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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Friday, June 29, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 6/29/2007 05:36:00 PM :

       Ahhhh old school indie nostalgia of the Ohio variety..


If this is what I think it is from Jeff Smith, this is going to be a hoot. I recall the skinny from this the same night I heard about a lame Frank Miller Batman vs Bin Laden pitch three years ago. This was the better of the two. Six page teaser at San Diego.
_____________________________________________

Per Paul Pope's blog, the new THB from Adhouse contains all new material and is off to press. Pinky swear. It'll be ready for San Diego and available after at Adhouse's site. Initially I thought the print run was limited for a San Diego and not available thru Diamond. Hmmmmm. I have them bookmarked. Will it make sence in the HR Watson storyline? Is Pope ever going to finish that thing?? So promising and so irritating at the same time.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 6/28/2007 02:05:00 PM :

       Way Back Machine

Bringing Sal Buscema month to a close with: Marvel Team-Up #36

Sometimes that whole nostalgia thing doesn’t work out.

This was one of the coolest books in the world when I was five years old; Spider-Man meets Frankenstein? How could that not be excellent? Sometimes a team-up book is nothing more than an excuse to get readers of first-tier characters to sample characters from the publisher’s back bench, hence some of the odder and more nonsensical pairings in some issues. This concept that was so compelling to me back in kindergarten just doesn’t hold up reading it in the present, but the outright goofiness of the endeavor lets me retain a fondness for it.

In addition to writing my all-time favorite storyline for my all-time favorite character (the Gwen Stacy clone series that spawned a monster in the dark days of the 1990’s), Gerry Conway was also handling the script chores for Marvel Team-Up. Perhaps this story is the result of one of the nights the younger members of the Marvel bullpen spent dropping acid at Gerber’s place (at least, that’s what I like to imagine was going on), or perhaps an incredulous Conway was told by an editor that he needed to shoehorn Marvel’s version of Mary Shelly’s creation into a Spider-man story. Either way, the results are strangely absurd.

The story opens with Spider-Man attempting to foil a robbery, only to be zapped from behind by an unseen assailant with a ray gun. He wakes up minutes later in the Balkans, strapped to a table next to Frankenstein’s monster. Not only does Conway not reveal how he was transported, he actually has the villain taunt the protagonists by saying he won’t tell how it was done. The arch-fiend is Doctor Ludwig Von Shtupf (I swear I’m not making any of this up), otherwise known as the Monster Maker. (Okay, he hasn’t actually made any monsters yet, but he’s getting to it…) Spider-Man decides the situation is simply too absurd to deal with and busts himself and Frank out without nabbing the bad guys, nor even asking any questions—and neither should the reader.
Our heroes hide in the snowy forest as Von Shtupf’s henchmen pursue them on skis, Bond-villain style. We are then treated to a flashback showing the secret origin of Frankenstein, in case, y’know, anyone reading the comic hadn’t heard the story. As the tale ends, a scream draws the pair to the defense of a female skiing the slopes who the bad guys have decided to harass purely out of their own evil nature. After the good guys take care of the henchmen, she gets the drop on them with some handy sleep gas.

Turns out she’s a SHIELD agent sent after Von Shtupf in what can only be considered some form of hazing for new agents. She teams up with the two heroes (?) to sneak back into the castle, where they discover the Doctor has also managed to kidnap the Man-Wolf.

We’re actually heading into issue #37 at this point, but this is really important stuff, so keep reading.

Von Shtupf’s master plan is to dissect Spider-Man, Frank, and the Man-Wolf in order to create a hybrid Spider-powered, Frankenstein-strong, Man-Wolf scary army of supermonsters with which to conquer the world. Apparently, the Doctor’s college coursework was light on literature; anyone who’s sat through a couple lit classes could probably tell him what he’d find dissecting Frank.

Deciding he’s had enough with the character, Conway writes Von Shtupf out of the story in a riveting non-confrontation before sending Spider-Man off the fight the Man-Wolf, who has slipped off his leash and kidnapped the lady SHIELD agent. At the conclusion of the issue, Spider-Man unwittingly says some insensitive things to Frank to underline the tragic nature of the character before hopping onto a helicopter with the spy, Man-Wolf and Von Shtupf tied up in the back.

