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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Friday, April 30, 2004
 
  Posted by bigbaldkid on 4/30/2004 01:08:00 PM :

      

hey,i'm here at cosi today. then we're gonna run around the capitol city for a while . maybe ill find a good comic shop up here. the family understands a man quest for comics,not really.


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Thursday, April 29, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/29/2004 12:18:00 PM :

      

How to get a job if you're a freelancer

From Buddy Scalera's column:

"Years ago, Jimmy Palmiotti told me that there is an imaginary triangle that determines if a freelancer will get work. On the three points of this triangle there is: �Good,� �Fast,� and �Likeable.�

He explained that if you have any two of those, you�ll probably get work. If you have all three, you�ll always be employed. "


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  Posted by Dara on 4/29/2004 12:07:00 PM :

      

Graphic teen angst

San Fransisco Bay Guardian senior editor Lynn Rapoport looks at looks at teen angst in comic books, reviewing such books as Black Hole, DEMO, Potential, Blankets, and Zero Girl.

"I DON'T THINK I understood the emotional kick in the teeth a good comic could provide until I started looking at the bedroom walls of a Berkeley High School student named Ariel Schrag. It was 2000, and Slave Labor Graphics had just published her comic book Potential, a 224-page, painfully detailed account � graphic in multiple senses � of her junior year at school."


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  Posted by Dara on 4/29/2004 09:28:00 AM :

      

24-hour PvP

Starting today, Scott Kurtz is posting the first of his 24 PvP strips that he did during 24 Hour Comic Day. Drop on by his site and check them out.


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Wednesday, April 28, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/28/2004 05:10:00 PM :

      

Marvel and Licensing

Nice little article over at NinthArt.com wherein "...Paul O'Brien takes another look at Marvel's 'core business'. Licensing may be a sensible way to make money, but why is Marvel tapping the back-catalogue and not developing anything new?"

Snippets:

"But the figures speak for themselves. In 2003, Marvel brought in $139.4m in operating income through licensing, compared to only $25.4m from publishing. When licensing brings in that much cash, no wonder it becomes the core business."

"In fact, when you stop to think about it, Marvel haven't really created a character who's developed into a major licensing stream since 1974, when the Punisher and Wolverine both debuted. More than a third of their ongoing titles feature characters created in the 1960s. After you take out the X-Men and Spider-Man spinoffs, and the revamps of sixties characters, only RUNAWAYS and PULSE star completely new characters created in the last decade."


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  Posted by Andy Bennett on 4/28/2004 03:19:00 PM :

      



There. Isn't that better?

I feel better.


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  Posted by Dara on 4/28/2004 03:02:00 PM :

      

Puny Humans

From today's syndicated In the Bleachers comic strip by Steve Moore:



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  Posted by Dara on 4/28/2004 02:52:00 PM :

      

RFID in guns

Another futuristic-sounding use for those tiny little RFID chips, besides tracking groceries and products in stores:

"Verichip announced the development of a gun safety system based on radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. A new computer chip promises to keep police guns from firing if they fall into the wrong hands. The tiny chip would be implanted in a police officer's hand and would match up with a scanning device inside a handgun. If the officer and gun match, a digital signal unlocks the trigger so it can be fired. But if a child or criminal would get hold of the gun, it would be useless."

Read the full story at Wired.com.


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Tuesday, April 27, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/27/2004 04:18:00 PM :

      

Andy's Bunny

So our own Andy Bennet did a kick-ass Frank the Bunny (from the movie DONNIE DARKO) sketch at SPACE. Check it:




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  Posted by Tony on 4/27/2004 03:07:00 PM :

      

Andy's 24-Hour Comic

What's up, Andy? You post it on your own site but not here? Shoot.

http://www.wideopenwest.com/~bullistic/24/

Anyway, reading it filled me with strong emotion; namely, "jealousy." I wish I wrote this.


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/27/2004 07:57:00 AM :

      

Jesus Action Figure
Those on the religious right or born again may not want to watch this commerical for a Jesus Action Figure. Thanks to Scott McCloud's blog for the link.


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Monday, April 26, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/26/2004 10:53:00 AM :

      

An Open Letter to a Crackhead

(Another link courtesy of Boing Boing) Read this hilarious open letter to a crackhead who broke off the tops of the author's motorcycle spark plugs in order to use the porcelain tubes to smoke crack! A snippet:

"But the point is, Crackhead, that you have done me wrong. Now, I get that you love crack. That is totally understandable. I've heard it is really fun, at first, and quite addictive. What I don't understand is,

YOU ARE A CRACKHEAD. WHY DON'T YOU OWN A CRACKPIPE?

