in having Gene Ha do a signing at your Con or Store?
The deal is simple. If you can provide for transportation,
a decent meal, and decent lodging for my wife and me, I'm
willing to schedule an appearance. Go to the Mail
link and send me a note!
It's late on Wednesday and I've just gotten back from Calgary. They're amazingly cool people up there, and I also got to hang out with some amazing artists and writers.
I'll try to posts photos later. Some quick highlights: a good charity auction, getting sketches for my friends Mike and Lowell from Whilce, Mahfood, Waid, Rucka, Immonen, and Willingham, hanging out with all those creators over steak, listening to a tale of true lust that compelled a man to smuggle baking soda from Peru, and seeing the beautiful friendship between a redhead and a sock.
More details later. It's almost midnight and I must sleep. Remember, never believe Bill when he discusses my obsession with penguins.
I have no idea why this is true, but computer problems always seem to come in clusters.
I decided to switch my website host. It turns out that I didn't update my Admin Contact info first, so a bunch of emails needing responses (request for payment, approval of transfer, etc) got sent to a dead email address. Also, we changed the server name early so I couldn't get to my normal email address.
My normal email is back.
I gave up transferring the website until the Contact Info is finished updating with WhoIs.
Lisa's computer was slow so I ordered more RAM memory. The day after I installed it her hard drive went bad. We've got it at a repair shop to see if there are bigger problems with the RAM, the hard drive, or something even more sinister.
I suspect simians. Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose? (Free Gene Ha doodle to the first person to get the geeky pop culture ref).
Finally, my Comcast internet mysteriously went down for a few hours this morning. It went on long enough that I spent half an hour on the phone.
Each of these problems has been sucking away my normal work time. Then I'm heading to a Canadian convention for a week. Not getting much done this week, gah! I love my computers, but sometimes I get really nostalgic for the pre-Internet 80s.
Okay, watching the debate. Came in late. Charles Gibson began advocating for the Laffer Curve, though not by name. He stated as fact that we'd get more tax revenue from Capital Gains Taxes if we reduce the tax rates on them.
Currently, people who get their income from investments (or investing other people's money) pay 15% on that income. So a billionaire hedge fund manager pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
The concept behind the Laffer Curve is pretty simple. If taxes are 0% the government won't collect any revenue. If it's 100% it's not worth doing anything taxed, so the government gets almost no revenue. The best tax rate to get the most revenue is between 0% and 100%. I agree with that much. The question is where the optimum tax rate is. Conservatives always claims it's lower than the current tax rate.
The thing is, the economy always grows over the long term. Of course you'll eventually get govt revenue higher than before the tax cut if you wait a decade. Conservative economists have quit trying to show that a US tax cut produced more revenue than we would've gotten without the cut (though spin doctors and credulous journalists like Charlie Gibson haven't stopped stating it as fact). The failure of the Laffer Curve is why Bush I had to raise taxes to erase the Reagan budget deficits. Bush I's balanced budget eventually led to the Clinton economic boom.
I'm mildly annoyed with Gibson. But I'm disgusted that both Democrats let a shaky GOP talking point get treated as a fact.
Update (April 19): Here's an explanation from the Congressional Budget Office. In short, when investors learn there's going to be a capital gains tax cut, they hold off selling investments until after the cut, then sell! Sell! Sell! This creates a short term surge in capital gains revenue, but no long term change. In the long run, therefore, the government loses revenue:
The sensitivity of realizations to gains tax rates raises the possibility that a cut in the rate could so increase realizations that revenue from capital gains taxes might rise as a consequence. Rising gains receipts in response to a rate cut are most likely to occur in the short run. Postponing or advancing realizations by a year is relatively easy compared with doing so over much longer periods. In addition, a stock of accumulated gains may be realized shortly after the rate is cut, but once that accumulation is "unlocked," the stock of accrued gains is smaller and realizations cannot continue at as fast a rate as they did initially. Thus, even though the responsiveness of realizations to a tax cut may not be enough to produce additional receipts over a long period, it may do so over a few years. The potentially large difference between the long- and short-term sensitivity of realizations to tax rates can mislead observers into assuming a greater permanent responsiveness than actually exists.
If you've seen the movie Wayne's World then you've seen Berwyn, IL's pride: Spindle. It's better known as the Car Kebab. It's only a few blocks from my house.
Berwyn isn't famous for much. Check out the Wikipedia page. It only has one photo, of the Spindle. The other claims to fame are the World's Largest Laundromat (disputed) and that a co-founder of the band Survivor is from here. (BTW, I'm still listed as a resident of Oak Park, but I'm in nearby Berwyn now).
Just got off the phone with Scott, hard at work at IDW.
Scott is a scrappy, can do, think-different kinda guy. This made him a good fit at Wildstorm, independent outpost of comics. It didn't always work at Wildstorm, wholly owned subsidiary of DC/Time Warner/AOL. I'm amazed both that they got rid of him, and that he lasted as long as he did.
I'm gonna predict that he'll do really well at IDW. When he comes up with a wacky, never been done, garage band idea there I don't think it'll have to get approved by the College of Cardinals before the Pope is allowed to weigh in. Expect many clever things, and the periodic brilliant new comic.
Rock and Roll doesn't thrive when it has to be approved by committee. Comics is a rock and roll artform.
Scott Dunbier's editor gig with DC has expired, allowing him to finally edit again! Confusing? That's the nature of modern corporate politics.
You can read about DCs twisted Dilbert thinking here and here. He wasn't fired, he was just told to stay away from the office while he continued to get paid. He'll now be at IDW. It'll be good to have him back in comics again.
Siegel and Shuster did sign a release giving the company Superman "to have and hold forever," but this doesn't supersede copyright law. DC still couldn't own the character past 1995.
In the 70s, revised copyright laws allowed people and companies to extend their copyrights beyond 56 years. In fairness to creators who had sold off their rights, they were given a chance to claim ownership on the extended copyright. That's what Jerry Siegel's heirs did.
So don't complain that the Siegels shouldn't get a share of Superman. By the rules of 1939, DC shouldn't have a share either.
Anyhow, congratulations to the Dunbiers and the Siegels! I declare today Scott Free day!