Still, I really like that Sal Buscema art.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 6/27/2007 09:51:00 PM :

       Bud Light presents Real Men of Genius (part deux)

They've been playing those funny radio ads again lately, which reminded me of when I wrote this, which got me thinking about a new installment. Enjoy.

-----

Bud Light presents Real Men of Genius. (Real Men of ge-nius!)

Today we salute you, Mr. Superhero-less Superhero Comic Writer Man.

(Mr. Superhero-less Superhero Comic Writer Man!)

Building upon the proud tradition of a uniquely American genre, you write male adolescent power fantasies about musclebound heroes and villains in bright, skin-tight costumes battling each other in exotic locales...except without the musclebound heroes and villains in bright, skin-tight costumes battling each other in exotic locales.

(Clark Kent reads the paper then hails a Taxi!)

You revel in the minutiae of the Marvel and DC comic book universes, know the middle names of B-list villains, and dig up obscure continuity threads for your stories, but actually showing a superhero in your superhero book is beneath you.

(Those costumes are so gay!)

A 6-issue storyline featuring Peter Parker and Mary Jane's quest for reasonable renter's insurance? Some may find it boring and trite, but you know better, O' Literary Lion of the Leaflet.

(It's a metaphor for life, you ignorant bitches!)

So crack open an ice cold Bud Light, Mr. Superhero-less Superhero Comic Writer Man, for when it comes to writing 22 straight pages of Bruce Banner and Reed Richards shooting the shit while drinking beers at a bar, you're our superhero.

(Bud Light Beer, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Missouri)

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  Posted by Steven Russell Black on 6/27/2007 12:12:00 PM :

       slow paced draw off has ramped up...sort of

http://tmcclurg.livejournal.com/ Tim McClurg NOVA


http://crowntriple.livejournal.com/ Steven Russell Black NOVA


Tim finished his half of the draw off so I thought i'd throw it up again to see the different approaches. I always like to see everyones different take on the characters. It would be cool to see some more if any one wants to play at home and post along, send us the links. CAP MARVEL is up next.


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  Posted by Tony on 6/27/2007 10:42:00 AM :

       comfest ... by the numbers


Acquaintances spotted: 19
That guy from/That girl from: 8
Topless women spotted: 32*
Ex-girlfriends spotted: 1**
Guys in kilts: 7
Guys in hot pants: 2
Inquiries about actual ferrets: 1
Conspiracy theories: 3
Bands seen: 2 (plus I joined in at a Tai Chi demonstration)
Midgets: 3
Corn dogs eaten: 1
Funnel cakes eaten: 0 (frown)
Guys with snakes: 5
Sketches done: 6
Sketches I'm happy with: 1
Rained on: three times
Inhalations of second-hand pot smoke: innumerable.

* Some of these are certainly repeats, but this is the tally I have in my notebook.
** All in all, a pretty good result.


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Monday, June 25, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 6/25/2007 09:47:00 PM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Sorry for the delay, I'm still recovering from Comfest. Anyway, here's this week's page::



(click image to FIGHT!)

(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, 5/28/2007, 6/4/2007, 6/11/2007, 6/18/2007)

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  Posted by Tom on 6/25/2007 06:19:00 PM :

      

New 2007 list for top censored stories from project censored. Took the wind out of my lunch break.. again. The news keeps making the crazies sound more sane by the day. If you aren't aware of Project Censored, a panel of esteemed folk vote on the top news stories largely ignored by mainstream media and newspapers. Due to corporate consolidation of media outlets, news slips thru the cracks. Either because it offends sponsors, doesn't net the ratings like a Paris Hilton story, or the company's subsidiaries are involved.

Stand outs are the ocean's in chaos, Cheney's cashing out on Haliburton stock, net neutrality law, and the flawed physics behind the 9/11 investigation. Everyone must read this if they haven't already.


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  Posted by Tony on 6/25/2007 10:31:00 AM :

       conspiracy nuts at Comfest

One hazard of sitting at a booth at Comfest is that it is an open invitation for crazy people to come up to you and share their conspiracy theories. For example, a few years ago someone came up to us and shared his theory on how America had a station on the moon, but Richard Nixon sabotaged it.

This year the theories were:

1. Local politicians have mistresses.

2. Republicans were right to have their 2004 convention in NYC, not because it allowed them to take NYC, but because it allowed them to talk about 9-11. Democrats gained no advantage by holding a convention in Boston, because Democrats aren't as tactically smart.

