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.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/31/2005 09:58:00 PM :


Video Games + Comics = Gamics

What happens when a guy grabs screen caps of video games, arranges them like sequential art, and adds his own captions and word balloons to them?


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  Posted by Dara on 5/31/2005 09:51:00 PM :


News Headline Zen

Check out the screen cap below for the four headlines I saw on my home page this afternoon. What do the first and last have in common?

Insert own joke here.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/31/2005 04:05:00 PM :


Death and taxes (and comics)

Rich Johnston's Lying in the Gutters column is back, but this time as "legitimate" investigative journalism, as opposed to a straight-up rumor colum. This week's column cover the sticky issue of taxes and freelancers. Included is this interesting annecdote from Neil Gaiman:
"Neil Gaiman had a similar story. "Well, when I moved to the US I found myself paying taxes to both the UK and the US governments (because of the way they stagger payments). And then I got a note from my new accountant in the US letting me know that he'd slightly miscalculated and could I send a cheque for $50,000 to the IRS NOW. THIS MINUTE. Which I couldn't.

"Now, the day before I'd talked to someone from Tekno comics, asking me to come aboard and create some comics for them. I'd asked them to send me something on paper -- expecting a draft contract. That afternoon, sunk in 'where the hell am I going to get $50,000, I've given all the money I had to the UK and the US tax authorities already, and spent the rest on moving across the Atlantic' gloom, a fedex envelope arrived. I opened it. It contained a cheque for $50,000 from Tekno Comics.

"I decided that something was probably trying to tell me something, and went downstairs and made up Mr Hero."

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  Posted by Dara on 5/31/2005 10:47:00 AM :


My webcomic starts this week

Well, tomorrow marks the official debut of my new webcomic project, titled Lifelike. But for you faithful blog readers, here's an early look at the very first strip, with art by the uber-talented Tom Williams:

Lifelike, every Wednesday on MoviePoopShoot.com

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Monday, May 30, 2005
  Posted by Tom on 5/30/2005 11:52:00 AM :


If any of you happen to click my link-
I've put up a beta version of my comics site. Some pages are up, some aren't. Mainly I put it up to trouble shoot some stuff. The reconstruction will probably take me a month. The madlinx page is probably the most finished (along with the front pages) Enjoy.

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Friday, May 27, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/27/2005 09:16:00 AM :


What makes for a great iconic character?

Couple of interesting posts on the Howling Curmudgeons blog that you writers might be interested in:

Talking about "what makes for a really good character?" with more interesting insights in the comments section, especially this question posed by a reader:
"Have any truly popular, long-lasting, and original comics characters been created since the early 70s?"
To which there are several replies, ranging frm Venom and Spawn to this comment:
"Cerebus and his cast of characters were fairly long-lasting. John Constantine has done fairly well with a variety of writers and artists.
Judge Dredd is a classic character, and he was created in 77. Not huge in the States, true, but he has two magazines over here and at one point was appearing in 2000AD, Judge Dredd The Megazine, Dredd Rules (or something of a similar title, aimed at younger kids) and The Complete Judge Dredd every month, as well as crossovers with other titles (primarily ones Alan Grant wrote like Lobo and Batman) and a film. I think he counts."
And a follow up to that post, in which the writer discusses his criteria for what makes for a "truly iconic shared universe superhero character."
"The other sense in which I mean "iconic" makes me uncomfortable because it's fuzzy (and therefore subjective), but I feel it's important as well, and that's...mojo. Somehow the character has a certain conceptual and visual gestalt that simply makes the character cool in a way that most people will feel and even those who don't will recognize. I suppose one way to look at "mojo" as I present it here is that the character can easily be translated or tweaked to make him or her suddenly appealing to people who otherwise didn't like or don't care about the character."

