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

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/28/2006 03:22:00 PM :

      

RIP Andreas Katsulas

I missed this obituary from last week. Andreas Katsulas, who did an amazing job of playing the character G'Kar on Babylon 5, died Feb. 13 of lung cancer. He also had the role of the one-armed man in The Fugitive movie.

The chemistry between him and actor Peter Jurasik (who played Londo Mollari on Babylon 5) was great, and the personal story arcs of those characters was the major high point of the series for me.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/28/2006 12:57:00 PM :

      

It's time to get this show on the road!

In case you missed it on the Ferret Press home page, here's the list of shows we'll be appearing at in early 2006:

  • March 5 - Buckeye Comic Con, Columbus, Ohio. A small comic dealers show, admission is only $3.
  • April 2 - Gem City Comic Con, Dayton, Ohio. Guests include Paul Gulacy, Frank Brunner, and Dan Davis. Admission is $3.
  • May 13 - S.P.A.C.E., Columbus, Ohio. Columbus' own Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo! Dave Sim and Gerhard will be attending, plus hundreds of other guest!



Friends of the Ferret Chad Lambert (Possum at Large) and Ray Scott (Twisted Gate Entertainment) will also be appearing at some of these shows, so be sure to check the guest lists.


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  Posted by Tony on 2/28/2006 08:59:00 AM :

      

Comic Book Mogul

Friend-of-Panel Sean McKeever has launched “Comic Book Mogul,” an online game where you can simulate being a comic book publisher. Here’s some love from his introduction:



Have you ever wanted to run your own comics company? You think you have what it takes? Here's your chance to show them all.

Comicbook Mogul is an online publishing business simulator where players develop and maintain their own line of comics and compete with one another for market share, talent, awards and bragging rights.

The game (launched Feb. 28), with every game month lasting 2 days in real time. The pace of the game is designed so that your involvement does not have to be time intensive. You don't even necessarily have to stop by daily.



To play, hit up http://www.seanmckeever.com and sign up.


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Monday, February 27, 2006
 
  Posted by T.McClurg on 2/27/2006 10:05:00 PM :

      

Panel Assemble 4: The Shining of the Turd

Hey kids...here's my addition to this little adventure. Enjoy.





I tag Craiggers...Ummm, Craig Bogart that is.


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 2/27/2006 01:46:00 PM :

      

Winter Olympics 2014
Weren't able to get to Turino (or Turin) for this month's Winter Olympics. Not exactly high on the thought of going to Vancouver for the 2010 games. Well start saving your credits now for the 2014 Winter Olympics which, if all the bribes go through, will be held far, far away on your favorite ice planet, Hoth.


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  Posted by Craig on 2/27/2006 10:48:00 AM :

      


Desert Island Comics, pt. 4

Continuing my countdown of the ten comics I want with me if I'm ever stranded on a desert isle...

The second Superman/Spider-Man crossover featuring the Parasite and Doctor Doom would have made this list, but I have a self-imposed rule that only single issue comics from my collection will be featured, not trade paperbacks. As I no longer have the original treasury edition I purchased in my youth, but rather the Crossover Classics compilation, that excellent tale was vetoed. A different crossover featuring the work of John Buscema does make the list, however. There was a time that these crossovers occurred so infrequently that they really were big events to get excited about; from the 70’s to the mid-90’s, I can recall only four that were published before an Avengers/JLA meeting was derailed for several years. From the dread 90’s to the present day, however, they have been coming out with such alarming frequency and featuring pairings less and less logical that only a handful have been memorable. Ironically (or not), the most noteworthy of these is the very issue that kicked off the wave of inter-company collaborations, certainly the most joyously illogical paring of all:

#7: The Punisher Meets Archie

This is all the grim n’ gritty you’ll find in my long boxes...

Perhaps the powers-that-be at Marvel realized that the Punisher’s fifteen minutes were about over when the idea for this project came up. Whatever the reason, it was refreshing to see they were willing to poke a finger in the collective eye of the portion of their fan base least likely to be able to take a joke: the lunatics who kept the most uninteresting character ever to sustain multiple titles alive. This one-dimensional character should never have grown beyond occasional guest star status in Spider-Man, but for some reason he nearly elbowed mutants of the comic shelves for a few years. Garth Ennis figured out that the only way to make him entertaining was to surround him with incredibly bizarre characters, but this particular comic proves that Supernatural Law (another favorite!) writer Batton Lash beat him to the punch half a decade previously.

The artists make no attempt to blend their two disparate styles, creating some incredibly strange visuals as John Buscema’s brooding Punisher frequently occupies the same panel as Stan Goldberg’s gang of innocent kids. Stare at some of the pages too long and you’ll get a headache trying to assimilate the visuals. It’s truly wonderful to behold.

The Punisher follows the trail of a drug kingpin to the small suburban town of Riverdale where he encounters Archie Andrews, who is involved with a different branch of the same case. A misunderstanding leads to a conflict between the two; after battling to a standstill, they realize they are on the same side and pool their considerable resources against their antagonist...

No, really, that’s what happens.

A mobster known as “Red Fever” who bears a striking resemblance to Archie Andrews arrives in Riverdale. Posing as the head of a pharmaceutical company, he attempts to strike up a business deal with the head of Lodge Enterprises. Lodge’s daughter Veronica, angry from an earlier mishap with Archie, decides to make the boy jealous by inviting his double to the 1950’s themed dance at the high school. Meanwhile, Archie is mistaken for his double by both the Punisher and a group of hitmen stalking the criminal. The hitmen grab Archie and his pal Jughead, taking them away in their car until the Punisher and his lame sidekick “Micro Chip” come barreling in. A scene which surely humiliated Punisher fans everywhere follows, in which Archie and Jughead outfox the vigilante and escape.

At the dance, while Red Fever puts the moves on Veronica, a roadie for the band playing the dance recognizes him and phones his underworld contacts, hoping for a reward. Archie, meanwhile, learns of Veronica’s date and Jughead leaps to the second obvious conclusion: “We’ve got to warn this guy in case the Punisher goes after him thinking he’s you, Archie!” The pair meets Betty Cooper and Reggie on their way into the dance, and the quartet begins searching for their sometimes-friend.

