Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Wolvertoons and Six-pack Gerry

We've been discussing the release of the Wolverton Bible, and one of the concerns people have raised is the copyright of Basil's art remaining with the WCG. Copyright means that something can't be used without permission of the copyright holder.

So why does the April issue of the Flurry Trumpet (page 37) use a Wolverton image as part of a "Commentary" article by Stephen Flurry? And why is no credit given to either the artist or owner? Actually that's not quite correct, in very small print at the bottom of the page it seems to indicate that it is a Trumpet image.

Huh?

See for yourself by downloading the PDF (there's no picture with the html version.) Is this an act of wanton stupidity by the Flurry cult? Is there an understanding between PCG and WCG? Are the Wolvertoons actually in the public domain despite the copyright claims in the Wolverton Bible?

And what about the reproduction of all Wolverton's BS artwork by the Billingsley sect?

Curious.

41 comments:

Basil's Brush said...

While I don't plan to go through every WCG publication for which the PCG bought the copyright, it is possible that the illustration may have been used in one of them. I'm not sure of the issues involved if separately copyrighted artwork was included in one of the articles. Similarly, it doesn't appear that the entire image appeared in the magazine illustration.

kiwi said...

Basil's Adam never was my idea of the perfect male specimen. Far too much muscle!! :-)

Byker Bob said...

I'm thinking (hoping, actually) that the Fantagraphics organization would be enforcing any and all copyright issues surrounding BW's art. When Flurry, Billingsley, or others use the art, they should do it with permission, and pay royalty.

Plagiarism is commonplace amongst Christian groups, and those who are plagiarized generally do not really care. The thinking is that the more people who are preaching "the gospel", the better.

Artwork, however, is an entirely different matter.

BB

Anonymous said...

"Plagiarism is commonplace amongst Christian groups..."

Plagiarism is rampant in the various splinter cults of Armstrongism. For people who 'claim' to be followers of the 10 Commandments these morons will steal and publish articles and pictures that don't belong to them. They love to claim the 'fair uses doctrine'. But the fact is, they are stealing. Just one more reason to NOT belong to any of the 500 some splinter cults.

Anonymous said...

Gavin,


Is not BASIL a HERB,hence why the two are a conjugated pair.

We notice that the French name for Armstrong is Fortin-Bras which is why Herb's writings were so uplifting.

Cheers,

Jorgheinz

Anonymous said...

Monty should sue. I think only Monte can, and not Fantagraphics.

The WCG did sell essentially all of HWA’s writings, as they appeared in the booklets published by the church. Depending on the wording, this can include just HWA’s words or its entire trademarked presentation. (Literally how HWA’s words appeared on the page, the page itself and any imbedded illustrations.) In the case of the booklets, such as 1975 in Bible Prophesy, it could be said they have a right to the illustrations imbedded. But again, that depends on if PCG’s settlement includes trademarks ansd galleys—which is unlikely.

The only way you can enforce a trademark is to sue to defend it, or to make noises as if you are. In this case, a simple Cease and Desist letter sent by Monty to PCG should do. If this illustration is from the BS and not another publication purchased by PCG. Then PCG has NO CLAIM or right to use it.

In any case, a letter needs to be sent.

Mark Lax

Anonymous said...

Don't copyrights expire after a certain period of time (I'm thinking 40 or 50 years)? If so, a lot of WCG stuff is, or soon will be, public domain.

Bill said...

I guess the comical twist here is that the PCG is trying to get David Ben-Ariel to remove from his blog the transcript of a Flurry sermon from last year (or maybe 2007) claiming it is an infringement of copyright.

Mr. Scribe said...

On Bills's cultic sight, page 25, we read "Cutting timber with wich to build the ark."

Like Herbie, was Bill a high school drop-out also?

I think Monte might want to stop Gerald from claiming the material from PCG's grasping hand by re-publishing it in the book. Monte should make some good cash from it. His father and him where both great artists. I love the stuff Monte puts out but disagree with some of his politics. Monte's website

larry said...

Mr. Scribe said,
"His father and him where both great artists."

I'm not so sure that you have room to criticize. That is improper spelling AND bad grammar.

Theater Of The Absurd said...

Take a look at Monty's political caricatures on the website linked.

Democrats are usually drawn with smooth foreheads, but Republicans are given furrowed foreheads.

A "tell", or just a coincidence?

Gavin said...

