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Stephanie McMillan [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stephanie McMillan

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Holiday gift for kids [Nov. 3rd, 2010|04:18 pm]
Stephanie McMillan

"Mischief in the Forest"

A children's book written by Derrick Jensen, and illustrated by me.
Hardcover. 40 pages of cuteness.

FREE shipping in the US.
(Email me for international shipping charges: steph@minimumsecurity.net).

Summary from the back cover:

"Grandma Johnson lives alone in the forest and loves to knit sweaters for her grandchildren in the city. One day, after returning from a visit with them, her solitude comes to an end -- someone has taken her yarn! The mystery is solved in a colorful fashion when Grandma Johnson sees the bears, birds, rabbits, trees and other forest dwellers playing with the yarn. Suddenly, the forest doesn't seem so lonely, and the visiting grandkids take great delight in getting to know its inhabitants.

"This picture book is a lesson for both young and old to connect with one's surroundings and embrace the role of good neighbors with the rest of the natural world, whether in the city or in the forest."

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"As the World Burns" reviewed in Turkish newspaper [Sep. 27th, 2010|09:33 am]
Stephanie McMillan
A review of "As the World Burns" appears in the Turkish national newspaper Gazete Vatan.

Thank you to Serhat Elfun Demirkol for the translation!

Book in my Bag

As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Stay in Denial

Think again the trumperies of "Such Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Word". Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan tackle the solutions driven by ecological consumption in a funny as well as an impressive way, including energy efficiency, recycling, changing faucet knob, etc. With drawings of McMillan and wording of Jensen, it's an impressive comic. A battle of wild animals, plants and humans remembering the wholeness of nature and that humans are part of this wholeness against alien machines.

* * *

Çantamdaki kitap

Dünya Yanarken İnkar Etmek

için Yapabileceğimiz 50 Basit Şey

Dünyayı Kurtarmak İçin Yapabileceğiniz Şu Kadar Basit Şey” palavralarını bir daha düşünün. Derrick Jensen ve Stephanie McMillan, enerji verimliliği, geri dönüşüm, musluk başlıklarını değiştirmek gibi ekolojik tüketim çözümlerini eğlenceli ve eğlenceli olduğu kadar çarpıcı bir şekilde eleştiriyor. McMillan’ın çizgisi ve Jensen’in betimleriyle etkileyici bir çizgi roman. Yıkımı durdurmak için bir araya gelen yabani hayvanların, bitkilerin ve doğanın bütünlüğünü ve insanın da bunun bir parçası olduğunu yeniden hatırlamaya başlayan insanların uzaydan gelen makinelere karşı savaşı.

Çeviren: Yıldız Temürtürkan

Sayfa Sayısı: 224

Yayınevi: Minima Yayıncılık

Fiyatı: 11,25 TL
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Dueling resistance strategies [Aug. 17th, 2010|07:47 am]
Stephanie McMillan
Is it better to go down in flames, or not try at all? These are the bad choices currently being argued in Minimum Security comics.

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Interview on Planet Green [Aug. 2nd, 2010|11:39 am]
Stephanie McMillan
This appeared on Discovery's website Planet Green:

Cartoons vs. Ecocide: Stephanie McMillan's One-Eyed Bunnies Teach Us How to Defend Our Planet (Interview)

It's time to declare: Code Green

By Mickey Z. | Wed Jul 28, 2010 13:20

Action painter Mark Rothko once said: "There is no such thing as good painting about nothing." That goes quadruple for political cartoonists. Stephanie McMillan has been plying her craft since 1992. She creates the comic strip Minimum Security five days a week for United Media’s comics.com, and self-syndicates the weekly editorial cartoon about the environmental emergency, Code Green. Stephanie's cartoons have appeared on hundreds of websites and in print publications worldwide including the Los Angeles Times, Daily Beast, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Yes! Magazine, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

A collection of her cartoons, Attitude Presents Minimum Security was published in 2005 by NBM Publishing. She co-created, with writer Derrick Jensen, the graphic novel As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial (2007, Seven Stories). Her work is also included in various textbooks and anthologies. A children's book, Mischief in the Forest (PM Press, with Derrick Jensen) will be published Fall 2010.

Her cartoons have been included in exhibits at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (New York), the San Francisco Comic Art Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), and the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, DC), among other venues.

A graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and now based out of Florida, Stephanie was kind enough to make time for a chat. The results are below.

My Conversation With Stephanie McMillan

Planet Green: When did you start drawing and how early in that process did your radical perspective help shape and inform what and how you drew?