Following the group of hitmen who were tipped off by the roadie, the Punisher slips into a darkened part of the school on his way to the gymnasium. An eerie page shows his ominous figure in the darkened hallways of the school, a murderer walking through a deserted playground. He pauses to reflect on graffiti etched into a locker: “BC + AA”. In that single panel, the gulf separating the two protagonists can be felt yawning between them. Marvel had thirty-seven different Punisher books going at one time or another, and the best moment of characterization ever for the character comes in a crossover with Archie comics. Sigh…

A gunfight breaks out at the dance, Veronica gets kidnapped, and we witness entry #00001 in “Archie’s War Journal.” The whole gang rescues Veronica, and the final image of the Punisher shows him wearing a Riverdale sweater as he climbs into the so-called Battle Van. Priceless. Archie brags, “Y’know, I’m grim n’ gritty, too!” to which Veronica responds, “Then you should take a bath!”

Take a look at the fabulous die cut cover (one of two versions!) and you’ll see that someone thought to boost sales by labeling the comic issue no. 1. I’ve been waiting for issue 2 all these years, but no luck so far. It will probably follow my dreamed-about Alfred/Jarvis team-up.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/27/2006 09:48:00 AM :

      

Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Small disclaimer on this week's page: it's not from the early career of the artist. It's actually fairly recent. But the rules are still the same: simply guess the artist. I'm sure this will be an easy page.

Also, I posted the answer to last week's page. It was Frank "The Tank" Miller. (special tip of the hat to Dave for coining that nickname.)



(click image to stranger-size)

(previous weeks: 9/12/2005, 9/19/2005, 9/26/2005, 10/3/2005, 10/10/2005, 10/17/2005, 10/24/2005, 10/31/2005, 11/1/2005, 11/2/2005, 11/3/2005, 11/4/2005, 11/5/2005, 11/6/2005, 11/7/2005, 11/14/2005, 11/21/2005, 11/28/2005, 12/5/2005, 12/12/2005, 12/19/2005, 12/26/2005, 1/2/2006, 1/9/2006, 1/16/2006, 1/23/2006, 1/30/2006, 2/06/2006, 2/13/2006, 2/20/2006)

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Sunday, February 26, 2006
 
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 2/26/2006 08:43:00 PM :

      

Sad News
A bunch of deaths affecting geeks and nerds the world over this weekend.

Darren McGavin, one of my favorite character actors, has died. He had been in ill-health for awhile and I kept meaning to write him a letter, but never got around to it. He played the dad in A Christmas Story, a truly classic character, and was Kolchak the Night Stalker in the TV show. Later he guest starred on Murphy Brown and the X-Files (which admittedly drew from Kolchak). However, my favorite performances of his was as the narrator in the audio books of John D. McDonald's Travis McGee novels. You can truly see how great of an actor a person is by how they read a novel. McGavin's readings are outstanding (as are the books if you like tough guy mysteries).

Octavia Butler, science fiction writer, best known for her book Kindred also passed away. I only read a couple of her books (and actually listened to the audio books), but they were good. She was one of the first African-American, female SF writers.

And probably the best known geek of all, Don Knotts, has also died. From Andy Griffith, through a number of Disney movies (Mr. Limpett, etc.) to the ultimate swinger, Mr. Furley, Knotts was never the cool guy, but always seemed more real than most celebrities.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/26/2006 05:35:00 PM :

      

AA Weekend Covers

Another installment of Awesome and Ass covers. And a pseudo-theme this week: green. Enjoy!

AWESOME

(click to enlarge)
Green Arrow #32 (January 2004) by Brian Bolland.

The various incarnations of the Green Arrow series have all had some fantastic covers, so I had a lot of choices. But man, this one is just so...wrong in all the right ways. First of all, it's by Brian E'ffing Bolland! The dude is the master of the tightly rendered, nearly photo realistic art. Love his stuff. And yes, you could argue that this cover is sexist, and has no place on a mainstream, non-adult comic. And I wouldn't much argue against it. But, it is damn eye catching. And the expression on young Green Arrow's (Connor?) face is priceless. I never read this series, but from what I've gathered, he's sort of an uptight, moral straight arrow (pardon the pun,) so in that context this cover is even funny. Not to mention the "I can't believe he got away with that" factor. Just follow the two protagonists line of sight...

ASS

(click to enlarge)
Green Lantern: Mosaic #8 (January 1993) by Cully Hamner.

Under different circumstances, and perhaps under the Vertigo imprint, this series could have been a truly groundbreaking and thought provoking comic. But unfortunately Mosaic had a lot going against it, from a writer who was nearing his burn-out and exodus from comics, to a talented artist who was nevertheless still very green (again with the puns!) So, the cover...yeah, wow. What a mess. What's up with the flat green platform, the headlight "glare", and Jon's enormous elephant arm? The whole thing is needlessly busy, with no clear sense of design.

(previous weeks: 12/3/2005, 12/11/2005, 12/17/2005, 12/25/2005, 1/7/2006, 1/15/2006, 1/22/2006, 1/29/2006, 2/5/2006, 2/12/2006, 2/19/2006)


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Saturday, February 25, 2006
 
  Posted by Tom on 2/25/2006 10:07:00 PM :

      

Here's a swipe from an upcoming collab with Chad (Lambert). This is for a strip that'll appear in Potlatch #5. Which will be debuting at S.P.A.C.E. Almost a month before it's actual release in June.


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  Posted by Tom on 2/25/2006 07:03:00 PM :

      


The metaclorians are not high on this one..

Traumatized by Dara's fan-fic posts here's one: While not a fan-fic pic, Matt 'I'm no Nerf Herder' Busch shot,wrote & produced a movie that references Star Wars ad-nauseum. Conjure is the name. How do I know this? Because Matt spammed four communities on livejournal plugging up my friends page. Daaah!! The equivilent of the obnoxious con booth that he's infamous for. Mercifully I haven't seen him at a Mid-Ohio in quite a while. This is a horror flick which Matt is upfront about but features him. Oiled up and ready for action with his 'Star Wars' illustrator costar (pic above). Not self referential enough? Well the hero in the movie is... a Star Wars licence illustrator. Oh no he didn't! Matt pinky-swears that all the Star Wars references were okayed by wave of Yoda's lightsaber. The trailer is slick but one gets a wiff of low budget. Well at least he's forgone the photo reference and made the leap to photo collage.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/25/2006 01:49:00 PM :

      

Panel Assemble! archives

Panel Assemble! is our new blog comic jam. If you've missed an episode, you can now get caught up in the archives. (Check out the small banner in the upper left pane of the blog.)



(Panel Assemble! banner by the ever-amazing Tom Williams)


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  Posted by Matt Kish on 2/25/2006 10:02:00 AM :

      

As they say on TCJ.com, "Hype"

There is an a pseudo announcement / request regarding issue #4 of my comic "Spudd 64" over on my site. It really is a little too long to include here, so if you have the time and the curiosity, just click here to check it out. And of course, you have my thanks.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/25/2006 08:43:00 AM :

      

For your weekend viewing pleasure...