I really don't think the WCG will be making money out of this. They may own the copyrights, but I doubt that means much in this case. A fee may have been paid to use the illustrations, but a slice of whatever profits the book makes seems unlikely. Monte stands to make a buck, as does the publisher, which is self-evidently nothing to do with Joe & Co. To say that getting the book means lining the pockets of the sect is quite a stretch. And yes, I've ordered a copy - and with a clear conscience.

Anonymous said...

What Monte has put together is an honest and expansive document that showcases his fathers talent for the humorous, macabre, and the terrifying. Monte even points out that the majority of the WCG commissioned images were for the child centric "The Bible Story".

I would have liked to for Monte to have included some sort of wording that acknowledged the unavoidable impacts of subjecting young children to these images in the context in which they were used, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words...

The Wolverton Bible clearly shows that the focus of herbie's theology was not an uplifting message of eternal salvation but in keeping people too damn scared to disobey him (him being herbie).

Herb's vision of God was not at all a merciful, loving, and benevolent God, but a murderous and narcisstic tyrant. This was represented all to well by the 'pillars' of the old testament that armstrong focused on.

Maybe I can get my hands on some of the literature pushed on kids in the splinters and send that on to my congressman and FOX or NBC...

Anonymous said...

In looking for a parallel to this WCG phenomenon, the most notable example might be Jack Chick. I first became aware of Jack's work Through a satire in the National Lampoon back in the '70s.

Jack runs a cartoon ministry with a decidedly Protestant slant. He has numerous publications, all formatted as miniature comic books.
These are designed to arouse curiosity, and are often left in conspicuous public places, where the unsuspecting might pick them up and read them.

One that aroused my own curiosity was titled "The Sissy". On the cover is a big bruiser of a truck driver puffing on a cigarette, sitting at the wheel of an 18 wheeler. Presumably this one was intended to be left behind at truck stops. The lead in was "Jake always thought Jesus was a sissy, but he was about to find out that He was the toughest man who ever lived."

The artistry is somewhat mainstream for comics depicting actual humans, and the little booklets have been known to be effective evangelizing tools to some people, while fodder for amusement and ridicule by others.

BB

The Painful Truth said...

Larry said..
"I'm not so sure that you have room to criticize. That is improper spelling AND bad grammar."

Indeed it was! AC ya know!

Anonymous said...

"I really don't think the WCG will be making money out of this."

According to his website, Mont is now running the PT.

One way or another, it all comes back to the mothership, don't it? :-(

Anonymous said...

"I would have liked to for Monte to have included some sort of wording that acknowledged the unavoidable impacts of subjecting young children to these images in the context in which they were used, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words..."

Mont had his chance to come clean. Predictably, like any good whitewashing cult member, he turned down the chance to tell the truth, or to offer any kind of apology.

Mad Magazine Church of God said...

Gavin said, "To say that getting the book means lining the pockets of the sect is quite a stretch. And yes, I've ordered a copy - and with a clear conscience."

MY COMMENT - uh, Gavin - why?

Richard

Anonymous said...

PH,

I clicked on the link to ISA site to read through his comments.

I found this statement of Monte's to be disturbing: "A few people have implied that I should be apologetic for my father’s work and how it affected them — and of course I’m not about to apologize. I think its great!"

And this one as well: "The apocalyptic work and early Bible Story were among his best creations. They are indeed delightfully horriffic! I’m sure more than a few kids had nightmares from them — but it many ways they was[sic] mild compared to horror movies and comics."

So Monte thinks it is great to give kiddies nightmares from delightfully horrific images.

FYI Monte - Horror movies come with "R" ratings to help prevent kids from under 17 from watching them.

Furthermore, I am still glad I bought the book for the purposes I am going to use it, however, I am now very sorry that you will profit from it after reading your correspondence to the ISA blog owner.

Gavin said...

Richard:

Why?

'Cos Basil's artwork has been part of my life since about 1967.

'Cos I was a big time escapist comic nut as a kid.

'Cos I loved MAD magazine (does anyone remember its short-lived rival "Cracked"?)

'Cos I really liked Basil's style. (It's the only reason I've kept a copy of the loathsome Spokesman's Club Manual.)

My impression is that those raised in the church "from the cradle" were more likely to feel the abuse that the images were open to. Those of us who came along a bit later - reeled in as dewy-eyed, know-nothing adolescents - just went... "wow, cool!"

Anonymous said...

Gavin,

I loved both Mad and Cracked as a teen. I used to read them at the local library.

Byker Bob said...

