A year ago today, May 1st 2010, Cripz: A Webcomic went online with its first comic (which you can see here). One of the main questions Clara and Jeff get about the comic is “Why did you decide to make a webcomic about disability?” While there isn’t any one answer, we felt it was an opportunity for us to present a progressive and satirical representation of disability to combat the largely negative (and bizarre) representations of disability in the mainstream media. Beyond that though, we see Cripz as an opportunity to educate and motivate people (both disabled and otherwise) to actively resist the structural, attitudinal and political forces working (actively and otherwise) to oppress and suppress the disabled population in both Canada and America. Deep down, we hope the readers might be inspired to fight with the same tenacity of Rhett while understanding it’s okay to be a big goof too, like Griff.
Over the past year, lots has happened (both online and offline) and Clara and Jeff have had an awesome time and hope you’ve enjoyed the strip thus far. We thought one fun way to celebrate the first year anniversary was to develop a list of our TOP 5 Comics of Year One. After counting up the page views and shares, here are your favourite comics of the last year:
- A Change of Heart (posted January 11, 2011)
- Comic History: Stephen Hawking (March 8, 2011)
- The Cripple Card (February 8, 2011)
- The ME in Team (March 15, 2011)
- Elementary, My Dear Watson (February 15, 2011)
Without getting too gushy, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank some special people who have helped us launch Cripz over the last year, specifically (and in no particular order) Hunter Forman, Jason Strauss, Derek Silva, Corey Downie, Jen Brewe, Ron Brown, Dan Harvey and Orpheum Hosting. Also, thank you to everyone from the London Free Press for being good sports and putting up with our criticism. You guys are aces in our books.
Also, of course, a huge thank you to everyone who comes back week in and week out to read our goofy new comics and send us lovely messages. Without you none of this could be possible!
But it wouldn’t be a birthday without a party, would it??
To celebrate the first year appropriately, we decided to take a page out of Rhett’s book and do a little stairbombing. We had a really, really good time and you can check out some of the awesome photos on our new Operation: Stairbomb facebook fan page. Thank you to EVERYONE who came out and keep an eye out for our next attack.
And the cherry on top?
After noticing that someone had stairbombed Jim Bob Rays, a local bar/meat market, Clara and Jeff didn’t think the night could get any better…until they discovered a local MP candidate had parked his campaign vehicle in a wheelchair parking spot. Yep, that’s the same parking spot that also held a cop car and city vehicle several months ago. While the driver of the vehicle has apologized publicly and removed the vehicle, note that Jeff actually told the driver the vehicle was parked illegally and the driver denied it, then attempted to blame it on another candidate (who was parked behind him legally), and finally gave in when he was shown the photographic evidence on Jeff’s iPhone.
It’s not nice to be told you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to accessibility and you’re in a wheelchair. But then again, we guess it’s not nice to have a photo of your mistake retweeted over 50 times on twitter over the course of the night…so we’re even now?
What’s perhaps most disturbing is that some have reacted to this photo on twitter by accusing it of being a “smear” or being exclusively about our dislike for the candidate or the party — this has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the law. Illegally parking in a handicapped spot is a $300 fine, regardless of your party affiliation. This isn’t about ideology, it’s about accessibility.
So in honour of today, which also happens to be Blog Against Disablism day, we’d like to welcome any photos of other candidates illegally parked in handicapped parking spots to be sent in and we’ll be sure to post them right away. No one is allowed to park in these spots without a permit. Period.
Thanks everyone for the great year and hope you’re excited for all the great stuff we have planned for year 2!
– Clara & Jeff