Friday, November 16, 2018

Video: MariNaomi, Cartoonist/Community Organizer - 2018 XOXO Fest

Award-winning cartoonist MariNaomi created the Cartoonists of Color Database and Queer Cartoonists Database to spotlight marginalized comics creators, a labor of love that’s changing the landscape of comics. This is from the XOXO Fest, held in Portland, OR on September 6th through the 9th, 2018.

Marc Maron Podcast: Tony Millionaire Interview

Cartoonist Tony Millionaire stops by the garage, six-pack in hand, to explain the origins of Drinky Crow, Maakies and his other popular comics. He also talks with Marc about punchlines, swingers and having kids in his 50s.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

88 Rights Groups Call for Facebook to Implement Appeals Process for Removed Content

The Cartoonists Rights Network International has signed on to the below letter citing:

"Too many cartoonists are reporting posts banned by abuse of the existing complaints procedure as well as difficulties caused by algorithmic handling of content."

I would ask that the National Cartoonists Society and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists consider joining the signees. 

Via the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Dear Mark Zuckerberg:

What do the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a Danish member of parliament, and a news anchor from the Philippines have in common? They have all been subject to a misapplication of Facebook's Community Standards. But unlike the average user, each of these individuals and entities received media attention, were able to reach Facebook staff and, in some cases, receive an apology and have their content restored. For most users, content that Facebook removes is rarely restored, and some users may be banned from the platform – even in the event of an error.

When Facebook first came onto our screens, users who violated its rules and had their content removed or their account deactivated were sent a message telling them that the decision was final and could not be appealed. It was only in 2011, after years of advocacy from human rights organizations, that your company added a mechanism to appeal account deactivations, and only in 2018 that Facebook initiated a process for remedying wrongful takedowns of certain types of content. Those appeals are available for posts removed for nudity, sexual activity, hate speech or graphic violence.

This is a positive development, but it doesn't go far enough.

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, call on Facebook to provide a mechanism for all of its users to appeal content restrictions, and, in every case, to have the appealed decision re-reviewed by a human moderator.

Facebook's stated mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. With more than two billion users and a wide variety of features, Facebook is the world's most-used communications platform. We know that you recognize the responsibility you have to prevent abuse and keep users safe. Social media companies, including Facebook, also have a responsibility to respect human rights. International and regional human rights bodies have a number of specific recommendations for improvements here, notably concerning the right to remedy.

Facebook remains far behind its competitors when it comes to affording its users due process. [1] We know from years of research and documentation that human content moderators, as well as machine learning algorithms, are prone to error, and that even low error rates can result in millions of silenced users when operating at massive scale. Yet Facebook users are only able to appeal content decisions in a limited set of circumstances, and it is impossible for users to know how pervasive erroneous content takedowns are without increased transparency on Facebook's part. [2] Furthermore, civil society groups around the globe have criticized the way that Facebook's Community Standards exhibit bias and are unevenly applied across different languages and cultural contexts.

Earlier this year, a group of advocates and academics put forward the Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation, which recommend a set of minimum standards for transparency and meaningful appeal. This set of recommendations is supported by the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of the right to freedom of expression and opinion David Kaye, who recently called for a “framework for the moderation of user-generated online content that puts human rights at the very center.” It is also supported by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

While we acknowledge that Facebook can and does shape its Community Standards according to its values, the company has a responsibility to protect its users' expression to the best of its ability. Offering a remedy mechanism, as well as more transparency, will go a long way toward supporting user expression.

Specifically, we ask Facebook to incorporate the Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation into their policies and practices, and to provide:

Notice: Clearly explain to users why their content has been restricted.
  • Notifications should include the specific clause from the Community Standards that the content was found to violate.

  • Notice should be sufficiently detailed to allow the user to identify the specific content that was restricted, and should include information about how the content was detected, evaluated, and removed.

  • Individuals must have clear information about how to appeal the decision.

Appeals: Provide users with a chance to appeal content moderation decisions.
  • The appeals mechanism should be easily accessible and easy to use.

  • Appeals should be subject to review by a person or panel of persons not involved in the initial decision.

  • Users must have the right to propose new evidence or material to be considered in the review.

  • Appeals should result in a prompt determination and reply to the user.

  • Any exceptions to the principle of universal appeals should be clearly disclosed and compatible with international human rights principles.

