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 Dara's free webcomic @ Komikwerks.com

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Read Dara and Tom's comic @ Brainbotjr.com and in Melt magazine.

Read Tony Goins' webcomic Downs.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/30/2003 04:35:00 PM :


Saw Neverwhere the Other Night...

The 1996 BBC mini-series (6 half-hour episodes) was, I believe, Gaiman's first work in television and the basis for the novel that came afterwards. My friend had just recently bought the 2-disc DVD set and we watched it this past weekend. I have to say, although it's a bit hard to get past the "cheap" look and feel of the series (after all, this is a TV series shot on video at a TV budget), it's still quite an enjoyable watch. There's some clunky acting (the actor who plays the angel Islington comes to mind, and Door wasn't particularly effective either), but there's also quite a bit of good acting. Paterson Joseph turns in a wickedly cool performance as The Marquis De Carabas, and Hywel Bennett and Clive Russell really do the characters of Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemaar justice.

Brian Eno provided the music, which didn't impress me much. In fact, I found the lack of incidental music in most of the scenes to contribute to the overall low production feel of the series. As far as special effects and fight scenes, well, there's not much to talk about. Again, low budget. On the other hand, there are a ton of location shots all over (and under) London, which is quite impressive. From rooftops to sewers to subway tunnels, there's quite a lot of different settings and it's a credit to the filmmakers for pulling off such a grueling shoot.

My favorite bits were the scenes with Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemaar in their lair, especially the darkly humorous one of Vandemaar playing golf with poor toads. It's also quite nice to see a "movie" adaptation of a book that includes all the parts from the book. Of course, given how the movie came first, that's understandable. Still, it's quite satisfying to see almost every scene and event from the novel without thinking "hey, they cut out that whole chapter where..." (One notable exception being the first appearance of the Floating Market, which Gaiman had originally written as happening in Harrods. They did not get permission from the department store to shoot there, so in the series it's a different location, but in the BBC interview also included on the 2nd disc Gaiman says with a twinkle in his eye that he decided to put it back in the book).

In addition to the aforementioned BBC interview, there is a Gaiman commentary track on all episodes (though we did not listen to it), as well as a few other small extras like character biographies and pictures from the set. Overall, light on extra features, though I suspect the Gaiman commentary is quite worthwhile. Oh, and as a comic geek, I got a kick out of seeing Dave McKean's artwork in the opening credits (which as Gaiman was proud to relate, he made using a simple video camera and his Macintosh).

If you can find this set at your local library or video store, and you're a fan of Gaiman, I'd say it's definitely worth watching. But I'm not quite convinced it's worth buying for $40.

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Monday, December 29, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/29/2003 02:56:00 PM :


Help for Iran's Earthquake Survivors

If you are so inclined and have the means, here are a couple of other charitable organizations that are helping out in Iran: Mercy Corps (select "Iran Earthquake" from the Gift Designation drop-down box) and Relief International.

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  Posted by Dara on 12/29/2003 11:24:00 AM :


New Writer for New X-Men

After much secrecy and speculation, guest-rumormonger Alan David Doane claims that the writer picking up after Grant Morrison on New X-Men is none other than Buffy creator Joss Whedon.

"My conclusion, after a week of investigating this, is that it's true. Joss Whedon and John Cassaday are set to work together on the title that Grant Morrison reinvented, New X-Men."

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Friday, December 26, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/26/2003 11:00:00 AM :


Earthquake Hits Iran

A 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit the south-east section of Iran on Friday. Early estimates place the death toll between 2000-4000 people, but unfortunately that is sure to rise as rescue efforts get underway. Aside from the tragic loss of lives, nearly 2/3 of the houses in the city of Bam and the 2000 year old historic citadel of Arg-e-Bam have also been destroyed. You can read more details on any of the major news sites, such as BBC News, Middle East or CNN World.

Luckily none of my family members or friends live in the region, but I'd like to urge anyone who has the means to consider donating to the relief effort via the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/24/2003 09:35:00 AM :


The Bat

There's a nice little article on former Batman artist Norm Breyfogle online at mlive.com. I really miss seeing his work on the big two titles. Seems a shame that such a talented artist was jobless for 9 months when the bottom fell out of the comics industry in the late 90's.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 12/23/2003 11:29:00 AM :


In the ghetto ...

