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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Thursday, May 27, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/27/2004 09:31:00 AM :


Superhero Day Jobs

Worth1000.com has daily Photoshoping contest. Today's theme: Superhero Dayjobs. (link courtesy of BoingBoing)

My favorite is Daredevil as a bellhop: "You'd better give a tip (when he eventually finds your room)".

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/26/2004 02:04:00 PM :


The 3 Elements of Comic Book Art?

Something from today's Steven Grant column which I found interesting:

"In a different conversation I resurrected my old adage about the three elements of comics art: proportion, storytelling and dynamics. (All of which, as in subnuclear physics, become the same thing when you break them down far enough, but let's not go there today.) Proportion includes all the basic elements of art: anatomy, perspective, consistency, etc. Storytelling is, obviously, the ability to use pictures to tell a story. Dynamics are the tricks that catch a reader's eye, that get the pulse moving, and dynamics are dismissed as cheap tricks by many, but they're really not. They've become essential. Great comics art needs all three, but the market is such that if you can only have one, the one you want is dynamics. And, yet, in the midst of discussing this, I realized what I mean by dynamics � which under my definition covers a much wider range of techniques and effects than most people seem to suppose � I realized I'd had it wrong all along, and dynamics is itself a subset of something else much more important: immediacy. Dynamics make comics a much more immediate, visceral experience. Someone brought up Steve Dillon. At a quick glance, his art may look still, though he's more than capable of big action when he wants to draw it. But the genius of Steve Dillon is the way he uses space, places characters and objects in space, to give his work such a sense of reality that it sucks you right in. You believe what Steve Dillon draws. His work isn't usually dynamic in the sense that, say, Jim Lee's is, but Dillon's characters exist on the page; you can see where they moved from and they're moving to, you can feel their muscles tense and loosen. That's immediacy."

I like his thoughts on "immediacy" in art. We have a tendency to notice the over-the-top dynamics of artists like Lee (or god forbid, Liefeld), but that's usually more flash and less substance. Whereas certain other artists capture your eye and make you believe what you're seeing without resorting to overly-rendered panels or psychedelic layouts. Bryan Hitch comes to mind. As do Zander Cannon and Adam Hughes (if only he'd do more sequentials). Just not sure if I'd agree that Steve Dillon is one of them. Now, I do like his stuff for the most part, and his characters seem real, but I still can't shake the feeling that his artwork comes across as stiff (at least to my eyes).

What does everyone else think?

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/25/2004 10:01:00 AM :


Mmmmmmm, T&A

Newsarama is reporting that "Image Comics has announced plans to publish Allen Curtis and Mark Beachum's SYPHONS Graphic Novel, an updated look at the superhero genre, originally produced by Now Comics in the early nineties. SYPHONS is a mature science-fiction thriller about four young adults who accidentally acquire intergalactic "siphoning" powers and are burdened with the task of protecting Earth from an alien race hell-bent on destruction."

I mention this only because I caught Mark "Me Love Titties and Ass" Beachum's name in there. Part Bill Sienkiewicz draftsmanship, part Adam Hughes cheesecake, I always enjoyed looking at his not-so-anatomically-correct eye candy art. Of course, the best part was when he'd illustrate the odd issue of some mainstream comics, like Spider-man or Moon Knight. Then all of a sudden even the most basic panel layout would turn into an ass shot straight out of a porn mag. Case in point:

Good times. Anyway, you can check out more of his art here.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/25/2004 09:58:00 AM :


Steve Seagle on NPR

From a press release: This Wednesday, Seagle is scheduled to tape a segment for the NPR show FRESH AIR with Terry Gross discussing his semi-autobiographical DC Comics/Vertigo hardcover graphic novel "It's a bird..."

If you can't catch the show, they usually archive them online on the Fresh Air website.

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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 5/25/2004 08:41:00 AM :


Check This Out
Frodo Has Failed!

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Monday, May 24, 2004
  Posted by Tony on 5/24/2004 04:36:00 PM :


Troy Drinking Game

I just saw �Troy� last night. Pretty good flick -- overly talky in some points, but that Homer guy sure knew how to weave a good story. Anyway, instead of a review, I give you the Troy Drinking Game.

* Whenever anyone talks about their name being remembered throughout the ages, take a drink (you could get hammered on this one alone).

* Whenever you get confused on a Greek name, take a drink.

