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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Monday, May 28, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 5/28/2007 12:37:00 PM :

       That's a wrap!


Stuck moved to hiatus a week or so ago. Today, Vito and I are interviewed by Chris Arrant over at the Chemistry Set.

Judging from the interview, it's uncertain when Vito will come back to it. Probably not until next year at least. Read on.


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  Posted by Dara on 5/28/2007 09:25:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

How about we take a break from the color pages and look at a nice black and white page? Guess away:



(click image to demonize)

(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, 4/30/2007, 5/7/2007, 5/14/2007, 5/21/2007)

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Saturday, May 26, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 5/26/2007 11:22:00 AM :

       "Anda's Game" inked page

A couple of weeks ago, I gave you a sneak peek at the pencils for the adaptation of "Anda's Game" that I'm doing for IDW. Well, here's a finished page:

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Friday, May 25, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 5/25/2007 10:17:00 PM :

       Brainbot update

I've been neglecting to let you know when the new issues of Melt magazine have been coming out, so just head on over to the official Brainbot, Jr. site and catch up on the monthly strip.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 5/24/2007 01:37:00 PM :

       Bring Me the Head of Gilbert Gottfried

The missus and I thought we had our backsides covered when she went on maternity leave since she had been paying into Aflac coverage through her employer. Things went pretty sour, however; they took a month and a half to process her claim, adding some hefty late fees onto our rent that month, then delivered about half the amount she was told she could expect when she purchased the policy. As a result, June will be a tight month while we play catch-up now that she's returned to work, and I need to drum up some extra $$ to get us by. Which means, regretfully, some old comics are being put on ebay, starting with:



a bunch of Byrne X-Men



They're priced to sell, so tell all your friends. I might include our mac & cheese box tops with multiple auction wins. More goodies will follow shortly.



Come this fall I start re-collecting some comics.


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Monday, May 21, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 5/21/2007 09:18:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

This one is from an obscure comic that I don't even know why I ever bought...



(click image to SubLevelize)

(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, 4/30/2007, 5/7/2007, 5/14/2007)

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 5/16/2007 08:30:00 PM :

       Batman: Grant & Breyfogle

Here's a very long interview with the quintessential 80s/90s Batman team of Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle. Lots of interesting behind-the-scenes stuff, like the story of how Grant was fired off the bat titles after a 13 year run, or that Batman #500 sold around 4.5 million copies.
"AG: I was sent two Batman stories before Wagner and I started writing the Ventriloquist story and one of them happened to be Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, which I thought was vastly over-rated. Reading it from a British point of view it seemed to me like at least 30 or 40% of the ideas in it had been stolen from 2000AD."




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  Posted by Tom on 5/16/2007 07:29:00 PM :

      




Ashley Wood's got a gorgeous preview of the 24-7 vol.2 cover. It's weird and exciting to see my name on the list of contributors.

update: Image has it being solicited for August 1st. I'm sure Ivan will have some copies ready to go for San Diego.


Local boy/ CCAD alum Steve Hamaker's got a new interview over at the Pulse. Talking up Bone, Shazam and his work on Flight.


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Monday, May 14, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 5/14/2007 12:59:00 PM :

       Way Back Machine

This comic didn’t make much of an impression on me when I picked it up as a kid. It’s the third part of a four-part story which offers little in the way of rising action or resolution, and brings only the barest synopsis to a reader just coming into the story to understand or care about what the heck’s going on. In other words, Super Villain Team-Up #11 was about thirty years ahead of its time.

It’s not so bad reading it now, having been desensitized to inaccessible storytelling in superhero comics, and I actually quite enjoyed it this time around. I was most struck by Bob Hall’s great looking artwork in this issue; I picked this up with a pile of other issues in the series, and his work doesn’t look this good in any other book. He was either having a breakthrough of sorts when he was working on this single issue, or, as I suspect from a careful study of these panels, Gene Colan pitched in with an uncredited layout assist. I’ll never know for sure.

Super Villain team-ups are apparently (and logically) the opposite of superhero team-ups; villains have a misunderstanding early on which causes them to work together, before later degenerating into a free-for-all death duel. Such was the case with Doctor Doom and the Red Skull, who together had hatched some plan for world conquest before the Skull deposed Doom as ruler of Latveria and shrunk him and Captain America to the size of field mice, setting them loose in the garden outside the castle. Namor’s presence is never really explained, but he proves key to restoring the protagonists to normal size (showing loyalty to Doom, rather than his fellow Invader as one might expect), and there’s a new guy called the Shroud who’s present mainly to get slapped around by everybody—Skull, Doom, and Cap alike. The guy actually cries after Cap belts him.
Writer Bill Mantlo redeems the issue on two points: the first, a single page showing once again that Doc Doom is the coolest villain in all of western literature. As Mini-Doom and Mini-Cap sneak back into the castle, Cap is surprised by Doom’s display of affection for those that serve him out of genuine loyalty. By the end of the page, however, the Doom we know returns when he gets pissed off at the sight of someone else sitting on his throne. The exchange in those last two word balloons is priceless.
The second saving feature of the issue is a great cliffhanger: everyone had ganged up on the Skull and apparently beaten him, but the Nazi’s secret teleport device sends him to his hidden base on the moon, where his finger now rests on the trigger of the dread Hypno-Ray. With the enslavement of all earth only minutes away, our heroes (and villains) can only stare at the Skull’s gloating image on a view screen in Doom’s Latverian castle. I didn’t care about much of this book when I was seven, but I did want to know how this was resolved.

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  Posted by Craig on 5/14/2007 11:47:00 AM :

       Proud Poppa

I was hurrying through the grocery store a few days ago with my 22-month old belted into the cart when she pointed to something behind me and started yelling excitedly.

"Pider! Pider!"

I had no clue what might have drawn her attention; looking around, I finally saw a big display featuring a prominent movie tie-in.

"Yes, honey. That's Spider-Man."

I'm sure we'll both always remember this sentimental moment of father/daughter bonding.


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  Posted by Dara on 5/14/2007 08:06:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Not sure what to think of this one. It may be easy, it may not...



(click image to KERAKKCKerize)

(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, 4/30/2007, 5/7/2007)

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Saturday, May 12, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 5/12/2007 11:00:00 AM :

       My other IDW project

Seems like it's turning into IDW Week here at the blog...

Anyway, I've received the ok to post a bit about the other project I'm doing for IDW. They will be adapting 6 of science fiction/futurist writer Cory Doctorow's short stories into comic book one-shots, and I've been asked to script two of them. I've already turned in the script for the first one, Anda's Game, and I'm currently working on the second, Craphound.

Matt Wagner was originally going to do the cover for the books, but I think he had to back out due to a scheduling conflict. So instead the good folks at IDW got Sam Keith to do the cover for Anda's Game:



And here are a couple of samples of the interior art. Pencils by Eduardo Alpuente, who has done a lot of inking in the past for Marvel, DC, and Wildstorm, but kicks it into overdrive as the lead artist here:



Cory really liked the script for Anda's Game, and he even mentions it on boingboing. Even though this is strictly a work-for-hire situation adapting someone else's work, it's been a lot of fun and a good learning experience on the structure of a well-formed story.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/12/2007 10:42:00 AM :

       Duncan

Meet the newest member of the family. We adopted Duncan this week from the Franklin County Dog Shelter. He's a hound mix, we think between 1 and 2 years old, and he's the most amazingly gentle and mellow dog I've ever seen.



Hanna took to him immediately, and this is a girl who's afraid of most dogs (due to a couple of scary experiences with dogs when she was really young.)



Duncan is housebroken, crate trained, and knows how to sit and shake hands. But his favorite hobby seems to be pretending he's the world's biggest lapdog. He loves nothing more than curling up with you on the couch.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 5/10/2007 09:44:00 PM :

      

It's circulating around the internets: Tom Artis' family needs some help. A veteran comics creator, he passed away leaving his family in dire financial need. Everyone needs to throw some money into the pot. Freelancers can empathize. It can be as small as what you would spend on a trade. You know, the trade you bought even though you had it in softcover or all the issues leading up to the trade. He wasn't a John Byrne or Jim Lee, which is why money was thin once he had that stroke. He couldn't work. For freelancers, a suprize like this will sink you. I'll be sending a check out tommorow. Modest it may be every little bit helps.

A fund has been set up to help the man's family pay for funeral expenses and to help his kids out. You can send a check to:

The Tom TC Artis and Family Memorial Fund
Marine Bank
Attn: Gale Krueger
1401 North Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62702
Add to Memories Tell a Friend


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 5/09/2007 09:40:00 PM :

       IDW to publish LIFELIKE

Well, the news has been out for a few weeks, but I figured I should get around to making an official post about it on the blog.