Slate.com has a longish, anguished article asking why video games can't attract a mass audience (ie: chicks). Looks like we're not the only boys-only ghetto out there.

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Monday, December 22, 2003
  Posted by Tom on 12/22/2003 10:04:00 PM :


Dave Sim's output is something to aspire to for any self-publisher. To put out a monthly book with rarily missing a beat is an achievement unto itself. Congrats to Glenn Brewer who I found out won the Day Prize this year. Finally!!

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Saturday, December 20, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 12/20/2003 12:57:00 PM :


I wish ...

I wish I were an artist. I could get my art placed in a gallery or a bar and walk around stroking my chin ... "why yes, you cute little thing, I was trying for a juxtaposition between the ..." and so on.

Instead, I'm all, "hey, if you can take this with you and not lose it and have 20-25 minutes to kill, maybe you would read this and enjoy it."

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Friday, December 19, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/19/2003 04:24:00 PM :


Cerebus farewell

An excerpt from Dave Sim's Hail & Farewell essay on Diamon'd website, signaling the end of his 300 issue Cerebus run:

"Although Cerebus never once cracked the Diamond top 100, although we never had a best-selling trade paperback, although Aardvark-Vanaheim has never been successful enough to warrant a "pie slice" of market share either in North America or in the U.K. and although we are seldom mentioned favourably in the comics press (while somehow still being described as a "critical success") I find it difficult�even with all the irrefutable evidence pointing away from any "real world" success�to view the twenty-six-year-and-three-month Cerebus project as a failure. The fact that Ger and I enter our respective retirements unencumbered by any debt, the fact that we have never been forced by financial necessity to relinquish any part of our absolute control over Cerebus as a creative work and the fact that I am typing these words in a 100-year old Victorian house fully paid for by our joint creativity is a source of no small gratification to us and, more importantly, a testament to what can be accomplished in this remarkable environment of ours, a success that would have been unthinkable before the advent of the direct market in the mid-1970s�single-handedly brought into existence by Phil Seuling (may God rest his soul)..."

I never got into Cerebus, and I'm definitely not a fan of Dave's misogynistic and homophobic leanings, nor his political views, but I respect the man's body of work. I can't imagine anyone else accomplishing in the near future what he did in his career.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 12/18/2003 09:41:00 AM :


Alan Moore in Slate.com

A surprisingly thorough survey of Moore's entire career, without the hagiography you usually find in the regular comix media:


Which reminds me, I read the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen collection, enjoyed the heck out of it, then came to a realization: It's got the same plot as every other espionage comic/book/movie out there. Shadowy figure gathers a group of super-agents, then betrays them.

The Victorian England setting gives it a veneer of sophistication, but that should be recognized as a gimmick. What I really enjoyed about it was the tight plotting, the gently inserted humor, and Moore's talent for giving a dozen different characters each a different "voice."

With Moore, it's easy to focus on the "mad ideas" and forget about the craftsmanship.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/17/2003 01:51:00 PM :


Cover Me

Andrew Wheeler, Antony Jonston, and Alasdair Watson are at it again. From the introduction of the latest Triple A column at NinthArt.com:"For the third year in a row, the Ninth Art editorial board convenes to look at the very best and very worst comic covers of the past twelve months, as well as the breakthrough talents and the latest trends."

So who are some of their favorite cover artists? The usual suspects (Bolland, Johnson, Hughes) and some not-so-usual ones (Scott McKowen, Andi Watson, Jock). Definitely worth a look.

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  Posted by bigbaldkid on 12/17/2003 12:02:00 PM :


hey ,just wanted to drop a site on ya.
this guy goes into all types of art an music an has cool links to them, a new one each weekday.
check out the backlog of days an you'll find things like DESTINO the salvadore dali/disney short film coming out an more.

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  Posted by Dara on 12/17/2003 11:15:00 AM :


First Review

Today's Permanent Damage column by Steven Grant has brief reviews of PANEL: Architecture and BigCityBlues. Overall we did well, though he's harsher on the artists than the writers.

Could have been worse. the indy superhero book Eclipse and Vega got a this: "...imagine every superhero comics clich� crammed into one interminable package. It's bad. End of story." Now that's harsh.