I am an engineer. Do you ever see me shaking down bums in the Loin for a calculator and sliderule? No, you don't. Because engineering is the main thing I do, I went and bought myself a calculator. The main thing you do is crack. How do you get by without a crackpipe? The other crackheads must clown on you non-stop."


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  Posted by Dara on 4/26/2004 10:38:00 AM :

      

Cafe Latte art

Australian coffee shop owner draws 30-second portraits in cafe latte cups. (Link courtesy of Boing Boing)



"When you pour the milk in and the cream hits, it's just like a blank canvas on which to paint," the 36-year old said.



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  Posted by Tony on 4/26/2004 09:28:00 AM :

      

Geek Hierarchy

From the weblog of Neil Gaiman, here's the geek hierarchy. As members of a reviled subculture, geeks have a very complex caste system to determine who gets to look down on whom.

http://www.brunching.com/images/geekchartbig.gif

I'd change some of the categories. I don't know that I'd put sci-fi fans so high up, and I'd probably include indie comix creators on there, probably near the top. Furries are definitely in the right place, though.


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Saturday, April 24, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/24/2004 09:59:00 AM :

      

24-Hour Comics Day

Shout out to all the Panel members participating in 24-hour Comics Day today! I was on the fence about joining the festivitites, but in the end I decided to opt out for three reasons: 1) I'm not an artist and couldn't quite come up with a good alternative way to "draw" a comic (thought about photo collages, etc.), 2) after a week of rain the weather is gorgeous today and it would be hard to spend it cooped up inside, and 3) haven't had a chance to spend much time with my girlfriend recently so the thought of a whole weekend shot was hard to swallow.

Best of luck to all you guys, though! I'll drop by during the day to see how things are going.

All hail Panel.


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/24/2004 08:03:00 AM :

      

Bookslut
Not sure of how many of you are familiar with Bookslut, but it is a site worth checking out on a regular basis. In additional to quality reviews of books, the site also offers interviews, opinion columns, and a range of other features. Plus, they have always been good to comics and graphic literature. The Comic Book Slut provides great reviews of alternative and independent comics. Currently, the site features three comics-related articles on the front page: an interview with Dame Darcy; a review of Louis Riel by Chester Brown; and a look at Comix Revolution in their spotlight on independent bookstores.


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Friday, April 23, 2004
 
  Posted by Tony on 4/23/2004 01:15:00 PM :

      

You can�t spell Punisher without P-U

Hey, kids. I saw �Punisher� on Tuesday, but I haven�t worked up the energy to write about it until just now. �Craptastic� isn�t a strong enough word, nor is �failure� or �train wreck.� Neither is �disappointment,� but it�s as good a place as any to start.

I saw disappointment because I�m honestly a fan of the current Garth Ennis-written incarnation of the Punisher, and I understood it was going to lean more toward that version than the old Dolph Lundgren version. It kept some of the surface details of the Garth Ennis version, such as the Punisher�s quirky neighbors, but it missed the point completely. Ennis didn�t give the Punisher neighbors to add comic relief or to humanize him; they�re there to illustrate just how screwed up Big Frank really is.

That�s the difference between the Lundgren version and the Ennis version -- the Lundgren version is a straight-up vigilante masturbation fantasy, whereas the Ennis version adds the knowledge that what the Punisher does is probably not healthy, either for him or for society. In (poorly) mixing the two approaches, the movie loses the unified punch of the Lundgren version and the perverse joys of the Ennis version.

And then there�s the execution. Superhero stories operate on their own worldview: ie., the idea that someone might put on a mask and fight crime. It�s important to put the viewer into this world as soon as possible, otherwise the whole thing falls flat. The movie never does this, and the movie�s entire internal logic falls apart with the appearance of a pair of quirky assassins.

It fails on a number of other levels, too. The Punisher�s origin is overly long, without shedding any new light on the character or achieving much dramatic heft. Thomas Jane does a decent job with what he�s got, but John Travolta is a dead weight on the screen -- the best performance is probably Rebecca Romijn�s. And memo to screenwriters, who apparently just read about �foreshadowing:� 1910 called, and it wants its telegraph machine back.


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  Posted by Dara on 4/23/2004 10:29:00 AM :

      

More Cool "Behind-the-Scenes" Stuff

Artist Salgood Sam (aka Max Douglas) has a nice little site with plenty of artwork, and cool commentary on the why's and how's of many of his projects. The most fascinating is the explanation of how Marvel editorial completely and totally fucked up the Saint Sinner series he worked on, to the point where he quit after 4 issues. I love reading these types of "exposes", if you will, not so much from a prurient angle but just from a purely inquisitive fascination on how the business side of the comics business runs. His commentary includes plenty of cover and interior art that was rejected or changed at the last minute by his editor, as well as other anecdotes. Here are a few snippets:

"Oh, and that embossed foil cover? It got us huge orders on book one, which resulted in big bonus checks. 6 grand for me!...But as it turned out, it was a fiction...you see someone at Marvel botched up in sending out the checks when they did, before the News Stand Returns came in... So 6 months after, when I inquired as to why I had not received a check for some time for work I had recently completed, I was told that I actually owed them another $600!! to balance my 'account' with them before I'd see anymore money, effectively I had worked for two months for free..."