* Whenever the pronunciation of someone�s name seems to change, take two drinks. (Watch out for Menelaus.)

* Whenever you want to punch Orlando Bloom, take a drink.

* Whenever someone invokes the gods, take a drink. Drink twice if the actor manages to say it with a straight face.

* Whenever you suspect the filmmakers are making a comment on the war in Iraq, take a drink.

* Whenever you look at your watch, take a drink.

* Whenever you see a sweeping overhead shot of the ancient landscape, take a drink.

* Whenever someone ends a battle early, take a drink.

* When you see Brad Pitt�s ass, finish your beer.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/24/2004 03:09:00 PM :



The 24 different entries for the big fat 24 Hour Comics TPB have been selected. Andy Bennett's phenomenal book Remember, which can be read in its entirety here, is not one of them.

What a shame.

No disrespect to the creators whose work was selected (after all, I haven't seen any of them so I'm not going to judge them unread), but there better be some truly fantastic efforts there if Andy's didn't make the cut. That's all I'm saying.


Official Press Release

After a careful effort reading through hundreds of the comics stories created on 24 Hour Comics Day, editor Nat Gertler has selected 24 tales to go into the book 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2004. These stories were selected not just for their quality but also for the breadth of styles and participants involved in the event.

The better known creator whose works are included are:

* Christian Gossett of Red Star fame does 24 pages on the creative effort
* Leave It To Chance's Paul Smith spent the day creating a one-man anthology of stories, one of which will be in the book.
* Joel Priddy of the award-winning Pulpatoon Pilgrimage shows us an encounter between a space alien and a king
* Eric Wolfe Hanson from G.I. Joe and Micronauts tells an action packed tale of "Late Fees"
* Dead @ 17's Josh Howard puts his talent into an adventure with gorgeous gals and space aliens
* Ken Lashley unleashes a new superhero team, the R-Force

Also included in the book are:

* Skeezix, and his humorous short tale "Bird Calling"
* Jennifer O. brings her square cat from Squarecatcomics.com to the party
* Marketing exec Mandy Marxen muses about high school reunions
* Ben Towle deals with the childhood reality of a girl (uggh!) moving into the neighborhood
* Canadian Dani Atkinson drew her tale on a series of 24 trading cards
* Patrick Joseph looks at cause and effect in life
* Chris Watkins tells tales based on his days as a teacher in Japan
* Comic book store owner Jefferson Powers gives us a photocomic about what 24 Hour Comics Day was like in his store
* 12 year old Clara Harbour shows her own characters fighting for a chance to appear in her comic
* Artist Alida Saxon makes her first comic book ever, a charming bit of animal myth
* Danielle Corsetto deals with the perils of being a heartbreaker
* David Steinlicht on "Cleaning My Work Area!"
* Amanda Levinson and Adam Rosenblatt turn their prospective wedding vows to one another into a comic
* Michael Conner's tale of rather abstract creatures
* Ryan Browne shows us the difficult life of a superpowered demon in Hollywood
* Community college teacher Ryan Claytor unleashes "Rock & Soul"
* Stephen Sloane's Young Hip Priest gets his 24 pages
* Geno Heleen puts forth the wordless tale "Hats Off 2 Ya!"

24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2004 (ISBN 0-9753958-0-7) is a 496 5.5"x7.75" paperback, a nice thick paperback that ships in July from About Comics. It can be found on page 206 of the current Diamond Previews, order code MAY04 2158. It is also offered through FM International and Cold Cut.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/24/2004 02:27:00 PM :


Update: Sin City movie

According to Comic book Resources, '...Robert Rodriguez has closed his cast on "Sin City" by adding Benicio Del Toro and Clive Owen to the Dimension Films ensemble project. The noir drama is divided into three chapters named for titles in the Miller series: "Sin City," "That Yellow Bastard" and "The Big Fat Kill." Del Toro and Owen will be seen in the last segment, along with Brittany Murphy."


"The film cast also includes Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett, Mickey Rourke, Nick Stahl, Jessica Alba, Elijah Wood, Carla Gugino, Jaime King and Marley Shelton."

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Sunday, May 23, 2004
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 5/23/2004 07:09:00 PM :


Chernobyl Story a Fake?
According to this thread, the story of a woman motorcycling through the Chernobyl related on this site (which looks to be down now) and blogged about here last month, is actually a fake.