Catwoman and Power Girl fan films. Watch at your own risk.



Um...nice boobs.


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Friday, February 24, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/24/2006 03:12:00 PM :

      

A message from Albert



Hey, what can I say, the dude's got brains and good taste. (You can make your own here.)

(via boingboing)


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Thursday, February 23, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/23/2006 12:16:00 PM :

      

What I Fear I'll See at the New York ComicCon This Saturday

Francesco Marciuliano, who writes the Sally Forth comic strip, lists his fears here. Nothing new to us comic geeks. What I liked more was his response to whether he's appearing as a guest, or just a fan:
"I'll just be wandering the floor with Carol and our friend Corey (he of "Barkeater Lake"). King Features saves the booth appearances for their big guns, like the creator of "Andy Capp" frozen in carbonite and propped up near the autograph table."
(via my coworker James)


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  Posted by Dara on 2/23/2006 10:00:00 AM :

      

Comics on your cell phone

Saw this in a press release on the PvP site:
"As part of their expanding line of comics content, GoComics, a leader in mobile entertainment announces "GoComics Books." Fans can now read comic books on their mobile phones in the original multi-panel format with a unique, downloadable comics reader application...Titles include the new “cosmic” superhero comic GØDLAND, the geek and gamer strip PvP, and the too hip, too weird, Too Much Coffee Man. Bundled into one monthly subscription package, all stories are published in an anthology format with new pages for each title added every day."
Huh, so Joe Casey and Tom Scioli's GØDLAND will be on your cell phone, eh? Who'd a' thunk it...seeing Jack Kirby on a mobile.

If you're curious, you can check out the interface for the GoComics mobile comic books reader here.


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Wednesday, February 22, 2006
 
  Posted by Andy Bennett on 2/22/2006 09:52:00 PM :

      

Panel Assemble! - part 3

At Long Last! Here's the latest chapter in the saga of Captain Shirtcock and the magic puppies. Hopefully it isn't a total let-down!

I tag...

TIM EFFING McCLURG!!!


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  Posted by Tom on 2/22/2006 07:15:00 PM :

      


Rodd Racer Go!!


Toby Cypress has some pretty new pages up on his blog from a work in progress entitled Rodd Racer. His works calls to mind both Pope's Smoke Navigator and Jordi Bernet's Torpedo. He's also collaborating with Brian Wood on the upcoming Tourist OGN from Image. The novel's set to come out in April.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/22/2006 11:19:00 AM :

      


A Scanner Darkly trailer

Over at Apple's site, you can watch the trailers for Richard Linklater's new movie, A Scanner Darkly. It's an adaptation of the Philip K. Dick story, and is done in the same rotoscoping style as Linklater's Waking Life. The movie stars Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Wynona Ryder. The visuals are gorgeous. The acting looks to be pretty solid as well.

Quicktime trailer here.

Official movie site here.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/21/2006 11:12:00 PM :

      

Yo Andy!

Where's the next installment in the Panel Assemble! story? The readers demand satisfaction.


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  Posted by Tom on 2/21/2006 09:58:00 PM :

      

I was in rare Geek mode today..

and rented the Avengers video. So you wouldn't have to.. no I actually wanted to see it. The clip I caught off of some comic site hooked me. So I bit. Avengers was always a flawed 'What if' story for me: What if all the Marvel superheroes formed a supergroup? Well it would be a trainwreck. God help anyone that tries to tie it altogether. The dialogue and voiceovers weren't that great. They seemed to blow their whole animation budget on the action scenes which are the only things that sing in this direct-to-dvd. And the Hulk fight scenes will truly give that 5 year old nightmares if they rented it from Blockbuster (like I did. It was in the Kids new releases) Blood is drawn. Heroes costumes are ripped to shreds. Bodyparts are broken but alas no bone. Windpipes are hit. Explosions a-go-go. This was a slightly more convincing retelling of the Avengers origin. Slightly. I had a few ideas that would work but I'm hesitant to pitch them in a public forum. Some of them are too extreme anyway. The whole bit of Thor being an eco-terrorist wasn't cliche by now, geesh. Give a hero elemental powers and suddenly they're environmental. It's good that the environment's being touched on but bad that the environmentalist's are always portrayed as crazed eco-terrorists.

The fight scenes are worth the $4 rental but if you wait for it to pop up at the library it's no loss. The dvd also sports an interview with Busiek and George Perez. Who doesn't have an ego.. I swear by Odin's beard.


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  Posted by Craig on 2/21/2006 11:50:00 AM :

      


Desert Island Comics, pt. 3

Yeah, I said these posts would be weekly. But since my access to a computer is erratic, here you go…

The candles are lit, a glass of champagne rests on the edge of the tub, and the bubbles are warm and inviting. All I need now as I slip into the water is the next comic on my top-ten countdown…

#8: Fantastic Four #241

As I’ve mentioned here before, I first stumbled across John Byrne when I traded some fool in my fourth grade class a forgotten comic for his battered copy of Uncanny X-Men #127. A week or two later I found issue 129 at the Groveport Pharmacy, and have been following this guy to nearly every title published by the Big Two since. Much has been said about his abrasive personality, of which I couldn’t care less; as with any artist or musician, I’m more interested in their work than with whatever gossip surrounds them. Byrne’s work has been consistent and reliable, and if he’s had a few missteps, that’s bound to happen in a career that spans four decades. While his particular art style has never been groundbreaking or provocative, he has always conveyed a sense of depth and space which creates a distinctive sense of atmosphere to the environments his straightforward figure drawings populate. The very basic approach to drawing he employs is what suits a superhero book best; whenever someone tries to apply a fine arts sensibility to a guy dressed in tights with a magic ring, I feel like a French chef has made me a tuna fish sandwich.

This particular issue opens with guest stars Nick Fury and Dum Dum Dugan visiting the Baxter Building to make a request of Reed Richards. While tracking a UFO in past weeks, SHIELD detected a powerful energy source on the African continent near the border of Wakanda. Since the Black Panther had cut his ties with the Avengers, the FF were the ones best suited to contact T’Challa and request permission to investigate the phenomenon. During the course of the conversation, Reed explains via flashback that the UFO SHIELD observed was most likely the Inhumans’ city of Attillan as it was moved from the Himalayas to the blue area of the moon. The FF agree to investigate, and soon blast off in their FF Rocket to the African continent. Along the way we enjoy some banter as the Thing makes a referential joke about the current popular movie Raiders of the Lost Ark before the ship lands and the crew disembarks to begin their exploration. The Thing scouts ahead, only to be attacked by a group of spear-wielding natives. Then, on page 4, the Black Panther appears and calls of his troops because he recognizes Ben Grimm—

Wait a second. Page 4?!!? Surely all comic readers know that the amount of exposition detailed above—which opens with a friggin’ splash page—would need at least two full issues replete with long, drawn out dialogue and silent panels to properly relate the story in order for the reader to truly get their $6.00 worth, right?

