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Thoughts on Coping During Covid

All Day Breakfast Productions proudly presents the open and transparent thoughts of our PR rep, Lys Fulda and the challenges of dealing with living in a COVID ravaged society.

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So I think this will be easier as these messages keep coming up in private conversations.  Remember all those messages you saw about the gaslighting of Amerikkka after Trump. We’d be constantly told it wasn’t that bad even though it really fucking was and we dodged a goddamn bullet. You are now dealing with a horror SO big you can’t even really wrap your head around it to get over it.  In the US a whole city would be gone if you put all the deaths in one place. If this were in a zombie movie there would be a big sign saying DO NOT ENTER.  But it’s not that segmented or compartmentalized and your covid pod is. That nice cozy bubble has a leak too. And so you try and move and eat better but you are still tired and let’s be real, that happens if you are lucky a few days a week at best, yet you don’t feel more energetic cause you are still dealing with TRAUMA. My mother might be dead but I look down and yup there’s her thighs:)..If you are living with others the tiniest things annoy you. If you live alone it’s just a question of what stage of The Shining you are in.  The before times are over. The after times sort of haven't really started and it’s a cracked Tabula Rasa. New ways haven’t formed yet so we don’t have a narrative to follow. Hunger Games? Judge Dredd? Who the fuck knows….and your boss and the media says...You aren’t making enough money...you aren’t saving enough for retirement, you aren’t thin enough, you aren’t in shape. You’d feel better if you were just in the office and around other people even though the thought of that fills you with existential dread and you think ….maybe. Shutting out all the bs is hard when your entire brain is starved. And then your brain says but others have it harder..i’m lucky...yes yes you are..so SHARE if you can. Share a laugh, a joke, a shoulder, flirt.  This is HARD give yourself a break. Give others a break.  This is a fucking War/Siege. We have all seen the war movies where the love interests don’t see each other for months or even years and then reconnect and then have to separate again.. It’s more like that than any cute ass lockdown movie although there have been ones that sort of get it.  You are doing the best you can with what you have. You may not be the person you once were at the beginning of this but as we all wanted better than normal maybe you are better than your previous self. You aren’t alone even though the walls around you say “Your my bae forever”.  It’s not just you. You can do this. I believe in you. I love you so love your goddamn badass self and be the hero you need to be even if your superpower is the ability to Inhale, Exhale. Repeat. 

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#covid19 #trump #iamnotatherapist #therapistsfatigue #cantagirljustgetsometacos #warriorsisterstrong #youdontevenknowtheemailsiget


Want more of Lys's thoughts? Visit www.sphinxpr.com 

Blessings and Thanks to Everyone for the Support Messages

We are so busy, I have to make this brief. 

We are so happy and overwhelmed with the support of not just the comics community, the business community and the general public. 

We did not expect such an overwhelming response for this venture before we had even finished building the website.

We appreciate your continued patience and each and every message and inquiry will be answered, just bear with us, as a start up NFP we are still building our department contacts and a lot of other things aside from the work of making comics that will feed people, which we have to put first, as our duty as an NFP is to put the public good first in our priorities. 

Thank you so much for the support and we look forward to connecting with all of you inside and outside the comics community working to create a better future. 

Thanks,

Mike Gagnon

Chair/Creative Director - All Day Breakfast Productions - A Not-for-Profit Publisher

What is going on with Canada's native reservations?

As those who have read this blog for awhile may know, one of the issues that All Day Breakfast is most concerned with, is the lack of access to clean drinking water on many native reservations right here in Canada.

Personally, I feel like the fact we can't provide the basic necessities of life to the aboriginal community to be an embarrassment and disgrace, on Canada's otherwise good reputation globally. 

Clean drinking water is a basic need that every person needs every day. Without it we can't even begin discussion to help solve things like food, employment, clothing and shelter, basic healthcare, the list goes on. 

Clean drinking water is something that not all Canadians are getting, in a developed first world country with more than adequate resources, it seems that our priorities have allocated those resources elsewhere and the aboriginal population is left to fend for itself. 

