11/22/2007

Thankful for our Supporters - Big and Small


(This is a photo of 7th grader Chris Williams, and two of his buddies walking the picket line with us. I received the following email from WGA member Rama Stagner.)

I just met the most amazing kid on the picket line. He was obviously alone and I was curious so I asked (jokingly) if he was a WGA member, with someone who was - or if he was just there to support us. He was just there to support us. It blew me away.
I had about an hour long conversation as we walked the line. His name is Chris Williams and he's a twelve year old who goes to Walter Reed. He'd been in a comic book store near CBS Radford last week (looking at Superhero comics, his favorite) and saw the strike. He said he thought what we were doing was heroic so he asked his mom if he could join us. She said yes and he's been on the line almost every day since. He's even talked a few of his school buddies to come once in a while. I asked him if he wanted to be a writer and he said he'd never really thought about it until this week. And yes, maybe he did.
I told him he should write about what he was experiencing.
And then he told me he already did. He wanted to show it to me but I didn't know if that was appropriate, so I introduced him to the Strike Captains and asked him to call his mom and make sure it was okay. She approved so I read it right there on the line.
Just two pages - but it made me me feel like a hero. It made me cry.
Is there any way we can get a story about this kid out there? At least acknowledge him on our website?
A seventh-grader this idealistic, willing to walk the picket line alone, gives me new hope for this country. I think his story should be shared.

Rama Stagner

(Rama followed up with Chris' mom - she and Chris agreed to let us post his writing, and one of his drawings here. A comic book fan, Chris writes from two perspectives: his own, and Super CC's.)




52 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a nice story. It's full of innocence and idealism and youthful enthusiasm.

But I wonder about something...

As a non-WGA member (though I'm on the strike line every day) will this good fellowship continue to be the love-fest it is now once the strike ends? Or will the truth be once you all go back to work that it'll be writer eat writer again? Will all the people (like me) be left behind to resume our struggles as independents, as outsiders looking in? Will all our support be forgotten as your careers go forward and we wait for ours to begin?

I think probably so.

There's a lesson in all of this, but I wonder if the WGA will learn it or just continue to keep writers divided until unification suits its purposes?

I guess we'll see.

Anonymous said...

It will be writer vs. writer again. Greed rules this town, and when you get down to it, this about greed. For shame on the WGA for using a kid for its propoganda. Yeah, I'm sure I seventh grader really can get fired up about residuals. The story is phony and this kid is a plant.

Anonymous said...

Re anonymous' comment about trying to break in - I don't think you should support the strike simply as a way to get your foot in the door. You should only strike if you support the cause. That said, being on the picket line is a wonderful way to meet fellow writers, make connections, etc. And every one of us has been mentored at some point by a more experienced writer and/or has mentored an up and coming writer. If you're truly talented, someone will recognize it and help you. Re the WGA keeping writers divided, I think this is completely untrue. There wouldn't be so much solidarity now if the WGA hadn't worked very hard these past few years to unify east and west, and work with writers to make us all feel like one community. That came BEFORE the strike and I'm sure will continue afterwards.

Anonymous said...

There is competition in any field. That's what makes people better. If you can find a way to make your talent and skills the best they can be, chances are, you will succeed.

As for Anonymous' comments about the kid being a plant. We know who the plant is. the better question is why you're visiting this site? After this strike is over and everyone has gone back to work, it'll still be your negativity and derision that stands out, not the impass that currently faces us all. You should get a life, friend.

Anonymous said...

Two words.

1. Bull 2. Shit

This is more WGA propaganda. They are just telling us "we're the good guys! kids like us."

cut it out.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I don't know what got into me. Anyway, I'm sure he's a good kid.

frank Uslan Charlie Kartler said...

Hey! 8:32 Anonymous!

What if the kid is reading this right now! Maybe you should think before you type you phony douchebag!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:28 PM

While it's true I'm not a WGA member (there are actually quite a few non-WGA working writers here in town), it's equally true that I'm not using the strike as a way to "get my foot in the door." And having spent hours and hours on the strike line talking to WGA writers, I'm only echoing their words when it comes to the "love-fest" idea.

The writers are united as it relates to the rationale of the strike (increased residuals from DVDs and internet downloads, etc), my point is will this solidarity continue once the strike ends, and my answer is probably not...