IDW Publishing will be presenting my Lifelike webcomic as a deluxe hardcover, full-color graphic novel in December. Needless to say, I'm very excited by this opportunity. I've worked with over a dozen great artists on the strip, and really wanted to find a publisher willing to not only print the book in graphic novel format, but also do it in full color. Ted Adams, Chris Ryall, and everyone else at IDW have been great to work with. They're enthusiastic about the book, and keep me in the loop on everything from ad copy to press release wording.

Speaking of which, here's the ad they ran in the APE program book a few weeks ago:



Here's a picture of the IDW booth at APE, with a nice color poster promoting Lifelike:



And here are some links to publicity for the books:
  • Newsarama article about IDW's foray into publishing a line of indie/alternative graphic novels.
  • Comic Book Resources covers the new line of indie books.
  • The IDW website carries the same article as above, with color images of the books. Lifelike is in good company with Pat Lewis' The Claws Come Out, and Troy Little's Chiaroscuro.

And lastly, here's the official press release announcing the book:
"ONE WORLD… MANY STORIES
IDW Publishing collects Dara Naraghi’s diverse visions of life in a beautiful hardcover edition

San Diego, CA (April 30, 2006)— Following in the footsteps of their beautiful hardcover editions of THE COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD’S DICK TRACY, as well as the upcoming THE COMPLETE TERRY AND THE PIRATES, THE COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE and CHIAROSCURO, IDW Publishing proudly announces the latest in their new line of independent and personal hardcover collections—Dara Naraghi’s LIFELIKE.

LIFELIKE is a diverse collection of slice-of-life stories… and beyond. Each vignette presents a glimpse into a different corner of the world outside our window. From the sentimental to the shocking, the familiar to the unknown, it’s all here. Written by Dara Naraghi, the anthology includes the work of talented artists Irapuan Luiz, Shom Bhuiya, Marvin Mann, Neil Errar, Jason Scott Jones, Jerry Lange, Tom Williams, Steven Spenser Ledford, Adrian Barbu, Steve Black, Andy Bennet, and Tim McClurg.

“There are so many different visual styles here,” says Nebula and Locus award winning novelist Cory Doctorow, “and Naraghi is such a versatile storyteller, that they barely seem to be part of the same series, but there’s something that links them together, a great storyteller’s sensibility. From hard-boiled noir crime to war memoirs to sweet, sentimental stories, LIFELIKE has the feel of a great comics anthology, like DRAWN AND QUARTERLY or WORLD WAR III.”

“Usually when people hear 'slice of life stories,' they instantly think of whiny, emo-types talking endlessly about failed relationships, or sensitive artistes examining their lackluster existence in excruciating detail," said creator Naraghi. "But if you think about it, real life is full of so many different kinds of people, events, and experiences. So why not explore as many as possible? That’s what I’ve tried to do with my short stories. A little humor, a little angst, some downright criminal behavior, and a sprinkle of sentimentality. And that’s just the beginning…"

LIFELIKE will be released in December 2007 in a deluxe hardcover format and contains 108 full color pages. It will retail for $19.99.

ABOUT IDW PUBLISHING

IDW PUBLISHING is a division of Idea and Design Works, LLC, a revolutionary creative service company with a wide range of clients. Among their best-selling titles are Hasbro’s THE TRANSFORMERS; Fox’s ANGEL, Konami’s METAL GEAR SOLID, and FALLEN ANGEL. IDW’s 30 DAYS OF NIGHT film is in development and will be released by Sony Pictures in October 2007. IDW has films in development at Dimension Films and Paramount Pictures, too."

I suppose a lot can happen between now and December, but so far things are progressing smoothly. Keep your fingers crossed for me, and if you're so inclined, feel free to mention the book on your own blog or link back to this post. Thanks!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 5/08/2007 01:03:00 PM :

       Central City Comics

This one's for Andy. While surfing through one of Beau Smith's columns, I came across this picture:



"Central City Comics. Columbus, Ohio. 1989. They set a manly stage for my store signing."

Andy, were you working at the store during that time?


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Monday, May 07, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 5/07/2007 11:15:00 AM :

       Way Back Machine

What if #11

What If The Original Marvel Bullpen Had Become The Fantastic Four?” The title seems a bit redundant, since Stan and Jack obviously had super powers to begin with. Any excuse to get Jack Kirby to do another Fantastic Four story, however. Sure, I covered Kirby recently; is anyone going to complain? An early FF establishes the real-world setting of the series by having Doc Doom set a trap by holding Stan and Jack hostage and forcing them to call Reed Richards about a fake story conference. Jack makes it even more real with this issue, giving us actual comic creators as the FF.

