Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lady Death Chastity Bad Kitty Comic: World Trade Center Tribute

Lady Death Chastity Bad Kitty United (2002)

"Words you never thought you’d hear: This Chaos comic book isn’t horrific enough.

In the wake of the World Trade Center collapse, the three “Bad Girls” (all of whom, luckily enough, happen to be on site) help rescue victims and reunite loved ones. With the backdrop of disaster, there are happy endings in the microcosm of these characters’ lives.

There are certain unlikely scenes. For example, a cop recognizes Bad Kitty as a wanted felon from a rap sheet he happens to have with him. Presumably, standing at the foot of the WTC rubble, he should be too busy rescuing people to care. Similarly, a bunch of enraged citizens turn on a Sikh cabbie, whom they assume to be in league with terrorists. At the time, nobody at the scene had any idea what had happened or who was to blame, and people were certainly more concerned with evacuation than finger-pointing. (Finger-pointing happened within days, but there was none reported at the time.) This license, which inserts the misplaced anger into the event itself, detracts from the courage and unity New Yorkers showed that day.

Despite these flaws, this comic book has something that most Chaos books lack (and that Sept. 11 tribute comics need): hope. "

— Jack Abramowitz

Friday, November 25, 2011

Penjoy Tribute Model Truck

Tribute model truck offered by Penjoy, a company offering collectible promotional models. This truck, titled "Attack on America" September 11, 2001, features the Twin Towers and Pentagon on the trailer. The top of the trailer states "United We Stand." The bottom of the truck cab relates that proceeds will go to: NY Firefighter Disaster Relief Fund; Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund; and Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund.

It is interesting that there are a number of tribute trucks, which I have featured here in my collection. Overall, if it was a manufactured good, chances are that September 11th was reflected or influenced its production in one way or another.

Tribute Lower Manhattan Skyline Cutout

Tribute about Lower Manhattan Skyline, which depicts the original skyline with the Twin Towers on one side and gives the history including the destruction of the Twin Towers on the other side.

Fitz and Floyd Patriotic Piggy Bank

Special tribute bank by Fitz and Floyd. $1 from the sale was donated to the "September 11th Children's Fund to promote the long-term well being of the children and families affected by the September 11th tragedy." The bank is ceramic with patriotic decoration.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

September 11 in Popular Culture: A Guide

If anyone has a copy of this book they would like to part with (not for the $85.00 cover price), let me know. Looks like an interesting read:

Publication Date: September 14, 2010
On Thanksgiving day after September 11, 2001, comic strip creators directed readers to donate money in their artwork, generating $50,000 in relief funds. The world's largest radio network, Clear Channel, sent a memo to all of its affiliated stations recommending 150 songs that should be eliminated from airplay because of assumptions that their lyrics would be perceived as offensive in light of the events of 9/11. On the first anniversary of September 11th, choirs around the world performed Mozart's Requiem at 8:46 am in each time zone, the time of the first attack on the World Trade Center.

These examples are just three of the ways the world—but especially the United States—responded to the events of September 11, 2001. Each chapter in this book contains a chronological overview of the sea of changes in everyday life, literature, entertainment, news and media, and visual culture after September 11. Shorter essays focus on specific books, TV shows, songs, and films.

Editorial Reviews
From Booklist
Since the literature on the September 11 attacks is already vast (WorldCat lists more than 14,000 items), the need for useful reference works on this historic event is particularly compelling. This resource examines the impact of the attack on American culture in chapters on “Everyday Life,” “News and Information,” “Books,” “Television,” “Film,” “Music,” and “Visual Culture.” Each chapter consists of an introduction and several “Spotlight Essays” focusing on specific topics. The essays range in length from a few paragraphs to several pages and include both print and web references. The work concludes with selected lists of media (websites, art exhibits, fiction, etc.) and further reading. The text is enhanced with sidebars and some photographs. The editors are to be commended for including unusual topics that might pique the interest of students and general readers: greeting cards, comic books, humor, and comfort food for the recovery workers, among others. This book is a good ready-reference source for students, researchers, and general readers. Also available as an e-book. --Donald Altschiller
"The editors are to be commended for including unusual topics that might pique the interest of students and general readers: greeting cards, comic books, humor, and comfort food for the recovery workers, among others. This book is a good ready-reference source for students, researchers, and general readers."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Investing in Tragedy: The Strange Online Market for 9/11 Relics

Investing in Tragedy: The Strange Online Market for 9/11 Relics
By Alice Hines

Jonathan "J.J." Fay never thought he'd sell his newspaper plate of the Twin Towers in smoke, the original printing press etching that the New York Daily News used to print its papers on September 12, 2001. Fay, a 38-year-old mechanic from Milwaukee, came to New York for work in the fall of 2001. He found the aluminum plate by accident while working on a fix for newspaper distribution centers.

"Times are tough," Fay says. "[The plate] should be framed and put on a wall. I can't afford to do it, so I hope that someone else will."

Like hundreds of other Americans, Fay is listing his 9/11 relic on eBay (EBAY). In the weeks leading up to 10th anniversary, the online market for relics, memorabilia and collectibles has exploded. According to Google's (GOOG) cache, the number of items listed as 9/11 historical memorabilia on eBay has increased by 57% (from 816 items to 1,288 items) since late June.

Items range from commemorative tchotchkes to actual artifacts from the rubble. Among the thousands of objects eBay had listed on Wednesday were 9/11 coins, knives claiming to be fabricated from World Trade Center steel, original hotel room keys, a 1980s-era World Trade Center restaurant menu, "original responder" FDNY belt buckles, an invoice for flowers delivered to a tower office on 9/11, and a Windows on the World restaurant uniform.