Yes, we're all writers. Yippee. But it's also true that when it comes to getting work, writers will stab another writer in the back and not think twice bout it just to get ahead.

And if you've spent anytime around WGA writers (especially the ones I have), you'll know what I say is true. You may not like it, but it's a fact.

moviemaniac226 said...

I don't believe this load of garbage at all. Why? Well one: I'm a sophomore and there is NO WAY IN HELL I could've had grammar that bad just three years ago. And the thing is, the writing isn't half bad, it's the grammar and spelling. It just doesn't match up.

Second of all, I just love how the kid has found his true purpose in striking with the writers and even turns it into a superhero story. Three words: Load. Of. Crap.

Its filled with the cheap cliches and its overwhelmingly chessy. The kind of writing you'd find in a badly written children's movie.

Sell this garbage to someone else. I have been on the writers' side this whole time (and still am) but I despise this time of sympathy-wanting warfare they're attempting to use against the AMPTP. Have some dignity.

redblack said...

But what of the war..would be nice for a kid to protest that.

lmcdonald said...

I'm currently marking 3rd-year university papers with worse grammar than this. Poor grammar is hardly evidence against this being real.

VC said...

Shame on those of you who can't see what a neat kid this is. You all must really be jaded to think this was a plant.

Christopher thanks for your support and for giving me something else to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving. God bles you.

Jenn said...

moviemaniac226:
I know adults who have worse grammar than that. Some people just don't take to it as well as others. It doesn't make the things they say (or write) untrue or garbage. And also, if you are going to attack another person's ability to write then perhaps you should learn how to spell correctly.

Wilber said...

I'm a WGA member and I've been walking the line. When I was 12 or 13, an awkward age to begin with, and a bit of a (alright, a HUGE) geek and didn't really fit in with most other kids (how many 12 year olds could recite the dialog from Earthquake almost verbatim) I would look for something, anything, to belong to, to feel a part of. I would get involved with events, occurances, special moments wherever I could find them. I stayed on the local NBC affiliate for almost 36 hours straight once during the Jerry Lewis Telethon - running and getting sandwiches, pops for the guys who I thought were so cool because they were involved in TV and stuff. And look where those...moments brought me.

I'd like to believe this story. I'd like to believe this kid is reall. I get this kid and, quite frankly, I'd like to meet him. And those of you that think this is a 'plant' or some such, well, maybe you've been here for too long or have watched too much TMZ and bought into the twerpiness and jealousies of those that can belittle that which they can't participate in and have forgotten the joy of being a kid, and the dreams therein. If so, please, shut the hell up and return to your X-Box. To that kid - put down the X-Box, pick up a book and get the card of everyone on that line.

Happy Thanksgiving.

jgazdag@gmail.com said...

Imaginative and endearing, with damn good spelling. I like this guy.


I too have been on the picket lines every day. When I decided to move from New York to Los Angeles over 6 months ago, I didn't think the strike would actually happen. So I moved here to get experience and write. I'm not in the WGA yet, but that doesn't mean I can't grab a sign and damn the man. What's fantastic about Chris' experience is what I've also seen: even though it's really intimidating to join a circle of people who know each other and are part of a fairly insular group, it has been surprisingly easy to melt into each picket line. I went to middle and high school here in Los Angeles, and the friendliness, openness, and welcome I've found at each studio is unlike anything I've experienced in this town.

There is much to be said for a strike whose pickets are joined by people who don't have to. Here's crossing fingers on Monday (I'm intent on shushing the cynical voice in the back of my head, at least for the time being. After all, even Nick Counter is human. ...I think).

Julia (look at that, we can post our name!) said...

Isn't it nice to know that it's so hard to believe a person's youthful ideals are still intact by 7th grade? Goodness knows seventh graders need to delve deeply into the residuals issue in order to really stand behind this protest against corporate greed. Clearly, this is quite the clever ruse cooked up by the dastardly sneaks at the WGA. I'm glad someone caught on to their evil shenanigans.

Oh, and anonymous, you seem to be suffering somewhat from intelligence deprivation, so I thought I would make this clear to you: the above comments are of a sarcastic nature. Thus, to clear up any misunderstanding: what I'm saying is that I find you unpleasantly cynical and generally irritating. I hope you didn't think anyone with the slightest critical thinking ability took you seriously, though I would recommend that you develop your own.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but that drawing and writing really look like they were done by an adult woman and not by a twelve-year-old boy. There's just something about it...that's not saying it couldn't be a boy's work, but looking at it, the writing and drawing is way to round and neat to be (usually) done by a twelve-year-old boy.

