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.
Without further ado, here are the 2007 Mid-Ohio Con Bankies!
John Byrne Fan Appreciation Award: Keith Pollard, who couldn't spare a second to sign my single copy of FF #200 because he was soooooo busy doing sketches... until I was standing at the next table watching Rick Buckler draw and Pollard stopped to chat with someone for ten minutes.
Mighty Jabba Award: The 350 pound gentleman who, fifteen minutes after the doors opened on Saturday, had to pull up a chair in front of our table wheezing and sweating, then proceeded to gather up all the Panel books to stuff in his bag without paying for them, claiming he was a store owner looking for samples.
Jeffersons Award for Movin’ On Up: Dara Naraghi, upgrading to a booth.
Foot In Mouth Award: Tony Goins
Heather Locklear Award for Best Cameo (tie): Dan Barlow, in from Dayton; and Steve Black, in from Cali.
My girlfriend's going to kill me award: My girlfriend was going to show up and fend off any Suicide Girls that might be near my booth. They were well on the other side of the show floor. So yes, I never made eye contact with any of them. I did however grab a couple of stickers just to screw with her head.
Originality award: All those people walking around in homemade costumes of original superheroes. Respect, guys.
Up-to-the-minute Cheesecake Award: The Suicide Girls
Unattainable Objects of Lust Award: “Super Spy” by Matt Kindt. Such nice packaging, such a high price of $40. Maybe for Christmas. (Runners up: Curvy Supergirl, Dara Naraghi)
(The Bankies, formerly known as the Connies, are named after the Jason Lee character from Mallrats. The actual statue is a speculative model of Ben Grimm's junk. More Bankies may be placed in the comments.)
I wrote about this earlier, Floating World is having a benefit show for Bill Mantlo. Former writer on Rom and the Micronauts. On their page they've got a donate button set up as well. I was asked to participate in the show. Which I happily accepted. They're currently also working on a Rom art book as well to benefit Bill. Who suffered some severe brain trauma from a car accident and survived. Creators from across the comics industry, big and small, have contributed to this show. Other creators/artists involved: Frank Miller, Steve Ditko, Renee French, Jim Rugg, Zack Soto, etc. They'll be selling prints.
If you're in the Portland area, I encourage you to check it out. If you're not, you can make a donation at the link above. All the money goes toward helping Bill out.
I had the best show i've ever had and it made it a nice home comming to be back in Ohio and do so well.
Thanks to everyone that stopped by my table and an extras special thanks to everyone that bought original art and comics from me. I needed to get out and see everyone. I had a great time. More of my own photos at http://crowntriple.livejournal.com/
Lifelike update - new story featuring Andy Bennett
In all the craziness of last week - what with the holiday, Unmasked party, and Mid-Ohio-Con - I forgot to mention that my latest Lifelike webcomic story just started. "Intermission" features art by fellow Panelista Andy Bennett, and rocks hard with goth singers, campus bars, and drunk fratboys. There's gonna' be trouble, one way or another...
Saw this Jeff Smith quote on The Beat (from back in September):
"I received some astonishing sales figures from Scholastic - - the paperback edition of BONE 6: Old Man’s Cave, which just shipped last month, is in its third printing for a total of 260,000 copies! The combined hard cover & paperback sales for the series to date: nearly 2,000,000."
That is awesome. Jeff definitely deserves all the rewards his work has earned him.
I'm offering a new deal on etsy: $30 for all the prints I've done in 2007 plus a free S.P.A.C.E. poster. This includes shipping and the tube (orders outside US will have to pay for shipping). All prints are done on a heavy acid free stock.
Newsarama's Vaneta Rogers has a long write-up on the show. In the comments section, some douche says "Chris Sprouse couldn't draw 2 full issues to save his life." but he is quickly corrected :-) It seems that everyone who attended the show enjoyed it a lot, which is cool.
Another Thanksgiving weekend, another Mid-Ohio-Con. I have a love/hate relationship with this con: I love the fact that it's in my backyward, friendly, non-hectic, and all the guests are accessible. But every year I'm let down by how mainstream-focused the fans are, making our small press/indy books a real hard sell (both in terms of interests and commerce). But anyway, it was still a fun show, and it's always great to catch up with "con friends" that I see once a year, plus checking out some new books from fellow indy creators, picking up a bunch of cheap comics from the quarter bins (to be handed out next Halloween to the kids) and of course throwing the big pre-con shindig.
