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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Monday, April 30, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/30/2007 07:46:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Methinks this is an easy one...



(click image to THUMPerize)

(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, 2/27/2006, 3/6/2006, 3/13/2006, 3/20/2006, 3/27/2006, 4/3/2006, 4/4/2006, 4/5/2006, 4/6/2006, 4/7/2006, 4/8/2006, 4/9/2006, 4/10/2006, 4/17/2006, 4/23/2006, 5/1/2006, 5/8/2006, 5/15/2006, 5/22/2006, 5/29/2006, 6/5/2006, 6/12/2006, 6/19/2006, 6/26/2006, 7/3/2006, 7/10/2006, 7/17/2006, 7/24/2006, 7/31/2006, 8/7/2006, 8/13/2006, 8/21/2006, 8/28/2006, 9/4/2006, 9/11/2006, 9/18/2006, 9/25/2006, 10/2/2006, 10/9/2006, 10/16/2006, 10/23/2006, 10/30/2006, 11/6/2006, 11/13/2006, 11/20/2006, 11/27/2006, 12/4/2006, 12/11/2006, 12/18/2006, 12/25/2006, 1/1/2007, 1/8/2007, 1/15/2007, 1/22/2007, 1/29/2007, 2/5/2007, 2/12/2007, 2/19/2007, 2/26/2007, 3/5/2007, 3/12/2007, 3/19/2007, 3/26/2007, 4/2/2007, 4/5/2007, 4/9/2007, 4/16/2007, 4/23/2007)

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Sunday, April 29, 2007
 
  Posted by T.McClurg on 4/29/2007 04:06:00 PM :

       Better late then never...

Here are a few words I posted over on my LJ page about SPACE. I wasn't there much so there's not too much to say.


I don't know how I feel about SPACE... It has and has always had so much potential, but doesn't seem to make it over that hump. I ended up only being there for 4 hours on Saturday and just stopped in to say hi on Sunday. After leaving on Saturday, Bran and I drove the lenght of High Street and saw just about all of SPACE's intended audience between campus and the Short Norht. I can't get venue change out of my mind... Perhaps a Panel event is in order. Speaking of Panel, here's a couple snaps of the guys at SPACE.

Craig and Tom
SPACE 07 Craig and Tom

Sean and Andy
SPACE 07 Sean and Andy

And finally, where Dara should have been soliciting his finest of goods...
SPACE 07 Where's Dara?


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Saturday, April 28, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/28/2007 12:14:00 PM :

       IDW week: Chris on Lifelike..

The Lifelike promo machine continues over at newsarama. IDW talks about upcoming projects including Dara's anthology

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Friday, April 27, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/27/2007 05:33:00 PM :

       Aaaaahhh crap.

I pulled this off of myspace. In short due to a dickish landlord, Dougan's Little Brothers is being pushed out. Attached is a form letter by Dougan. Sad times for Tom. I really loved that club...

To friends, family, fans, musicians and community,

There are rumors flying that Little Brother's is being "taken over"
or replaced by new ownership, so I thought it was important to clarify
our current situation.

Just as we are hitting Little Brother's ten-year anniversary in the
Short North this May, I have apparently reached an impasse with the
landlord of the building, who has informed me, through his lawyers,
that the only new lease he will offer me includes, among other
stipulations, an immediate increase in rent of over 40 percent, and
annual increases. It has been clearly implied that someone else has
offered this amount for the space and that I could be asked to vacate
the premises before summer begins.

This came as a surprise, because I had negotiated terms face-to-face
with my landlord earlier this year and we verbally agreed upon
incremental increases over the next five years that would have been
difficult, but not impossible, for us to accommodate over that time.
He promised to send the new terms of the lease in writing. Soon after,
he stopped responding to my calls and recently began communicating
with me only via his attorney.

While business has been good this year, this increase is more than I
can afford. The entertainment business goes through so many highs and
lows, an agreement of this nature could crush us the next time we hit
a slow period. Clearly, if I am asked to leave by summertime, that
gives me little time to relocate the club, which is not something I am
sure I can endure again anyway.

Ten years ago, when Stache's building was torn down, I was invited by
the previous management company of 1100 N. High St. to move into the
neighborhood between campus and the Short North, which, at the time,
was a much more barren place. They wanted an anchor business to
attract more people and businesses to the area, and gave me reasonable
rent so that I could develop that business.

Still, moving cost more than I could have imagined – there was a
battle when I had to have the building rezoned, and that, combined
with designing and building the stage, the bathrooms, the bar, the
cooler, the sound stage, was extremely costly. In the first two or
three years, we struggled month to month and I was often uncertain
that we would survive.

Just as we finally stabilized, the current landlord came along and
bought the building, offering far more for it than I could afford.
Negotiating with him proved challenging. We have endured one difficult
rent increase after another, while responsibly maintaining the inside
of the building. We have had some good years and bad ones, but
ultimately persevered through many tight times. The added financial
burden made it difficult for me to make the business the one I had
imagined.

Over time, it became clear that this man did not understand the nature
of our business, or the important role it has played in bringing a
diverse range of music to Columbus and supporting the local music
scene. Often, I was told, that a restaurant, or the building re-carved
into some kind of mini-mall would make better tenants, in spite of the
fact that he has had a difficult time keeping any retail tenants in
the storefronts to our north, outside of the Plasma Center. We may
have struggled, but overall, we have been good, reliable tenants.

I can't claim responsibility for the way the neighborhood has
transformed into the little bohemia it has become over the past
decade, but I do think that our presence contributed, and made it a
much more attractive option for several of the businesses that
relocated from South Campus, as well as new ones.

Last year, I was approached by a couple of young men from out of state
who wanted to buy my business and continue the legacy of Stache and
Little Brother's. After nearly 20 years of this up and down business,
I was ready to pass the torch, remain as an advisor to the business
and try something new. We reached preliminary terms, but it came to a
halt when they were unable to come to any agreement with the landlord.

So that brings us to today. The landlord has refused to sit down
face-to-face and work out a compromise. Because his terms are
unacceptable, I believe that it is just a matter of time before Little
Brother's is asked to leave the premises.
I have a liquor license, some gear, the good name of one of the last
remaining long-standing, independent live music nightclubs in the
country and some expertise I can hopefully sell. But at this time, the
cost of moving and starting over is just too much. The lifestyle of a
music promoter is like professional gambling. When I was younger and
still "at the party," it was all well and good. But my wife, and our
son, who is turning two in May, deserve a more stable lifestyle. I
also have health issues that the added stress will not help.