I'm not sure that it matters to me one way or the other that it is a fake. Sure, getting the facts about the disaster correct would be good, but the work itself had an effect on me and had me thinking about Chernobyl for the first time in years. Furthermore, I wasn't just thinking about the disaster in some abstract way as something that happened far away from here, but rather as a real event that altered (and continues to alter) thousands of lives.

Thanks to Neil Gaiman's journal for pointing out this story.

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Friday, May 21, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/21/2004 02:08:00 PM :


Warren Ellis' experiment

Over at the Ninth Art site, John Fellows contemplates Ellis' "attempts to go it alone in the murky world of creator-owned comics for corporate bigwigs." He's talking about series such as Ministry of Space, Red, Tokyo Storm Warning, Reload, and Mek. The conclusion?

"His revolutionary 'pop comics' idea was to publish a series of three-issue minis, get in, get out, and get the job done. The comics equivalent of a throwaway music single. Something he can get out of his system without committing several years and a lot of energy to. And unsurprisingly it's failed miserably."

Did anyone read any of these series? If so, what are your thoughts? (I'm not a big Ellis fan myselfand even though I just recently got on the Planetary train, which is an awesome read, I've never felt compelled to seek out his other works.)

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  Posted by Dara on 5/21/2004 11:22:00 AM :


9 Songs

When American filmmakers wants to "explore human sexuality", we get overhyped Hollywood wankfests like Showgirls (not that I didn't enjoy it, mind you, it was just so...overblown).

When a British director decides to do the same, you get 9 Songs. Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, In This World) is screening his film, featuring explicit (and real) sex between the two main actors, at Cannes this week.

From The Guardian newspaper: "The most sexually explicit film in the history of mainstream British cinema, containing unsimulated sex scenes including fellatio, ejaculation and cunnilingus, many in close-up, yesterday had its first screening at Cannes. Michael Winterbottom, the Lancashire-born director of Nine Songs, a love story, said: "I had been thinking for a while about the fact that most cinematic love stories miss out on the physical relationship, and if it is indicated at all everyone knows it is fake."

From The Independent newspaper: "With a cast of two, it is like nothing you've ever seen before. Although you might find the sex scenes graphic, it is certainly not pornographic. The nine songs of the title break up the action, as the starring couple make occasional forays from the bedroom to watch live bands: Primal Scream, Super Furry Animals, Franz Ferdinand, Von Bondies, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and, to add some generational balance, Michael Nyman."

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  Posted by Tony on 5/21/2004 09:39:00 AM :


Here�s my old college friend and former student newspaper colleague Amanda Flaig giving a Heisman-quality stiff arm to wonkette.com about the Washingtonienne affair:


Amanda is a p.r. flak for Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, who apparently had to fire a staffer for blogging about her sexual escapades under the pseudonym �Washingtonienne.� Those escapades included letting a GOP sugar daddy get to fifth base in exchange for rent money.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/21/2004 09:36:00 AM :


Bushy Bush

Also from ArtBlog: Coming this September from Fantagraphics, The Bush Junta, edited by Gary Groth & Mack White

"An international assemblage of world-class cartoonists take on the Bush administration in this historical account of high crimes and misdemeanors - just in time for the election. This fact-based, impeccably researched work of comics journalism chronicles the Bush administration in the context of the Bush family dynasty that spawned it."

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  Posted by Dara on 5/21/2004 09:31:00 AM :


Persepolis 2

ArtBlog reports on two new graphic novels from Random House. This one caught my eye:

"Pantheon will release Persepolis 2, the sequel to the hugely successful Persepolis 1 on August 31st in hardcover for $17.95. Persepolis 1 was the story of writer/artist Marjane Satrapi's childhood in Iran during the Islamic revolution and the war with Iraq. Persepolis 2 picks up where the first volume left off, with Satrapi leaving Iran for Europe for a time, then returning to her homeland."

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Thursday, May 20, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/20/2004 10:02:00 AM :


Jim Jarmusch interview

The Onion a.v. club has a short interview with avant garde/indy filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. If you've never seen Dead Man ("a black-and-white, psychedelic Western" starring Johnny Depp) or Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai (introspective action/black comnedy about a reclusive hitman, played by Forrest Whitaker), you really ought to check them out. They are both rather slow, decompressed movies, but are incredibly unique and quirky. A far cry from the usual crap pumped out by Hollywood.