Wrong. This comic is the most wonderfully compressed comic book I have ever read. After what has been related above, we get an audience with the Black Panther, followed by a safari, an ambush by Roman centurions and a visit to a hidden city within a mysterious plateau on the African plains. But wait, there’s more! We meet the villain who has created this Caligulan Utopia, who robs the quartet of their powers before they are treated to his origin story. A gladiator match follows, before the Black Panther reappears and Susan Storm reveals the story’s twist ending. The Roman city crumbles and our heroes escape, tossing quips as they disappear into the sunset. All in about twenty pages. The writing never feels rushed, and each and every character gets a moment in the spotlight. What would most of today’s writers do if they had to crank out a different story each month (on deadline) instead of stretching one idea out over six or eight months? Comics might actually be worth the $3 a pop we shell out for them.

Besides giving me my money’s worth with this issue, Byrne also does something sorely lacking in many of today’s comics: these characters go somewhere amazing and encounter weird shit. You get a sense of having been on a journey when you’ve read a story like this, rather than feeling you’ve watched a poorly written soap opera starring Greek gods. Seriously, do you want to read about the JLA’s deep, dark, shameful secrets, or do you want to see the world’s greatest superheroes fighting the Corn Gods of the Pandimensional Ziggurat? No contest in my mind. Someone dry Superman's tears off on his cape and send him on an actual adventure, please.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/21/2006 08:14:00 AM :

      

Well, it was bound to happen

Remember all the hoopla recently around that Million Dollar Home Page? His idea sparked a thousand imitators, and so it was just a matter of time before someone tried the same idea with a comic book twist. Behold, the Wall of Comic Book Art. For $50, you can advertise your site for at least 3 years...


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Monday, February 20, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/20/2006 08:24:00 AM :

      

Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Welcome back. Hopefully, we're past all the Blogger issues. This week's page is an easy one, but if you find yourself stumped, there's a panel in there that offers a pretty good clue as to the artist.



(click image to patriot-size)

(previous weeks: 9/12/2005, 9/19/2005, 9/26/2005, 10/3/2005, 10/10/2005, 10/17/2005, 10/24/2005, 10/31/2005, 11/1/2005, 11/2/2005, 11/3/2005, 11/4/2005, 11/5/2005, 11/6/2005, 11/7/2005, 11/14/2005, 11/21/2005, 11/28/2005, 12/5/2005, 12/12/2005, 12/19/2005, 12/26/2005, 1/2/2006, 1/9/2006, 1/16/2006, 1/23/2006, 1/30/2006, 2/06/2006, 2/13/2006)

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Sunday, February 19, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/19/2006 10:05:00 PM :

      

AA Weekend Covers

Sorry, running a little late this weekend due to the many Blogger-related issues.

AWESOME

(click to enlarge)
100 Bullets #29 (December 2001) by Dave Johnson.

Honestly, I could have picked any of his covers from 100 Bullets. They're all gorgeous in their graphic design simplicity. I especially like this one because of the juxtaposition of the painted figure against the plain line drawings, and for its generous use of white, which you hardly ever see on comic covers.

ASS

(click to enlarge)
Marvel Comics Presents #160 (August 1994) by Barry Crain.

I, um, I can't even tell what the hell's going on here. Is that supposed to be Ghost Rider? And that horrid, horrid coloring. Looks like the Lucky Charms leprechaun trying to figure out how to use the gradient shading tool in Photoshop.

(previous weeks: 12/3/2005, 12/11/2005, 12/17/2005, 12/25/2005, 1/7/2006, 1/15/2006, 1/22/2006, 1/29/2006, 2/5/2006, 2/12/2006)


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  Posted by Dara on 2/19/2006 03:35:00 PM :

      

Your week .. in sketches.

(This was actually a post from Tom. Stupid piece of shit Blogger somehow "lost" a couple of my posts from last night when Tom posted his, and then when I tried to repost mine it lost Tom's. I swear, I've had more problems with Blogger than any other service I've ever used. Absolutely unbelieveable how buggy this crapfest of a software is. Anyway, I managed to retrieve Tom's original post...)


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  Posted by Craig on 2/19/2006 02:57:00 PM :

      


Desert Island Comics pt. 2

Continuing my countdown of the ten comics I would want with me were I stranded on a desert isle, reviewed from the comfort of a warm bubble bath:

#9: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #141

Let's take a moment to consider that Superman comics once sold so well that a title devoted to Jimmy Olsen could hit triple digits before Jack Kirby took the reins.

This issue makes my personal top ten list simply because it's my all-time favorite comic cover. Imagine the joy and excitement felt by a youngster in 1971 when he turned the spinner rack of comics at the drug store to find Superman and the Guardian charging at him carrying a photo of a leering Don Rickles, a comedian beloved by children everywhere. Perhaps Jack Kirby was getting stoned as research for his Fourth World hippie comic Forever People when he had the idea for this cover; the words "Don't ask! Just buy it!" are prominently splashed across the top, suggesting he thought not everyone would see this as the obvious good idea he perceived it to be.

Of note is a detail of the cover artwork; an incongruous inking job on Superman suggests this was from the time when a shortsighted editor was bringing in another artist to erase Kirby's pencil work and redraw Superman more in keeping with the DC "house style" for the character. I'm sure someone out there knows who the editor and artist were (or I could find out if I dragged out my Forever People tpb), but it strikes me as akin to a movie director bringing in Wil Smith to do a voiceover because Brando just couldn't nail his lines to his satisfaction. Hopefully the guy's still getting razzed at parties over this.

As for the comic itself: Jimmy Olsen is the little-known fourth branch of Kirby's Fourth World comics. Everyone knows New Gods and Mister Miracle, and most will remember the Forever People when reminded, but no one seems to recall that Jimmy Olsen was mixing it up with a Darkseid-backed Intergang in this series. This particular issue features Clark Kent/Superman's first ever sighting of New Genesis and Apokolips, as well as his first encounter with one of these characters (Lightray).