"Another gripe I had with this issue of the book was that when it was printed the two page spread introducing the new world that Kanto, Bull Baby and Mish Mash have created for Saint Sinner was split up to make room for a 2-page X-man ad....arrrgggggg! It would have only taken moving the ad one set of pages in either direction to avoid this. PLUS, I had cleared the spread with Marc as well�.yet another reason not to trust him in the end."


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  Posted by Dara on 4/23/2004 10:12:00 AM :

      

Watchmen movie news

From ComicBookResources: "According to Ain't It Cool News, "Pi" veteran Darren Aronofosky is going to direct the Alan Moore adaptation. This was revealed when screenwriter David Hayter talked to the rumor site, and Hayter said, 'I have spoken with the Producers about a couple of different things I can do to both retain my involvement in the film, and to help ensure that the film retains its integrity. They have been very supportive of myself and this project for the past two years and continue to desire my creative support in terms of the script, the characters and the world. Please assure the fans that I will NEVER give up on creating a truly great Watchmen film that both honors and celebrates the Graphic Novel, and illustrates to the movie-going Audiences what a genuinely great comic-book story can do. And on a personal note; If, God forbid, anything goes off-kilter with the currently proposed set-up and the Director's chair opens up again in say, a year, I will be first in line to try to regain my seat. Either way, I just hope the film is great.'"


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Thursday, April 22, 2004
 
  Posted by Tony on 4/22/2004 01:37:00 PM :

      

Here�s why superheroes wear underwear outside of their tights:

http://www.ibiblio.org/jmaynard/TRONcostume/

Even if I could post a photo, I'm not sure I would.

Friend-of-Panel Gus Dahlberg posted this on McKeever�s site, along with the comment: �myeyestheyburnmakethehurtingstop.�


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Wednesday, April 21, 2004
 
  Posted by Tony on 4/21/2004 09:31:00 AM :

      

More love for Panel:

"Incidentally, I love your comics also. As I mentioned, I'm no critic, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Sophomores one in the anthology; the whole Panel is so well designed! Good lord there is talent all over that thing. What I'm starting to like about comix is that it leaves a lot to readers' interpretation and begs more questions than it answers. Good literature does that."

And this one from a real, live girl!


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Tuesday, April 20, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/20/2004 04:41:00 PM :

      

James Jean newspaper profile



Read it in the Daily Record. A few items of interest:

"Although trained in fine arts, the James Jean says he is living his boyhood dream to draw superhero illustrations. Jean says he's currently working on sketches for the new 'Batman' movie."

"Ben Jean said he expected his son, who received an almost perfect score on his SAT's to go to an Ivy League school, possibly into a business or medicine, but supported his son's decision to become an artist."

Of the comic book industry, he has this to say: "It's a really good industry to work in. There is a lot of money in it that a lot of people don't realize."

Um, yeah. Not so sure about that last one. Then again, "a lot of money" is a subjective concept...


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  Posted by Tony on 4/20/2004 04:10:00 PM :

      

I can top that!

Just last night I was at KMart and I came across Mighty Beanz. I can't figure out how to post a picture (I posted for you -dara), but here's a link:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000C2TSO/103-2389156-8278208



Let me see if I can describe them in words ... they're like little capsules, each one painted up like a different character. When I say capsule I mean that's all it is -- no points of articulation, no kung fu grip, no appendages of any kind. The selling point seems to be that they have some kind of weight inside them so they, um, roll funny?

Apparently there are non-Marvel Mighty Beanz, but a good percentage of them seem to be Marvel characters. Is it lame? Yes. Fun to play with? I can't imagine they are. But if they help keep our friend Sean McKeever in Killian's Irish Red, I say "excelsior!" to the Marvel Licensing Department.


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  Posted by Dara on 4/20/2004 10:41:00 AM :

      

Good Ol' Marvel Licensing Department

It's good to have low standards, that way you don't have to turn away any licensing fee just because you think the product...um, sucks. Check out these ridiculous Marvel "superheroes" motivational posters! (link courtesy of our bud Gus Dahlberg)

Cause, you know, excellence is very important in any profession...even an assassin...