For our tenth anniversary and perhaps Dan's retirement, we're asking
for your stories about Little Brother's (and Stache's, for you
old-timers). Write up something about your memories, your favorite
show, what the clubs have meant to you, or whatever strikes you and
send it to lbstories@gmail.com

If this is the end, I need to thank my immediate staff, some of whom
have been with me for many, many years, for their efforts and support.
There will be time for the numerous personal thank yous that I need to
say later. For now, let me begin to express my gratitude to all of the
players, payers, workers and wonks who have kept me in this game for
almost 20 years – not much time to a mountain, but nearly half of my
life.

Take care of your little brothers and sisters.
Your pal,
Dan Dougan


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Thursday, April 26, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/26/2007 02:49:00 PM :

       An open letter on the topic of transgressing "all limits of vulgarity"

Dear Judge Dinesh Gupta,

WTF?

Sincerely,
Dara Naraghi

PS. There's this little something known as the 21st century. You may want to look into it.

PPS. Didn't your culture invent the Kama Sutra? So really, this is the height of vulgarity? Seriously?

PS. I'm not being a cultularly-insensitive American imperialist. I come from Iran, a country where they'll arrest and whip you for similar public displays of affection. I just want uptight "public" officials the world over to stop demonizing basic human nature and actually spend their time and energy on shit that matters!


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/26/2007 01:19:00 PM :

       Bankies SPACE 2007

In a separate ceremony last night, PANEL was proud to present the following Bankies for the SPACE 2007 show.

The Claude Rains Invisible Man Award (Or Martha Stewart Award for Achievement in the Field of Hosting): Tony Goins

The What, No Pictures? Award: Those guys who had self-published novels at SPACE. The self-publishing revolution has gone too far.

The Please Spay Your Catboy Award: The Drunken Cat

The English are Coming Award (Spirit of ’76 Award): The Minuteman guy dressed like a colonist across from Camp Ferret. A refreshing change of pace from the big orange cat.

The Attack of the Gamer's Award: MOMO 2 for booking a video game throw down the same night as the SPACE Launch party.

The Gloeckner Award: Carol Tyler and her class for bailing out early the second day of the show. In hindsight, probably a smart move.

The Saving Face Award: Craig's dentist, who replaced a missing front tooth on an hour's notice the day before the show so he wouldn't look like a character from "Monster Trucks and Baby Mammas."

The Check Is In The Mail Award: Everyone who says, "I'm just making the rounds right now, but I'll be back."

The Why Have the Cow When You Can Drink the Milk for Free Award: The folks who read entire issues of Class of 2006 without buying a copy.

The Clearing Up Any Misunderstandings Award: Ryan Gelatin, winner of the Gem City Uncool Perv Award. Turns out his He-Man porn is not pornographic at all. Mature audiences yes, but not porn. Thanks for the copy of the book.

The Al Roker Forecasting Award: The weather, which finally decided to be pleasant while we were stuck inside for two days.

Feel free to add others in the comments

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  Posted by Dara on 4/26/2007 01:16:00 PM :

       Nice exposure

In this Newsarama interview, prose and comics scribe Brad Meltzer talks about how they ended up putting "...four or five pages of ads for Identity Crisis, DC Comics, Justice League, the Comic Book Locator Service, and more..." in "Somewhere over a million" copies of his paperback books.

Now that's some serious mainstream advertising for comics, probably the largest in decades.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/25/2007 09:19:00 PM :

       High five!


The Lifelike banner was in full effect at the IDW booth (APE). I caught a glimpse of it over at Pat Lewis' LJ. Pat Lewis collected is a really good thing.

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  Posted by Tony on 4/25/2007 03:07:00 PM :

       holy freaking crap

Rosario Dawson is a Trekkie.

Qapla'!


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  Posted by Tony on 4/25/2007 11:46:00 AM :

       Last Days of Xerox

Tom's post puts me in mind of the divurgent trends at SPACE. It seems like there's a schism between those who are heading upmarket and those who are sticking with their Xerox roots.

I've been really struck by how many professionally printed, glossy books come out at SPACE the last two years. I remember when I first went five or six years ago, everything was Xerox. Part of that certainly comes from the fact that print-on-demand technology has matured. I think most of it comes from a gradual raising of the bar for everyone.

The thing that bugs me most is the lack of trading. I remember when I could walk in with a stack of 50 cent Nightchild issues and trade something with everyone. I don't think that happens as much anymore. It used to be a bunch of folks sitting in a room showing each other their stuff. Now, people want cold, hard cash. It's gone from "Dr. Bob and Irving" to "Sgt. Death."

Is the move to glossy a bad thing? Not necessarily. But it is a bad thing when the old Xerox guard gets squeezed out -- or when I'm paying too much for amateur work.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/24/2007 07:31:00 PM :

       S.P.A.C.E. `07: a recap

I had fun despite some minor mishaps. The Journal board has a S.P.A.C.E. recap thread going on by Matt's favorite poster: Ian Harker. Nothing really controversial that I wouldn't agree with. The show's a weird animal. You'd like to see it do really well but it doesn't poke past the 'build-it-and-they-will-come' attitude. Attendance didn't seem to increase but become more stretched out over two days. I didn't really see much worth picking up at the show. Missed some familiar faces who didn't do the show this year. I was reading over Jen Guzman's report of APE and suprizingly it sounds like we had more of the mini crowd. I think I'm starting to feel my age at these shows. I was a scotch crabby all weekend, due to late nights working on pages.

There were some folks that came back to give the show another shot. It was good seeing Shawn Granton. He brought up some good points for increasing the traffic for the show. It's not without it's flaws but maybe an outdoor show? Whetstone Park? Gooddale Park?? Table fees could go to tent rental and tables. Spring's a crap shoot weather wise. A move into summer. Far enough away from APE and SPX. A more difficult suggestion would be to move the show closer to campus or downtown. Which probably gets more expensive to book a space. Parking's a bigger issue.


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Monday, April 23, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 4/23/2007 04:01:00 PM :

       ashton kutcher wants YOU!

Beauty and the Geek is recruiting a new crop of geeks! Head on down there and find yourself some arm candy.

From Craigslist.org, here's the pitch:

"Once again, we are looking for very smart guys 21-30 years old with a high IQ and a savvy intellect. If you are more likely to be featured on Jeopardy rather than The Bachelor then we NEED you. This opportunity could make you RICHER IN LIFE (AND EVEN LOVE)."

Animated Kirk would go on this show, but unfortunately he's too darned cool. That makes him sad.



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  Posted by Tony on 4/23/2007 08:30:00 AM :

       brandon

My friend Brandon, on SPACE: "It seems like there are some people who really have something they want to say, and some people who just want to be famous."


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  Posted by Dara on 4/23/2007 07:58:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Sort of an odd one for you this week. Give it a shot, I have a feeling one of you will guess it...



