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

LIFELIKE Graphic Novel Order the full-color, hardcover graphic novel from Amazon.com!

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

Read Tony Goins' webcomic Downs.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/31/2004 10:24:00 PM :

      

Ferret Press contest - be published in our art book

For all you artists out there (who haven't already received an invite to contribute to the book), we're sponsoring a little contest for you. We've reserved a spot each for 2 different artists, to be picked from all entries received by the deadline. The theme of the book, if you haven't guessed already, is "Hybrid". You are encouraged to interpret it however you wish.

Winners will have their illustration printed in the book, will receive 5 complimentary copies of the book, plus signed Ferret Press comic books.

But hurry, the deadline is September 30th!

More details here.


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  Posted by Tony on 8/31/2004 01:10:00 PM :

      

More politics over at:
http://www.longnights.blogspot.com/


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  Posted by Dara on 8/31/2004 12:14:00 PM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

Typeface. "...has use of a razor sharp "P" shaped letter opener as well as other letter shaped weapons that adorn his costume..." A letter-themed villain, huh? Battling his arch-nemesis Microsoft Word, Typeface enlists the help of allies Gutenberg and White-out.

First appearance: Spider-Man V2 #23. November 2000.



PS. I have to admit, I bought the self-contained Typeface issue of (the noe defunct) Tangled Web of Spider-man, written and drawn by Ted McKeever, and enjoyed the goofy story immensly.


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Monday, August 30, 2004
 
  Posted by Tony on 8/30/2004 02:20:00 PM :

      

Turns out there’s already a movie called “Same Time Next Year,” with basically the same premise as my story. Alan Alda made it in 1978.

Freaking Alan Alda.


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  Posted by Tom on 8/30/2004 08:10:00 AM :

      

I'm back bitch!

Rick James? Naa, opencrash.comics is back up. Finally!! geesh my host sucks. Still going to switch hosts here soon though. The tour info needs updated badly as I've canceled my plans to attend the s.p.x.


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Friday, August 27, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/27/2004 01:26:00 PM :

      

People with too much free time on their hands...

Often times create really cool things. Case in point: Paperformers. According to boingboing, "Paperformers are print-and-cut-and-fold pixelart paper Transformers that turn into actual, transforming pixelart robots!"

The Paperformers site contains tons of Transformers designs, all of them available for free download in Adobe Acrobat format.




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  Posted by Dara on 8/27/2004 01:02:00 PM :

      

Cheap graphic novels and comics

Over at the Comic Book Galaxy website, they're having a sale on graphic novels and comic book sets. All prices include postage. Here are some examples:
  • LOT #42: ART OF SIN CITY HC BY FRANK MILLER. $23
  • LOT #62: SGT. ROCK BETWEEN HELL AND A HARD PLACE HC. $13
  • LOT #70: ULTIMATE SIX #1-7 BY BENDIS AND HAIRSINE. $12
  • LOT #74: THE ESCAPIST #1-2. $10



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  Posted by Dara on 8/27/2004 10:06:00 AM :

      

New Feature

You can now e-mail posts quickly and easily to your friends. Just click the little envelope icon at the bottom of the post.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/27/2004 09:39:00 AM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

Gog. "Gog is a super-strong, suprisingly quick alien half-ape, half-reptilian intelligent being named after a biblical giant who also uses his huge powerful tail as a weapon...Gog also has the ability to teleport with the help of his alien wrist-bands." Goofy comic book villain checklist: Alien? Check. Gorilla or monkey factor? Check. Biblical reference for no discernible reason? Check. Completely unrelated power due to "alien technology"? Check. "Everything But The Kitchen Sink (TM)" factor: 8 on a scale of 10.

First appearance: Amazing Spider-man #103. December, 1971.




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Thursday, August 26, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/26/2004 08:55:00 PM :

      

Sign of the (idiot) times we live in...

According to Reuters,
"Protests from seven safety groups prompted General Motors Corp. to pull a television ad that shows a young boy driving a Corvette sports car so recklessly that it goes airborne, officials of the automaker said on Wednesday... Directed by singer Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie, the spot shows a boy's daydream of racing the Corvette through downtown streets and through a construction pipe. The safety groups said in a letter to GM released on Wednesday that the spot could encourage children to take their parents' cars for a drive."
I was actually going to comment on this ad a few days ago when I saw it for the first time. Not to complain about the content like the above people, but to poke fun at the asinine small print advisory that ran at the bottom of the screen. It said "This is a dream. Do not drive without a valid driver's license. Obey all traffic laws."

What an f'd up world we live in. I don't know which is worse, the idiots freaking out that a car commercial is going to induce widespread underage driving and mayhem, or the overpaid lawyers who think illegible print that say "hey kids, don't try this" is a valid response to said protests.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/26/2004 11:05:00 AM :

      

Chaosmonkey's "Comics I Shouldn't Own"

Funny, self-deprecating reviews of crappy-ass comics in his collection. You know, gems like Venom: Nights of Vengeance and X-Force.
"X-FORCE #26 COVER ROLE-CALL! REIGNFIRE! ROLLERGIRL! FOURARM! KNIFEY McSTICKERSON! None of whom show up until page 20! And that guy's real name, the one I called "Fourarm"? His name is... Forearm. God, fuck you, Rob Liefeld. I know you left this book 3 issues in, just like Jim Lee left X-Men and Todd MacFarlane left Spider-Man, the titles Marvel was nice (i.e. stupid) enough to create just for you guys, but fuck you for doing this to the world."
...and this from a bad Daredevil run:
"The woman on the cover who looks like Judy Garland by way of ER starring Silver Sable is... jeezus, I don't even want to type this out. She's... gah... "Surgeon General." And what she does, see, she seduces guys in clubs using sub-Elimidate level dialogue, lures them back to bare apartments, and cuts out their organs to sell on the black market. And for this she gets called "Surgeon General"? I could see "Cutress," maybe, or perhaps "Transplantra" might have made more sense."



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  Posted by T.McClurg on 8/26/2004 10:10:00 AM :

      

And you thought Free Comic Book Day was over....

Over at Poopsheet.com ,5 lovely and free comics are being made available. Your on the hook for shipping, but its only $1.50. If you just above you'll see Panel:Space is available as well. Add that to your order and you've got 6 money comics shipped for under $5. Go ahead, treat yourself, your worth it!!



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  Posted by Dara on 8/26/2004 08:43:00 AM :

      

IOC and trademark protection

From a Yahoo news story:
"ATHENS (Reuters) - The U.S. Olympic Committee has asked the campaign to re-elect President Bush to pull an ad that refers to the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday. The ad has angered Olympic officials because they feel it hijacks the Olympic brand -- a registered trademark -- even though it does not display the Games logo."


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Wednesday, August 25, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/25/2004 11:12:00 PM :

      

Kirkman in hardcover?

Ok, I realize Robert Kirkman is the "it" writer of the moment. He's everywhere...couple dozen different books for Marvel, a virtual cottage industry over at Image. Which brings me to this solicitation: Image is offering a limited edition signed hardcover collection of Kirkman's series Tales of the Realm, originally published through Crossgen. $40 for the book. Four. Zero.

I admit that I don't get it. Is he that popular and that hot that he can sell a $40 hardcover? I mean, I've heard a lot of positive buzz regarding his Walking Dead and Invincible series, but nothing about this book that's getting the star treatment. Anyone read it? Is it any good?

Just curious.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/25/2004 06:22:00 PM :

      

We interupt this blog...