Then again, he's always been upfront about his attitude when reviewing books. "Trust me, when I'm reviewing, I'm not your friend." Which I think is cool, because way too many creators have paper-thin egos and need to toughen their skins. Even if you completely disagree with a review, at least you shouldn't go around whinning and moaning about it. Like my pappa always says, "tough it out, it'll put hair on your chest."

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  Posted by Tony on 12/17/2003 09:47:00 AM :


Greed is Good

I�m midway through �Wall Street� and it occurs to me: This is a bad movie.

Charlie Sheen�s character is paper-thin, Darryl Hannah�s barely a sketch, and Michael Douglas is (and this is probably the wrong forum for this phrase) a comic-book villain.

But the problem isn�t a couple of supervillains bribing their underlings to sneak into their competitors� offices. The real problem is that a lot of otherwise normal people are being led to push the boundaries of what�s legal -- and no one�s really looking.

In the Enron Corp. case, the villains were (supposedly) Ken Lay, CFO Jeff Skilling and those pesky auditors from Arthur Andersen. But analyses of Enron�s internal e-mails show the banks were also complicit. When Enron sold an asset to a shell corporation to book a false profit, it was done with the knowledge of the bankers.

Those banks only paid a fine, and they wouldn�t have gotten even that horrible wrist-slapping if not for the attorney general of New York. The Feds weren�t interested.

Or take the C.O.�s own Enron, National Century Financial Enterprises Inc. The Dublin-based company loaned money to health care companies in exchange for the right to collect their unpaid bills. Problem was, they were loaning money with no collateral and fixing the books to hide the shortfall from investors.

Sherry Gibson, a former executive vice president, pleaded guilty in August to cooking the books, but the founders are still living it up in Florida, their money safely stashed in un-seizable mansions.

"She was just a woman who wanted to keep her job and please her employers," Gibson�s lawyer told me after she got five years imprisonment. "Her only gain in this was her salary."

This woman was not a supervillain. She�s a 40-year-old heavyset woman in a cheap dress. She looks like a Gahanna housewife. But she was complicit in the scheme, and investors are out $3.1 billion. That�s B-as-in-boy billion.

And that�s the problem with �Wall Street.� It�s intended as an expose of corporate corruption -- but the real problem is much, much worse.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/16/2003 06:41:00 AM :


Early Mornin' Musings on Message Boards

I came in to work around 4 AM today. We're doing our quarterly software release to our webfarm and need to get an early start before the traffic on our web servers picks up. It's about 6:30 now and for once everything seems to be going smoothly. So I'm killing some time...

Message Boards: they can be a great resource for comics creators, but more often than not they are a big waste of time. Sure, you can post "how do I...?" questions, get feedback on your script or artwork, or use them for any number of other helpful tasks. But to do so you have to wade through the sea of noise. And unfortunately there are a lot of loud, obnoxious people out there. For instance, you've got:

Mr. "Rackin' Up the Posts": the dude who seems to be in constant competition with half-a-dozen other similar minded losers whose entire reason for being on a message board is to see who has the largest number of posts to their credit. You may have registered on the board around the same time as this genius, but while you've only posted about 40 or 50 messages, he's already up to 7000. How does he do it? by replying to every single goddamn message, whether he has anything to contribute or not. Usually not.

Mr. "I Took My Funny Pill Today": only replies to threads in order to make a joke. You know, you'll ask for help on how to create a thought balloon in Illustrator 8.0 and get a good, helpful discussion going, only to have this dude jump in with an asinine joke about farting and how would one make a sound effect for that.

Mr. "Longest Signature File Ever": posts messages that are only a sentence long, but has a 20 line, multi-colored, bold, large font signature file, listing his favorite quote, entire pull list from his comic shop, 4 websites, an annoying animated smiley face, and 3 different online petitions he'd like you to sign.

I could go on and on, but I'm sure you're all quite familiar with these characters if you've spent any amount of time online.

Ok, back to work for me...

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Monday, December 15, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/15/2003 05:13:00 PM :


Another sign of the impending Armageddon

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: "Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush - U.S. President and Naval Aviator - 12" Action Figure"

You read that right.

U.S. President and Naval Aviator!