(click image to largerize)

(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, 2/27/2006, 3/6/2006, 3/13/2006, 3/20/2006, 3/27/2006, 4/3/2006, 4/4/2006, 4/5/2006, 4/6/2006, 4/7/2006, 4/8/2006, 4/9/2006, 4/10/2006, 4/17/2006, 4/23/2006, 5/1/2006, 5/8/2006, 5/15/2006, 5/22/2006, 5/29/2006, 6/5/2006, 6/12/2006, 6/19/2006, 6/26/2006, 7/3/2006, 7/10/2006, 7/17/2006, 7/24/2006, 7/31/2006, 8/7/2006, 8/13/2006, 8/21/2006, 8/28/2006, 9/4/2006, 9/11/2006, 9/18/2006, 9/25/2006, 10/2/2006, 10/9/2006, 10/16/2006, 10/23/2006, 10/30/2006, 11/6/2006, 11/13/2006, 11/20/2006, 11/27/2006, 12/4/2006, 12/11/2006, 12/18/2006, 12/25/2006, 1/1/2007, 1/8/2007, 1/15/2007, 1/22/2007, 1/29/2007, 2/5/2007, 2/12/2007, 2/19/2007, 2/26/2007, 3/5/2007, 3/12/2007, 3/19/2007, 3/26/2007, 4/2/2007, 4/5/2007, 4/9/2007, 4/16/2007)

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Sunday, April 22, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/22/2007 11:54:00 PM :

       Brokeback Gamma




I picked up this copy of Marvel Knights Hulk/Think in the dollar bin at Gem City. Beautiful Jae Lee stuff but weirdly cropped panels that suggest more foreplay than an actual fight scene. Come on that cover looks like Thing's being all butch and frisky instead of wanting to tear Banner's head off.

Not nearly as bizarre as the wack Punisher manga attempt I almost picked up a couple of months ago. It looked like a friggin' Teletubbie comic with really big guns.


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  Posted by Dara on 4/22/2007 08:52:00 PM :

       Sketches from S.P.A.C.E.

The 8th annual S.P.A.C.E. convention was this weekend, and I had a great time, as always. I'll post some thoughts later (I'm pretty wiped out right now) but I figured I'd share the three con sketches I got from three very talented artists in attendance:

Creator/Writer/Artist of the cool sci-fi comic Fabricari, Steve Harrison:



Friend of the Ferret and all-around kick-ass Cleveland area artist, John G.:



Former Columbus resident and alt comix superstar Paul Hornschemeier:

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Friday, April 20, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 4/20/2007 03:42:00 PM :

       Way Back Machine

Kiss Super Special #1

There are three things I don’t believe anyone can truly understand and appreciate unless they were a kid growing up in the 1970’s: Evel Knievel, just how big an impact Star Wars had, and the power and majesty of the rock group Kiss.

The Beatles wrote pop tunes that will be remembered hundreds of years from now alongside the works of Mozart. Bob Dylan became the most influential songwriter of the 20th century. Elvis Presley brought a bastard musical form into the living rooms of middle class America. These are all noteworthy and world-changing accomplishments, but for all their achievements, none of these artists…
ever had to fight Doctor Doom.

And Kiss still can’t get into the rock hall of fame—but maybe that gives them street cred as true Marvel superheroes.

This is another one of those books that a neighbor kid wouldn’t give up when I was young, so I could only admire it from afar. The edition I now have is a reprint circa 1995, which sadly does not have the band members’ blood added to the red ink as the original boasts on the cover. It also has a variant cover, but I’ve thrown the original at the top of this post because it’s so incredibly friggin’ cool.

I never looked inside the more recent Kiss comics; I thought their covers which sported demonic imagery missed the point entirely. Kiss’ music was all about getting laid, partying, getting laid, crashing your car, and getting laid. All spoken from the heart of hormonal adolescence, but hardly demonic. A careful listen to their music will reveal that a typical Gene Simmons bass line is a jaunty sounding thing that would be at home coming off the back of an ice cream truck. These are also the guys who, at the peak of their U2-like popularity, played a high school homecoming dance because they heard the football team really dug Kiss. They even had a pancake breakfast the following morning with the mayor and helped paint city officials’ faces. These guys weren’t remotely demonic—they were just regular guys trying to bring the rock n’ roll party to everybody, and sell anything with the word “Kiss” stamped on it along the way.

Marvel got it right in 1977, giving us a couple kids on the street, railing against the man keeping them down, until they stumble upon a gypsy mystic being attacked by a gang of hoods. The gypsy recognizes Gene and Paul as two of the "chosen ones" and throws them a box containing four magic talismans. They hide with their friends Ace and Peter in a photo booth as the thugs close in—just like that scene in the old Hulk TV show, when the rednecks throw the drifter out of view, then follow after him not realizing they’re about to get stomped. The photo booth explodes outward and the thugs fall before unleashed rock n’ roll mayhem.

Ace uses his rock n’ roll teleportation powers, but overshoots, sending himself and Peter on an adventure in space while Gene and Paul have to tangle with Mephisto. They soon reunite to face an army of evil robots and giant lips, all manipulated by Doctor Doom who will stop at nothing to get the power of the talismans our heroes now hold.

Giant lips? Thank Steve Gerber, 1978’s version of Grant Morrison. He was the guy behind Howard the Duck, and this sort of thing was par for the course for him. Alan Weiss and the Buscema brothers illustrate.

The quartet finally faces Doctor Doom, and are nearly clobbered by him until they manage to overpower him in the same fashion they overpowered all of America—by appealing to his inner child. Paul’s ability to control people’s emotions allows him to subject Doom to intense talk therapy, and we become privy to the traumatic childhood which became the roots of Doom’s life of evil (no, he didn’t listen to devil music or anything…). Gaining a grudging respect for his young adversaries, he sends them on their way as they vow to use their powers to fight evil and get laid.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/19/2007 08:15:00 PM :

       The Other Paper covers SPACE and PANEL

This week's edition of the free Columbus alt-weekly The Other Paper has an article about SPACE and the indie comix scene in Columbus.
"This weekend’s Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo proves why Columbus has become a hub for independent comic-book creators. "
Unfortunately the article is not available online, so go grab a copy. Yours truly, as well as SPACE organizer Bob Corby and the ever-present Max Ink are featured. And our new anthology, PANEL 9 From Outer Space is given some ink as well!


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  Posted by Dara on 4/19/2007 08:11:00 PM :

       PANEL sponsors free S.P.A.C.E. Launch Party Saturday, April 21

Hey kids, don't forget this Saturday's bash in honor of the S.P.A.C.E. convention. The venue for this event is the very cool Momo2 lounge and tea house. They feature dozens of "bubble tea" drinks, plus beer, food, pool tables, karaoke, and even 4 lanes of bowling!