...for a quick political aside.

Man, that Bush campaign has balls. Not just macho, manly balls. Oh no. We're talking half -a -bottle -of -whiskey -for -breakfast -kill -a -mountain -lion -with -your -bare -hands -then -bang -the -Olson -twins -and -their -mom -before -noon pair of cajones. Because that's the only way you could possibly explain the strategy of attacking your opponent's war record (you know, the guy who actually volunteered to go and received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts) when the incumbent President, Vice-President, Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Vice president's Chief of Staff, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Strategy, and several other key cabinet members all found ways to avoid the draft!

And the sad thing is that in the big picture, this is really such a non-issue. Because, hey, if I was 18 during the time of the Vietnam war, I probably would have tried to get out of going to war too. And there are a lot more important real issues to focus on during this campaign, like, oh, I don't know...maybe the economy, foreign policy, war in Iraq, etc. etc. etc. But my god, to try and discredit your opponent's military service when your own house is full of draft dodgers?

Cajones. Big, huge, never-before-seen-in-this-world balls.

By the way, "A Navy report filed five days after a disputed incident in Vietnam supports John Kerry's version and contradicts critics who say the Democratic presidential nominee never came under enemy gunfire when he won two medals." And my favorite part, in regards to Larry Thurlow, a member of the Republican-funded smear campaign "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" (emphasis mine):
"Thurlow, the commander of another swift boat who won a Bronze Star for helping the crew of PCF-3, insists there was no enemy gunfire during the incident. The citation and recommendation for Thurlow's Bronze Star, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also mention enemy fire, however.

Thurlow's medal recommendation, for example, says he helped the PCF-3 crew "under constant enemy small arms fire." That recommendation is signed by George Elliott, another member of the anti-Kerry group."


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  Posted by Dara on 8/25/2004 03:46:00 PM :

      

The return of Paul Chadwick's Concrete

There's a brief interview of sorts on the Dark Horse website wherein Paul Chadwick talks about the new Concrete miniseries called Concrete: The Human Dilemma. From what I've gathered, it seems to be about Larry fathering an unwanted child, and the bigger theme of population explosion and such. Says Chadwick:
"Human nature is the series's broader theme-our drives for sex, for symbolic immortality, for family, for acquisition of wealth, for collecting. Combine those with our inability to deal with threats that aren't sudden or dramatic, and you have the Human Dilemma in a nutshell...I confess I enjoyed writing and drawing the sex scenes, too. Always in service of story and character! But nice."



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  Posted by T.McClurg on 8/25/2004 11:59:00 AM :

      

Girls, Girls, Girls...

I just can't get enough of these Kent boys (well one is a former Kent boy, but none-the-less.) Check out this new sketch book by Jay Geldhof and Robert Ullman! If not for the ladies, then do it for the amzingly high production standards over at Adhouse Books.

Also check out this super-mega artist hub and forum at www.lurid.com



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  Posted by Dara on 8/25/2004 11:55:00 AM :

      

More comic book fan movies

A bit late in getting to these, but so it goes. I watched both last night. One's good, the other cheesy. But I applaud both camps for spending their time and money to make a fun little fan film.



Grayson is done as a faux movie trailer for a Robin flick, and is quite impressive in it's production work and sheer number of DC characters spotlighted (Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Joker, Penguin, etc.) Here's the official blurb:
"Gotham's Son Returns! Two decades after the golden age of superheroes has passed, hope has abandoned Gotham City. Corruption has infected Gotham's highest levels of power and led to the death of its greatest champion. Now, former boy wonder, Dick Grayson, will emerge from the shadows of retirement to avenge the murder of his legendary mentor."


Punisher vs. Wolverine - First Round is...well, not good. B-movie production values, horribly cliche dialogue and acting, and just plain cheesy. And that plastic torso for the Punisher seems a very off choice, but hey, they did a good job on Logan's hair!


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  Posted by steve on 8/25/2004 10:40:00 AM :

      

I will no longer be using this forum.

-Steve Black


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  Posted by T.McClurg on 8/25/2004 09:56:00 AM :

      

"High Art" in Newsweek...

There's a write up about Art Spiegelman's new In the Shadow of No Towers book in this week's Newsweek. I have to admit i wasn't moved by the excerpt in McSweeney's Quarterly, but printed as a card-paged children's book it could be a quality package.

Read here...



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Tuesday, August 24, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/24/2004 06:06:00 PM :

      

How to make 3-D photos at home

Ok, this is really cool. Using a standard digital camera, Photoshop, and a free software package called Callipygian 3D Photo Editing Software, you too can make 3-D photos. The step-by-step tutorial here is fantastic. If you've got some 3-D glasses at home, check out these sample images:



(link courtesy of boingboing)


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  Posted by Dara on 8/24/2004 01:33:00 PM :

      

An open letter to this blog's contributors and visitors

I don't really want to type this note, but certain recent comments have forced my hand. People are quick to bandy around strong words like "censorship" and "establishment" when it suits their needs. If only they'd pay as much attention to oft-forgotten words like "professionalism" and "respect" and "responsibility"...

When I set up this blog, it was for several reasons: a creative outlet, a repository for cool info and links, a forum for idea sharing, a historical log of our creative efforts, and yes, even a means of promoting Ferret Press and Panel books and projects. But above all, I wanted it to be a fun. Which is why I invited anyone and everyone involved with Ferret Press and Panel to join as a contributor (obviously, some declined due to various reasons, most having to do with a lack of free time). Which is why I implemented the open comments feature. Which is why I don't "police" the blog and have a general "anything goes" policy. I want this to be an open forum for sharing ideas, comments, critiques, time-wasters, cool links, etc.

What I don't want this forum to be is a public place for people to air their dirty laundry and personal grudges.

When someone feels they're entitled to that, that's when it gets to me. In the end, this is my website and my blog. I paid for the domain, I registered it, I set it up, I maintain it on a daily basis. I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours building it up, contributing to it, promoting it, researching new features for it, and endlessly refining it. I don't advertise on it, I don't make any money off of it, I'm not getting rich or famous through it, and I'm not looking for praise or gratitude because of it. I do it because it's fun.

And I don't ask for anything in return except for basic common courtesy and respect for the hard work that's gone into this forum. That's all.

So yes, if you posted a personal attack on someone here, I deleted it. I'm not in the habit of "censoring" people, but I also don't owe anyone the use of my forum to air their grudges. It's disrespectful of all the hard work I (and others) have put into this blog. If there's ill will between you and someone else, that's fine. But don't think you're entitled to use this forum to air it. Take it elsewhere. I'm providing this service for free with absolutely no strings attached, other than a simple "play nice" rule. I really don't think I'm asking for too much. And given that we're coming up on a year and a half of this blog's existence and growth without any problems, I'd say it's a fair and reasonable policy.

This blog is a great resource and a fun daily diversion. Let's keep it that way.

Thank you.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/24/2004 01:24:00 PM :

      

Dispatch on Bone

For those of you who missed it, this past Sunday's Columbus Dispatch had a big article on Jeff Smith and the end of Bone. You can read parts of the article online, but apparently you have to pay to read the whole thing. (if you're not a registered Dispatch user, go to BugMeNot and just grab a freebie id/password). Gib is quoted in the article as well:
"Gib Bickel, owner of the Laughing Ogre on N. High Street, has read the series
many times. He found the ending bittersweet. 'I was happy to see how it turned
out, but it felt like my friends were going away,' he said. 'The characters
really matter to me, and the fact that their adventures are over is really kind
of sad.'"



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  Posted by Dara on 8/24/2004 01:01:00 PM :

      

Blast from the past: from Caliber Comics to Desperado

I meant to post this a while back but forgot. Joe Pruett, former writer and editor with Caliber Comics, is starting up his own indy comics company: Desperado Publishing. And check out the list of talent that have projects lined up: Brian Bolland, P. Craig Russell, Bob Burden, Andrew Robinson, Paul Jenkins, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Goran Sudzuka, Tony Harris, John McCrea, Phil Hester, and Brian Stelfreeze. Aside from publishing comics and graphic novels, Joe's also planning on printing art books, with Brian Bolland and P. Craig Russell being the focus of the first two volumes. In addition, this week's Lying in the Gutters column is reporting that "Desperado Publishing, Joe Pruett's new company, is starting a new volume of "Negative Burn," the highly influential anthology series from his previous company, Caliber."

A rundown of some of the first few projects to hit the stands:

* Phil Hester and John McCrea on The Athiest.
* Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray on Widowmakers. "Superhero stuff with an edge."
* Tony Harris’ Roundeye.
* Bob Burden's Flaming Carrot Comics.
* Pruett and Andrew Robinson's Dusty Star.





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Monday, August 23, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/23/2004 05:12:00 PM :

      

Opening Hooks - a collection of literary beginnings

This is a cool website.
"The idea behind this site is simple, to compile as large a collection of great opening hooks from as many titles, authors, and genres as possible. Of course, what makes a great opening sentence or paragraph is subjective, but we know it when we read it. This database will allow readers to share their favorites with each other and provide writers a chance to see what a readers look for in an opening sentence."
Here's a great one:
"My mother was the village whore, and I loved her very much." -- from Pigs Don't Fly by Mary Brown
(link courtesy of boingboing)


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  Posted by Dara on 8/23/2004 02:28:00 PM :

      

Fun with Photoshop

Here's an online gallery of sometimes-clever, sometimes-disturbing photo manipulations where different animal speciaes (and even humans) are morphed into hybrid creatures. It's called HumanDescent.com






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  Posted by Dara on 8/23/2004 02:17:00 PM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

Joystick. The cover copy of her first appearance reads "Joystick's her name, MURDER'S her game!" Oooookay, not dorky or anything. Maybe she could hook up with Arcade and the two of them could have a gaggle of platform shoe-wearing, Xbox-playing rugrats.

First appearance: Amazing Scarlet Spider #2. December, 1995.




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  Posted by Tony on 8/23/2004 11:27:00 AM :

      

Feedback

I find myself changing the way I ask for feedback lately.

My new procedure is to hand a piece off without telling the reviewers what it’s supposed to be about. Then I ask them to tell me what they think it’s about. That way, I know if the piece is effectively saying what I want it to say.

I find myself with less patience for praise lately. I want to know what’s not working so I can polish each piece down.

I’ve also been making a distinction between things that are matters of taste and things that don’t work. To use the West Virginia story as an example, if the reader doesn’t deduce the protagonist is upset after breaking up with his girlfriend, then the piece isn’t working. If the reader thinks it would work better if the protagonist is upset over losing a job, that’s a matter of taste.

I’m not sure where the line is between “not working” and “matter of taste.” There might not be one. My thinking is still fluid on this subject.

And finally, I find myself asking people if things I write are really worth reading. I don’t think indie comics creators ask themselves that often enough.


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  Posted by Tony on 8/23/2004 10:33:00 AM :

      

No Relation

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Heart of Ohio Ferret Association & Rescue is proud to announce their 6th annual championship ferret show, The Ferret Buckeye Bash 2004. The Ferret Buckeye Bash 2004 will take place on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 from 10 am to 5 pm at Veterans Memorial Hall, 300 W. Broad Street, downtown Columbus. This event is open to the public. The event is sponsored by The FerretStore.com and sanctioned by The American Ferret Association. The Ferret Buckeye Bash serves as Heart of Ohio Ferret Association and Rescue's main fundraiser in which all proceeds benefit the shelter.

Several fun events will occur during the day including a photo contest, best-dressed competition, tube race, paper bag escape, and more. There will also be several raffles throughout the day depending on the number of donations received by vendors, and the professional and retail community. Nationally recognized ferret experts Bob Church, of Missouri and Kim Schilling, author of Ferrets for Dummies will be at the event to share their expertise.

Web site: http://www.hofa-rescue.org/


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Saturday, August 21, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/21/2004 11:03:00 AM :

      

Frank Cho's T&A at Marvel

Newsarama does an interview with Frank Cho about his new 3 year exclusive deal with Marvel.
"Cho’s been working on a new and updated version of Shanna the She-Devil for Marvel’s mature line, MAX. And he’s provided fill-in art for Terry Dodson in the recently-released fifth issue of the Mark Millar-written Marvel Knights Spider-Man and is currently working on the eight issue of the series."
Of course, this ain't your daddy's Shanna, says Cho.
"As you may know, Shanna was originally a cheap rip-off of Sheena. So I had to move Shanna away from the Sheena character and make her unique. The first thing that I had to do was to update her and power her up for the modern audience. This opened doors to more interesting story potential. In the story, Shanna is a genetic experiment. She was Nazi Germany’s answer to Captain America. I don’t want to give too much away but if you want to know her level of power, she fights off several T-rex and hundreds of raptors throughout the series."
Enjoy the T&A (complete with patented "Nip-Slip" technology), Marvel Max style:



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  Posted by Dara on 8/21/2004 10:57:00 AM :

      

From the Police Beat...

...section of the Suburban News Publications, Wednesday, August 18th:
"A resident in the 4500 block of Olentangy Road told police a 'George Bush for President' yard sign was stolen at 5 p.m. Friday"
Well, what do you know? Sometimes criminals can be good people!


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Friday, August 20, 2004
 
  Posted by Tom on 8/20/2004 07:43:00 PM :

      

R.I.P. OPENCRASHCOM.ICS???

_As some of you may have tried to check out my comic's site I'm afraid it's down. When it'll be back up I have no idea. I'm currently finishing up the novel for Oni Press (No Dead Time). Once that is over and I get some $$$ from the publisher- I'll be getting it back online. I can't even update it as my harddrive went out on my computer. Sigh. People have offered to build me a new high end pc (yaa!) and or mac but I need the funds first. I would say the site will hopefully be up again before the year's out. The site debuted with an impressive 13,000 hits and dropped slightly. Usually anywhere between 4-8000 hits a month. Crazy being as I haven't had anything that widely distributed. Depressing as I only made three online sales out of over 100,000 hits in a year and a half. www.drawrobotdesigns.com is still up and functioning- featuring my design/illustration portfolio, paintings, drawings, and prints.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/20/2004 03:18:00 PM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

Ringer. "...Explosive rings, freezing rings, constricting rings and various interlocking rings that he uses as ladders, lassos or whips...His battlesuit could form ring weapons from the air."

If ever there was a lame villain to be offed by The Scourge, it was this guy. I mean, c'mon. Rings? Out of thin air? Even if his power was the ability to inform you of an incoming telephone call, he couldn't possibly get lamer.

First appearance: Defenders #51.



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  Posted by Tony on 8/20/2004 02:36:00 PM :

      

70 percent horrified/30 percent jealous.

Honda Del Sol converted to Star Wars A-Wing fighter. Complete with side-mounted blasters, R2 unit in the trunk and a raft of other features.

http://www.shawnandcolleen.com/shawn/Pages/hwing/



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  Posted by Dara on 8/20/2004 02:24:00 PM :

      

Aeon Flux live-action movie

Also from ICV2:
"According to ComingSoon.net Paramount has begun shooting the live action Aeon
Flux film, which stars Charlize Theron and Francis McDormand. Based on the
MTV anime-influenced cartoon series by Peter Chung, Aeon Flux is an intrigue
filled-saga of revolution and betrayal set 1000 years in the future."
Huh? what's the point? the whole appeal of the original was Chung's stylized animation style and non-traditional storytelling. How could a live action "mainstream" movie possibly capture that same vibe?


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  Posted by Dara on 8/20/2004 02:14:00 PM :

      

Steven Bates addresses the whole Batman/Daredevil fiasco

Our buddy over at Bookery Fantasy chimes in at ICV2 on the whole DC vs. Marvel public relations debacle:
"I understand pride, and can appreciate DC's indignation at Marvel's
mistreatment of them on a public relations level. But I also understand
business. Ditching a potentially best-selling comic book project like Daredevil/Batman over a few comments made on the playground doesn't
make fiscal sense. You'd have to be blind or have bats in your belfry not
to see that."



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  Posted by T.McClurg on 8/20/2004 11:41:00 AM :

      

At least the week is over...

This week has blown nearly as much as the Olympics. What a waste of 1/3 of my available channels. Bastards.

*edit - rant about creative drought, new parent/homeowner stress, and my broke ass removed. Just enjoy the following quip and pic.

Oh well, i guess i can take solace in know that in some corners of the world this passes for a woman.



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  Posted by Dara on 8/20/2004 09:42:00 AM :

      

The Ferret Press art book

Contributions are slowly trickling in for the art book. At this point, I'm leaning towards calling it Little Art Book, with each issue containing the theme as part of the title. So here's a look at Dave Senecal's cover concept for the Ferret Press Little Art Book - Hybrid.




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Thursday, August 19, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/19/2004 12:58:00 PM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

Grizzly. "The Grizzly has use of an exo-skeleton that enhances his already great strength..." Man, it's gotta suck having to go to the bathroom in that thing.

First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #139. December 1974.



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  Posted by Dara on 8/19/2004 10:01:00 AM :

      

Work-for-hire and the freelance artist

From artist Mike Wieringo's blog:
"I find myself questioning my choices more and more recently in regards to my career path in the comics industry. After more than 12 years working as a freelance penciler-- drawing other people's stories and characters owned by other companies... I feel utterly creatively unfulfilled. That sense of wonder, joy and excitement is all but gone anymore. These days, it only occurs when I'm drawing something for myself, like the sketches I post here or character designs I do on the side for stories I'd like to one day tell. It seems more difficult each passing day to get myself motivated to work on yet another page of art for a story of which I had absolutely no say in the writing/creation. I feel like nothing more than a "hired hand"-- a pencil without a soul. An extension of the writer's imagination with no voice in the matter. Believe me-- I could never have imagined the success that I would have in my chosen field when I was a kid dreaming of working in "the big leagues". I had no notion that I would ever get the chance to draw some of the most famous, iconic characters ever published-- characters like the FANTASTIC FOUR, SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN, FLASH, ROBIN,BATMAN, SUPERMAN... hell, the list goes on and on. I've been very fortunate in that regard-- and in the longevity that I've had in the business DESPITE the fact that I've never been very good at keeping a monthly deadline (OK... I'm LOUSY at it). I know that. But after all that-- I still can't help but feel somewhat hollow for not having a more active role in the creation of the stories themselves rather than just the artwork that brings them to life. There are some folks who draw comics-- and all they want to do is draw. They don't care about the writing... they just want to draw cool characters. I always saw myself as doing more than that. I think that the biggest irony for me at this point is that now that I have the experience and (well, hopefully...) the ABILITY to draw almost anything that I can imagine-- I feel trapped in a life I've built for myself-- the house payments, the bills, the responsibilties. All seemingly impossible to walk away from to become the "independent cartoonist" telling his own stories. In talking to some of my pals who have carved their own path doing the kinds of comics they WANT to do and making a living at it-- I often express my envy at their situation (ask Scott Kurtz-- I think he's getting sick of hearing me talk about it...). I'd love nothing more than to do that for myself."



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  Posted by Dara on 8/19/2004 09:16:00 AM :

      

Want the world's longest e-mail address?

You can get one for free at www.abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijk.com.

So basically their main selling point is that your e-mail address will be so long, it will break some applications (like Outlook Express), people won't be able to remember it, and companies will think it's fake.
"AbcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzAbcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzAbcdefghijk.com is a project from Appwalk.com Technologies Canada. Developed in the year 2004, AbcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzAbcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzAbcdefghijk.com is the longest alphabetical domain name in the entire world."
Gotta love thos crazy Canucks, eh?


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  Posted by Dara on 8/19/2004 04:45:00 AM :

      

Oh, to live on in infamy

Friggin thunderstorm woke me up and now I can't fall back asleep...

Anywho...



The uber-talented Mr. Tom Williams is wraping up his art chores on the 100+ page Oni graphic novel No Dead Time. Apparently I get to live in his sick and twisted little world as a wall poster:



Sweet!



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Wednesday, August 18, 2004
 
  Posted by Tom on 8/18/2004 02:15:00 PM :

      

God bless that Jen..

Over in the comicon message boards Jen's opened up a discussion about indy books with the pulse crowd. Here's a funny bit from one post...
If I can be confident that the book will be of high enough QUALITY, then I'll go for it. Usually, if an independent book is good, it'll be picked up by a publisher. (See: Bendis, Mack, Jeff Smith, etc)

Ya, I'm sure that was Smith's goal from the beginning of Bone. If one want's irritation about the state of the industry just hop over to the comicon boards. There are some converts that post but it's mostly collectors and nostalgia types who post there. Geesh.



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  Posted by Tony on 8/18/2004 01:40:00 PM :

      

Here's a group of people using photoshop to remix Watchmen. Funny stuff, occasionally pretty raunchy.

http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2311

(courtesy our friends at seanmckeever.com)


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  Posted by Dara on 8/18/2004 12:56:00 PM :

      

The wit of Steven Grant

Ok, I admit I like his political rants. It's part of the reason I read his column every week. Now, I'm not as left-leaning as he is, but for my money his analysis of the "hand puppet" and his cronies is always spot on.

In this week's column, he gets in a great jab while reviewing a comic. The book is Jim Massey's DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY #2, a collection of funny comic strips about, well, the Grim Reaper. Steven says:
"Massey goes whole hog on religion this issue, with Death answering questions for school children (on career day, no less), delivering a message from God to Pat Robertson, and testifying at Jesus' terrorism trial. (That's why it's fiction; if Jesus were arrested for terrorism today, he wouldn't get a trial, or even have charges posted.)"



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  Posted by Dara on 8/18/2004 10:32:00 AM :

      

When Geeks Tie the Knot

Photo gallery of the wedding of Robolympics founder David Calkins with Simone Davalos of the Long Now Foundation, which took place at the Children's Fairyland, a park in Oakland.



(link courtesy of boingboing)


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  Posted by Dara on 8/18/2004 10:20:00 AM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

Conundrum. "His face is also much of a mystery and presents itself as a continuous puzzle similar to that of a Rubik's Cube with different expressions displayed at different times." Dude, that's so, like, 1982.

First appearance: Spectacular Spider-Man #257. May 1998.




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Tuesday, August 17, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/17/2004 10:51:00 PM :

      

Whoop Dee Do

From this past weekend's USA Today 'Weekend' magazine, fashion section:
"A comic book goes haute couture - Samurai story's female warriors wear a real-life designer's fall collection."

"But you need go no further than your local comic book store to find Anna Sui's fall 2004 collection. Characters in the comic "Shi" will wear a brown-and-fuchsia floral blouse, plum knit silver fox collar and peach slip -- and a long purple velvet coat over an amethyst mesh tunic and black jeans -- at the same time the outfits arrive in stores. And just as in Sui's shows, accessories will include silver lamé gloves and orange pony-skin sandals."
The funny thing is, the article points out that only 10% of the comic's fans are women.


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  Posted by bigbaldkid on 8/17/2004 11:42:00 AM :

      

how to build a doghouse with no money!!

as i was relaxing sunday in my studio i went to grab a book.
as i pull it out i bumped a opened container of india ink. to my horror, it splashes down on everything in a 3 feet radius. specificlly a basket of baby blankets . one of them being her first blanket which my wife my by hand! and brand new curtains, books an my new cover sketches i just did! i spent the rest of the night clean up the mess. arrgh!!
i hate art some days an art hates me.
if you ever meet my wife , never bring this up. she'll be angry for a while i think.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/17/2004 11:20:00 AM :

      

"The Comic Pimp" pimps BigCityBlues

Over at Jame's Sime's column The Comic Pimp, he's been featuring books he saw at Sand Diego Con. Since I couldn't make it to the show, I sent him a CD with the 411 on BigCityBlues and Panel: Architecture. In part 3 of his San Diego roundup, he features BCB. I wish he had used the color cover, but oh well. Any publicity is good.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/17/2004 11:09:00 AM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

Mirage. "He can project 3 dimensional images also known as holograms..." Also, the handlebars on his helmet allow for easy...oh, never mind. That's just wrong.

First appearance: Amazing Spider-man #156.




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Monday, August 16, 2004
 
  Posted by T.McClurg on 8/16/2004 05:42:00 PM :

      

Monday afternoon stupidity...

ok...so Mondays suck too, but at least i'm f@#$ing Batman!!


Millionaire playboy by day, dark knight by night. You are Batman, and you are feared and respected by both hero and villian.
Millionaire playboy by day, dark knight by night.
You are the world's greatest detective. You are
Batman, and you are feared and respected by
both hero and villian.


Which DC Super Hero Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


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Friday, August 13, 2004
 
  Posted by T.McClurg on 8/13/2004 02:51:00 PM :

      

Friday afternoon stupidity...

So, if you like me you've already given up for the day. What better wat to pass time then by indulging those "adolescent, male power fantasies."

I'm Beast, but you can call me Dr. McCoy.



www.liquidgeneration.com/quiz/superhero_quiz.asp


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  Posted by Dara on 8/13/2004 11:54:00 AM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

Arcade. "Arcade is both a Playboy & an Assassin..." Heh, playboy. That's funny.

First appearance: Marvel Team-Up #65, Jan. 1978.




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  Posted by Dara on 8/13/2004 08:25:00 AM :

      

The Comics Journal reviews Ferret Press book(s)

According to this page detailing issue #262, TCJ has reviewed one of our books: "Column: Minimalism - The artists and publishers reviewed this issue who maintain webpages include Ferret Press..."



I haven't seen the issue myself, but so far I've sent them BigCityBlues, Panel: Architecture, and Panel: Space, so it's got to be one of those (or all 3).


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Thursday, August 12, 2004
 
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 8/12/2004 03:20:00 PM :

      

PANEL: Space Reviewed
And a positive review at that. We are the featured review at Optical Sloth:
Really the perfect anthology, as nothing was anything less than interesting, which leads to a great reading experience overall. Check it out, they have other anthologies from past years available too, and I'm curious about them now. I think I was kind of harsh on at least some of these people in their individual comic, but now I feel compelled to pick up some other issues and give them another chance.
Other than spelling Tim's name wrong, it's a great review.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/12/2004 02:54:00 PM :

      

The Onion reviews Kaena: The Prophecy

Kaena: The Prophecy
Director: Chris Delaporte (PG-13, 85 min.)
Voice Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Richard Harris, Anjelica Huston
"Like 2001's Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the French/Canadian co-production Kaena: The Prophecy began life as a videogame tie-in and wound up as a glossy CGI fantasy that looks like a videogame cut-scene. But where Final Fantasy wrapped complicated, showy graphics around a relatively simplistic New Age plot, Kaena matches plot density to visual density for a story that feels like French science fiction (particularly Jean David Morvan and Philippe Buchet's comics series Wake) cranked up to headache speeds, or like a fast-forwarded classic story from Métal Hurlant, right down to the big-breasted heroine with her ass-crack hanging out of her skimpy bikini..."


I've never even heard of this film, but want to check it out now. Wonder if The Drexel will bring it to town? By the way, here's the official English website for the film.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/12/2004 01:43:00 PM :

      

Comic Cons from a retailer's perspective

Newsarama has another nice article in their series focusing on the business end of comic conventions. This time around, they talk to the Graham Cracker's chain of stores in Chicago to see what all is involved for a retailer in setting up at a con.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/12/2004 10:08:00 AM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

The Spot. "The Spot can enter himself through holes..." Ooooh, sounds dirty!

First appearance: Spectacular Spider-Man #98, Jan. 1985.






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  Posted by Dara on 8/12/2004 09:21:00 AM :

      

A fool and his money are soon parted...

Ok, I'm not sure if this company is for real or another elaborate Internet hoax, but let's assume it's legit...

Are your a paranoid idiot with way more money than brains? Do you worry about being killed in bed? Do you find yourself wishing someone would build a bed that comes with "1.25 Polycarbonate Bulletproof Plating/Shielding," filtered ventilation for "protection from bio-chemical terrorist attacks," and other safety features like "Proximity Sensor, O2 Sensor, Smoke Detector, Motion Detector, etc."?

Well then, congratulations. You're just the kind of rich idiot they built the Quantum Sleeper for!


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  Posted by Dara on 8/12/2004 08:27:00 AM :

      

Wizard World Chicago: to go, or not to go?

Still pondering if I want to attend the show on Saturday. I'll be in Chicago with Wendy, we had originally planned around me going to the show so she's got plenty of stuff to do with Hanna and her brother, so that's not an issue. But I find myself completely unenthusiastic about the whole thing at this point. $25 for one day? And all those friggin' fanboy panels and contests and such. I don't know...


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Wednesday, August 11, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/11/2004 08:43:00 PM :

      

Ferret Press to be distributed by Westfield Catalog

I sent them a sample packet, but it got lost in their office. So I sent them another. It was worth it:
Hi Dara,

We will be listing Panel: Architecture, BigCityBlues, and the CD in our next catalogue. I spoke with Wayne at FMI and he said we should be able to get the books through them, so that's what we'll do.

Thanks,
Roger

Roger Ash
Content Editor, Worlds of Westfield
Westfield Comics is one of the largest mail-order comic catalogs in the US. This is way cool.


