Welcome to the weblog of the writers and artists of Ferret Press (a publisher of fine comix) and PANEL (a Columbus, Ohio comic creators collaborative.) Here you will find our musings on comics, art, the creative process, politics, the web, and life.

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Friday, August 29, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 8/29/2003 02:40:00 PM :


The Word of the Week Is ...

... "muscle dysmorphia." It is the condition of over-exercising because you think your muscles are too small, even if they're obviously not. It's kind of like reverse anorexia, except instead of your teeth falling out and dying of malnutrition, you, uh, can't touch your ears or something.

Comics ... guaranteed cure for muscle dysmorphia.

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  Posted by Dara on 8/29/2003 01:37:00 PM :


"Met him at a birthday party..."
So NEWSARAMA is reporting that the new writer on Detective Comics is a relative newbie to the comics world by the name of Andersen Gabrych. Batman Group Editor Bob Schreck says �I first met Andersen at a friend's birthday party...Almost a year later he called and made an inquiry as to how he might get into writing comics and I took a chance and read his work."

Wow, that is one lucky dude! Believe me, there's no jealousy here, I wish him the best of luck. Hell, I know my limitations as a writer; there's no way in hell I could take on a big gun monthly title like Detective. But I think it's going to be a rough ride for him, what with all the loudmouth Internet message board junkies and writer wannabees feeling that they were cheated out of their big break of writing a Batman book.

Good luck, Andersen. Show 'em what you got.

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Thursday, August 28, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 8/28/2003 11:53:00 AM :


Holy Polarized Opinions, Batman!

So I saw this cover for the upcoming Cable/Deadpool book. It's drawn by the bad boy of comics, Robbie liefeld. And I thought it would be fun to post a bigger version of it in this thread over on the Penciljack website and poke a little fun at good ol' Robbie. Ya know, cuz he makes it so easy to do so.

Holy moley, I didn't expect this kind of firestorm.

In less than 2 days there are 12 pages of replies from the other members! People hate him. Peaople love him. People start getting into personal attacks because of him.

What is it about this guy that gets comic fans to argue so passionately about their like/dislike of his work?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 8/26/2003 11:09:00 AM :


Too...Much...Work...Going Crazy!

I was making a list last night of stuff I'm trying to finish up before this year's Mid-Ohio-Con: letter my 10-page Valon's Curse story, re-letter the 10-page BigCityBlues: Protect and Serve story, scan in the artwork and letter the 10-page BigCityBlues: Intersections story, put the whole 40 page BigCityBlues book together and get it off to the printer, work with the 4 local bands who are putting together a BigCityBlues music anthology CD, letter the 4-page Xxxagnut Beefman story for PANEL vol. 2, coordinate/edit the stories for PANEL vol.2 and get that book off to the printer, scan in the artwork and letter the 16-page third issue of AKA and print up that book as well, try to catch some sleep sometime...

Oh man, it'll be a long couple of months. But I'm not complaining, after all, I love creating comics and wouldn't have it any other way. As Steve said below, I think it's time "for my production to increase two fold". At least.


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Monday, August 25, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 8/25/2003 01:46:00 PM :


I know I've said this before...

But damn, you really out to be checking out Oddball Comics at ComicBookResources.com if you haven't already made it a part of your daily web surfing. Check out the weird-ass comics you're missing out on...

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  Posted by steve on 8/25/2003 09:27:00 AM :


Maybe it's just because I'm an October baby but, I've been so comforted by the fact that fall is comming. It's time to stay in and bundle up. Spend all day reading and drawing while watching old movies. Go on excursions out in the leaves and withering trees. Drinking warming beverages. Moving about swiftly down the street to pop in to your local coffee shop to get the fuel to brace the day. My season is comming and I can't wait. I turn the ac in my apartment up all the way and wear long shirts and sip coffee, but it just can't compare to natures cold embrace.