Stephanie McMillan: I loved drawing even as a toddler, as soon as I could hold a crayon in my fist. The first overtly political drawing I did was for my high school paper, during the Reagan era, after I’d read a book about the dangers of nuclear war (The Fate of the Earth by Jonathan Schell). I drew it with a ballpoint pen—it showed a family being vaporized in front of a mushroom cloud. That book turned out to be the doorway through which I began to glimpse the underlying omnicidal nature of the American Empire. After this I read voraciously about history and political theory, and once I understood that capitalism is based on exploitation, I became its enemy.

PG: How did that realization impact both your life and your art?

SM: I spent many years as a revolutionary communist, organizing and agitating against imperialism, and about social justice issues like police brutality, reproductive freedom and immigrant rights. I viewed these issues as interconnected social "fault lines"—contradictions that, under the right conditions, could cause the whole system to crack apart. In 1992, while still an activist, I started drawing cartoons for a weekly paper, and in 1998, frustrated with the difficulty of building a movement during an overall ebb in radical politics, decided to focus my political energies purely on cartooning. That year I started Minimum Security as a weekly editorial cartoon. In 2005, NBM Publishing issued a collection of these comics, and I added regular characters. When United Media approached me about syndication and added it to comics.com, I ramped the pace up to five cartoons a week. This past April, I switched from the joke-a-day format into a long-form narrative. It‘s now a story about how a group of friends goes through twists and turns while figuring out how to effectively fight the system. About a year ago, I started drawing an additional cartoon called Code Green. It’s a weekly editorial cartoon that focuses on the environmental emergency.

PG: Your art and activism seem practically synonymous.

SM: The content of my cartoons is absolutely determined by my work as an activist. Without that experience, I would know much less about how the system works or how to combat it. The purpose of my work is to expose the crimes of the system in a way that’s accessible to readers, and to use ridicule to inspire contempt for those who run things. I think if we can laugh at those in power, we will fear them less, which makes us stronger about fighting back. The stories I tell in my comics, the points I make, are all intended to help inspire resistance, to help people who are on that path to make sense of things, and to cheer them on. Resistance and revolution are at the core of my life’s purpose. Art is merely a means, one way I have found that I can help further this objective. I have recently (especially after the Gulf oil spill), been increasing my work in other areas too. I will do whatever it takes, anything I am capable of and more, to help stop the planet from being killed and to eliminate this murderous system of exploitation.

PG: Your book with Derrick Jensen, As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial, would be of particular interest to Planet Green readers. What would you hope a budding environmentalist might learn from reading this graphic novel?

SM: Derrick and I decided to create this book after discussing Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. We agreed that the film presented the problem of global warming in a compelling, appropriately urgent way. But when it came time to guide people to action, it was worse than inadequate—it was misleading. Gore’s list of "10 Things You Can Do" (and countless other lists like it) directs the audience’s attention away from the source of the problem, industrialization, and it attempts to convince us to blame ourselves instead. It asserts that if we modify our behavior as "consumers" (change our light bulbs, adjust our thermostats), then we can save the planet. This is a lie. What this list didn’t show was the math. We did. If every person in the United States did everything that Al Gore recommends at the end of the film, there would be a one-time reduction of CO2 emissions of 21%. Obviously that’s not going to put much of a dent in the problem. More importantly, it leaves the worst polluters, big corporations, off the hook. Exxon-Mobil alone is responsible for 5% of all global CO2 emissions. The US military consumes 395,000 barrels of oil a day. Do you think dismantling that might be more effective than obsessing about not leaving our refrigerator doors open? Yet the latter is what we are told to focus on. We are told, over and over, that the only power we have is over our own lifestyles, and specifically as "consumers"—how very conveeeeenient for those who profit from the murder of our planet and then profit again from selling us "green" products.

PG: So, we're often manipulated into acting against our own interests and the interests of our eco-system?

SM: Most of us care about the Earth’s health, understand that our own wellbeing and lives depend upon it, and would like to live in a non-destructive way. No one but profit-oriented sociopaths can enjoy the fact that 120 species are going extinct each day, and that our environment is getting thoroughly trashed. We live under a system that functions by converting living beings into commodities, for the profit of a few. Yet we are told that the environmental crisis is our fault because we consume too much as individuals (at the same time, everything about this economy—its media, its reward systems—push us to consume more and more). We created As the World Burns to help readers see that solutions are not to be found in our individual consumer choices, but instead can only be achieved by fighting against, defeating and dismantling the industrial capitalist system.

PG: Do you feel your message is more easily accessible via the characters you've created?

SM: I do. This was my primary concern when I created them. Bitter medicine goes down easier with sugar, so I made the characters as cute as possible, and the jokes amusing, the colors appealing. I know my message is pretty radical and can be difficult to accept (especially for those just beginning to explore the issues), and so I’m careful not to put any additional obstacles in the way, stylistically. I want readers to feel welcomed by my cartoons as soon as they see them, and encouraged to be open to what they’re saying.