3. The Bush administration is breaking the law and the Constitution in any number of ways.

4. The 2004 election was stolen in Ohio.

Reality is so strange these days that the conspiracy nuts can't improve upon it. That's pretty effed up, kittens.


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Friday, June 22, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 6/22/2007 01:49:00 PM :

       dateline: columbus

The Onion covers the scene in Columbus.

(This is pretty accurate, except for the name of the bar. Any bar in Columbus called Wolverine's would be burnt to the ground.


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  Posted by Tony on 6/22/2007 11:09:00 AM :

       the ferret has landed!


Here's a picture of Tom from about 45 minutes ago, in front of our tent. Do you know what he's doing? He's bringing the rock, as per usual.


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  Posted by Dara on 6/22/2007 08:04:00 AM :

       See you at Comfest!

Columbus' Comfest is the largest all-volunteer run community festival, and Ferret Press will once again have a booth at this fantastic outdoor music and arts event. Come see us June 22-24 in gorgeous Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio. 4 stages of music, 200+ bands, vendors, food, beer, art, and activism. And it's all FREE!



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  Posted by Tom on 6/22/2007 12:18:00 AM :

       Panel at Comfest!


Panel takes their wares to the masses tommorow at the beloved local Community Festival. The lines between man and woman are blurred, second hand cannibus is bound to be inhaled. The music is great. You can throw a stone anywhere and hit a hipster square in the ass. Good times. I love this festival. It's got all the trappings of a county fair but with better music and no rides. I always hated the rides. Stop by the Ferret Press booth this weekend and say hi!


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Thursday, June 21, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 6/21/2007 10:27:00 AM :

       Way Back Machine

Sal Buscema month continues:

When I debuted the first issue of The Ineffables at one of Jeff Harper’s shows in 2001 (a few tables down from a couple guys pushing a new book called AKA), an astute observer pointed out that my character of Mason was obviously a rip-off of Jack Kirby’s “Stone Men” from the first appearance of Thor. This scholar was apparently unaware that there are a number of statues somewhere out in the Pacific which predates Journey Into Mystery by several centuries which Jack and I may have both drawn from for inspiration. It is possible, though, that there was one other comic that influenced me far more than I realized when I read it at the age of eleven:

The Incredible Hulk #261

Remember when I said that Herb Trimpe was the only guy to properly draw the Hulk? I take that back; there’s one other. Sal Buscema’s model was the version I grew up with and got to know best. For a number of years, the typical Hulk comic was a self-contained episode featuring the title character dropped into some new bizarre location to battle a creature from a Japanese monster movie; very little examination of Bruce Banner’s tormented psyche or personal anguish, heavy on all kinds of weirdness. My kind of comic, in other words, even if Frank Miller screwed up the Absorbing Man's leg on that cover.

This issue opens up with the Hulk swimming the Pacific. He’s just battled his girlfriend’s ex-husband to the death in Japan and tried leaping home, but didn’t find any land to travel on. Even the Hulk gets cramps when he’s swimming across an ocean, so when he finally comes to a beach he passes out from exhaustion and changes back to Bruce Banner, without noticing the strange landmarks around him or his observer hidden in the shadows.
It turns out the Absorbing Man has been hiding out on Easter Island. He was recently stomped so badly by the Avengers that he’s been reduced to a paranoid amnesiac, hiding from unknown pursuers. Convinced Banner is one of “them”, he captures the scientist and drags him into the tunnels leading to his subterranean hiding place. Here’s a series of claustrophobic panels as Banner struggles to keep from changing into his oversized alter ego in a narrow tunnel under tons of earth:

Upon arriving in Crusher Creel’s cave, Banner has time to reflect on his surroundings. It seems that writer Bill Mantlo has recently read a book about Easter Island, and gives us a theoretical history of the site through Banner’s recollections. Here’s some educational material to go with your escapist entertainment:
Banner tries to escape, and of course he changes into the Hulk while trapped in the narrow tunnel—not that the Hulk really cares. The slugfest follows, during which the Absorbing Man once again proves his value as a punching bag for whoever he’s fighting-- though he’s not as humiliated here as when Thor tricked him into grabbing a cardboard replica of Mjolnir in a toy store.
The guy at that Jeff Harper show wandered off without taking a comic, obviously. I wonder if he told Dara and Steve that AKA was obviously a rip-off of Alias?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 6/20/2007 03:58:00 PM :

       Conroy was robbed

Cracked.com offers up its ranking of Best Movie Batmans. Batmen. Whatever.