It's funny how even the thought of fall gets me in the mood to draw all day. Look for my production to increase two fold and expand in some new ways.

good bye hot summer


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Wednesday, August 20, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 8/20/2003 01:04:00 PM :


The Matrix...comics

4 years after the Matrix comic stories started appearing on the official Matrix website, a few of them are being collected into a 160 page TPB. Here's what you'll get in the first volume:

� The Miller's Tale by Paul Chadwick
� Bits & Pieces of Information by Larry & Andy Wachowski, Geoff Darrow
� Sweating the Small Stuff by Bill Sienkiewicz
� Goliath by Neil Gaiman
� A Life Less Empty by Ted McKeever
� Burning Hope by John Van Fleet
� Butterfly by Dave Gibbons
� There Are No Flowers in the Real World by David Lapham
� Get It? by Peter Bagge
� A Sword of a Different Color by Troy Nixey
� Artistic Freedom by Ryder Windham & Kilian Plunkett
� Hunters & Collectors by Gregory Ruth

And check out what the book's editor, Spencer Lamm, has to say about the future of The Matrix Comics: "We�ll have enough over the next few months for four volumes, considering what will be coming out at the website..." Of course it's not a done deal, but my guess is it will happen. For more info, read the newarama article here.

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Monday, August 18, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 8/18/2003 01:16:00 PM :


The Boy's Club

I wasn't able to attend the Chicago convention this year. But fellow PANELists (and Ferret Press creators) Tim F., Tim M., Steve, and Andy were there. And they all had the same thing to say about their experiences with portfolio reviews. They all came away with a sour taste in their mouths from the "boy's club" mentality at the big publishers. Marvel in particular, it seems. They all commented on how there was a very clear and obvious dividing line between those behind the tables and those in front. The boys who had finally made it into the "club" were all laughing and joking around with their buddies, the editors, sometimes with complete disregard to the fans waiting for autographs or reviews.


In a time where the industry is hurting for fans and sales, it's sad to see this kind of behavior from the "professionals". Now granted, some of this may just be the perception/interpretation of the guys, but based on my own convention trips in the past (last year's San Diego Con being one that comes to mind) I know exactly what they're talking about. Heck, we all know that "breaking in" is difficult, and I'm certainly not begrudging anyone their success if they've finally realized their goal of working professionaly in comics. But damn, that whole high school clique shit was tired then and it's tired now. Aren't we supposed to be adults? Shouldn't it be about something more than "look at me, I'm buddying around with Quesada and getting drunk with Millar"?


When Ferret Press hits it big, you can bet we'll still be humble and accessible. You know, as long as you buy us shots and laugh along while we make fun of the fat kid in the Flash t-shirt.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 8/14/2003 04:38:00 PM :


Quemas...not all bad
Joe Quesada and Bill jemas receive a lot of flak online from fans who are sick and tired of their WWE-style antics. And for the most part I agree with those criticisms. But I'm also quite aware that these guys have done an amazing job of turning marvel arounds and bringing it - kicking and screaming - out of its bnakruptcy days. Anyway, what got me thinking about this was something Mark Millar mentions in his interview over at ComicBookGalaxy.com:

"Why isn't the book called The Ultimate Avengers, anyway?

It's funny, but Bryan and I were BEGGING them to call the book Ultimate Avengers. We were saying it was a huge mistake not to, but Bill and Joe have better, less fanboy instincts when it comes to this stuff and they were absolutely right. You have to remember that, although this book is at the top of the charts in the comic stores, this is only where a fraction of the sales come from. Like the rest of the Ultimate line, it's aimed at casual readers and the mainstream and, to the mainstream, The Avengers is a bad, bad movie with Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman looking like a heroin addict in a catsuit. Ultimate Avengers means nothing to people who don't know who The Avengers are. Also, as I had to admit to myself, The Avengers never made much sense as a team. The Defenders were defending. The Justice League where a league that represented justice in America, but The Avengers? Who were they avenging? Batman's parents? Like everyone else, I'm a major fanboy. You must remember I write this stuff because I love it so much I'd rather do it than any other job and it's hard to curtail those instincts sometimes, but the Ultimate line has been good for making me think a little differently."

I have to admit, I was one of those folks who couldn't figure out why they didn't call the book Ultimate Avengers, as everyone knew that's what it was. In this case, I'd have to say The Quemas decision to call the book The Ultimates was definitely a forward-thinking one. Mainstrean (i.e. non-comics) folks know Spider-man and (now) even the X-Men. But yeah, nobody outside of us comic book geeks knows who the hell The Avengers are. So if you're aiming your book at those people, you'd better come up with a different name.

Oh, and by the way...the man makes a good point: who the hell are The Avengers avenging, anyway?

