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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Read Tony Goins' webcomic Downs.
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Sunday, November 30, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 11/30/2003 07:16:00 PM :



Is now over. I'm way too tired to write up any sort of coherent review of the show and our experience there, but I will soon. For now, let's just say "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Ok, that's probably too dramatic. I will say, though, that I'm still very disappointed and bitter at the absolute shit-ass location we had for our table this year. We worked really hard to have our books done in time for the show and had a pretty nice table display as well, but as people walked past our table it was just frustrating to know we'd never be able to get them back there to check it out. On the other hand, it was an absolute blast hanging out with friends and fellow creators, trading books, checking out the artists, and doing all the fun convention stuff.

More later...

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Friday, November 28, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 11/28/2003 11:45:00 PM :


Photoshop Tutorials for Comics

I don'y know why this just came to me, but I've been meaning to post a link to this great site for a while now. PolyKarbon.com has a plethora of tutorials on art, anatomy, and more specifically, the use of Photoshop in comics coloring and special effects. A great resource for colorists and artists in general, and well worth the visit.

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  Posted by Dara on 11/28/2003 11:39:00 PM :


Got back from the Great Ogre Gathering about a half-hour ago. Man, do I love The Laughing Ogre. They host the pre-Mid Ohio Con party each year, providing plenty of free food, free booze, and comic book pros and fans galore. All in a friendly, social setting. No autograph seeking. No business deals. Just socializing and mingling and conversing about comics, life, the universe, and everything in between.

Can't wait for the show tomorrow. Off to bed now...

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  Posted by Dara on 11/28/2003 12:22:00 PM :



Tony, it's funny you should mention "Rodger Dodger", as I saw the movie a couple of months ago for the first time and had the same exact experience with it that you did. My brother had borrowed it from the library and was sitting down to watch it. I had no intention to do the same; I was finishing up my dinner and was just looking for a bit of background noise.

But damn if I didn't get hooked after the opening scene!

And the strangest thing, to me at least, is that the main character played by Campbell Scott is exactly the kind of guy I can't stand. Arrogant. Amoral. Preoccupied with sex. Shallow. But I ended up taking an immense interest in him and his fate. I got sucked into to the film and enjoyed every minute of it. What a fantastic script...it held my interest with sharp, wicked dialogue and very human, flawed, yet ultimately likeable characters. I agree that this movie is a perfect example of what writers should strive towards when creating characters.

And speaking of Jennifer Beals, wow did she look gorgeous in this movie! She portrayed that kind of understated sex appeal that makes you melt just watching her.

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  Posted by Tony on 11/28/2003 10:00:00 AM :


Rented "Roger Dodger" when I got back from the Thanksgiving feast last night ... Leaving aside the question of whether I really ought to see a movie about an aging bachelor trying desperately to get laid, it's a heck of a flick.

You feel bad for the characters, but you can see they're doing it to themselves. It's *painful* to watch. That's what makes it good.

But there's one scene where Jennifer Beals gives the kid his first kiss, and I'll be darned if I didn't feel my first kiss while watching it. Sitting in my couch, at the age of 27, I remembered exactly what it felt like to be 16, scared and exhilarated all at the same time.

That's good filmmaking. If I can manage to do that with comics, not just show it to you but make you *feel* it, I'll know I'm on the right track.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 11/26/2003 12:56:00 PM :


Lettering Tutorial

About 3 years ago, when the first of my many scripts finally had an artist and I was looking ahead to the next steps in the production cycle (scanning, lettering, etc.), I realized that I had to bite the bullet and learn how to letter on my own. It's hard enough finding a talented, reliable artist. I didn't want to go through all that to find a letterer.

So I learned. On my own

It's still a love/hate relationship. Before I start lettering, I hate the fact that I'm spending time on a "finished" script, instead of being able to spend time writing new stories. While I'm lettering, I get into it and love learning new tips and tricks. After I'm done lettering, I usually hate the fact that although it looks good, I know it could be great if only I had more time to hone my craft.

For those of you out there who find yourselves in the position I was in 3 years ago, here's a fantastic tutorial to start you on the road to lettering: Patrick Simmons' Computer Lettering How-to. It's a great place to start, is presented in a clear, effective manner, and has helpful illustrations to clarify the lessons. Give it a try.

And if you're looking for fonts specifically designed for comic book lettering (dialogue, logos, title, sound effects, etc.) there's no better site than Nate Piekos' Blambot font site. Nate has dozens of free fonts that he makes available to indy publishers free of charge.

