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

Books – Dara
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Image of Igor Movie Prequel
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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
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Image of Saint Germaine: Tales of an Immortal
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Archive for the ‘s.p.a.c.e.’ Category


“Back in my day …” I’m kidding, Dara’s day is now.

I’ve been going to SPACE so long, I now have two “I’ve been going to SPACE so long” stories.

When I first started going, everyone had xeroxed stuff from Kinko’s. My stuff was 8 pp, xeroxed, and I traded people for things. I didn’t purchase hardly anything. I just traded.

As print-on-demand and Kablam came up, more people had $3 glossies. Nobody wants to trade a $3 glossy for your xeroxed minicomic. So I adapted, and I started doing $3 glossies. (Actually $2, because they don’t do me any good in a box in my spare bedroom).

The $3 glossy carries an element of risk: Nobody wants to get issue 2 of a 12-issue maxiseries, then wait another year to see you at the next SPACE. And there’s a risk that you’ll fail to finish the story, or you won’t make it back to SPACE.*

So that brings us to my second “I’ve been going to SPACE so long” story: This seems to be the year everyone switched over to $8-10 graphic novels. So I saw a lot of stuff that looked awesome, but I’m only going to be able to plunk down money for one or two things tomorrow.

Ain’t economics grand? Stay tuned for 2015, when it’s a room full of people with Kindle Fires to show their webcomics, and little postcards to remind people of the URL.

* This is why Downs stories are self-contained.

Sorry, folks, our XX issue was not porn.

But to compensate, we’re coming at you with 40 pages devoted to our hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Here’s a sneak at the cover:


Cop that piece at SPACE this weekend! Provided we actually get it folded & stapled in time!


In other publishing news, friend-of-the-Ferret Terry Eisele’s four-year labor of love, “With Only Five Plums,” is now available through Amazon’s CreateSpace.

Terry describes it thusly:

With Only Five Plums addresses the same themes as Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Joe Kubert’s Yossel, and Miriam Katin’s We Are on Our Own. The story is set in Germany and Czechoslovakia before, during, and after World War II. It is told through the recollections of one of the massacre’s few survivors, Anna Nesporova. The author, Terry Eisele, interviewed Ms. Nesporova on four occasions for a total of almost fifteen hours in the mid-1990s. These interviews provide the foundation of the graphic novel. The story is told in three chapters.

Art is from local boy Jonathon Riddle, who tore out 320 pages to bring this beast to life. There’s a taste at the top of the post.

Terry will be at SPACE if you want to chat with him in person, or head on over to Amazon’s CreateSpace and give him your money right now.

With Only Five Plums Book 1

With Only Five Plums Book 2

With Only Five Plums Book 3

I have a short post on my personal blog about this year’s Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (S.P.A.C.E.), including scans of some of the original art I picked up at the show, and a link to a great photo gallery of the event.

Art by Matt Kish

SPACE starts this Saturday!

PANEL 19: Green will be available all weekend, both from members of PANEL at the show, and from Andy Bennett at the Pittsburgh Comicon.

Bonus – we’ll have stacks of free PANEL bookmarks, with art by Matt Kish, and a checklist of our entire catalog.

Here’s the last peek at what’s in store for you in the latest issue – by KT Swartz and Brent Bowman, from a story called “Apologies for the Missing.”

Brent Bowman


And for good measure, here’s a picture of the cover dress – so you’ll know what you’re looking for!

GREN cover

The Dispatch has a nice article on the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, and profile local cartoonists Bob Corby, Max Ink, and Matt Wyatt.

Such publishers are refreshing because they take chances that big-time publishers won’t, said Gib Bickel of Laughing Ogre, a comic-book store at 4258 N. High St.

“Most of the real creativity comes from the small press.”

You want a splash page? Here’s a splash page for ya:

Green Hills of Earth, from Panel 19


Theseus Moore and the Green Hills of Earth stand alone against the Ravari Horde, with the Earth in the balance! Theseus’ shields are elmo, and the Ravari have their atom-cannons primed! They mean to burn the Earth to a cinder!

“For the Green:” A deadly game of 20-gee cat & mouse, set among the 64 moons of Jupiter! It’s a five-page epic that will rock your face off and forever vanquish the evil forces of decompression! Blasting off from Panel 19: Green, it’s a ray gun to the face from 1948, by way of 1976!

If you crave satisfaction, here’s the place to find that action! Don’t ask … just buy it!

(Pictures by Battlin’ Craig Bogart, words by Annotatin’ Anthony Goins. This is definitely the most Easter Eggs I have ever put in a comic.)


Hold on a second… teenagers—in a Model T—running over a tall leprechaun?

Yeah, that can only be Ross Hardy’s handiwork. From “Luck of the Irish”…

Ross Hardy's Leprechaun


Four more days, folks! You can get your copy starting Saturday morning at SPACE!

This weekend is the 13th annual Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (S.P.A.C.E.)

Check out this year’s show poster, by fellow PANELista Tom Williams:

Where: Columbus, Ohio (Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, 4900 Sinclair Road)
When: Sat April 21, Sun April 22
Who: hundreds of indie comix creators
How Much: $5/day, $8/weekend

I’ll have a table, as will several of my fellow PANEL Collective members. Debuting at the show will be the 19th volume of our well-reviewed anthology, PANEL: Green.

Also this year, it’s the return of the pre-convention party!

Friday, April 20 – The Laughing Ogre Comic Shoppe (4258 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43214) will host the pre-party from 7:00PM-11:00PM Come meet and talk to many of the SPACE exhibitors before the show. Also, free SPACE passes to the first 20 people through the door.

Hope to see some of you at the pre-party, as well as the show itself.

…of the imminent release of PANEL 19: GREEN!