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  Posted by Tony on 6/20/2007 11:22:00 AM :

       Batman vs. Man-Bat: Lessons Learned

A few months ago I picked up "Batman vs. Man-Bat," a 1984 reprint collection of Batman's first encounters with his classic foe/ally/SWF-style stalker. I learned four things from this:

1. Foam-soled shoes are good, but if you want to evade the Batman, it's a good idea to STFU.







2. If that doesn't work, try ping pong balls.







3. It's your wedding day, and you've got an embarrassing blemish? Unsightly scars? Bat ears and a snout? Don't worry! In the DCU, you can hide all that with a convincing rubber mask.







4. Neal Adams can make even the most ridiculous story look good.



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Tuesday, June 19, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 6/19/2007 09:45:00 PM :

       Old comics are funny

Mixed messages, anyone? When middle-aged men write comics about teen age girls, this is what you get.



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Monday, June 18, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 6/18/2007 07:42:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Ok, we're back to sequential pages. This is from a series I'd like to go back and re-read. Have at it:



(click image to Blamerize)

(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, 5/28/2007, 6/4/2007, 6/11/2007)

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Saturday, June 16, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 6/16/2007 07:21:00 PM :

       I got 'Bliss'ed today..

I've been enjoying the Open Source interviews on the Pulse by Jane Irwin. So far they're three interviews into the series. The series focuses on today's self-publishing 'models': the mini, Print on Demand, web to graphic novel, the 'floppy' to trade, and straight to graphic novel. Doing a 160 pg. graphic novel still seems viable with the Xeric grant (max amount is $5k). Interesting.

_______________________________________

Over at the Engine, neat thread started by Brubaker. Writers talk about what their typical work day is.


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Wednesday, June 13, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 6/13/2007 11:02:00 PM :

       Joe Casey interview

Tom Spurgeon over at The Comics Reporter recently did an in-depth interview with comics scribe Joe Casey. After 10 years in comics, and having worked at both Marvel and DC, Joe's got an interesting take on the biz and his place in it.
"I'd rather be tenth in line for twenty years than first in line for one."

"The thing is... artists can exploit the entertainment business right back. When I write for a mainstream publisher, am I exploiting them and their considerable presence in the Direct Market to get my name out there more? Sure I am. Are they exploiting me by paying me less than I'm worth for a product they'll get a lot more in return for? Absolutely. I think it's only depressing when you have a different view of what the entertainment business should be. Particularly one that somehow owes you something. I don't have that view, and to do the work I enjoy doing, I need to master the system that's there, evolve when it evolves, bob and weave when it throws another punch. I'm not depressed about it at all, really. You can yearn to change the system, but you have to realize going in that the system doesn't want to be changed."
Worth a read.


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  Posted by Tony on 6/13/2007 01:34:00 PM :

       just in time for the movie ...

The Onion's AV Club has a list of "10 Wonderfully Weird Moments from Fantastic Four Comics"

Click here to read it.


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Monday, June 11, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 6/11/2007 05:46:00 PM :

      

Indie Spinner Rack's podcast from S.P.A.C.E. went up today. Interviews with me, Paul Hornschemier, Mike Dawson, and other Day Prize nominees. Odd timing as I guess this weekend marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Gene Day, Dave Sim's mentor. Dave Day accepting his late brother Gene’s Hall of Fame award from Sim this weekend in Toronto.


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  Posted by Craig on 6/11/2007 10:04:00 AM :

       Way Back Machine

Continuing my series of June posts honoring the ubiquitous Sal Buscema:

I especially dig a comic that reflects the times in which it was created, or has a comment about the outside world. From the cold war origins of most of Marvel’s flagship characters to the overt political satire of Howard the Duck, that sort of real world relevance raises the subject matter above simple escapism and does more to capture a mature readership than mere violence and titillation. In my mind the king of these relevant comics is the hastily rewritten climax of the coolest Captain America story ever made: Captain America and The Falcon #175.