Yo, next time one of those puny humans from finance gives you lip about your project, bash 'im in the head...



And it gets better when you realize they have a "motivational" poster featuring The Punisher. Nice.


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Monday, April 19, 2004
 
  Posted by Tony on 4/19/2004 01:18:00 PM :

      

The head of McDonald's Corp. died unexpectedly over the weekend due to a heart attack. Didn't a heart attack claim Dave Thomas a few years ago?

You were all thinking it. I'm just the first to say it.


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  Posted by Tony on 4/19/2004 10:53:00 AM :

      

You've come a long way, baby.

When I was a junior in high school, in 1992-1993, my school received a rumor that two girls were caught making out in the middle school bathroom. This news was greeted with fear and loathing; I have a clear recollection of one of my (female) classmates saying how she wished she could beat the crap out of those two girls.

This was 10 years ago. I didn't realize how long ago that was until I woke up Sunday to find a flier tucked under the windshield wipers on my car. It advertised a "Girls Kissing Girls" contest May 1 at Long Street. Top prize is $300.

http://www.longstreetclubs.com/main.shtml (scroll halfway down).


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Sunday, April 18, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/18/2004 11:24:00 PM :

      

Modern Ferret magazine

The top of the front cover says "Ferret Stress: Tips for Healthier Ferrets"

I'm no expert, but I'm guessing holding one up next to the bossom of a Playboy Playmate ought to relieve that stress :-)



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Friday, April 16, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/16/2004 03:20:00 PM :

      

Howtoons

Comics is a wonderful medium!

"Howtoons are one-page cartoons showing 5-to-15 year-old kids "How To" build things. Each illustrated episode is a stand-alone fun adventure accessible to all, including the pre-literate. Our Howtoons are designed to encourage children to be active participants in discovering the world through Play-that-Matters -- fun, creative, and inventive -- and to rely a lot less on mass-consumable entertainment. "



(link courtesy of Boing Boing)


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  Posted by Dara on 4/16/2004 10:34:00 AM :

      

And Now a Word or Two About Sound Effects...

From a question on SilverBulletComics' "The Panel" column about the who/where/why's of sound effects...

Scott Allie, Dark Horse Comics editor: "Sound effects come from the writer's own little mind, and I've seldom heard any intelligent discussion of how, why, or when to use them. My rule of thumb is to only use them if they aid storytelling. I don't need to "hear" a faucet running if I'm given a closeup of the faucet running, but it's usually helpful to hear a gun fire, since that's the most distinctive indication that the gun has actually fired. A little burst of color from the muzzle doesn't have the same impact. Sneezing's another good one. Without the sound effect, the look on the character's face might be really confusing. But I don't really need to hear a punch, unless I'm supposed to know that it's a really strong punch."


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Thursday, April 15, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/15/2004 03:29:00 PM :

      

The first Punisher movie review

So I'm listening to CD101 and Andyman and Michael Palermo are chit-chatting. Andyman mentions that he saw The Punisher movie last night at a special media screening. Snippets from the conversation, as best as I can remember...

"Yeah, so I saw it last night ant it was...crap! I mean, horrendous crap. And you gotta' understand, I'm a huge comic book fan. But it just...sucked."

"I mean, I almost think the Dolf Lundgren version was a better movie."

"God help us all if that Rebecca Romijn-Stamos ever makes a movie with...you know, what's-his-douche from the Matrix...Keanu Reeves. I think God will just wipe out all of humanity if that ever happens..."

So there you have it folks. The first Punisher movie review, courtesy of radio DJ Andyman.



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  Posted by Dara on 4/15/2004 01:41:00 PM :

      

A new Meme.

(idea originated from Cyclic Synchronicity)

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.


"When planning a structure, delegating, and distributing tasks, avoid giving the same task to more than one person or overlooking a task so that it is not done at all."

From "How to Delegate," by Robert Heller. (yeah, I'm at work. and yeah, the book was a gag gift from my girlfriend upon becoming a manager!)


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/15/2004 08:16:00 AM :

      

Cryptomnesia
I had never come across the word cryptomnesia until reading this article about the possibility that Nabokov came across a short story called "Lolita" about a man infatuated with a younger woman during his youth. Cryptomnesia is not lost memory, but memory that is forgotten but still accessible; something along the lines of "recovered memory."

Its a cool concept, but a scary one as well. The article's writer notes (jokingly) "Whenever I come up with a phrase I'm particularly pleased with, one of my first thoughts is: "Could I be remembering something someone else wrote that I once read?" In fact, I've refused to use many brilliant witticisms for precisely this reason (you�ll just have to take my word for it)."