Unfortunately, the comic itself is not one of Kirby's best moments. It starts out with a wonderful Kirby space montage right before Lightray greets the space capsule Clark Kent is travelling in. Suddenly, Parademons attack and the scene shifts to... Don Rickles arriving at the Galaxy Broadcastiong building, where he is mobbed by frenzied fans. Several pages later, we find Jimmy Olsen, the Guardian, and Don's twin "Goody Rickels" being dumped out of an armored mobile home (really) after being forced to eat a meal laced with pyro-granulite, a seasoning thousands of times more powerful than anything served at my favorite Indian restaurant. They only have hours until their bodies combust! Guardian tracks down the armored mobile home and bursts in on the Intergang agents responsible, and the scene shifts to... Don Rickles tossing one-liners at Morgan Edge. Jimmy and Goody soon arrive and start to radiate flames, until Guardian enters with the antidote, having gotten it off panel while the reader spent time with Don Rickles. After things settle down again, Clark Kent arrives via Boom Tube, having dealt with the Parademons alongside Lightray off panel while the reader spent time with Don Rickles.

Besides the wonderful cover, this mess is saved by one line which had me laughing out loud, causing my wife to worry I might be choking: as the guardian bursts in on the villains cleaning up the deadly meal, their leader shouts "The pastry is finished, but we're still serving hot lead!"


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Friday, February 17, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/17/2006 09:47:00 AM :

      

New storyline in Lifelike

I forgot to mention that this week marks the start of a new story in my webcomic. "Punishment" is a black and white horror story with a twist, with beautiful inkwashes provided by artist Steven Spenser Ledford.

Check it out in Lifelike and let me know what you think.



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  Posted by Tom on 2/17/2006 07:14:00 AM :

      

Dude, Where's My Media? part one

This morning I turned on the channel 6 news where the report finally hit that the Greenland glaciers are melting at a excelerated rate. A report that NASA tried to supress but it looks like they relented to pressure or something. Hooray. But wrapping up the report, they completely spun it as nothing to worry about. Daaaah! This is a bigger story than that creep that killed his wife and kid. In a recent british report we may have hit the point of no return (in global warming) according to scientists. The emission reductions in the KYOTO treaty may not be significant enough to contain it.


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Thursday, February 16, 2006
 
  Posted by Tom on 2/16/2006 05:49:00 PM :

      


Clowes, Burns & more..

Caught this one off the Fanta feed: The alt-weekly LA City Beat is sporting an all comics-themed issue. Up on the site are interviews with Dan Clowes (also did the cover) and Charles Burns. A nice article on Kyle Baker, etc.

*why is it every other cartoonist sports a shaved head? Seriously, when I saw the photo of Seth Fisher I thought Bawidamann died. We're a cult, JOOOINNN USSS!!!


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  Posted by Dara on 2/16/2006 12:22:00 PM :

      

Frank Miller jumps the shark

(Yes, yes, I'm well aware that many of you think he did this several years ago...)

In an article in the New York Post, Frank Miller talks about his series pitting Batman against al Qaeda. WTF?
"Miller called the comic "an explosion from my gut reaction of what'shappening now" and "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against."
(If you'd like to read the whole article, you'll have to login. Use the following username and password, courtesy of BugMeNot: pohtzpwamm@mailinator.com/qwerty)

I know we discussed the subject of topical comics right here a few months ago, and people are of different minds as to how closely superhero comics should reflect real world events. But seriously, I can't possibly see how this story could come off as anything other than jingoistic and silly. On the other hand, considering this...
"Miller said he has finished 120 pages of the 200-page book, but he's currently writing a monthly Batman comic, and three of his previous comic-book projects are currently heading to the silver screen, including the sequel to his hit comic and movie 'Sin City.'"

…we won't have to worry about this book seeing print for another few years.

(via DC Conspiracy)


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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
  Posted by Craig on 2/15/2006 10:33:00 AM :

      


Desert Island Comics

Since welcoming a new baby into our home, I've discovered that the presence of the little tyke makes it tough to make it into the comic store on a regular basis, for time management reasons as much as financial. As a result, I've found myself lately going through my twenty-odd long boxes and picking out favorite old runs of different series'. Most nights I'll curl up with two or three issues in a bubble bath (just wanted you guys to have the visual) and revisit some old stories that I found particularly memorable. After coming across a couple gems, I thought I'd add to Tony's weekly series with my own ten "desert island comics"-- I'm sure most probably get the idea from the "desert island discs (records)" formula: what ten comics would I want to have were I stranded on a desert island. So with some apologies to Dave's Long Box and the reviewing-my-collection theme, I begin this week with #10:

Spectacular Spider-Man #142

The late 80's-early 90's were certainly the dark ages as far as most comic readers are concerned, especially regarding the garbage that Marvel was putting out. Surprisingly, three of my favorite runs come out of that time period despite that fact. Peter David's Hulk inaugurated my evenings spent with Mr. Bubble, along with the Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz Thor run which was an excellent homage (only occasionally wandering into ripoff) to the Lee/Kirby days, before degenerating into that Thunderstrike mess. The third branch of Marvel's Trinity of Quality from those terrible days was Spectacular Spider-Man. I'll betray my age by revealing that the Spider-Man I was introduced to as a child was the Gerry Conway/Ross Andru model, and that has remained the definitive version of the character in my mind (which made me more pissed than most when they returned to the spider-clone character and eviscerated one of my favorite stories). I was delighted when Conway returned to Spectacular at a time when Michelinie & MacFarlane had transformed my favorite everyman character into a physically deformed husband of a supermodel who hung out with rock stars over in the flagship series, and the artwork of old pro Sal Buscema fit the character like a webbed glove. Which brings me to this particular issue:

In previous issues, a mob hitman called Tombstone had been brought to New York by a Kingpin flunkie named the Arranger in order to flush out the Punisher in a related subplot. It turned out that Tombstone had a connection to the Daily Bugle's Joe Robertson (this was back when comics had supporting casts, for those confused by this reference). Robertson had witnessed the bad guy's first mob hit decades ago, but been intimidated into silence by threats to his family. Over the years he morbidly followed Tombstone's career, bearing the guilt for every new crime commited by the gangster. When Tombstone returns to New York, Robertson attempts to confront him with a handgun and ends up nearly getting his spine broken. Tombstone continues to visit Robertson in the hospital to continue the threats against his family, and when he hears that photographer Peter Parker might have a piece of evidence to use against him, he threatens his wife in their own home, sending her to the hospital as well. All of which leads to the confrontation in this issue...

After a number of issues leading up to their showdown at a construction site, Conway makes Tombstone a creature of such pure evil that menace drips off the page (actually, I might have dropped the comic in the bubbles. Sorry). Physically imposing, totally malicious, speaking only in whisper-balloons... the anticipation for the fight was wonderfully built up. Up until the panels when the fight begins, the reader forgets the very same thing no one told Tombstone:

Tombstone's just a regular guy, and Spider-Man has, y'know, spider powers.