I have to say I'm very skeptical.

Anonymous said...

Also, what young man starts his letter saying that he has pimples and, you know, the usual crushes! Ho, ho.

Bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I'll start this by saying I'm totally on the writers' side in this battle, but there's something about this kid's story that bothers me.

The blogger says that the boy came up with the idea himself:

He said he thought what we were doing was heroic so he asked his mom if he could join us. She said yes...

which would have been both surprising and awesome if true. But then when you read the kid's actual letter, he says:

..and then at 1:30PM I got a call from my mother reguarding (sic) the picketers I passed on my way to the COMIC STORE - she suggested that I go and help them fight for their cause.
(bolding mine)

Sorry, but again, if true, I'm seeing this as more of a famewhore mom possibly trying to get her kid publicity and/or discovered than a noble child who got the idea on his own to march with the writers.

Because of that, I just don't like how manipulative this story feels, and I wish they hadn't used it to try to gain more sympathy for the cause. Nevertheless, I hope the writers get all they're asking for. I'm sick of greedy executives in Big Business, which to me go hand-in-hand with the corrupt bunch in the Bush Administration.

Anonymous said...

Well, the writer of Naomi and Wynonna: Love Can Build a Bridge liked it. Seems about right.

I don't know that writers stab each other in the back so much as show runners and producers tend to hire people just like themselves. Wannabes who think that chatting up someone on the picket line is going to help them had better be young, male, and have a Harvard degree.

Anonymous said...

ChrisCross (born Christopher Williams) is an African-American comic book illustrator, known mostly for his stints pencilling Milestone Comics' Blood Syndicate and Heroes also Marvel Comics' Captain Marvel and Slingers.
Williams attended New York City's School of Visual Arts in the early 1990s. While doing so, he caught his big break doing work for the DC Comics imprint, Milestone Comics, which sought to publish a line of comics aimed at attracting a more multicultural audience.
He has also worked on other series such as Firestorm and The Outsiders for DC comics. He is currently working on a series of hardcover graphic novels for a France-based company named Humanoids Publishing and has returned to the States to continue American comics, starting on Midnighter #11.

Williams chose the pseudonym "ChrisCross" because he wanted people to know that his talent didn't just lean on being a penciller in comics. That "Chris" could "Cross" over to inking, writing, and coloring also. His intense spiritual background also featured into the thought process of the pseudonym, being the son of a preacher and a Born-Again Christian himself.
Williams is 6' 9".

Rama Stagner said...

I just logged and I am disgusted by some of the cynical, jaded and often ignorant remarks. And yes, he probably is reading these comments. He should be feeling nothing but pride and instead he gets this.

I met this kid. I am the one who sent in his story. If there are any discrepencies it's in my telling not his. At any rate, the fact that a twelve year old's writing is doubted because it's too GOOD, says volumes about the talent of the doubters. Yes, I'm talking to the creepy lurker who goes by the orginal handle of ANONYMOUS. If you doubt this story is true, pick up the phone and call me at 818 636 8634, you asshole.

Chris, if you are reading, I apologize for the language and for the snarky, insulting and immature comments posted here.

Anonymous said...

I for one think the writing of "Christopher Williams" is really good. So good in fact that it sounds like what a fortysomething would think a seventh grader would sound like. The author should totally pitch a TV show about junior high when the strike ends - he/she certainly knows the voice of the a seventh grader.

Anonymous said...

Although unintentionally, you have paid me a great compliment. I can write in many voices, that's what WRITERS do. And for the most part we not only take credit -- we want it.

It's only when we're ashamed or lack conviction that we wish to remain ANONYMOUS.

Unlike you, Chris is real. He has integrity. He has an identity.

The best way for me to say what I think of you is to ignore you, which I shall do. I will not be baited by someone too cowardly to own his/her opinions.

I urge other writers to shun you as well.

RAMA STAGNER

Anonymous said...

So, I dialed that 818 number and it turned out to be a strip joint in North Hollywood. I've been there a few times, so now I gotta ask: is Rama the blonde with the big tits or the dark haired girl with big tits or the asian chick who sorta looks like Lucy Lui or is she the blonde with the small tits and the belly ring? Or is she the really odd looking, coked out, stringy-haired dirty blond who looks kinda like a boy?