There is a similar story about Paul McCartney and how "Yesterday" came about: He woke up with the melody of the song in his head and was sure he had heard it before. He asked everyone he knew if they recognized the song, but no one had, so he recorded it. But, some scholars have noted that it is similar to an R&B song from the 50s.

Regardless, very few stories are new and it is up to the author to take an idea and make it great, even if it is not an original idea.


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Wednesday, April 14, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/14/2004 05:08:00 PM :

      

How to be a Writer

In light of Steve's post from Monday, I thought I'd share this excerpt:

"My advice to you, Dave, is contrary to what I'd tell most writers. Don't write about what you know, since that seems to be limited to whiny self-obsession. Instead, write like the kind of writer you wish you were: bold, courageous, unafraid to piss people off. Think Hemmingway, but with marketable good-looks.

In summary: Pretend you're confident. Eventually, you will be."


The quote is by screenwriter John August (Go, Charlie's Angels, Big Fish) from his "Ask a Screenwriter" column over at IMDB.com, in response to a question from a writer who was wondering if "being an unpopular adult...could make a GREAT writer? "


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  Posted by Dara on 4/14/2004 09:40:00 AM :

      

Jeff Smith interview

It's an old one, from May 2000. Over at The Onion a.v. club. (link courtesy of Cyclic Synchronicity)



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Tuesday, April 13, 2004
 
  Posted by Tony on 4/13/2004 04:01:00 PM :

      

Ghost Town

Here�s the Web site of a young Russian woman who documented her motorcycle trips through Chernobyl.

http://www.kidofspeed.com

�After a few hours trip in an army vehicle, they stood under a shower, washing away radiation. Then they stepped in a new life, naked with no home, no friends, no money, no past and with a very doubtful future.�

It�s powerful stuff. From an artistic standpoint, it�s almost too strong -- the impact starts to wear off by page 26.


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  Posted by Tony on 4/13/2004 02:55:00 PM :

      

Thomas L. Friedman
You are Thomas L. Friedman! You're the foreign
affairs expert. You're liberal on most issues,
except you're a leading voice in the pro-war
movement. You're probably the most popular
columnist at the Times, but probably because
you play both sides of the Iraq issue and
relish your devotion to what you call
"fanatical moderatism." You sure can
write, but you could work on your sense of
humor.


Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


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Monday, April 12, 2004
 
  Posted by steve on 4/12/2004 01:24:00 PM :

      

Art Driven Melancholy

Just posting to air some frustration. Sorry.

I worked on pages all weekend. Got up this morning and looking over them again had to ask myself if they where really good enough. I decided not , but with an impending deadline decided to just go on and make the next batch better. So I started working on a new page today. But I was rushing and it turned out badly. I laid on my hardwood floor feeling sorry for myself and unable to move. Completely depressed now. Then I was just so disappointed with myself. I had already missed a deadline with this project and am now on an extended deadline and I'm F#@$ing this up to. I have to demand better of myself. I spread the pages out on the table and picked out only the ones that I deemed printable. Which happens to be four out of sixteen. The remaining pages I tore up in an angry rage. Not very professional, but if the wine is bad you throw it out. Right? I get complements all the time about my work and I'm so very gratefull for that, but I don't ever feel like it's deserved. And my huge ego is just a cover for a feeling of worthlessness. Have to keep demanding better of myself. I'm not worthy of the cheap paper my arts printed on.

Pretty dark there for a minute. Sorry It's not the usual ha ha yuk yuk stuff that's on this blog, but I'm being as honest as it gets.

we now return to your regular brand of stupid cartoon humor.

-Steve Black


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  Posted by Dara on 4/12/2004 11:22:00 AM :

      

Sin City, the movie

More news (from ComicBookResources) on Robert Rodriguez's Sin City movie, currently in the works:

"...aside from confirming Mickey Rourke as Marv, it lists Bruce Willis as Hartigan, Carla Gugino as Lucille, Jaime King as Goldie, and Brittany Murphy as Shellie. Also listed without character credits are Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Maria Bello, Kate Bosworth, Steve Buscemi, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Josh Hartnett, Marley Shelton, Elijah Wood and Christopher Walken. Early shooting with Hartnett and Shelton is already underway."


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Thursday, April 08, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/08/2004 12:29:00 PM :

      

From Bone to Captain Marvel...



The Pulse has an interview with Columbus' own Jeff Smith about the end of his Bone saga and the Captain Marvel limited series he's doing for DC.

"SMITH: When Bone is done, we'll schedule it. I have no control over that. They are waiting to see my progress on it. I have scripts done and some artwork done. I'm finishing Bone and then I launch completely into it. It will be four issues, 48 pages long each."


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  Posted by Dara on 4/08/2004 11:22:00 AM :

      

This Page Has to be Seen to be Believed!

