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

Read Tony Goins' webcomic Downs.
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Friday, January 30, 2004
  Posted by Tony on 1/30/2004 11:51:00 AM :


Dealing With Editors

I just turned in a short (four grafs) item on new lower interest rates at the Ohio First-Time Homebuyer�s Program. My editor ripped it to pieces. Use "as low as" rather than "starting at." Use "can qualify" rather than "may qualify." Add "for qualified buyers" to the lede.

Thing is, all I did to write this thing was I copied a similar item from this fall. All I did was change the numbers. This same editor OK'ed the same language three months ago.

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Thursday, January 29, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/29/2004 03:00:00 PM :


Finally, some comics-related news...

Ok, I know you've probably had enough of the political commentary today. So here's a good ol' comics link (well, sort of...dang) for ya:

The Onion a.v. club reviews Alan Moore's novel, Voice Of The Fire.

"Part mythic cycle, part fictional history of Moore's hometown, part collection of fireside ghost stories, Voice Of The Fire is as clever and well-crafted as Moore's other genre experiments, and by taking his dialogue out of word-balloons and panel arrangements, it gives his limitless literary ambition room to stretch out into new and fascinating forms."

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  Posted by Dara on 1/29/2004 11:13:00 AM :


Even more non-comics related fun...

(Don't ask me why I'm in such a foul political mood today...maybe it's the alignment of the planets...maybe it's because day-by-day I become more bitter and disgusted with the excrement running this country...)


Remember back on 12/15/03 when I posted a link to the ridiculous $40 Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush - U.S. President and Naval Aviator - 12" Action Figure doll? Well, bless their hearts, some Internet folks got some good use out of that piece of crap. Behold:


The minimalist home page says it all: "Here, you will find the leader of the free world posed in a variety of ancient positions".

This position is called "Halasana", aka "Plow". I'd like to offer an alternative headline: "Proud of the amazing snow job perpetuated on the American public throughout his presidency, Dubbya finds it slightly more difficult to give himself a celebratory blow job."

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  Posted by Dara on 1/29/2004 08:30:00 AM :


More non-comics related fun...

...with those wacky conservatives. Hey kids, you can now get your very own Ann Coulter Talking Action Figure. That's right, "Conservative lawyer Ann Coulter is a blond haired beauty with the brains and backbone to send the staunchest Liberal running for the hills." So what phrases does the doll say? How about:

"Swing voters are more appropriately known as the 'idiot voters' because they have no set of philosophical principles. By the age of fourteen, you're either a Conservative or a Liberal if you have an IQ above a toaster." ('cause, you know, if you don't blindly fall into a neat category on the extreme ends of the spectrum, you're an 'idiot')

"Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like Liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now." (no comment)

Ah yes, those compassionate conservatives. And check out this little bit of marketing hype:

"Ann says she loves this replica of her. 'I think it's terrific!' Ann says, 'This action figure can talk, wear different outfits and hairstyles.' But that's not all. Ann adds, 'It also kills terrorist leaders and converts their followers to Christianity.'

Isn't that precious. These are the important "family values" we need to teach our daughters? That it's important to wear different outfits ("single piece black dress, black high heels and gold earrings"), look like a supermodel, regardless of your profession ("Ann�s striking green eyes, long blond hair and determined look"), make sure your skirt is 2 inches below your crotch, and oh yeah, preach ignorance, arrogance, and intolerance.

And people think Britney Spears is a bad role model!

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  Posted by Dara on 1/29/2004 07:37:00 AM :


Non-comics related...

From a short essay entitled "Europeans Are Not Cowards. It's That We Know War", by writer Fletcher Crossman, who is from England:

"Let's be clear: Europeans don't run away from war. Even the most fleeting look at our history will tell you that we love war, we want war, we will find almost any excuse for a war. In 1914 young men from all across Europe jauntily marched off to start yet another one, with flags waving and patriotic songs playing. Young men from my country marched in the knowledge that they represented the greatest nation on Earth, an economic powerhouse, a country blessed by God. Any of this sounding familiar?"

