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The question of copyrighting one's work is one of the very few issues in the world about which I still hold a "moderate" stance. One the one hand, an artist (be they cartoonist, musician, author) wants and should be compensated for their work. On the other hand, the goal of many artists is to spread their work to as broad an audience as possible.  As of now, my opinion changes on a case-by-case basis.
As a child, I was obsessed with the concept of copyrighting or somehow "protecting" my work—my drawings were a private thing, I did not ever want to see my cartoon characters conceived by the imaginations of my family and I reproduced in someone else's hand. To a seven-year-old with an anxiety disorder, seeing your original ideas bastardized by a classmate's sloppy hand triggered a sensation akin to gouging sporks into your eyes. My dad helped to calm me once by telling me that technically whatever I created, I owned, and no one could take that away from me. (As I got older I also realized that one could easily differentiate poor imitations from the real thing—I really shouldn't have worried about my ideas being stolen when the imitators just plain sucked.)
Nowadays, most likely in part because a great amount of my work is created for use in the public sphere, I am much more lax about who can distribute it and where it can be distributed. Perhaps because I am not spray-painting original characters onto walls or using them in promotional literature for academic conferences. My art has gotten more "universal," and in this way, more "accessible;" someone is more likely to enjoy/utilize a picture condemning Israeli Aparthied or drawings of recognizable world leaders than my original cartoon characters and their adventures. That I create things for an audience at this point in my life and work is not an inherently good or bad thing, simply a turn I have taken.
Following are three recent cases in which I judged the use of artwork and compensation on a case-by-case basis. A very nice guy from DeviantArt sent me a message asking if he could use my drawing of a guillotine on a t-shirt for school. (I had no idea where that was headed, but I cooperated because you don't fuck with Madame la Guillotine.) We came up with an agreement that he could use the image if it wasn't altered for the most part, and if my name and/or web address could be put somewhere on the shirt. I think we reached a good compromise: in the end he got to use my drawing for free, and I got free (on my part) exposure. (And a student group that uses a bloody guillotine for their club t-shirts... that's just fucking awesome.)
I ask for money from those who can afford it, or take how much one is willing to pay. I have started asking to be paid for my commissions by the local theater in my town whose posters I have been designing for years. I thought a small amount of money per drawing would be a fair compensation, since I work on deadline, follow graphic specifications, and am advertising for already-existing theater plays which, were the theater not using my logos, would charge the community theater for the right to utilize the copyrighted graphics of Music Theater International or other said company for the purposes of publicity. Someone asked me if I would continue designing logos even if I weren't compensated fairly. The answer is that I probably would, for the love of it, but the fact is that I need to eat. I need to buy art supplies. I need to pay off thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loans.
In terms of educational materials and the distribution of radical literature, I am of the opinion that we (of the revolutionary school of thought) should help each other out where it's possible. A friend of mine recently turned an entire book into a .pdf file and e-mailed it to every social justice group in which he is involved. I devoured this book, and agreed that it was useful and should be read by anyone identifying as progressive. Photocopying and distributing a copyrighted book is probably illegal. The author wrote the book, however, to deliver his message to an audience as wide as possible. This was accomplished through the photocopying and e-mailing to hundreds of young activists. (Another friend of ours added that he knew the author, and in his opinion, the author would be fine with our decision.)
What are your thoughts?
  • Listening to: Mein Herr (Cabaret)
  • Reading: The German Ideology (Marx & Engels)
  • Eating: amphetamines
Hi folks, I hope at least one of you has been wondering where I've gone off to during the past four months... hopefully my long DeviantArt absence will be coming to a close this summer. I was in Argentina for three amazing months but without a scanner, and my dad's home computer with the art programs (and my artwork) on it just crashed. D'oh! I've brought my school scanner up to my bedroom, which I've noticed sucks out quite a lot of color, but I can at least post some of the black and white artwork.

Some things I've been working on/you will see this summer:

-A logo for the theater production Cabaret
-A logo for a fall 2009 Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions conference at Hampshire College
-Sneak peeks at an entry for the spring 2010 Hampshire College Commencement poster
-A totally farcical, non-political comic book about Che and Fidel, which will hopefully be finished in time to exhibit at the Small Press Expo this fall in Bethesda, Maryland (fingers crossed!)
-Alongside my “real” job, I take commissions for jewelry, and am saving up for a snazzy camera so I can build a website and start selling on-line.

...Oh, and, you know, that whole “paying off student loans” thing... I just have the fun stuff listed here. Please keep me in mind if you are looking to commission anyone for logos, paintings, etc.