A funny thing happened along the way to making this story. According to a couple editorials spread across the letters pages as the issues progressed, writer Steve Englehart had pitched a story in which Cap uncovers a grand conspiracy whose villainous mastermind is revealed to be none other than a certain highly placed elected official within our own government. The editors asked the idea be changed a bit, since the notion of high officeholders engaging in super villain activity was a bit hard to swallow. Englehart conceded, changing the villains into corporate interests bent on global domination. Halfway through the storyline, however, a couple of reporters out in the real world caused a ruckus with their story about a burglary at the Watergate building. Some of the characters in Englehart’s story were thinly veiled caricatures of figures involved in that conspiracy, so he got his original wish to reveal the true nature of the criminal masterminds; but at this point the plot wasn’t terribly unique or provocative, so he cut it short with this issue.

Even though the story is steeped in post-Watergate disillusionment, a tpb release would not seem dated today. An Orwellian political operative named Quentin Hardarman (operating through his front organization, the Committee to Restore America’s Principles) has spearheaded a campaign of slander to tarnish Cap’s image and ruin his reputation. When Cap and the falcon become fugitives, Hardarman introduces a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing called Moonstone to take Cap’s place as “America’s hero.”
Hardarman works for the mysterious Number One, leader of the Secret Empire, who launches an invasion of Washington, D.C. In the country’s darkest hour, Moonstone steps up to defend the White House—only to be apparently humiliated by Number One’s main goon. Not realizing Moonstone is actually a collaborator, the dispirited country prepares to surrender until Cap and his allies come riding to the rescue. Cap chases Number one down to the Oval Office itself, where the true villain is unmasked and takes his own life. Following the events of this issue, a disillusioned Steve Rogers loses his faith in the American people and their leaders. He gives up the identity of Captain America, adopting for a time the role of Nomad, “the man without a country.”
Englehart was writing about Nixon, but the plot could be about Karl Rove, swift boat vets, and the crass manipulation of post-9/11 hysteria. If only Marvel had the stones to be so topical in the present day.

A couple more points of interest: The X-Men make an appearance in the story. It’s 1974, but their book is still in reprint so they show up wearing their pre-Neal Adams gear. One of the letters pages in this series mentions that a relaunch of the X-Men comic has been delayed but will be coming soon, and asks mutant fans for patience. Also, after writing the coolest Cap stories ever published, Steve Englehart must have used up all his good karma; he later subjected his readers to the ordeal known as the West Coast Avengers.

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  Posted by Tony on 6/11/2007 08:12:00 AM :

       full frontal nudity


You have one week left to see FFN In Space a sci-fi themed improv show at Madlab.

The show is put on by Full Frontal Nudity, a local improv troupe. It's long-form improv, which is where they make up an original narrative on the spot. It's different from the short-form "game"-style improv you see on shows like "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

The night we went, they did a straight-up Star Trek parody, complete with a red-shirted ensign. I am embarrassed to say I was the first one to laugh at the red shirt. Also, it's got the woman from that one Byers commercial.

They also solicit suggestions from the audience on characters, character motivations, and locations. Here's a hint: Don't suggest "Uranus." Apparently they're tired of that one.

FFN In Space plays 8 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 14-16.


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  Posted by Dara on 6/11/2007 07:35:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Another pinup for you. Guess away...



(click image to Kabukisize)

(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, 5/28/2007, 6/4/2007)

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Saturday, June 09, 2007
 
  Posted by Steven Russell Black on 6/09/2007 08:24:00 PM :

       SUPERS DRAW OFF





Mr McClurg and I are doing another drawoff.

The first one goes up on Wed. but i finished mine a little early.
so here it is. and the original drawing. First topic is Nova. Check in on Wed. for new characters and each of our interpretations of them.











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Wednesday, June 06, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 6/06/2007 04:16:00 PM :

       flea market ... Syracuse, NY

"There are a lot of first editions in there," the guy said. "A lot of hot artists, a lot of new comics from Canada."

The speaker was a fat guy with a scruffy beard sitting in a ratty lawn chair in a flea market in Syracuse, NY. He was pointing to a cardboard box with about a dozen comics in it. As I recall, the box had Shadowhawk No. 1, Shadowhawk II No. 1, two copies of WildC.A.T.S. No. 1, and two copies of a Lady Death Swimsuit edition.

He wanted one Yankee dollar apiece for them.

