Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Transmetropolitan Celebration

Words: Seth Kushner
[Jim Calafiore]

For 60 issues, over five years, the oddly bespeckled and heavily tattooed outlaw/gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem vulgarly trampled corruption in Warren Ellis’s and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan

It’s been eight years since the cyberpunk/political series ended it’s run at Vertigo Comics. To mark the occasion, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has teamed up with the book’s creators to produce a hardcover charity art book, limited to a few thousand hand-numbered copies.

“I think there's a natural relationship between the subject matter of Transmetropolitan and the mission of the CBLDF,” says Charles Brownstein, the Executive Director of the organization.  “Both are ultimately concerned with freedom of expression, and the need to embrace and defend it.”

[Anna-Maria Jung]
Writer Ellis will be providing a foreward and artist Robertson is drawing both the front and back covers.  Additional artists contributing new original art to the book include; Joe Benitez, Stephanie Buscema, Jim Calafiore, Cliff Chiang, Katie Cook, Molly Crabapple, Kristian Donaldson, Gary Erskine, Simon Fraser, Dan Goldman, Cully Hamner, Sam Kieth, Milo Manara, John McCrea, Moritat, Dean Motter, J O'Barr, Rodney Ramos, Tim Seeley, Liam Sharp, Pete Woods and many, many more. 

“This entire book is genuinely a volunteer effort,” says Susan Auġér, the project manager.   “Many of the contributors invited themselves along, not because we wouldn't have invited them to participate, but because their enthusiasm worked faster than our handful of volunteers.  The enthusiasm of these contributors combined, it's like rocket fuel.  The team started this project with a small idea, a basic idea, and these artists turned it into rocket science.  I couldn't articulate it better than that, their efforts have been truly humbling.”

[Dave Wachter]
“I think that Transmetropolitan is a remarkable body of work addressing intellectual freedom, and it's a wonderful fit that the proceeds from this project will benefit the CBLDF, who protect intellectual freedom in comics,” says Brownstein.

The goal of the project is to raise $100,000 to be donated to the CBDLF and the Hero Initiative. The project will only be funded if at least $26,000 is pledged by Monday Feb 14, 11:30pm EST. As of this writing $12,680 has been pledged by 166 backers.

[Stephanie Buscema]