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  Posted by Dara on 8/14/2003 10:30:00 AM :


What the--?

File another one under the category "Oh, those silly search strings...". I was looking at the site logs and we got a hit on the blog from iwon.com (that silly search engine that supposedly gives away a million dollar prize) because someone did a search on this: "california gubernatorial race ferret". I don't even want to know...

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 8/13/2003 04:13:00 PM :


Copyright extensions: good or bad?

Another fine article, this one about the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act (SBCEA). An excerpt:

"Curiously, many of those who fought the hardest for the SBCEA were those who had benefited the most from the public domain. Disney, afraid of losing exclusive control of Mickey Mouse (who first appeared in 1928 and would have gone public this year), lobbied vigorously for the 20-year extension, despite having made billions off such classic characters and stories as Cinderella and The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

You can read the whole thing here.

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  Posted by Dara on 8/13/2003 10:10:00 AM :


The Good, The Bad, and The Editors

Writer/columnist Marv Wolfman has a nice piece about editors up on the Silver Bullet Comics website. In it he talks about good and bad editors, and what qualities separate them. But of even more interest to me was the part where he expans upon this statement:

"It used to be that editors were concerned with A: Getting books out on schedule, and B: Getting the books to be as good as they could be. That�s changed."

You can read the article ---> here.

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Friday, August 08, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 8/08/2003 01:31:00 PM :


What 'chu talking 'bout, Arnold?

My boss told me yesterday that Gary Coleman started to enter the California gubernatorial race, then pulled out when he heard Ah-nold was running.

Did he think he had a chance before Arnold joined the race?

And for that matter, why is Arnold Schwarzenegger considered a more serious contender for the governor's chair than Gary Coleman? Because he's a bigger movie star? Has he even had a big hit in the last 15 years? Really, aren't they both stars not by virtue of talent, but by virtue of their physical abnormalities? By that criteria, I think Gary Coleman has more poise and a lot more natural comedic timing.

And shouldn't the real question be which has more experience in government? By that criteria, it might be a dead heat.

I love this country, but damned if I understand it.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 8/06/2003 11:04:00 AM :



Man, I have to apologize for being away from this blog for so long. Thanks to Sean and Tony for the cool updates. I'll be back in full force soon with lots of stuff to talk about, including stories and pictures from visits to comic shops in my recent European trip.

In the meantime, here's a bit of self-serving hype: AKA #1 and #2, along with Tom Williams' Misa are currently being offered to retailers through Cold Cut Distribution's online "ChannelX" catalog. Please let your comic shop owner know that orders are due in by August 19th. And thanks for supporting indy, self-published books.

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  Posted by Tony on 8/06/2003 10:35:00 AM :


Warren Ellis: 'The Time Has Passed'

"The Anglophone market moved too slowly to the bookstores, and the manga wave colonised them, with content and formats much better suited to that market. Too few publishers had the guts to go to the original graphic novel when it counted.

"In 2000, the business was flailing. Everything was up for grabs. By 2001, there had been an immense failure of nerve, and this is the end result. I feel sorry for the people who thought a rejuvenated Marvel was going to raise all boats on its swelling tide. In 2000, I wrote that Marvel were in the business of saving the comics industry *for Marvel*, and that's exactly what's happened.

"So what's next? Marc Bernardin is doing a heroic job of bringing the form to the masses via ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. In fact, he's just hired me to write an article for them about my favourite graphic novel, which will be one of a series by various writers. I heard recently that the issue I was interviewed in received more mail about an EW section than any other, ever, and that they attribute that to Bad Signal. (Which made me laugh.) I love the fact that Jim Valentino's still at Image Central, when he clearly could have quit and got a proper job years ago, and Eric Stephenson's doing an excellent job as his majordomo. Avatar have plans above and beyond their cash-cow porn comics scheme -- you'll see the Vivid money being ploughed back into some serious work over the next couple of years, reminiscent of the Fantagraphics-Eros system. Oni Press are perceived to be chugging along, but they're still standing, which is an achievement in itself. And DC remain the only major publisher prepared to bankroll original creator-owned work; they limit their expectations, make their money back, and remain a publisher of distinction.

"But Anglophone comics are a small medium now, just the way some people wanted it. And I think it's going to stay that way, now. The time has passed."
by Warren Ellis, Aug. 6, 2003, as quoted by ...

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