Christians believe that God punishes the evil of non-believers and the willingly ignorant or willfully disobedient. It has been a long term practice in the Christian community to warn people about the future punishments and the bad events which are forecast in biblical prophecy. Although the culties and the modern day pharisaical moneychangers exploit this to their own advantage, most Christian groups believe that they are warning their friends and neighbors based on Godly love for humanity.

In mainstream Christianity, such warnings take a back seat to the major message involving the blessings inherent in living a Christian lifestyle today. Most of the Christians whom I know do not gloat over the tribulation or the various versions of hell. Such gloating, and elitism are decidedly unChristlike, and were part of the bad fruits of the money-grubbing personality cult which we now recognize classic Armstrongism as having been.

I never have figured out how to provide working links here, but type the following into your browsers to see how one Christian cartoonist treats the tribulation and other topics:
http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0007/0007_01.asp

Submitted for review: Now that he is aware of, and practices the New Covenant, Monte has simply mainstreamed the application for his father's apocalyptic cartoons.
And, why shouldn't he? They had limited application as tools of a cult. Why should they not now be used as part of legitimate Christian ministry, and have even wider and greater application? I expect that we might now see them used much more prevalently, especially by the groups to which the new WCG has become close.

The fact that a handful of atheists hate them so much proves how effective these cartoons really always have been!

BB

Mike (Don't Drink the Flavor Aid) said...

Byker Bob said:
Submitted for review: Now that he is aware of, and practices the New Covenant, Monte has simply mainstreamed the application for his father's apocalyptic cartoons. .... The fact that a handful of atheists hate them so much proves how effective these cartoons really always have been!

Submitted for counter review: There's a difference between Monte's coffee table book which is clearly marketed to adults, and Basil's bible stories which were clearly marketed to children. Of which cohort I was a member. Who also got his hands on Dad's copy of "1975 in Prophecy". While that didn't affect me as deeply as others, I can understand how others can hate what went on.

I don't hate the drawings. I do hate how they were applied.

Anonymous said...

"My impression is that those raised in the church "from the cradle" were more likely to feel the abuse that the images were open to."

Your impression is correct, Gavin. Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude towards those of us who point out, "Huh, you know, there might have been something kind of WRONG IMMORAL AND HORRIFIC about that," is "Awww geddoveritalready."

"Furthermore, I am still glad I bought the book for the purposes I am going to use it, however, I am now very sorry that you will profit from it after reading your correspondence to the ISA blog owner."

No return policy at Amazon? Hawk it on eBay as "material not suitable for children, but was used to terrify them"?

Lots of ways you can get your money back, and out of Mont's hands, Charlie.

Anonymous said...

Also, don't forget that the use Basil's illustrations were put to.

I was eight or nine when I first read that particular portion of TBS.....

Russell Miller said...

BB... I can't begin to tell you how completely disgusted I am by your last comment, but there is truly no invective that I could possible hurl in your direction that could possibly describe it.

So I won't, except to say Aggie's last post at ISA makes a decent first attempt.

J said...

I am going to disagree with Byker Bob on this one.

In Christianity, the only way one should ever lead people to God is by example. By loving others and respecting others. By showing Christ in action and in deed. It should never use imagery of death, destruction, and shameful, horrific, nightmarish gloom and doom portrayals to try to lead someone to God! Those are scare tactics, and invoke fear and trepedition. It is simply rubbish to believe you can use this sort of material as an effort to try to evangelize.

The artistic talent is incredible but the pictures are horrific. Anyone wishing nightmares on little children, fear on adults, or anything horrific as a way to "promote Christianity" by use of these fear-inducing materials needs to reexamine their priorities and have their head examined.

Atrocious said...

Well, BB, I couldn't disagree with you more. Fear religion (or ANY religion, for that matter) is not Christian in any way. You seem to have swung waaaaay to far in the other direction. I thought you "got it" but you didn't "get it" at all. I can safely say that I don't worship your god.

Byker Bob said...

There is such a thing as balance. I've dabbled in psychology a bit, and understand Maslow, and basic motivation. I also know that sincerity is rarely caused by external duress. The best forms of motivation are produced by aspiring to higher ideals.

Still, scripture says "Fear God", and then also says "Perfect love casts out fear." Truly, fear is a component of worship. We do have the book of Revelation, and there is a hell! How this is all used makes all the difference in the world.

The basis of Christianity is not "religion". "Religion" messed everything up! The basis of Christianity is seeking a relationship with God. Most of us have a very understandable, and very visceral, negative reaction to fear motivation within a spiritual context. That is because the fear was amplified and used as a powerful psychological motivation to bring us into submission to a false teacher, and to indulge in horrific Orwellianly "renamed" ungodly practices, enslaving us in the process.