  • Facebook should collaborate with other stakeholders to develop new independent self-regulatory mechanisms for social media that will provide greater accountability.

Numbers: Issue regular transparency reports on Community Standards enforcement.
  • Present complete data describing the categories of user content that are restricted (text, photo or video; violence, nudity, copyright violations, etc.), as well as the number of pieces of content that were restricted or removed in each category.

  • Incorporate data on how many content moderation actions were initiated by a user flag, a trusted flagger program, or by proactive Community Standard enforcement (such as through the use of a machine learning algorithm).

  • Include data on the number of decisions that were effectively appealed or otherwise found to have been made in error.

  • Include data reflecting whether the company performed any proactive audits of its unappealed moderation decisions, as well as the error rates the company found.

1 See EFF's Who Has Your Back? 2018 Report, and Ranking Digital Rights Indicator G6,
2 See Ranking Digital Rights, Indicators F4, and F8, and New America's Open Technology Institute, “Transparency Reporting Toolkit: Content Takedown Reporting”,
3 For example, see Article 19's policy brief, “Self-regulation and 'hate speech' on social media platforms,”

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
7amleh - Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media
Adil Soz - International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech
Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC)
Albanian Media Institute
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
Asociación Mundial de Radios Comunitarias América Latina y el Caribe (AMARC ALC)
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
Bytes for All (B4A)
Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI)
Center for Independent Journalism - Romania
Center for Media Studies & Peace Building (CEMESP)
Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
Digital Rights Foundation
Foro de Periodismo Argentino
Foundation for Press Freedom - FLIP
Freedom Forum
Fundamedios - Andean Foundation for Media Observation and Study
Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Independent Journalism Center (IJC)
Initiative for Freedom of Expression - Turkey
International Press Centre (IPC)
Mediacentar Sarajevo
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
Pacific Islands News Association (PINA)
PEN America
PEN Canada
Social Media Exchange (SMEX)
Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
South East Europe Media Organisation
Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
Vigilance for Democracy and the Civic State
Visualizing Impact (VI)
ACLU Foundation of Northern California
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Arab Digital Expression Foundation
Artículo 12
Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
CAIR San Francisco Bay Area
Cedar Rapids, Iowa Collaborators
Center for Democracy and Technology
EFF Austin
El Instituto Panameño de Derecho y Nuevas Tecnologías (IPANDETEC)
Electronic Frontier Finland
Elektronisk Forpost Norge
Fundaciõn Acceso
Fundaciõn Ciudadano Inteligente
Fundaciõn Datos Protegidos
Fundaciõn Internet
Fundaciõn Vi­a Libre
Garoa Hacker Club
HERMES Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights
Homo Digitalis
Idec - Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense
Instituto Nupef
Internet Without Borders
Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunição Social
La Asociaciõn para una Ciudadanía Participativa ACI Participa
May First/People Link
New America's Open Technology Institute
NYC Privacy
Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative)
Panoptykon Foundation
Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
Portland TA3M
Privacy Watch
Raging Grannies
Ranking Digital Rights
ReThink LinkNYC
Rhode Island Rights
SHARE Foundation
Syrian Archive
Viet Tan

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Stan Lee 1922 - 2018

Stan Lee passed away early Monday morning at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 95.

Best known for creating "superheroes with feet of clay," his career practically began at the beginning of American comic books.

Hollywood Reporter:

Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters, died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a family representative told The Hollywood Reporter.
Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee's daughter, J.C. Lee, also confirmed his death.
Lee's final few years were tumultuous. After Joan, his wife of 69 years, died in July 2017, he sued executives at POW! Entertainment — a company he founded in 2001 to develop film, TV and video game properties — for $1 billion alleging fraud, then abruptly dropped the suit weeks later. He also sued his ex-business manager and filed for a restraining order against a man who had been handling his affairs. (Lee's estate is estimated to be worth as much as $70 million.) And in June 2018, it was revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department had been investigating reports of elder abuse against him.