Head on over to the main Ferret Press site for maps, directions, and more details.


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  Posted by Tony on 4/19/2007 10:06:00 AM :

       Genre Tropes


There is now a wiki for Genre Tropes, including Comic Book Tropes. It apparently started out as the TV Tropes Wiki, then branched out.

It's mostly stuff you're familiar with, although there may be some you've never put into words before. Here are entries for:

Applied Phlebotinum

Batman Cold Open (a personal favorite)

Dork Age

Explosive Overclocking

And it includes a special entry just for Star Trek.


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  Posted by Dara on 4/19/2007 07:57:00 AM :

       Most/Least Gratifying Jobs

Saw this on Yahoo news and thought to share. It's from the General Social Survey (GSS) at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. I've taken the liberty of highlighting a couple of the entries :-)

"Here are the Top 10 most gratifying jobs and the percentage of subjects who said they were very satisfied with the job:

  • Clergy—87 percent percent
  • Firefighters—80 percent percent
  • Physical therapists—78 percent percent
  • Authors—74 percent
  • Special education teachers—70 percent
  • Teachers—69 percent
  • Education administrators—68 percent
  • Painters and sculptors—67 percent
  • Psychologists—67 percent
  • Security and financial services salespersons—65 percent
  • Operating engineers—64 percent
  • Office supervisors—61 percent
Here are the 10 least gratifying jobs, where few participants reported being very satisfied:
  • Laborers, except construction—21 percent
  • Apparel clothing salespersons—24 percent
  • Handpackers and packagers—24 percent
  • Food preparers—24 percent
  • Roofers—25 percent
  • Cashiers—25 percent
  • Furniture and home-furnishing salespersons—25 percent
  • Bartenders—26 percent
  • Freight, stock and material handlers—26 percent
  • Waiters and servers—27 percent"


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Wednesday, April 18, 2007
 
  Posted by Steven Russell Black on 4/18/2007 01:25:00 PM :

       Gem City Con Photos

Sean McGurr toughs it out and throws down on
the jam page, but protesting the whole time.
"but, i'm a writer"



Me. Drawing my fav, an octopus for a guy who
was collecting sketches on a show T-Shirt, it was
a cool way to collect autographs.


Craig Boggart - the writer/artist behind the always cool
"Ineffables" empire.


Friend of the Ferret and my long time collaborator
Chad Lambert of the Mothman stories fame.


My man Thomas Williams, who always brings
the rock. What can't this guy do. Working on
jobs even at the show.





Andy Bennett- busy with fans hounding him for
sketches all show long. He was pretty much
glued to his seat in this pose for the day.


we did 2 really fun jam pages that i'll post when i
get a chance to scan them in.

This was a really fun show and especially for me, since i got to
see everybody comming in to ohio for the first time in like 2 years.

It was great to see everyone. and thanks to everybody that
stopped by the table. I really appreciate all the kind words
about my work and all the books you guys bought from my
table. Hope to see you again soon.




















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  Posted by Craig on 4/18/2007 09:56:00 AM :

       The Secret History Of The Ineffables

The first storyline of The Ineffables online comic has commenced, beginning with a running tour of Ineffables Headquarters. Thanks to Tony for the lettering job.

I hope to add 1-2 pages of this 20 (?) page story weekly. Following in the summer will be a story guest-visualized by The Ineffables Mystery Corps, otherwise known as Williams, Black, Bennett & Kish.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/17/2007 07:54:00 PM :

      

I'll be quick about this..

Publisher's Weekly has an official announcement on 24-7 vol. 2. Pretty cool, our strip is in company with the likes of Gene Ha, Adam Hughes, Ashley Wood and many more. Compiling 60 plus writers, artists and creators. Cover piece goes to Wood.


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Monday, April 16, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/16/2007 11:44:00 PM :

       Bob gets around..

New interview with Bob Corby over at the PULSE. And yes I did log on to plug the party.


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/16/2007 10:57:00 PM :

       2007 Gem City Convention Bankies

It's hard hosting the Bankies after such distinguished hosts as Tony Goins, Tom Williams, and Dara Naraghi, but let me give it a shot. We'll depart from the opening monologue and get right to the awards.

The Beating the Sophomore Slump award: Jesse Noble and the rest of the organizers of the Gem City Comic Con. As Andy said, "I don't know what it is they are doing, but they are doing it right." Another great show.

The Jericho Breaking the Walls Down award: Wright State Student Union. The temporary wall was moved aside to double the size of the small press room.

The Uncool Perv award: The loser who dumped his He-Man porn zine on the giveaway table where kids were picking it up. Next time just distribute it to those of us who want it. [UPDATE: I met Ryan Gelatin at the SPACE show and he is far from being an uncool perv. I checked out his comic and it was not He-Man porn at all. Check out his work if you have a chance.]

The Gene Siskel Memorial Movie Review award: The kid who, unasked, shared with Tom his thoughts on the Star Wars prequel. "Now the third one was almost the perfect movie." Ouch.

The Gotta Collect Them All award: The guy who after telling Craig that his book "looked cool, but isn't my sort of thing," proceeded to tell him all about his Marvel Superhero toy collecting adventures.

The Wasn't Lobot a Mute award: The guys, one book store manager in particular, who wear those stupid phones that clip to your ears. Lando's buddy never talked. He was a lot cooler.

The Ron Popeil Spiel award: Steve Black. Perfecting a great sales technique by offering a new sketchbook exclusively at the show and reminding the consumers that he was in from San Francisco. People jumped at his beautiful book.

The Tammy Wynette Stand by Your Man award: Angie for supporting Steve in his endeavors at the show.

The Don't Cross the Streams award: The guys in the Ghostbusters garb. They learned their lesson from last year and ditched the jump suits (which caused them to sweat a river last year) and went with T-shirts instead. Still had the proton packs though.

The Cameo of the Con award: Dan Barlow. Good of you to stop by, Dan. Good luck with school.

Feel free to post your nominations in the comments. Look for the SPACE Bankies next week.

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  Posted by Dara on 4/16/2007 09:04:00 PM :

       Two on writing

Both of these links are via boingboing, and they deal with the art of writing. They're very quick reads, and well worth it:
  • British author M. John Harrison has a short blog entry on why "worldbuilding" in science fiction and fantasy books is usually a bad thing. "Worldbuilding numbs the reader’s ability to fulfil their part of the bargain, because it believes that it has to do everything around here if anything is going to get done."
  • A LiveJournal snippet reprinting of Kurt Vonnegut's advice on writing short stories. "3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. 6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of."

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  Posted by Dara on 4/16/2007 08:53:00 PM :

       How Stuff Works: The Batmobile

Wendy forwarded this link my way. HowStuffWorks.com is a pretty nifty site that explains, well, how different stuff works. In this case, they tell you how the Batmobile from the Christopher Nolan movie was made.
"The Batmobile is real. Every single time you see the Batmobile in the movie, you are seeing a real, physical object, not a computer-generated graphic. Whether it is driving on city streets at 100 mph, landing in the Batcave or pulling up to the scene of a crime, what you're looking at is a real car. When the Batmobile flies 30 feet through the waterfall to land in the Batcave, what's landing is a real, 5,000-pound vehicle.

And yet, the Batmobile is an illusion. Like so many other Hollywood props, the Batmobile that you see in the movie does not exist at all. "
After some fluff about the concept for the car, they get into the nitty gritty, and that's where it gets interesting:
"For example, this car is big -- it's 9 feet 4 inches (284 cm) wide. That's 8 inches (20 cm) wider than the typical 18-wheeler you see on the road.

The car uses a 5.7-liter Chevy V-8 engine.

The rear tires are 37-inch-diameter, off-the-shelf, 4x4 mud tires called Super Swampers made by Interco."
Etc.

It's a fun read, in a geeky way. Especially if you're a mechanically inclined geek.


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  Posted by Dara on 4/16/2007 07:49:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

I'll go easy on ya this week. By the way, last week's page was indeed by Steve Epting. Just goes to show you how far he's come.



(click image to SHAKKKerize)

(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, 2/27/2006, 3/6/2006, 3/13/2006, 3/20/2006, 3/27/2006, 4/3/2006, 4/4/2006, 4/5/2006, 4/6/2006, 4/7/2006, 4/8/2006, 4/9/2006, 4/10/2006, 4/17/2006, 4/23/2006, 5/1/2006, 5/8/2006, 5/15/2006, 5/22/2006, 5/29/2006, 6/5/2006, 6/12/2006, 6/19/2006, 6/26/2006, 7/3/2006, 7/10/2006, 7/17/2006, 7/24/2006, 7/31/2006, 8/7/2006, 8/13/2006, 8/21/2006, 8/28/2006, 9/4/2006, 9/11/2006, 9/18/2006, 9/25/2006, 10/2/2006, 10/9/2006, 10/16/2006, 10/23/2006, 10/30/2006, 11/6/2006, 11/13/2006, 11/20/2006, 11/27/2006, 12/4/2006, 12/11/2006, 12/18/2006, 12/25/2006, 1/1/2007, 1/8/2007, 1/15/2007, 1/22/2007, 1/29/2007, 2/5/2007, 2/12/2007, 2/19/2007, 2/26/2007, 3/5/2007, 3/12/2007, 3/19/2007, 3/26/2007, 4/2/2007, 4/5/2007, 4/9/2007)

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Saturday, April 14, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/14/2007 11:14:00 PM :

       Wave of the future

Seems kinda fitting after Dara's post on why start up publishers flounder: I meant to post about this earlier. The days of the indie monthly are numbered. Honestly, they're probably already there. At least that's the impression I get more and more. Chris Arrant interviews Dan Vado again about his branch off venture eyemelt.com. His eventual goal is to have the entire Slave Labor catalog available for download on the cheap. One gets the impression that you're lucky if you move 1000 of a new title thru the DM. Either shops avoid the book altogether or it gets lost in the white noise of Previews. Downloads are an interesting model that more publishers might jump on.

The article lead me to another download site called wowio.com. Moonstone's on there and a few indie publishers. Publishers get $.50 everytime someone downloads their book. Members pay a subscription fee and download whatever they want. One guy in the thread got his book downloaded 1000 times within a week. Hmmmmm. Could the next Bone be a monthly download to OGN model? Seems more viable than webcomic subscriptions right now.


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Friday, April 13, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/13/2007 06:50:00 PM :

       Why comics publishers go out of business

(I posted this earlier this week on Digital Webbing, in response to a prospective self-publisher asking "what are the main reasons so many publishers go out of business?" I thought it was worth cross-posting here)

Well, there's really no one single answer. Publishing indie comics, especially in today's extremely tough market, should be treated like any other business. Research the market, have a business plan, have a clear idea of who your target audience is, how you will market to them, what your advertising budget is, who your competition will be, etc.

However, off the top of my head, here are some of the main reasons a lot of indie publishers with big plans go under in such a short time:

1) Publishing too many titles too soon. You can't build up a Marvel or DC "universe" from scratch in a few months, or even years. You shouldn't even try, ever. Those universes came into being organically, over a period of decades, in a very different business climate. See: CrossGen, Ultraverse, Dark Horse Heroes, etc.

2) No real advertising or marketing. Having a website, and taking out a banner ad here or there isn't enough. You need to hit conventions, have ads in print and on the web, organize contests and events, write meaningful press releases, etc. In short, spend money to make money.

3) Scattershot offering. No clear publishing identity. Lots of indie publishers will just publish whatever work they can find, or is available at the time, without trying to build up a niche identity and appeal.

4) Poor quality. No matter how fancy the computer coloring or slick the paper, you can't polish a turd. Not only that, many new publishers seem to have a "my books are just as good as the Marvels and DC, and most of those are crap" attitude. Well, that won't cut it. You need to be better than the other books. By leaps and bounds. Yes, the big guys publish lots of crap. But it sells for them because they're Marvel and DC. You're not. Nobody will pick up your untried "good enough" book when they've been conditioned to pick up the "good enough" books from the big names, based on some weird notion of trust.

And not to be a downer or anything, but my advice would be don't try to be a publisher. The odds are stacked against you unbelievable. Just go take a looks at the marketshare figures posted on Newsarama or other sites each month. Even the most successful, hyped, well known indie publishers outside of the big 4 (say, for example, IDW or Devil's Due) have measly 1% or 2% marketshares. And they have hugely recognizable licensed properties, big name creators, and lavish production and marketing budgets.


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Thursday, April 12, 2007
 
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/12/2007 09:17:00 AM :

       So It Goes.

Kurt Vonnegut has died. The NY Times has a nice obit.

If you haven't read Vonnegut, you are missing one of the greatest American writers. Go out today and get Slaughterhouse Five.

He will be looked back on as the Mark Twain of the 20th Century. His writing is so funny, but with such a sad undercurrent. His last book, A Man Without a Country, a collection of essays, was dark, but hilarious. I came away pessimistic about the country and the world's future, but happy that, at the very least, we have artists like Vonnegut around to make life worth living. He will be missed.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/11/2007 07:18:00 PM :

       popping my Image cherry



Teaser banner for the upcoming Image anthology 24-7.(above) A tease image appeared over at CBR today. I guess our story (Chris and mine) comes out this summer per the teaser. Woot!!


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  Posted by Dara on 4/11/2007 11:25:00 AM :

       S.P.A.C.E. on Newsarama

Chris Arrant over at Newsarama has a short intyerview with Bob Corby about this year's S.P.A.C.E. convention.

Given their fanboy-heavy demographic, I don't expect too many comments on the post. Can someone here who has a Newsarama account post the Panel party poster on there? You can grab both the thumbnail and the large version off the Ferret Press home page.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/10/2007 11:22:00 PM :

       The dishes are done, dude!

I just wrapped up the script for my (essentially) first paying gig as a comics writer. It's a 22 page one-shot adaptation of a science fiction story, for the good folks at IDW. The author has posted about the comics adaptations on his own blog, though I haven't seen an official announcement from IDW yet, so I'll let them make with the details.

Although I've written hundreds of pages of stories over the years, this was the longest single-issue script I've tackled. I loved the source material, and it was quite a challenge to get it down to just 22 pages. I have to say, in many ways, it was actually tougher than writing an original story. But it was quite rewarding too. Through the process of having to analyze and dissect the source material for the adaptation, I got a thorough understanding (and appreciation) of the way a great story is crafted.

More to come, folks. The project as a whole looks to be a worthwhile series.


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  Posted by Tom on 4/10/2007 10:19:00 PM :

       $16k!!!?!



Check out the Jeff Soto show at the Jonathan Levine gallery. I'm admiring the pretty then I actually notice the pricetag. Wow! $16k a pop!


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  Posted by Dara on 4/10/2007 12:46:00 PM :

       Why Scott McCloud?

Tim Fischer posed that question in the comments section of Sean's post about the recent Scott McCloud lecture we attended at OSU. I figured I'd share my thoughts on it here.

Not to be cynical, but the short answer to Tim's "Why is he deemed to be THE comics scholar?" could just be "because nobody else is out there doing it."

And that's not to belittle his actual contributions. I think McCloud's work has a lot of merit and substance. There are very few people looking at the history, mechanics, evolution, meaning, techniques, theory, and impact of sequential art as comprehensively as he does. Aside from Eisner's books on the subject (which are much more limited in scope,) the only other works out there are a handful of "how to write/draw comics the Marvel/DC way" books or college dissertations and academic papers that are mainly cold observational theory without any soul or practical applications. To my knowledge, nobody else has take as broad (and as detailed) a look at the totality of the comics art form as McCloud has, and then presented it to creators and the mainstream audience alike in such a genuine, humorous, accessible, and often clever way.

Plus, he's a great communicator in person. In his presentations and talks, he's engaging, funny, and knowledgeable. It comes across that he simply loves the comics medium; that he's passionate about it. I can see being completely unfamiliar with comics, or a seasoned pro, and still get a lot of insight and entertainment from his talks. Heck, Jeff Smith showed up to the OSU presentation, and there's a guy who is pretty much at the top of his game.

Does McCloud sometimes fall into the trap of overanalyzing, labeling, or compartmentalizing the art of comics? Yes. And he's been called out on it. In the presentation Sean and I attended, he coped to it and even made fun of himself for those tendencies. Can he get caught up in his own theories of where comics are going, or should be going according to him, that he loses sight of what's actually happening? Again, yes. And again, I think a fair amount of creators (especially webcomics creators,) have taken him to task on that. Which to me just makes for lively and necessary discourse.

So there you have it, my love letter to Scott McCloud :-) But seriously, although far from perfect, I do think he has a lot to offer the comics community through his works. Yeah, the hero worship is a bit much, and he's taken steps to position himself as the unofficial spokesman for comics, but hey, we all need to make a living and that's the route he's chosen for his career. Nagging resentment aside over how he (or his publisher) chooses to promote himself, he's truly a passionate, knowledgeable, genuine spokesman for the art form and our face to the public at large.

Besides, I'd much rather have McCloud as the go-to "comics expert" than some cynical, sanctimonious jackass (however talented he may be) like Warren Ellis, or the dick-jokes-and-video-games approach (however successful it may be) of Penny Arcade.

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  Posted by Steven Russell Black on 4/10/2007 12:30:00 PM :

       Black Book Sketchbook to debut at Gem City

Comming home to Columbus and bringing some unique flavor from the west coast.





Hard at work putting together a new offering for The Gem City Comic Con
Black Book will be an exclusive sketch book of a very limited quantity only available at this show.


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Monday, April 09, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/09/2007 11:57:00 AM :

       Columbus, Ohio: Spaceport

Saw a mention of this article in the Smithsonian's Air and Space magazine. It's all about the future of space travel, and spaceports. What caught my eye was the mention of our own fair city:
"Infected with enthusiasm for the new businesses promising to launch masses of humanity into space—Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, for example, has signed up as many as 1,000 passengers for an up-and-back trip—people have suggested building spaceports in places like Upham, New Mexico; Burns Flat, Oklahoma; Van Horn, Texas; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; and in Singapore, Sweden, Nova Scotia, and Australia"

There's an interactive map of all the planned spaceports here.
"All seem to believe that spaceports will be the hot new industry, the next biotech, a completely novel sector of commerce that will produce tall geysers of cold cash and bring jobs, rocket paparazzi, and throngs of deep-pocketed tourists, spectators, and assorted space-niks swarming into the spaceport’s neighborhood."



Great, that's all we need in Columbus: space-niks. :-)

(via boingboing)


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  Posted by Dara on 4/09/2007 08:02:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Another week, another page from my back issue issue bin...



(click image to TAKerize)

(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, 2/27/2006, 3/6/2006, 3/13/2006, 3/20/2006, 3/27/2006, 4/3/2006, 4/4/2006, 4/5/2006, 4/6/2006, 4/7/2006, 4/8/2006, 4/9/2006, 4/10/2006, 4/17/2006, 4/23/2006, 5/1/2006, 5/8/2006, 5/15/2006, 5/22/2006, 5/29/2006, 6/5/2006, 6/12/2006, 6/19/2006, 6/26/2006, 7/3/2006, 7/10/2006, 7/17/2006, 7/24/2006, 7/31/2006, 8/7/2006, 8/13/2006, 8/21/2006, 8/28/2006, 9/4/2006, 9/11/2006, 9/18/2006, 9/25/2006, 10/2/2006, 10/9/2006, 10/16/2006, 10/23/2006, 10/30/2006, 11/6/2006, 11/13/2006, 11/20/2006, 11/27/2006, 12/4/2006, 12/11/2006, 12/18/2006, 12/25/2006, 1/1/2007, 1/8/2007, 1/15/2007, 1/22/2007, 1/29/2007, 2/5/2007, 2/12/2007, 2/19/2007, 2/26/2007, 3/5/2007, 3/12/2007, 3/19/2007, 3/26/2007, 4/2/2007, 4/5/2007)

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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/09/2007 07:00:00 AM :

       Scott McCloud Lecture Recap

Dara and I hit the Scott McCloud lecture at Ohio State last week and as always, he gave an entertaining lecture. This is the third time I've seen him at Ohio State and McCloud presents a dense, image-heavy, fast-paced lecture, this time drawing from his latest book Making Comics, which I recommend reading if you have a chance.

On the other hand, I'd recommend that tOSU do a better job of staging the event next time. The Wexner theater where the lecture was wasn't large enough for the crowd (at least 25 people were turned away) and after the talk, no one seemed to know what to do with McCloud and all the people who wanted to get a book signed.

Check out the crowd here (courtesy of the McCloud blog), and notice the two handsome young Panelistas in the third row right of center (I'm the one with the big forehead).


McCloud is on a 50 state tour promoting this new book, so try and catch him when he is in your neighborhood.

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Friday, April 06, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/06/2007 08:53:00 PM :

       Guess the Inker!

This might become an irregular feature, depending on how many worthwhile pages I can find. The game's simple: try and guess who inked this image. I've take the liberty of removing the inker's signature from underneath Wendy Pini's name.



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  Posted by Dara on 4/06/2007 08:41:00 PM :

       The 100 Artists Project

I just got an e-mail from Ben Rollman telling me about a worthwhile project being organized over at the Penciljack forums, called The 100 Artists Project. Ben says:
"Inspired by the 1000 Journal project, I've started an endeavor called The 100 Artists Project. The goal is to collect original cartoon, comic book, illustrative or graphic art and auction it off for organizations that support comic artists: The CBLDF and the Hero Initiative. The project consists of two phases: One, each artist sends in a piece of art which are scanned and then bound. The bound book is auctioned and the scanned art is sold online. Two, and the more ambitious, is a single sketchbook that is mailed to all 100 artists, each adding a sketch or drawing or illustration in turn. That book will also be scanned, then auctioned off as well as published."


Looks like they've got close to 60 artists signed up already. If you're interested in participating, head on over to Penciljack.


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Thursday, April 05, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 4/05/2007 10:14:00 PM :

       Hey kids, Comics! in 3D!

That's right. Our upcoming Panel anthology (vol. 9) - which is an homage to B-movies from the 60s and 70s - will feature front and back cover illustrations in 3D! So go grab a pair of 3D glasses for this little sneak peek:



Art by Tim Fischer and Tom Williams, respectively.

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  Posted by Dara on 4/05/2007 08:39:00 AM :

       *Bonus* Guess the Artist

In honor of the blog's 4th anniversary this week, here's a bonus "Guess the Artist" page! As always, if you have the book this is from, please refrain from playing...



(click image to KnifeToTheEye!)

(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, 2/27/2006, 3/6/2006, 3/13/2006, 3/20/2006, 3/27/2006, 4/3/2006, 4/4/2006, 4/5/2006, 4/6/2006, 4/7/2006, 4/8/2006, 4/9/2006, 4/10/2006, 4/17/2006, 4/23/2006, 5/1/2006, 5/8/2006, 5/15/2006, 5/22/2006, 5/29/2006, 6/5/2006, 6/12/2006, 6/19/2006, 6/26/2006, 7/3/2006, 7/10/2006, 7/17/2006, 7/24/2006, 7/31/2006, 8/7/2006, 8/13/2006, 8/21/2006, 8/28/2006, 9/4/2006, 9/11/2006, 9/18/2006, 9/25/2006, 10/2/2006, 10/9/2006, 10/16/2006, 10/23/2006, 10/30/2006, 11/6/2006, 11/13/2006, 11/20/2006, 11/27/2006, 12/4/2006, 12/11/2006, 12/18/2006, 12/25/2006, 1/1/2007, 1/8/2007, 1/15/2007, 1/22/2007, 1/29/2007, 2/5/2007, 2/12/2007, 2/19/2007, 2/26/2007, 3/5/2007, 3/12/2007, 3/19/2007, 3/26/2007, 4/2/2007)

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
 
  Posted by Matt Kish on 4/04/2007 09:39:00 PM :

       From the beginning...

I would never have been making comics of my own if I hadn't met my good friend Leighton Connor way back in 1999. We worked at the bookstore together and our friendship flowered around a mutual appreciation for Walt Simonson and all things Kirby. We used to do a weekly comic strip called "Don't Quit Yer Day Job" that we would xerox and staple to the other employee's paychecks. We both wrote it, Leighton drew nearly the entire thing, and I sometimes inked and always lettered. Eventually the whole silly thing morphed into this ongoing and utterly ridiculous storyline that we turned into 2 full length comic books in 2000. If it hadn't been for the fun I had working with Leighton, I'd have never started in on my own comic "Spudd 64" a year later.

Well, Leighton and I are working together again. It'll be a weekly online thing that is largely an excuse for us to do anything we want without worrying about what anyone thinks, and to riff on how much we love Kirby's old Fantastic Four. This new strip will be launching in a month or two, but it has its roots very firmly planted in "Don't Quit Yer Day Job" so even though that old strip is rough, crude, raw, and sometimes laughably terrible, I am going to post the entire thing on my web site a page at a time. Feast your eyes on the cover and the first page below, and then roll on over to my site to read the whole sorry story of how it started and see a few extras we packed into the first issue. Oh, and click on the images below to embiggen them.





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Tuesday, April 03, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 4/03/2007 11:38:00 PM :

       Allred's crazy pad


Someday I'll get a house. CBR's Cribs like Studio Tours has given me a few ideas on how to organize my studio space and some possibilities for a future home studio set up. Mike Allred's pad is no exception. I probably could never swing the coin for Kirby, Toth, or Kurtzman originals but a guy can dream. The Allred's live on an island in California. Crazy.


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  Posted by Tom on 4/03/2007 11:28:00 PM :

       Look away Tony, look away..



Here's a swipe of the back cover for B-Movie gang. Pre-3D. I wasn't happy with my first go at it so I redrew the piece.