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  Posted by Dara on 5/27/2005 08:06:00 AM :


Alan Moore, blast from the past

Since he's been in the news lately, I figured this would be a good time to post a link to a lengthy interview he did several years ago with Engine Comics. As always, fascinating stuff from the man himself. Here's a little snippet, on advice to new writers:
"The first thing is: think about what you are doing, think about every aspect of it. Bryan Eno was somebody whose thinking really influenced me when I was starting out. Now he was a musician and I was moving into comics, but his thinking was generalised enough that it applied to a whole variety of fields. One of the things that he said was that some creative people seem to be governed by a kind of superstitious fear about examining their own creative processes – its almost like riding a bicycle, where if they stop to think about how they're doing it, they'll fall off.

Whereas my attitude is, if you're going to be making your living out of this stuff, it's like if you're making your living as a driver, you'd at least want to know what happens if the car grinds to a halt, what all that stuff under the hood actually does and is…actually understand your own creative process…think about everything…think about what you're doing.

If you're talking about comics writing, then many of the same things apply as with writing in general, but there is a whole couple of other layers to the possibilities because you've got an image track as well, and a kind of ‘over grammar', as I think I once heard it described as, where you've got the interaction, neither words nor pictures but the interaction of both of them."

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Thursday, May 26, 2005
  Posted by Tony on 5/26/2005 06:40:00 PM :


Verdict of the Sith

I think the best indicator of the quality of "Revenge of the Sith" is the fact that our thread on it has only 16 responses. Half of them aren't really about the movie. The SeanMcKeever.com thread has about 10 responses. The movie has inspired neither passionate denunciation nor spirited defense.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/26/2005 04:50:00 PM :


The return of Saint Germaine

Andy, take note: Desperado Publishing is re-releasing the original Saint Germaine series as a TPB through Image Comics.
"Saint Germaine, the critically acclaimed series originally from Caliber Comics will be released in a 168 page trade paperback, SAINT GERMAINE: SHADOWS FALL. It will collect the first four issues of the series in addition to the one-shot, Restoration."
I believe the issues that you did the artwork on were later in the series, correct? If so, you may want to contact Joe Pruett, as those may be republished as well.
"In addition to the Shadows Fall collection, Saint Germaine had an additional 6 issues published, many of which were one shot stories dealing with Casanova, The Man in the Iron Mask, and the Sioux Ghost Dance. Reed said that if the Shadows Fall trade is received well, plans are to collect the rest of the Saint Germaine stories."
And the saintgermaine.net promo site has this under the Online Bonus section:

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005
  Posted by Tony on 5/25/2005 02:10:00 PM :


Bamf! The Fragrance

Alan Cumming, who played the delightful elf Nightcrawler in the X-Men movies, has his own fragrance line. Here’s what his Web site has to say about Cumming: The Fragrance:

“A new look at the classic world of men's fragrance: combining three distinct talents to bring you a scent that is all about Sex, Scotch, Cigars and Scotland.

A sexy, fun and mischievous fragrance with top notes of: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Scotch Pine, Whiskey. Core notes of: Cigar, Heather, Douglas Fir, Rubber. Base notes of: Leather, Highland Mud, Peat Fire & White Truffle.”

If that sounds wunderbar to you, click on over to: http://www.cummingthefragrance.com/

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/24/2005 04:52:00 PM :


LOEG to Top Shelf

Wow, the news about Alan Moore leaving DC and taking the next volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to Top Shelf has even made it to boinbboing:
"This came to a head when Alan Moore was sued as part of a suit against 20th Century Fox for plagiarism of the screenplay "Cast Of Characters" which bore heavy resemblance to the movie version of "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" starring Sean Connery...
"They seemed to believe that the head of 20th Century Fox called me up and persuaded me to steal this screenplay, turning it into a comic book which they could then adapt back into a movie, to camouflage petty larceny." This led to Moore giving a ten-hour deposition - he believes he'd have suffered less if he'd "sodomised and murdered a busload of children after giving them heroin."

