Military Comic Publisher Announced

We’ve seen interest groups and companies form to promote non-white comic characters and creators, gays in comics, better roles for women… but I never would have guessed the need for this one.

Charlie Foxtrot Entertainment logo

A group of veterans has formed Charlie Foxtrot Entertainment to make “motion pictures, comic books, and other entertainment about soldiers and the military”. From their press release:

Gerry Kissell of Charlie Foxtrot Entertainment states, “All of us at Charlie Foxtrot feel that in a time when war is at the center of mass consciousness of this great nation, somehow Hollywood, and others in the entertainment industry, manage to produce less than 1% of their overall productions about the military. There has been a gaping hole in entertainment, whether it is in film, television, or in publication, regarding our soldiers serving in harm’s way. We see it as our job to fill that void, and to expand the coverage, making certain audiences and readers have the chance to experience what and who our soldiers really are, and to let our military know that they are not forgotten and are appreciated, and to insure that they are not dehumanized and relegated to being just some anecdote on the evening news. They are not just cannon and news fodder. Our men and women in uniform are amazing people, doing amazing things, and it’s time everyone knows it. We have made our creed simple and to the point, ‘By soldiers, about soldiers and for soldiers’.”

First project on their list is the epic war comic series CITY of FIRE, due out in early 2007.

Seems to me that I’ve seen Clint Eastwood’s two military films widely cited on “best of the year” lists, so I hadn’t noticed a particular lack of coverage of this area, but if they want to create more works that speak to them and people like them, go for it. I am a little leery of launching a comic with the term “epic” — it makes me think that they plan for a long, long run, which rarely happens with new publishers and products. I also hope they’ve got distribution into PXs worked out, since that’s a natural audience.

I’d welcome seeing more stories about what it’s really like being a soldier, but too often, politics gets in the way. Talk too much about how hellish it is, and you’re accused of being disloyal to the current regime in power; ignore that, and you’re accused of glorifying war and machismo.


5 Responses to “Military Comic Publisher Announced”

  1. Gerry Kissell Says:

    Thanks for posting our press release, and for your great comments on our project.

    City of Fire will be a limited series, by the way. We may continue it down the line. That is up to our publishing partner. But, for now, our primary goal is to tell people what really happened that day, in June of 2004, and do so in a four chapter comic book series.

    Regarding Eastwood’s film, which is a truly a great motion picture. fact is, the few real war films made usually are. However, one great war film doesn’t make up for the gaping chasm in entertainment regarding this war. Hollywood has no problem with making WW II films. To make a modern one would mean, to them, having to take sides, and that always means seeing someone’s stupid politics. That is such bull. You can tell a soldier’s story without politics. In fact, its the only way to tell an honest story of soldiers in combat.

    My good friend, film and television director Josh Becker, told me that we had to choose a political side to tell our City of Fire story. I was shocked at the profound stupidity coming from such an intelligent man. Well, after I told him he was full of crap, I told him that if he understood a soldier, he wouldn’t have even considered that statement.

    That’s the problem. People who haven’t been there, don’t understand. Josh is a great example of how soldiers are misunderstood. How do you make people who never felt what we felt, understand? I don’t know. Maybe its like trying to explain sex to a virgin. But we will try. We will illustrate it out for everyone as best we can, showing them in a graphic manner and maybe some will get it. That’s our hope.

    However, it’s just like what you said, Johanna, if you tell the truth about modern warfare, and are brutally honest, which we are extremely so, there is the risk of having some on one side say “You are too patriotic” or others on the other end of the spectrum saying, “You are bashing the administration.” To that we say, our story isn’t about politics or those with hidden political agendas. Our story is true and is written by one of the guys who was there. City of Fire is 100% about the guys who were there and who will tell you that politicians from both sides are the biggest enemy to soldiers trying to do their jobs.

    Like what was said in Blackhawk Down, “Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics and all that shit just goes right out the window. ”

    Nothing truer could be said of a soldier’s philosophy.

    War is ugly, brutal, vicious and unforgiving. But, in the midst of something so horrible, sometimes you will find the best and most amazing things in people. You will also find the absolute worst. Dire circumstances like combat strip all the false layers, to where all that is left of a person is what is true. The rest of what they were suddenly means nothing. You will find no person more psychologically, emotionally and spiritually naked, than a soldier in combat.

    Thanks again Johanna. It was refreshing reading your thoughts.

    Gerry
    Charlie Foxtrot Entertainment
    “By Soldiers, about soldiers and for soldiers”

  2. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    I’m actually looking forward to seeing what CFE comes up with because, as someone who served in the Army and National Guard for 9 years, I totally get what Kissell is saying here. Almost every soldier has their own political beliefs — and they can range from the far left to the far right — but when it comes down to executing the mission given to them, politics go out the window. They have to; their lives depend on it.

    If CFE explores that dichotomy, and is able to do so with a professional-level product, they have a good chance at achieving some level of success. And yes, PX distribution would be a huge factor there; an offering for Free Comic Book Day wouldn’t hurt, either.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Gerry, thanks so much for the additional information on your projects. A limited series for the launch makes a lot of sense. It certainly sounds promising, and fruitful ground for gripping drama.

    Guy, I enjoyed reading your additional thoughts as well.

  4. Gerry Kissell Says:

    Thanks Guy. You hit the nail right on the head. Lives really do depend on it.

    Thanks again Johanna.

    We look forward to the challenging adventure that lies before us. We are addressing the issues of distribution, including getting onto the posts. We will be getting coverage from Military Times and other military publications, so we expect the troops to know all about us and what we are doing.

    We are also working on a partnership deal with a veterans organization as well. There will be more on that coming very soon.

    Gerry
    Charlie Foxtrot Entertainment

  5. John Says:

    The army serves our country well!




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