Here is a letter I sent to multiple contacts at the office of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada:

Hi, my name is Mike and I run a Not-for-Profit publishing company. We produce comic books and donate the profits to food and water programs. 
We are very aware of native reservations, especially in Northern Regions, that struggle to provide clean drinking water to residents.  
It has proven very difficult to find details and contact information for reservations and band councils. 
Could you direct me to any kind of online directory for Aboriginal and first Nations groups? 
Can you offer any details on which reservations are struggling and in need most? 
We are particularly interested in helping provide funding to drinking water initiatives. 
Thanks, 
Mike Gagnon www.alldaybreakfast.productions (additional contact info redacted for this post)

As of March 4th, nearly a month later, there has been no response from any of the 5 contacts who received this message,

Will we get any response as to how we can help provide water to people that the government is failing? I guess time will tell.

I'll leave you with this piece I did this past December about the issue, titled: "First Nations Problems".


Thanks for reading,

Mike

Orlok's impending takeover



My 2020 "Stats" ;)



I Have Nothing Left to Fear and I’m Not Okay

I’m a big fan of V for Vendetta. One of my favourite graphic novels and movies. Hey you, shut up back there, I don’t care about the story changes they made in the movie or anything else. Accepting things we like despite differences or imperfections is a discussion for another day. 

Anyway, one of the aspects of the story that I’ve always been fascinated with is the idea of the freedom through loss of fear.

Roughly a decade ago, I had actually put this into practice. I created a policy of throwing myself at every fear that I had, in order to overcome those fears. It worked. At least at the time. I was single with no obligations and enjoyed my life and the increased freedom that facing my fears left me feeling.

Fast forward 10 years, several bad relationships and several anxiety drugs later and I cannot say that I feel the same.

I feel I can actually say that I’m not afraid of anything anymore, but because I can’t feel any worse about myself. When you feel absolutely bottom and really hate yourself, it’s surprisingly hard to remain frightened of anything, at least for any extended length of time.

Like what kind of threat can you make when I already hate myself? What can you do to me that I haven’t done to myself in my head 100 times over? What torture or violence or privilege can you commit or take away when I already feel like I deserve the worst you have to offer?

Before I continue, let me calm anyone getting worried. This is not a cry for help. I am not going to hurt myself. Basically for the same reasons that I can’t murder people. Too much planning. Too messy. I couldn’t live with the anxiety, and I don’t want to hurt people. If I know anything about myself at all any more, it’s that I don’t want to hurt people.

Let me explain a little further. I have depression and anxiety, which I am medicated and get treatment for. 

The last couple of days have been rough.

Through a series of misunderstandings, misassumptions, and misguided actions on my part within my social circle, a personal issue exploded beyond all proportion. The issue was caused by my thoughts and actions and misunderstandings. Everyone is fine thus far which is what is most important.

Thing is, when I already have such a low opinion of myself, there isn’t anywhere to go but inward. I spent most of the day in bed crying over causing the upset of a group of people that I had allowed myself to become close to. And the judgement and misassumptions of those in my social circle.

Some days I can be very productive and some days I cannot. I’ve had to accept that, as it is a fact whether I want to admit it or not.

Since wanting to move forward and get better means acknowledging positive achievements to boost self-esteem, I’ve had to re-define what an achievement is. Some days, an achievement is finishing a piece of art I’m satisfied with, other days, it’s getting out of bed.

Yesterday, it was making it to 1pm before my first sobbing fit for the day. I was able to get myself out of bed and back to work in about an hour and a half. The day before was 5+ hours.

-I didn’t cry until 1pm. (Today was 2:15!)

-I was able to get out of bed and back to work in an hour and a half. (Keeping productive today by writing this from bed.)

Those are the accomplishments that I need to cling to, to get through some days.

It’s impossible not to take life one day at a time, when you micro-analyze every single thought, action and movement. 

I hate the fact that I’ve become an artist stereotype.

Anxiety and depression sucks, the mental health system is a joke, and medication is a guessing game that will fuck up your head if you guess the wrong combination. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get help if you need it or that I would stop my treatment.

I just hope that someone will read this and it will help them. I know how I feel right now, I, wouldn’t wish it on anyone else in the world, and I know that I have enough friends and family who are also struggling too, that someone else will see this and not feel so alone.

That’s about it for now. Here’s some art:


Thanks for reading,

Mike


My Thoughts on Modern Copyright Law

Time for me to share some extreme opinions from a different perspective again. 

