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, December 31, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 12/31/2007 07:59:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

To mangle a Bon Jovi lyric, "Shot through the head, and you're to blame..."



(click image to ZZZZKKKersize)

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

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Saturday, December 29, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 12/29/2007 03:02:00 PM :

       NEO-ICE con

This show popped up out of no where. I don't think I'll be doing this one but table rates are $25 and well within driving distance (Youngstown,Ohio). It's three weeks after SPACE in March. Maybe too close to SPACE on the calendar. Sometimes booking a venue for these shows can't be perfect. You want April or June and the only slot available is in October. This is why SPACE landed in early March and not it's usual timeslot. I don't seriously think SPACE will be affected by STAPLE which is the same weekend. Both shows are pretty much the same in scope and attendance. Admission' for NEO-ICE only $3. Ian Shires is also making noise of doing a small press show. No mention on when that show's transpiring.

____________________________________________

In related news, have y'all seen the new Dave Sim website? Yeah that's right. Dave's broadening his horizons a notch. 'Click to enter'. Speechless. I'm just speechless.


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Wednesday, December 26, 2007
 
  Posted by Craig on 12/26/2007 11:06:00 PM :

       Digital Comics

Having just brought a new computer into the home a couple weeks ago, I’ve finally been able to crack open the Marvel DVD-Roms I’ve been gathering over the last year and I’m in heaven. Perhaps it reflects the depth of my particular sickness, but I’ve lined them all up and started plowing through them from the fall of 1961 onward. Many of these earliest issues I’ve read in various reprint forms before, but never with any sense of context-- what a pile of Marvel comics brought home from the spinner rack in, say, April 1968 might look like. Best of all, once I get past those oft-reprinted 1960’s issues, I’m looking at a couple thousand issues of various titles that I’ve never read before, since I only started getting an allowance to begin picking up these books myself in the late 1970’s, and certainly didn’t get entire runs of any of them at that time.


The format is beautiful: scans of the original issues, wrinkles and all. Yellowed pages and creases preserve the flavor of reading the actual book, like I’m looking at the original printing of a Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four under glass. The vintage ads and letters pages preserve the time machine sensation of picking up one of these old comics (did you know you could get a mail-order monkey in 1964?). Other wonderment the format delivers: letters pages with missives from young Roy Thomas, Ralph Macchio, and Kurt Busiek (so far); the pleasant surprise of opening a couple key issues to find myself looking at a Jack Kirby autograph-- and with about 3500 more issues to go, there could be a number of other surprises lurking in these sets. I passed on the Ghost Rider and Silver Surfer discs but got all the core classic titles: FF, Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man, Avengers, X-Men, Captain America… Given that my last couple trips to the comic store have left me pretty depressed, I feel as though I’ve discovered the cure for the modern comic.

So what’s Marvel done? They’ve gone and discontinued the line, scuttling previously announced Thor and Daredevil discs in favor of launching their new online service.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the online format is the way to go for new material. An individual printed comic has become far too expensive for an art form that for decades was driven by it’s status as a pulp form of entertainment (at least, the cheesy escapist fare that I tend to favor). I think this online venture is a huge step in the right direction, but as it stands it is a merely adequate effort. It’s greatest strength is its biggest flaw: the selection of books to read is a mile wide and an inch deep. There was never likely to be a Warlock or Captain Marvel DVD, but they’ll need more than six issues of the Lee/Kirby Thor or a single Tomb of Dracula to lure me in. A cornerstone of the online collection is complete first 100 issue runs of FF & Spider-Man, and 50 issue runs of Avengers and X-Men. While these would have been glaring omissions from their online collection, they are also books that have been reprinted enough that anyone with a library card can read them for free. (Another big selling point of the DVD’s for me, the rarely-if-ever reprinted issues of FF that fall between Kirby and Byrne, are still nowhere to be seen here).

The presentation also suffers in the online format. The art has been recolored via computer and looks far too bright and somewhat less textured, and the lettering looks sketchy. Also, these books can’t be downloaded or printed like the DVD-Rom books-- you have to be online to read them, while with my discs I can curl up with a Steve Ditko Tales to Astonish and a bottle of Mister Bubble. Gone are the vintage ads and letters pages-- no more mail order monkeys. Worst of all, with the online subscription you’re just renting these books-- there’s no telling what they’ll choose to keep or remove from the collection as time passes.

I hope they keep tinkering with the online format for new material until they get it right, but I’m going to miss that Thor DVD, and give up hopes for bronze age collections of books like the Defenders or the various horror titles. I won’t complain too much since I’ve got a huge chunk of the Marvel library sitting on my shelf anyway-- though I’m trying not to think about that complete Rob Liefeld Captain America I can now read anytime I might want…


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  Posted by Tom on 12/26/2007 10:57:00 PM :

       A labor of love.. Pitzer interviewed.