What follows is the most wonderfully cathartic, brutal bad-guy thrashing I've ever read in the pages of a comic. Panel after panel of Tombstone getting the living spit beat out of him by a Spider-Man who might be taking the whole thing a little personally. Teeth fly, faces get distorted by spider-punches, and a well tailored gangster suit gets horribly ruined in the most one-sided fight ever recorded in comic form, and it feels absolutely wonderful to watch a character who truly deserves it getting his head handed to him by a hero who has decided it's okay to cross the line a little just this once.

This one I kept rereading until the bubbles were gone and the water went cold.


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Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/14/2006 09:05:00 PM :

      

Paul Pope in Wired magazine

The article that Tim mentioned a few weeks ago can be accessed online here.
"Almost every night, Paul Pope is anchored to a stool at a battered drafting table in his spare fifth-floor walk-up in Manhattan's SoHo. His apartment is the perfect loner's lair - shower in the kitchen, tidy stacks of books, few personal effects, and crumpled papers around the table that suggest a pressing, desperate deadline. It's Pope's own Batcave, a place of comfort and order where he can be single-minded in pursuit of his mission."


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  Posted by T.McClurg on 2/14/2006 02:15:00 PM :

      

Hey Kids...Color!

I really had no interest getting to work this morning, so I thought I'd indulge my curiosity and see what Kish's piece would look like with a little color. This is posted with his blessing. Sorry Tony, I couldn't work any neck in there anywhere.



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  Posted by Dara on 2/14/2006 11:44:00 AM :

      

More Dick

(huh, I'd imagine that headline alone will get us a ton of Google hits...)

Someone was kind enough to send me this pic. Original is at Quirked.com



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  Posted by Dara on 2/14/2006 08:00:00 AM :

      

New host

Just a quick note to let you know I moved the Ferret Press site to a new web host. We now have a ton more space (so feel free to upload and post as many graphics as you'd like on the blog) and my e-mail issues should be fixed.

In the meantime, please let me know if you come across any broken links or other issues.


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Monday, February 13, 2006
 
  Posted by Matt Kish on 2/13/2006 08:00:00 PM :

      

Panel Assemble! - part 2

Matt Kish draws some puppies!



I tag... Andy Bennett!


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  Posted by Dara on 2/13/2006 05:15:00 PM :

      

Dick

From Christopher Priest's blog: "I’m not sure that Dick Cheney is patently evil, but I think he comes about as close to being Lex Luthor as any elected official since Dick Nixon. It would not surprise me, in the least, if he just shot the guy to watch him die."


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  Posted by Dara on 2/13/2006 09:41:00 AM :

      

Monday Morning Evening "Guess the Artist"

You know the rules. Use the comments section to place your guess. I think this one's pretty easy.



(click image to Bat-size)

(previous weeks: 9/12/2005, 9/19/2005, 9/26/2005, 10/3/2005, 10/10/2005, 10/17/2005, 10/24/2005, 10/31/2005, 11/1/2005, 11/2/2005, 11/3/2005, 11/4/2005, 11/5/2005, 11/6/2005, 11/7/2005, 11/14/2005, 11/21/2005, 11/28/2005, 12/5/2005, 12/12/2005, 12/19/2005, 12/26/2005, 1/2/2006, 1/9/2006, 1/16/2006, 1/23/2006, 1/30/2006, 2/06/2006)

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Sunday, February 12, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/12/2006 06:22:00 PM :

      

AA Weekend Covers

No theme this week. Just one awesome cover, and one that's a piece of ass. Enjoy.

AWESOME

(click to enlarge)
Twilight #3 (1991) by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.

I was actually looking for a different cover when I ran across this one. Honestly, I don't know anything about this 3-issue limited series by Howard Chaykin and JLGL. But all three issues have these beautifully rendered, monochromatic cover design. There's something very majestic and grand about them, which by the look of the previous covers, ties in with the story. Remember kids, it's always about the entire package. A nice cover illustration is elevated tenfold in the service of a well thought out overall package design.

ASS

(click to enlarge)
Extreme Justice #6 (July 1995) by Marc Campos.

Really, Booster? Well guess what? "Give me my $1.75 back!" Actually, while you're at it, give me the whole 90s back. As you all know, Extreme (EXTREME!!!) Justice was DC's sad, sad attempt to hop on the Liefeld/McFarlane/Image/Extreme/Awesome bandwagon, presenting a gritty, balls to the wall, they're-all-loose-cannons version of the Justice League. The results were laughable, if nothing else. The only thing nice I can say about this cover is that at least Campos can draw better teeth than Liefeld.

(previous weeks: 12/3/2005, 12/11/2005, 12/17/2005, 12/25/2005, 1/7/2006, 1/15/2006, 1/22/2006, 1/29/2006, 2/5/2006)


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  Posted by Dara on 2/12/2006 05:59:00 PM :

      

The Sun

Been listening to Columbus boys The Sun a lot lately. Saw them play The Basement last week, and it was quite an enjoyable show. Since I'm not a huge music aficionado like a lot of you guys, I was wondering if anyone knows whether Warner Brothers is planning on releasing any more albums on DVD, or was this a failed experiment?

"You forgot your dagger, when you left,
six inches deep, buried in my chest,
and if you come back to pull it out to look at the blood,
well I'll slap your hand away, at least I loved,
loved,
you"


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Saturday, February 11, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/11/2006 01:45:00 PM :

      

Ah, what a wacky world we live in

So Michael "Jurassic Park" Crichton wrote a fiction book called State of Fear. It's a fictional story wherein one of the main themes is that global warming is a myth. Apparently a belief held and vocalized strongly by the author as well.

His fictional book won a journalism award.

From the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

That right there, folks, is real world comedy.

(via boingboing)


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  Posted by Dara on 2/11/2006 01:37:00 PM :

      

Graphic novel sales in bookstores

If you're like me and always fascinated by the behind the scenes business workings of the comics industry, you'll like retailer Brian Hibbs's latest Tilting at Windmills column. This time around, he pours through the BookScan report for the last week of December 2005 and interprets the findings.
"Still, when you add their manga business in as well (another 21 titles there), and, hey, the new Conan trade is on there as well, huh, Dark Horse is currently the largest American bookstore publisher tracking the last week of 2005 in BookScan, at about $7 million in full-retail bookstore sales. Not too shabby there, considering they started with anthologies and funny animals..."
Of course, there are about a half dozen caveats to that statement, which he explains in detail in the column. All in all, though, some very interesting facts and figures when it comes to which comics are doing well in bookstores (though it should come as no surprise that manga dominates.)