A French fan with too much free time on his hands and an obsession with The Avengers? It doesn't matter, because the results are very impressive, and a blast to look through. Little cartoon characters based on every version/costume/retcon of The Avengers characters. Plus a ton of supporting characters, villains, and more. You have to check it out!




(link courtesy of my ol' buddies at 4ColorReview.com)



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Wednesday, April 07, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/07/2004 03:20:00 PM :

      

Non-comics related link, part 2

LSD usage is down. Way down. Why? This interesting article on Slate tells you why. Basically, it's because of 2 events:

1) "The best explanation is a bust, a really big bust. The DEA claims it reduced the LSD supply by "95 percent" with two arrests in rural Kansas in November 2000. Clyde Apperson and William Leonard Pickard were charged with and eventually convicted of possession and conspiracy to distribute LSD...If you define a dose of LSD as 100 micrograms, Apperson and Pickard had around 400 million hits in stock. At the more common dosage level of 20 micrograms, the two were sitting on 2 billion hits..."

2) "The LSD market took an earlier blow in 1995, when Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia died and the band stopped touring. For 30 years, Dead tours were essential in keeping many LSD users and dealers connected, a correlation confirmed by the DEA in a divisional field assessment from the mid-'90s...At the end of 2000, Phish stopped touring as well, and perhaps not coincidentally, the MTF numbers for LSD began to plummet."

Behold, the power of music!

(link courtesy of Boing Boing)


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  Posted by Dara on 4/07/2004 03:08:00 PM :

      

Non-comics related link, part 1

Check out the work of "Arborsculptor" Richard Reames at his website.

"The art of shaping trees requires working in four dimensions. Height, depth, width and time. It is kinetic art, season to season and year to year."



(link courtesy of Boing Boing)


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  Posted by Tony on 4/07/2004 09:42:00 AM :

      

We sold, what, 35 copies of Panel:Space? At $3 a pop, that's $105 -- just over half our costs of $200.

Nice work, people.


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Tuesday, April 06, 2004
 
  Posted by Tony on 4/06/2004 02:58:00 PM :

      

Go Poster These All Over the Place

http://www.thepunisherarmy.com/

It's a Web site with downloads, iron-on patches and pin-ups of Thomas Jane and whatnot. Here's a little bit of love from the site:

"It's the Punisher: A man who kills because some people just deserve to die.

On April 16th, he�ll be dispensing a brand of justice that they don�t sell in stores. It�s only available from the business end of his .45, and only for a limited time. So let�s get the damn word out! We�ve got some insane artwork from Tim Bradstreet that�s good enough quality to print out. Go poster these all over the place. People should know that vengeance is about to be unleashed, so that they have a chance to run."



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  Posted by bigbaldkid on 4/06/2004 02:11:00 PM :

      

enjoyed s.p.a.c.e this weekend, bought a porn comic for my nephew.( dont know bout that boy)
checked out cd 101 on the columbus airwaves,they played some old cult. sweet.
played g.i. joes with my 8 year old in the front yard yesterday.
cut in front of a bunch of high school girls at the hellboy movie, they bitched , but they wasnt paying attention to the lines. screw 'em.
song of the week = elvis "big boss"
halfway done with a 8 pager just need the motivation to finish it.


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  Posted by Dara on 4/06/2004 10:21:00 AM :

      

DC's Participation Program
Someone asked Chuck Dixon on his message board if he gets any money for the use of the Bane character he co-created in the pages of Batman. Here's his answer:

"Bane has been bery, bery good to me. - Anyone else old enough to remember that Garrett Morris character from SNL? The Dominican baseball player?
Anyhow, Graham Nolan and I did indeed create Bane and have participation in it. That means we get a small piece of everything that DC gets. And that can really add up. Action figures, coloring books, video games, movies and the rest. DC's participation program is very fair and the accounting has been extremely accurate so far in contrats to marvel who offers no such deal to creators.
It's all gravy and no complaints. Except for animation. I got a very small check for Bane's first appearance in the cartoons and nothing after that. That's just the way TV animation breaks down, I guess. I'm curious to see what I receive from bane's appearance in the recent Mystery of the Batwoman DVD since that would be tied to actual sales dollars. Will it be the same as when he appears in a video game? I don't know.
But I'm more than satisfied with the payouts I received. Now if only that last Batman movie were a HIT instead of a bomb."

All of which is pretty cool news. Good to see one of the mega-publishers making at least an attempt to reward creators for their creations, despite the work-for-hire status. Of course, I'm also quite curious as to how much they can earn for the various appearances of their character, how is the bookkeeping handled, who oversees the records, etc.


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Monday, April 05, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/05/2004 05:09:00 PM :

      

The 12 Dumbest Covers Of American Comic Books

Well, according to Chicago's Atlas Comics website, at least. A few of my favorites:



Obligatory gratuitous joke: boy, that Rifleman sure is packing some serious wood!

PS. I find nothing "dumb" about the Reform School Girl cover. In fact, it's pure marketing genius.


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  Posted by Dara on 4/05/2004 03:27:00 PM :

      

Another artist finds god...

Man, this is some of the craziest stuff i've read in quite a while! NY artist David Choe was in the comics press a few years ago when he went ballistic and called Joe Quesada every name in the book after his and Brian Wood's X-Men spinn-off book, NYX, was dropped by Marvel before ever seeing print.

Now, everyone's favorite rumor column Lying in the Gutters reports that Choe was in a Japanese prison for over 3 months for assaulting an undercover cop. Here's a link to a weblog entry where you can read Choe's first hand account of his lifetime of crime, his time in Japanese jail, and how he found god. I'm telling ya, it's great reading! here's a little sample:

"This 3 months I've come to terms with my denial. I'm not robin hood. I'm a fucking idiot. In my time in prison, translation problems, after misunderstanding after misunderstanding occurred, and every worst case scenario that could happen,happened.., I read ever book in the prison library, wrote over 1000 pages in letters, did over 300 drawings and paintings with soy sauce(not counting the inmate portraits and prison guard portraits, that I gave away) made an outline for a novel that's over 600 pages, wrote and drew a prison graphic novel, kept ridiculously detailed journals(made lists, tons and tons of lists, my favorite all time, books, movie, artists, and then other lists like everyone I want to kill, fuck, everything I've ever stolen etc.),translated telephone book sized Japanese porno comics into English even though I don't speak Japanese, lost all my money, lost all my jobs, lost my health, lost my girl(if it was just jail , she could have stayed strong for me, but just short of cheating, I've behaved unbelievably inappropriately as a boyfriend ,which all came to light while I was behind bars, talk about mental torture, which she should have burned my house down and killed me when I stepped off the plane, but only by God's grace has she remained calm, and has stayed my friend and helped me though my inner turmoil. This is a first for me, I want to kill every single one of my last ex-girlfriends, or vice versa, so staying friends with my girl feels awesome. Being an artist true to yourself and being true to your art, and then also true to your woman is fucking hard, it's a tuff balance) got attacked with the worst case of acne since high school(there wasn't a clear surface on my face, I'm talking boils and puss bombs all over my face and neck, ever book I read in jail has my blood and puss on it, I looked like crater face , but the bible cleared up my acne better that Clearasil) my hair was falling out, my kidneys were damaged, I had 3 nervous breakdowns, contemplated suicide,benchpressed toothless 90 pound junkies,2 vs. 2 soccer games with rolled up socks thieves &junkies vs. Persians & yakuza, 2 prison fights and 1 prison escape attempt, 1 month in general population 2 months in solitary confinement, mastered the art or tantra, and had an orgasm that lasted 2 weeks, the only thing that entered my asshole while I was in prison was my pointer finger on one especially boring night, (WOW!), practiced drumming every night with my chopsticks, found God after telling him to fuck off 20 years ago, lost him again after 1 month, found his son, who -reintroduced me to his dad, until I finally said fuck it, and surrendered. His presence was everywhere, a tattered copy of the bible I only had for 3 days, porno novels that had bible verses scrawled in the borders. every time I denied him, I'd get another day, day another week, another month in jail until I finally surrendered and submitted it all to God. Put it all in his hands, and he cleared up my face , my health, and let me out of jail."

Crazy shit.



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  Posted by Dara on 4/05/2004 12:33:00 PM :

      

Artbomb

Hey, we got a mention over at the ARTBOMB.NET blog. Check it out.


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  Posted by Tony on 4/05/2004 10:06:00 AM :

      

Connies (SPACE 2004 edition)

Martha Stewart Award for Achievement in Hospitality - Bob Corby, who arranged SPACE in a cool new venue and even managed to shoehorn some latecomers into satellite rooms. (Honorable mentions - Gib Bickel for the GOG, and Ian Shires for Obscurity Unlimited.)

Bling Bling Award - Evan Derian�s �Insignificant Gods.� Not only is the cover glossy, but so are the interior pages.

WTF Award - �Anthology,� by the four charming ladies of Umbrella Studios. Behind the benign title are a half-dozen stories of abusive gay relationships, done in a manga style. And by �gay� I mean �guy on guy.�

If I Only Had $10 For One More TPB Award - �Americanjism.� I�d buy it off the Internet, but I don�t dare look for it at work.

