny to know what people find are the important things in their lives. I just eavesdrop on a good conversation and take it from there!

What do you think will be the future of your career?
I think I'll find my way back to Texas and try to establish myself there. I have a lot of friends and family I could collaborate with. Plus, its always nice to be creative around familiar surroundings.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?
Some of the local cons I attend are Awesomecon and the Baltimore Comicon.

What's your favorite thing about DC?
My most favorite thing about DC is having access to all the great art museums!

Least favorite?
My least favorite thing about DC is that everyone else in this country has access to all the great art museums as well! I don't like crowds...

 What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?
I like the National Gallery of Art. I could spend all day in either wing of the museum. I get so much inspiration every visit I make.

How about a favorite local restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is Cactus Cantina. This place totally reminds me of home.

Do you have a website or blog?
I am currently working on my website and hope to publish it soon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cartoonists Rights Network award to Palestinian cartoonist

The Northern Virgina-based organization issued the following press release.

Palestinian cartoonist awarded 2008 Courage Award
Friday, 20 June 2008, 10:27 am
Press Release: Cartoonists Rights Network International


19 June 2008

Palestinian cartoonist awarded CRNI's 2008 Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award

SOURCE: Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), Burke

(CRNI/IFEX) - The following is a CRNI press release:

CRNI announces annual award winner

June 19, 2008, Burke, Virginia - Today, Cartoonists Rights Network International announced the winner of its 2008 Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award: Bahaa Boukhari, a Palestinian. CRNI, the only international organization devoted to defending the human rights of cartoonists imperiled because of their work, will present the award to Boukhari at its annual dinner on June 26. The dinner is to be held at the Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas.

A group of cartoonists deemed the Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award the "Nobel Prize" of the cartooning world several years ago.

Every year, CRNI recognizes a cartoonist who has shown exemplary courage in the face of unrelenting threat, legal action or other pressure as punishment or disincentive for cartoons that were too powerful for some officials, sects, terrorists or demagogues.

Bahaa Boukhari has a long career in political cartooning in the Middle East. Last winter, Gaza authorities arrested him and suspended publication of the newspaper that published a cartoon that ran in November. Boukhari and two colleagues were convicted of insulting the Hamas Parliament on February 3 2008. Although their fines and prison sentences were suspended, an unprecedented series of demonstrations took place in Ramallah on February 27 in defense of Boukhari and the right of Palestinians to express themselves freely without fear of intimidation or reprisal.

CRNI has affiliate organizations in 15 countries throughout the world; it conducts workshops and other training in freedom of expression issues for cartoonists. Its programs include actions to reduce violence with impunity against journalists. CRNI is a member of IFEX and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Please contact CRNI for more information about Bahaa Boukhari and former awardees who are once again endangered. Algerian Ali Dilem, the most popular cartoonist in North Africa, is facing his third trial since January. In February, Danish security forces thwarted an international plot to kill Kurt Westergaard. Dilem and Westergaard were CRNI honorees in 2006. CRNI has witnessed an alarming rise in reprisals directed at editorial cartoonists due to the power and influence of their work.

For further information on the February 2008 conviction of Boukhari and his colleagues, see:

For further information on the Dilem case, see:

For further information on the Westergaard case, see: