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.

Please visit Ferret Press

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.
<< current
April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010

RSS/Atom feed

Blog Contributors:

Blog Featurettes:

Blogs by Comics Professionals and Publishers:

General Comics Blogs:

Webcomics we enjoy:

Worth A Look:

Ferret Press/PANEL Weblog

Preview/purchase our books at Ferret Press || Subscribe to blog feed
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/30/2004 11:31:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 28

"Does this thumb look fucked up to you?"

I just wrapped up writing about the Great Ogre Gathering (the pre-convention party at The Laughing Ogre) for The Pulse. Don't know when they'll publish it on their site, but I'll link to it once it's up.

Anyway, one of the things I wrote about was a conversation I had with artist Steve Lieber and zine legend John G. We were talking about the benefits of being in a creator collective or studio, and Steve gave us examples of things he's learned being around his studio mates in Mercury Studios. In describing a particularly difficult page that was giving him trouble, he said he finally held it up and asked everyone in the studio "Does this thumb look fucked up to you?"

What makes this memorable for me is that this is Steve Lieber. Not only has he worked on mainstream books like Hawkman and Batman, but he's also got tons of indy cred with books like Whiteout and Me and Edith Head. And he's having trouble drawing a simple thumb?

It made me feel better about my struggles with my own craft. No matter how good we may think we are, there's always something new to learn, some new challenge to meet.

On a side note, what is it about Portland that makes it home to so many comics pros? I mean, just look at the roster of Mercury Studios, it's a veritable who's who of industry talent:

Penciller MATTHEW CLARK Superman
Penciller TERRY DODSON Spider Man, Harley Quinn
Writer/artist PAUL GUINAN Heartbreakers, Chronos
Writer/artist DAVID HAHN Private Beach, Bite Club
Penciller DREW JOHNSON Wonder Woman
Writer/penciller/inker KARL KESEL Fantastic Four, Daredevil
Penciller/inker/letterer STEVE LIEBER Road to Perdition, Batman
Writer/artist JEFF PARKER Interman, The Escapist
Writer/penciller/inker RON RANDALL Trekker, Star Wars
Penciller PETE WOODS Batman, Catwoman
Inker REBECCA WOODS Deadpool


Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/30/2004 04:58:00 PM :


Vintage paperback and pulp covers

Vintage Paperbacks is a website featuring over 800 scans of old paperback, pulp, and sleazy book covers. They are categorized by artist, author, publisher, or genre (such as "sleaze", "science fiction", or "drugs"). I love looking at these old pulp covers, especially the over-the-top cover copy like "Primeval passions lured them to lust's outlands!". Or book titles like "Satan was a Lesbian" and "LSD Orgy". Classic.

(another cool link via boingboing)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/30/2004 04:13:00 PM :


Now wonder Target is such a popular store

An actual item on Target's website.

Now, I'm not an expert on the going rate for something like this, but $10 seems pretty reasonable. Er, so I've heard. I wouldn't know myself. Seriously.

(via boingboing)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Monday, November 29, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/29/2004 10:53:00 PM :


Coming Soon

Ladies and gentlemen, the webcomic project I've been involved with for the past several months is closer to fruition. The official God's Acre website is now up and running, with a synopsis of the comic and some production sketches and photos in the gallery. Drop by and check it out. It's a pretty exciting project for me, and I can't wait for the comic to finally debut.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/29/2004 10:34:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 27

The small things always make the difference.

This past weekend's con wasn't the best one I've been to as an exhibitor. In fact, after last year's dismal table location and bad sales, I thought there's no way it could get worse. And when I found out our table placement was much better this year, I was downright excited.

Then reality hit. The low attendance, combined with the slightly disorganized show, led to even lower sales this year.

But it's ok. Because there were lots of little things that made the show a success for me. Our first sale of the day on Saturday was to a couple of female fans who were not only familiar with the Panel anthologies, but came to our table to actively look for any new books. I can't tell you what a great feeling it is to have someone enjoy your work enough to want to seek it out. And then there were the panel discussions we were on. A small, but interested, crowd attended each one and there was never an awkward silence. Questions were forthcoming, the attendees were interested in the topics, and it was just a great time interacting with fans, fellow creators, and curious parties.

There were other cool moments, to be sure. My girlfriend taking a break from her studies to drop by both days. Running into an old friend, and in the process, being able to put him in touch with a third mutual friend. Having a beer with one of the pros in attendance, a third year tradition now.

Life has a habit of throwing you curve balls. But the small things always make the difference between losing or simply enjoying the game.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/29/2004 08:58:00 PM :


Looking for a job with a comics company?

Zero One comics, a web-based comics company, is looking to hire creative and administrative folks. Here's a bit about them:
"01comics.com is the web’s new standard for high quality, full color, full length, downloadable and pay-per-view webcomics. All comics at 01comics.com are creator-owned and creator-controlled."
You use BitPass micropayments to purchase comics by the likes of Mitch Byrd, Diego Jourdan, Steve Conley, and founders Jenni and Barry Gregory.

Currently, they're looking for colorists, color flatters, and a media relations manager.Click here for more details on the positions.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tony on 11/29/2004 01:07:00 PM :


2004 Connies

Yes, it’s time for another edition of Panel’s Convention Awards, the coveted “Connies.”

We’ve got some changes in the lineup this year. Most of the costume-related categories have been dropped for fear of hurting peoples’ feelings. But generally speaking, if you’re thinking of dressing as Spider-Man but you’re built more like the Kingpin, go as the Kingpin.

And without further ado, let’s get to the awards:

* Paris Hilton award for overexposure: Panel, whose members appeared on about a half-dozen panels.
* George W. Bush award for enacting a backdoor draft: The Laughing Ogre’s Daryn, who dragooned Panel members onto a half-dozen panels.
* Cellar Door award for most pleasant phrase: The Panel panel.
* Horrors of War award: The 13-year-old storm trooper. It’s sad when the flower of the Empire’s youth is sacrificed for a never-ending war.
* Gene Simmons award for achievement in platform shoes: J’Onn J’onzz, Manhunter from Mars. Honorable mention: Darth Vader.
* Claude Raines award for invisible men: Tim McClurg and Sean McGurr (tie).
* Morganna the Kissing Bandit award: Matt Kish.
* Martha Stewart award for achievement in hostessing: Ione Damasco
* Dale Carnegie award for achievement in winning friends and influencing people: Tony Goins, who told another writer, “If I did know any artists, I sure as hell wouldn’t share them with you.”
* P. Diddy award for best media empire: Dara Naraghi, who fielded queries not only from aspiring artists but also a musician. A line of clothing can’t be far behind.
* “Beds are Burning” award for burning the Midnight Oil: Steve Black.
* Running for Jesus award: Tom Williams.
* Donald Trump "art of the deal" award: Craig Bogart, who talked a dealer down to $5 (from $10) for a Marvel adaptation of the movie "2001."
* Fredo Corleone memorial award for filial loyalty: Bahman Naraghi, who spent more time at the table than I did.
* Most Dedicated Spouse/Girlfriend: Elizabeth. Honorable mention: Wendy.
* Cutest Costume: Hanna.
* Party MVP: Dan “Triple D” Barlow.
* Death Star award for an artist about to blow up big time: Raina Telgemeier, who’s doing a comic adaptation of the “Babysitters Club.”
* Shirley MacLaine award: Sean McKeever, who announced his “Mary Jane” series will soon come back for another incarnation.
* Best surprise: Coming around the corner and finding Eric Powell, the guy who does “The Goon.”
* Soup Nazi award for most accessible celebrity: Lou Ferrigno, who signed a poster to my nephew.
* Sean McGurr award for achievement in a rapidly expanding family: Midgard Comics, who have put out four anthologies in the last year.
* Hermit Crab award: Max Ink, who snaked two tables after their previous occupants left, and ended up with more real estate than we had.

Other connies were distributed at a private ceremony earlier in the day, and can be placed in the comments section.

Permalink for this post by Tony || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/29/2004 11:24:00 AM :


New comics company open to submissions

Speakeasy Comics is a new publisher on the block, formed by former Dreamwave guy Adam Fortier. According to the site:
"We do have space available on our 2005 production schedule for interested parties to submit their materials for review," Fortier continued. "The broad strokes of the Speakeasy deal are available at the site, and once read through, we can talk specifics with interested parties."
More info here.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/29/2004 11:15:00 AM :


Globalization of comics

Spotted this press release and thought I'd share:
"DEEPAK CHOPRA STARTS COMIC BOOK COMPANY - World-renowned author and spiritualist Deepak Chopra and director Shekhar Kapur have joined with Gotham Ent. Group, the leading publisher of comic magazines in South Asia, to announce the launch of Gotham Studios Asia, a new company focused on creating original comic books and character properties for a global audience."

"Deepak said, "As the narrow walls of nationalism come down, and as a new collective humanity, we break through our tribal identities, Asia will become the home of the entertainment, media and business activities of the world. Through the studio, we plan to reinvigorate some of civilization's greatest mythologies, to tap into the primal energies of India and Asia's great tradition of storytelling. The Super-Powers of tomorrow will not be defined by their military prowess but by their cultural contribution and we firmly believe our new venture will be at the vanguard of this global, cultural and economic shift."
More details at the link above.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Sunday, November 28, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/28/2004 08:29:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 26

Mid-Ohio-Con is over. I'll save my write-up for The Pulse article, but suffice it to say, it was fun, yet disappointing. Fun, because I met old friends, made new acquaintances, sold books, signed autographs, sat on a panel, and generally had a blast. Disappointing because despite our better table location this year, sales were way down and the crowd seemed much smaller than previous years. Oh well. C'est la vie.