Crossman goes on to make this analogy:

"America is the brave young soldier, with shining eyes and a firm jaw, marching towards a battle that will make the world a better place. Europe is the bitter old veteran sitting on the sidewalk, his medals collecting dust somewhere, shaking his head knowingly as the young soldier marches by."

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Wednesday, January 28, 2004
  Posted by Tony on 1/28/2004 05:44:00 PM :


For the Geek On Your List ...

Barbie as Arwen and Ken as Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings - Return of the King.


KB stores at City Center and Eastland are closing, the company said Wednesday -- get yours cheap!

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  Posted by Dara on 1/28/2004 01:50:00 PM :


How to Save Comics
Simple. Make a superhero book based on "Miss Bondage World" Ashley Renee. I mean, after all, what are superheroes if not thinly-veiled fetish models?

"SCREAM QUEN will tel the tale of a young female professional wrestler who is down on her luck...One night after a dismal match in a po-dunk town, she is struck by a car and suddenly receives amazing new powers. Not content to simply use her poweres in the ring, SCREAM QUEEN takes her new found powers to the street to help clean up the ever groing crime and gang problems in the city."

Ok, so aside from the gratuitous picture to the left, the reason I posted this is because I find it eminently humorous to read press releases for projects like this. They come across so...formal and proper, when all they're promoting is good ol' T&A/porn. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just don't think you need to *ahem* dress it up in flowery language. Check out this excerpt:

"Not only is she a stunning young woman, she really is a completely wonderful young woman. I enjoyed creating this character around her and I hope that we havea long relationship with SCREAM QUEEN," says creator and Amazing Creations Ink publisher Robert Baker."

And nothing against the fair Ms. Renee, but Miss Bondage World? C'mon, that's just a small-town pageant. Let's sign up the winner of Miss Bondage Universe to a comic book deal!

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  Posted by Tony on 1/28/2004 09:40:00 AM :


Panel and the Creative Class

Four data points, all interrelated:

* Nov. 2003: Gov. Bob Taft�s Third Frontier Bond issue defeated. The issue would provide $500 million for assistance to high-tech companies in the state. The Third Frontier project continues on, although in an abbreviated form.

* Summer 2003: My friend Erica pleads with her boyfriend to move to Ohio, from NYC, but he refuses. He feels he can�t be �creative� outside NYC.

* November 2002: Starbak Communications Inc., a Columbus-founded company that makes devices to send video over the Internet, moves to Boston to be closer to venture capitalists and talent.

* 2000: Tim Fischer founds Panel.

The line connecting all of these dots is �The Rise of the Creative Class,� a 2002 book written by Richard Florida, a Heinz Professor of Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon. He argues that the way high-tech jobs are created is by having a critical mass of creative people in one place at one time -- not just scientists, but creative people in general. That�s how third-tier cities like Austin, Texas, or Chapel Hill, N.C., have become tech hotbeds.

The way to get all of those people in the same place at the same time, Florida says, is by stocking your city with things these people like. That involves things like recreation amenities, hip urban neighborhoods, a thriving arts scene, a diverse commmunity, a major research institution, a music scene, etc. A good barometer for these things is gay friendliness -- Florida compiled a �gay index� to measure it.

Columbus ranks 33rd, out of maybe 300 or so. We come in 70th in �creative class,� 48th in �high tech,� 102nd in innovation and 24th in diversity. The C.O. seems to have the high-tech talent (MindLeaders comes to mind) and some money, thanks to the governor. But we�re lacking some special something that keeps our homegrown businesses at home, and not in Boston.

According to Erica�s boyfriend, what we�re lacking is a nationally known arts scene, and that�s where Panel comes in. Fellow Panelistas, we must keep creating these funnybooks, and keep encouraging others to do so. We must spark a critical mass of creative people, making our hometown someplace people want to be.

Our prosperity and our way of life depend on us.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/27/2004 05:10:00 PM :


Madness In Gotham
Found out about this through a coworker. The site is Kuro5hin.org self-described as "a collaborative site about technology and culture, both separately and in their interactions." A January 27 post by member "Vaughan" is a well-written essay about the psychology of madness at the core of the Batman cast of characters. From the introduction: "As a genre with the concept of mental illness at its core, it is perhaps one of our most popular and enduring representations of madness."