And you can have it for a mere $39.99.

I think I'm going to be sick.

(Now if they had the Clinton action figure, that I'd buy. I can see it now: "Elite Force Playa': Bill Clinton - U.S. President and Porn Star- 12" Action Figure (if you know what we mean)")

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Friday, December 12, 2003
  Posted by bigbaldkid on 12/12/2003 12:02:00 PM :


hey, the bookery fantasy has posted a header for the signing on jan.10 on their site
hope you guys can make it.
hey tony , got the script. cool. i'll email soon.

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Thursday, December 11, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/11/2003 02:34:00 PM :


Teen Titans in Sports Illustrated

Saw this on the Launchpad message boards. An 8-page excerpt from Teen Titans Go! #1 will be featured in the January issue of Sports Illustrated For Kids, with an estimated subscription base of "over 625,000".

Around 625,000 kids.

Outside the direct market.


I wish more comics publishers would do stuff like this.

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  Posted by Dara on 12/11/2003 02:23:00 PM :


Comics as College Credit

A press release on NEWSARAMA caught my eye recently. It's an announcement about Georgetown University's 9-week course �Examining Comic Books as Literature�. It cover's the usual works you'd expect from the likes of Moore, Miller, and Spiegelman. Of course, this type of course isn't all that rare; more and more colleges lately are beginning to offer some sort of course that includes comic books in some fashion as part of the curriculum. But still, it warms my heart. And it reminds me of a paper I wrote oh-so-many years ago for my college freshman English class. It dealt with the themes of vision and blindness, literally and figuratively, in Miller's Daredevil: Born Again series. It was a blast to write, I got an A on it, and my professor asked to borrow the comics to read them. If only I could have somehow used comics in all my computer science class assignments :-)

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Tuesday, December 09, 2003
  Posted by Dara on 12/09/2003 01:58:00 PM :


Warning: Contains Nudity (and humor)

Ok, this one's not comics related, but I wanted to share anyway. There's an article on SLATE about the controversy-prone retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch. The sub-headline says it all: "The dirty little secret behind the racy catalog: lousy sales." Basically, despite their catalog featuring nude models and dumb-ass, publicity-whoring ideas like thongs for kids, the retailer's sales have been declining over the years.

But the fun part is a link to this article from last year on the Capitol Hill Blue website that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the A&F numbers game. Namely, comparing the 2002 catalog with the 1909 catalog. Here you'll learn fun facts like :

"Approximate number of nude or partially nude models pictured in the first 119 pages of A&F 2002 (including cover): 49"

"Approximate number of girls who wear Abercrombie & Fitch in A&F 2002: 65"

"Approximate number of girls who do not wear anything at all: 40"

"Number of donkeys featured in A&F 2002: 7"

You get the idea. Ah, good ol' advertising execs. Seems the old adage that "sex sells" doesn't quite get the job done in these days of free Internet porn.

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Monday, December 08, 2003
  Posted by T.McClurg on 12/08/2003 05:29:00 PM :


Not being what you would call an "early adopter", i'm finally getting around to this whole blog thing...i've been on the contributing list all of 2003 and i'm just now getting around to posting...damn Tom, you make me look bad...look for post # 2 by the fall of '04!!!

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  Posted by Tony on 12/08/2003 10:26:00 AM :


Comix -- Who Cares?

Here's an extended essay on why the direct market blocks out all comix except superheroes, and why that means other forms of comix can't get a toehold.

From the Comic Journal's Journalista blog...

Once you get done reading that, here's an extending question: Why should we care? What's so important about bringing fans of other genres into this particular medium? They're apparently happy seeing the kinds of stories they like in television, books or movies.

I'm not saying there isn't an answer to this question. I'm just not sure what it is.

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Saturday, December 06, 2003
  Posted by Tom on 12/06/2003 05:05:00 PM :


_Weeeeeeeee, I'm in the blog! Sorry Dara but all the freakin' variants on Tom Williams were taken. Even my tomix handle.
_I've been told Faulkner's the Sound and the Fury is one of the best novels ever written. I haven't read it though because I suck. I've been meaning to read more but it's never worked out. If I am reading something it's mostly non-fiction. The last book I read was the Giza Power Plant- research for Guston. While I didn't glean alot out of it for the comic it was facinating. Currently, I'm reading some writings by Chomsky. I've picked up a couple of books by Roth, Palahniuk, and Auster. Read Joyce's Portrait of an Artist.

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Friday, December 05, 2003
  Posted by steve on 12/05/2003 04:31:00 PM :


Expanding influence and horizons
I am an artist and more importantly an illustrator. Which means my source material is the written word. I have been trained in the ways of speaking about art and influence of technique, medium, style and many visual bells and whistles. I am constantly taking in new influences in the art world. But it wasn't until recently that I started taking in more influence from the written world. So my question is that at this juncture in my life what should I have already read. I want to have an understanding of the written word to equal that of my visual vocabulary. Any suggestions?

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  Posted by Tony on 12/05/2003 02:14:00 PM :


Tony's Margin Note Essay
Here�s that essay I�ve been meaning to write about margin notes. I�ve had it mapped out in my head for almost a year, but I didn�t have the spark to set it down until just now.

I decided last year I want to be part of the global flow of ideas. My plan for joining this flo: writing notes in the margins of my books.

My idea was to break past the TV paradigm, where you passively absorb information, and into a model where you�re more actively engaged with what you�re learning. Writing my own notes on books would be a way to prove I was not only taking in what I was reading, but synthesizing it and leaving my own impression.

It would also link me to an ancient tradition of the scribes, who not only copied texts but also left their own ideas and intricate drawings. In many ancient manuscripts, such as Sun Tzu�s �Art of War,� the margin notes have become an accepted part of the text.

I put this plan into action. Future generations would be glad I pointed out de Toqueville�s line, �I do not believe that there is a country in the world where, in proportion to the population, there are so few ignorant, and at the same time so few learned, individuals.� That�s a line no one should miss. They�d marvel at my observation that those Manhattan men who were so concerned with real buttonholes in the sleeves of their blazers -- so aptly described in Tom Wolfe�s essay �The Secret Vice� -- prefigured the term �metrosexual� by nearly 40 years.

The whole thing came undone when, on the train back from Washington D.C., I started into a copy of Joan Didion�s �Play it as it Lays.� I bought it at a used bookstore (I am not only concerned with posterity; I am also cheap), but I found it was already marked up.

It was irritating. I didn�t think the line �I missed a transition� was the key to Carter and Maria�s relationship. It was obvious that Maria does not �believe in rewards, only in punishments.� And �Why not, I say� is the last line of the book -- what moron underlines the last line of the book?

I pretty much stopped marking up books after that. It was kind of a pain in the neck anyway. I never have a pen when I�m reading.

Nowadays, about the best I can do is dog-ear pages with passages that seem important. Will future generations come to those pages and scan them intently, wondering what cuaght my fancy?

It�ll be a mystery.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 12/03/2003 02:01:00 PM :



Why does Sean McGurr's dog update her blog more often than I do?

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  Posted by Tony on 12/03/2003 10:45:00 AM :


Naturally ...

Ohio First Lady Hope Taft will drop off 200 bags of potpurri to the Statehouse Museum Gift Shop at noon Wednesday. The potpurri is made from flowers raised at the governor's mansion in Bexley and is called, naturally, "The Scent of Hope."

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Tuesday, December 02, 2003
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 12/02/2003 02:04:00 PM :


I'm not sure if it's been mentioned before on this blog, but Time Magazine's Web site has a biweekly comix column. Written by Andrew Arnold, the column tends to look at bigger names in sequential literature (Will Eisner, art spiegelman, Chris Ware, Harvey Pekar) and their books, but occasionally will go into some lesser-known, self-published books as well as interviews with creators and discussions of conventions.

Recently, Arnold has devoted two columns to the history of the graphic novel in honor of the 25th anniversary of Eisner's A Contract With God, which is arguably the first graphic novel. One of the columns lists his 25 must-read graphic novels. Most you are probably aware of, but a couple may be new to you. Also his next column (December 19), will be his best of 2003 list.

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  Posted by Dara on 12/02/2003 12:04:00 PM :


Comic Book "Activism"

John Pierce has an interesting "reality check" about comic book activists in his blog entry found here. While I agree with a lot of his points (for instance, he starts off by saying "First off, lose the arrogance."), I do think he misses the point entirely when he equates the ineffectiveness of comic activism by using birdwatching as an example. John says "If an activist from another unpopular subculture wanted to get you to try something you've never had any prior interest in, what would they have to do? Let's use Birdwatching as an example. Would going into a public restroom stall and finding a birdcall placed lovingly on the handle work?" He is referencing one of the more popular tactics used by so-called activists: leaving copies of comic books in public venues such as coffee shops and Laundromats to expose them to non-comics readers.

The flaw here is that most people have absolutely no frame of reference when it comes to being exposed to birdwatching, whereas 99.9% of people have a very common frame of reference when it comes to comics: they read books, watch movies, and follow TV shows. And that's the idea behind leaving comic books in public places, namely: if you already enjoy storytelling in a different medium (movies, books), try it in this medium (comics). After all, they all share the same elements: plot, story, character development, conflict, resolution, drama, dialogue, etc. To the average person, comic books aren't a far cry from the other forms of entertainment (specifically storytelling entertainment) that they already enjoy. But birdwatching is.

Anyway, the article is worth checking out, even if it's for the humorous "rant" factor. And he does summarize his point quite well in the end when he states "A little less posing and some more genuine honesty is the way to go."

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Monday, December 01, 2003
  Posted by Tony on 12/01/2003 05:02:00 PM :


Dead Man's Address

I was cleaning out my wallet just now and found a dead man's address.

It belongs to Chet Nicholson, an old fellow from church. He was truly one of the nicest people I've ever met, and is a large part of the reason I still have an overall favorable impression of religion. He sang tenor in the choir, even though he was mostly deaf, and he walked with a limp on account of some Nazi shrapnel in his hip. I used to sit next to his mother in the second pew until she died at age 105.

He always sent me birthday cards, although I never sent him any back. That's why I got his address when he came down with brain cancer. I sent the card two days late, and he never got a chance to read it.

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  Posted by Dara on 12/01/2003 04:37:00 PM :



So you've maybe heard about this Derek Kirk Kim guy. Writes and draws beautiful, poignant tales. Has a website called Small Stories. Maybe you're heard about his masterpiece, Same Difference and Other Stories, that he just published in a nice looking squarebound book.

Wanna read the entire 16 chapter lead-story for free?

Click here.

Then buy the book here.

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  Posted by Dara on 12/01/2003 04:07:00 PM :


Tony, you missed one...

Best overheard line: "That dude's gonna' need a bigger rocket pack!" (comment made by a passer-by after seeing a rather portly man dressed up in a Boba fett costume)

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  Posted by Tony on 12/01/2003 09:36:00 AM :


Con Awards (The �Connies?�)

Best Running Gag: �Paris Hilton Sex Tape.�

Worst Location: Ferret Press/Panel.

�Coffee is for Closers� Award (given to best salesman): Andy Bennett.

Sharp-Dressed Man Award: Geoff Tolle (Hon. mentions: Steve Black, Tom Williams).

Spent the Most Money on Useless Crap: Tony Goins.

Worst Question: �Are you guys taking submissions?� (Hon. mention: �When�s issue No. 3 coming out?�)

Best Statement: �Oh, I already have this one.�

Best Celebrity: The Soup Nazi (Singing �I Wish It Would Rain?� Awesome).

Dourest Celebrity: Walter Keonig (Star Trek�s Chekov).

Most Out-of-Control Celebrity: Mark Lutz.

Biggest WTF: �Mark Waid can sing?� (Hon. mention: The Denebian Slime Mold Love Ballad")

Parental Support Award: The girl from New Albany.

Best Costume: The eating monster from �Spirited Away� -- simple but unique.

Worst Costume: The stormtrooper with the posterboard armor -- damn, man, make an effort.

Lamest Costume: The villain from �Pokemon,� complete with rose and chin-length purple wig.

Pleasant Surprise Award (given to indie comic that I thought would suck, but was actually pretty good): Suicide Blonde.

Long-Awaited Debut Award: �Johnnie Zombie�

Best Variation: �The Ineffables� Parallel Universe Issue No. 4.

Honorary Panel Member: Bahman Naraghi.

Party MVP: Dan Barlow

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