In this offering from Marvel’s alternate reality series, Stan Lee has taken the place of Reed Richards, bullpen secretary Flo Steinberg fills in for Susan Storm, former Marvel VP Sol Brodsky flames on, and Jack himself dishes out the clobbering. It seems the Skrulls hatched a plan to mutate the population of Earth, and their initial experiment involved setting off a cosmic ray device at Marvel Headquarters. In this strange parallel Earth, the quartet chronicled the exploits of their fictional counterparts while they regularly saved the world in secret. Here they are gathered in Stan’s office (their leader sans moustache in his younger days), shortly before the fateful event that cursed them with strange abilities…

“A toy owl.” Stan kills me even when Jack’s the one doing the writing.

As if anyone cares about the story behind the wonderfully ridiculous premise: the FF are tracking a series of cosmic-ray mutants in hopes of finding the villains behind the plot, as well as a way to reverse their own condition. The story opens on the dread Island of Doctor Murrow and moves on to Atlantis, where they hope Namor’s undersea technology will be able to provide some leads.

The idea for the premise was editor Roy Thomas’, but he got bumped as the Torch in favor of Brodsky when Jack took over. The Stan Lee persona dominates the book, and Jack proves himself to be a helluva humor writer. As for Jack’s variation on The Thing: if there was ever any doubt which of his characters Jack himself identified with, the Kirby Thing sounds pretty much the same as the Bashful Benjamin model.


Back in the day, the bullpen passed itself off as a bunch of regular guys (“Genial” Gene, “Our Pal” Sal, “Jazzy” Johnny, “Sturdy” Steve, even “Smilin’” Stan), rather than posing as rising superstar artist rock stars. While the former may itself have been just as calculated, it’s still a lot more down to earth, and didn’t feed into a certain sickness that drives much of the collecting community in the present. It’s cool that in the days when Marvel was the young upstart, even the lady that sits in the office opening the mail was well known enough to warrant a place on the “real-life” Fantastic Four.

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  Posted by Dara on 5/07/2007 07:37:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Let's make this week a challenging one again...



(click image to WTFerize)

(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, 4/30/2007)

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Saturday, May 05, 2007
 
  Posted by Steven Russell Black on 5/05/2007 02:11:00 PM :

       DRAW OFF

BLACK / MCCLURG DRAW OFF

Mr. McClurg and I just finished up our dailies draw off.

First person not to post for the day is the loser.
The competition has come to an end but there are lots of
great images over on our Live Journal sites.

I'd like to do another one soon. Any theme requests?




http://crowntriple.livejournal.com/ Steven Blacks Facial Expressions themed dailies
http://tmcclurg.livejournal.com/ Tim McClurgs Star Wars themed dailies


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Friday, May 04, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 5/04/2007 09:19:00 AM :

       dashboard spider-fessional


Slate.com has an article today called, Spider-Man Gets All Emo: Does the sunny superhero really need a dark side?

I'm not really up on emo -- or Spider-Man, for that matter. But I thought there was always a fair amount of overlap between the two things?

I listen to Slate.com when it comes to the War in Iraq, but their stuff on comix usually sucks.


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Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 5/03/2007 05:43:00 PM :

       Way Back Machine



Silver Surfer: Judgment Day graphic novel

According to the story I read ages ago, Stan Lee had pitched a Fantastic Four plot to Jack Kirby in which the FF “fought God.” When the artwork arrived on Stan’s desk to script, he was surprised to see a figure on a surfboard cruising through space to make way for the main threat. Jack’s logic was that any god needed to have someone to fill the role of prophet—or herald. Given his fetish for odd modes of transportation—the cosmic surfboard, Death on skis—I wonder what cosmic being Jack would have given us on a Segway.

The Silver Surfer was very much Jack’s baby, but it was Stan who made him the overwrought philosopher I know and love. My first encounter with the character was in the pages of the Marvel’s Greatest Superhero Battles compilation; somewhere between the first Hulk/Thing throwdown and Namor pummeling Iron Man was the Lee/Buscema Silver Surfer vs. Thor battle from Norrin Radd’s fourth issue. Not to take due credit from Jack, but it’s Buscema that I most associate with the character. (Yes, this is the third time Big John has found his way into the WBM; just wait until I get around to “Sal Buscema month.”)