What I enjoyed most about this is that the majority of the readers who commented on the essay seem to be non-comics readers, or only familiar with the Batman comics on the most general level (The Dark Knight Returns being the most commonly referenced knowledge), yet for the most part they all enjoyed the article.

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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 1/27/2004 12:06:00 PM :


Oscar Nominations
Despite the proliferation of movies based on comics this year, the Academy didn't reward the genre with many nominations. Not that I was expecting The Hulk or X-Men 2 to garner any Oscar nods, but I was disappointed that American Splendor only had one nomination: Best Screenplay (Adapted).

It would be nice to see voters recognize the originality in which Harvey Pekar's comic was brought to the screen, but with heavyweights like Seabiscuit and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (which voters may have actually read), I fear it doesn't have much of a chance. Surprisingly, Cold Mountain didn't make the cut for Adapted Screenplay.

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Monday, January 26, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/26/2004 02:22:00 PM :


Clash of the Pros
Couple of fun (in a train-wreck sort of way) message board "discussions"...

First, over at The Comics Journal website fans and pros discuss the news of Marvel postponing/calceling Peter Bagge's The Incorigable Hulk one-shot. Sock Monkey and Maakies creator Tony Millionaire chimes in with "DC is no better, they finally passed on the Batman and Robin book by me and Chip Kidd." James Kochalka mentions a superhero project that he moved to Top Shelf when DC took too long to make a decision on. But both creators come back to defend DC. And to make things more fun, creator Roger Langridge adds "About the sales of the Bizarro thing, I got a statement sent to me by DC which i think I wasn't supposed to see (because it had "NOT TO BE SENT TO ARTIST" on it in big letters) and...".

Then over at The Pulse, there's the start of a nice fight between PvP creator Scott Kurtz and convention circuit artist Franchesco about a prank Scott pulled on comics rumor monger Rich Johnston by leading him to believe that he (Scott) and Frank Cho were working on a Dazzler comic for Marvel. Franchesco seems to think Scott owes his fans an apology for misleading them into really thinking he's doing a Dazzler comic and then breaking their hearts by revealing it was just a prank to get Rich. Scott disagrees, saying it was never publicly announced he was doing the book, and that none of his fans are upset at all. The fight then spills over to the Image comics boards, where Franchesco also gets mad at FF artist Mike Wieringo, then apologizes, then becomes his best friend again after Wieringo also apologizes for some miscommunication. Which of course prompts the comment "You two get a room!" from another poster. My favorite quote: "I answered my critic with a criticism. Franchesco thinks I'm a jerk looking for attention at the cost of my readers and I think Franchesco is a pretentious jerk, who's art style is dirravative and who's name sounds like a pasta sauce. -- Scott Kurtz"

Man, that's entertainment!

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  Posted by bigbaldkid on 1/26/2004 02:05:00 PM :


they did a follow up to the store signing.
plus ,saw some good comic booths, at the flea markets.
future ferret customers

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Friday, January 23, 2004
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 1/23/2004 08:19:00 AM :


Good Grief!
For all you Peanuts & OutKast fans: http://www.venisproductions.com/movies/heyyacb.html

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Wednesday, January 21, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/21/2004 01:08:00 PM :


Make Your Own Hardcover Collection

David Banks uses his book binding contacts to help you turn your favorite comic book series into a hardcover collection.

And really, who wouldn't want a hardcover collection of Jim Balen't T&A Catwoman issues bound under a gold-stamped purple cover? No, really, who?

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  Posted by Dara on 1/21/2004 12:36:00 PM :


Anthology Titles Open to Submissions

* Updated 1/23 with additional entries.
* Updated 5/26 with additional entries.

I just responded to an post on Digital Webbing about this, and figured I should post the list here as well. To my knowledge, these are the ones that accept submissions from anyone, though obviously some are harder to get into than others:

I'm sure I've missed a few books...maybe others can fill in the gaps?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/20/2004 03:23:00 PM :


Welcome to Another Episode of "Tim Fischer Aks"

This week, artist extraordinaire and man-about-town Tim Fishcer asks: "TWELVE PANELS PER PAGE?! Where the hell do you fit the artwork?" This is in regards to my earlier post about Keith Giffen's strict 12-panel page format used on the old Video Jack comic. The answer is like this:

I love that old crazy shit! Giffen is the man! For more samples, check this site.