Some random thoughts to wrap up today's post before I go and crash:

It's really not my place to say if it's ok or not for an adult to dress up in superhero costume and attend a comic convention. Hey, to each their own. But if you happen to be a bit on the chunky side, maybe skin-tight, colorful spandex isn't really a smart decision. Why not a costume that involves a dark trenchcoat? Or a cloak?

I ran into a friend of mine at the con with whom I had lost contact about 7 years ago. And I never even knew he was a comic fan! How's that for the old cliche "it's a small world"?

Hanna looks adorable in her little Batman costume and home-made cape. Though I can't believe little miss talkative suddenly turns shy when we wanted to take her picture with the other costumed folks.

This may have been the first time ever that I've attended a convention where Franchesco hasn't had a table.

When John Byrne was walking around the convention floor away from his table, he flipped his name tag over to the side on which he had written "Off Duty". Yeesh. And he wonders why he's got a reputation for being an egotistical jerk.

Sergio Aragones is not only the funniest and friendliest guy in comics, but he also has the coolest accent.

Peace out.

(updated 11/29)

Since this post has been getting a ton of traffic (thanks to Kevin and The Beat) I decided to share a few more tidbits from Mid-Ohio-Con:

On one of the panels, Phantom Jack creator Mike Sangiacomo let slip an item that has already been the subject of several rumors. Apparently a Batman pitch he had at DC was well-liked, but ultimately turned down by Dan DiDio because they could not "fit it in" with the big events planned for the next 2 years. According to DiDio, Identity Crisis is just the beginning of this big new "crisis" event that will be sweeping through all the DC books over the next year or two, and supposedly leave them all "changed" in some way. Make with this as you will.

There was a booth in the dealers room that was selling swords, daggers, and other medieval weapons. Not sure how that ties in with a comic book and pop culture show. Whatever.

The number of T&A guests has dramatically decreased from previous years. I remember two years ago there were so many Playboy Playmates and "scream queens" on the guest list that they were cordoned off in a separate "adults only" room. This year there was only one, as far as I could tell, and she was sitting in artist alley.

If you're a company setup at a comic book convention and are selling character sketches and caricatures, there's really no need for you to be dressed in suits and talking like insurance salesmen. Really, nobody is going to be impressed at how "professional" you are. Just do your art and leave the "image" at home.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/28/2004 07:44:00 PM :


Blast from the past

Over at Newsarama's It Came From The Quarter Bin column, Ryan McLelland takes a look at Strikeforce: Morituri #1 from Marvel Comics (1986). This brings back some fond memories of a truly groundbreaking series. Written by Peter B. Gillis (one of my favorite writers), and penciled by Brent Anderson, it was one of those comics that was ahead of its time by about 10 years. It wasn't set in the Marvel Universe (which given the time, was pretty unusual) and dealt with some really deep topics.

Earth was being invaded by The Horde, an alien race with no real technology or weapons of their own. Rather, they used whatever they had plundered from their previous victims. In a last ditch effort, human scientists devise a way to grant super powers to humans through a difficult, and sometime deadly, process. But even if the volunteers are lucky enough to survive the process, they're still faced with a huge problem: they only have about a year to live. Hence the title of the book, which translates to "We Who Are About To Die". Pretty heady stuff. Gillis was an amazing writer. One of my favorite characters was a deeply religious woman who had to rationalize her decision to defend humanity with the fact that by entering the program, she was in effect committing suicide...a mortal sin.

In the comments section below the review, inker Scott Williams pops in to post a note as well:
"I have a soft spot for this series as well, as it was my first regular gig in comics. Talk about being in the right place at the right time--I had just moved to San Diego where the series artist Brent Anderson was living, we were introduced, and he took a leap of faith in offering me the job of inking his pencils...Peter Gillis was truly ahead of his time with the concept and his writing style. Very surprised he never turned into a bigger force within the comics industry."
If you ever have a chance to pick up this series, I'd highly recommend it.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Saturday, November 27, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/27/2004 07:53:00 AM :


Daily Musings: Day 25

Well, this is it. Start of the weekend's big con. It'll be an exhausting, but fun couple of days. Since this may be my only chance to get online today, I guess today's musings will be short.

For those of you in Columbus, hope to see you at the show. For everyone else, I'll be posting a con report sometime next week.

Take care.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Friday, November 26, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/26/2004 11:45:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 24

Just got back from the GOG (Great Ogre Gathering). It's the traditional night before Mid-Ohio-Con shindig at Columbus bestest, baddest comic book store, The Laughing Ogre. Tons of comics fans, pros, rising stars, and cool people in general convene in the depths of The Ogre's back rooms. Free adult beverages, free food, free live music. It's a blast. I'm going to write about it in detail for The Pulse in a few days, so stay tuned for the link.

So now it's close to midnight, and I have about another hour worth of work to do to get ready for the show tomorrow. Not bad. So I'll leave you with my little list of "stuff" I need to pack for the convention (when you're as forgetful as I am, you make lists for everything)
  • Comics to sell (obvious)
  • Preview pamphlet of upcoming stories
  • Digital camera
  • Batteries
  • Cash box and plenty of singles for change
  • Promotional bookmarks and cards
  • Business cards
  • pens and pencils
  • Sketchbook
  • Notebook
  • CD player (for people to sample the BigCityBlues CD)
  • coloring books and balloons (for the kiddies)
  • Ferret Press sign
  • Easel (for Ferret Press sign)
  • Promotional posters and signs
  • Display stands for the books
  • Scissors, tape, twine, paperclips,etc.
  • Mailing list signup sheet
  • Price list
  • and probably half a dozen other items I'm forgetting

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Thursday, November 25, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/25/2004 05:04:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 23

Not much to say today, other than...

Happy Thanksgiving. May your family not drive you crazy.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Wednesday, November 24, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/24/2004 11:25:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 22

The shaky-cam must die.

Or blurry-cam. Or headache-cam. Or whatever the hell the technical name of it is. You know, the polar opposite of the stedi-cam used to film movies? It's primarily used in recent action movies during the fight scenes to completely obliterate any semblance of clarity. All you see are millisecond cuts, blurred motion, shaky images, etc.

What is the point? I mean, really, isn't the whole reason d'etre of the action movie to dazzle the audience with spectacular action scenes? It's certainly not the captivating plot or in-depth characterization. But more and more recent movies seem to subscribe to the "make it so blurry that the audience can'tell what's happening" school of fight cinematography. Even otherwise well-made films are using this annoying technique. The Bourne Supremacy, anyone?

It's as if someone looked at the ultra-choreographed, slow-mo fight scenes in a movie like Charlie's Angels, and said "give me the exact opposite of that!"

Sigh. And I'm not even an action movie fan.

By the way, don't ever, ever, pay money to see Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Not even at the el-cheapo second run theater. Not even for Milla Jovovich.

Don't ask.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/24/2004 11:15:00 PM :


Not a video game or CGI movie

First, check out these thumbnails:

These aren't pictures from the set of the latest sci-fi movie. They are actual photos of Japan's G-Cans Project (more available at the link). This massive underground infrastructure is designed to prevent the overflow of the various rivers and waterways in Tokyo. Some stats:
"The underground waterway is the largest in the world and sports five 32m diameter, 65m deep concrete containment silos which are connected by 64 kilometers of tunnel sitting 50 meters beneath the surface. The whole system is powered by 14000 horsepower turbines which can pump 200 tons of water a second into the large outlying edogawa river."
(via boingboing)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/23/2004 09:18:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 21

Ok, by now I'm sure you've heard about the (insert own adjective here) lady who was selling a grilled cheese sandwich on e-bay with the image of "Virgin Mary Mother of God" miraculously appearing on it. If not, here's a snippet from her auction page:
"I made this sandwich 10 years ago, when I took a bite out of it, I saw a face looking up at me, It was Virgin Mary starring back at me, I was in total shock, I would like to point out there is no mold or disingration, The item has not been preserved or anything, It has been keep in a plastic case, not a special one that seals out air or potiental mold or bacteria, it is like a miracle, It has just preserved itself which in itself I consider a miracle, people ask me if I have had blessings since she has been in my home, I do feel I have, I have won $70,000 (total) on different occasions at the casino near by my house."
When I looked at the auction yesterday, the bids were up to $17,000 with a day left to go.

That's right. $17,000 for a cheese sandwich.

Obviously, there are many, many things wrong with this scenario. And not being a fan of religion in general, there are many snarky things I could say. Like, oh, I don't know...what's a good Christian doing gambling at casinos? Or here's one: what with all the pain and suffering and misery and wars and murders and abuse and rape and torture going on in this world, isn't it comforting to know that the benevolent, loving creator is showing us poor schmucks he cares by having the virgin Mary APPEAR ON A FUCKING GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH!

But no, I'm not gonna say mean things like that.

