Image Comics staff wants to unionize the comic book industry

Originally published at: Image Comics staff wants to unionize the comic book industry | Boing Boing


This is a painfully familiar refrain to me. I worked in the professional theatre industry

I’ll chime in as a former journalist that the same is true in that field. My newsroom had a union, albeit a weak one that regularly caved to management and did little to justify the dues taken out of our already meagre wages. I hope this union does better.

Union or not, though, there is always a steady stream of young workers available to be taken advantage of by the bosses of the creative industries (academia as well) because they dare to actually want to love what they do – truly a sin in a country where the miserable Protestant Work Ethic still holds sway.


I wonder if there’s a story of superhero unions in there…

…in almost any industry that needs basic work done, whether inking, gig work, slinging burgers, or internships.


By your handle I’m assuming you also speak from experience.


We are also unionized, but entry level clerical workers are barely above minimum wage. Our union is fairly flaccid as well, more interested in the status quo than protecting the dues paying workers. Most levels of the hierarchy are paid better in other states.


These days, it’s not even young people, per se, as it is people looking to change careers doing the same thing. They’re eager to get work, so they undercut everyone to get the work. I’ve been seeing a lot of pushes lately telling the whole “writing is the original work from home/Make big money as a writer” kind of thing. I think folks are trying to find ways to get out of traditional employment and see writing as a strong option.


I just found a 1946 copy of volume 6 of the International Typographical Union’s Lessons on Trade Unionism. As a union firefighter going through some contentious negotiations with an administration that more and more sees us as numbers and not people, this was such an amazing find. Deep union history being taught to union members. The ITU was the oldest and longest lived union in the US when it finally merged into the CWA. I am hopeful that more people will see the value in unionism. But it’s going to take many history lessons to undo the FUD put out by the corporate class over the last 50 years.

The most important lesson from this old book: It is your DUTY to be involved in a union. So many of my fellow union members think “I just want to pay my dues and have them handle it”. They even tell me “hey you guys are doing a great job”. But I remind them that it is not enough to just pay dues. They have to be involved. The minute you give excuses for not being involved, you’ve handed a win to those who would take your work for less. Whenever a member complains about something I remind them that this is a true democracy. Any member can make a motion at a meeting to make changes to any facet of the union. If it is something big it might have to pass a vote of those present to send it to a referendum vote of the entire membership, but it is still majority rule. They other part they don’t like is the idea that solidarity means that, as long as 50% + 1 agree, then that is what we will do and they should be supportive. But the average American white male has been taught that freedom means never having to show solidarity with anything you don’t like.

My dad worked in the newsroom for over 50 years. Sadly with paper subscriptions dwindling and ad revenue drying up, the workers lost pay, benefits, jobs. Of course the big bosses, Hurst, Gannett, Sinclair, Scripps, etc. are all still making plenty of $$$.


Thanks for that. Historically, printers’ unions were the last unions TPTB wanted to mess with. My theory is that it was because these were blue-collar dirty-job workers who also read a lot.

In the U.S. you can see the vestiges of their clout in the understanding (in both political parties) that campaign signs and flyers damned well better have the local printers’ union “bug” on it.

The Basics: 'Union Bugs' in Politics | Texas AFL-CIO.


Wow, I just found it in downloadable format! Check it out. No surprise that it showcases some great typography.

This is going to make it a heck of lot easier to share with coworkers.


Not superheroes as far as I know, but there is this

It’s about how Tintin joins a union and starts a workers revolution.


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