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  Posted by Dara on 1/20/2004 12:28:00 PM :


How to Get a 28-City Book Tour for a Graphic Novel

The answer: sneak it in.

In this Newsarama interview with best-selling novelist Brad Meltzer, the main topic is his latest novel, The Zero Game. Brad, who is a self-professed comic fanatic, talks a bit about sprinkling his novels with the names of comic book characters he likes. But the author of a 6-issue Green Arrow arc and the upcoming big DC Universe crossover series Identity Crisis also let slip another sneaky comics tie-in:

"To promote the novel, Warner Books is sending Meltzer on a 28-city book tour, starting today at the Barnes & Noble at 33 East 17th Street, Union Square, New York. 'Hearing that, DC made a list of all the places I'm doing book signings -- and then made sure those stores were stocked with copies of The Archer's Quest,' Meltzer said. 'Voila...a free 28-city book tour for my Green Arrow hardcover. Pretty sneaky, sis.' "

Kudos to DC for the proactive approach. And people wonder why the anemic comics industry seeks out writers from other fields. Gee, I don't know, maybe for some broader exposure like this? Certainly couldn't hurt.

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Monday, January 19, 2004
  Posted by bigbaldkid on 1/19/2004 04:11:00 PM :


this is part of a excellent site. this link puts you on an old 1970's catalog for playground equipment. talk about bringing back memories. not to mention how dangerous this is compared to todays equipment. can u say broken bones?

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  Posted by Dara on 1/19/2004 01:27:00 PM :


Read Video Jack for free!

Hey, I just found out one of my favorite old Epic series from the 80's, Video Jack by Keith Giffen and Carey Bates, is available online for free at the KomikWerks website! Since I'm too lazy to type up a description, I'll just steal the synopsis they posted on their site: "Jack is a video nut. All he wants to do is watch movies and TV. But when it turns out his friend's uncle is into sorcery, and has cast a spell that puts both Jack and his friend Damon INTO the television, is TV really where Jack wants to spend literally ALL of his time? And what's going on with this serial killer on the loose...?"

The series only lasted 8 issues, but it really was quite fun and innovative. Plus, it's got that classic Giffen artwork with the bizarre angles, extreme close ups, and heavy use of black. And since every page in the book was done is a strict 12 panel grid, it's made it easy for them to split up each page into 3 strips for online viewing. Drop by and give it a read.

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Friday, January 16, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/16/2004 11:10:00 AM :


Van Helsing

Hugh Jackman fights the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and Dracula. Trailer is online now. Not sure what to think of it...it obviously looks cool but high special effects movies these days can be so hit-or-miss.

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Thursday, January 15, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/15/2004 09:58:00 AM :


I Love Bush

He makes great fodder for creative people everywhere. Check out the winners of the "Bush in 30 Seconds" ad contest. "...an ad contest that�s intended to bring new talent and new messages into the world of mainstream political advertising. We're looking for the ad that best explains what this President and his policies are really about -- in only 30 seconds." Sponsored by MoveOn.org

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004
  Posted by Tony on 1/14/2004 11:17:00 AM :


"... so freaking cool ..."

This from my friend Erica in Jersey City:

"I noticed that Panel is being sold at Atomic Books in Baltimore (I get their e-mail newsletter). That is so freaking cool."

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Tuesday, January 13, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/13/2004 12:31:00 PM :



TechNewsWorld has an article pondering The Death of Micropayments? It's rather brief, but has a few comments from micropayments champion Scott McCloud on the many companies that tried to get into the game, such as "It seemed like every one of them offered a different road to hell." But my favorite part of the article is this:

"To become profitable, a site would have to elicit large volumes of transactions, which is very difficult, even for established e-businesses. [Clay Shirky, a technology columnist and adjunct professor in NYU's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program] pointed to the online porn industry, which has tried on several occasions to adopt a micropayment strategy akin to the 25-cent peep-show booths in the offline world. "They can't make it work online," Shirky said. "And those guys are the e-commerce geniuses, so if they can't do it, who can?"