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  Posted by Dara on 5/24/2005 01:25:00 PM :


The entertainment value of Rob Liefeld

It's not his artistic skills, or writing skills, or lack thereof...it's what other people are inspired to say about him. Read this funny-ass review of his old Supreme #1 comic, over at Chaos Monkey:
"Youngblood takes him in, I guess. One of them says "whoa there, guy, sorry for whuppin' up on ya, but can we take you in for scans, please?" I mean, at some point the government guys are scanning him and everything is "off the charts" or off the hook" or "in the heezy for sheezy," or something. And one science lackey says something that may account for Rob's erratic art, at least as far as Supreme is concerned: "His height, weight, and mass seem to be in a constant state of multi-level fluxuation." That's right, 'fluxuation.' I hereby proclaim all interpanel changes of character designs and anatomy in the art of Rob Liefeld to be known from this day forward as 'fluxuation.'"

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Monday, May 23, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/23/2005 10:42:00 PM :


Small press shout out

Well, it finally happened. I got tired of waiting for Mr. Kish to make good on his promise to write a little something here about his brand spankin' new website. So instead, I'll do the honors.

Kids, do yourselves a favor and drop on by www.spudd64.com to check out Matt Kish's nicely designed website. You'll find all sorts of mouth watering Kish art, including full color illustrations, as well as other goodies like Holga photography. Oh, and while you're there, be sure to pick up the first 3 issues of Matt's awesome comic, Spudd 64.

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Friday, May 20, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/20/2005 01:16:00 PM :


Local comic creator profiled

Local mini-comics creator Phonzie Davis is interviewed in this week's Columbus Alive.
"What were some of your influences?

All the Marvel comics drawn by Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man. The more modern stuff—I like Dan Clowes, who drew Eightball and Ghost World. I like Frank Miller’s Sin City; the movie’s excellent and he’s a genius. I like R. Crumb. I’ve always been drawn to people’s art that I could identify just by looking at it, or who had their own specific style."

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Thursday, May 19, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/19/2005 02:15:00 PM :


Bande Dessinee

Over at Ninth Art, "British artist Roger Mason offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his experiences of trying to break in to the French comic industry."
"One can't go skimping on backgrounds either, because they don't go for Eisner-esque page layouts and fiendishly clever cartoon devices. One editor thought it unnecessary that some of my figures stray outside the panel border. Splash pages are uncommon, and most pages will have upwards of eight panels on each, prompting many BD artists to work on A2."

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  Posted by Dara on 5/19/2005 01:43:00 AM :


More Kolchak news

Looks like Andy's new Kolchak comic book will be hitting at a good time. I just noticed this press release about a new Kolchak prose collection from Moonstone.
320pgs of text w/ spot illustrations, 6” x 9”, $18.95"

(From the book& film field) Max Allan Collins, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Ed Gorman, Elaine Bergstrom, PN Elrod, Robert Weinberg, Brett Matthews, CJ Henderson, Mark Dawidziak, Richard Valley, James Bates.

(From the comics field): Peter David, Chuck Dixon, Steven Grant, Mike W. Barr, Gary Phillips,Fred Van Lente, Adi Tantimedh, Martin Powell, Clay & Susan Griffith, James Kuhoric, Jason Henderson, plus more!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005
  Posted by Tony on 5/18/2005 02:38:00 PM :


If they should bar wars ... let these remain

It's 2:37 p.m. on May 18 and no one has posted anything about the new Star Wars? I can't recall any mention of Revenge of the Sith at all.

I guess we're not as geeky as people say.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/18/2005 09:49:00 AM :


Love is...just wrong

File under "comics that you feel guilty about enjoying because they are so wrong". Bachem Macuno remixes those sappy "Love is..." syndicated comics into objects of pure hilarity and wrongness on his site Rejected Love is... Comics.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/18/2005 09:43:00 AM :


Simpsons websites

Courtesy of comic scribe Will Pfeifer's blog, here are some websites as featured in various episodes of The Simpsons:


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Tuesday, May 17, 2005
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 5/17/2005 06:59:00 PM :


Kolchak News
ABC has on its fall schedule an update of Kolchak the Night Stalker (buried in this article). Will this give Andy's work a bigger audience?