Among 9/11-related items, those that once resided at Ground Zero fetched the best prices. On Wednesday, a Sept. 1, 2001 ticket to the World Trade Center observatories and an original office key had bids for $899 and $485, respectively. The flower invoice (slightly charred around the edges) recently went for $385 with 26 bids.

Most of these relics are only one degree away from the event, listed by people who were in New York on 9/11. The charred invoice, for example, was pulled out of the rubble by a firefighter. The menu belonged to a woman whose partner once turned down a job at Windows on the World.

"I was wading through paper and debris up to my knees," the firefighter, who did not wished to be named in this story, wrote in an email. "I grabbed a handful of papers and put it in the pocket of my fire gear. I thought, this is history, and as horrible as it was, I wanted to preserve something."

Struggling Survivors, Early Bird Investors

While these items are not yet collectible, one day they will be. If Pearl Harbor is any indication, such relics will only gain value over time as they become more rare.

Martin Jacobs, a WWII collector and author of four books on collecting, says that it's surprisingly early for a 9/11 market. "Passionate collectors buy because they are infatuated with a certain period of history," he says. "It's about nostalgia."

But what buyer today could be nostalgic for 9/11? "I could never have a passion for that," Martin says.

Martin suspects that the nascent market may be driven in part by professionals looking to score an early deal. With most of the items still in the hands of New York residents, survivors and families, it could be a good time to invest.

Rose, an eBay seller from Harrisburg, Pa., (who asked that we not use her last name) sold a World Trade Center menu to an investor from upstate New York for $104.50. The menu, which belonged to her father, had become emotionally charged since 9/11. Another close to Rose would have been in the Pentagon had he not missed work that day.

"The WTC murders are something I can't even discuss, even after 10 years," she wrote in an email. "I had thought of selling the menu in previous years but did not act at that time. I think doing so now is the beginning of letting myself get on the road to healing from this terrible day."

Most sellers, though, are interested in cash as well as healing. Many families touched by the tragedy have seen their incomes and living standards decline in the years since 9/11. Damien, the owner of the Windows on the World uniform, hoped to use the money from selling it to help out a friend in financial trouble. But while he initially listed the uniform for $9,000, he dropped the price to $99 after receiving no bids. (It currently has one bid and four days left.)

J.J. Fay, the owner of the printing press plate, is also hoping to supplement his income by selling it. Still, he's not willing to part with it for less than $1,000, though other similar items recently went for $300.

"I think part of the reason I set the price high is because I don't want to lose it," Fay says. "It's important to me. If the right person doesn't come along, I'll wait until next year."

An Emotional Marketplace

Some would say it's too early to turn these relics into memorabilia. The commercialization of 9/11 has come under heavy criticism over the past few months as dozens of new commemorative products have been released ahead of the anniversary. For example, the decision by Lieb Family Cellars to sell a 9/11-themed wine bottled during the fall of 2001 has been called "distasteful" and even "grotesque" by media and politicians.

Looking at the nascent eBay market, it's hard not to wonder if the relics are also being exploited. Arguably, the helmets of dead FDNY firefighters belong in glass cases in museums, not next to Swarovski crystal commemorative clutches on auction sites.

Financial hardships and smart investments aside, 9/11 products are being bought and sold because of the American public's hunger to connect with the tragedy. Ten years later, families feel they need tangible objects to help them remember. Or, still-grieving, they hope to share memories with others via the personal effects they have accumulated.

Jan Ramirez, chief curator of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, thinks that relics play a unique role in our collective memory of the terrorist attacks. "9/11 was the ultimate material act of violence," she says. "It resulted in the dematerialization of two quarter-mile-high buildings and thousands of people. The decimation was so staggering that those objects that did survive [became] sacrosanct."

The museum has never paid for any of its artifacts. It acquired most of them through donations from the different communities of people involved: firefighters, volunteers, employees, families of victims. People donate for many reasons, Ramirez says. Some want to help accurately represent their loved ones, others to part with a painfully charged object, still others to participate in building a shared history of the event.

With the museum not opening until autumn 2012, eBay is for now a strange sort of preliminary site for the sharing of experiences through artifacts. Of course, the online marketplace uses money as its currency, not knowledge. And like any other transaction, the sale of 9/11 relics is subject to amoral investing and exploitative dealings. But this is, after all, America. Perhaps it's not so strange that many of us choose to commemorate the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in a mournful burst of free trade.

See full article from DailyFinance:

United We Stand Memorial Doll

Here is Betsy the tribute doll in her special patriotic outfit, including sweater with "Old Glory." This "Petite Porcelain by Barbara Lee" is housed in a box featuring the flag. The packaging also relates that the company will "donate 100% of its profits realized from the manufacturer and distribution of this doll to the World Trade Center Relief Funds." Is that a call to action or what? This doll fully reflects the impact and influence of 9/11, as well as how it was used as a motivation for the sale of goods and consumerism.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Call of Duty Comic Series: 9/11 Reaction

The Call of Duty was a series of short-lived Marvel Comics series featuring firefighters and emergency service workers dealing with paranormal phenomena in the Marvel Universe.

It was conceived in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and consists of three limited series (Call of Duty: The Brotherhood #1-6, by Chuck Austen and David Finch; Call of Duty: The Precinct #1-5, by Bruce Jones and Tom Mandrake; Call of Duty: The Wagon #1-4 by Chuck Austen and Danijel Zezelj) and a short unsuccessful run as an ongoing series in 2002-2003, that lasted four issues (by Chuck Austen and Pat Olliffe).

Rock Sampler 911 Tribute

CD rock sampler that benefited the September 11th Fund.

Baldwin September 11th Ornament

September 11th tribute ornament by Baldwin.