For the record, I believe that the idea of micropayments will eventually catch on. We're already seeing signs of it with the success of Apple's iTunes music program. It's a matter of having the right content (i.e. something people actually want), and the right delivery method (which the micropayment companies will refine, even if along the way many of them fall and never recover).

(Thanks to the lead from Journalista)

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Monday, January 12, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/12/2004 10:48:00 PM :


"The World's Tallest Virtual Apartment!"

Pretty nifty idea. Check it out here.

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  Posted by Dara on 1/12/2004 05:31:00 PM :


Art, Shmart

Ladies and gentlemen, let us pause and reflect on the true nature of art, courtesy of Darby Conley's syndicated comic strip Get Fuzzy...

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  Posted by Dara on 1/12/2004 01:29:00 PM :


Dayton Indy Show 2004

The gang and I drove down to Fairborn, Ohio this past Saturday for an in-store signing at the Bookery Fantasy. Ferret Press artist and all-around fun guy Dan Barlow organized the event, with the help of awesome retailer Steven Bates. Present were Dan, myself, Steve black, Andy Bennett, Tony Goins, Dennis Murphy, and Chad Lambert. I'm sure the guys will post their own takes on the event, but I for one had a blast. Steve Bates did a fantastic job of not only promoting the signing with post cards, e-mails, and a mention in the paper, but he also played an excellent host, providing us with food and drink and a nice big signing area.

There was a steady flow of people (with obvious ebbs and peaks), but we always had interested fans at the table and the conversations were great. I was quite pleased with the sales that we made, and my hats off to Steven for purchasing copies of our books for his indy shelf. One of the highlights of the signing was when a young woman stopped by the table, saw a copy of Panel, and proceeded to tell us how much she enjoyed the book (which she had picked up a few months ago at Mid-Ohio-Con). That really made our day, especially coming from a fellow artist. Overall, I had a great time and would heartily recommend the Bookery to anyone in the area, as it is a great store with a massive selection of products, including a large wall of alternative and indy books.

PS. Here's a link to a small article in today's Dayton Daily News mentioning the event. The following picture is from the article, and is credited to Shiloh Crawford.

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  Posted by Tom on 1/12/2004 11:38:00 AM :


_The Wexner Center's at it again. If you haven't seen the mailers around Columbus the Wexner is having a month long exhibit called.. SPLAT BOOM POW: the influence of cartoons in contemporary art. Opening's on January 1st @ the Belmont building (located at 330 west spring st.). There's a panel discussion that day at 6pm with some of the artists from the exhibit. Granted this is more of the art world taking a poke at pop culture rather than taking comics as an artform itself. Something I've never liked about the pop-artists that came after Johns and Rauchenburg. Guston seemed to be the only one that took comic imagery seriously instead of poking fun at it.
_There are a few programs scheduled that tie in with the event. One of them that's of interest is Scott McCloud coming back. Scott will be giving a talk on comics and the internet on February 11th at 7pm. All events are free! I can sit back and have a laugh at the concept of making money from comics on the internet. Geesh! I think I only sold one book this year from the website and that buyer didn't use the paypal buttons. Does anybody know how much Modern Tales nets?


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Thursday, January 08, 2004
  Posted by Tony on 1/08/2004 04:37:00 PM :



We got a letter to the editor that starts, "Every male veteran can give a silent salute to Secretary of State Colin Powell b talking to their doctor about prostate cancer screenings."

I support the concept, but "silent salute" is a strange way to refer to having a finger stuck up your ass.

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  Posted by Dara on 1/08/2004 01:28:00 PM :


Humanoids Graphic Novels...Cheap!

The Humanoids Publishing website is running a "warehouse special" sale on their hardcover graphic novels, in 2-packs and 3-packs that will save you over 50%. Plus they pay for shipping! Plus they'll throw in a free comic! For instance: Bouncer 1 and 2 for $12, or TechnoPriests 1, White Lama 1, and Bouncer 1 for $18.

Definitely a great way to sample their products (thanks to Neilalien blog for the lead.)