Love, Hannah (Anita)
  • Listening to: ABBA
  • Reading: Breaking Dawn
  • Watching: NCIS
The IDF has spread leaflets all over Gaza with a number people are supposed to call to rat out Hamas members. (Medical care has been denied to some desperately sick Palestinians until they give up names.) Instead of calling the hotline and asking the Israelis if they had Prince Albert in a can, I decided to be an adult and actually report some terrorists. Here is what I said:

Hello Sir,

my name is Hannah, and I am a white American calling to inform you about some terrorist organizations in Israel that you may not be aware of.

Sir, I am afraid that the Nazis may have risen again under your very nose. I am afraid that they may have risen again because of the obsession in your country with ethnic cleansing, your insistence on a racial hierarchy. I was uncomfortable the minute I stepped into Ben-Gurion Airport. You did your best to make me, a non-Jew, feel unwelcome. Your security guards, asking why I didn't speak Hebrew and why I had an unfamiliar (Scottish) name, conveyed with their questions and preceding thorough search of my bags that I had no business in your country because I did not belong to your ethnicity and religion. I am afraid because you detained my friend at the Jordanian border for eight hours because he had an Arab surname, despite the fact that he was a U.S. citizen born and raised in California.

Sir, I am afraid that the Nazis may have risen again because every single day Palestinian children in the West Bank are spat on as they walk to school, called “whores” and “dirty Arabs” by Jewish settlers, who believe that the Arabs whose country they have stolen are of an inferior race.

I am afraid because the cameras in towns like Hebron are on all the time, watching Palestinians' every move, but when a settler throws a brick at a child or kicks a woman, it is as if the cameras have turned off and did not see anything.

Sir, I am afraid that the Nazis may have risen again because of the pogroms in Akka, Hebron and Nablus. I am afraid of these terrorists you are not catching because these mobs of Jewish settlers burn down Arab houses, destroy Arab businesses, throw bricks at children, and aim to kill. I am afraid because I see Kryshtallnacht again, and I am afraid because you do not. I am afraid that the Nazis may have risen again because during these pogroms, your soldiers stand still and do nothing to stop the mobs.

I am afraid because you offer segregated tours of Israel through a program called Birthright, encouraging Jews to settle in Israel and populate the country with more Jewish children, so as to wipe out the Palestinians. I am afraid because these impressionable youths get their heads filled with a sunny interpretation of segregation, with the notion that they are innocent of all blame and that the land is theirs to take.

I am afraid that the Nazis may have risen again because you are inflicting a Holocaust upon Gaza. I am afraid the Nazis may have risen again because you can still sleep at night, because you justify this genocide upon the Palestinians. I am afraid that the Nazis may have risen again because you do not see this at all.

I hope I have been of help to you in identifying terrorists in Israel.

(Here is the number you dial from the U.S.: 011-972-2-5839749 Tie up those phone lines! Call and order a large cheese pizza! Call with a German accent trying to reach your Aunt Mergatroyd in Berlin! Pretend you're working for a phone sex hotline! Call with a Hebrew accent and pretend you're questioning people at airport security: "What ahr you doing in Israel?" Call in a Darth Vadar voice and congratulate the army for doing such a good job founding and keeping up such an evil, evil nation! Just tie up those phone lines!)

(By the way, they asked me if I was an Arab.)
  • Listening to: Igor Stravinski--the Rites of Spring
  • Reading: Political Violence and Trauma in Argentina
  • Watching: Bones
  • Drinking: root beer
Raise your hand if you are tired of the hundreds (disproportionately Palestinians) dying, of your friends in Gaza telling you goodbye now because they are not sure if they'll be gunned down next. From my friend Ahmad yesterday and today:

December 27 at 6:56am
THE DEATH !!!!!!!!!

REALLY WE ARE DYING HERE

2 OF MY FRIEND DEAD TODAY

OPPPPPS WHILE I WRITE THIS WALL ANOTHER PUMP ............

SEE U ALL IN THE UTHER LIFE

PEACE



December 28 at 5:41pm
Dear Hannah,

it's happend .My univesity is destroyed . before 5 min ago

when i will finish my study now ???!!!!!!!

please speard this news about the UNV.