I just hate it when fear motivation is used by our politicians, by sales persons, or environmental activists. It sometimes seems impossible not to be on edge.

Still, in all aspects of life, negative consequences do exist. My problem is not so much with people who point this out. It is with the people who irrationally dwell on the fear and negativity, making it impossible for people to make carefully reasoned choices in their lives. The WCG and some of the splinters have been, and are guilty of this. We can know by the fruits of these horrid organizations that God really had nothing to do with them from day one.

I want to state very clearly that I hate, and stand totally opposed to the irrational use of fear. Still, life contains both positive and negative consequences. True spiritual guides know and teach about both, but don't do it in a self-serving way, and recognize that if people focus on the positive, there is no reason to fear the negative.

Anything in the hands of a false prophet or false teacher becomes evil. That's the real lesson we have all come to understand. When someone's evil has become so pervasive in our lives, it is difficult to ever regain balance, because the spiritual rape has been so total and complete. We've been preconditioned to hate the very concept that there could be negative consequences. But, such things do exist, and its best to learn how to deal with them, not in irrationally amplified form, but as they truly are.

I have been attending church services again. A mainstream church where they probably never heard of WCG or HWA. The pastor does, as he is required to do, point out that there are negative consequences, and he does allude to prophecy. But, his message is a message of God's love. We are not barraged by fear and negativity, although I have heard pastors quote the scripture "Fear God".

How would one illustrate the apocalypse without the drawings being somewhat scary? I've seen some other artists conceptions, and they are always scary. It's not the basic scariness of this all that is important here. It is scary. But, it's how you teach it, and whether you use it all to enslave people that is important. We suffered the wrong use, admittedly. But, does that mean that there is not a right and proper use?

BB

Russell Miller said...

BB:

Scripture also tells you it's OK to kill an entire race, women and children too, and take all their stuff.

Bah. You're so thoroughly out there that having a rational discussion with you is nearly impossible. You do realize you're turning people OFF to your version of Christianity, right?

No. I guess you don't.

Thank you sincerely, BB, for being an atheist's greatest friend. Because anyone who reads you screeds is this much closer to becoming one.

Atrocious said...

I'm really surprised, too, BB, that you are currently attending church services knowing that most (if not all) organized churches are nothing but businesses, scaring the sh!t out of people and raking in the money for their "work" to save people from "hell". What happened to real, unadulterated LOVE? What happened to the fruits of the spirit you were talking about a few months ago? What happened to your new-found insight?

Nope, don't want none of what you are selling. Slam!

Byker Bob said...

Russell, I'm everybody's friend, not just the atheists.

We in the USA in some respects are artificially immunized from the things having to do with God. We get up in the morning, and if Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" is playing on our clock radio, or if the first coworker whom we greet at work looks at us the wrong way, we think we're going to have a bad day.

But, in Haiti, where they are literally eating cookies made out of dirt, from an old Haitian survivalist recipe, they know what "Give us our daily bread" means. There are so many people around the world who live in utterly desperate conditions of starvation, disease, or political enslavement. Guess what? These people find tremendous encouragement in reading the book of Revelation, because of what it means for them personally.

Even during the Great Depression, Americans had it so much better than your typical citizen of the world. Yet, we look upon any major inconvenience as being the end of life as we know it. Reality is, most of us don't know jack about human suffering. We read Revelation, and might go, "Uh oh! If by chance this stuff happens in my lifetimd, maybe I'll never get to own that Beemer!" But, the Mombassa family over in Africa is anxiously waiting on the Lamb, because a short 7 years of tribulation isn't really going to be that much different from their daily life.

BB

Russell Miller said...

BB...

I'm starting to think that you never actually converted. That this is all a clever ruse to make Christians look bad.

Good work.

Byker Bob said...

Russell, you are right, we're just not on the same wavelength. I still read your blog, and it just breaks my heart to read of all the mental torment that you and Aggie are going through. I sincerely mean it when I say that I wish nothing but good and healing for you.

BB

Corky said...

Russell Miller said...
BB:

Scripture also tells you it's OK to kill an entire race, women and children too, and take all their stuff.

Why not take all their stuff? They won't be needing it anymore.

Slavery is okay too and you can beat a slave within an inch of his life and it's okay - just so long as he doesn't die immediately but lives a day or two, you're good to go.


Happy hunting and slaving BB.

Russell Miller said...

BB, thank you. I will accept that in the spirit in which it was intended.