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  Posted by Dara on 1/08/2004 01:19:00 PM :


A Little Something for You Star Wars Fans...

In "The Case for the Empire ", Jonathan V. last, online editor for Washington, DC's The Daily Standard, argues that "The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good." It's a well-written, though obviously tongue-in-cheek examination of "the epic morality of George Lucas's series." The conclusion?

"...makes the rebels--Lucas's heroes--an unimpressive crew of anarchic royals who wreck the galaxy so that Princess Leia can have her tiara back."

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/07/2004 11:55:00 AM :


Today's edition of the Cinescape Magazine website features a very complimentary review of the BigCityBlues comic and CD. Check it out here!

A small excerpt: "Mind you, the concept behind BIG CITY BLUES isn't a completely new one - many comics writers, Brian Michael Bendis and Jaime Hernandez most notable among them, have tried to show what life in the superhero world is like for the non-superhero. But Naraghi keeps his focus solely on the "civilian," if you will, and by using generic, unnamed superheroes to populate his world, the "real" people take on a far greater role than in the work of other writers mining this vein."

Wow, talk about ego inflation! Needless to say, this has been a good day.

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  Posted by Dara on 1/07/2004 11:50:00 AM :


Be Careful Letting Friends Stay at Your Place...

Olympia, Washington resident Chris Kirk was going out of town and he let his friend Luke Trerice stay in his apartment. He returned to find that his friends had covered his entire apartment and all his belongings in aluminum foil! There are pictures accompanying the article. My favorite part:

"Trerice and his friends unrolled the toilet paper in the bathroom, enveloped the bath tissue in aluminum foil and rolled it back up again. They covered Kirk's book and compact disc collections but made sure each CD case could open and shut normally.

They even used foil to encircle Kirk's spare change -- each individual quarter he had left atop a living room bookshelf."

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/06/2004 04:28:00 PM :


Here's One for you Wrasslin' Fans

Pro Wrestling's Only Openly Gay Grappler Steps Into the National Spotlight. From the press release on The Pulse: "Terrance Griep, a Minneapolis-based comic book writer who brings life to the in-ring antics of MPW's villainous SpiderBaby, made history last November when he became the first professional wrestler to come out of the closet."

As expected, there's the start of a nice flamewar over in the comments section...

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  Posted by Tom on 1/06/2004 04:14:00 PM :


This is one fucked up website...


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  Posted by Tony on 1/06/2004 02:26:00 PM :


Down these mean streets ...

In today's salon.com, an indictment of detective novel series that could apply to many comix:

"The problem, I came to realize, is that all detective series seem to require two items that run counter to literary values and that, no matter what the author's skills (clean prose, social or psychological observation, plot construction), will artistically doom it. The first is the main character, who is invariably romanticized or sentimentalized and who is always a combination of three not especially interesting things: toughness, efficacy and sensitivity. (When the writer resists applying any or all of these traits, the character ends up being bland.) The second is the very formulaic quality that lets a book be part of a series. Similar things happen in similar ways, which is probably as apt a definition as you'll ever find of how not to make good literature. Chandler -- not to mention Arthur Conan Doyle -- got away with it because he was a genius and an original, Macdonald because he was gifted and started early in the day. Their successors have no such luck."
Today's dose of irony: He holds up Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald as the old masters, forgetting Dashiell Hammett.

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Monday, January 05, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 1/05/2004 03:48:00 PM :


Comedic Genius or Immature Prick? U Decide!

It's the interview all the kids are talking about.

THE PULSE: What are some of the elements that will make this comic have to be for Mature readers?

WAY: The butt-fucking, mostly.

That Daniel Way sure has a, ahem, way with words.

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  Posted by Tony on 1/05/2004 01:59:00 PM :


Still waiting ...

I'm still waiting on someone to give me grief for rating "Underworld" above "X2," and no one's biting. Naraghi gives me an Amen, for God's sake.