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  Posted by Tom on 8/11/2004 05:55:00 PM :

      

The Jesus vote

_Alright this another sidetrack post- my mom is voting for Bush not for anything except his stance on gay marriage and abortion. I'm betting this is due to the sleazy Republican party pleaing to the churches to preach 'Vote for (Jesus) Bush'. This really sickens me. One it's such a blurring of church and state it's not even funny. Two- she's not taking into consideration anything else about Bush. What is this moronic phenomenon of people voting over one issue? Especially something so made up as gay marriage in an election year. It's like ' Here's some really crappy insurance but you get a new shiny breadmaker. It's shiny people.' Cripes!
_Gay marriage is such a non-issue in light of everything else it's crazy.Is gay marriage going to fix Iraq? Is gay marriage going to give everyone health insurance? Is gay marriage going to fix the economy? No. Abortion. a volitile issue. pretty gray but if we honestly take back Roe v. Wade isn't it going to be a huge health issue? Like it or not women are going to get an abortion one way or another. Unfortunately rape happens as does other situations where it'd be inhuman to have a kid. This isn't like it's torture for the mother either.
_Anyway it's a wasted vote in light of people not taking into consideration the whole instead of the sum of it's parts. Or one part in the case of my mom's.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/11/2004 04:49:00 PM :

      

Lesser known comic characters make the move to the silver screen

Backstage.com has a great article about the slew of comic-to-movie developments recently, focusing on the lesser know ones like Hellboy. Featured in the article are Jeff Parker's self-published graphic novel The Interman, Vertigo's The Losers and 100 Bullets, and Eric Powell's The Goon. Kurt Busiek even speaks a bit as to how he could bring Astro City to the movie theaters in the Pulp Fiction interconnected vignettes format.
"As DreamWorks' "Road to Perdition" (2002), Fine Line's "American Splendor" (2003) and Sony's "Hellboy" (April) demonstrated, comic book adaptations can transcend genre on their way to critical and financial success. Likewise, innovative comic book creators are pumping new life into the medium with mystery, adventure, romance and horror tales ripe for mainstream audiences."



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  Posted by Dara on 8/11/2004 08:32:00 AM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

The Looter. "...he also has used transportation by means of a balloon in the past." Holy shit, a balloon! Watch out, Spider-man!

First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #36 , May 1966.





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Tuesday, August 10, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/10/2004 04:53:00 PM :

      

From insurance claims supervisor to comic shop owner

When Lennie Chancey was laid off from his desk job, he sold his personal copy of Avengers #1 for $26,000 and bought a comic book shop.
"I try to read as many different comic books as I can so that I know which ones
fit each customer the best," he said. "If somebody says, 'I want a comic book,
but I don't know which one I'd like,' I can ask them a few questions about their
interests and usually find the perfect one."
Right on, my man. We need more retailers like Lennie.

(via Franklin's Findings)


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  Posted by Dara on 8/10/2004 03:47:00 PM :

      

Today's "Lame-O Spider-Man Villain" is...

The Living Brain.

First appearance: Amazing Spider-man #8, Jan. 1964. "It was deemed obsolete after Spidey's first encounter with it but it came back again!" Much like the DOS operating system.




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  Posted by Dara on 8/10/2004 01:53:00 PM :

      

Run, Swamp Thing, Run.

Er, or maybe just shamble. For you video game geeks, blogger Mike Sterling has a review of the Swamp Thing game for the original Nintendo system, complete with screen caps.


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  Posted by Tony on 8/10/2004 10:19:00 AM :

      

I just saw a car with a license plate that read "W LIES."

And if you like that, you'll love this:
http://www.democracymeansyou.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc


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  Posted by Dara on 8/10/2004 12:07:00 AM :

      

Why comics and their fans will forever remain in the art ghetto

Because the highest selling, most visible comics magazine in the mainstream eye, the fantastic Wizard Magazine, runs conventions that sponsor contests like this:
"During Wizard World Chicago (August 13-15 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center), Wizard Entertainment Group chairman/CEO, Gareb Shamus will do his best Chuck Woolery impression when he hosts the first-ever “Wizard World Chicago Dating Game,” a contest that will give four costumed contestants the opportunity to compete for a date with “Hottie of the Week,” Dazza Del Rio."
Yes, you read that right.

Costumed fans.

"Hottie" of the week.



Good luck, fanboys.

(to quote Tony "I think I just threw up in my mouth")


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Monday, August 09, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/09/2004 08:07:00 PM :

      

Huh, really?

"We don't even know that stem cell research will provide cures for anything — much less that it's very close" to yielding major advances, Mrs. Bush said."

Wow, you're right! And since we don't know yet, let's just not explore that avenue at all. Cause that's the scientific way...if you don't know something, just assume it'll never work.

Next on the religious right's agenda: the sun really revolves around the Earth.

(I now return you to your regularly scheduled comic blog)


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Sunday, August 08, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/08/2004 09:55:00 PM :

      

Kirby, Colleta, and Mignola

Oddball Comics for this week features Thor #142 from 1967. The focus (pardon the pun) is on inker Vince Colleta's controversial inking over Jack Kirby's pencils, especially the fact that he inked almost all the characters cross-eyed. Here's the Thor cover (click for larger image)



and Mike Mignola's tribute, the "fake" Hellboy comic featured in the movie:



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  Posted by Dara on 8/08/2004 08:58:00 PM :

      

How would you like to win a "speciale luxe uitgaven Rooie oortjes"?

The official website of the European naughty cartoon mag Grin and Bear It has a contest. Not safe for work, but worth a look ;-)



(link courtesy of progressiveruin)


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Saturday, August 07, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/07/2004 09:26:00 AM :

      

News from my mother land

So my friend Tony spotted this odd story about my birthplace, Tehran, Iran. Seems the government is desperate for ways to combat the enormous traffic congestion and pollution problem, and have come out with a novel scheme. They're going to stage a two-week trial of only allowing cars into the capital on certain days depending on whether the license plate ends with an odd or even number. Check out these statistics:
"Tehran is one of the world's most polluted cities, with the air carrying an estimated 200 different carcinogens. Each resident inhales between 7.3 and 9.1 kilogram (between 16 and 20 pounds) of dust per year, according to a recent study."
That's right, all you whinny bitches in LA, how about them apples?





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  Posted by steve on 8/07/2004 09:17:00 AM :

      

Gallery Show
Sorry this is so late notice, but I have a gallery show tonight
8.7.04 @ IMAGE OPTICAL 846 high St. Columbus, Oh
The opening is part of gallery hop. Original art, prints, and comics will be available.

I'll be there from 5 til close.
Hope to see you there



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Friday, August 06, 2004
 
  Posted by Tony on 8/06/2004 03:41:00 PM :

      

Do it for the kids

My friend Peg is an English teacher at an inner-city charter school in Washington, D.C. One of the activities she's thinking about doing in the coming year is having her kids put out their own comic book. She asked me if I had any advice, and now I'm asking you.

I reiterated Tim's famous line about comics being movies on paper with an unlimited budget, and added I think comics work best with stories where people are up and doing things.

She also wants to know, how long would it take? Is it best to have each kid do his own comic, or should they break into groups? What do novice comix creators need to know?

Does anyone else have any suggestions on how to make a comic book? This is open to non-Panel members as well. Send them to me at dtony76@hotmail.com, subject lined "for Peg."


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  Posted by Dara on 8/06/2004 02:16:00 PM :

      

Warren Ellis vs. Everybody

On the Pulse message boards. Examples:

Warren: "The one time I decide to look in on these comment threads...The mark of the truly creepy fanboy, I've always found, is that they perceive attacks on their beloved superhero genre even when I sit down and write about what's good about superhero comics. Dumber than a bag of smashed arseholes, I swear... well, I won't make this mistake again..."

