Aww yeah, Big Barda!
[By Reilly Brown]
Cover for Wonder Woman #20
Superheroes Go Hipster and Terrors Flap in the Night with Nate Bellegarde [Art]
Having you been aching to see more Nate Bellegarde art since that “Krampus on Infinite Earths” coverappeared on ComicsAlliance last December? Right, well you obviously have not been looking in the correct places. The inherently hilarious artist recently shared a smattering of sketches he made at Boston Comic Con, and whoever asked him for Brit and a blood puking zombie hit the jackpot.
OMG! Fixing health care is basic problem solving. Has our educational and social systems become so broke we can’t even innovate and apply logic to real issues that are not a niche interest.
On the billing side make everyone pay the same amount in a tax to cover the entire cost per average cost of an individual person. It is fair, because those who cost more are typically burdened with less opportunity to create wealth and it’s the humane thing to do. While it will also end the abuse and self indulgence of those who now pay nothing.
On the cost side of the ledger, make providers make money based on quality of work; those who reduce cost (even in cases of chronic issues, this can be measured), are better diagnosticians and have better results will gain more referrals and get paid more. No more fee for service, which is the root of the problem. Controlling cost of administration, facilities, research and supplies is more complex, but should be linked to utilization by successful providers and are worth investment if long term they reduce cost while increasing quality results. Dental should be joined into medical.
There will need to be a cap placed at 10% of GNP (5% would be sustainable). We currently are approaching 20%. We are approaching $10,000. Poverty level for an individual is currently $1,1500, with only $5,000 per family member. So the cost would literally kill them. However, if it were half that and other expenses were subsidized it might give them a chance (thus 5% is best); food, shelter, energy, transportation. The cap would still make us close to the most expensive in the world, but not close to double. This cap would dictate cost in taxes to Americans. It would also dictate the expense of providers and secondary and tertiary costs based on a negotiated equitable division of funds. The healthcare system would have to live within its means. Investments would be forced to be more efficient as would care. Which will drive up quality. If we keep access to care at a humane level, we will keep that in check.
I work in a practice that grew on access to care, but struggles now to accommodate it’s patient pool, because of our efficiency & quality of care have been so successful, even in dealing with chronic pain, have caused our provider to be the go to person for referrals. Yet there is limited appeal to providers to take on our work and business models, because the rest of the healthcare system is still acting like the party isn’t over. If we all worked within the ideal of caring for patients in a way that works for them and reduces cost we could control the cost within the means of a cap.
This approach to basic needs, sounds socialist (maybe it is). But we waste so much money on basic needs for individuals, that it has corrupted our free market mechanics. Health Care has been addressed surprisingly well, but not well enough to actually solve the stated problems. Sometimes harsh simplicity is the equitable, pragmatic, most effective means and most humane way to go. The retired will kick and scream, but as much as I think they paid their dues, they also had their chance to clean this up on their watch…they passed the buck to a smaller, poor population.
For @SuperRareComics; in what capacity?
With finishing up this book (which puts me in the awkward position of defending a self indulgent, flawed, cathartic, clearing of the decks, purging, cleansing of the palette, anemia…so I can move on to living up to my “real” cartoonist & comics potential) and starting up Super-Rare with some friends I am finding myself in a politically precarious place. I wish not to be a hypocrite and be nice to all people. But that is not pragmatic, possible or practical. So if I piss off anyone, it’s OK. I don’t live in a glass house and this is my opinion. Not that of Super Rare. I am completely open to a response. Armed with an informed backing and sincere apologies free of hubris.
Even with the disclaimers…I feel oddly contorted these days. Perhaps this paradox is the real me; Gemini, multi-cultural, bi-costal, sum of diversity. So pretty much anyone who reads this and likes comics has the potential for strongly objecting to what I am about to say. Please do. Just don’t internalize. Lets talk it through.
All of life is filled with complex, nuanced, minutia of diverse disagreement. We white wash it with utopian statements of agreements. Mistaking the agreeable driven by fear for friendly politeness. The latter being of achievable priority. The former of obscured frustrating weakness.