By that I mean that I believe that Copyright law in first world countries has become an unruly beast that needs to be killed for the good of the villagers. 

We've really all been duped that the changes that have been made to copyright law over the last 50-100 years is all good and strengthens protection for those who create original ideas. That is a complete scam. The groups lobbying for changes and extensions in copyright law are funded by huge corporations that want to keep a hold in their massive libraries of intellectual property which have been purchased, or stolen from the original creators. Disney for example. 

Copyright lobbyists are looking out for the interests of multinational companies that want to horde intellectual properties like a medieval dragon with gold, not the individual artist and creator. 

If you take a reasonably objective stance, it's fairly easy to see that the manipulation and gaming of the system has gotten out of hand and the changes and extensions being made do nothing, except let large companies keep some of the most classic properties legally tied up in disputes and out of the public domain. 

Currently, and consider this paraphrasing, Copyright protection covers the life of the artist plus 70 years. 

So, if you create a character, you can protect your copyright for your lifetime and your descendants/beneficiaries can continue to profit from your creation for 70 years after your death, after that property enters the public domain and essentially becomes a community property of society for anyone to use as they see fit. 

The complication comes in when large corporations steal, claim, purchase or employ for hire to acquire intellectual properties. Corporate law is an ugly fucking hideous beast, as discussed in my previous blog about corporate law. 

When a corporation is now considered a person with rights (look it up), then when is the person that is the corporation considered dead? Do they have to go bankrupt? Does that count? What if they restructure? What if they liquidate and sell property rights to another large corporation? Does the 70 year count start over again? And what if the company is stable and never goes out of business? If they are considered a person, then are their intellectual properties protected forever while other properties created by actual people are not?

Despite how you feel about it, the hypocrisy of entertainment giants such as Disney, who built an empire on public domain properties and refuse to let the few original properties created by their founder enter the public domain, is glaring. 

I'm all for protecting copyright for idea originators and creators who actually do the work, but it's become fairly blatant that the laws as they exist favor those gold hording dragons of the corporate world. 

The first thing that needs to change, in my opinion, is that a corporate business entity should not be able to hold intellectual property in perpetuity. Ideally, I'd love to see the Copyright law changed so that an original creator can not relinquish or sell away the full rights of any intellectual property they create. The only exception should be if they want to relinquish Copyright early and donate the property to the public domain. Now, you can currently donate any original creation to the public domain, but the best properties in the world are already being tied up and held hostage by large entertainment companies. What I'd like to see is a drastic change or abolishment of the work-for-hire agreement that requires artists and creators to relinquish ownership and copyrights to the client. I'd like to see some sort of reform where corporate business entities are not considered people or authors and that they always have to license properties from the original creator, with rights reversing back to the creator when the agreement expires.

A simple change like this would put power and prosperity back into the hands of artists and creators.

Corporations aren't hurting, and they are not being hard-done-by They are also playing a lot of games that are dishonest and keep ideas out of the public domain. One such trick is to register a Trademark on a character that should no longer be protected. DC Comics is a great example of this. The Captain Marvel/Shazam character, originally published by Fawcett Comics, should have been in the public domain and technically is, but thanks to corporate legal machinations, is next to impossible to use. As long as there is no direct conflict with a previous registered Trademark, anyone can register one. It takes someone with deep pockets that wants to challenge it to have the trademark declared invalid, and there aren't many people out there with the budget to fight Warner Bros. and AT&T, DC's parent company. So they might not technically have copyright, but thanks to trademarks on the name and logo of SHAZAM! and a legal agreement with Marvel Comics to share the Captain Marvel name, if you do get away with using the character in your own book, the name of the character cannot appear on the cover. Batman and Superman are not far off from being in the same situation. 

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that protection for life plus 70 years is excessive. Previously the limit was 50 years and I feel that is excessive too. I think anything longer than 30 years is unreasonable. The whole excuse for the formula is life + X years is based on the idea of providing benefit for your loved ones and descendants with your original idea. It's a great thought, but if you are going to build a fortune on your own ideas to secure the future of your loved ones, you should do it while you are alive and leave it in your will. It's great to set your kids up with something that helps them be financially secure, but they should also have to work too. This delusional idea that is promoted by fiction that someone should be able to create one character and that all their subsequent generations should then be able to live a life of idle luxury is ridiculous. 