Another row down, I found three consecutive Spider-Man comics from the 1960s, also each for $1. I'll tell you more about that later.

The crowning find, however, was the Sense of Right Alliance. That's right -- the Sense of Right Alliance! The senses-shattering team too big for any single corporation to contain! If there's a Sense of Wrong in the universe -- and the copyright laws are loose enough -- that's a job for the Sense of Right Alliance!





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Monday, June 04, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 6/04/2007 10:22:00 AM :

       Way Back Machine

I’m making an effort not to repeat myself too much by revisiting certain titles or artists when I pick out a comic for review, but I’m having a bit of difficulty with one specific artist. Some of the books I’ve written up were in my collection when I was a kid, others I’ve picked up in recent trips to a comic store with an amazing collection of cheap bronze age books; in both cases, picking out five books at random usually yields about two issues drawn by Sal Buscema. Sal’s stretch at Marvel covered four decades and he drew just about every title on their roster at one time or another, and while he never reinvented the wheel with his technique or generated a rabid following, his brand of simple cartooning is the kind I like to see in a superhero book. Since I’m having so much trouble avoiding him, I’ve decided to get a bunch of his books out of the way by declaring June to be Sal Buscema month here in the Way Back Machine.

Big John’s little brother first illustrated a Spider-Man story at the tail end of the Romita Sr. era, and he came back to Marvel’s flagship character often over the next few decades; he’s right up there with Romita and Andru for having defined the character for my generation of readers. He was illustrating Spectacular Spider-Man while Todd MacFarlane was enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame over on Amazing, and some nitwit editor mandated that every Spider-artist draw the character like this:
I hope there is a special circle of Hell reserved for the editor who disrespected Sal in this fashion.

One of the earliest comics graced by Sal’s line work that I ever saw is also my favorite superhero slugfest, a “classic misunderstanding battle” (to paraphrase Richard Jones) with the White Tiger, in Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #10.

The White Tiger was part of Marvel’s mid-1970’s attempt to broaden their audience by bringing some diversity to their pantheon of characters. If memory serves, Hispanic martial artist Hector Ayala himself came to a bad end (and I haven’t bothered to see what the premise of the new White Tiger books is), Bill Foster is dead, and Carol Danvers has grown several bra sizes on recent Ms. Marvel covers, so I’m not sure the experiment has carried over to the present day.

The fight rages from (George Perez) cover to cover, but there’s still a lot of story jammed into the panels thanks to writer Bill Mantlo. As seen in the previous issue, protesters on the Empire State University campus are on the verge of a riot over the closing of a night school that serves primarily minority students, and the university president has called out the guys with rubber bullets to stop them. A professor has framed the White Tiger for the theft of a valuable manuscript he hopes to fence in order to gain the funds to help keep the school open. As the real White Tiger confronts the professor, Spider-Man stumbles in, leaps to the wrong conclusion, and page one of this concluding chapter begins with the tussle that runs nearly to the end of the book.

Sal demonstrates in these pages something I find lacking in new books; a well drawn superhero fight scene. A modern book, with it’s emphasis on portraying mood and atmosphere instead of advancing any action (called “decompression”), either stretches a single action over a ridiculous number of panels (I consulted a recent Kubert Batman in which an entire page is devoted to a spear being thrown at a Man-Bat), or we’re treated to a series of disjointed images of figures slugging it out, gritting their teeth in pin-up poses with no cause-and-effect moving from panel to panel—no sense of choreography. Check out these pages instead, where the action in one panel initiates the action in the next, showing us a series of totally different events whose final panel is dependent on the first in the chain.

Beautiful stuff. If anyone’s drawing a superhero fight scene like this today, please let me know and I’ll become a fan.



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  Posted by Dara on 6/04/2007 07:32:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

This is sort of an unusual one. Let's see how you do...



(click image to X-Menize)

(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, 5/28/2007)

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Saturday, June 02, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 6/02/2007 08:42:00 PM :

       Survey: Brainbot T-shirt anyone?

So Tom and I are planning on silkscreening a bunch of Brainbot, Jr. t-shirts. Here's the design:



3 color silkscreen on a light ash 100% cotton t-shirt, for $10.

So here are my questions: is this something you'd be interested in buying? And if so, what size would you get?

(You answer is not a commitment to buy one, I'm just trying to get a rough idea of how many of each size to order.)

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