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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Monday, September 29, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 9/29/2003 04:34:00 PM :


Follow me, kids!

You know how rappers will sometimes give themselves a nickname in addition to their regular stage name? Like Notorious B.I.G./Biggie Smalls, Redman/Phunk Doctor, LL Cool J/Mr. Smith, Mystikal/The Tarantula, Jay-Z/Jigga, etc.?

It's come to my attention that R. Kelly has started calling himself the Pied Piper.

Think about it.

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  Posted by Dara on 9/29/2003 12:16:00 PM :


How to write a compelling pitch

Marv Wolfman's column (What The--?) over at SilverBulletComicBooks.com is currently being handled by guest writer Lee Nordling. Lee is the Executive Editor of the Platinum Studios Comic Book Department, and he is writing a 3-part series on "What it Takes to Sell Your Pitch." You can read part 1 here. Good info for all you aspiring comics creators from a guy whose job is to read pitches and decide if the projects are worth pursuing.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 9/23/2003 03:27:00 PM :


Funny, Funny Stuff

A coworker directed me to the Homestar Runner website. What is it, exactly? Um...I don't know how to explain it, really. Just a hilarious collection of webtoons, games, and downloads centered around a funny cast of bizarre characters. You have to check out the section where Strong Bad answers his fan mail.

Great time-waster at work, by the way!

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Friday, September 19, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 9/19/2003 11:09:00 AM :


Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russel on NPR

Gaiman and Russel were guests on NPR's Talk of the Nation on Thursday, September 18. Neil talks about Sandman: Endless Nights, 1602, the CBLDF, creator rights, and much more. I really enjoyed the parts with Russel where he talks about his approach to Gaiman's scripts, how long it takes him to do the art, and other topics. As always, listeners get a chance to call in and ask questions of the guests.

To listen to the 40 minute audio, go here and scroll down to the section 'The Sandman' Creator Neil Gaiman.

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Thursday, September 18, 2003
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 9/18/2003 08:43:00 PM :


Another Comic Movie
I should have known better than to push my luck in seeing another comic book movie the same week that I saw American Splendor, but playing at the cheap theater was League of Extraordinary Gentlemen based on the excellent comic series by Alan Moore. I had heard it was bad, but certainly it had to be worth $2.00. Nope. The story was muddled and glossed over what made the series great. Instead, I was bombarded with lame repartee between the characters and characters who weren't even in the books. The direction was horrible as it was near impossible to tell what was happening at times. Ugh. I will praise it for how it looked though.

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  Posted by Tony on 9/18/2003 11:30:00 AM :


It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ...

(from CNN.com) Who is Angle Grinder Man?

He is Britain's self-styled "first wheel-clamp and speed camera vigilante cum subversive superhero philanthropist entertainer type person." That's who.

For those not familiar with industrial machine tools, an angle grinder is the saw best suited to cutting through plates of steel, such as, say, the wheel clamps that authorities use to immobilize illegally parked cars in London.

And Angle Grinder Man offers his "free clamp-removal service" to "all good, decent law-unabiding people" who would rather fight back than pay to have their cars released.


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Wednesday, September 17, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 9/17/2003 10:47:00 AM :



Devon scored passes to "Underworld" last night, so we went to that. It wasn't bad, somewhere above "Blade" and "Daredevil" and right behind "Hulk" and "Spider-Man." The best thing about it is how the story unfolds organically, never getting bogged down by its backstory. That, and the shooting.

It lost points for a pair of Matrix rip-offs, a completely unsupported love story and a bit of unintentional comedy at the end -- the audience isn't supposed to laugh when the big bad guy gets his. And seriously, a pistol firing on full auto would run out of bullets in about two seconds.

And watching those vampires lounging around the lair in their fetish gear, I think I finally understand what the kids at Outland are going for.

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Monday, September 15, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 9/15/2003 09:37:00 AM :


Lame Canada!

Here's one for you: I just heard on NPR that a group of Canadian film directors is working on the "5 percent solution," their plan to get 5 percent of Canadians watching Canadian films. One of their flagship films is "Mambo Italiano," a comedy about a gay man trying to come out to his very traditional Italian family (the Barbarinos, I think was the name). This film got assistance from the Canadian government, which is working to stimulate the nation's film industry.

I just don't know where to start with this one. The hackneyed plot? State-sponsored filmmaking? Canadians? It's frustrating.

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Friday, September 12, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 9/12/2003 02:39:00 PM :


Mr. Bennett in da Hizouse!