So tell us Rama, which one of those strippers are you? Inquiring minds want to know.

satto said...

Well anonymous just proved that this is a hoax. There is NO WAY there are more than one Christopher (ChrisCross) Williams in the world.

I've never met another person with the last name Williams. Nevermind the first name Christopher. (what is that made up or something? whatever happened to normal names like Mike and Steve....)

Natalie said...

I think it's great that a kid would go out and stand up for what he believes! What i am disappointed in, are the people that will first come to the conclusion that this must be some sort of "plant" or that he has some "famewhore" mom. Why is it that it must be some sort of gimmick?

When I was 13 I convinced a friend to picket with me for the teacher's union. I wanted to be a science teacher and thought I should support them. I did ask my mom and she was supportive. I would have been so mad if people just assumed that I was doing it for personal gain or that the teachers were just using me to make them look good. Is it so unheard of at the age of 12 to be level-headed and thinking for yourself?

Rock-on, Chris!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, there are a lot of very mean and twisted people out there. Even if you feel it is a hoax, lets think that maybe it isn't and maybe watch your language? What is it with the cursing and name calling. Grow up. A teen is more mature than this folks.

The kid, who I believe exists, did a good thing. Stop picking on him you anon bullies.

lk said...

wow.
the interesting thing about the skepticism is that the WGA doesn't need to make up stories about 12 year olds to get the public's sympathy. i'm not a wga member (i don't even live in the U.S.), but i was bothered enough by the whole situation that i came to this site.
i'm a tv addict, but i can live through a year (if need be) without my favourite shows. guess in the meantime i'll have to get by on... dvds and the internet?

Greg said...

Guys--most of the people claiming to disbelieve this story are either regular trolls or studio trolls. The site's got a bit of a troll problem. Ignore 'em. (If they're not confident enough to leave their own name…)

Hey, MovieManiac226--how come neither of your blogs has a single post on it? Just wondering. Kind of strange. Makes you seem like a sophisticated plant.

You go, Chris Williams. Good work.

Captain Obvious said...

It sounds to me like this is likely some of of creative guerrilla campaign and some of you guys just aren't seeing it.

Anonymous said...

Well, Chris, it seems your writing is good enough to be considered part of a "guerilla ad campaign" in a landmark economical struggle.

If you're a WGA professional, this is diabolical but incredibly creative and clever. If you're a sincere twelve-year-old, you've got a voice that stirs controversy and conflict. You're good enough to have professionals wondering. Either way, you win.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentleman, we've just witnessed a rousing reenactment of the Gripes or Wrath starring,
The original "Anonymous"

SFX- Crickets


Dude, this performance qualifies you for your SAG card- or at least a voucher if not your WGA card yet.

Leave the 12 year old kid alone. What little American spirit is left in this world is needed, particularly from his generation.

PS
*sigh*

moviemaniac226 said...

To the people who have been "disgusted" with me, let me tell you this: there is a difference between being jaded and being naiive.

So am I being jaded or all you all being naiive?

I'm simply stating the facts that the writing, tha look of the handwriting, and the drawing do not match up with everything else.

So frankly, I could care less if you're "disgusted" with me. Maybe you should open your eyes a bit and realize that not everything they tell you is real actually is. Let me spoil it for you: reality TV? Well it'll be hard to find some actual reality in that.

So if scripted TV show can get a "reality" sticker slapped on it, why can't a fake letter be called a real one?

These comments really make me laugh. If I'm so "disgusting" and "twisted", I'd hate to see what you'd call the guy who gets his thrills from killing people. I'm sure he's a "nice guy."

Grow up.

And by the way, what did I spell wrong in my original post?

moviemaniac226 said...

Hey greg, you got me. I'm the studio plant.

Go to DarkUFO's site and look around. You'll find my comments on plenty of posts.

ASnd I sure as hell hope you're not apart of the WGA. It would be a shame that people (including me) are supporting you.

boadicea said...

MM226, you're not jaded, you're just being an ass to a twelve year old boy.

Anonymous said...

To moviemaniac226- I don't know what "chessy" is but if you meant "cheesy" then you definitely spelled something incorrectly.

moviemaniac226 said...