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Monday, May 16, 2005
  Posted by Tony on 5/16/2005 03:03:00 PM :


Rock and Roll Confidential

RockandRollConfidential.com on the C.O. smoking ban debate:


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  Posted by Dara on 5/16/2005 02:11:00 PM :


Jeff Smith's empire grows

The official Bone video game now has an official site. There are some screen caps and 3D models of some of the characters, with more to come.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/16/2005 02:05:00 PM :


J. Chris Campbell mini-comics

Over at The Pulse, Jai Nitz reviews a whole bunch of mini-comics by J. Chris Campbell. Mostly positive stuff. I must admit I'm not familiar with Mr. Campbell's work. Has anyone here read these books, and if so, what do you think?

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Sunday, May 15, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/15/2005 11:22:00 AM :


New Poopsheet Shop

Rick Bradford's excellent mini-comic and small press comic superstore, the Poopsheet Shop, is now open at its fancy new online location. Rick has been very supportive of Ferret Press and Panel, has a great selection of mini-comics, and has great deals. And unlike other online stores that charge you $4 postage just to mail you a 50 cent mini, his shipping charges are very reasonable.

Please support him and his shop.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/14/2005 12:25:00 PM :


Comic book creator resource list

Caleb Monroe has put together a fantastic resource list on his website for aspiring comic creators. Links included sites to look for collaborators, publisher sites, anthologies accepting submissions, distributors, and other worthy sites. Check it out.

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  Posted by Tom on 5/14/2005 11:04:00 AM :


Not My Small Diary#12 features a small strip by me and others. The distro is typical of a mini-comic or zine. So your best bet is to contact and order from Delanie direct. She does a few cons. She hasn't updated her site but I recieved my comp copy today. The production value is high for a mini-comic.

It's an interesting anthology and very thick. Well worth the $4 admission. The concept is to do a 1 to 4 page strip (theme related) that's autobiographical. Past contributors have been John Porcellino (King Kat Comics), Andy Watson (Skeleton Key, Love Fights), Raina Telgemeier (Take Out, Baby Sitters Club), Donna Barr and many more.

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Friday, May 13, 2005
  Posted by Tony on 5/13/2005 04:15:00 PM :


Word of the day

Adorkable (adj.) Dorky, but in a cute way. What we all aspire to be.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/13/2005 03:44:00 PM :


Comics and Columbus

Caleb's back with another comics review column in this week's Columbus Alive. Slave Labor Graphics’ Emo Boy #1, the manag series Dr. Slump, and Johnny Ryan’s Blecky Yuckarella are covered.

In other Columbus news, here's the list of this week's top selling comics, as reported by the Alive and The Laughing Ogre comic shop:

  1. Villains United #1
  2. Ultimate Fantastic Four #18
  3. Superman #216
  4. Shanna the She-Devil #4
  5. Seven Soldiers: Shinning Knight #2
  6. Detective Comics #806
  7. Lex Luthor: man of Steel #3
  8. Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead #1
  9. New X-Men #13
  10. Batman: Dark Detective #1

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  Posted by Dara on 5/13/2005 03:36:00 PM :


New anthology: You Ain't No Dancer

Check out this promising new anthology called You Ain't No Dancer.

The first issue is scheduled to ship in September 2005, and features a freaky cover by Dave Cooper. Contributors include up-and-coming creators, as well as some established names like Jeffrey Brown, Bryan Lee O'Malley and Jim Mahfood. Plus some guy named Steve McClurg (any relation, Tim?) From the website:
"You Ain't No Dancer will represent the very best of both established and up-and-coming web and print comic artists in a one print anthology.