The Train-O-Artists-Extraordinaire keeps a' rollin' down the tracks. I'd like you to point your browsers over to Andy Bennett's website. Andy has been in the business longer than most of the rest of the PANEL group, and got his start over at Caliber Comics on such titles as Negative Burn and Saint Germaine. He has since done work for White Wolf publishing, and most recently for Moonstone on Vampire the Masquerade: Ventrue graphic novel and the upcoming Vampire the Masquerade: Tremere. Andy also contributed a very cool con-man story to PANEL vol. 1 (including a fun "behind-the-scenes" commentary) and is working on a story for PANEL vol.2. That one's guaranteed to creep you out, kids.

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Thursday, September 11, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 9/11/2003 05:10:00 PM :


Christian Bale as Batman

Just read about the upcoming Batman movie casting, which could start preproduction as early as 2004. At least they have the right pieces in place...David Goyer wrote the Blade movies and co-wrote the underrated but way-cool Dark City. Christopher Nolan is, of course, the writer/director of the kick-ass movie Memento. And Christian Bale did a great job in Reign of Fire. Now if the studio would only sit back and let the creators do their thing, this could turn out to be an excellent movie and redeem the Batman franchise after the last 2 horrible Schumacher train wrecks.

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  Posted by Dara on 9/11/2003 11:14:00 AM :


Mr. Williams in da Hizouse!

Today, boys and girls, we'll be visiting the website of PANEL member and 2002 Day Prize winner, funk-daddy artist Tom Williams at OpenCrashComics.com. Tom's graphic novel Misa won the aforementioned prize, hand-picked from a pile of other indy goodness by Dave Sim himself. Plus, he draws a cyclops cowboy and a satanic paperboy. What could be cooler than that? Oh, how about the fact that his "play at home" entries for the Comic Book Idol contest are consistently kicking the ass of the entries from the "official" contestants? Don't believe me? Check this out. Or this. The dude is gonna' rock your world, trust me.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 9/10/2003 01:03:00 PM :


Mr. Fischer in da Hizouse!

Continuing on with the cavalcade of righteous artists, I'd like to direct your attention to Tim Fischer's online gallery, the Comix Mill. Not only is Tim an excellent artists and all-around nice guy, but he's also the founder of PANEL and reason we're all here. Oh, and he's drawing a very swank Xxxagnut Beefman: Alien Porn Star story written by your truly. And he does commissions, kids. Drop him a line.

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  Posted by Dara on 9/10/2003 12:57:00 PM :


When Web Companies Collapse...

Ok, this isn't comics related at all but it's funny so I wanted to share. There was a UK web company called WWWDot that was a reseller of training courses developed by the company I work for (MindLeaders). Anyway, they went belly-up due to poor management and apparently all sorts of other idiotic shenanigans, and much suing and counter-suing was involved. Check out their web site now for a funny collection of the petty, childish name callings and threats that the remaining "directors" of the company are engaged in!

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Tuesday, September 09, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 9/09/2003 12:07:00 PM :


Mr. McClurg in da Hizouse!

PANEL member and artist dude Tim McClurg has finally put up his website at www.tmcclurg.com. Drop on by and check out his artwork, including my favorite piece entitled Republic. If you like what you see, you should seek out PANEL Comix Anthology vol. 1 in which we collaborated on a sweet little story called "Comeback". And Tim's hard at work on PANEL Comix Anthology vol. 2, drawing a story by Sean McGurr and one written by himself with the giggle-inducing title "Chubby's".

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Friday, September 05, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 9/05/2003 11:10:00 AM :


Comics -- There�s No Escape

I�ve been thinking about writing some short fiction in prose form, but I don�t think I can do it anymore. Comics have ruined me for other media.

I notice all my story ideas rely on narrative techniques that are specific to comics. Like, repeating a panel to give the illusion of the passage of time. Designing one panel bigger than the rest to give that scene more impact. Splitting up scenes so they coincide with page breaks. That sort of thing.

My �I Love You More Than Anybody� story relies on facing pages, one page of the guy followed by a page of the girl. That technique is virtually impossible outside of comics. That kind of switching is too jarring in any other medium, like film or prose, but I think it�s kind of cool in comics.

One other problem I�m having with prose is I�ve forgotten how to describe how things look. In comics, that�s the artist�s job.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 9/03/2003 04:02:00 PM :


The Tarquin Engine

The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London hosted a multi-day event called ComICA, which featured panels on Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Mike carey, and more. It also featured a comic story running along the wall of the exhibit room in which different artists such as Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Roger Langridge and others contributed spinn-off stories from the main linear story. A sort of "hypercomics" on a stationary wall.

Well, now you can enjoy an online version of it here. The web adaptation was made by hypercomics guru Daniel Merlin Goodbrey using his new flash-based zooming infinite canvas delivery system, The Tarquin Engine.

A very cool experiment, and a fun experience. Check it out.

(thanks to Rich Johnston's Lying in the Gutters column for the tip)

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