Here's my big douchebag moment from the pre-Mid-Ohio Con party: I'm standing near the door with Brent and Dmitry, and I'm kind of saying hi to people as they walk in. Mostly I'm just greeting the ones who look lost -- I want them to come in, have a good time, spend some money, etc.
Anyway, this dude walks in with a ballcap and a goatee, and he looks like he doesn't know anybody. I welcome him in, and he says his name is Joe. Then I kind of launch into a spiel about Panel. I go on an on about our little indie art thing. Oh, the indie art and whatnot. Then I ask him again what his name is.
He's Joe Benitez. I'm rattling on about our little indie thing to the guy who's drawing Justice League right now.
It's teaser week here at the Ferret Press/PANEL blog!
Anyway, just wanted to share a couple pages of art from Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now #6, written by yours truly (adapting Cory's "I, Robot" short story,) and drawn by Erich Owen. Erich is the artist on the popular Mail Order Ninja series of books from Tokyopop.
The book will ship in March 2008, under a cover by Ashley Wood.
Man, I hadn't updated the Brainbot Jr. website in about 6 months! So anyway, you can now check out the strips from the last several months, including this latest one that will be in the November issue of Melt.
Just a reminder, they're showing an episode of the original Star Trek on the big screen at Lennox and Easton tonight. Shows are at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.; I'm going to the 7:30 p.m. show at Lennox tonight if anyone wants to come with.
Do I already have tickets? Blink once for yes! Hell, you should count yourself lucky if I don't go in costume.
The event was originally scheduled for Tuesday only, but they scheduled Thursday due to demand. I bought my tickets at 7 p.m. last night, and the girl at the ticket counter said they were 40 percent sold by that point. They sold out completely on Tuesday.
Animated Kirk is ... overcome ... with joy and ... happiness.
I see another design at shirt.woot by indy comics dude, Paul Hornschemeier. His last shirt (the "Oh Well" design that Tom has) didn't do so well. I don't see this design flying with the Woot crowd either. But hey, it's only $10 today, with free shipping. After today, it goes up to $15.
Raina posted a link to her dude's illustration tips. Their good tips and a nice refresher in today's marketplace for those wanting to break in. I don't know how well the 'booking reviews while on vacation' bit will play out with your significant other. I think mine would go back home if I decided to schedule a visit to Rolling Stone's office.. since we're there.
Jennifer de Guzman posts some helpful tips on submitting to Slave Labor. A big pet peeve is referencing tv shows or a movie in your pitch. I think that's a good rule of thumb all around. I get irritated reading scripts that reference tv shows. I sigh, because I may have to work double time to make it read.. as a comic! Not a frigging episode of 24. Unless it's actually a comic based on the show 24.
"FS.net: Are you trying to modernize him or do anything to create a more widespread appeal beyond just the fans?
The challenge is to appeal to the non fans while not upsetting those who grew up with this character. Every step of the way we are including Tezuka Studios to ensure we're being respectful to one of Asia's most recognizable icons."
Now comes the news that Michael Bay is going to leak fake scoops on the Transformers sequel to throw off Internet leaks. Any details you have about the plot may be fake.
Mission accomplished, Michael. I saw the first one, and I wasn't 100 percent sure what happened.
I followed most of it pretty well, but there were some "what?" moments. Like -- why would Megatron etch his location into someone's glasses?
The action was particularly difficult to follow. Each robot has about 100 moving parts, and the robot himself is moving. Then, the camera is moving. They could have used some comic book-style inking on that one. It's simple. You put a stronger outline on the outside to define the figure. And hold the damn camera steady.
I hated the ending -- and I'm not talking about the robot circle jerk. I never figured out who any of the Decepticons were, and I could never tell Megatron from Starscream. The bit about having to carry Bumblebee was fairly cool, but was Jazz ripped in half? Why is it always the black guy?
And seriously -- no one takes down Megatron but Optimus Prime. Prime went down like a bitch.
Eh. I complain too much. It was an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes. Too bad it clocks in at 144 minutes.
So I was just chatting with Tom and he told me about this harsh review of Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales Of The Here And Now #1 over at The Onion's A.V. Club.