...Oh, and if I hear any more honkies talking about how "BOTH sides are being hurt in the conflict", I will make you grow a weave and then I will rip it out. To everyone in Palestine: may God keep you and your families safe, I hope you are out of harm's way and God willing the slaughter will stop soon. My prayers and love are with you. To all the anti-Zionists in Israel: thank you for continuing to stand up to your country's imperialist policies. A hero is someone who has every privilege at his disposal but chooses to live the harder life, fighting for what is right. In solidarity,

Hannah
  • Listening to: Abba
  • Reading: The Death of Che Guevara
  • Eating: pizza
  • Drinking: tea, soda
"In our country there is room only for the Jews. We shall say to the Arabs: Get out! If they don't agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by force."
-Ben-Zion Dinur, Israel's first Minister of Education, 1954

~HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY~
  • Listening to: Aida
  • Reading: Prison Writings (Leonard Peltier)
Ahla" asdaqa'iy fi DeviantArt,

I can't believe my fortune, but this Saturday I'm shipping out to Palestine for two weeks to participate in a Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions summit! I can't wait to kick colonialism's ass, and I've set up a blog to chronicle my adventures: meenerhabi.blogspot.com/

Besides taking a swing at I$rael, I am excited beyond belief at the IMAGES I'm going to bring back, between my sketches and my photos: stuff they don't want you to see (sand, sun and segregation: ya like that, IDF?!).

Wish us luck, and I'll see y'all when I get back!
  • Listening to: Rachid Taha
  • Reading: Les Miserables
  • Watching: Monk
As you can probably tell, I am an amateur calligrapher interested in Islamic art. I have stuck to drawing names, words and phrases since I am not a religious person, but lately have wanted to try writing longer quotes from the Qur'an as gifts for some Muslim friends. I asked a friend who is Palestinian to check my grammar on a phrase I had written on a sheet of homework that had been converted into an elaborate artwork. He said that he used to doodle Qur'anic verses on scrap paper but stopped, since they would be thrown away and this is prohibited.

I had no idea about this restriction, and realized I am treading in sensitive territory. I am new to this whole monotheism thing (raised without a religion), but recognize the sanctity and importance of the Holy Books and His word.

In the interest of avoiding cultural misappropriation, is a non-Muslim "allowed" or authorized to write Qur'anic verses? What are the "rules" concerning Qur'anic calligraphy? I do not want to make the mistake of producing artwork of religious verses if this is not my place to do so.
  • Listening to: Putumayo: Rumba Flamenco
  • Reading: Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour
I saw that my icon had changed into a blue creature today and at first I thought that I was popular enough that someone hacked my account, but then I realized that everyone had a blue creature and was like, naww! ...So, a few random things to talk about:

Yesterday during the walk-out, it snowed. Ten years ago on this day, we got an April Fools' blizzard, which everyone here from New England (I'm from Massachusetts) remembers. I started thinking back to where I was ten years ago on this day. I believe I was 9 at the time, in 4th grade. I was fucking miserable in school, had no friends, a handful of undiagnosed disorders, and had literally only my art and imagination to keep me company outside of my home.

Ten years later, I am still drawing. (I never quit drawing during class, all you fuckers who told me to stop.) I am beautiful, healthier, more social, have lots of friends I can count on and actually enjoy spending time with them, am in a happy relationship and am used to living away from home. But ten years later, I am still in school.

Somebody tell me what the fuck's wrong with this picture.
  • Listening to: The Cranberries
  • Reading: Lady Audley's Secret; The Federalist Papers
  • Eating: Doritos, amphetamines
  • Drinking: Chocolate milk
An animation by my friend and fellow member of Students for Justice in Palestine, Noam, who went to prison for refusing to join the IDF army. I consider this friend a true hero.

web10.metacafe.com/w/1072113/
See corresponding comic: www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…

I would like to call your attention to Oprah Winfrey's upcoming trip to Israel, to stand in solidarity with victims of terrorism. My friend Dina wrote an open letter to Oprah concerning the one-sidedness of her statement. Please check out Dina's letter and send a copy to Oprah if you support Palestine: dina-jacir.livejournal.com/

NOTE TO CLARIFY: I am NOT an anti-Semite. Many of my best friends are Jewish, and I am fully aware of the atrocities that have been inflicted upon the Jewish people for more then two millenniums by countless hands. The Holocaust is /not /a horror to be ignored or taken lightly; I have spoken with survivors of this genocide whose nightmares of the death camps still haunt them to this day. I acknowledge that many innocent Israeli citizens have lost their lives as a result of the violence between the two states.

The flaw of the Zionist Movement was that it solved one refugee problem /by creating another/. Palestine was not a “land without a people”; it was populated by half a million people (mostly Arabs). Today, the Palestinians live under the stifling occupation of the Israeli government that continues to expand into Palestinian territory under an essentially apartheid rule. It is impossible to turn a blind eye to the injustice of the conflict which has cost untold lives on both sides. State-sponsored violence against civilians is terrorism, no matter where you are in the world.
  • Reading: Harry Potter VI
  • Watching: Black Adder
  • Eating: pita and chantillay
  • Drinking: juice
Hello, aloo, hola, bonjour, mae govannen my watchers. I apologize that I haven't submitted any cartoons of late. Those tile things are just so easy to crank out, and really soothing to work on! But I want to hear from YOU what you would like to see more of in my gallery. Political cartoons? Fan art? Realism? Crafts? More burlesque pictures? (OK, so that was a shoo-in...) X) Let me know, or give me some requests. Hope all is well out there,
Namarie,
Moony
  • Listening to: Loreena McKennet
  • Reading: The Last Unicorn
  • Drinking: Water
Everything you've ever wanted to know... or, maybe not... about this "walking contradiction", in the words of Shakira. I want to get to know you too!


THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
1. Hannah
2. Moony
3. "Hey, you in the mask! Yeah, you! Don't even think about touching that chandelier!"

THREE THINGS YOU'VE DONE IN THE LAST 33 MINUTES:
1. Studied for an Arabic quiz
2. Drunk water to soothe my aching throat
3. Packed my suitcase

THREE THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1. My talents in so many areas
2. My physical appearance
3. My ability to laugh at life

THREE THINGS YOU DISLIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so antisocial
2. Having to depend on medication
3. I feel guilty because I'm white and middle-class
(But I guess this all makes me who I am.)

THREE PARTS OF YOUR ORIGINS:
1. WASP
2. Scottish
3. Cherokee

THREE THINGS YOU'RE AFRAID OF:
1. My government
2. Losing control of my body or mind (through Alzheimer's, etc.)
3. Being separated from my family or the people I love

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
1. Les Miserables sweatshirt
2. Cheap Miss Vigoss jeans
3. Glasses

THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
1. Computer
2. Eyeliner
3. Pens

THREE WAYS TO BE HAPPY:
1. Be with the people you love.
2. Laugh until you cry.
3. Turn on music and dance.

THREE NEW THINGS YOU WANT TO TRY IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS:
1. Get my driver's license
2. Acid
3. (This one's personal, but you can probably guess.) :p

THREE THINGS YOU REGRET:
1. Doing things so that my "friends" would think I was cool
2. Sometimes I wish I was born a boy, so I would get better stage roles
3. I wish I had paid attention to some of the better teachers I've had

THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP:
(This word terrifies me. Right now I'm playing it cool, because I'm 18, but once I decide to settle down I'll probably raise my expectations a little.)
1. Freedom to love each other, but not be pinned down
2. Devotion
3. Commitment

THREE IMPORTANT THINGS YOU'VE GIVEN TO THE WORLD:
On the greater scale of things, not much yet I'm afraid.
1. I always recycle; if there is no receptacle around I will bring a bottle home.
2. If someone is down I will make them laugh or lend them a hand.
3. I try to bring out each child's full potential.

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE (in order):
1. I am Pagan.
2. I am Remus Lupin.
3. I am perfect.

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU LIKE IN THE OPPOSITE SEX:
1. Brown skin
2. Thin boys, even lanky
3. A great smile

THREE EMOTIONAL THINGS YOU LIKE IN THE OPPOSITE SEX:
1. Humility
2. Acceptance and openness
3. A sense of humor

THREE THINGS YOU JUST CAN'T DO:
1. Stop dwelling on the past
2. Sit still
3. Be serious

THREE THINGS YOU MISS FROM YOUR PAST:
1. Not having a regular job and not having to earn money
2. FREE TIME
3. Not having to commit to anything

THREE GIFTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE:
1. A pocketknife
2. "The Best of Little Nemo"
3. A car, any car

THREE REASONS WHY YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE:
1. I have been hurt and risen above it.
2. I had to find my own path and figure life out by myself.
3. I can put myself in anyone's shoes, because I have been in everyone's shoes.

THREE CAREERS YOU'RE CONSIDERING:
1. Actor
2. Teacher
3. Something where I can ravel, like anthropology

THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO FOR HOLIDAY:
1. Andalusia (southern Spain)
2. London
3. Egypt

THREE CARTOON CHARACTERS:
1. Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes)
2. Basil of Baker Street
3. My own

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
1. Be involved in a coup d'etat
2. See the seven wonders of the ancient world
3. Dump a plate of food on a customer next time they piss me off
If anyone has the time check out the website of Julio Cesar, a magnificent indigenous artist from Costa Rica, whom I've had the priveledge of meeting and talking to.
juliocesarma.tripod.com/
It's amazing how quickly he can carve the designs out of the wood he's sketched on, and it's literally painted before your eyes. He sells these masks to tourists for hundreds of dollars. His art is all about celebrating his people and his culture; as he said, the conquerers can burn the trees, tear off the leaves, but they can never destroy their roots.
Oh, and he's very, very good looking.
Check out the Lebanese Deviants page: deviantlebanon.deviantart.com/ (Thanks Poncho~Juju)