Welcome to the weblog of the writers and artists of Ferret Press (a publisher of fine comix) and PANEL (a Columbus, Ohio comic creators collaborative.) Here you will find our musings on comics, art, the creative process, politics, the web, and life.

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Read Dara's free webcomic @ Komikwerks.com

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

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Friday, September 30, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/30/2005 02:14:00 PM :

      

You kids like General Zod?

See what he's been up to since the Superman movie. Courtesy of the ever-funny Jason Yungbluth over at Deep Fried.


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  Posted by Dara on 9/30/2005 10:20:00 AM :

      

All-Star Superman

Newsarama has an 8 page preview of Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly's All-Star Superman #1. Not a huge fan of the character or the writer, but I just may check this out.



Looks like they're using "digital inking" on this project, as opposed to traditional inking. Hmmmm, interesting.


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Wednesday, September 28, 2005
 
  Posted by Tony on 9/28/2005 09:23:00 AM :

      

George who? Revenge of the what?

Caught a sneak preview of "Serenity" last night ... all I can say is "wow." Joss Whedon pulled out all the stops on this one -- you could tell he expects never to be able to make another one.

You may quibble about certain things. Inara was criminally underutilized. You might think there's too much humor, or the shocks may be too shocking. But the bottom line is this: "Eff George Lucas and his stupid effing beard."

Burn the land, boil the sea.


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Tuesday, September 27, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/27/2005 10:17:00 AM :

      

Gaiman roundtable

Newsarama has the transcript of a roundtable discussion with Neil Gaiman, wherein he talks about MirrorMask, writing, and other topics.
"People say, 'Were you a geek or a nerd when you were at school?' I said, 'Well, neither. I went to school in England. We didn't have those kinds of divisions then.'"
And this about working with the man himself, Bill Sienkiewicz:
"Johnson: I wanted to ask you about writing the movie. I read another interview that when you worked Endless Nights for Bill Sienkiewicz and what you got back from him in terms of artwork was not at all what you had written and I wanted to know if that was analogous to working on a movie?

Gaiman: Bill is just Bill. Bill is a force of nature. Working with Bill, I wrote a script as loose as I could possibly make it figuring that whatever I gave Bill he would do something else, and he did something even elser. At that point, as the writer, I took these 20 pages that Bill had given me and reordered them and rewrote them and written the story based on what Bill had given me. "


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Monday, September 26, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/26/2005 09:19:00 AM :

      

Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Another week, another episode of Guess the Artist, where we look at a piece of artwork from the early career of some of today's big name comic book artists. As always, use the comments section to share your guess.



(click image to magnificate)

(previous weeks: 9/12/2005, 9/19/2005)

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005
 
  Posted by Matt Kish on 9/20/2005 07:01:00 PM :

      

Give it away now...

Hey everyone. Since Ione and I will be moving to Dayton much much more quickly than we had initially anticipated (by November 1st now), we have to get rid of a lot of stuff. On my site I've put up a page with a bunch of the art prints and gig posters I'm giving away. Go to www.spudd64.com and you'll see a news update entitled "Free Stuff For Y'all" with a link. Click on that link and you'll find the page and more information. Please help me get rid of some of this stuff and I'll be deeply appreciative.


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  Posted by Dara on 9/20/2005 03:16:00 PM :

      

Hey Kids, Boobies...er, Comics!

DC's December solicitations are out, and it's time once again to do the boobies cover roundup.

Let me tell you, folks, it's disappointing. This feature was a heck of a lot more fun last month. Anyway, on with the show:

Squished Metalic Boobies
Endless Expanse of Outer Space Boobies

And, um, that's pretty much it. Bummer, I know. Unless you're into No Boobies, or Man Boobies. Even the A in T&A gets the (sorry) bum's rush with a sub-par offering.

On the other hand, there are some great covers to make up for the lack of fanboy-pleasing mammaries.


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  Posted by Dara on 9/20/2005 10:45:00 AM :

      

Alan Moore knows the score

Courtesy of 4ColorHeroes.com ("dedicated entirely to the works of Alan Moore,") here's a look at his script for Batman: The Killing Joke. Well, the first 12 pages anyway.

And let me just say, my sympathies go out to all those artists who have worked with Mr. Moore. The man is a genius when it comes to writing comics, but my god does he write a lot! Just look at some of those panel descriptions, they're over a page long.

(via FanboyRampage)


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Monday, September 19, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/19/2005 03:02:00 PM :

      

Les 4 Fantastiques

ComicBookResources has a first look at the character designs for the new Fantastic Four animated series, set to debut here next year. French company Antefilms Productions is producing the 26 half-hour episodes.

I've never been a fan of the FF, and the anime-influenced look doesn't do much for me (Mr. Fantastic looks way too young,) but I do like this version of The Thing.


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Sunday, September 18, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/18/2005 04:08:00 PM :

      

Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Welcome back to the second episode of our new weekly feature, where we look at a piece of artwork from the early career of some of today's big name comic book artists. Per Matt's suggestion, I'm trying one that will hopefully be a bit harder than last week's page (although it'll probably still be too easy for Andy "Walking Encyclopedia" Bennett.)

As always, use the comments section to share your guess.



(click image to super-duper size)

(previous week: 9/12/2005)

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Saturday, September 17, 2005
 
  Posted by Andy Bennett on 9/17/2005 06:28:00 PM :

      


Your literary moment of the day

Put a few minutes aside to take in the works curated by Steven Gettis at his online gallery devoted to Artistic Interpretations of Literary Figures. The concept is simple enough - give a bunch of illustrators carte blanche to portray their favorite authors or characters; stand back and watch the fun; rinse; repeat. The range of talent is staggering, from masters like Will Eisner and Alex Toth, to underground guerrilla artists like John Greiner and Dave Crosland; hard-core comic book illustrators like John Buscema and Jim Aparo, to fine artists like James Jean (pictured), Dave McKean, and John J. Muth. And there's even one by yours truly...

Enjoy!


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Friday, September 16, 2005
 
  Posted by Tony on 9/16/2005 02:15:00 PM :

      

A man walks into a talent agent's office ...

A full rundown on the Bush family act:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/cargoweasel/316274.html


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  Posted by Dara on 9/16/2005 11:49:00 AM :

      

Review-o-rama!

Several reviews and interviews to let you know about:



On his blog devoted to small press comics, Size Matters, Shawn Hoke reviews Panel: Home. I wouldn't call it a glowing review, but he did like quite a few of the stories and thought the overall book had "a pretty snazzy package."



Over at Broken Frontier, Sam Moyerman reviews Panel: Myth. Although there were things in the book that didn't quite work for him, he does give a generally positive review for the entire package:
"In the end, Panel #5: Myth is the perfect example of small press books. It contains some really good work by the creators, and somehow even the shortcomings have their own sense of charm. If you’re interested in reading books by people who love and study the comic book medium, check this book out."
Oh, and he describes Matt Kish's story as "visual poetry," which I quite like.

Sam also pulls double duty, doing an interview with yours truly about Ferret Press and Panel. You can read the interview here.

Panel and the Ferret, taking over your comicsverse one website at a time!


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Thursday, September 15, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/15/2005 02:31:00 PM :

      

In-depth journalism

Another bold, thought-provoking, investigative article on the world of comic books, courtesy of The Telegraph. Thrill to the controversial, radical claims of the author:

Lemons are sour.

Kittens are cute.

Pamela Anderson has fake boobs.

Comics aren't just for kids anymore.

Amazing! Who knew?

(via Progressive Ruin)


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  Posted by Dara on 9/15/2005 11:29:00 AM :

      

Your political moment of the day

"U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations..." What a great photo!


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Wednesday, September 14, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/14/2005 11:10:00 AM :

      

PANEL: Myth

I finally got a chance to update the main site and put PANEL: Myth up there, including preview pages from each of the six stories. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the 5th volume of our small press anthology and features a very cool double tear-off cover with alternate reinterpretations of Andy Bennett's main cover illustration. If you likes what you sees, please spread the word.




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  Posted by Dara on 9/14/2005 09:25:00 AM :

      

Keron Grant: Son of Vulcan

Columbus' own Keron Grant gets the spotlight over at The Pulse in an article about his new 6-issue limited series at DC, Son of Vulcan. This time he's pencilling and inking.

"'Throughout my career in comics, I was always told my stuff is too stylized for mainstream comics,' Grant said. 'When you work on established characters, you have to deal with a lot of status quo - which is always a bit binding. So when Tom offered me this project, I jumped at the chance.'"
I also like how he gets in a little dig at the New Mutants books he started doing for Marvel a couple years ago...
"Grant said SoV was different from some of his other recent penciling gigs. 'It's new,' he said. 'It's not a bunch of girls standing around talking. It has reasonable deadlines. I've got a great editor. I've got freedom to explore and push my work. I don't have to draw splash pages of people hugging.'"