PG: Do you have a favorite character? If so, why?

SM: I love them all, and each one is a mix of different parts of myself and people I know. The one I probably enjoy writing for the most is Bunnista, the rabbit, because he is the most unfettered by rules. He doesn’t worry about what others think of him, or if anyone agrees with him, or if his actions are the most practical or effective, or if his way is the best way to build a resistance movement. He just loves, more than anything else, to make industrial infrastructure explode into a million flaming pieces. It’s very cathartic for me when he does that. An adorable cartoon bunny can get away with doing things that I can only fantasize about.

PG: Tell us more about your upcoming children's book.

SM: It’s called Mischief in the Forest. Derrick wrote the story some years ago and asked me to illustrate it. It’s about a grandmother who likes to knit sweaters and mittens for her grandchildren. She believes she lives alone in the forest, until she discovers that someone has taken her yarn. Through this incident, she gets to know her forest neighbors, creatures of many species. It’s about connecting with and appreciating the natural world.

PG: How can folks find your work and connect with you?

SM: Links to the websites for both my Code Green and Minimum Security comics and blogs, plus information about my books and other projects are at StephanieMcmillan.org. My email address is steph@minimumsecurity.net.
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Direct link to animated Code Green cartoon [Jul. 23rd, 2010|11:31 am]
Stephanie McMillan
My Code Green cartoon (animated by the ultra-talented David Essman) is hard to find on the Sun Sentinel website, so here's a direct link:


Please spread the word!
Thank you.
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Animated Code Green cartoons [Jul. 22nd, 2010|08:40 pm]
Stephanie McMillan
Tomorrow (Friday), the South Florida Sun-Sentinel will start to run my Code Green editorial cartoons each Friday. Also, a version of the first one, animated by David Essman, will be posted on the Sun-Sentinel website. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/.

If a lot of people click on it, perhaps they will continue to run it in the future. So please, if you like my Code Green cartoons, and would like to see them animated, please watch it on the Sun-Sentinel website and let them know.

Thank you!
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VJMovement: "There is more than one truth" [Jul. 18th, 2010|03:41 pm]
Stephanie McMillan
Here are some cartoons I've drawn in the last several months for the VJMovement (http://www.vjmovement.com/), an international cartoon agency based in Amsterdam.

Cartoonists and video journalists pitch stories to them, and then anyone is welcome to vote (pitches are displayed in the "newsroom" section) on which ones they would like to see made. Those are the ones that then receive funding. Media democracy in action!

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SDCC Schedule [Jul. 16th, 2010|05:13 pm]
Stephanie McMillan
If you go to San Diego Comic-Con next weekend, please come and see me at the NBM Publications table!
Here's my schedule:
Thursday 2:30-4 p.m.
Friday 4-5:30 p.m.
Saturday 2:30-4 p.m.
Sunday 10:30 a.m.-noon
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Two Things [Jul. 9th, 2010|10:38 am]
Stephanie McMillan
1) I did an interview with Susan Marie on ThinkTwice radio. We had a great, hour-long conversation about ecocide, resistance and cartoons: http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/sue-marie/sue-marie.html

2) I'm participating in an eBay auction of webcomics originals to benefit Gulf cleanup efforts. Get a "Code Green" original and print. At this point it's pretty cheap! Here's the whole auction:
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The Math of Resistance [Jun. 23rd, 2010|09:17 am]
Stephanie McMillan
On Monday, a small group went inside the BP command center in New Orleans to confront those responsible for the spill.


This protest was symbolic; a small number of people couldn't really disrupt the activities of BP.

Imagine, though, if they had a few hundred angry and determined people. Then they could have shut that place down.

Small numbers + confrontation = symbolic (with potential for effectiveness)

* * *

Hundreds or thousands of people will protest worldwide this weekend, holding hands on beaches, mourning the catastrophe in the Gulf and demanding an end to offshore drilling.


This might be personally cathartic for some, but how will this stop the atrocities? Will the oil companies and governments of the world care about what people want, and respond accordingly? They have demonstrated time and again that they do not, and will not.

Large numbers - confrontation = symbolic (without potential for effectiveness)

* * *

On Sunday in Oakland, CA, hundreds of people blockaded an Israeli ship to protest Israel's blockade of Gaza. The union workers at the docks refused to cross the picket line, and commerce was disrupted.


Large numbers + confrontation = effective action!

This is why it's important to confront the actual centers of power. Location, location, location.

* * *

How will the people overthrow those in power, and put a stop to exploitation and ecocide?

Large numbers + organization + a plan + confrontation = revolution
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