Secret Prison, a Philadelphia-based free comics tabloid, has 10 more days to raise funds to keep it in print for 2011. It's doing well, but we need a final push to get it through the home stretch. Put it this way, if 25 people pledged $15 for a year's subscription, we'd be done. Or if 19 people put up $20...you get the idea, it's that simple.
So, why should you support Secret Prison? Because issue #4 has a great lineup of artists, who are doing everything possible to make new and original comics that you're not going to see in your local newspaper, or in any mainstream comic. Because it's a completely grassroots effort, no one has our backs on this one. The NEA isn't sending a grant our way, and the big shot museums and galleries are too busy putting up their noses to take notice. Because YOU believe that emerging artists need a venue to not only be published, but to help them find their voice and an audience for their work.
None of the artists putting together Secret Prison need to be doing this. We have bills to pay, jobs to go to, families to raise. But to tell us not to make comics would be like telling us not to breath. It's in our blood and our DNA, and we believe that it's important not only to us but to the cultural life of the city, and comics community as a whole. Sure, the Web is good and all, but there's something to say for that printed matter, being given something where each page offers a new world to explore. Some are funny, some are demented, some are downright weird and obscure. But each is a unique and singular voice worthy of recognition.
If you think that Jersey Shore, Dancing with the Stars, and Battle: LA are the only things that the culture at large has to offer, then all I can do is feel sad for you and your dull, boring world. Because there are artists right in your own backyard making incredible things, and one of those is Secret Prison. So step up, show your support, and help us make this happen!