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Tuesday, September 13, 2005
 
  Posted by Tony on 9/13/2005 04:25:00 PM :

      

Reading at Risk

The horror stories are true: Reading really is getting more rare in this country.

Around 46.7 percent of Americans reported reading literature in 2002, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, down from 54 percent in 1992 and 56.9 percent in 1982.

Chris Bohjalian reported this depressing statistic at his Thurber House talk last night.

“You people are like medeival monks, carrying on a dying art form,” he told the Thurber House crowd.

The study defined literary readers as those who read a novel, short story, play or poem within the last year. Those who were forced to read for school weren’t counted. The study didn’t attempt to distinguish between serious literature and escapist fiction.

Women are more avid readers than men -- 55.1 percent of women reported exposure to literature in 2002, compared with 37.6 percent of men.

The West was the most well-read region, followed by the Northeast, Midwest and South. Around 46.7 percent of Midwesterners reported literature-reading in 2002.

Breaking the Midwest down further, some 45.5 percent of residents in the East North Central region, which includes Ohio, reported some exposure to literature over the previous year.

Only 7.1 percent of adults (or 15 million people) indicated that they did any kind of creative writing during 2002. That was a slight increase over 7.4 percent in 1992 and 7 percent in 1982.

Interestingly, creative writing does not vary among income levels or racial backgrounds -- poor blacks are just as likely to pick up a pen as rich whites. Creative writing is more common among people under 25, however.

The survey, “Reading At Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America,” came out in June 2004. It’s available at http://www.arts.gov/pub/index.php


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  Posted by Tony on 9/13/2005 03:03:00 PM :

      

250!

Chris Bohjalian received 250 rejection slips before he sold his first short story.

In college, he submitted a short story to a famous female writer for review. Her three word review: “Be a banker.”

But Bohjalian stuck with it, and last night he was the Thurber House’s featured speaker. Bohjalian is the author of nine novels, including “Midwives,” a best-seller and Oprah’s Book Club selection. His novel “Past the Bleachers” was turned into a TV movie, which he said was better than the book.

“That’s why I keep it out of print,” he said. “When the TV movie is better than the book, you keep it out of print.”

Bohjalian worked in advertising during his long, slow climb to fame, and his marketing background was in full effect last night. He hosted a dinner for book groups before the reading. After the reading, he made a point of signing the first book right in front of everyone.

He directed everyone to his Web site, http://www.chrisbohjalian.com/, which I’ve only seen one other author do. But he went one step further: He invited everyone to the section on his Web site where you can submit a question. He insists he answers them. He also will appear at book club meetings via conference call.

The section he read from his new book, “Before You Know Kindness,” wasn’t bad. But his professionalism was excellent.


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  Posted by Andy Bennett on 9/13/2005 09:30:00 AM :

      


SPX announcements aplenty



The SPX homepage announced this week that Ohio's favorite son, Harvey Pekar, will be the guest of honor at this year's Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland on September 23-24. Some of you know Harvey from his excellent comix series, American Splendor; others may know him from the film of the same name. Regardless, it's nice to see Harv getting his due; he's practically a living legend.

Also over on Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter, you can find a list of this year's IGNATZ Award nominees.


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  Posted by Dara on 9/13/2005 05:18:00 AM :

      

Creator personalities vs. creator works

Since I'm doing the 4 AM work thing again, waiting on some hideously long database update to finish, I'm catching up on some blog reading. And over on Cognitive Dissonance, Johanna has a brief post on Warren Ellis, namely his whole "Grumpy Old Bastard" public persona. One of her readers comments:
"Ellis has always been like this and he has his devoted fanbase. Myself, I got to the point where the persona got in the way of the story for me, so it's mostly an uphill battle to get me to buy anything he's written, particularly if its superheroes (how many last superhero projects has he had? how many times has he done a cynical JLA homage?)"
Which bring up my question to you guys: does a creator's public persona (whether real or perceived) ever make or break the deal for you when it comes to buying their work? Aside from Ellis, John Byrne seems to be another creator who falls into this category. He has a strong core fanbase, as well as a huge group of detractors, and it seems that each camp has arrived at their destination based more on his opinionated public comments rather than his talent.

