"I've been using Paint Shop Pro for Web graphics for 10 years, so I've gotten pretty competent with it, in an amateurish sort of way. It has a lot of features that make this sort of thing easy. It takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to go from a raw .jpg of a scanned comic-book cover to the finished parody version." Pyromaniac Phillip Johnson
Phil, in case you were wondering, is not happy about the direction of the emerging church as he sees it. Whether or not you appreciate Phil's slant on the emerging church, his blog is an excellent example of color, fonts, readability, custom images, good links and focused content.
And it proves that:
Even with 50 million blogs, you can still make a big splash with a brand new, fit and virile blog.
It is worth taking one software program, even an old lame one like Paint Shop Pro, and sticking with it long enough to master it.
Humor and satire can grease the way for some good conversation.
More advice: Phillip says "Copyright and trademark law do not necessarily apply to the use of images for caricature, farce, or parody" and he is probably correct, coming from a background with Moody Press.
In the comments section of Emerging Conversation, Phillip offers guidelines on the question of copyright infringement and the ethics of altering comic-book art:
"1. Vintage artwork published without notice prior to 1978 is not protected under copyright law.
2. Note, by the way, that copyright and trademark law do not necessarily apply to the use of images for caricature, farce, or parody. (That is why certain well-known magazines and comedy programs are free to lampoon brand-names and even imitate or alter trademarks.) The law, for the moment at least, is intended to protect commerce, and it cannot be invoked merely to silence opinion or squelch humor."
As for me and my house, I have been using Fireworks since 2000, and i am happy with most of what i see in the emerging church. But then i have a more liberal interpretation of "emerging church" than Phil. In fact, since my definition includes the cyberchurch, Phil is probably part of it .. . although he would not like me saying that.