Comics are both just ink on a page depicting interpretive symbolism to narrate a cartoonists thought and a valuable physical representation the “real” sacrifices made by the cartoonist to communicate to an audience. In tandem they are insignificant and of undervalued significant contribution to our culture and individual lives. So I am going on about the trivial and the personal.
I will never create a comic that makes all agree (some would argue few) on it’s value. Super Rare will never forge a deal that will satisfy every interested party.
We all have friends who’s work we would love to always back for the sake of our interpretation of the works quality. No comic is ever that great or that horrible. I love hyperbole…but it is simply not an objective process. So for the individual cartoonist, the small press operation in comics. We support each other. However, we are in competition for resources, we are biased by our personal informed connection to the work (defensible positions…but not universal truth), we are informed by our personal relationships with each other. Even with that, we form consensus in the market place (though potentially eroded by human error). We even support based on supporting through the prisms of “buy local,” “gender,” “diversification,” “nostalgia,” “intellectualism,” “milestones,” “story,” “aesthetics,” on and on. The truth is under every rock we can find objectionable work and if we are lucky and look with an open hart and mind…we find comics worth our time and money.
We wish this industry was as we imagined once; a cartoonist, industry professional was well compensated, was in control and had longevity in this world. The closer we look behind the curtain the more we find the horror an industry accustomed to surviving by using and abusing it’s talent. Leaving most to zombie like lives after comics.
This reality makes complicated our feelings, voices and actions in a number of relationships. Particularly with cartoonists, institutions and the stories they provide. We contort ourselves in pretzels trying do the right thing by all and still remain unscarred participating members of our comics community.
I will never leave this life having forged a pure path. The truth is, I am human. I feel it my belly and my frontal lobe. I always enter into consuming a comic, speaking up for it, making one or buying and selling one with the very best of intentions. But I will always find in myself some objections. Then I will hear from others. I promise to head into my dealings with comic in an organic evolving manner. Nothing more.
So we know I have devised a convenient contorted position of vague obserditist defenses built in honest truth of meaning well flaws.
I also eluded to some of my most passionate comics interests (independence, diversity, creators rights, quality, valuing the work, respect of the audience, ect…). From there, lets entertain some notions of Marvel Now & DC New 52.
I tried the forget DC & Marvel approach. The conglomerate control, treatment of creators, erosion of characters narratives, aesthetic problems, quality of craft, treatment of women and diversity, short sites exploration of the market place…there is A LOT to walk away from. However, as with politics, healthcare and education I have always preferred to work to improve from within. For altruistic, pragmatic and totally selfish reasons. So forget purity of hart. Let’s get in and work it from the inside. Maybe Super Rare will have a play in that approach (we certainly have aspiration, talent and different perspectives internally that could make us players in helping with an inside game. I KNOW we are not alone, and will not always work in tandem with like minded heroes of industry.
The big two have given opportunity to reboot their approach. There has been much of what we seek in the above mentioned problem issues. This had a great deal to do with internal efforts and external pressures. Progress has been measurable in actual comics quality. A healthy debate remains over what represents good work at the big two and outside them. Many still see the product as universally terrible. I personally see a handful of comics I actually love along with work in all manners of other comic corners. No corner having a dominant pull on my purse strings. I see this as a healthy time.
I extrapolate from this that there are universally corruptive and pragmatic forces throughout comics that inform the process, product, contracts and livelihood of people in comics. Informing a creative product that is sensitive to the ecosystem it is created in. So I give a lot of passes to much work. I find them easy to support vocally. These are the works I would support through Super Rare and through an appreciative voice, even if I wouldn’t pay to support it. I am truthfully maxed on my monitory support. So any more work that I personally LOVED would be wasted success for me.
However, all this success on the part of comics and my paradoxical support, yet critique of Marvel & DC should not be seen as blind to the objectionable. In fact, proof has been made to me, they know where the line is on what is acceptable or debatable failures. And yet, they still cross it. So I will abide and point out the line.
another one from the collection: AMAZING HEROES 62 with jaime hernandez LOCAS cover. photo by chris anthony diaz