Each issue will have a central theme for artists to draw their inspiration from, providing a sense of unity within the diverse group of creators and their stories."
They are currently accepting submissions for their second issue. The theme is "youth".

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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 5/13/2005 02:33:00 PM :


Frasier a Scruffy-Looking Nerfherder?
Check out this article about the premiere of the new Star Wars movie. Not only was Cliff Clavin in attendance(John Ratzenberger had a small role in Empire), but so was Kelsey Grammer who claims he was passed over for the part of Han Solo:
"I met Mr. Lucas when I was 19-years old," Grammer told reporters. "I was a little too young but then two years later I was watching this movie and I said ... 'that was the movie (Lucas) was telling me about,' cause he said, 'We're going to do a fairy tale in space.'"
I'm not sure what to think of that.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/11/2005 03:38:00 PM :


Quesada at Dark Horse?

So apparently, the art for one of the variant covers on the Serenity limited series at Dark Horse Comicswill be provided by Joe Quesada, the Editor in Chief of Marvel. Does that seem strange to anyone else? I mean, I'm sure this came about because Serenity creator Joss Whedon was recruited by Joe to do an X-Men series at Marvel, and they're probably buds and he asked Joe for a cover. But as a salaried Marvel employee (as opposed to a freelancer,) don't you think there would be a clause in Joe's contract that prevented him from doing work for his employer's competition? Especially at his high level position?

Just curious about the legal issues, is all.

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  Posted by Tony on 5/11/2005 11:26:00 AM :



Last night I held the self-esteem of 35 of Columbus’ aspiring writers in the palm of my hand. Bwah-ha-ha.

I’m signed up as one of the judges for the Thurber House’s “Thurber Treat” short fiction contest. The challenge was to write a modern-day fable, much as Jamie himself did back in the day.

Overall, I was impressed. I expected half of them to be stone-cold awful, but only a few were that bad. I counted a few forced metaphors, half-a-dozen needless absurdities and around 10 high-larious tales of domesticity. If Erma Bombeck is still alive, she needs to call her trademark attorney.

But there were a few that made me laugh out loud. If I can, I’ll share some of them with you in the next few weeks.

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  Posted by Matt Kish on 5/11/2005 09:46:00 AM :


I won! Cool!

Comic Book Galaxy was running this "Project: Superior" contest along with AdHouse Books, publishers of the book. I entered, and guess what? I won! It's super cool! I get this awesome hardcover edition of the book and a bunch of other goodies. I've never won anything in a contest before, so I am pleased as punch. And "Project: Superior" was an amazing book. So, I just had to share my good fortune, and thank Alan David Doane of Comic Book Galaxy for running the contest and Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books for putting together such a great package.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/10/2005 10:25:00 AM :


Robert Crumb on NPR

You can listen to Fresh Air with Terry Gross from May 2, where she interviews Robert Crumb. They discuss The R. Crumb Handbook, written with Peter Poplaski.

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Monday, May 09, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/09/2005 08:48:00 PM :


horny comic geek, thy name be Fanboy

Look what Wendy found: Comic Book Hotties.

And we wonder why comic book fans get a bad rap.

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Sunday, May 08, 2005
  Posted by Matt Kish on 5/08/2005 06:45:00 AM :


The Unknown becomes more...well, known.

Newsarama has a short and pretty poorly written paragraph or two on Lethem, Dalrymple, & Hornschemeier's project "Omega the Unknown." It doesn't say much of anything, especially if you've read what's on this blog.

Unfortunately, it is followed by nearly 3 pages of comments by various message board trolls, most of whom seem to have a passion for Liefeld-related art. Read it here if you want your frustration and bitterness at fandom to be refreshed and renewed.

I think they're nuts. Dalrymple's art, and the colored piece, look dreamy.

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Saturday, May 07, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/07/2005 11:08:00 AM :


Funniest webcomics ever

Found this site via boingboing. It's one of the funniest comics I've ever read, not to mention incredibly clever. So go check out The Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch right now.