Plus, he gives a shout out to filmmakers from Iran:

O: You've always been a voracious moviegoer. What's your impression of what's going on in the world now? Are certain filmmakers or filmmaking countries particularly exciting to you now?

JJ: Definitely. There's a lot of incredible stuff coming from Asia�from Japan and Taiwan and all over the place. Certainly, Iran has become a beautiful garden of cinema. The best film I've seen recently is Crimson Gold by Jafar Panahi, about a pizza-delivery guy in Tehran, that was written by [Abbas] Kiarostami.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/19/2004 04:45:00 PM :


Variant Covers

Outspoken comics retailer Brian Hibbs knows the score when it comes to those ridiculous variant covers that seem to be making a comeback.

To whit: "Variants only have one real goal � don�t fool yourself into thinking this is some wonderful paean to �consumer choice� � publishers want you to buy more than one copy of their comic.

This is, of course, their right. Some might even say, in a capitalistic society, it is their duty. Indeed, the main defense publishers give to variants is �They uniformly sell more copies�, and so they do. But I guess I�m of Hippocratic thought on this: �First thing, do no harm�

Variants harm. They skew retailer�s cycle sheets and increase risk on later issues. They send the wrong messages to readers. Each and every one of them runs the risk of being �the straw� that causes a collector to quit the hobby, forever. I�ve been selling comic books my entire adult life, and I can assure you that there is lasting and long-term harm in promoting �collectibility� over content."

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  Posted by bigbaldkid on 5/19/2004 04:05:00 PM :



read this, its great

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  Posted by Dara on 5/19/2004 02:49:00 PM :


Comics Spotted at Non-Comics Store!

Hey, these days that's a big deal. I saw a whole rack of those new Marvel Age comics (the "remixed" classic Spidey and FF stories done by Sean McKeever and other new talent) at Target the other day. Any exposure to the mainstream is a plus in my book. Way to go Marvel! (There's something you won't hear me say too often)

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  Posted by Dara on 5/19/2004 02:31:00 PM :


Definition of Ironic

No, not the Alanis Morissette song.

Was listening to NPR on the drive home yesterday. Heard an interesting factoid: currently, the most illegally downloaded movie off the Internet is The Passion of the Christ.

(Insert joke about the 7th commandment here)

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Tuesday, May 18, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/18/2004 01:13:00 PM :


Vanity Project of the Week: Courtney Loves Does Manga

According to this Newsarama article, Courtney Love (you know, lead singer of Hole, widow of Kurt Cobain) is "writing" a manga series called Princess Ai, to be published stateside by Tokyopop. I say "writing" because from what I can tell from the article, basically she just came up with an idea and did some clothing sketches. To whit:

�Princess Ai is a very unusual project in many ways, including its production cycle. This project was conceived here in the U.S., but then the plot was sent to Misaho Kujiradou in Japan. Working with editor Akane Ishii at the monthly Wings magazine - published by Shinshokan, Kujiradou wrote and drew the comic based on the plot by D.J. Milky. "

Um, ok.

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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 5/18/2004 10:43:00 AM :


Yesterday in the mail, I received the goodness that is McSweeney's Quarterly 13, a special all-cartoonist issue edited by Chris Ware. This is one of the most beautiful books I've seen in a long time. I'm not sure how they were able to design it and print it so lovingly and sell it for under $25. All your favorites are here: Ware, Tomine, Los Bros. Hernandez, Clowes, Crumb, Matt, Brown, Seth, Schultz, Panter, Sacco, Deitch and more, plus mini-comics hidden in the dust cover by Porcellino and Rege. The dustcover itself folds out to an amazing Ware print.

You should be checking out the McSweeney's Web site on a regular basis anyway. There is great writing posted on a daily basis and everyone loves the Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush.

Does anyone know of a bookstore around here (Columbus) that sells McSweeney's publications?

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  Posted by Dara on 5/18/2004 10:26:00 AM :


A Hilariously Bad Comic

This site has all 16 pages of a really crappy comic based on the Doom computer game, along with a funny review of said masterpiece. The only name I recognize from the credits of the story is that of artist Tom 'Gallows' Grindberg. I never did like Grindberg's art. He always seemed to change his style to imitate the flavor of the month, which back in the 90's was decidedly not a good thing.

Anyway, here's a snippet from the review: "One of my most favorite parts in the comic is when the marine inadvertently falls into some radioactive sludge and suddenly, in the middle of a massive killing spree, starts to preach about how humans are ruining the environment and how we'll be leaving a destroyed planet to our children and our children's children. The whole panel is such a random segment from the rest of the comic, which provides wholesome family fun (in the form of killing shit) and then goes off on a tangential environmental crusade, albeit a pretty half-assed one."

Some of my favorite lines of "dialogue":

"I've got a handful of vertebrae and a headful of mad!"

"Wow! Now I'm in a completely different place!"

"Hoy, hoy, I'm the boy..."

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  Posted by Dara on 5/18/2004 10:22:00 AM :


Finally, a comics-related post

Wanna see a bad web comic that's essentially a glorified ad to sell a fantasy book?

"Equal parts Robin Hood and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, R. A. Salvatore creates an unforgettable character with THE HIGHWAYMAN.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/18/2004 09:21:00 AM :


Even Google Knows

Go to Google
Type in: weapons of mass destruction
Click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button
Enjoy the ironic sense of humor

These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed
The weapons you are looking for are currently unavailable. The country might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your weapons inspectors mandate.


Please try the following:

Click the Regime change button, or try again later.

If you are George Bush and typed the country's name in the address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly. (IRAQ).

To check your weapons inspector settings, click the UN menu, and then click Weapons Inspector Options. On the Security Council tab, click Consensus. The settings should match those provided by your government or NATO.
If the Security Council has enabled it, The United States of America can examine your country and automatically discover Weapons of Mass Destruction.
If you would like to use the CIA to try and discover them,
click Detect weapons
Some countries require 128 thousand troops to liberate them. Click the Panic menu and then click About US foreign policy to determine what regime they will install.
If you are an Old European Country trying to protect your interests, make sure your options are left wide open as long as possible. Click the Tools menu, and then click on League of Nations. On the Advanced tab, scroll to the Head in the Sand section and check settings for your exports to Iraq.
Click the Bomb button if you are Donald Rumsfeld.

Cannot find weapons or CIA Error
Iraqi Explorer
Bush went to Iraq to look for Weapons of Mass Destruction and all he found was this lousy T-shirt.

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Monday, May 17, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/17/2004 02:12:00 PM :


CrossGen Madness

If you're interested in some insider discussion on what went wrong with CrossGen (and also what was good about it, but mostly the former), check out this message board thread. Lots of ex-CrossGen pros like Ron Marz, Scott Eaton. Tony Bedard, Drew Geracci, Andrea DiVitto, etc. contribute their thoughts (and rants). Interesting reading.

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Friday, May 14, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/14/2004 05:05:00 PM :


Japan Lawmakers Scolded for Reading Comics

From a Yahoo article: "TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi scolded rookie lawmakers Thursday for reading comic books and talking on their cell phones during legislative sessions, according to a newspaper report."

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  Posted by Dara on 5/14/2004 04:53:00 PM :


US Army...Priorities

From a Wired.com article: "LOS ANGELES -- There's no doubt that the E3 video-game show is the loudest, most garish trade show on Earth.

Need proof? To promote its video game America's Army, the U.S. Army staged a mini assault on the Los Angeles Convention Center. Real soldiers rappelled down from a Black Hawk helicopter and rushed toward the entrance with real assault rifles, scaring the daylights out of attendees not aware of the promotion."

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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 5/14/2004 03:19:00 PM :


Time's online comics reviewer takes a look at Kolchalka, Jeffery Brown and Allison Cole. The sub-headline talked about DIY comics, so I was thinking more small press (these comics are published by Top Shelf and Alternative Comics; definitely alternative press, but not small press), but he is actually looking at the aesthetic that these artists go for. Check it out: TIME - Andrew Arnold - Small Comix in the Big Leagues

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  Posted by Dara on 5/14/2004 01:43:00 PM :



Ladies and gentlemen, John Constantine as an American:

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  Posted by Dara on 5/14/2004 10:31:00 AM :


Sometimes the best beer...

...is a root beer.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/14/2004 10:21:00 AM :


And now a word from Old Cracker Thompkins

Follow the instructions below for the genuine thrill that
comes with discovering your blues name: From the first list,
take the name using the initial of your first name. From
the second list, do the same with your middle name. From the
third, your surname.