I think I do have a tendency to stay away from certain creators who come across as too pretentious or holier-than-thou, regardless of the quality of their work. But not too often, and frankly, I can't think of any good examples off the top of my head. Maybe Grant Morrison, especially when he starts into all that Magik crap (though oddly enough, I have no problem with Alan Moore's crazy-ass occult beliefs...) But for the most part it's easy enough for me to separate the ego from the work. For instance, I still dig the hell out of Planetary, even though I too am sick of Warren's "edgy bastard" online presence.

How about you guys?


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  Posted by Dara on 9/13/2005 04:58:00 AM :

      

No love for Comic Sans

The great thing about the Internets is that anyone with an agenda and a few bucks to register a domain name and host it can start their own little grassroots movement. Hence: BanComicSans.com - Putting the Sans in Comic Sans
"In 1995 Microsoft released the font Comic Sans originally designed for comic book style talk bubbles containing informational help text. Since that time the typeface has been used in countless contexts from restaurant signage to college exams to medical information. These widespread abuses of printed type threaten to erode the very foundations upon which centuries of typographic history are built."
Be sure to check out their Statistics page for some dire predictions on the future usage of Comic Sans.


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Monday, September 12, 2005
 
  Posted by Tony on 9/12/2005 09:39:00 AM :

      

Sex and the Cowtown

Candace Bushnell, author of "Sex and the City", will speak in Columbus 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the King Arts Complex, 867 Mt. Vernon Ave. The event is hosted by the Thurber House. Tickets are $18, or $10 with a valid student ID. Check out http://www.thurberhouse.org/events/special.html for more info.


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Sunday, September 11, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/11/2005 10:49:00 PM :

      

Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Welcome to a new (hopefully) weekly feature here on the mighty Ferret blog: Guess the Artist. Having enjoyed BeaucoupKevin's Genius Covers Sunday installments, as well as (postmodernbarney)'s Subtext? What Subtext? features, I've decided to try my hand at some fun scans in an effort to give back to the comics blogosphere.

So each Monday, we'll look at a piece of artwork from the early career of some of today's big name comic book artists. Thrill to their humble beginnings, gasp at their amateur mistakes, and wonder at their generic style. So without further ado, check out today's page and use the comments section to...Guess the Artist!



(click image to huge-ify)

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Saturday, September 10, 2005
 
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 9/10/2005 04:44:00 PM :

      

Graphic Novel Writing Seminar
826NYC (the location of the Superhero Supply Company) is hosting a writing seminar on graphic novels next week (in NYC and for $50). Moderated by Chip Kidd, panelists include Art Spiegelman, Kim Deitch, Jessica Abel, and PJ Mark.

Also of interest might be their upcoming seminars on nonfiction, playwriting, starting a magazine, and humor writing (with guys from The Onion).


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Friday, September 09, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/09/2005 11:39:00 AM :

      

SPX finally gets around...

...to making the official announcement about this year's SPX anthology book.


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Thursday, September 08, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/08/2005 11:16:00 PM :

      

Your political moment of the day

Courtesy of my main squeeze, a video clip of "Dick" Cheney getting a taste of his own medicine on live TV. Put a smile on my face, it did.


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 9/08/2005 09:23:00 PM :

      

News and Notes
The Fantagraphics blog discusses an underground comics event and exhibition at the Cincinnati Library.

The New York Times is going to be running an original Chris Ware serialized graphic novel in their weekly magazine according to the Beat.


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  Posted by Dara on 9/08/2005 12:54:00 PM :

      

The Onion and Katrina

Leave it to The Onion to tell it like it is...

"Bush: 'It Has Been Brought To My Attention That There Was Recently A Bad Storm'"
"God Outdoes Terrorists Yet Again"
"White Foragers Report Threat Of Black Looters"
"Nation's Politicians Applaud Great Job They're Doing"
"Louisiana National Guard Offers Help By Phone From Iraq"
"Area Man Drives Food There His Goddamned Self"


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Wednesday, September 07, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/07/2005 01:10:00 PM :

      

Mike Mignola's other property

The Comics Continuum has a first look at a design for the animated series based on Mike Mignola's The Amazing Screw-on Head.
"Paul Giamitti, who starred in American Splendor, is proving the voice for Screw-On Head, a secret agent working for the U.S. government and a robot that screws his head onto a wide variety of bodies.