I have no doubt that your intentions are good. I will give you that. The problem is that sometimes good intentions are not enough.

Anonymous said...

"all the mental torment that you and Aggie are going through"

Yeah because we're evil atheists and demon-possessed, right Bob? Wouldn't have anything to do with that being THE HUMAN CONDITION, now would it hmmmmmm??

Get down off your high horse. Your poop stinks just as much as ours does, Bob, just because you have an imaginary Sky Buddy doesn't make you any better than us.

Doesn't make us any worse than you, either.

Byker Bob said...

Aggie, I never did accuse you of being evil or demon possessed. I don't believe that even most of the splinter group members would do that.

Did you ever think that maybe I understand anguish over the human condition based on my own life's experiences? Believe me, my Skybuddy doesn't remove me from such problems. With His help, He has me confront them and resolve them, and let me tell you, it ain't easy sometimes.

BB

Anonymous said...

"He has me confront them and resolve them, and let me tell you, it ain't easy sometimes."

So for all intents and purposes, the god you've created for yourself, doesn't do squat for you.

You're the one who confronts and resolves your own problems, Bob, but if you need to convince yourself that it's some external entity that drives you to do that, more power to you.

Of course, this externalized self-entity now has you believing in a literalized hell, so I really have to question what manner of good this god you've created for yourself is really, truly, doing you, Bob.

And I note you've failed to identify which church you've latched onto. Could it be because you don't want to face the truth about it that might come out at the hands of some of us here?

Just be careful. You know that you and I disagree pretty regularly and in fairly vehement terms, but I really wouldn't want to see you getting sucked into another thought-reform situation like we've both been in before, Bob.

Above all else, just please be careful.

Byker Bob said...

Well, Aggie, I am both skeptical and careful. The church I've been attending is a local church in my neighborhood, about 5 miles up the road from my house. They have programs that I have not as yet gotten involved in, due to my mistrust of organized religion. As an example, there is a three hour class conducted by the pastor, to aquaint newcomers with basic Christianity, and there are localized neighborhood breakout groups who get together for Bible Study and spiritual support during the week. Probably innocuous, but I still remember the WCG gestapo, and don't want to get into any church situation where the officials of a church are intrusive into my life, and always sitting in judgement.

One thing I love about this church is the very uplifting praise session which opens services every week. There are apparently any number of professional level musicians in this church, and the worship music is all rock-based. It is just awesome to hear people praising God within the rock genre!

My tentative plans are to attend this particular church through the current five part series they are doing. Then, I may try another large church also in my neighborhood. The vibe you get when you walk in the door is very important, and helps you establish whether they have anything of spiritual value to offer. You want to see sincerity, no gestapo, and no evidence of cultic behavior. And, you want to see everyone treated with dignity and respect, no preachers talking down to members.

Why choose large churches? It's easy to maintain anonymity, at least at first. A small group of about 100 would be different. First, there probably wouldn't be any governing board or accountability, and second, it'd be easier for them to get their claws into you from the very beginning. Every newcomer is noticed in a small congregation.

Finally, I don't see myself as having created my own God to worship. I am however trying to honestly learn about the one whom you call "Biblegod". This is difficult, but ultimately I feel worthwhile. One challenge is overwriting all of the misinformation which came from Herbert W. Armstrong's practice of lifting and teaching only the aspects of God's personality which dovetailed with his own.

HWA's "god" was a very loveless and punishing god, an arbitrary and irrationally angry being that you could not rely upon or trust. Creating a god with such a personality automatically made HWA and his ministers the arbiters of everything in our spiritual lives, because everything we desired or needed was always held over our heads. You coudn't have a direct relationship because they inserted themselves between us and God, and through their legalism usurped the role of the Holy Spirit, the comforter which prods a Christian's heart.

I know, like everyone else, you are working out post-WCG issues. False teachers are so damaging in every aspect of our lives. That's why God hates them so much, and reserves special punishments for them. You and I are in different places right now, although we are recovering from the same false teachers. I really do wish good and healing for you. Unfortunately, the healing often comes slowly, even if it is a goal which we pursue with great vigor.

BB

Anonymous said...

"HWA's "god" was a very loveless and punishing god, an arbitrary and irrationally angry being that you could not rely upon or trust"

Over 17 yrs I never, in WCG, encountered this 'god'. I guess 'god' is who you make Him.

But even if your comment were so, do not the Scriptures reveal Him as merciful and compassionate? And were not the WCG teachings, however defective, much closer to the Scriptures than your new local church?