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Friday, May 06, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/06/2005 03:40:00 PM :


Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day

I'm sure most of you already knew this. Check out the Free Comic Book Day website for more info.

For those of you in Columbus, The Laughing Ogre will be holding the event from noon till 5 PM.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/06/2005 02:14:00 PM :


Let the excuses begin...

Kinda funny how Newsarama has an article and a press release come out around the same time where various parties try to explain the reason for their late books.

First up is Alias Enterprises' Executive Director, Mike S. Miller, to explain what happened to their plan to release 12 new titles in April. None came out.
"Newsarama: In simple terms, what happened? You were supposed to have 12 books ship in April, and none did. Where was the problem, and why wasn't it anticipated?

Mike S. Miller: I don’t want to play the blame game here, so I'm going to be honest and say that we did get a little overambitious. Not about the number of books we were launching or the quality of our titles, mind you – I'm talking about the deadlines we set for our studios and the time we allowed for our books to get from the printer into the distribution process.

With the shipping, for example, we miscalculated the amount of time needed to get the books not only from Korea - where we print - to Diamond's distribution center in California, but from California to Memphis and back again before the books can ship to stores....Also, the way we chose to print our first run of books required all of our titles to be in on time....Unfortunately, we had a couple of miscommunications and some of the books narrowly missed the deadline. Unfortunately, that meant none of our books were able to make it out in April as planned."
Ok, I can imagine how incredibly difficult it can be to coordinate so many different independent studios. I know it's a ton of work to get all the books scheduled to be released together. My question is: why? Why would you even put yourself in that position? Miller is not a rookie, nor is he new to publishing. He's been in the field as an artist for a long time, and has self-published high profile books as well. He should have known better. And launching twelve new titles in the same month? Mostly from unknown creators? In today's market? Give me a break, a 6 year old girl selling lemonade at her neighborhood streetcorner has a better business sense that these guys.

Next up is multimedia artist Adi Granov, explaining the reason for the long delay in his and Warren Ellis' new Iron Man series.
"I was never meant to do a monthly book, this was a very special case and a whole set of circumstances brought both Warren and I to this project. Warren has stated that he agreed to it in order to work with me, and I jumped at the opportunity to work with him. But as fate would have it the whole thing happened at the time when the whole Avengers relaunch was set in stone. Both Marvel and I had unreasonable hopes of me being able to paint 4 pages per week, and that was just never going to happen.

All delays are due to my art. I am not slow from the production standpoint but the fact is that I lay out, draw, paint and color everything in this book, I don't even use flats assistance like most colorists do. A standard comic book page takes, on average, 3 days to do only spread across the whole team, in my case I am the team."
First of all, much respect for a creator actually stepping up and taking the blame for their late product. But on the other hand, Adi should have known better than anyone that his style is very time consuming, and that he was kidding himself that he could do a monthly book. True professionalism is not just delivering high quality work, but also knowing your own limitations. And it's not like this is the first published work he's ever done, he should have known better.

But more so, I think the blame here should mostly sit on the shoulders of Marvel's editors. Ultimately, Marvel should have been the arbiter. I mean, their job, day in and day out, is dealing with creators, deadlines, and schedules. You're telling me not a single person in Marvel editorial raised the red flag, saying "Uh, are you guys high? You expect this kid to crank out 4 pages a week, all by himself?" My guess is, they knew damn well he'd be late. But hey, they have Warren Ellis' name on the book, and that whole bullshit "Marvel Young Guns" marketing hoopla, and wow, doesn't his art just look so pretty? So what if we'll miss all our deadlines? Fans have shown again and again that they don't care; they'll pick up late books (Ultimates, anyone?) So for Marvel, it's a win-win situation. They can solicit and promote a book they know will be delayed, with no fear of fan or retailer backlash. And in the end, they won't even have to take the real blame for it. Let the creator fall on his sword and take one for the team.

