Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Revolutionary political campaigner is resurrected for modern times

This Writer is a big fan of comic books – or graphic novels, if you prefer. They have an immediacy that mere words on paper (or screen) sometimes fails to evoke.

When it comes to political ideology, I’m surprised that comics haven’t been employed to get the points across more often before now.

So I think writer/artist Paul Fitzgerald’s bid for funding to support Tom Paine’s Bones – his graphic retelling of the story of the radical human rights and political reform advocate whose work inspired the American Revolution and the formation of a democratic United States – is well worth supporting.

Here’s a quick description of the man and his career:

Through his strong and vocal stances on human rights and political reform he became a key figure in the American Revolution. His pamphlet Common Sense, which advocated for independence and an egalitarian government for the Thirteen Colonies, became the most widely read pamphlet during the American Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783).

His work reached an international audience and Paine’s The Rights of Man, which defended the French Revolution, so infuriated locals in Didsbury and Deangate, in 1793 that they carried out mock trials and executions, burning effigies of Paine in the process.

Even after his death in 1809, Thomas Paine continued to be a thorn in the side of those in power. His bones were unearthed from his grave in America by the radical William Cobbett and carried to the outskirts of Manchester and Salford, just after the Peterloo massacre had occurred in 1819. Fearing the presence of Paine’s remains would foment rebellion amongst a populace still raw from the massacre, troops prevented Cobbett from entering with the bones.

That’s an influential man; his power extended beyond the grave.

Paul Fitzgerald, an artist from Hulme in Manchester also known as Polyp, has been busily working to take Tom Paine out of stuffy lectures on politics and philosophy and onto the illustrated novel page. You can see an example of his excellent work above.

He has launched a Kickstarter campaign for £15,000 to get the project published and I would urge you to help out if you can. Just click on the link and make your donation.

Hopefully this could become part of a series exploring the origins of modern political thinking.

Source: Breathing life back into Tom Paine’s bones – graphic novel aims to resurrect neglected political reformer – The Meteor

It seems SOMETHING good has come from the Charlottesville violence

Defend Europe, in their vessel C-Star, intended to block refugee boats leaving the coast of Libya bound for Italy [Image: Defend Europe].

Crowdfunding sites based in the United States are closing down pages dedicated to right-wing campaigns in the wake of the violence at Charlottesville.

The decision has affected not only campaigns to support James Fields, the man accused of driving his car into counter protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, but also – for example – right-wing group Defend Europe, that set sail on the Mediterranean to stop refugees reaching the continent.

Crowdfunding sites including GoFundMe and Kickstarter (in the case of Mr Fields) say they have policies prohibiting hate speech and abuse, and Patreon (Defend Europe) says the bid to obstruct the rescue of migrants who set sail from North Africa was “likely to cause loss of life”.

This Writer applauds the decision by the crowdfunding sites to stop supporting fascism.

I’d like to quote a personal friend, Jim Campbell, who posted eloquently on the subject of the so-called “alt-right” today (August 16):

“There were ‘good people’ on the alt-right side of the Charlottesville march?

“Let’s be clear: if you are happy to stand with, march with, people carrying swastika flags and chanting Nazi slogans, you are NOT good people. You are an apologist for Nazis. You are an enabler of Nazis. You are on the wrong side of morality; you are on the wrong side of history.

“Espousing the Nazi creed is an inherently violent act. It is endorsing the idea that some people are *less human* than others and can have violence visited on them with impunity.

“America: the words of your President and the weasel-worded apologism of his supporters shames you. Britain: the silence of our elected government shames us.

“We laid waste to Europe for six years settling this argument. We sacrificed a generation of brave young men settling this argument. We know where travelling this road leads and, if your side of the argument involves declaring the supremacy of one race over others, it ends with a length of piano wire and a street lamp.”

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