(Since I don't have a middle name, I went with my standard "Xavier" made-up middle name. Hence: Old Cracker Thompkins)

First List:
A=Fat; B=Muddy ; C=Crippled; D=Old; E=Texas; F=Hollerin';
G=Ugly; H=Brown; I=Happy; J=Boney; K=Curly; L=Pretty;
M=Jailhouse; N=Peg Leg; O=Red; P=Sleepy; Q=Bald; R=Skinny;
S=Blind; T=Big; U=Yella; V=Toothless; W=Screamin'; X=FatBoy;
Y=Washboard; Z=Steel-Eye

Second List:
A=Bones; B=Money; C=Harp; D=Legs; E=Eyes; F=Lemon; G=Killer;
H=Hips; I=Lips; J=Fingers; K=Boy; L=Liver; M=Gumbo; N=Foot;
O=Mama; P=Back; Q=Duke; R=Dog; S=Bad Boy; T=Baby; U=Chicken;
V=Pickles; W=Sugar; X=Cracker; Y=Tooth; Z=Smoke

Third List:
A=Jackson; B=McGee; C=Hopkins; D=Dupree; E=Green; F=Brown;
G=Jones; H=Rivers; I=Malone; J=Washington; K=Smith; L=Parker;
M=Lee; N=Thompkins; O=King; P=Bradley; Q=Hawkins; R=Jefferson;
S=Davis; T=Franklin; U=White; V=Jenkins; W=Bailey; X=Johnson;
Y=Blue; Z=Allison

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Thursday, May 13, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/13/2004 10:08:00 AM :


Templesmith's Pitch for Ghost Rider

I'm sure you've all seen these by now, as they were floating around the web a couple weeks ago. But I figured we needed some cool artwork up on the blog, so here's a page from a proposed Ghost Rider series by Dan Wickline and Ben Templesmith.

You can see more here.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/12/2004 11:35:00 AM :


Test Your Knowledge

Fun little quiz for ya. I'll post the answers in the comment section tomorrow.

(1) There's one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends. What is it?

(2) What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

(3) Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

(4) At noon and midnight the hour and minute hands are exactly coincident with each other. How many other times between noon and midnight do the hour and minute hands cross?

(5) What is the only sport in which the ball is always in the possession of the team on defense, and the offensive team can score without touching the ball?

(6) What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

(7) Only three words in standard English begin with the letters "dw". They are all common. Name two of them.

(8) It's the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh. What is it?

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/11/2004 05:00:00 PM :


Onion no like Van Helsing

From this week's a.v. club reviews:

Van Helsing
Director: Stephen Sommers (PG-13, 132 min.)
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale

With 1999's The Mummy, writer-director Stephen Sommers hit on a lucrative formula by infusing an old-fashioned monster movie with Indiana Jones-style cliffhanger action and an abundance of CGI effects. Two years later, The Mummy Returns offered more of the same. This year, Sommers' trademark strategy speeds headfirst into a brick wall with Van Helsing, a work of staggering stupidity.

Having successfully resurrected the mummy, Sommers has gotten greedy and set about simultaneously reviving nearly every other monster made famous by Universal Studios. The result is a movie with too much of just about everything: too many monsters, too much CGI, too many artless special effects, too many breathless climaxes doled out indiscriminately, too many bad lines, and way too much overacting. Then again, it's hard to fault the film's luckless actors, as they pretty much have to scream every line just to be heard above the din of a movie in perpetual overdrive.

Sommers' misbegotten blockbuster stars Hugh Jackman as the titular vampire slayer, a tormented yet hunky soul doomed to spend his days hunting down monsters for the Vatican. Along with a comic-relief friar sidekick (David Wenham), Jackman is dispatched to Transylvania, where his old foe Count Dracula has a scheme to breed vampire babies with the help of werewolves, vampire brides, Dr. Frankenstein's sidekick Igor, and Frankenstein's monster. (Somehow, this is even more idiotic than it sounds.) Kate Beckinsale co-stars as Jackman's heavily accented love interest, although after starring in last year's Underworld, she should learn to say no to scripts involving both vampires and werewolves.