Johnny Nine: "A day after all the rigamarole above, I've finally pinpointed exactly what the problem here is. It's NOT that Warren Ellis complains about the superhero genre--he's right about most of the stuff he says about it--the problem is that he continually seems to heap contempt on his fans--those "creepy fanboys" who actually buy his superhero product. I can recall no other comic creator expressing so much contempt and disrespect toward those who make their living possible."




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  Posted by Dara on 8/06/2004 11:18:00 AM :

      

Lack of Female Superheroes in Movies

Interesting SFGate article on the relative absence of strong female action characters on the movie screens. Not sure I completely agree, but they do make a point that the more compelling and complex female action characters appear on TV (in series such as Buffy), but not as much in movies.
"Today's sexy, adult-oriented female action characters -- Lara Croft in the "Tomb Raider" franchise, the Bride in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" -- kick butt, but they're more maverick outlaws than cultural role models. More butch heroines like the "Alien" series' Ripley and Linda Hamilton of "Terminator 2" are history. Characters like Rogue and Jean Grey of the "X Men" are formidable, but they're ensemble players, not soloists."


I also liked this quote from Danny Fingeroth, former Marvel editor and author of "Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society":
"Buffy was like the female Spider-Man. The appeal of all the superheroes is the metaphorical value of their internal and external struggles, and she was portrayed as someone burdened by responsibility who just wants to have a normal life. That's how every adolescent feels."



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Thursday, August 05, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/05/2004 02:55:00 PM :

      

Marvel Comics (and other naughty bits) at Target

So I'm going through the Sunday paper ads and come across the Target insert. At the bottom of page 8 is a full color strip featuring The Hulk, Spider-man, Captain America, and Mr. Fantastic uttering words like "Incredible" and "Amazing", etc. The ad copy reads: "Exclusive Target Marvel Comics are packed with 96 pages of action and adventure! Be a Super hero and introduce a child to reading."

Which if you ask me is awesome. I love seeing comics in "mainstream" shops, especially these Marvel Age books that are aimed at younger readers. I applaud Marvel for this move.

But directly above the listing is an ad for "Women's licensed-character multipair panties," complete with pictures of a pair of Superman panties and Hello Kitty thongs. Yes, thongs.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/05/2004 09:01:00 AM :

      

The Mothman

Check it out, y'all: Ape Entertainment is publishing Chad Lambert's book about the Mothman legends in West Virginia. Point Pleasant features interior art by friend-of-the-ferret Dan Barlow (last seen in BigCityBlues), cover design by PANEList Tom Williams, and a fully painted kick-ass cover by PANEList Steve Black.




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  Posted by Dara on 8/05/2004 08:50:00 AM :

      

Last political post for today, I promise

34 shows, 20 artists, 9 battleground states, 1 goal..."The Vote for Change Tour (October 1-10) includes Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews Band, Dixie Chicks, Jackson Brown, John Mellencamp, Ben Harper, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Pearl Jam, R.E.M and others."

I find it odd that even though Ohio is one of the 9 key "battleground" states included on the tour, Columbus will not host any of the shows. Cleveland, Cinci, and Dayton (Dayton!) all get tour dates, but not us. Oh well.

By the way, is it just me or does their logo look like Captain America's shield?



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  Posted by Dara on 8/05/2004 08:41:00 AM :

      

Why does it feel so good to be anti-Bush?, part 2

Following up on Tim's post below, here's a link to a side-project of ACT (America Coming Together), featuring Will Ferrell as a clueless George Bush trying to film a campaign ad. Needless to say, it's hilarious.



(link courtesy of our buds over at dahlbergcentral)


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Wednesday, August 04, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/04/2004 02:30:00 PM :

      

Dave Sim wants to send you a free, signed Cerebus!

Quotes from Neil Gaiman's blog (via artbomb)

"Amongst many other things, in Dave Sim's Cerebus (which is a story that took Dave and his partner-in-art Gerhard 300 issues to tell) he did, in the Women storyline, easily the best parody of Sandman anyone's ever done, as various members of the Cerebus cast of characters become Snuff, Swoon and the rest of the Clueless. It was wickedly funny, and had the author of Sandman curling his toes when he read it.

If you'd like to read one of the Sandman parody issues of Cerebus, Dave will send you one. He'll send it to you very happily, free of charge. He will sign it for you, too. And he won't charge you a thing. Not even postage.

And if you're wondering what the catch is, it's this: Dave wants to know (as, I have to admit, do I) how many of the people out there in internet-land will actually go and do things that don't involve passively clicking on a link and going somewhere interesting. So what you have to do is write Dave a letter (not an e-mail. Dave doesn't have e-mail) telling him that you read that he'll send you a signed Cerebus, and telling him why you'd like him to send you a copy. It's as easy as that. And, quite possibly as difficult. The address to write to is:

Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674 Station C
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2"




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  Posted by Tony on 8/04/2004 01:59:00 PM :

      

I'm trying to cut down on the politics on this blog, so if you want to know how Cheney's Halliburton defrauded investors, click here:
http://longnights.blogspot.com/


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  Posted by Dara on 8/04/2004 01:47:00 PM :

      

One for Steve...

This comes from Steven Grant's column as well. It stuck with me because of the conversations we've had recently (here and at the meetings) about artists and their styles, and the need to constantly "re-invent" or "refine" your own particular style.
"Afflicting American comics more than anything else these days is the "Neal Adams syndrome." I use Neal as an example not because he was ever a bad artist, but because he was nearly always a great one. Here's a guy who not only revolutionized dynamics in comics but almost literally created a "school," something that just doesn't happen anymore. Through The Crusty Bunkers and Continuity Studios his tricks and his style got handed down to numerous other artists, some nearly as influential. Some were more overt Neal Adams clones; others, like Michael Golden, absorbed his lessons and applied them to his own work. Golden inspired Art Adams, who become a major influence on what would be known as "The Image Style." There are other "spinoffs" from Neal, but what it comes down to is this: Neal's style is now so ingrained in American comics that all his brilliant innovations are now clichés, repeated over and over and over by generations – and they're still being repeated. And poor Neal, who's still pretty much as good as he ever was, he now finds himself in a milieu where his natural style is so imitated, bowdlerized and commonized that when Neal draws something now, he looks like the world's best Neal Adams tribute band. Because it can only get that good now, because we're saturated with him whether any of us likes it or not."


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  Posted by Dara on 8/04/2004 11:09:00 AM :

      

One for you artists...

Steven Grant is looking for different artists to draw the "two heads" section of his weekly column. Here are the details, so get to it:



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  Posted by T.McClurg on 8/04/2004 11:04:00 AM :

      

Why does it feel so good to be anti-Bush?



"Tom Neely and Greg Saunders have done a superb job of capturing the depression era of
the '20s and '30s via old-fashioned cartoon antics and the use of period music. Melvin
McBean and his family are portrayed as average Americans caught in the rich get richer as the poor get poorer squeeze that is a very real part of life in Bush-era America. As Melvin goes from one dead end job to another and eventually becomes homeless, Bush is an ever present voice on the radio explaining how wonderful everything is now that his billionaire friends and campaign fund contributors have been given windfall tax cuts. As bleek as things are under the current administration, there is still hope for America and this film helps emphasize the importance of doing your part by voting the rascals out in November."

