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The Last Picket
Sunday September 24, 2023 marks the 146th day of the writers’ strike. On Thursday our negotiating committee had called for “all hands on deck” on Friday morning, or day 144 as we remember it.
Friday ended up being the last picket of the 2023 strike. This evening, we have been told we have a tentative agreement, and I couldn’t be happier. I hope the deal helps SAG-AFTRA in its labor action, and 3 years from now perhaps it will be of assistance to the DGA in their next round of negotiations.
Robbie Thompson was a regular on the line and a reassuring voice for many younger writers. There was not a single rumor he could not quash. Most of the plays from the AMPTP were the same as the last strike, and a lot of powder was kept dry by the wisdom of our grizzled vets.
This strike was by no means fun, but the days on the line were always good ones for the spirit. On the morning the strike was called, I reported to Warner Bros, and even on day one our lines were backed-up by actors and crew.
As a writer, I live vicariously in my characters every day whether I’m actually in front of the keyboard, or thinking about what I’ll do when I’m back in front of my keyboard. (This is also an important part of writing, and too many writers do not honor the work hours away from typing. It all counts.)
Anyway, back to the point: I will never blow up a Death Star, or trip up an AT-AT, but it felt just as good to turn production trucks away from the studios.
The Teamsters did not cross our lines.
They honked like hell and drove off for the secret parts of the San Fernando valley that were never even printed on Thomas Guides. There are still parts of this city known only known to IATSE. The places where the trucks go.
That solidarity can’t be a one-way street. It won’t be.
Los Angeles is a union town. The entertainment industry is a union business. This strike proves that. It was important to codify that since there were so many new players.
My son may change his mind, but he’s pursuing his own career outside writing in Hollywood and this strike, like all our strikes is about the future. This was about the kids that are not in the guilds yet.
Thank you for your messages of support during this time — I saw every single one and was very grateful for every one.
Because of my un-struck comic book work I was able to avoid dipping into the strike funds. Again, another of the ways in which you, my readers have made me very privileged.
I’ve donated to the Entertainment Strike Fund, and if you have a couple of bucks please consider making a tax-deductible donation. It will take a while for production to actually ramp up, and folks will be hurting for a while.
I appreciate each and every one of you, and thanks for supporting my work wherever I publish.
Tomorrow, more of Paladin Of Axes, and later this week the marriage of Tony Stark and Emma Frost. We’ve got some bangers heading your way.
Now that the strike is over, perhaps soon I’ll be able to tell you about the film I’m co-writing that is an adaptation of my own work.