Perhaps out of fear that the audience will catch its breath long enough to realize just how harebrained its plot is, Van Helsing never stops assaulting the senses, which is more exhausting than exhilarating, and more silly than scary. The film doesn't just feel like it was made exclusively for hyperactive 12-year-old boys; it feels like it was made by a hyperactive 12-year-old boy given a $150 million budget, and liberated from any attempts to impose logic and common sense. �Nathan Rabin

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  Posted by Dara on 5/11/2004 04:48:00 PM :


Bushy Bush

From last week's The Onion:

Bush To Iraqi Militants: 'Please Stop Bringing It On'
WASHINGTON, DC�In an internationally televised statement Monday, President Bush modified a July 2003 challenge to Iraqi militants attacking U.S. forces. "Terrorists, Saddam loyalists, and anti-American insurgents: Please stop bringing it on now," Bush said at a Monday press conference. "Nine months and 500 U.S. casualties ago, I may have invited y'all to bring it on, but as of today, I formally rescind that statement. I would officially like for you to step back." The president added that the "it" Iraqis should stop bringing includes gunfire, bombings, grenade attacks, and suicide missions of all types.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/11/2004 03:05:00 PM :


Obnoxious Comic Store Owner

Read the latest PvP strip here.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/11/2004 02:53:00 PM :


100 Bullets - the game

Check it out, the site for the new Acclaim video game based on 100 Bullets. The cool thing is there's a link on the site showcasing all the 100 Bullets TPBs, with a link to DC/Vertigo's website. Now that's smart promotion.

"100 Bullets features an original story and script from the creator of the 100 Bullets universe, Brian Azzarello. A highly-respected talent with the comic book industry, Azzarello has also written for such renowned characters as Batman, Superman and Sgt. Rock.

Introducing "R.A.G.E.", a new form of gunplay that takes game action sequences to a new level of cinematic intensity.

Art direction by Eduardo Risso, the award-winning artist of the 100 Bullets comic series.

Hollywood-esque action and gameplay, including multiple weapons, hostage taking, melee, and fully interactive environments.

Play through the game as two characters, Cole Burns and Snow Falls, intertwining good, bad, and revenge.

Travel from Atlantic City to LA to Paris to the Underworld of NYC.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/11/2004 02:47:00 PM :


Time magazine on Superman

Time online has an article entitled The Problem with Superman. "The Man of Steel is looking a little rusty. He's not tragic. He's not cool. Can America's original superhero find a way to reconnect with us?"

(gee, Time covers a DC book...gotta love that Time-Warner corporate synergy!)

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  Posted by Andy Bennett on 5/11/2004 09:27:00 AM :


PANEL at Motor City Convention this weekend!

Motor City comicon takes place this weekend, May 14-16, in Novi, Michigan (just outside of Detroit). I think I'll be the lone PANEL representative in attendance, but I'll have copies of all 3 issues of PANEL available, for your viewing pleasure. I'll also be doing free sketches for anyone who asks (we'll see how many people are reading this now...). Please stop by my table in Artist's Alley and say hello.

Visit www.motorcityconventions.com for more information...

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Monday, May 10, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/10/2004 11:52:00 AM :


Tastes Like Chicken Vs. Rob Liefeld

Saw this over on the All The Rage rumor column:

In an interview with 411 Mania, Wayne Chinsiang, writer of Heaven LLC and Bad Ideas for Image, challenged Rob Liefield to a boxing match at an upcoming comics con. �Dude, here's a fucking exclusive for you,� he said. �I, Wayne Chinsang, of tastes like chicken, am officially challenging Rob Liefield to a boxing match at the Chicago Comic Con this summer. I'm 100% serious. Bring it on, Rob! I saw you walking out of the Hyatt last year with your pudding cups, and I should have fought you right then and there.

�So, Rob Liefield, if you are reading this, email me at wayne@tlchicken.com, and accept my boxing challenge. And, if you win, I will claim you as my lord and saviour. I will write an original graphic novel script, which you will illustrate, and I will hand over all rights to you. You can make ALL the cash on it. I will GIVE YOU a book. But if I win, you must STOP FUCKING MAKING COMICS, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY!!! PLEASE GOD OR ALLAH OR BACON DOUBLECHEESEBURGERS!!!�

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Friday, May 07, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/07/2004 02:07:00 PM :


Bruce Campbell writes a comic

From Dark Horse Comics' solicitation for September:


�Precious Cargo�


On sale August 11, FC, 32pg, $2.99

Inspired by the BMW Films series, Dark Horse presents our second story
featuring The Hire. Just as each episode in the film series is helmed by a
different well-known director, each issue of The Hire is produced by a
different top creator or creative team. This issue is written by Bruce
Campbell (yeah, that Bruce Campbell) and illustrated by Kilian Plunkett
(Superman: Red Son)."