To be honest, I'd be fine if there was no protection after death. If you have a kid that wants to live easy by profiting off of your reputation, they should do it by following in your footsteps and create their own professional quality work and capitalize on the family name to get a foot in the door, not just live off the fat of your creations.

Why is the protection term for life? Lobbyists will tell you that it is to protect the rights and profitability for individual creators, which is a load of crap. They are protecting the interests of Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, and so on. I'd be fine of the total protection lasted 30-50 years. To be quite honest, if you have a million dollar idea, you should be able to make whatever money you are going to make on it in that time period. If you don't, you didn't try hard enough or the idea wasn't worth a million bucks. 

If I create a property that has any potential and I haven't done anything with it in 30-50 years, I'm more than happy to release it to public domain and let other people try to make something with it. I'd love to see how other creators interpret my ideas, as long as they are public domain. In fact, I am more than happy to release some of my properties into public domain and intend to take part in public domain day, January 1st, every year by donating something to public domain. 

Let's be real. The establishment wants you to be afraid of someone else profiting from your idea, so they hype it up, hire copyright lobbyists to change laws and convince the public that it's good for them, and you feel nice and protected while you clutch your idea to your chest only to discover that you'd spent decades smothering them and they will never reach the heights they could have if you let them go. 

Honestly, if I create something and it doesn't seem to be profitable within a few years, why not release it to the public domain and see if someone else can build on it or do better. And if so, kudos to them! As long as I'm credited as the creator. that's really all I need or deserve. 

In fact, there is nothing stopping anyone from using an existing public domain character or creating a character, releasing it to public domain, and still creating the best work you can with the idea and profiting from it. 

Interestingly, there is a benchmark where a brand can become so well known and synonymous with a product that a Trademark can be declared void and the brand name considered part of the public lexicon. Example of those that have been or close to have been becoming public terms are thing like, Kleenex, Vaseline and Javex. I feel the same should be done for characters that have become part of human culture and lexicon such as Superman and Batman. 

I sincerely hope that this reaches enough like-minded people that we can all work together and push for change that protects people, not profits.

Also, here's some art I made!:


Thanks for reading,

Mike

I Finally Understand What it Means to do What You Love

I was out for a walk yesterday, as I do often for a mid-day after lunch break, and I had one of the best moments of realization that I've had in awhile.

I'm an artist. 

Now, I'd been creative all of my life, made a lot of things from drawings to film, bestselling novels, acting, working on comic books that I loved as a kid, but I could never refer to myself out loud as an artist. At least not without a twinge of imposter syndrome rearing it's ugly head in my subconscious and the uncomfortable uncertainty of whether or not I've just added another person to the list of people who assume "artist" is synonymous with unstable, flighty and unemployed. 

Today I had none of that. 

Before I left the house I had taken a view over my portfolio and my output thus far for 2020. 

I am happier with the quality of my output than ever before, and I thought about that while I walked. 

In those thoughts, where there used to be uncertainty and doubt was now confidence and comfort.

Without pre-meditation or effort as I headed back home on the last leg of my jaunt I said it to myself. Out loud. Unironically. With no hesitation: I am an artist.

If was so relieving to realize that I finally knew that whatever makes human make art was within me and the solid confidence of that knowledge suddenly made any contradictory opinions unimportant and trivial. 

It felt good. It made me happy.

That feeling is something I want to hold on to and not give up. 

That little shift in realization suddenly made all of the difference. 

It's because I'm doing what I love and it makes all of the difference. Not being held back, not letting the heavy handed (closet insecurity) opinions of strangers and colleagues undermine my confidence in my abilities to take my original, undiluted ideas into art. 

I am deriving more joy from my art right now than I have ever in my life. 

Art makes me truly happy and I may be coming to the realization that I have found happiness and fulfillment, possibly for the first time in my life. 

I do what I love and it is such a blessing to embrace that. Block out all the negative bullshit that humans have trained themselves to spew with social media. None of that matters.

I know my source of happiness and no matter how much the other compartments of my life may be in shambles, I know that I can find happiness whenever I need it. 

It gives me a new appreciation for the cliche' of "doing what you love". A new understanding at least. I've been doing what I love for years and always strive to do what I love, but in many cases the stress made me question if I should have turned what I love into a career. 