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Saturday, November 22, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 11/22/2003 10:09:00 AM :


Alien Legion

One of my all-time favorite comic book series, Alien Legion (published by the original Epic comics line), is coming to TV as an animated series, courtesy of the fine folks at the Canadian animation powerhouse, Mainframe Entertainment. Click here for the Alien Legion flash website. I'm not sure as to the details of the show re: release date, syndication, etc. But given their track record, I have high hopes for this series. (thanks to neilalien blog for the tip).

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 11/19/2003 11:05:00 AM :


Village Voice
The Village Voice has done a nice article about Alex Ross and a new book of his art that is coming out.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 11/18/2003 04:15:00 PM :


By the way...

here are the final covers to the two books we're debuting at Mid-Ohio-Con...

Front and Back covers for Panel: Architecture

Front and Back covers for BigCityBlues

Oh, and then there's this little 15-track, 1-hour music CD called BigCityBlues: Street Music

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  Posted by Dara on 11/18/2003 03:30:00 PM :


Meet My Son: Toolio DeSac

Not comic book related, but extremely funny...in this Bad Baby Names site by Diana Goodman, she selects lame postings from baby-name discussion groups and makes funny comments on them. Here are a few of my favorites:

"I was thinking of naming my son Toolio. Does anyone know the origin on that one? --[Jane] DeSac"

Toolio DeSac. Boy, can't think of any way that kid'll get picked on. That's one taunt-proof name there!

"(someone's response to a woman who wanted to name her girl Killian)...Killian is a BOYS name! Think about it for a minute: if you name her Killian she'll more than likely be mistaken for a boy in BOTH middle and high school and be put in a boys gym class! these are the things you have to concider when naming a child."

Yeah! Think about it for a minute, a single minute, you selfish harpy! Obviously gym class placement should be consideration number one! I mean...BOTH middle and high school! You bitch! Better give her a normal girl's name like Mackenzie or Jaylee or Carrington!"

"Also like these but probably won't use: Kylah Elizabeth, Kaylee Madicyn, Kelsee Myriah"
How 'bout Kaylee Madi-SIN, so she can become a featured stripper at the Lusty Lady?

You get the idea...

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Monday, November 17, 2003
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 11/17/2003 08:29:00 AM :


Sex with Superman
Larry Niven's classic essay "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" about the problems Superman might have mating with a human woman is now available on the Web.

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Friday, November 14, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 11/14/2003 10:23:00 AM :


It's OK for You to Love Captain America...

And, I guess, it's also ok for Captain America to LOVE Captain America, as this unfortunate sound effect seems to imply :-) (thanks to the neilalien blog for the link)

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  Posted by Dara on 11/14/2003 09:54:00 AM :


The Ferret is Jonesing
Tony, thanks for the heads-up on the ferret rehabilitation shelter. I remember when Loki got hooked on raisins and would be jonesin' for his daily fix. He got pretty ornery when daddy withheld the smack. I wish I knew then that there was a place like Ferret Haven By the Sea where he could check himself in and detox his body.

As it was, we had to do it the old fashioned way. I put him on methadone.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 11/12/2003 03:33:00 PM :


Ferret News
Looking for a worthy charity? How about Ferret Haven By the Sea, located in downstate Virginia. According to the new charities guidebook of the Combined Federal Campaign, the annual fundraising drive held among government employees, Ferret Haven By the Sea is "a no-kill shelter that rescues, rehabilitates and adopts ferrets."

Rehabilitating ferrets--now there's a challenge. Suppose a ferret has fallen in with the wrong crowd; been running with a crew of weasels, or prowling garbage cans on Saturday nights with delinquent raccoons. How do you get through to that ferret, teach him some self-respect? At Ferret Haven By the Sea, they know how.

And love the "by the sea," which makes it sound like the ferrets will be lounging on deck chairs along the English coast.

http://ferrethaven.org (this item was ferreted out by Gregg Easterbrook, who runs a blog for the New Republic)

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Friday, November 07, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 11/07/2003 05:09:00 PM :


How One Retailer Uses Previews

So now that both the Ferret Press books are in the can and being printed by Brenner, we're shifting our energies to solicitation, marketing, and good ol' fashioned pimpin'! And lo and behold, this week's edition of James Sime's The Comics Pimp column at ComicBookResources.com is all about how he uses the Previews catalog from Diamond Distributors to order the comics for his story. Though a bit wordy and light on specific examples, he does offer a few worthy nuggets of information on how best to get your book noticed amidst the 500+ pages of stuff in Previews. Worth a look.

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Thursday, November 06, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 11/06/2003 01:36:00 PM :


The Art of Lettering

There's a fantastic roundtable discussion on lettering in comics going on at the Balloon Tales website. Entitled "The Case Regarding Upper & Lower Case Lettering", it's quite informative and brings a variety of viewpoints to the table from such creators as Richard Starkings, Todd Klein, Kurt Busiek, and Marv Wolfman. Check it out.

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