Pretty lame, really.

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  Posted by Tom on 5/06/2005 12:23:00 AM :


piece from Omega

:( Sorry to misreport Farel's good fortune. While Darymple is a great draftsman, his kung-fu in weblinks is weak. Initially when I checked his link out it was a post on the deal with Bogosian. It's not a gig with Bogosian , it's a project being penned by novelist Jonathan Lethem. I found out via his news page on livejournal today. Equally keen. I recommend checking out his journal page regularly- he often posts sketches, pages, and other stuff.

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Thursday, May 05, 2005
  Posted by Tony on 5/05/2005 12:01:00 PM :


Super Fashion Police

MSN has an item on costume design in superhero movies this afternoon.


The 1989 Batman costume gets a C, on account of the sculpted muscles.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/05/2005 10:36:00 AM :


Kyle Baker interview

Over at the Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon has posted a fantastic interview with Kyle Baker, conducted by Andrew Farago. It's lengthy, comprehensive, and full of all sorts of interesting insights. A few snippets:
"On kids and comics:

FARAGO: She's [10 year old niece] a huge Catwoman fan, but I don't know about giving her the new Catwoman --

BAKER: The one dressed like a whore? Yeah. What the hell's a five-year-old girl supposed to do? Buy Power Rangers. And that's how you lose your fanbase. When you make Wonder Woman a book that appeals to grown men, what the hell are you doing? Supergirl, same thing. I keep looking up Supergirl's skirt. I shouldn't know about Supergirl's panties, I really shouldn't. But I do. And so do you. What's that about?

On doing Birth of a Nation for Random House:

BAKER: And Random House wanted this bizarre format -- this is pretty funny, actually. Random House wanted each panel saved to a separate file...And then they wanted it high-resolution, like 600 dpi [dots per inch], and I said, "There's no way you need 600 dpi. It's going to take me five minutes to open and ten minutes to close, to save an image that large, because it's a four-color image, and you're adding a month to my time!" [laughs]

On comics just being targeted to the existing core audience:

BAKER: You know something else that's a big gimmick now? It's that a character will be drawn in a different style. I saw Planetary, where Batman was drawn in the Neal Adams style, and the Frank Miller style, and that's supposed to be entertainment, in and of itself. I think he did a good imitation of those styles, by the way, but it's just that kind of "inside" crap.

On self publishing:

BAKER: Nat Turner, I'm pretty sure, just based on the track record of my Captain America book, and based on the sales of Birth of a Nation in the comic-book stores -- I can pretty much tell you that's not where the Nat Turner buyers are gonna be hanging out. We'll probably sell a couple of thousand in the comic-book stores, but I'm guessing we'll sell 100,000 in black colleges. [laughs] That's the nice thing about self-publishing, to have that kind of freedom."
I have to say, though, that I find myself disagreeing with one of his views. On the one hand, he feels that all artists have to change and reinvent themselves to stay relevant and popular. But on the other hand, he thinks superhero comics should not have changed at all; that the archetype of the noble hero and evil villain should have remained the same, without trying to inject frail human qualities into the heroes or sympathetic moral issues into the villains. I know there's a lot of arguements for both sides, but I can't imagine characters like Superman and Batman still being around and relevant if the approach to their storytelling hadn't changed with the times.

(link via Progressive Ruin)

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/04/2005 09:31:00 AM :


Old school Stan Lee dialogue

Over at the BeaucoupKevin blog, "Someone got Silvermane a thesarus for Christmas!" Check out the rest of the blog, too. It's one of my regular reads.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005
  Posted by Tom on 5/03/2005 06:25:00 PM :


Xeric winners were recently announced. These lucky bastards include Michael LaRiccia (Black Mane) ,Debbie Huey (Bumper Boy Loses His Marbles) , Jesse Moynihan (The Backwards Folding Mirror) , Jeff Lemire (Lost Dogs) , Emily Benz & Summer McClinton (Thread), Alex Cahill (Something So Familiar) , Zack Gardner (Fauna). The next deadline for consideration are July 31st and September 1st. I think I'm going to try for it again. My 'super' plot to cycle my freelance money into my self publishing isn't working out that well. (i.e. my hopes were dashed with the checks I've been getting from NDT.) Last time I submitted a grant proposal it was thrown out on a technicality. Anyone can submit as many times as they want as long as the intent's to self-publish.