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  Posted by Tom on 2/11/2006 11:52:00 AM :

      


Tropical Toxic

I recently checked out Tomer Hanuka's site. Seem's he's also has gotten in on the blogger action. It's another artist process blog of which I'm a fan.

+also speaking of process, if you didn't catch the link on Spurgeon's blog here' how Kazu Kibuishi kicks it. Another guy who work's big. It's where it's at. Except when you have to scan the bastard.


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  Posted by Tom on 2/11/2006 01:36:00 AM :

      

Panel Assemble! - part 1


I've been inspired to start a perpetual jam comic right on this blog. This could go on forever or till Dara gets sick of it. Contributers vitually pass the 'board' around by calling out the next name. I'll figure out some homebase scenario so readers can see the whole crazy story unfold. Contributors- doesn't matter if it's a stick figure or Rembrant or even a time limit for that matter. The point of this is the fun. As Tony is prone to say.. 'It's magic marker time!'

I tag... Matt Kish!


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Friday, February 10, 2006
 
  Posted by Tony on 2/10/2006 02:49:00 PM :

      

WWW – Starman

Boy, I hate to do this one.

“Starman” was one of the two or three series that got me back into comics in 1999. There’s a lot that I liked about this book. It stars Jack Knight (son of original Starman Ted Knight), who was always just a cool character. Jack himself was all into retro (like me!) and the series had a real reverence for the past. Also, it was kind of the high-water mark of late 1990s “character-driven” storytelling. For someone who started reading comics in the early 1990s, “character-driven” storytelling was a whole world of new possibilities.

But as writer James Robinson focused more on the characters, he completely forgot about the plot. Many issues aren’t much more than character sketches, held together loosely by whatever Robinson was into that month. I dropped the book midway through the interminable “Stars My Destination” arc.

Spoilers coming

But Andy said I should check out the next arc, “Grand Guignol,” just to see the death of Ted Knight. Andy was correct as usual; Ted’s death was indeed touching. Trying to wade through this book, however, made me want to kill myself.

The story is about an evil dwarf who takes over the Shade’s body, using his shadow powers to build a shadow dome around Opal City. Jack Knight must lead the city’s heroes to save the city. This arc covers about two days, and takes up 271 pages of book. Two hundred and seventy-one.



  • The whole thing drags like a ball and chain. There are at least two dozen named characters, most of which have a subplot or a recap. At least half of the book is flashback or exposition.

  • Ted’s final battle with Dr. Phosphorous is told through about a half-dozen exterior shots of Ted’s mansion. You never see the battle, just the same shot of the mansion. You follow the fight by seeing larger flashes of light from inside the mansion.

  • Robinson takes half a page to explain the dwarf can’t lose his lower-class British accent, so sometimes he speaks in French. Except when he’s controlling the Shade, when he speaks in the Shade’s upper-class accent. Got it? Aren't you glad we straightened that out?

  • While Ted’s lying in the hospital and Opal City is still in peril, Robinson takes 11 pages to tell a story of the Golden Age JSA. The story is when the JSA was incapacitated and their girlfriends had to come rescue them. We now return you to your story.

  • The Elongated Man says several times he’s a detective, not a fighter. We see him in several fistfights, but he never makes any deductions. He “solves” the case by finding another detective who knows the score.

  • It’s revealed that anytime the Shade did something particularly evil (or particularly goofy), the dwarf was controlling him. Yep, the whole thing’s a retcon.



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  Posted by Tony on 2/10/2006 02:24:00 PM :

      

Star Wars valentines

No, not another holiday special starring Bea Arthur and Art Carney. SomethingAwful.com has a contest for Star Wars-themed Valentines:

Tell me I'm your father


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Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/09/2006 10:07:00 PM :

      

This one's for Matt: Jim Woodring figures

Check out the cool alt toy manufacturer, Strangeco. They have a selection of figures based on the works of Jim Woodring, as well as other famous alternative artists, such as the legendary Robert Williams.

Awwww, ain't they cute?



(via boingboing)


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  Posted by Tom on 2/09/2006 07:53:00 PM :

      

More February signings...

Maybe you've all seen this already but Sammy Harkam, Kevin Huizenga and Anders Nilsen are going on tour all thru this month thanks to a team effort from Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly. Here's the itinerary and the fancy poster...



  • Rocketship,Saturday, February 18th, 208 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY 8 PM (Art Opening)
  • Center for Cartoon Studies, Monday, February 20th, White River Junction, VT (Class Visit)
  • Casa Del Popolo,Tuesday, February 21st, 4873 Blvd., St. Laurent Montreal, QC 7 PM
  • The Beguiling at the Revival,Wednesday, February 22nd, 783 College Street West (at Shaw), Toronto, ON 8 PM
  • Quimby's, Saturday, February 25th, 1854 West North Ave, Chicago, IL 7 PM


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 2/09/2006 12:41:00 PM :

      

Does Tony Need a Copyright Lawyer?
It's award show season and not to be outdone, Comicbookconventions.com has asked for your vote in a number of categories, none as fun as the ones seen on this blog after SPACE and Mid-Ohio Con. Plus they have a cute "Connie" superhero award. Get those cease-and-desist letters ready Tony.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/09/2006 09:10:00 AM :

      

New Bodega

Another quickie post. Check out the New Bodega blog. Contributors include Tom Devlin, Jordan Crane, Brian Ralph, Megan Kelso, and others. I'll add it to the sidebar soon.

(via Size Matters)


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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/07/2006 10:12:00 PM :

      

Neil Gaiman poetry

The online magazine Spider Words features two poems by Neil Gaiman. I particularly liked the one about nudity. It's charming, humourous, and a bit sad all at once.

(via boingboing)


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Monday, February 06, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/06/2006 11:17:00 PM :

      

Smoke Break

The next few days will be pretty busy on my end, so I probably won't have much time to update the blog. Hopefully the other guys will pick up the slack.

In the mentime, I wanted to share some more artwork from an upcoming story in Lifelike. These are character designs for "Smoke Break," by the talented and speedy mpMann. He provided the artwork for "Double Cross at the Double Down" and if you look closely, you'll see good ol' Clem in there. This story is obviously set pre-DCATDD.



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  Posted by Dara on 2/06/2006 08:28:00 AM :

      

Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

It's Monday morning, which means I show a page of art from the early career of some of today's big name comic book artists, and you get to guess who it is. I have a feeling this will be another hard one...



