Odori Park, by Chris Watkins Odori Park - A webcomic comedy of culture shock in love, life, and family, by Chris Watkins


:: Posts Tagged ‘Comic Creator’s Alliance’ ::

Lora Innes, creator of the comic The Dreamer, has launched a project with a worthy cause–collecting money to combat human trafficking–and has gathered a small army of webcomickers, under the banner of The Comic Creator’s Alliance, to support the effort, including yours truly. The project itself involves the creation of a massive collage illustration featuring women characters from all the participating artists. The illustration will be made available as a desktop wallpaper to those who donate money to the cause. The donation drive kicks off on January 11th, which is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the U.S.

Lora has included a news blog on the site, in which she’s been posting previews of the great artwork as it comes in. Please check out the site for details, and circle January 11th on your calendar to make a donation (and get your wallpaper!)

Thank you!

First things first: It’s January 1st, so please go over to Brock Heasley’s The SuperFogeys to see the guest strip I created, featuring Captain Spectacular, Swifty, and Spy Gal! Let me say, seeing my artwork up on Brock’s site is an awesome way to start the new year. Thanks, Brock!

Also, I’m pleased to report I managed to squeak in under the wire and finished my illustration contribution to the Comic Creator’s Alliance. Hopefully, Lora at the CCA will post a preview of my piece in her news blog, but if not, that’s just one more reason to be sure you stop by the CCA site on January 11th (see my prior post about this for more info).

And, most of all, I want to say thank you all for reading in 2009–(ashamed to say I have a ton of comments I’m behind on responding to)–and I hope you’ll all stick around for what I have in store for 2010, the year of the tiger (no, not that Tiger, thank you). 2009 was an incredibly eventful year for the Watkins family. I’ve really had a blast launching Odori Park this past year, challenging myself, and meeting all sorts of wonderful people through the exercise. And, of course, there was the whole new baby thing. Here’s to an awesome 2010!

While still in the looming shadow of the approaching New Year, I blogged about an initiative launched by Lora Innes, of The Dreamer, to rally the forces of webcomicdom into a project to incite folks to donate to a worthy cause. The cause in question: The struggle to raise awareness, and help put an end to, human trafficking. The project: A massive wallpaper illustration of nearly a hundred female characters from across the webcomicverse.

Being that January 11th is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Lora has chosen today to launch the actual donation drive. The wallpaper is ready, and looks awesome. The donations button–which will net you the wallpaper, natch–is right on the front page of the CCA website: http://comicalliance.weebly.com

As a side note of interest: I recently learned, courtesy of an NPR piece, that human trafficking is one (maybe the top?) of the Yakuza’s chief illicit money makers these days. I thought back to my time living in Japan. There was a section of the town where I lived (not a bustling metropolis, by any means) that looked like it could have been pulled straight out of a Webster’s dictionary entry for “red light district.” Even in my own apartment building, there was a floor known to be populated solely by low-level Yakuza (“chinpira”) and a bevvy of their Filipino bar “hostesses.” In retrospect, I wonder whether any–and how many–of the women in that neighborhood, and in my own apartment, we somehow forced to work in the “water trade.” Food for thought.

Okay, so, go check out the site, and get that wallpaper! (See if you can identify all the characters.)


The Comic Creator’s Alliance donation drive, fighting human trafficking with webcomics, ends Sunday. Throw in a couple bucks & get a keen wallpaper if you haven’t already! Visit comicalliance.weebly.com.

It’s been a cho very busy week here in Odori Park-ville, and I haven’t been able to keep up with the blog and other press notifications enough to keep you all abreast of it. Here’s a rundown of the latest news:

CCA Donation Tally - Lora Innes posted the final tally for donations to the Comic Creator’s Alliance drive to fight human trafficking, and the remarkable number was over $10,000! All from webcomic readers. How cool! Thanks to everyone from this neck of the woods who linked over and donated.

Instances - The “Instances” gallery show at the Colacino Gallery at Nazareth College wraps up today with a closing reception tonight (Fri. 2/5) from 6-8pm. If you’re in the neighborhood, please come! Here’s a link to gallery info.

TWCL Awards - I’ve created an extra-long comic that serves as part of the “awards ceremony” for the 2009 Webcomic List Awards. My strip serves to present the award for Best Comic, and although I’m sorry to say OP wasn’t nominated for any awards itself, just getting to create the presentation comic for what I presume will be the most prominent part of the “show” is gratifying. Thanks to Wendy at TWCL for letting me pitch in. The awards ceremony goes live on Sun., 2/7, at (I suspect) this address: thewebcomiclist.com/awards and I’ll repost my own contribution here on Monday, so you can see it at full size.


I have been excessively remiss in telling you all about this year’s Comic Creators Alliance donation drive to fight human trafficking. As she did the year before, Lora Innes (of The Dreamer) pulled together a huge group of comic creators–including notables like comic veteran Adam Hughes, Billy Tucci of Shi, Barb Jacobs of Xylia Tales, and Chris Watkins of Odori Park (see what I did there?)–to compile a big fun wallpaper featuring all their characters. This year, the wallpaper is also available as a print.

The donation drive went live on the 11th, but I’ve been so immeasurably swamped that I neglected to help get the word out. The drive runs until January 24th, though, so I think I have a chance to redeem myself.

Please visit the Comic Creators Alliance site at comicalliance.weebly.com, and make a donation of $1 or more (yep, just a dollar is enough) to get a copy of the wallpaper, or consider buying a print. (And see how quickly you can find Arisa in the picture! A hint: She’s not where she appears in the preview below.)

Comic Creators Alliance to Fight Human Trafficking

Let me end with a bit about the problem at hand, and our part of the answer, from Lora:

“What is Human Trafficking? Human Trafficking is a sanitized term for slavery. There are over 27 million people enslaved in the world today, and most if it is young girls being sold into forced prostitution–both over seas and yes, in the United States. In the United States there are only 39 beds at facilities for victims in the entire nation–and at least 16,000 people being trafficked into the US from other countries each year! Not to count the domestic victims already living here.

“The money that the CCA raised last year was split between two organizations, one global–Love 146, and a local shelter trying to get up and running–Gracehaven in Ohio. (Toledo, Ohio is one of the largest trafficking hubs in the U.S.) Both organizations were able to expand their particular fights against this heinous problem in 2010. Love 146 is setting up Task Forces around America, local groups of concerned citizens bringing the fight and awareness to their own corners of the nation. Internationally, Love 146 set up the Cambodia Border Officers Project . This is total prevention: officers patrol the border crossing, looking for possible victims and the kids they rescue will never know the horrors they might have. Gracehaven used our funds in the ongoing renovations that are necessary to bring the house up to code–plumbing and air conditioning were installed, along with two new bathrooms. They hope to be up and running soon but must first have six months of operating expenses in the bank. They are currently at one fifth of their goal–let’s see what we can do to help them!”

Each year since I’ve started Odori Park, round about this time of year, I’ve participated in the special webcomic charity to fight human trafficking run by Lora Innes and Crystal Yates. This year, I’m psyched to be participating again, and although the name has changed–to Comic Creators for Freedom–the mission remains the same: webcomickers around the Web create a fun joint work of art that’s available for download in exchange for a donation that goes to organizations that are working to stop modern slavery.

The donation drive will run from January 9th-20th, but cartoonists and artists can get involved right now by signing up to contribute a bit of character art to the collective illustration. Please visit the CCF site for details and to get on the list!

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