�Carrie� Award for Achievement in a Homecoming - Paul Hornsheimer, coming back with a Dark Horse deal and a favorable notice in Entertainment Weekly.

Rich Little Award for Achievement in Impersonations - Jeffrey Manley, for his �Small Press Parody� book. One of the books parodied is �Gabagool,� and someone took it to the �Gabagool� folks to sign. (Honorable Mention - Eric Adams� �Lackluster World,� for its Jhonen Vasquez impression).

Steve Black Memorial Best Dressed Man Award - The kid with �Bizobo the Chimp,� for his three-piece suit.

Summer Camp Award for Achievement in Crafts - Jeff Sharp, for cutting up old books to make his own �Caesar� hardcovers. (Honorable Mentions - That one Kish book with the cutout cover, and Panel:Space. The band means it�s sanitized for your protection.)

George Lucas Award for Achievement in Toy Tie-Ins - Doug Paszkiewicz and the kids at �Arsenic Lullabies/Laughter of the Damned,� for their Voodoo Joe bust.

Worst Dis - That jackass in the white sweatshirt, who thumbed through Nightchild No. 4, looked me straight in the eye, and said, �Mmmm ... no, I don�t think so.�

Best Surprise - �Jurry Rigged Comics� by Sean McGurr, Tim McClurg, et al. Who knew Sean was putting out a book?

Keepin� It In The Family Award - Glenn Brewer, for bringing home the Day prize.

Bo Jackson Switch-Hitter Award - Dara Naraghi: Writer, publisher, letterer, press agent, cat-herder.

Bob Ross Award - Steve Black, for dropping some knowledge about "magic paint" on passers-by.

�Full House� Memorial �Everywhere You Look� Award - Tom Williams, for bringing the rawk to the posters, the nametags, the ads, and pretty much everything else.

Patience of Job Award - Yeshua Tolle, for putting up with us old folks all day.

Voice in the Wilderness Award - Craig Bogart, for bringing the word of Panel out to the satellite rooms.

Best New Villain - George W. Bush, who terrorized readers in the pages of �Al Qaida Funnies,� �Cowboy Actor,� Donovan Cater�s �Why I Hate People,� �Midtown Productions No. 4,� and probably others. I predict this talented newcomer will have no trouble landing additional comix work when his current gig runs out in November.



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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/05/2004 09:36:00 AM :

      

Art University Against Free Expression
Although it is a private university and as such can set up policies as it wishes, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco is taking a scary stance in expelling a student for writing a violent story for a writing class and then firing the teacher for assigning a short story by David Foster Wallace. You can read a story about the incident in the San Francisco Chronicle and reaction by Lemony Snicket and Neil Gaiman.

It won't be long until the artists at that university will only be allowed to produce Thomas Kinkade-type works.


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Saturday, April 03, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/03/2004 09:02:00 PM :

      

Back From Space

Just got back from the con. I had a blast, as always. I really liked the new location this year, though fortunately I was in the big exhibit hall and not one of the small ones off to the side. Anyway, traffic seemed to have increased over the previous years and we actually sold more books and traded fewer ones. The response to the new Panel book was very good, and it really warmed my heart to hear people ask about AKA #3 or give us great feedback on previous issues of Panel. Slowly but surely, we're building and audience and that's simply awesome.

I've got more thoughts to share, but I'm pretty beat right now. More to come.

Oh, and congrats again to fellow Panel member Glenn Brewer on his 2003 Day Prize award!


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Friday, April 02, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/02/2004 11:48:00 PM :

      

Time for sleep...

I missed the pre-SPACE party at The Ogre tonight. Oh well, maybe next time. This week has been a killer one at work and I'm beat.

At least I've got everything set for the convention tomorrow. See y'all at SPACE.

Off to bed...


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  Posted by Dara on 4/02/2004 09:08:00 PM :

      

The Onion Dave Sim Interview

It starts out interestingly enough...

"The Onion: Why an aardvark?

Dave Sim: You know, it's really quite unbelievable to me that you have 4,000 words in which to cover the longest sustained narrative in human history, and your first question is "Why an aardvark?" What would your first question to Franz Kafka have been? "Why a cockroach?"

O: If Kafka had spent 30 years of his life writing one 6,000-page book about a man who turned into a cockroach, then maybe."

There are some interesting tidbits here and there, but unfortunately it's mostly Sim just being snarky and going off on rants about how the "leftists" want to "destroy" him while at the same time bemoaning the fact that he's never afforded any critical coverage...

"O: Would you advise new readers to start with the first book and read all of Cerebus in sequence, or is there a better starting point for the series?

DS: I'm not sure that I would advise a general readership like yours to read Cerebus."

Read the whole thing here.






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