So anyway, turns out the miracle sandwich sold for $28,000! Yep. Two. Eight. Triple zero. The winning bidder? Internet casino Goldenpalace.com. No folks, you couldn't make shit like this up if you tried. To quote Jay Leno (and I promise this will be the one and only time,) "this is why the rest of the world hates us!"

But there's some good news coming out of this whole fiasco. According to a BBC story:
"Goldenpalace.com says it will take the sandwich on world tour before selling it and donating the money to charity."
Which brings us to the thought of the day, boys and girls, which is this: what a sad, sad world we live in where god appears on a sandwich, some members of his flock would rather spend 17 grand on crusty bread hoaxes rather than help the needy, and the only institution that will do any good in the end is an Internet casino.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/23/2004 03:10:00 PM :


For all you artists out there

Just wanted to remind you that each week, Steven Grant runs a couple different original pieces of art for the "Two Heads Talk" section of his column. If you'd like to be featured, here are the guidelines:
    1. "All panels should be 3" wide x 6" tall jpgs, 150 dpi.
    2. All panels should be head and shoulder shots of original characters. No trademarked characters of any sort please. (But don't worry: copyright will be assigned to you.)
    3. Head and shoulder shots should fill only the bottom 3" of the panel. Leave the top half blank, please. (You can put color there, just not figure work.)
    4. One head per panel, thanks. Color or black and white, your choice.
    5. Don't put any borders on the panels.
    6. Email it to me, with "Head" in the subject line so I know don't think it's a virus, because I'll trash an unknown attachment in a heartbeat.
    7. Include a website or some other contact information so that your new legion of fans will be able to find you.

      And that's it. All heads will be used eventually. Can fame and fortune be far behind?"

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/23/2004 02:11:00 PM :


Coloring Bone

This is an oldie, but I forgot to post it when it first came out...

Columbus' own Steve Hamaker talks about the daunting task of coloring all 1300+ pages of Jeff Smith's epic book, Bone. You can read the Newsarama interview here.It's a pretty massive undertaking, to say the least.
"We have some people helping with the flat color blocking now, so I am going a lot faster. I was doing about a page a day, and now I can get three to five pages a day depending on the complexity of them. The files start at 1 or 2 megs, and end up being around 30 or 40 megs each. It’s a big project, but we will store the files that we finish to make room, when the time comes."

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/23/2004 02:03:00 PM :


Panel to be featured in Alive

Just a quick note to let you know I heard back from Caleb, over at the Alive. He said there will be a small shout out to Panel in this week's edition. He'll mention the new book, and the Panel "panel" at Mid-Ohio-Con.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Monday, November 22, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/22/2004 10:03:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 20


It's a quite a powerful feeling. And I don't mean owning something, as in "I own this here land," or "I paid 40 grand for this car." I mean the feeling of ownership that comes with something you've created through your own hard work, time, and energy.

I recently completed a Small Business course via OSU's Office of Continuing Education. We talked a lot about the great feeling of ownership that comes from starting and running your own business. It's one of the biggest benefits of being a small business owner (which is a good thing, when you consider all the cons...the statistics really aren't in your favor). Sure, you may like your job if working for an employer, even, say, Microsoft. And you may even feel a sense of pride over your projects. But I'd imagine it's not the same sense of ownership you'd feel if it were your company.

Anyway, I was thinking about this whole topic of ownership all afternoon long. You see, today's the day I got the Hybrid book back from the printers. And it's the day I picked up the Panel: Home book from Kinko's and we had our traditional "fold and staple" party. Even though my story had to be dropped from the Panel book due to events beyond my control, I still felt a ton of pride and excitement putting the book together. There were 7 of us sharing the work, and the feeling of accomplishment. Same with Hybrid, which may only feature a couple pages of my work, but was my baby from inception to publication. There's an incredible feeling of ownership there, and it motivates me to want to do all that I can to ensure a fantastic, quality end product.

If you've never experienced that feeling, you owe it to yourself to do so. Produce a work of art that has a personal meaning for you. Write a collection of essays or short stories. Build a cool woodworking project. Restore that old classic car that's been rusting in the back yard. Remodel your family room the way you've always imagined it looking. Start a website as a creative outlet. Sew a funky garment for yourself.

It may be a lot of work, but it will be quite rewarding. And in the end, you'll have something more than money could ever buy. A true feeling of ownership.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/22/2004 05:34:00 PM :


Cooke is cooking

This week's All the Rage column has a short interview with Darwyn Cooke, as well as a preview of his issue of Solo. Check out the gorgeous Question page.

"The beauty of this project is it’s allowing me to stretch a few muscles that the mainstream books can't accommodate. For example, each story will be somewhat different from a technique point of view. There will be straight-up color comix, painted work, crafting duo tone and a few other things I've been eager to try."

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Sunday, November 21, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/21/2004 11:03:00 PM :


The Fourth Rail reviews Panel and BCB

(Updated 11/22 - just found out they reviewed BigCityBlues as well.)

This is from a couple of months ago, but I didn't know about it until just now when I was doing a Google search on Ferret Press. Randy Lander of The Fourth Rail reviews Panel: Architecture. Overall, pretty good (he gave us a 7/10). Except Tony's name got kinda mangled. Toby Goins. Snicker.

And here's the review for BigCityBlues. Another 7/10, which is pretty cool.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/21/2004 10:23:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 19

I've been meaning to write a quick review of a fantastic comic I picked up last month. I guess this is as good a place as any.

I'm not familiar with Rebecca Dart's work. In fact, as far as I can tell, Rabbit Head is her first published comics work. And it's quite the debut. In fact, it's one of those books that makes me, as a creator, absolutely jealous. I wish I had come up with this book first.

The book is an experimental, and surreal, take on a pseudo-western story. Without dialogue. The protagonist, an anthropomorphic rabbit and her weird steed, set off on a journey at the beginning of the story. Along the way, Dart uses the strengths of the comics medium to their fullest by slowly branching the story into multiple, simultaneous storylines. By the middle of the book, there are 7 separate, yet interconnected, story threads unfolding across the space and time of the comics page. It's an absolutely fantastic use of the medium, and one that can only really work on the comics page. As an added bonus, the story ends where it began, in effect creating an endless cycle.

The narrative is sometimes humorous, often exciting, and at times disturbing and downright painful. The reader can opt to follow a single thread all the way through, returning for the others, or attempt to take in the entire expanse of her story. The latter is quite a daunting task, though equally rewarding.

Dart's artwork is and odd combination of sketchy and fluid strokes. Sparse where it needs to be, detailed in other places. Though not on the level of Paul Pope, she does remind me a bit of his style of brushwork.

In terms of originality, innovation, uniqueness, and emotional resonance, Rabbit Head is one of the coolest books I've picked up this year. It's a prime example of what the comics medium is capable of when a creator's imagination soars and old conventions are discarded.

I'm quite jealous of it.

Rabbit Head is published by Alternative Comics, and is priced at $4.95. It is magazine sized, 24 pages, black and white with a full color cover. ISBN: 1-891867-72-5.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/21/2004 09:13:00 PM :


Variety reviews No Dead Time

As Tom mentioned, Variety has a comics news and reviews section on their website. They reviewed No Dead Time and gave it an A-. Check it out here (you'll have to scroll down a bit, no permalink available).

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Saturday, November 20, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/20/2004 06:34:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 18

I finally finished the Hybrid book today. All PDF files, on a CD. Took it over to ElektroKopy for printing. Asked for a sample copy to proof, before they run the whole 200 copy print run.

"Not a problem, it'll just take a few minutes," I was told.

About an hour later, I left with my proof. An entire hour for the guy to grab 16 digital files off a CD and send them over to the copy machine. Now, I'm no expert on digital copiers and such, but I do know a thing or two about computers, networking, and Adobe Acrobat. I'm still not sure why he had such difficulty with the process.

Of course, it may have been the distraction of the televised OSU-Michigan game.

As it is, I'm glad i decided to ask for a proof. The standard 20 lbs. copy paper is not quite thick enough to prevent the darker pieces from bleeding through to the other side. And, of course, they didn't have any thicker paper stock in...er, stock. Neither did the Staples store next door. So now I have to wait till Monday, drive down to a paper supply store on my lunch break, and drive back up to ElektroKopy to drop off the stock, drive back to work, and drive up to the copy place again to pick up the books. Chalk it up to the "joys of self-publishing".

On the bright side, the book looks great. Especially the cover. So I'm happy.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Friday, November 19, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/19/2004 09:33:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 17

If you have a website, you're probably familiar with checking your referral logs to see where most of the traffic to your site is coming from. And if you have a blog, you're probably familiar with posting some of the weirder search engine search strings that led some people to your site.

Who am I to buck the trend? Actual search strings in italics...So without further ado:

free comic books porn
Spider man porn
allison williams free porn tape
alien porn

All of the above can be attributed to the fact that I have a comic story called "Xxxagnut Beefman: Alien Porn Star" listed on the FP site. An awful lot of people must be severely disappointed to find out it's neither porn, nor free.

"Things I'd Rather do than go see catwoman"

Well, checking my referrals logs is one of them...

central ohio band comic book ending

This falls under the WTF? category

Eros a (character) in movies; music; and literature, in stores (Minneapolis)

Another WTF? moment. What the hell was this person trying to find? Talk about a narrow search.

Ferret literary

Why, yes we are. Thanks.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/19/2004 09:24:00 PM :


Comics book characters in song

I had this site bookmarked a long time ago, and recently ran across it again. Ken Gale's Trapped in a Lyric They Never Wrote, a "list of hundreds of songs that mention comic book and strip characters". Some samples:
"Arthur Curry" by Ookla the Mok. "I am Aquaman and nobody better mess with me/ I may be nothing to you but I am a king beneath the sea/ Let's see you get by under water as well as I do on the ground/ I am Aquaman and you better not mess around"

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Thursday, November 18, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/18/2004 11:41:00 PM :


PANEL debuts 4th anthology at Mid-Ohio-Con

You can read the official press release on MOC's website.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/18/2004 11:14:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 16

Ah yes. Memory. Specifically, my bad memory. Something happened earlier today where I instantly though "oh, that'll make for a good topic for my daily post." Of course, now I can't remember for the life of me what it was.

So instead, I think I'll just type up some random thoughts, ADD-style.

Cannibals n' Strippers - catchy, eh? It's the title of a low-budget slasher flick my friend Tony wrote for a movie director/producer down in Cincinnati. I've got a copy of the script sitting in my inbox. Can't wait to read it! I'd assume he did a lot of "research" to get the script just right, but let's just hope it was in regards to the latter subject, and not the former.

Music - I spent the better part of this evening finishing up the layout for the Hybrid art book. Unlike writing, which requires concentration and therefore precludes listening to music with lyrics, this was mostly mindless production work. So I got out some old CDs and jammed to the likes of Social Distortion (White Light, White Heat, White Trash), Robert Cray (Shame & a Sin), and Concrete Blonde (Walking in London). Yeah, I know. Mostly old school. But good old school.

In the Shelf Life ("old videos reconsidered") section this week's The Other Paper, they take "a look at some animated flicks created with an adult audience in mind." Included in the reviews are 1972's Fritz the Cat, 1981's Heavy Metal, and 2003's The Animatrix. Oh, and the 1994 Crumb documentary, for good measure. You'll find it on page 27.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/18/2004 04:36:00 PM :


Your political moment of the day

From my fave cartoonist, Ann Telnaes:

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tom on 11/18/2004 01:46:00 PM :


Well I'm bummed, Tom Devlin at Highwater sent out a letter to all his cartoonists stating that publishing will cease at Highwater. This is effective immediately. John Porcellino has moved his collection over to Drawn & Quarterly. The publisher will keep their site up till the end of the year.

In happier news- I was not only suprised to find out that Variety.com reviewed NDT (A-) on their comics blog but that they also have a comics blog to begin with. I'm beginning to think there's a comic geek on every magazine staff pining for their own column.

Permalink for this post by Tom || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/18/2004 01:27:00 PM :


Sketchcrawl: November 21st, 2004

From a press release spotted at The Pulse:
"On Sunday November 21st join artists from all over the planet in day long drawing event. The first World Wide SketchCrawl. The idea: go out in your city or town, draw and document your whole day from morning to evening. Join the first international marathon of sketching and then share some of your drawings and tales with the rest of the world at the brand new site sketchcrawl.com"
Sounds pretty damn cool. Makes me wish I had artistic talent. Anyway, check out the site and spread the word.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/17/2004 11:12:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 15


One of the gifts my girlfriend bought me for my birthday a couple weeks back was the short story collection Men and Cartoons, by Jonathan Lethem. She said it was purely an impulse buy, as she wasn't familiar with the author. Rather, the book's cover, and title reference to "cartoons" drew her eyes to it. While reading the synopsis of the stories on the dust jacket, she came across one with the following description: "...a story about drunken neighborhood parlor games, boys who dress up as superheroes, and the perils of snide curiosity."

The superhero reference is all it took. She decided to buy the book. And to be honest, I wasn't familiar with Lethem's work either. But the variety of subject matter and styles that the shorts are written in had me intrigued.

Then today, on my drive home after a particularly rough day, I was listening to NPR and one of their contributors did a review of three different short story collections. Including Men and Cartoons. And not only did the reviewer give it high marks, but the story he picked out as an example of Lethem's masterful writing style was "The Vision," the one with the aforementioned reference to superheroes. Marvel Comics, to be more specific.


I love that woman of mine.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/16/2004 11:40:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 14

My dad returned today from his trip to Iran. My grandmother (his mom) accompanied him back. She is my only surviving grandparent, and there's a part of me that knows this visit will most probably be her last. At 88 years of age, she has lived a full life and has seen things most people here couldn't begin to relate to. To be honest, I don't know how she managed the 30+ hour trip from Tehran to Columbus, because when I did it four years ago it messed me up something awful.

She's cantankerous, opinionated, irrational, and extremely stubborn. She drives my mom crazy. She's a damn good cook. She bugs me relentlessly about when I'm going to get married. She still treats my 27 year old brother, who has a law degree and a masters, as though he were still in high school. She's adamant about getting knee surgery. She drives my dad crazy. When she smiles, the wrinkles of her face make it look as if her entire face is smiling. That makes me smile.

In short, she's my grandma.

It's good to see her again.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/16/2004 10:05:00 AM :


Ever wonder why so many Americans are obese?

Never mind, it's a rhetorical question. It's because of things like this: the Hardee's Monster Thickburger. According to a news article about it:
"The sandwich boasts two one-third-pound beef patties, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese, topped with mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun."
That's right. A total of 2/3 pound of beef, 1400 calories, and 107 grams of fat! Jesus, what's wrong with people?

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Monday, November 15, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/15/2004 11:07:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 13

So let me get this straight...Secretary of State Colin Powell, one of the few moderates in Bush's war-hungry cabinet, is resigning. Taking his place will be right-wing hawk Condoleezza Rice. And Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld still has his job?

In other news, 4 horses have been sighted galloping from the white house...

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tom on 11/15/2004 10:35:00 PM :


No Dead (Air)Time on fanboy

Brian McLachlan (writer on NDT) will be chattin' it up on fanboy radio Wednesday at 1pm CMT. It'll be up for a couple of weeks for free download. It's November's Indy episode. Checking their schedule this occurs once a month. They appear to have a wide and varied show covering both mainstream and indy.

Permalink for this post by Tom || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tom on 11/15/2004 04:06:00 PM :


So you wanna impeach your president...

Fed up with the mishandling of Iraq like I am? Alot of the same accusations thrown around during the election could also be cause for an impeachment investigation. Besides impeachbush.org there's another grassroots campaign dedicated to the same cause- I was forwarded another link for impeachment proceedings. This one prompts you to write your congress/house rep to express your feelings to your officials. First it rattles off the laundry list of charges. Entering your zip will automatically pop up the reps in your state.

Other info I got today was a recent study that shows a huge conflict between exit polls and the election results. Dr. Freedman (University of Pennsylvania) stated that 'The likelihood of any two of these statistical anomalies occurring together is on the order of one-in-a-million. The odds against all three occurring together are 250 million to one. ' The link is part of continuing documentation on rampant voter fraud.

Permalink for this post by Tom || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/15/2004 01:35:00 PM :


Found object art

Check out this nice site where they make clocks out of found objects. I'm not usually a fan of found object stuff, mainly because it tends to be very abstract and, to my non-artist eyes, somewhat hokey. But when it also has a practical purpose, as is the case with these clocks, then I dig it.

(link via boingboing)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tony on 11/15/2004 01:31:00 PM :


Upcoming Events

Get an early start on your literary Christmas shopping with the Thurber House’s annual Book Feast this Sunday.

Each November, Thurber House invites Columbus to a Book Feast — its fund-raising book sale. Book lovers are set loose for one day in the Thurber Center to delve into room after room of BRAND NEW, DEEPLY DISCOUNTED BOOKS, DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHERS!!

The event runs from 1-4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Thurber House, 77 Jefferson Ave. Admission is FREE. All proceeds from the Book Feast benefit children's programming at Thurber House.

For more information, vist http://www.thurberhouse.org/BookFeast.html

Also, the Short Film Showcase will come to Delaware Historic Strand Theatre at 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. The Strand is located at 28 E Winter St. in Delaware; cost is $4.50.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll fall in love. For more information, click here.

Permalink for this post by Tony || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tony on 11/15/2004 01:25:00 PM :


Notes from the prose mines

I'm halfway through National Novel Writing Month, but only 37.75 percent done. The challenge is to do a 50,000-word novel in a month, but I have 18,877 words down.

Comix have ruined me for this work in two ways:

1. I'm used to compression. I'm used to cramming a story into eight pages, and then lamenting that Will Eisner could have done it in six. With 50,000 words to work with, I don't quite know what to do with myself. I think I'm going to run out of story long before I reach 50K.

2. I'm not used to describing how things look. I find myself dropping unwieldy blocks of descriptive text right in the middle of the action. In comix, describing how things look is the artist's job.

Incidentally, 50,000 words ain't nothing in book terms. It's only about 100 pages.

Permalink for this post by Tony || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Sunday, November 14, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/14/2004 10:05:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 12

Gotta make it another short one. Some random thoughts...

The Good: Indianapolis has a World War Memorial that covers the history of the various conflicts the US has been involved in, from the revolutionary war to the present. The museum' small collection of artifacts is still rather impressive, including many weapons (big and small), and a great set of war propaganda posters. But best of all, it's free to the public. More cities should make such educational and historic institutions available to the public at no cost.

The Bad: Unfortunately, I found out tonight that my story won't make it into the Panel: Home anthology.

The Ugly: Could the dozen or so back-to-back billboards for Tom Raper RVs alongside I-70 be any more obnoxious? I mean, aside from the guy's name? And I thought we had it bad in Columbus with the annoying Ricart Ford oversaturation.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Saturday, November 13, 2004
  Posted by Craig on 11/13/2004 10:08:00 PM :


Please forgive my recurring theme:

I was shopping for a DVD at Mediaplay a couple nights ago and overheard a woman ahead of me talking with the cashier. Her ten year old son was in the hospital with a brain tumor, and was asking her to bring him a Spider-Man comic. I recognized the cover of the issue she was buying; that lucky ten year old was going to get to read the issue in which Pete & MJ sit around crying while they talk about the Green Goblin having sex with a character who was killed off thirty years ago. Won't that just make his day!

I didn't interrupt to warn her away from the issue, and seriously regret it. Maybe I could have recommended the latest issue of Superman, with it's oral sex reference, or Action Comics, with the Super-Rapist villain. Or simply any issue that was labelled "part 4 of 7" that requires an extensive knowledge of backstory to appreciate.

My wife and I are expecting our first child, and in a few years I'd like to be able to share the experience I had growing up with these characters. As it stands now, that will be impossible. I've started composing a few letters to editors reminding them that while mature themed comics are welcome on the shelves of our comic stores and will still get our dollars (including plenty of my own), certain comics and characters need to remain accessable to readers of any age. I hope someone out there might join me.

Permalink for this post by Craig || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/13/2004 07:44:00 AM :


Daily Musings: Day 11

Taking a day-trip to Indianapolis, so this'll probably be my only time to post something. I'll try to keep it short.

I'd like to talk about this topic again later, preferably in more detail. But for now, I'll leave you with this thought: if you'd like to break into the business as a writer or artist (or whatever), learn to follow directions and/or guidelines. Now trust me, this isn't me being all big and mighty editor/publisher guy, telling the peons what to do. If I had that kind of power or ego, I wouldn't be blogging on my small press comics site at 8 in the morning. No, this is simply an observation from someone who has been trying for the past 4 months to put together a book of illustrations and encountering numerous frustrating situations that would have never occurred if people just read a few simple guidelines.

I received the wrong size artwork.

I received the artwork in the wrong format.

I received the artwork in the wrong resolution.

I was asked dozens of time about the deadline, even though it was repeated in at least 4 different e-mails.

I was asked about how to FTP the files, even though (again) it was repeated in at least 4 different e-mails.

I even received a contest entry a month after the deadline, even though the date was clearly stated on the website on the contest page.

I'm a manager in my day job, so I'm familiar with the process of making sure people get their work done on time and according to the specs. But I'd imagine in the freelance world, an overworked editor with tight deadlines to meet and literally hundreds of freelance writers and artists to choose amongst, is going to remember which ones were easy to work with and which ones took up more of her time. Despite their various levels of skill at their craft, I'll bet you the ones that get their work done and turned in on time with a minimum amount of oversight will always be more welcomed than the ones who require babysitting.

Well, unless of course you're Rob Liefeld, which apparently gives you a free pass, in spite of a history of missed deadlines and craptacular artwork.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Friday, November 12, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/12/2004 10:42:00 PM :


Speaking of massively comprehensive databases...

If you haven't done so already, check out Lambiek Comiclopedia, "an illustrated compendium of over 6,000 international comic artists with biographies and artwork examples." Not only is it a great resource for researching articles, but it's just plain fun to peruse.

They also have a small "virtual exposition" where you can view artwork from the likes of Robert Crumb and Chris Ware.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/12/2004 10:24:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 10

My friend Tony forwarded an interesting article my way. Seems the Internet Movie database (IMdb) has a new use in LA: dating service. That's right. Young starlets and eligible actors are using the massively comprehensive database of movie makers and the projects they've been involved with to gauge the "date-ability" of potential mates.
"If I am going to go out with an actor, it has to be someone who has already done stuff, since I have been doing this for eight years," said Jamie Anderson, another - it goes without saying - attractive actress with a role in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me if You Can and guest appearances on That 70s Show. "I don't want to be teaching a little boy about the business."
Man, and here I thought us "norms" came up with weird, expensive, or just plain superficial ways to find dates. Every time I hear about something as ridiculous and shallow as this, I'm eternally thankful that I'm not "in the market". Or in LA.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/12/2004 10:59:00 AM :


The myth of "regular creative teams" on comics

Remember about a week ago when I started my "Daily Musings" posts? In the inaugural post, I talked about how "regular" creative teams on comics no longer mean what they used to, i.e. you'd be lucky if the writer or artist stuck around for more than 6 issues. Cue this quote from artist Mike Wieringo's blog, about his departure (along with writer Mark Waid) from the Fantastic Four comic:
"He [Joe Quesada] made the point that in today's market, the only way to keep any kind of "heat" or "buzz" on a long-running ongoing title was to bring in a new creative team from time to time to reinvigorate both the book and the fan base. With all the evidence I'd been seeing about this over the past many years, I couldn't argue."

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Thursday, November 11, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/11/2004 10:56:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 9

Ok, I don't mean to be negative two days in a row, but so be it. I rarely watch the network morning "news" programs, mainly because they don't do the news. They do 2 minutes of news headlines, followed by a couple hours of the same crap you'd get on Oprah or Regis and Kathy (or Kristie, or Candy, or whatever annoying female sidekick it is now).

But the main reason I don't watch the morning shows is because of those idiots that line up outside the studios, cheering and brandishing homemade signs. You know the ones. The jackasses who stand there with signs like "It's our Anniversary! We love Katie Couric!". Yeah, way to celebrate the anniversary of your marriage, you mouth-breathing hicks. Standing in the cold outside a TV studio with a bunch of strangers, waving a sign in hopes of getting 2 seconds on the air. Fantastic. Good to know you have your priorities straight in life. Or the ones cheering on their crappy high school football team from bumfuck, Arkansas. Or wishing Aunt Judy a happy birthday, with the NBC logo prominently displayed on the sign. God, what drives people to be like that? What is this need to act like a complete and utter moron on national television? Is it the whole "I might get on TV!!!" thing? Is it some sort of New York tourist tradition, dating back hundreds of years? Does the sight of Al Roker somehow inspire Beatles-level joy and hysteria? Help me understand, I just don't get it.

I know this rant makes me sound like an elitist ass, or worse, but I can't help it. I'm otherwise a very easy going, live-and-let-live kind of guy, as most of my friends would attest to. But for some reason, just the mere sight of these people lined up outside those morning shows, gushing and cheering and waving signs drives me absolutely nuts. And I don't just mean annoyed, I mean physically angry...the blood-boiling, punch-something type of anger. I have to immediately change the channel. Why is that? Why does it bother me so much?

The CBS show used to be the only one that didn't feature the crowds. But this morning I discovered the hard way that they've apparently sold what little bit remained of their souls and jumped on the "parade of losers" bandwagon.

I'd rather watch a whole hour of condescending Diane Sawyer interviews than be exposed to even 10 seconds of the morning show "sidewalk fans". That's how much I hate them.

Tomorrow: I write something positive for a change of pace. I promise.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/11/2004 05:56:00 PM :


Fantastic Four movie: first look

So this site has the (supposedly pirated) teaser/trailer for the big budget Fantastic Four movie. It's a rather large download, so you need high speed Internet access. Looks to me like a mish-mash of actual film footage, interviews, concept art, and even something from a video game. The Thing still looks like a guy in a big rubber suit, not much improvement over the low-budget Roger Corman movie. Anyway, I'm not an FF fan so I don't really care, but I figured some of you might like to see what they're up to.

(link found via Progressive Ruin)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/11/2004 01:21:00 PM :


What do readers want to see in ads?

Saw this over at Though Balloons:
"In a survey conducted in January by Bookreporter.com, 83.1 percent of respondents said they'd like to see book synopses in ads. In contrast, just 10.2 percent said they'd like to see quotes from reviews, while only 1 percent cared about endorsement blurbs."
It's good to know this. I've been trying to stir my print ads for Ferret Press towards including (extremely) short synopses of the various books for a while now. And I wish more publishers would do so. Unless you've got a superhero book from Marvel or DC where the content is pretty much predictable, it's a good idea to tell you potential customers what it is that they can expect from your book.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/11/2004 10:12:00 AM :


Farewell, artbomb

artbomb.net was co-founded by Peter Siegel and Warren Ellis "to promote diverse and sophisticated graphic novels." After 3 years and 500 reviews, they have closed their doors. The site will remain up as an archive, though.


Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/10/2004 10:27:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 8

Ever have one of those days at work? The soul-sucking, anger-inducing, frustration-causing, curse-inviting, bang-your-head-on-your-desk kind? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Well, I had one of them today, and it's taken all the creative energey out of me. So I'm afraid today's musings is going to be quite short. Here goes:

Got the final illustration for the Hybrid art book today. Got a printing quote yesterday. Got the front and back cover design finalized on Monday. So I'm ready to put this bad boy together, with 2.5 weeks left to go before the con.