Now I feel I understand that if you do what you love and it is a source of happiness, everything else can be figured out and fall into line after. 

Let me jump away from art and put this in the perspective of life in general. 

If you aren't doing what you love and aren't happy, not doing what creates your happiness for yourself, then you will inevitably look for happiness outside of yourself. Most of these other sources of happiness will give you a boost temporarily, but they don't last. Some will even leave you feeling emptier than you did before. Drugs, alcohol, sex, social media, porn, and a plethora of other things will give you the endorphins but it wears off quickly and you'll be hitting that button for another treat sooner than you think.

When you do what you love every day, those temporary things suddenly seem less important.

I know with all confidence now, that I can say to friends and strangers alike "I'm an artist (who also blogs about my feelings)" and what they do with that or think of it is inconsequential. Believe me, like my work, send nasty comments, I don't care. 

And that's the most important thing now. 

I know without out a doubt, that no matter what happens in my life, I'll always be an artist and I will always be happy and I am mentally strong enough now to say that and not let the unsolicited advice and opinions of others impact that negatively. 

In fact, knowing that I'm working from a place of joy and happiness, I can now much more easily see where other negative forces or people could be dragging me down in my life, and I won't accept it. 

When you work from the point of knowing what makes you happy and having it, it's suddenly much easier to see where distorted or toxic influences may be coming from. It makes you analyze your priorities and think about your stressors. 

It makes me analyze all of my relationships. Personal relationships, sure, but also work, clients, acquaintances, all relationships. 

I believe that there are two kinds of people: Those who add to your happiness and those that subtract from it. Whichever one a person is may not even be within their understanding or conscious decisions making, especially if they are a subtractor. 

Those that subtract from your happiness over complicate things, dwell in negativity and find tiny little ways to deter you and poke at your self-esteem because they come from an unhappy perspective. Those that add to your happiness boost your confidence and lift you up. I firmly believe that you can't change this state in someone else, only yourself. 

I know personally, for me to be happy with what I am doing, any relationship, personal, work or otherwise, must allow room for all involved to have happiness, dignity and self-respect. You'll find that it is more difficult to get these things from someone who is a subtractor and those will be the relationships that cause the most stress. 

Anyone else reading this is of course welcome to look at life and creativity in any way they want, but in my life, I know I no longer have room for those that subtract from my happiness. I'm an artist, I'm okay with that, I'm happy and it doesn't matter if someone else, even well meaning family members, are trying to help you find a "real" job.

I know what my happiness is and where it comes from and I'm not giving it up. I am no longer afraid that I will suffer or starve for my art, and if I do, so be it. I would rather live in a cardboard box and be able to make art surrounded by people who add to my happiness, then live in the world's biggest mansion surrounded by people who subtract from my happiness. 

It makes me also think more about my interactions with others and being a positive addition to the happiness of the lives of those around me too. I don't need to drag someone else down to temporarily boost my own happiness.

So I know I'm happy and I know I'm someone who adds to the happiness of others and expects those who are in my life to mutually add to each others happiness. It's much better than being a happiness subtractor.

So what about you?

Also here's some art:


Thanks for reading,

Mike

How are we still around?

Today’s blog will be brief.

Basically, the idea that’s been noodling around in my head is this:

If we’ve been around millions of years, how can we still be this stupid? 

Clearly, the idea of reason and proportion are out of whack, when most people will fight about anything, especially petty differences, at the drop of a hat.

If we as a species, can’t do a better job of discerning what is worth fighting and killing each other, how did we make it this far?

It’s baffling to me that the general populace of humanity hasn’t figured out that the key to peace and understanding is mutual respect and acceptance. Allowing others to be different than you, allows you to be different from others. The fact that a basic premise like this isn’t something already culturally engrained as part of basic knowledge and wisdom of humanity seems to suggest it’s a lesson we never learned.

How can we have not figured this out yet and created a better world? How can we still be fighting over the same stuff written by people thousands of yeas ago claiming to speak to their god of choice and using it to fight with other people and the minor differences between your old book and their old book and god of choice?

Were we always idiots for the most part, as the human species, or has something made us collectively dumber?

Most importantly, when will the human race get past its ugly, awkward teenage phase?

In the meantime, I made some art:


Thanks for reading,

Mike