This time, it’s the madcap ravings of Captain Responsible in Andrew Lee’s slacker-rrific cautionary tale, “The Devil’s Coleslaw,” lovingly lettered and toned by multi-talented guest artist Ben Smith!

Captain Responsible!

32 pages of 60% post-consumer awesomeness are coming your way SATURDAY at SPACE! Hope to see you there.

…get ready! The 19th issue of our beloved anthology will launch in just 8 days at SPACE on April 21-22! And for those of you who won’t be at the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo, our own Andy Bennett will have copies available at the Pittsburgh Comicon that same weekend.

Here’s a tiny glimpse of what’s in store for you, from Dara Naraghi & Matt Kish’s Rube Goldberg-ian masterpiece, “From Green to Green.” And this is just the beginning!


PANEL 19: Green will continue our legacy of lovingly-crafted, hand-built comics, just as you’ve come to expect. Keep an eye on this spot for more leaks and peeks over the next 8 days.

The floor plan’s been rolled out. Here’s where ‘Panel Row’ is seated…

looks like more of the Michigan contingent will make it out this year. Nate Powell, Tom Scioli, and John Porcellino are back as well as some regulars and new faces. Should be a good show. S.P.A.C.E. is on April 21st thru the 22nd. Same place. Same price to get in the door. See you there.

Bob Corby, founder and show runner of Columbus’ own Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (S.P.A.C.E.) has just announced the finalists for the 2011 SPACE Prize. And your humble blog hosts in the PANEL Collective are well represented:

General Category:

PANEL: Pulp – volume 17 of our twice yearly anthology series, edited by yours truly, Sean McGurr, and Tony Goins, and featuring the talents of the writers and artists of the PANEL Collective. Available for purchase here.

The Ineffables: All of Creation, by PANELista Craig Bogart (who is unfortunately having website issues right now, but hopes to be back online soon).

Also featured in this category, fellow Columbusites Max Ink (Blink:So Far) and Joel Jackson/James Moore (Radio Free Gahanna #2)

Mini-comic / Short Story Category:

PANELista Brent Bowman for his story from PANEL: Pulp, “Noor Jama, Somali Pirate”

You can check out the full list of finalists here.

Congrats to all, and we’ll see you at S.P.A.C.E. 2012, April 21-22.

Today I’m continuing the series describing my process for creating my cover image for PANEL 17: PULP.

Last Friday I described the sketch stage, where I cut the design from whole cloth and prepare for a final drawing. Once I have a sketch I’m happy with, I transfer it directly to the final art board. Since my sketches are frequently so small, this usually involves a scan/scale/print/graphite transfer affair. I print the sketch at final art size, coat the back of the print with graphite, and trace it over onto the board. This leaves a ghost-image on the board, with all the correct proportions/perspective of the smaller sketch.

In other instances, such as times when the final art is much larger than my printer’s capability and I don’t care to assemble pieces, I’ll do a grid transfer. In this method, I draw a grid over the sketch, usually about 10 squares high by 6-7 squares wide, for images in this ratio. I then draw the same grid on the blank art board and re-draw each square one at a time. It’s a quick way to accurately re-draw a smaller image without all the intermediate steps of a graphite transfer.

In this case, I decided I could probably improve the composition a little by re-drawing it entirely. So I started instead on a blank board, and re-drew the sketch freehand, and put everything exactly where I wanted it. After filling out the drawing enough to where I could ink confidently, I began the ink stage. This is where I spend the most time on an image, and where I think my style really emerges. Here’s a side-by-side of the original sketch with the inked cover art (click to enlarge):

The sketch was rather spontaneous, so it was not drawn in the correct ratio, which is why it isn’t as tall as the final. As you can see, I pushed the “Femme Fatale” character further into the foreground, and enlarged the “hero” in the background, to improve the drama and overall design of the page. In addition to the composition changes, I changed the figures in many ways. I fixed her legs, tilted her head, showed a bit more of his face, and I gave her a cigarette so I could use the smoke as a design element. I also eliminated a lot of the extraneous props on the desk, as they seemed like too much clutter to me, and angled the shadows on the wall quite a bit more, for added drama.

In the next step, I’ll be adding the digital colors and effects, as we get closer and closer to the final art. Tune in Wednesday to see the results…

In honor of the 8th anniversary of the PANEL blog, I’ll be formulating a sort of step-by-step of the process I used in creating my cover design for PANEL 17: PULP. First up – step one: the sketch phase!


In developing the book, PANEL as a group decided that there were too many aspects of the PULP genre to limit the cover image to only one of them. So several artists approached the same basic image from 5 different vantage points: Barbarian Action, Weird Western, Gothic Horror, Weird Science, and Crime Noir. Brent Bowman kicked off the process early with his killer Barbarian Action image. And with that, the ball was rolling; each artist would then re-interpret his painting in their own style, using the same elements (a damsel in distress, a looming threat, and a heroic rescuer), but spinning the art to suit a different genre.


I began my “Crime Noir” cover image by doing some research, finding examples of cover images from the past for inspiration. Some I liked for their title designs, and the way the characters interacted with it. Others I just liked the mood, or the design.

And, of course, the words “crime” and “pulp” can’t be mentioned together without calling to mind this 1994 classic—

so I took a healthy dose of inspiration from that original poster image as well. I sketched it out from memory before actually calling up an image of the poster, to avoid being locked into copying it directly. Here’s what  my first pass looked like:

A little rough, but it’s all part of the process. Just getting the idea down on paper is a huge step for me; it’s when things get real. After  tweaking some sizes and positions of the main elements, and adding some value, I settled on a design that I thought captured the overall theme:

So now that I had the composition blocked in, I could start the drawing phase. Check back on Monday to see how that goes…


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