Since the last two months in particular gave me food for thought and I was confronted with a comic scene that is extremely divided and almost reminiscent of political camps, I would like to comment on this in the following. The disillusionment of this division within this wonderful art medium hurt me and it is very important to me that I am seen in a right light with my name and ENCODE Graphics.
Starting point of this necessary presentation of the ethical attitude of this publication project is the existence of a very heterogeneous movement called Comicsgate, whose more or less involved artists are ostracized especially by the larger publishers or whose members are in some form apparently in dispute with other artists. The background to this is not easy to understand, as the charges range from racism to sexism, right-wing ideology and hatred of difference. Artists are all labeled with the same thing, but this cannot be true if you look behind the scenes and see that some of the members of this movement are married to partners who have a different ethical origin.
It's only a guess, but it's more likely that the controversy has arisen largely because of an "image change" on the part of the "Big Two" that has subjected the characters of these publishers, known for decades, to a transformation in terms of gender, which has not been well received by many fans and artists, because these characters were appreciated for who they are.
Likewise, a certain frustration as well as the counter-movement per se also seems to come from the fact that the "machine" has changed its gears and veteran artists could no longer pursue their craft. Humanly speaking, many of these artists may have felt unappreciated and faced more difficult circumstances from an existential point of view, which the "machinery of business" was not interested in from an ecological point of view. In fact, this discord culminated in a threat on the part of the major publishers never to rehire artists and staff who were active in the aforementioned movement. I leave it to the reader to judge for himself whether this measure of an authoritarian pedagogical index finger is to be found good or bad. All in all it is not easy for me to see the whole picture...
A NECESSARY DEMARCATION
Just as I do not consider myself, Primal Cypher, to belong to any group within the comic landscape, the same is true for ENCODE Graphics. This art project; this publishing house was born solely out of a love for a powerful art medium that has been with me since my childhood days. There is no connection here with the larger publishing houses, nor with other movements, nor is there any political ideology in the background that wants to be carried to the outside world.
GENERAL ETHICAL ATTITUDE
To some people it may seem strange to talk about the fact that we are all connected to each other on higher levels of our existence and ultimately "essentially". However, this is my firm conviction. We represent an organism of humanity, whose individual parts make up our "total radience" and determine our destiny in the totality of our thinking, feeling, willing and acting.
I am convinced that things like "national consciousness" are great illusions and that we all belong together, regardless of our ethical origin, our religious attitude and regardless of our gender. We are all one and this on deeper levels that are beyond our awareness. It seems as if hatred, envy and other negative forces of the soul would inevitably find their effect in this world... but I would wish that we humans would grow in such a way that we would be able to rise above it; that we would be able to break the masks of our ego and meet each other in our diversity and multiplicity with a love that recognizes in the core that force from whose original homeland we actually come. This does not imply the negation of the materialistic aspects, but rather a balancing of these in favor of a spiritual attitude of a greater consciousness.
The attitude, which I and thus also this publishing house represents, is an attitude of togetherness; - an attitude, which deals appreciatively with the different, why an essential credo of ENCODE reads:
INCLUSION INSTEAD OF EXCLUSION
The gates of ENCODE are therefore open to all artists and they are regarded as craftsmen who know how to breathe life into the art medium of comics. These gates are not closed to any artist, no matter how controversial they may be. Our world community is divided enough anyway, especially these days, which is why I personally refuse to add to it. At the same time, it is a great concern of the publishing house to provide for a special diversity; be it in terms of content or in terms of the selection of artists.
SENSITIVE TOPICS AND ART
ENCODE explicitly distances itself from excluding sensitive topics. However, this does not mean that these topics are advocated in any way. Personally, I would like to see the diversity of human phenomena depicted in its entire range and see this art project as a stage on which the diversity of human existence has its place, because first and foremost it is about - art. In Goethe's words, it is the "mediator of the inexpressible" and ENCODE ultimately takes its cue from George Bernhard Shaw, who wrote: "You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul."
Let me give you an example: assuming a series contains the sensitive topic of suicide and a character decides to end his life of his own free will for certain reasons, then this is done in the sense of a stylistic device that underlines the tragedy of the life plan or biography of this character and possibly represents a key event that drives another character in a direction that is necessary for the general story. In this, then, there is no intention on the part of ENCODE to glorify or advocate "suicide" as a human phenomenon, but it is left to the eye of the beholder to form a judgment about this act.
Another example can be found in the upcoming series "2084", which paints a very bleak picture of our future; is dystopian and has traits of the genre cyberpunk, which is why of course "machinations of big corporations and elites" play a role. At the same time, the series also picks up on the current zeitgeist with regard to the pandemic on the sidelines, which shows up in the form of mandatory vaccination. Brain chips, tracking chips, control by means of technology... all these topics find their place. This does not mean, however, that ENCODE is in any way concerned with calling for a revolutionary stance, or that it is per se opposed to vaccination or technological progress. Rather, this series takes up certain phenomena of our time and uses them in the overall context as a stylistic device. Again, it is up to the reader to interpret and form an opinion according to his or her stance on these issues that affect us all.
In general, one can expect that some topics and backgrounds will be treated and argued as well as possible in an epilogue.
I hope these lines about my personal attitude and the basic attitude of this publishing project help to consider ENCODE a little bit as a neutral island within the comic landscape and that one can consider ENCODE independently. This would be a great concern for me. All the best wishes to you all,
PR1MAL CYPHER, 2021.