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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Update on Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection

For those interested, I thought I’d post some "insider information" on the progress with the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection.

First of all, as mentioned in the press release, the OCC will be part of Pauls Valley’s Toy and Action Figure Museum. The building housing both exhibits is a whopping 6,000 square feet, with a 16-foot ceiling. The Action Figure museum will include over 7,000 pieces, as well as a recreation of the Bat Lab from the 1960's Batman tv show, and a 16-foot tall robot that can be played on, as well as IN. Kids will be able to dress up in costumes, and have their pictures taken in the Bat Lab.

Participating in the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection at this time are such professionals as Michael Vance (writer, Alley Oop, Holiday Out, comic books), Dave Simpson (editorial cartoonist, Tulsa World), Chan Lowe (former editorial cartoonist in Oklahoma; now an editorial cartoonist in Florida), R. A. Jones (DC and Marvel writer), Jack and Carole Bender (Alley Oop), John Wooley (The Twilight Avenger, etc.), Russ Myers (Broom Hilda), Jim Lange (editorial cartoonist, Daily Oklahoman), Dan Piraro (Bizarro), Terry Tidwell (Green Hornet artist), Zack Mosely (Smilin' Jack), Chester Gould (Dick Tracy), Wayne Truman (Eclipse Monthly,etc.), Richard "Grass" Green (Xal-Kor the Human Cat, etc.), Duane Hanson (Holiday Out, etc.), Stan Timmons (artist), C. T. Smith (Charlton comics), Michael Roberts (Angel of Death, etc.), Kevin Stark (Geezer artist and toy designer), and Don Martin (Mad and Cracked).

Items acquired for the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection include about 130 original pages, including Broom Hilda originals, Alley Oop originals, Dave Simpson editorial cartoons, two Dick Tracy dailies, some Zack Mosley dailies, as well as a Mosley Sunday page, some original pieces from Steve Erwin, and copies of Clarence Allen’s work (with hopes of acquiring some originals). and lots of Michael Vance/Duane Hanson/Rob Davis/C.T.Smith/Wayne Truman/Grass Green art.

This is going to be a very special destination point, not just for Oklahomans, but for fans of comics, comic strips, toys, and just pop culture, in general. Check back periodically for updates.

The Comicon Blues

When will I learn? I went back to in the last day or so, to discuss corporal punishment, and actually had another poster indirectly accuse me of the most heinous kind of child abuse, because I believe spanking is appropriate in certain situations. This is something that, had he said to any given father face to face, he would most likely have been physically assaulted. And, it’s not the first time that particular poster had done such a thing. I’m not even going to give a link; those familiar with the political discussion area at Comicon will be able to find it, I’m sure.

Once contacted, Rick Veitch, administrator of the site, issued a warning. That’s all I asked for, and I’m grateful for his responsiveness. But, afterward, I began to ask myself the question: "Is there ANY other comics message board where the perpetrator of such an act would be allowed to remain?" I don’t know of one.

I’m all for free expression. However, where groups of people are involved, I’m also in favor of common civility; you know, "civil?" The root word of "civilization?" I believe adults, and even most teens, are capable of expressing themselves without being insulting, and certainly without making baseless accusations of criminal behavior. When they can’t, it’s my opinion that they should get the Administrative "boot." But, hey, that’s just me.

It’s a shame. Comicon is an expansive, varied experience of fans, professionals, and, especially, opinions. It has a huge membership, and many different opportunities for interesting discussion. But, be warned: If you go there, put on your thickest skin. Because you never know when it’s feeding time for the trolls.