++on a sadder note Tom Devlin pulled the plug on highwaterbooks.com. You can read Mr. Spurgeon's fine report here.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/03/2005 11:00:00 AM :


No relation to Andy Bennett (I think)

Check out these nifty robot sculptures, by artist Gordon Bennett. They are made from found objects, and range in price from $400 to $1200.

(via boingboing)

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  Posted by Tony on 5/03/2005 09:50:00 AM :


Didn’t Judge Dredd have one of these?

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed-Martin Corp. are testing an ammunition round that can be programmed as it comes out of the barrel.

The AHEAD round was designed to work with Lockheed Martin’s experimental ship-based “Millennium Gun.” AHEAD stands for Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction, naturally.

“Creating a ‘wall of lead,’ the Millennium Gun fires 35-mm ammunition, including the advanced AHEAD round, at 1,000 rounds per minute. Each AHEAD round disperses 152 metal subprojectiles. Forming a cone-shaped pattern, the subprojectiles destroy a target's control surfaces, seeker and other vital equipment components as a target moves through the wall of lead. The gun's muzzle brake programs each AHEAD round as it exits the barrel, setting distance and subprojectile dispersal pattern.”

Lockheed Martin and the Navy recently completed two weeks of initial testing on the Millennium Gun, the company said in a press release May 2.

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Monday, May 02, 2005
  Posted by Dara on 5/02/2005 05:21:00 PM :



Wow, just this past weekend at our Panel meeting, we were discussing old (and obscure) Marvel characters and "servicing" copyrights. Then today Newsarama reveals that novelist Jonathan Lethem will be doing an Omega the Unknown revamp over at Marvel.
"His Fortress of Solitude and short stories have been peppered with comic book references from the 1970s, and now, novelist Jonathan Lethem will get to take them on for real, and be the latest novelist to give comics a go. According to a brief note in this week’s Time Magazine, Lethem will revive Omega the Unknown for Marvel in 2006.

'Marvel dared me to put my love on the line,' Lethem told Time adding that the character is 'kind of a meta-superhero…[a] bewildered visitor to the Planet Earth'"
Omega the Unknown? Good lord, could he have possibly picked a more obscure character?

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  Posted by Tony on 5/02/2005 03:02:00 PM :



A large percentage of the pedophiles arrested by the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit are Star Trek fans.

This comes to us from the L.A. Times, which did a story on a unit that tracks down pedophiles on the Internet:


“Det. Constable Warren Bulmer slips on a Klingon sash and shield they confiscated in a recent raid. ‘It has something to do with a fantasy world where mutants and monsters have power and where the usual rules don't apply,’ Bulmer reflects. ‘But beyond that, I can't really explain it.’”

Apparently the Times initially quoted a detective as saying “all but one” sex offender from the last four years has been a Trekkie. That quote’s a joke, a skeptical blogger found out, but the Toronto police confirmed there’s some truth in it.

“Paraphrasing his answer, he said, while there was sometimes other science fiction and fantasy paraphenalia, Star Trek was the most consistent and when he referred to a majority of the arrestees being Star Trek fans, it was Star Trek specific.”


I did have a funny headline on this one, but it seemed inappropriate.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/02/2005 12:49:00 PM :


A sign of things to come

Comic book movies currently in production. Fantastic Four. Superman. Ghost Rider.

Some will suck. Some won't. Though my bet is mostly on the former.

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