Not bad. I was expecting to be up the night before, folding and stapling.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/10/2004 02:13:00 PM :


Of Lions and Iraq

Brian K. Vaughan's Pride: The Lions of Baghdad is a 128-page original graphic novel "inspired by a true story of four lions who escaped the Baghdad Zoo during the most recent American invasion of Iraq". To be published by Vertigo sometime in 2005. Artwork by Niko Henrichon.

(thanks to (postmodernbarney) for the link)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/10/2004 10:43:00 AM :


The Center for Cartoon Studies

Located in White River Junction, Vermont, the school is scheduled to open the fall of 2005 and boasts quite a list of creators involved in the education process! Their advisory board includes Steve Bissette, Will Eisner, Gary Groth, Denis Kitchen, Scott McCloud, Chris Oliveros, Diana Schutz, Art Spiegelman, and many more. Faculty and visiting faculty include James Sturm, Tom Devlin (of Highwater Books), Ed Brubaker, Seth, James Kochalka, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, and others. From their website:
"The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) will offer a two-year course of study that centers on the creation and dissemination of comics, graphic novels and other manifestations of the visual narrative.

CCS's curriculum of art, graphic design, and literature reflect the wide array of skills needed to create comics and graphic novels. CCS emphasizes self-publishing and prepares its students to publish, market, and disseminate their work."
Of course all of this comes at a price. Tuition is $14,000 a year.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/09/2004 11:22:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 7

My typical writing process for a comic book script:
  • Various half-baked ideas, plots, news items, magazine articles, and whatnot stew in the back of my head until a connection is made between a few of those elements. Eventually, this bubbles to the top as a story idea.
  • I grab my trusty notebook and a pencil, and begin by marking numbers (representing each page of the story) down the left side of the page.
  • Next to each page number, I write a sentence or two describing the actions happening on that page. This is how I break down my story for pacing, length, space, etc.
  • Once I've fiddled with this to the point that I'm satisfied, I draw a rectangle to represent each page of the finished story. I then rough in panels into each of these page "templates", and add snippets of dialogue, general actions, stick figures, or whatever else will help me visualize the finished artwork for that particular page. Again, this helps me determine pacing, and whether I'm cramming in too much information into one page, or conversely, underwriting the scene.
  • Only when I'm satisfied with that do I sit down at the computer and start typing out my script off of the page "sketches" I've done. The usual process at this point is to type up all the panel descriptions for all the pages first, then go back and write the dialogue and caption boxes.
  • Next, I go through several rewrites, including incorporating feedback from my friends or the Panel group. The full script is then turned over to the artist.
  • The final rewrite is done once the artwork is turned back in to me for lettering. Sometimes I have to trim dialogue or move it around to a different panel by necessity (i.e. the artist didn't leave enough room in the panel for the original amount of text), while other times the quality of the artwork determines the rewrite (i.e. the visuals show something so well that it makes my original text redundant, or the art falls short of showing a nuance I was hoping for, so I tweak the dialogue to make it more obvious).
I'm not sure why it is that I feel more comfortable doing most of the early work on paper, as opposed to the computer. I suppose part of it is the tactile sensation of actually "writing". It feels more natural, especially when erasing or crossing out sections in pursuit of tightening the script, or adding little notes or stick figure sketches on the margins to suggest possible approaches. The word processor, as incredibly powerful and flexible as it is, doesn't inspire that same feeling of creativity in me. Maybe I'm just a luddite, I don't know.

How do the rest of you writers approach your scripts?

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/09/2004 04:25:00 PM :


New Sin City movie posters

Over at Ain't it Cool News.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tony on 11/09/2004 04:21:00 PM :


Question ...

Here's a question for you pro types ... Which do you prefer?

A) When people buy your book direct from you, so you can pocket more of the money.
B) When people buy your book from a retailer, so it counts toward your sales numbers with the publisher.

Permalink for this post by Tony || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/09/2004 04:11:00 PM :


Commercial Suicide 2.0

I don't know why I find this picture of Sigmund Freud as an S&M superhero so funny, but I do. And you should check out the full page art here and here.

This story is from COMMERCIAL SUICIDE 2.0, a 102 page anthology of "sick and twisted humour". You can order it via their website. A mere $8 in the US.

(thanks to artbomb for the links)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Monday, November 08, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/08/2004 10:41:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 6

So the AP is reporting on a trial currently underway in Georgia over a sticker placed in biology textbooks that says evolution is "a theory, not a fact". Get this:
"Cobb County schools put the disclaimers in biology texts two years ago after more than 2,000 parents complained the books presented evolution as fact without mentioning rival ideas about the origin of life, namely creationism."
The ACLU and some concerned parents are suing on the basis that the sticker promotes religion. The lawyer for the school district is saying the sticker is there to "encourage critical thinking". The parent that started the drive to get the stickers placed on the books is portrayed by the article thusly:
"She said it was only fair to put a small disclaimer in a textbook where religious-based ideas about the origin of life are not mentioned."
Here's the full text of the sticker:
"This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
Ok, deep breath. I know I don't have all the answers, people, but it's really not all that hard:
  1. First, although I appreciate the ACLU's concern, I don't really see the text of that sticker "promoting religion".
  2. Having said that, the stickers are a ridiculous idea. As the judge mentions in the trial, the textbook already identifies evolution as a theory, so there's no need to restate that on a sticker.
  3. A 1987 Supreme Court ruling made it quite clear that creationism is a religious belief, and can't be taught in public schools.
  4. If you think it's "only fair to put a small disclaimer" in textbooks, you'd damn well better be prepared for "small disclaimers" from every other nutcase who doesn't agree with something. Hey, I want a mention of Odin the All-father. Or is Christianity the only religion that counts?
  5. And lastly, if I may be a bit crude, IT'S THE FUCKING 21ST CENTURY, PEOPLE! We're still fighting this fight? Are you telling me all it took was 2000 parents complaining for our public education system to capitulate and put warning stickers on textbooks? What's next, teaching that maybe, just maybe, blacks aren't as smart as whites? That perhaps it's not a proven fact that women deserve the right to vote? Holy crap, you've got to be kidding me.
This is why I have little faith in humanity. For every step that we take forward, it seems that there exists a subset of the species bound and determined to drag us back two steps.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/08/2004 01:50:00 PM :


Promoting my peeps

Ok, enough with the self-promotion. Let's give some shout outs to fellow Panel member Steve Black, and fellow Columbus writer, Sean McKeever. They collaborated on The Meredith Club, a 16-page slice of life story published under Sean's Signal Comics imprint. This week's All the Rage has a preview of the art and a little blurb from Sean. Check it out.


Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/08/2004 10:38:00 AM :


Are you sick of me yet?

If not, here's more shameless self-promotion to wade through. I just want to be loved, is that so wrong?

Ninth Art presents the Small Press Spotlight on Dara "I'm a Publicity Ho" Naraghi.

My god, I'm one handsome devil. Forget about comics, I should be in films, baby!

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Sunday, November 07, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/07/2004 10:56:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 5

Went mountain biking today. It's been a while since the last time I hit the trails at Alum Creek...maybe a year and a half? Two? Needless to say, I was rusty. But it was fun, as always, and I even had a nice tumble and some painful scratches to remember it by. It all happened while trying to clear a huge tree trunk with ramps on either end. Instead of picking up speed and letting my momentum carry me across the top, I hesitated, second-guessing myself. Result: I lost momentum near the top, lost balance, fell off the ramp and my bike, and went sliding down a small embankment on a carpet of leaves.

I cleared that sucker on my second try, though it was still a bit nerve wracking.

Which, in a strange way, makes me think of writing. The way I see it, writing is a lot like riding a bike. You never forget how, but if you don't practice, you'll get rusty at it. Even worse, you lose some of your self-confidence and begin to second guess the instincts you had spent so much time honing. Even on tasks you know you're capable of completing. But it's ok, because all you have to do is push through the first few mistakes and catch up to where you left off. Besides, once you've stumbled on an obstacle, it's a lot easier to approach it a second time, knowing what lays in store for you. Just be sure you've gotten over the self-doubt by then.

One good thing about screwing up a story versus messing up on a mountain bike, though: odds are you won't break any bones. Unless, of course, you're really agressive with that keyboard. Or have a penchant for punching the monitor.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/07/2004 10:51:00 PM :


Speaking of America...

...but not politics, check out these previews of Steve Epting's art for the new Captain America series. Even with Brubaker writing it I doubt I'll pick it up (not a Cap fan at all), but man are these picture purty!


Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/07/2004 10:43:00 PM :


Obvious news headlines

U.S. Moves Toward a New Conservative Era. Gee, you think?
"A striking feature of the Bush victory is the ascendant role of Christian evangelicals in key states including Ohio, where Republicans parlayed opposition to gay marriage and other so-called moral issues into record voter turnout."

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tony on 11/07/2004 03:30:00 PM :


on the bright side ...

Didn't Gore lose Ohio by 6 percentage points? If Kerry pulled within 2, that's progress.

And to address an earlier question, I don't support blanket statements that Bush voters are "dumb." I've heard some of the blanket statements about the Democratic Party made by the Coulters, Limbaughs and Hymans of the world, and I don't want to do that.

Permalink for this post by Tony || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Saturday, November 06, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/06/2004 05:13:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 4

The realities of the small press comics industry: Earlier this week, one of the more popular comics news websites, The Pulse, did a spotlight on my latest story. It included 6 pages of artwork, and a link to this site. Also this week, Steven Grant posted a favorable review of Panel: Space on his column. Steven's column is one of the most popular ones out there, and I believe it pulls in something like 6000-8000 unique readers each week. I'm not sure of the numbers for The Pulse, but it's got to be more. Plus, they are an indy-friendly site with regular features on non-mainstream comics and creators.

Net result: about 20 hits on this site from The Pulse article, and maybe 10 from Grant's review. No sales (though to be fair the story spotlighted by The Pulse isn't available for sale yet).

So for all you kids thinking of self-publishing your own comics, just be aware of the reality you'll be facing. It's an uphill battle every day. You definitely can't be in it for money or fame.

But if you enjoy the creative end of it, then it's all be worth it.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Sean McGurr on 11/06/2004 03:31:00 PM :


Point Pleasant Review
Here is Matt Dembecki's positive review of Point Pleasant by Friends of Panel with a cover by our own Steve Black.
I must admit, I wasn’t initially drawn to this book. Artist Steve Black painted a nice cover, but when I learned the story was about the Mothman, I lost interest. After seeing the 2002 film The Mothman Prophecies, I didn’t think there was more to say about it or that it was possible to present the story in a more dramatic way. Well, never presume. Yes, the comic is about the Mothman, but it has an interesting twist...

Permalink for this post by Sean McGurr || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/06/2004 09:21:00 AM :


Graphic novels in schools

File this under the "heartwarming" category. The Journal Gazette/Times-Courier reports on the increasing use of graphic novels in Illinois schools.
"Graphic novels, once known as comic books, now have more of a story with them," said Anieta Trame, Mattoon Middle School media coordinator. "They include lots of beautiful artwork and have renowned illustrators. There is currently a big push for graphic novels because it is a way to entice the reluctant reader."

"The State of Illinois has really pushed to have graphic novels in schools by offering grants to libraries," Trame said.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/06/2004 01:15:00 AM :


Tom Williams, man about town

This week's Alive gives much love to Tom. In a full page article titled "Dawn of the Dead," they spotlight his new graphic novel from Oni, plus Crash Comics and other projects. It's on page 14 of the November 3rd issue. Or online at the above link.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Friday, November 05, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/05/2004 06:25:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 3

Received an order via the website for AKA #1 and 2 yesterday. The following note was included in the order:
"I look forward to reading these. BTW, I got your website off of someone's license plate cover. Clever marketing!"
That put a smile on my face! I recently ordered some cheap plastic license plate frames that have the Ferret Press website on them. I put one on my car, one on my brother's, and Wendy even agreed to sport one on her car (though we haven't gotten around to installing it yet). To be totally honest, the purchase wasn't purely a marketing move, there were equal parts vanity and goofy/kitschy fun factor involved. But hey, it paid off more so than I ever thought it would.

It actually led to a sale.

And a complete blind sale at that. Think about it: a total stranger sees a website on another stranger's car, goes to the website, finds out it's about small press comics, and decides to purchase a couple of them. What are the odds?

So I'm going to try and think up other unusual (and fairly inexpensive) promotional ideas. So far, the bookmarks seem to be the biggest hit, and lend themselves quite well to guerilla marketing tactics. Maybe I'll look into the small buttons Tom just got to promote his work. And there's always the naming rights to the annual OSU-Michigan game. Yeah, I can see it now. ESPN covering the "Ferret Press Michigan-Ohio State Classic". Oh, wait. Never mind.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/05/2004 10:47:00 AM :


Well, I never thought about it that way...

But it kinda' makes sense. Peter David, talking about his return to "The Hulk" as the series' new regular writer:
"The Hulk is a microcosm of America today," continued David of why so many other people are interested in the character. "America is split in two. The conservatives sees liberals as intellectual weaklings. And the liberals see the conservatives as bullying monsters. You think Captain America epitomizes America today? Nonsense. It's Bruce Banner and the Hulk."

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Thursday, November 04, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/04/2004 11:09:00 PM :


Once again, the British press gets it right

Cover of The Daily Mirror:

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/04/2004 11:02:00 PM :


Military Intelligence

UK's The Guardian reports:
"Thursday November 4, 2004 9:46 PM - LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. (AP) - A National Guard F-16 fighter jet on a nighttime training mission strafed an elementary school with 25 rounds of ammunition, authorities said Thursday. No one was injured."

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/04/2004 09:16:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 2

I stopped off at the gas station on the way home this evening. The car in front of me had a Kerry/Edwards sticker on the back windshield, and the driver was standing outside pumping gas. Nothing unusual, in fact I didn't even notice the sticker until the following happened: another car, which had finished refueling, drove all the way around the station to stop by the car in front of me. The drive poked his head out and said something along the lines of "Keep the faith, man. I feel your pain, I voted for Kerry too. But we can't give up." They exchanged a bit of small talk and the car drove off.

I couldn't help but express the same sentiment. He said how painful it was that it all came down to Ohio and we didn't pull through for Kerry. I agreed, adding that it's really going to be difficult watching the news the next several weeks where we'll be treated to endless debates over "what went wrong" with the campaign. There we were, two strangers, talking politics at the Citgo on Olentangy River Road. If you had told me four years ago I'd be doing something like this, I would have told you that you're crazy. I never felt so passionately about politics. Until Bushy Bush and His Criminal Posse came into office.

And there you have it. An African-American guy in an SUV, a white guy in a sedan, and a Middle Eastern guy in a sports car, total strangers, exchanging small tokens of support and encouragement, sparked by a simple bumper sticker. That's the America I love. Not the mindless Jesusland police state others are trying to reshape it into.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/04/2004 03:44:00 PM :


The ugly truth...

(by Rob Rogers, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/04/2004 03:42:00 PM :


Not too far from the truth...

(by Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/04/2004 02:35:00 PM :


Gum as Art

"Bubblegum Alley" is located in downtown San Luis Obispo, California. Since the 1960s, people have been adding their chewed up gum to the walls.

Gum Blondes is the website of Toronto-based artist Jason Kronenwald, who makes portraits out of chewed bubblegum."
The colour is inherent to the gum - the mixing of coulour takes place inside the mouth during chewing using an endless variety of flavours from an endless variety of companies. Kronenwald has a dedicated team of chewers...however, he does not chew gum himself unless he must."
So even though he doesn't chew gum himself, he prefers the "texture" of Trident gum. Weird.

(links courtesy of boingboing)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tom on 11/04/2004 11:05:00 AM :


'Yes, tonight's your last night for gay sex and going to the library...'

I think Kerry could have won Ohio had it not been for those wishy washy Republican types like the Dispatch. The Dispatch who all year long have been blasting Bush for his reckless policies and then out of habit endorse him. Hypocrits. If you hate Bush so much why vote for him. 'Oh he'll change' pfft. I saw the acceptance speech yesterday. Ya right, the man won't even admit to any mistakes when asked. Iraq is such a mess that they have to institute the draft. The administration won't admit it till the election dies down.

Permalink for this post by Tom || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/03/2004 09:38:00 PM :


Daily Musings: Day 1

Now that Blogger is finally back up and actually allowing me to post again, and in an effort to get over my depression at the thought of another 4 years of the Bush gang...

Today is my birthday. And I've been thinking of trying something a little different with this blog, so what better time to kick it off than now? My goal is to write original content every day, including weekends and holidays, for a full year. Not links to funny websites or Newsarama articles, but actual essays, personal thoughts, or simple musings. At least one every day. I'll still post the other stuff as time permits, but I'm basically challenging myself to do more original writing.

Needless to say, the recent election is weighing heavily on my mind, but you know what? I'm sick and tired of it. So instead, let's talk comics...

Remember the days when there were regular creative teams on books from the big two? Books that were guided by the vision of the same writers and artists for years and years? Peter David's long run on The Hulk (what was it, like 10+ years?) Roger Stern and John Buscema on The Avengers. Claremont on X-Men. Those days are obviously over. Today's books go through writers and artists faster than a gallon of gas through a Hummer. Yet despite that, the companies still insist on hyping each new (temporary) team as "the new regular creative team". Last time I checked, regular meant more than 3 issues.

Recently, when the new "regular" artist was announced on DC's Hawkman, it was to be Ryan Sook. A mere 4 issues into his run, Sook's already off the book and fill-in artists are pulling art chores. The new "regular" artist is to be Joe Bennett. Who, if I recall, was just recently touted as the new "regular" artist on Marvel's Captain America and The Falcon. How long was he on that book? 6-7 issues? And prior to him, that book had Bart Sears as the "regular" artist. Less than half a year. Back at DC, Aquaman has gone through 3 writers in less than 2 years. The newly re-launched Firestorm is already on its second "regular" artist, with issue #8. I won't even get into the fiasco of rotating "regular" artists on the X-books from a couple years ago. I mean, the "regular" fill-in artists for the "regular" artists had their own set of "regular" fill-in artists.