In the pilot, Screw-On Head faces off against his arch nemesis and former manservant, Emperor Zombie, voiced by David Hyde Pierce. Molly Shannon plays Screw's love interest, Patience the Vampire. Rounding out the cast are Patton Oswalt as Mr. Groin, Screw's faithful manservant, and Mindy Sterling, who plays the dual roles of zombie henchwomen Aggie and Geraldine."
(larger image at the link above)


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  Posted by Tony on 9/07/2005 01:07:00 PM :

      

Marvel to finance own comic-based films

As reported by Bizzle Fizzle Los Angeles, Marvel Enterprises Inc. took out a $525 million line of credit to finance up to 10 comic book movies. Characters cited include Captain America, Black Panther, Dr. Strange and Hawkeye. Each film will have a budget of up to $165 million and a rating no more restrictive than PG-13. To reflect its expansion, Marvel Enterprises (NYSE:MVL) will change its name to Marvel Entertainment Inc.

I'd love to see a good Captain America movie, and Black Panther could potentially be awesome. I'd like to be a fly on the wall for the meeting where they pitch a Hawkeye movie, though.


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  Posted by Dara on 9/07/2005 09:40:00 AM :

      

Double Cross at the Double Down

My latest storyline for the webcomic I do over at Movie Poop Shoot just finished last week. It's called Double Cross at the Double Down, and it's a little crime story about...well, the title is pretty self-explanatory. The artwork was provided by the talented mpMann, changing up his usual style and going for more of a Euro-noir look.

Also, aside from working with Andy on the myth story for Panel, this is the only other time I've worked in the old "Marvel style," i.e. I sent mpMann a plot outline from which he drew the story, and then I went back in and scripted it.

I'd like to hear what you thought of it. Good, bad, or otherwise. You can access all 8 parts at the Lifelike archives.



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Tuesday, September 06, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/06/2005 02:50:00 PM :

      

Inked it with his what?

Ladies and gentlemen, Erik Larsen on Frank Miller:
"There are certain artists that I understand are quite good, but who have shown me all their tricks and I just don't see anything there that interests me. And then there are guys out there who keep stretching and moving and changing. I love it that Frank Miller keeps trying out new styles and sometimes it's as ugly as all hell and it looks as though he inked it with his cock and sometimes it's cartoony and often it's amazing and it's seldom the same. It's seldom predictable."
The above was taken from Erik's column on the topic of "Your old stuff was better."


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Saturday, September 03, 2005
 
  Posted by Tom on 9/03/2005 08:42:00 PM :

      

New Sunday page up at the OC.C!

I'm kicking off a new Sundays page up on my site. The inaugeral strip is one the fellas have seen- my rejected S.P.X. submission. Reformated for the web. I'm still mulling over the graphics right now so it's pretty basic. For anyone that's bought my mini's, it's the first new Satanic Paper Boy strip in quite a while. Enjoy.



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Friday, September 02, 2005
 
  Posted by Dara on 9/02/2005 02:36:00 PM :

      

First hand accounts of the chaos in New Orleans

Found this site via boingboing: The Interdictor
"Someone is blogging inside New Orleans whilst camped up on the 10th floor of a highrise in a data center. There's a webcam feed out onto the street below as well as accounts of looting and police movements within the city..."


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Thursday, September 01, 2005
 
  Posted by Tom on 9/01/2005 07:25:00 PM :

      


Good magazine. Poopy message board.. it's Punk Planet.
New issue sports an interview with Daniel Clowes! I just picked this issue up today. They also sport a comics review section now as well for those who care.


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  Posted by Dara on 9/01/2005 12:17:00 PM :

      

CBG 5-year anniversary

No, the other CBG: Comic Book Galaxy website.
"Five Years of the Galaxy Giveaway -- Today, September 1st, 2005 marks the Five-Year Anniversary of Comic Book Galaxy -- five years of pushing comics forward with passion and a focus on diversity. To celebrate Five Years of The Galaxy, a number of great publishers are joining us to give you a chance to win some terrific comics and graphic novels!"
Go here for details on how to enter.

And hey, who's that publisher right after Fantagraphics?


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  Posted by Dara on 9/01/2005 09:20:00 AM :

      

Hurricane Katrina Relief

Google has a great news summary page here.

Some ways you can help:

Relief International
Mercy Corps
American Red Cross
Network for Good
Habitat for Humanity


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