(click image to explore the mysteries of life and death)

(previous weeks: 9/12/2005, 9/19/2005, 9/26/2005, 10/3/2005, 10/10/2005, 10/17/2005, 10/24/2005, 10/31/2005, 11/1/2005, 11/2/2005, 11/3/2005, 11/4/2005, 11/5/2005, 11/6/2005, 11/7/2005, 11/14/2005, 11/21/2005, 11/28/2005, 12/5/2005, 12/12/2005, 12/19/2005, 12/26/2005, 1/2/2006, 1/9/2006, 1/16/2006, 1/23/2006, 1/30/2006)

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Sunday, February 05, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/05/2006 05:58:00 PM :

      

AA Weekend Covers

I was "volunteered" on Friday to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for our company meeting this Wednesday. Needless to say, it's been a busy weekend pulling that together, so I'm taking the easy way out for this edition of AA Weekend Covers and presenting an abbreviated version. Sorry folks, them's the breaks.

AWESOME

(click to enlarge)
Watchmen #1 (September 1986) by Dave Gibbons.

It doesn't get any more iconic than this. A smiley face with a blood splatter on it? How could you not want to see what that's all about?.

ASS

(click to enlarge)
Youngblood #3 (sometime in 1992) by Rob "Button Fly" Liefeld.

Rob. Liefeld. 'Nuff said.
(yes, I know it's like kicking a puppy, but time is of the essence this week.)

(previous weeks: 12/3/2005, 12/11/2005, 12/17/2005, 12/25/2005, 1/7/2006, 1/15/2006, 1/22/2006, 1/29/2006)


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Saturday, February 04, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/04/2006 01:39:00 PM :

      

PANEL: Music now available for purchase

I finally got around to updating the website and putting up preview pages of our latest anthology, PANEL: Music. We're all extremely proud of this sucker. It even ships in a 45 rpm record sleeve.

Drop on by the Books section for a free preview, and if you like what you see, buy one direct from us via the Store.



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  Posted by Tony on 2/04/2006 12:29:00 PM :

      

WWW: Lexx, Series III

I just finished watching “Lexx,” Series III last night. It was intermittently entertaining, but not good enough to avoid being this week’s “What Went Wrong” feature.

(warning: spoilers ahead)

Quick recap: The series draws its name from the starship Lexx, a city-sized craft with the power to destroy entire planets. Recurring characters include Stanley, a cowardly security guard who becomes captain of the Lexx; Kai, an undead assassin; and Xev, a former love slave with a heart of gold. The first two series relied on T&A, a sense of the bizarre, and plenty of gleeful genocide.

The third series switches things up. The crew spends the whole 13 episodes stuck in orbit around two planets that are basically Heaven and Hell, sparring with the Devil. Lessons learned include:

1) “Bizarre” is not necessarily “interesting.” For example, on a city ruled by women, the women decide how to execute Stanley using Robert’s Rules of Order. This is bizarre but, after six or seven minutes, it is no longer interesting. The Queen of Girltown also spends several segments talking suggestively about what she wants to do with Stanley’s body. Thirty second in, it’s pretty clear she’s talking about chopping off his head. Even the most bizarre ideas still need good pacing.

2) “Concept” is not necessarily “theme.” Somehow, Series III spends 13 episodes orbiting Heaven and Hell, but never says anything coherent about the nature of sin, salvation, or anything. I’m not looking for an after-school special, but there needs to be some kind of point. The Lexx’s crew solve the problem by blowing up both planets.

3) Be very sure of your CGI. “Lexx” relies on CGI effects nearly as much as the new “Star Wars” prequels. But the effects aren’t quite as good as those seen on “Babylon 5,” which ran at roughly the same time.

4) When it’s big, treat it as such. Stanley dies and goes to Hell. His friends attempt to rescue him, but the rescue isn’t really any more dramatic than any other scrape Stanley gets into. The series’ best dramatic moment is the episode “Gondola,” when the characters must decide who to throw out of a hot-air balloon.

5) Don’t rely too much on the robot head. A major subplot involves a robot head named 790, who falls deeply in love with Xev and later with Kai. As a running gag, the disembodied head literally has no legs. I suspect “failed running gags” will become a recurring feature of this recurring feature.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/04/2006 10:19:00 AM :

      

Ok, this is a new one

I was looking through the referrer logs for the blog and here's a phrase somebody was searching on, which led them here:

"where did the phrase huge donkey balls come from?"

Ferret Press blog, we're not just about comics!


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Friday, February 03, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/03/2006 08:17:00 AM :

      

President Bush's geometry test

Someone got a hold of one of Dubya's college exams and posted it on Columbus Craig's List.

(via Wendy)


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Thursday, February 02, 2006
 
  Posted by Dara on 2/02/2006 02:11:00 PM :

      

Hey, that was my nickname in high school!

(click to enlarge)

Goofy comic book titles as the inspiration for the "nickname" puncline...a new feature on the Ferret Press blog? Maybe. Stay tuned.


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  Posted by Dara on 2/02/2006 11:31:00 AM :

      

Lost Letters - new webcomic

Kyle Wallace, regular reader and fan of this blog, dropped me a note to say that he and artist Colt Kegley have launched a webcomic on their Fragility Productions website. Click on the "Lost Letters" link at the top to view the first page. I believe their plan is to add a couple of pages a month.

I'll reserve any comments on the story until there are more pages up. On the art side, I think the guys are off to a good start, albeit a bit shaky. The stark image of the leafless tree atop the lonely hill is a great visual to start the story with. There are a couple of panels in the middle where it's hard to tell what's going on, though. Hopefully this will improve over time as Kegley gets more comfortable with his style and realizes he doesn't necessarily need to render a lot of detail into every panel. As they say, sometimes less is more.

But I always salute a new creative venture, especially from the "young uns," because it shows a lot of initiative and passion for art. It's good to know that not all high school students are apathetic.


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  Posted by Matt Kish on 2/02/2006 11:00:00 AM :

      

Seth Fisher passes away

In a post on the Barbelith web site / message board, "Promethea" and "Desolation Jones" artist J.H. Williams III reports that his good friend artist Seth Fisher has just passed away. Fisher is best known for his work on DC's "Green Lantern: Willworld," "Flash: Time Flies," and "Vertigo Pop: Tokyo" as well as Marvel's "Fantastic Four & Iron Man: Big in Japan" mini-series, the last issue of which just hit the stands yesterday. Seth could be pretty controversial at times, alienating some comic fans with his decidedly stylized and cartoony visual aesthetic, but nonetheless he was a fresh and unique talent as well as a fairly young man.

I enjoyed his art immensely, and he will be missed.

You can see more of his work at his own web site here.

EDIT: Newsarama has a better and more informative article on Fisher and his work right here.


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