WHAT: "Brother Can You Spare a Job?": an animated, 7 minute ,anti-Bush cartoon
WHERE: viewable online at www.brothercanyouspareajob.com
CONTACT: Tom Neely iwilldestroyyou@hotmail.com Greg Saunders waltisfrozen@gmail.com


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  Posted by Dara on 8/04/2004 09:34:00 AM :

      

The Conversation: "The Mainstream's Inventors and Ingrates"

Over at ComicBookGalaxy, Chris Allen and Alan David Doane begin a regular feature called "The Conversation". Which is basically...well, a conversation between the two. In part one, they discuss Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, corporate comics, and innovation (or lack thereof). Interesting reading.


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Tuesday, August 03, 2004
 
  Posted by T.McClurg on 8/03/2004 10:27:00 AM :

      

Here's a little something for Steve's need for "real" artists.

The biggest sucking point of moving back to my home town (Canton,) was that there was never much of an art scene. At least that's how i remembered it. A big Andrew Wyeth show makes me feel a touch better. Its doublely nice to have something non-NFL to do on "Hall of Fame" weekend. Any Panelists want to make it up this way for the show?




The highest profile exhibition ever presented in Canton, Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures, presents 70 works on display at the Canton Museum of Art from August 8 to September 19, 2004. The exhibit includes finished paintings in tempera and drybrush, as well as works in watercolor and quick pencil studies.


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  Posted by Dara on 8/03/2004 09:56:00 AM :

      

A new way to syndicate comic strips?

Ok, this I found very interesting. If you remember, a while back Tom posted a story about Knight-Ridder demanding a 20% decrease in the price syndicates charge for their newspaper comic strips. At the time, that was seen as an assault on the livelihood of comic strip artists. Well, Scott Kurtz (of the online PvP strip) has a very different take on it, which I can see myself partly agreeing with. In a write-up of the SDCC panel on the "future of comic strips", he lays out his thoughts on the big syndicates:

"The days of two paper cities have long past...Simply put, newspaper competition is over. Newspapers no longer need comic strips to help them sell papers. The comics page has simply become another expense for them."


"Newspapers are PAYING the syndicates for the privilege of developing their cartoon brands. Think about this. If Coca-cola wants to use newspaper advertising to strengthen it's brand, it has to pay for that kind of exposure. The syndicates makes millions from their comic features via books, television, movies and merchandise. The only way they are able to sustain that kind of income is due to the exposure and advertising that the newspapers give them. But the syndicates offer nothing in return. The funny pages are full of retreaded old strips that have lived way past their prime. Entertainment wise, they provide nothing. The syndicates really got a sweet deal. But that's about to change."

So what's Scott planning on doing? Well, with 6 years worth of his strip in his arsenal, he's going to approach newspapers directly and offer his strip for free.
"In the coming months, I'll be putting into effect, a program in which papers can receive PVP for free. That's right, free. They don't have to pay me a cent for it. I will provide for the papers, a comic strip with a larger established audience then any new syndicated feature, a years worth of strips in advance, and I won't charge them a cent for it."
The catch is he retains all rights to the work, and therefore can (theoretically) reap all the benefits from the large exposure afforded by the daily papers carrying his strip.

So what do you think? Are the syndicates really the bloated, corporate villains he thinks they are? Or is it the newspaper conglomerates who are trying to get their comics cheaper? And what about his plan to bypass the syndicates and offer his strip for free? A savvy entrepreneurial move, or a selfish affront to the other strip artists that are "playing by the rules"?


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Monday, August 02, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/02/2004 11:32:00 PM :

      

Holy Shark Repellent, Batman!

Yep, leave it to scientists to actually come up with one:
"Excited by the scent of blood, a dozen sharks dart about in a frenzy as a researcher dips a pole in the sea and squirts out a clear, yellowish substance. Within seconds, the sharks jerk their snouts away and vanish."

"The repellent, called A-2 because it was the second recipe tried, is derived from extracts of dead sharks that Stroud gathered at New Jersey fish markets and piers. Fishermen and scientists have long noted sharks stay away if they smell a dead shark.
"
More news (and hype) can be found on the researchers' for-profit company site: www.sharkdefense.com


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  Posted by Dara on 8/02/2004 05:23:00 PM :

      

More Mad Ideas

From Warren Ellis' new column, an idea that he attributes to Matt Jones:

"You know what the noosphere is? The sphere of human thought: all the active and interacting minds and ideas on Earth.


Radio Frequency ID tags -- RFIDs, the tiny things that track books or packages. You can fit RFID readers into phones, now. RFID tags are going to get cheap, and they're going to get easily writable, and they're going to be bloody everywhere. The world is going to be like an incredibly dense webpage, where everything is a link that can be opened to release information. The Near Field Communication system that'll allow you to get this stuff out of RFID tags is near-term, like within the next eight years. By 2012, in other words. We're talking about the construction of the noosphere and literal, technological psychometry available to anyone with what will be a basic-level mobile phone. And by then, the only people without a basic mobile phone will be Alan Moore and fucking Tarzan."

So I guess it'll be Alan Moore, Tarzan, and me, then. At least until such time as Hollywood bigwigs need to get a hold of me for multi-million dollar movie options, at which point I'll break down and buy a cell phone (or "mobile" as you young kids call them).


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  Posted by Dara on 8/02/2004 02:29:00 PM :

      

Last Dance with Mary Jane?

(um, sorry about the bad Tom Petty reference...) So Rich Johnston is reporting that
"The Mary Jane series from Marvel is currently on hiatus. Sean McKeever
wrote four issues but was then asked to stop... "
Wonder what the reason is? From what I heard, the first issue actually sold pretty well and got lots of non-comics press. That's what Marvel wants, right?


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  Posted by Tony on 8/02/2004 02:11:00 PM :

      

CrossGen, from a business perspective

Business First of Tampa Bay has an article this week on the collapse of CrossGen (you may have to register to read it).

http://tampabay.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2004/08/02/story5.html

The story includes a number of juicy tidbits, including the fact that the company had "$50 in cash when it filed for bankruptcy June 18."

" The court filings also show a company in disarray in the past few months. A "disgruntled former employee" took original first-issue drawings of "The Way of the Rat" comic book, valued at $6,750, from the office, while other unnamed former workers charged $23,000 in personal expenses on the company's American Express account, according to CrossGen's statement of financial affairs. "

The story quotes a reporter from Newsarama, but never quite gets to the heart of why CrossGen's books didn't take off. I don't guess anyone in the industry really know how to make a new book sell.



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  Posted by steve on 8/02/2004 09:50:00 AM :

      

A REAL ARTIST

Gottfried Helnwein

http://www.helnwein.com/home/home/home.html

I walk humbly in the midst of a giant -Steve


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Sunday, August 01, 2004
 
  Posted by Dara on 8/01/2004 10:45:00 AM :

      

Thanks so much, Devil's Due Publishing!

So their new Army of Darkness comic features a return to one of the worst excesses of the 90', the speculator-breeding variant covers. But not just any ol' variant covers. Oh no, the boys at DDP are offering all the little fanboys and fangirls 7 fucking variants! Yeah, seven of them:
  • Scott Campbell variant
  • Marc Silvestri variant
  • Ben Templesmith variant
  • photo cover variant
  • "rare" retailer incentive Campbell sketch cover
  • "rare" retailer incentive Necronomicon cover
  • "thank you" retailer incentive cover by Nick Bradshaw
Gee, I wonder if they'll sell a lot of the same issue to the same idiots? From the bottom of my heart:

FUCK YOU, DEVIL'S DUE PUBLISHING! FUCK YOU TO THE LOWEST LEVELS OF THE 90'S SPECULATOR MARKET CRASH HELL.


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