He was bigger than life and impacted millions of kids for generations. For me, he personified superhero comics. In the first Marvel comic I bought, Daredevil Special #1, he's in there. So is the artist Gene Colan. They have a little 2 or 3 page filler where they talk about the process of coming up with a comic book. I had never seen anything like it: a casual cameo of the real world people who made the comic I was holding in my hands. Sure, most of the book was Daredevil trying to beat these badguys -- but THIS! Wow. It was the first Marvel comic I ever bought, and I was hooked. I had no idea that decades later, the tradition of "a cameo by Stan Lee" would continue in the multi-billion dollar Marvel movie franchise.

Comic Book Reporter has compiled them:

Monday, November 12, 2018

Victor Juhasz: Combat Artist

Victor Juhasz has joined the proud tradition of being a combat artist. Here he is at Quantico a couple of years ago:

"For me it was another prime opportunity to practice being fast under constantly fluid circumstances. While it was live fire training, it was not actual combat live fire, which allowed me the luxury of not having to worry about getting killed (provided I stay out of the way of the bullets) and instead focus on the number of opportunities to find the right place to be as the lieutenants repeated their exercises. Classic trial and error, and adaptation. These were not portraits. The emphasis was on action and narrative and since the teams were all taking turns performing the same exercises it was not essential to finish a drawing of one specific group but patiently and methodically add new figures to the drawing already in progress."

He continued on, returning to draw the Navy on the USS Bataan. And he returned this year, drawing the Marines in Camp Wilson. 

"This was their first time dealing with people who 'draw on the spot' and it’s very different from photographers they’ve been so accustomed to. I’m sure they were feeling it out how to accommodate us. We often heard the comically inaccurate description from Marines, and it would make us laugh, that we were drawing 'photos' of them. It didn't take long though for our reputation on the base to be getting attention. It seemed that many knew about us before we even met. It was pretty noteworthy the number of Marines, from commanding officers on down the ranks, wanting to share images of their kids' drawings and paintings and letting us know how much they enjoyed and supported their kids' creative aspirations. I'm sure I'll be hearing from some of those sons and daughters since I gave their parent's my card. Until I do hear from them my advice remains, keep drawing."
Some great work here, and some wonderful stories. Well worth browsing. Thanks for sharing this, Victor! 

Friday, November 09, 2018

Bill Gallo: 1968 Sports Night

Fifty years ago ....

From the April 1969 CARTOONIST, the NCS in-house magazine, then edited by Jud Hurd: here is Chairman Bill Gallo with his 1968 Sports Night event. Rocky Graziano belts out a song! Ralph Houk, manager of the Yankees, is the guest of honor. Jake La Motta does a funny monologue (and ya better LAFF!). Meadowlark Lemon sings! Otto Soglow and Irwin Hasen in a comedy skit written by Bob Dunn. And, to top it all off, Gallo's "Basement Bertha" and Willard Mullins' "Bum" in the NCS version of the wedding of the year. Frank Springer created the awards. Jim Ruth took all of the photos.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Video: James Sturm Talks

From Landmark College's Fall 2018 Academic Speaker Series: James Sturm, co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies talks the history of the language and art of comics, and the new ways that cartooning and visual storytelling are changing the world.

Kayfabe Commentary: Wizard Magazine issue 1, Sept 1991

Each week Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg will be giving detailed commentary and analysis about a very wild time in comic book history using each issue of Wizard magazine to tell the story. A four-color gold rush tale about a bubble, its bursting, and the lasting ramifications that led to the comics culture we have today.

More links at the YouTube page.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

BBC Video: Ex-Disney Animator's Touching Tribute to His Late Wife

Ex-Disney animator Gary Andrews' beautiful animation 'The Doodle Diaries' illustrates what family life is like since the loss of his wife Joy.

New Netflix Animation

Wow. Netflix has some of the most talented creators out there working on new stuff for us! Jorge Gutiérrez said that he was going to be part of a big wave of new animated projects thru the streaming service -- I just didn't know HOW big. Until I saw this! 

"The six all-new projects together with Netflix’s previously announced titles now comprise a slate that features a variety of animation styles – including CG (Kris Pearn’s The Willoughbys), 2D (Nora Twomey’s My Father’s Dragon), and stop-motion (Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio). The programming is designed to meet the tastes of every member of the family – from preschoolers (Rajiv Chilaka’s Mighty Little Bheem) to kids (Craig McCracken’s Kid Cosmic) to parents and their children together (Jorge GutierrezMaya and the Three) – so that families everywhere can find something that fits their unique DNA."
Collider has more here.