Moved by events currently happening in Ferguson, MO, Yale Stewart, the cartoonist behind the Harvey Award nominated webcomic JL8, and St. Louis native was inspired to create a piece to help raise awareness, and donations for the NAACP and ACLU. Through the comic’s tumblr page, he offered a set of wallpapers featuring his version of Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart. He didn’t require a donation, but asked for folks to give if they could.
I’m offering a charity wallpaper in order to raise funds to donate to the NAACP and ACLU, as both organizations are actively working towards finding justice both for Michael Brown and his family, as well as the greater population of Ferguson.
If you cannot donate, that’s absolutely fine, but I do ask that you try to educate yourself and others as to what’s going on in Ferguson. Tyranny is real, and it is on our soil right now.
Since it’s posting it online, the image has received hundreds of shares, likes, and downloads, as well as words of support from fans. It has also spark a lively debate on the nature of activism. While spirited discourse by people who are open to having their minds changed by new information is a good thing, the internet is not always the best place for such a discussion. As anyone who has ever expressed an opinion on the internet knows, there’s always some who will be trolls, attacking with fixed ideologies, personal insults, and anonymous threats of violence.
But that isn’t enough for some, Stewart reports that some went as far as to track down a phone number for Mr. Stewart, and call looking for him, leaving threats. The thing is, the number they found was not Mr. Stewart’s, but his mother’s. What had started out as attempt to spread awareness and help, has now turned into a nightmare for the artist, who will now be taking a break from working on his long running strip. He posted to the strip’s Facebook page, “I’m sorry, everyone. I’m stepping away from all of this for a little while. I hate to do this in the middle of an already slow-moving storyline, but I recently thought I was doing the right thing, and it’s completely blown up in my face. I’m admittedly not in a very great place right now, and I think backing off and focusing on other things might help. I don’t know. I’m really sorry.“
JL8 portrays the Justice League, and various other DC characters as 8 year-olds, going through the very familiar challenges known as childhood.