Now, I do understand that creators themselves will want to move to different projects for personal and financial reasons. I also understand that often times they are at the mercy of changing editorial regimes. And I even understand, from the point of view of editors, the need to constantly keep their books "fresh" in hopes of attracting new readers in a shrinking marketplace. After all, the comics business is just that, a business, and we're operating in the era of fast food, disposable digital cameras, and flavor-of-the-day pop stars. Sad as it may be, and as detrimental as it is to the overall quality of storytelling, I can see the pressure to constantly rotate creative teams and try to generate "events" and new buzz.

So given all that, can we at least stop pretending? Please, you're not fooling anyone. So just stop hyping the hell out of each shift as "the new regular creative team". It's annoying, guys. And insulting to anyone who has been doing their job on a "regular" basis.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/03/2004 09:25:00 PM :


So the problem with having a birthday on November 3rd...

...is that every 4 years you have the potential of having a really shitty one.

Like this year.

So my home state of Ohio folded and gave the victory to Bush. Thanks a lot.

Happy fucking birthday to me.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by T.McClurg on 11/03/2004 07:45:00 PM :


So my girlfriend dumped my ass...
..or at least that's how today has felt. It would have been so much easier if she left me for Wisconsin or even Michigan...but Ohio. Ohio?

Swiped, without permission from Kirk Manley...thanks for the happy thought!!

Permalink for this post by T.McClurg || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Tom on 11/03/2004 04:32:00 PM :


When's Blackwell up for re-election?

What a *bleep*ed up election huh? I voted in what felt like a tiny hut in the middle of a apartment complex. I was fortunate that I was able to get out at 2pm yesterday. As soon as I got in line the line tripled. The location only had 3 machines based on the last election's turnout. What is that?? They needed 6 booths in there (not that they could fit 6 in there without removing the two giant pool tables) You get an insurgence of registrations and you don't base number of machines on registered voters? What the fuck? The equipment looked like it was issued in the seventies.
I'm sick already of the Bush camp declaring the campaign a 'mandate'. A 5 or 10% margin is not a freaking mandate. To boost it up as the 'most votes any president's ever gotten' is bunk when you consider it was still barely over half the country. It will be interesting to see how many votes Kerry got when all said and done. After Gore conceded it was determined after the recount that he did win the popular vote. I think if we got all the Kerry supporters to sign a petition we could still throw Bush out of office. An actual impeachment hearing over a real on-the-job mistake-> Iraq. Will that happen? Probably not.

Permalink for this post by Tom || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/02/2004 10:20:00 PM :


Voted a second time today

Ok, that's not true. Put away those lawsuits, you Republican "challengers". I went and hung out with Wendy this evening while she was waiting in line to vote. It took me a little over an hour in line this morning at 6:45. It took her close to 3 hours, 2.5 hours of which was spent outside in the rain. Given that she's sick, and Hanna has pneumonia (grandparents were looking after her), I gotta hand it to her for sticking it out.

Anyway, as I went through the process a second time, in the decidedly eclectic neighborhood of Clintonville, I realized that I was cheated out of a great voting experience in my own mostly white bread, retiree polling location. Here's the cool stuff that I got to experience while standing in line with Wendy:
  • waiting in the cold rain outside with a bunch of energized hippies, college kids, alternatives, and goths.
  • free coffee, water, snacks, fruit, and pizza, courtesy of various neighborhood groups
  • free loaner umbrellas
  • home-made voting "guides" and cheat sheets prepared by the "League of Pissed Off Voters", complete with endorsements such as "she quotes Gandhi in her writings"
  • impromptu singing and cheering
  • polling place run by an honest-to-goodness transvestite. We're talking a guy in a dress, with lots of makeup and rouge, but incredibly friendly, energetic, organized, and appreciative of everyone
I gotta say, it was well worth it. Talk about a sense of community.

Unfortunately, as it stands now the asshat incumbent is up in electoral votes 195 to 112, so I'm pretty fucking depressed...

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/02/2004 01:48:00 PM :


Newsweek's election notebook covers Columbus

"Small businesses are even opening late because their owners are out voting and canvassing. Brian Lawrence, an America Coming Together (ACT) volunteer, who co-owns Planet Smoothie in the arty Short North neighborhood, rushed in tardy having spent the dawn knocking on doors in a predominantly black neighborhood, Old Town East. Next to the WHEAT GRASS IS IN! sign, the shop posted an alert that all those sporting I VOTED stickers get $1 off any order. Co-owner Matt Hamparian arrived even later: it had taken an hour and a half for him to vote. But he was clapping his hands with excitement. 'I’ve voted there for six years and I’ve never had anybody there but me.'"

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/02/2004 01:12:00 PM :


Fark photoshop contest

Over at Fark, the photoshop contest topic is "Completely unexpected election results".

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/02/2004 11:51:00 AM :


Weird instructional pictures

Check out this funny site: Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness. From the author:
"On this page, I list wacky, bizarre, surreal and otherwise strange examples of technical documentation, particularly illustrations."
I especially like flammable water heater vapors on page 4.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/02/2004 11:29:00 AM :


"A Little Knowledge" spotlighted at The Pulse

The fine folks at The Pulse have posted a preview of the first 4 pages of my story for Ape Omnibus #2, A Little Knowledge. You can check it out here. In addition, there are also a couple pages of character studies from my partner in crime, artist Adrian Barbu.


Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/02/2004 09:39:00 AM :


No Dead Time

Is currently ranked #123,808 in book sales on Amazon.com. By way of comparison, here are the rankings of some other Oni books:

Courtney Crumrin Vol. 3: In The Twilight Kingdom by Ted Naifeh: #43,810
Love Fights Vol. 2 by Andi Watson: #240,652
The Long Haul by Antony Johnston & Eduardo Barretto: #361,351
Scandalous by J. Torres & Scott Chantler: #520,783

If you'd like to be the first person to do a customer review of it, go here.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/02/2004 08:11:00 AM :


Just got back from voting

I'm lucky enough that my polling location is just around the corner from my house. So I walked over at 6:45 this morning, 15 minutes after the polls had opened. It took me 1 hour and 10 minutes to make it through the line. But I feel good.

Here's hoping the American people stick a big collective boot up the ass of the current administration and kick them to the curb.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

Monday, November 01, 2004
  Posted by Dara on 11/01/2004 11:14:00 PM :



I just saw my first Christmas TV ad of the season. It was for Outback Stakehouse.

That's right. Christmas. Not Thanksgiving. Christmas.


Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/01/2004 05:28:00 PM :


John Gallagher talks Buzzboy, kid-friendly comic secrets

This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Many people bemoan the fact that there aren't too many kid-friendly comics these days, but most don't know what to do about it. It doesn't help that trying to sell a kids comic in the direct market is a virtual touch of death. Well, the secret, as Buzzboy creator John Gallagher points out, is to bypass the comic shops and focus on bookstore and library sales.
"Now back to the part where Buzzboy started to sell. You see, I finally accepted the fact that kids don't go into comics shops very much. But they do go to libraries, and book stores-- so I collected the first four issues of Buzzboy in a squarebound trade, hooked up with Diamond books, and the next thing you know, kids were reading my comics - finally - through Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble, and in the library."
There are some good points made down below the article in the comments section as well, where Gallagher responds to questions from the likes of Dave Roman.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/01/2004 11:03:00 AM :


Show Mr. Williams some love

For those of you who didn't know, Tom Williams' graphic novel from Oni, No Dead Time, was released last week. Drop by your favorite comic book store or bookstore and pick up this 129 page showcase of Tom's funky art. You won't be disappointed. And for those of you who have already seen it, leave a comment below and let us know what you thought of it.

Updated 11/2 to add this: By the way, props to Tom for putting me in his comic. You'll find my (very unflattering) picture on a milk carton. Yeah, thanks Tom. Couldn't have used my "ethereal glow" picture, huh? Had to go with the goofy monster face? Thanks to you, my modeling career is probably over.

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

  Posted by Dara on 11/01/2004 10:43:00 AM :


When it rains, it pours

So aside from the Ninth Art spotlight that's scheduled for next week, and The Pulse spotlight that's supposed to go online today, I've received two other inquiries from media types. I did an interview on Friday with a reporter from The Columbus Dispatch who's doing an article on bloggers in the Columbus area. Her initial e-mail came out of the blue. I believe she found out about me through a blog search. Then on Saturday, again out of the blue, I was contacted by a reporter from OSU's student newspaper, The Lantern. They are interested in doing and article on local comic book creators with ties to OSU.

It's weird. On the one hand, I have to admit that my ego is totally loving this. I'm not in the small press comics world for fame or fortune, obviously. But there's the narcissistic part of me that's enjoying the attention. (Not to mention it's good publicity, what with Mid-Ohio-Con being less than a month away.) On the other hand, I feel kinda weird talking about myself over and over again. It's kinda' surreal.

(On a tangentially related note, both of the newspaper reporters have funky names. The Dispatch reporter is Molly Willow, which has such a cute ring to it, and the Lantern reporter shares a name with one of my favorite comedians, David Cross.)

Permalink for this post by Dara || 0 comments || e-mail to a friend:

This page is powered by Blogger.   This page is listed on Blogwise.com.   This page is listed on GlobeOfBlogs.com.   Blogarama - The Blog Directory