At about the same time as the Epic Comics 2 issue mini Stan wrote with Moebius, we “old school” fans got a treat in the form of a “lost issue” of the Lee /Buscema series, courtesy of the Judgment Day graphic novel. At a time when Steve Englehart and Ron Lim were making the Surfer one of Marvel’s more pedestrian characters in his revived series, this gift was much needed.

The idea for this was was John Buscema’s; an oversized hardcover 64-page graphic novel consisting of nothing but splash pages. The format makes it tough to present as sequential illustration; it reads more like a series of snapshots, with Stan’s prose ably bridging the pages to make the narrative flow (even that late in the game, the Smilin’ one still had it, and Stripperella was a distant speck on the horizon). The experiment pays off with some of the most beautiful artwork of Buscema’s career and Stan bringing his “A” game.
Here’s the plot: The Surfer has befriended Galactus’ newest herald Nova, and assured himself that she is guiding the space god only to uninhabited planets to feed. Nova falls under Mephisto’s influence, however, and believes herself to be in love with Galactus. Suddenly she serves him blindly, taking him to a series of populated planets, as we see Galactus destroy everything from militant cultures to a planet of ewoks.
Alarmed when he notices a growing population of galactic refugees, the Surfer tracks down Nova and a fight breaks out. Before the conflict concludes Galactus steps in and, deciding he’s had it with bickering heralds, confines both of them to a dead planet. An anguished Surfer contemplates a universe at the mercy of Galactus’ appetite, untempered by a guiding conscience. That’s when Mephisto shows up, offering to release the heralds in order to stop Galactus—if only the Surfer signs on the dotted line. Weighing his soul against the entire universe, the Surfer agrees.
Unfortunately, Mephisto invokes the old “I didn’t say when you could stop Galactus” clause, taking the Surfer straight to the underworld to get some torture out of the way first. The Surfer declares the contract void, but isn’t really in a position to negotiate. Nova contacts Galactus and tells him what’s been going on, and Galactus decides that no one screws with Galactus’ heralds but Galactus. The angry space god tracks Mephisto to the underworld, and when the battle seems to be ending in a draw, he changes tactics and starts to devour Hell. Lesson: do not f*ck with Galactus. A cowed Mephisto releases his captive, and they live happily ever after.

In closing, let us recite together the Surfer’s Creed:

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  Posted by Dara on 5/03/2007 01:53:00 PM :

       Boom! Studios looking for artists

Here you go, aspiring sequential-artist types:
"ATTENTION ALL SEQUENTIAL ARTISTS: Boom! Studios is launching an artist search for their expanding line of comic book projects based on Games Workshop’s immensely popular Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 games....At the moment, our growth is outpacing our ability to find suitable artists for the books...Artists should submit via email 3-5 pages of sequential artwork, along with contact information, to boom.artist.search@gmail.com."
More details here.


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  Posted by Dara on 5/03/2007 01:34:00 PM :

       1970s DC comics in Arabic

Via boingboing comes this link to Ethan Persoff's site, where he has scanned an article from the 1970s magazine Aramco World about DC comics translated into Arabic. Clark Kent is localized into Nabil Fawzi (which according to a boingboing reader roughly translates into Noble Victory,) and the publisher changed the sound effects as well:



And yet another reason why Batman is the coolest superhero of all: his logo looks spiffy in any language:



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  Posted by Tony on 5/03/2007 08:13:00 AM :

       he's lost our vote

In an old radio program, Rudy Giuliani goes postal on a ferret enthusiast.


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 5/02/2007 10:35:00 AM :

       all-underrated


I'd like to see a movie starring only underrated actors.

Ryan Reynolds headlines, with Robert Forster in the No. 2 lead. Pam Grier costars. Donal Logue is the fast-talking sidekick, alongside Marc Ruffalo as the sensitive lover type. Andre Braugher comes along to add some fire to the mix.

Cameo by Jeremy Piven, who is rapidly (and rightfully) becoming too big for this movie.

Stanley Tucci or Oliver Platt as the villain, alongside Kim Coates. Yeah, I said it. Kim Coates.

David Caruso used to be in this movie, but I think he's rated pretty correctly these days.

I know I'm forgetting someone. Can somebody help me out with this one?


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