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  Posted by Dara on 1/05/2004 01:28:00 PM :


The Onion: Digging Up Chris Ware

Last week's The Onion A.V. Club featured a previously published interview with cartoonist Chris Ware. It's somewhat odd to me that a creator as obviously shy and introverted as Ware can speak so openly about that very shyness. There's a wealth of other topics covered in the interview, including his take on the state of the comics indistry, ragtime music, influences, an 8-year college stint, and more. One of my favorite quotes: "I like the implicit respect and dignity that older periodicals, writing, and art seem to extend to the reader/viewer, rather than the "erotic challenge" that modern culture offers, as if it's an exclusive dance club to which only a few attractive people are admitted."

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  Posted by Dara on 1/05/2004 01:21:00 PM :


LA Weekly: The Comics Issue

The Jan 2nd issue of LA Weekly is dubbed "The Comics Issue" and features a wealth of comics-related content. There's an interview with cartoonist/journalist Joe Sacco ("You see extremes of humanity in places like Palestine and Bosnia � you see enormously good people who�ll give you the shirt off their back despite the fact that they have nothing, and you see incredible cruelty. Mostly what you see is innocent people being crushed beneath the wheels of history"), another interview with gonzo comic book writer Alexandro Jodorowsky ("In The Metabarons, I always finish each book with an impossible crisis. They have a problem. The person has no testicle; he needs to make a son. How? Impossible. I wait . . . I wait . . . And then, slowly � thank you! � the solution came. It�s kind of a �mediumity,� a kind of inspiration. In one moment I have the idea. Then, when I start to write, everything comes! It�s like when you are a photographer, and you put the paper in the acid and slowly the photograph starts to develop. It�s exactly like that."), plus a ton of editorial and political cartoons from the likes of Ruben Bolling, Lauren Weinstein, and Kim Deitch. There are also reviews of graphic novels such as Palomar, Blankets, Quimby the Mouse, and much more.

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Saturday, January 03, 2004
  Posted by Tom on 1/03/2004 11:27:00 PM :


Mmmmmmmm Best of lists. I love this shit.
_American Splendor nailed the comic perfectly. The Daredevil movie and League- not so much if at all (league being the worst offender). I'm one of the guys that actually liked the Hulk. The end to Lord of the Rings, geez I know it's in the book and all but it felt like the movie ended three times towards the end. It seems that Big Fish would make a perfect indy comic adaptation. It has some elements of the graphic novel script I've been thumbing thru. I'm torn between LTR and Lost in Translation for Best Picture. Two different animals but the lame Academy always pics showy-ness over quieter films. Master and Commander sounds like gay porn by title alone.
_ I'm anxious to see Van Sant's Elephant. I thought Good Will Hunting got robbed for best picture the year it was up. I'm so fickle with my comics reading I can't come up with a list of my top ten comics of 2003. Music- I'm too much of a geek to list that either. Some of it no one's probably heard of anyway. Strokes and White Stripes albums were awesome. My favorite one of the . Outcast's two disc was pretty rockin'. Radiohead put out a much more satisfying album than the last two. ( all my favs of the last two were compiled on a live disc 'Everything is Wrong') I'm picking up Elliot Smith's last disc as soon as it hits the shelves in April.


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Friday, January 02, 2004
  Posted by Tony on 1/02/2004 10:24:00 AM :


Tony�s Best Comix and Comix-ish Movies of 2003

(�American Splendor� and �Terminator 3� omitted because I haven�t seen them yet.)

1. �Lord of the Rings: Return of the King� -- Hands down. Seriously. Put your hands down.

2. �Hulk� -- Beautifully done, solid action that flowed naturally from strong characterizations. Could have been more fun ... but it�s the first time I�ve gotten misty at a movie since �12 Monkeys.�

3. �Underworld� -- I know I�m alone on this because it�s the vampire-Matrix movie, but by the end of the flick I knew everything I needed to know about the characters. Not bad action, either.

4. �X2: X-Men United� -- We will now pause for character development.

5. �Matrix Revolutions/Reloaded� -- After the original, there was no place to go but down -- more complex, more ambiguous, etc. And some of the CGI looked like ClayMation.

6. �Daredevil� -- I can�t point to anything I specifically didn�t like about this movie, but it didn�t quite do it for me.

7. �League of Extraordinary Gentlemen� -- Take my X2 review and multiply it by �X.�

I�m missing a flick here, aren�t I?

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