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  Posted by Dara on 4/03/2007 08:14:00 PM :

       Win original Michael Gaydos art

Jason Rodriguez is publishing a graphic novel called Postcards, which features a series of short stories written around the contents of antique postcards he has picked up over the years. To promote the book (which sounds pretty interesting) he's concocted the following clever contest:
"The team behind Postcards is offering you an opportunity to win a page from Stuart Moore and Michael Gaydos’ “Tic-Tac-Bang-Bang.” Neatly framed and delivered to your door, this wonderful work of original art from the illustrator of Marvel’s Alias and The Pulse can be the centerpiece of your collection – if you tell us a good story, first.

On September 27, 1909, Charley Frost of Mandale, Ohio, sent a postcard to Mrs. Eva Billman of Muskingum County, Ohio (here's the front and here's the back). Charley wrote:

Dear friend
Where did mother go when she left your place? We have not heard from her for over three weeks & we did not know where to write to. We thought likely you would know.
Charley Frost


Do you think you know where Charley’s mother went? If so, tell the Postcards’ team in a 100 words or less before April 18th by sending an email (or an e-Postcard) to charley@eximiouspress.com."

There you go. Your chance to win original art for a mere 100 word story. More details here.



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  Posted by Andy Bennett on 4/03/2007 03:28:00 PM :

       PANEL 9 from Outer Space - sneak preview!

I'm WAY behind on my contribution to this Spring's PANEL issue. Not a big deal though; I mean, if I can pull off 24 pages in 21 hours, an 8-page story should be cake!

Regardless, here's page 1 of the as-yet-untitled story by Dara Naraghi and myself:

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  Posted by Tony on 4/03/2007 02:41:00 PM :

       godspeed, scotty

Star Trek Actor's Remains To Be Blasted Into Space.

Animated Kirk is too choked up to speak.



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Monday, April 02, 2007
 
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 4/02/2007 11:03:00 PM :

       Scott McCloud Lecture

Reminder to those of you in the Columbus area that Scott McCloud will be lecturing at the Ohio State University this Wednesday at 4:30 at the Wexner Center. Click here for more details.

McCloud gives great lectures and the event is free, so there is no excuse for not going.

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  Posted by Dara on 4/02/2007 07:40:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Good morning, faithful blog readers. This week marks the 4 year anniversary of the Ferret Press/PANEL blog. We have some cool content planned for the celebration. But first, let's get to our favorite game: guess the artist! Here again is a page from the early career of one of today's big name comic book artists. And it's a tough one, I think. Have at it:



(click image to use the crasherize)

(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, 2/27/2006, 3/6/2006, 3/13/2006, 3/20/2006, 3/27/2006, 4/3/2006, 4/4/2006, 4/5/2006, 4/6/2006, 4/7/2006, 4/8/2006, 4/9/2006, 4/10/2006, 4/17/2006, 4/23/2006, 5/1/2006, 5/8/2006, 5/15/2006, 5/22/2006, 5/29/2006, 6/5/2006, 6/12/2006, 6/19/2006, 6/26/2006, 7/3/2006, 7/10/2006, 7/17/2006, 7/24/2006, 7/31/2006, 8/7/2006, 8/13/2006, 8/21/2006, 8/28/2006, 9/4/2006, 9/11/2006, 9/18/2006, 9/25/2006, 10/2/2006, 10/9/2006, 10/16/2006, 10/23/2006, 10/30/2006, 11/6/2006, 11/13/2006, 11/20/2006, 11/27/2006, 12/4/2006, 12/11/2006, 12/18/2006, 12/25/2006, 1/1/2007, 1/8/2007, 1/15/2007, 1/22/2007, 1/29/2007, 2/5/2007, 2/12/2007, 2/19/2007, 2/26/2007, 3/5/2007, 3/12/2007, 3/19/2007, 3/26/2007)

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Sunday, April 01, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 4/01/2007 02:34:00 PM :

       Way Back Machine

The Invaders #2

When Marvel debuted it’s 3rd post-Onslaught, 1st post-9/11 relaunch of Captain America, I was disappointed that the editors didn’t choose to evoke the cover of Cap’s first appearance in the 1940’s by substituting Osama Bin Laden for Hitler as the target of the title character’s wrath. The last time Cap battled an enemy that could be found on a real map was three decades ago, in a comic that was set three decades before that.

Roy Thomas was handed the fanboy dream job of writing the very characters he first encountered when he started reading comics as a child; Frank Robbins illustrated the series with a style that seemed a throwback to the comics The Invaders sought to recreate—a statement which the reader can make of what they will. Thomas elected to forgo a strict adherence to established history in chronicling the team’s exploits; their first post-origin adventure sent them deep into enemy lines to confront a quartet of alien swingers.

The previous issue had seen our heroes discover an amnesiac woman stumbling through the London blitz carrying a strange alien artifact. Her foggy memory led them past Germany’s Siegried Line where they were confronted by a trio of apparent Teutonic deities. This second issue picks up with the Human Torch, Toro, and Sub-Mariner heroically playing wingmen for Captain America as the beautiful amnesiac drags him into a nearby cave, apparently hoping to learn why they call him “Steve Rogers.” Aroused by the battle, Cap prepares to send his own little soldiers ashore when the pair is interrupted by a patrol of Nazi chaperones.

It turns out the woman’s recollections have led the Invaders to a secret underground Nazi base! She returns Cap’s car keys to the fishbowl as the Nazis take the pair captive and lead them below, where they confront the evil genius running the operation; once again, we encounter the villain known as Brain Drain, seen here in his first appearance. Not just a mere brain in a jar this time, the sinister mastermind has mounted his cerebrum atop a clunky looking robot body with vicious electrical powers and donned an oversized, ill-fitting Nazi uniform to complete the visually striking ensemble.


I may sound sarcastic, but this is the sort of thing I read comics for. Seeing Brain Drain in these pages has elevated him to a spot on my five-favorite-villains-ever list, in a spot just above The Orb.

It turns out the woman and the three faux-Teutonic deities were the crew of a crashed spaceship whose power source was seized by Brain Drain; the alien technology augmented his brainpower, allowing him to erase the memories of the aliens and recast them as mythological servants of the Reich. Her will being stronger than her comrades, she was able to escape to London with a case of amnesia and the alien ship’s power source. When Brain Drain confesses his love for his female captive, she angrily informs him that she will only sleep with three men at a time—plus Captain America, of course.

She destroys the power source and BD’s hold over her comrades along with it, and the four commit suicide rather than face being stranded on Earth. The Invaders fly away in Namor’s aqua-plane as a strange mushroom shaped cloud billows up from the site of the Nazi lair.

This is one darned entertaining comic, but a writer on the letters page provides the icing on the cake. In response to the origin story seen in Giant Size Invaders #1, some knucklehead writes in to complain about the unfair portrayal of Nazis in the story. You’d think if it were safe to be un-PC to anyone, it would be them.





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