Saturday, October 18, 2008

24 Hour Comics & The New Deal - 2 Great Events in SF!

A quick post to mention 2 great events I experienced in SF over the last couple days: First, the 24 Hour Comics Jam hosted by Comic Outpost on Ocean Avenue. As I'm writing it's still going on, and will continue overnight. The artists, members of Cartoonist Conspiracy, are attempting to draw a 24 page comic in 24 hours (11 am 10/18 to 11 am 10/19). When Marc and I were there earlier, the place was packed with artists drawing, and onlookers eating pizza and checking out the sale. If you want comics tonight at 3am, this is the place. More info on the Comic Outpost site. I'm sure Gary B. will post photos of the event on his site shortly afterward, unfortunately my cell snaps were too blurry to share (looks like people drawing and eating pizza underwater).
The second event was the Reviving the New Deal conference at CCSF (10/16 & 17). It was amazingly well attended for a conference on an absolutely gorgeous Friday afternoon! The two panels I attended were about Teaching the New Deal and the Art of the New Deal. Given the current financial problems in this country, it was astounding to hear people talking all afternoon about how the government actually stepped in and helped people back then. The government invested money in things like building schools, libraries and town halls and they put people to work, even artists. CCSF itself was a WPA project, flaunting a wealth of Deco architecture and Diego Rivera murals.
In the photo to the left, Archie Green told the audience stories of the theatre, songs and other Laborlore of the WPA era. He worked for the CCC and reminisced about men hauling boulders around to build the Tamalpais Theatre. Other speakers included Lincoln Cushing, who talked about silkscreen prints (he has a labor poster book coming out soon); Catherine Powell from the Labor Archives at SFSU; Gray Brechin who spearheaded the California Living New Deal project; and Martin Meeker from the California Council on the Humanities, who showed us an impressive new web site called We Are California, that has collected the stories of immigrants (both foreign and domestic). It's probably wishful thinking, but I hope that someday soon, our government decides that people are worth bailing out too.