If this is an actual kid and he did in fact write this letter, then it is a great way to show the AMPTP how much support the WGA has. I was not in any way attacking him.

If this isn't real, which we will probably never know, then the WGA knows just how to get a bunch of sympathetic fools to believe what they want.

I'm not saying to be ignorant of everything you see, just skeptical. This is a STRIKE and it would be in the best interest of those STRIKING to soak up as much support as possible.

Anonymous said...

Chris Williams is an exceptional kid. He should wear all of this controversy as a badge of honor. Activism and putting pen to paper is so rare in our youth these days. So rare, I guess, that it's hard for people to believe it exists. Please, can't we lay aside our skepticism for a moment and acknowledge that if there's the slightest chance the doubting is misplaced, this guy deserves some praise and gratitude? Chris, I think you're a hero. I thank you sincerely for your efforts on paper and on the picket line.

Su said...

Please don't forget to add Christopher Williams to the "Contributors" masthead.

Anonymous said...

If this were my kid I'd be really proud.

Anonymous said...

Come on, people. Give this kid some respect. Don't make him leery of doing a good deed. Have we come to this? Please tell him you appreciate what he's done. You know he's got to be reading this.

Anonymous said...

Chris -

I applaud you. What you've done may imprint the rest of your life. Don't ever regret it. You stood up and took part. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

CHRIS -

HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE PICKET LINE AGAIN. THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

Anything worth doing usually comes at some cost. Don't let the negative comments stop you. Writers are always the harshest critics and often distrustful. This may be why they write. A few of them, like you, write because something moved them or left an impression. Keep writing.

webmaster said...

Wow, I like the last astro-turfer comment. "What we've got here is...failure to communicate! Some men you just can't reach..." Support the writers. From my limited research, I heard they were hozed on the last deal with "emerging technology" called VCR & DVD sales. No-one profits from the net? "Promotions"? Get real. And yes, this is from someone real.

David said...

Hahaha, I'm not a troll, and I support the WGA strike... but I found one line in the story hilarious. 'I learned how to peacefully protest against something I believed in.' Classic! I myself often go out and peacefully protest against human rights, the anti-war movement, equal opportunity and all other manner of just causes! It's just not a good day unless I've protested against something I really care about.

Anonymous said...

jnksbWell, David, you might not be a troll but you're definitely not a a friend, a writer's friend or a writer.

"Hahaha"...? What the hell does that mean? Is that a funny laugh or an evil laugh?

Go outside and get some air. And please stop supporting us. You're like an old bra on a hot day.

David said...

Don't worry, anonymous, it's not like I was sending pencils or anything. Thanks for clarifying who I am.

Having no stage directions or other methods for conveying my laughter in what is effectively a medium of direct speech, I chose 'hahaha'. Funny or evil? You decide - the beauty of reading to yourself... I wonder if anyone will pick up a book during the strike?

Don't criticise my stylistic choices when you repeat words and start your comment with a series of random letters.

It's far too cold outside to go get some air. I don't live in LA. Thank goodness. Who knows, maybe one day Bill Hicks's dream will come true? (That s's was another stylistic choice -- suck on it.)

Anonymous said...

DAVID -

I apologize (sincerely) for the personal attack. If you're not a troll then something else brought you to this site. To pick on your style is, indeed, petty and trite.

If not for your "support" (hey, lines are being drawn and we're under attack), I appreciate your interest in our strike. Writers are, by nature, drawn to conflict and often confrontational.

It's cold where I live too. Let's both take a deep breath, wherever we are.

dddawriter said...

I'm the Strike Captain who encouraged Rama Stagner to do the story on Chris Williams. I stood at the CBS Radford main gate and watched Rama call his mother for permission to interview her son. Chris always puts his back pack under the gate table. The stories printed here were inside the back pack. My name isn't anonymous. I'm Deborah Dean Davis and I'm proud to be a WGA Strike Captain and have Chris on my line.

CHRIS WILLIAMS said...

Hi everyone. I am a very real person. Reading those comments hurt my feelings and some of them made me quite happy.

Ms. Rama, Ms. Debbie and Ms. Dava thank you for acknowledging me being a real person. I am thankful that you allow me to take off my backpack because it is heavy. I love to draw and YES it is my drawing.

I have made a lot of friends and I am very happy that I will have this story to share when I return to school.

Happy Holidays.