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  • Ferret Press is a publisher of fine indie comix. PANEL is a comic book writer/artist collective, based in Columbus, Ohio. This is our group blog.
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Lifelike

Dara Naraghi's graphic novel Lifelike is now available in both digital and print editions. Click here for more info.

Books – Dara
Image of Lifelike
Image of Igor Movie Prequel
Image of Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland (Witch & Wizard (Idw))
Image of Terminator: Salvation Movie Prequel
Image of Witch & Wizard Volume 2: Operation Zero (Witch & Wizard (Idw))
Image of Ghostbusters: Haunted Holidays
Image of Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales Of The Here And Now
Image of The Absurd Adventures of Archibald Aardvark Volume 1: Bullets, Booze, and Beelzebub
Image of MGM Drive-in Theater: Motel Hell and IT
Books -Panel
Image of No Dead Time
Image of Comic Book Tattoo Special Edition
Image of Saint Germaine: Tales of an Immortal
Image of Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak: Cry For Thunder S/N Limited Edition HC
Image of Ghost Sonata
Image of Vampire The Masquerade Volume 1: Blood and Roses
Image of Moonstone Monsters Volume 1

I was saddened yesterday to read that Iain M. Banks, one of my favorite authors, has late-stage cancer.

A Personal Statement from Iain Banks

I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.

The bottom line, now, I’m afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I’m expected to live for ‘several months’ and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.

The loss of a human life is always sad. I could easily write this post about Roger Ebert, Carmine Infantino, or my friend Courtney, or any of thousands of poor bastards in Syria. But here’s what sticks out for me:

Banks_HydrogenSonata-US-281. Iain M. Banks is extremely prolific and imaginative. The man has a lot of stories in him. I feel like we’re not just losing one life.

2. Many of Banks’ recent works center on death the afterlife … specifically the idea that there is no afterlife. In Banks’ Culture novels, anyone who believes in an afterlife is frankly treated as delusional. However, they have the technology to “back up” an entire life and “revent” you into a new body. Other civilizations upload their dead to a computer, and thus achieve an actual virtual afterlife. Banks can clearly imagine eternal life, but he won’t live to see it.

3. It must be torture to die with the kind of imagination Iain M. Banks has. Banks is a master at matter-of-factly describing the really horrible. I’m recalling a scene from “Matter” where a character is beheaded, but is conscious long enough to unleash an antimatter bomb. I’m recalling another scene where a character is stabbed in the heart, and Banks describes all of her sensations until her consciousness fades out.

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