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  Posted by Dara on 5/07/2004 02:04:00 PM :


GAMA moves to Columbus

From the press release: "The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has moved its offices from Denver CO to Columbus OH." Among the reasons for the move: "Columbus is the site of the annual Origins Games Expo...Columbus has a considerably lower cost of living than Denver...Synergy potential with Ohio State University...Synergy potential with an appreciative city. Columbus is very pleased with its relationship with GAMA."

Apparently their new address will be Suite 230, 280 N High Street, Columbus, OH 43215

"The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is a non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association whose mission is to promote the general interest of all persons engaged in the buying, selling, licensing, and manufacturing of hobby game products" www.gama.org

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  Posted by Dara on 5/07/2004 01:47:00 PM :


Star Trek apartment

So let's say you're a Star Trek fan.

In need of a modestly sized 500 square foot apartment.

And you have a million dollars.

Buy this English guy's self-decorated Star Trek apartment!

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Wednesday, May 05, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/05/2004 02:51:00 PM :


Porn and Eggs Vending Machines

Well, ok, not together.

When I was in New Zealand I met an American girl who had spent a year in Japan teaching English. Among her many fascinating stories, I especially enjoyed her descriptions of vending machines for just about every conceivable commodity, including fresh eggs, rice, etc. And now I can see all the various machines courtesy of this Vending Machines of Japan website! Here you'll find pictures of vending machines for fresh eggs, fishing supplies, porn, french fries, schoolgirl panties (!), beer, and more. (Link courtesy of the ever-wonderful Boing Boing)


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 5/05/2004 11:14:00 AM :


Spidey on the Basepaths
In what some are calling potential the biggest story in baseball (because of future ramifications for advertising in sports), MLB will incorporate Spider-Man 2 movie ads and logos on the bases and pitching rubber for all games played the weekend of June 11-13. ESPN's Page 2 (see left column) is anticipating MLB catching some heat for the use of ads on the field. The original story was reported in the Wall Street Journal (need to register to read the article).

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  Posted by Dara on 5/05/2004 09:45:00 AM :


Excitement in Good Ol' Columbus (well, Gahanna actually)

"Authorities received reports that a 300- to 400-pound African lion had been spotted in the Gahanna area at least three times in less than 24 hours Monday night and Tuesday. Gahanna police said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the search was called off because they did not believe the lion was still in the search area. Authorities said three of 11 reported sightings were credible. "

Meanwhile, they did spot a coyote and the local news media is having a ball. Helicopter shots of the "wily coyote" and all. Must be slow news week. You know, not much going on in the world...Iraq, etc. Get them guns out, boys, we're going coyote' huntin'.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/05/2004 09:41:00 AM :


Prettyfied the Blog

I reformatted the blog a tiny bit with indents to make the individual posts stand out more. Hope you kids like it.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/04/2004 06:34:00 PM :


Don't Remind People There's a War

This goes along with Tony's post below. It's from Darby Conley's syndicated strip Get Fuzzy:

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  Posted by Tony on 5/04/2004 03:37:00 PM :


Damn the liberal media -- oh, wait ...

Ted Koppel read the names of soldiers killed in Iraq on a recent Nightline. I'm telling you this because you have no way of knowing -- Sinclair Broadcasting, which runs the local Fox and ABC affiliates, yanked the offending program in Columbus and seven other markets.

There's a war on, people! We can't remind people there's a war on.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/04/2004 09:37:00 AM :


Small Press Shout-out

Ran across Justin Hall's All Thumb Press site via an ad. He's got a series of books called True Travel Tales that look very interesting.

"Two days after the end of high school I left on my first backpacking adventure, and ever since I've been a compulsive traveler. Over the years I've gathered a large number of travel stories, both of my own and those of friends, fellow travelers, and random strangers.

TRUE TRAVEL TALES is a comic book anthology of the best of these real-life travel adventures, with stories of Mexican lizard gods, sex in ancient temples, punk rockers on fire, accidental cliff-diving, and more."

Drop by his site and show him some love.

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Monday, May 03, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 5/03/2004 11:54:00 AM :


Dracula Begins

Ladies and gentlemen, a new Dracula adaptation from...well, see below:

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  Posted by Dara on 5/03/2004 11:41:00 AM :


Batman Begins

Ladies and gentlemen, another shot of Christian Bale as Batman, from the new Chris Nolan movie:

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