"Disjointed and blandly rendered, Dara Naraghi and Esteve Polls' comic version is almost offensively unnecessary—up to and including the self-congratulatory interview with Doctorow that concludes it...D-"
Damn! Not since The Comics Journal's review of AKA ("...a mishmash of hackneyed contrivances pressed together like a Cuban sandwich made with rancid pork, stale cheese and day-old bread...") has my writing offended someone so much :-)
"Writer Dara Naraghi (author of the online comic Lifelike) pens a thoroughly thrilling rendition of Doctorow’s story. It’s dense, textually, yet never drags or feels weakened by its obvious prose roots."
Oh well, you gotta' take the good with the bad. No biggie.
I ran across Jill Thompson's blog which was both fun and troubling. Troubling in the sense that she's had some serious health concerns involving her drawing arm. Something that I've seen more and more online. Maybe it's more prevelant than I once thought but artists are killing their drawing arms to try to crank out these deadlines.
The fun part is some posts of art in progress. She's working on a series of graphic novels. All watercolor. Plus some Halloween fun, which if you're familiar with Thompson's work, is a no brainer. Get well Jill, and take care of that arm.
The PANEL collective ups the ante with their second annual Unmasked Party, a free gathering to celebrate this year's Mid-Ohio-Con convention. The party will take place on Friday, November 23, from 8 PM till midnight. The venue for this event will once again be the awesome Underground at Barley's Brewing Company Ale House No. 1.
The free party is open to all comic fans, pros, exhibitors, attendees, and friends and family.
Federico goes live today kids. Part of Steven's Styx Taxi series. Bit of a spooky turn for him and the series. I always liked this one. It was one of the highlights of my SPX haul from too long ago.
The Chemistry Set keeps getting better and better. We had to get over that unfortunate hump of dead air. Which is a good thing, being as everyone had to stop their respective strips to do freelance work.
Federico is pacing out to 22 weeks (a page a week).
Over on Every Day is Like Wednesday, Caleb has a longish post on why DC's current plan for the Fourth World doesn't seem to be very good. Specifically, he believes the current explanation for the Source Wall is pretty unsatisfying.
I only became really aware of the Fourth World recently, and I'm certainly no expert. But here's my two cents.
My impression is that a lot of those Fourth World concepts aren't really intended for scrutiny. A random concept like the Source Wall or new godhood sounds cool when it's tossed off as an offhand reference, but exploring it doesn't really bear fruit. That stuff's all background. What you really want to focus on is the story.
Moreover, I have also read that Kirby himself didn't always have a strong sense of what these concepts were. I read an article about him recently that said he basically made them up on the fly. If you stop to explain something like that, you really lose the power behind it.
Anyway, like I say, I'm not an expert on Kirby. What do you guys think?
I checked thru some of the Zuda comics today and was largely unimpressed. Granted it's hard to judge any story 8 pages in. Given time, who knows these folks could hit their stride. I was enjoying Bayou but the sketchbook lineart really distracted me from the story. I was excited by the prospect of the new Corey Lewis strip. But what came out seemed like a toss off rough. Largely, my biggest beef with the site is the flash viewer. They have successfully eliminated all the benefits of comics on the web. Flash viewer eliminates any way of bookmarking certain strips or establishing an rss feed. No rss feed is a bad thing if you're trying to launch a webcomic. Pretty much shoots it in the foot.
Some of the art plays better in this viewer. Some doesn't. I'm able to read Rey's strip clearly without enlarging. Bayou, I'm not. When I do enlarge it, I see where the artist forgot to erase his marks on where the eyes go. Tip: if you're going to color direct over your pencils. They better be clean. Get a light box. Cripes. The site is new. They might work all these quirks out. They might not. Seems pretty lame that a company dumps some money on this launch and seemingly didn't research out any of this from the start.
As a whole, this is the most diverse content I've experienced from DC since Piranna Press. Which is a healthy plus if any of this sees the bookshelves.
It's fun to die when your earthly remains are ensconced in a Star Trek urn or casket. They're made by Eternal Images ("Designing Brand-Name Funerary Products"), which also offers Precious Moments" Major League Baseball, and Cat Fanciers' Association funerary products.
The new STAR TREK Urn will feature a bold design reminiscent of the 24th century styling of the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet. Urns will be available in late 2007. The STAR TREK Casket styling has been inspired by the popular “Photon Torpedo” design seen in STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Kahn. Caskets will be available in 2008.