Tom's been kicking out some really interesting interviews during the holiday. Chris Pitzer's is refreshingly honest or sobering when you read it. I think those with the delusion that you'll explode in this industry really need to hear a nugget like..' I don't think we've sold beyond 900 books' in one order.

Adhouse is really truly an art comics publisher. Think Alternative Comics but one with a sensible publishing schedule. I wish more publishers were more open about how they publish and more likely, what to expect from their publishing house. I've come to expect low sales from keeping aware of industry sales. Still I'm always in sticker shock when I read ordering on these books. It can't be for fear of turning off perspective creators. Everyone gets inundated with submissions. More so, I think Pitzer knows what he's doing than say Jeff Mason. You won't see him chasing after a license deal to help out on printing costs. At the same time he's very selective on what he puts out.

Pitzer- 'The sad part is that some of the times we couldn't really take advantage of that, since the books would be out of print by the time of the nominations. And yeah, I can hear Rory Root saying "Reprint Superior!" but that would entail a lot of work & money, which I'd rather focus into new things.'

He also comes off like a really decent guy.


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Monday, December 24, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 12/24/2007 04:12:00 PM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

More Avengers goodness for your guessing pleasure:



(click image to HOOMersize)

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

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Friday, December 21, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 12/21/2007 01:11:00 PM :

       my notes


My college is reviewing vendors for a major computer system right now. So technically, a vendor could request to see the notes I took while listening to vendor demos last week.

I'm not sure if this would entail a simple request, or if you'd have to file a Freedom of Information Act request or something. But technically, this picture here is a public document.


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Thursday, December 20, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 12/20/2007 07:17:00 PM :

       Pretty Good Year..


*Well I just got the okay from Rantz tonight to officially say yeah, I've got a strip in the upcoming comics anthology based on the songs of Tori Amos. You can read all about it in the January issue of SPIN magazine. The blurb sports a lovely illustration by Hope Larson. Right next to a piece on Gerald Way's Umbrella Academy. The piece is part of a feature on comics and music.

I'm pretty jazzed about the anthology. I've enjoyed Tori's music for a long time. Saw her twice in concert so yeah, you could say I'm a fan. She doesn't play Columbus much anymore. :( The anthology boasts a nice sampling from the art comic scene to the mainstream. We're shooting for a summer release from Image. This will be my first solo strip in a wide release of this nature. The book will be available on tour with Tori, in stores and hell bent on world domination. Rock on!

* the indian in the rear view has nothing to do with my strip or the anthology. I have a page done but I can't show anything till the book's out. Sorry gang. Somehow appropriate regardless.


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  Posted by Dara on 12/20/2007 08:06:00 AM :

       The Young Dara Naraghi Chronicles

(Arrrrgh, F-ing Blogger isn't displaying the image, even though I can see it just fine when I type in the URL...let's see if a new post will fix it...)

Back in his college days, a young(er), naive(er) Dara somehow hooked up with a fly-by-night comic book publisher based in California. This publisher (really, just one dude and a broken typewriter, and I mean that literally) had managed to ride the wave of the 80s black and white indy comic revolution well into the early 90s, somehow parlaying his 15 minutes of fame into 23 minutes and 40 seconds.

Anyway, young Dara knew that this publisher was shady, and had screwed many an aspiring comic creator out of payments and/or credits. But he figured this would be his foot in the door in the comics biz, and the risk was worth taking. It wasn't. but that's a story for another time...

Today, The Young Dara Naraghi Chronicles unearths a promotional piece that ran in several of the aforementioned publisher's comics, heralding the never-to-be-seen limited series: The Spear. Written by Young Dara. Artwork by Bryan Kwong. Bask in the glory of what could have been:



This concludes tonight's episode of The Young Dara Naraghi Chronicles.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 12/19/2007 10:44:00 PM :

       Will Pfeifer interviewed..

Interesting interview with Will Pfeifer, who holds a day job at a newspaper while writing for DC. On the surface, it seems like it'd be easier on deadlines for a writer to maintain a day job. As some pro writers juggle four monthly series every month where as the artist can hold down maybe one or two pages a day and or a cover. But Pfeifer's also had to turn down some opportunities because of his day job. Sometimes I really wonder if it's worth attempting to make a go full time in an unstable industry such as comics.

Best quote:

'SPURGEON: You know, that's a whole industry worried about decline.

PFEIFER: Yeah, I'm in two industries like that. [laughs]'


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  Posted by Sean McGurr on 12/19/2007 10:22:00 PM :

       Highly Recommended: Five-Day Weekends

Two days better than a three-day weekend and one day better than a four-day weekend, the five-day weekend—an example of which I will be taking this weekend—is a joy for the working man or woman. The fiver, as I like to call it, offers a substantial break from the workaday world. It is long enough that you can travel most anywhere in the country and still spend a significant time at your destination. The shorter weekends make a longer distance trip not worth it.

The fiver is best wrapped around a weekend; take one or two days on either side. In this way, not only do you get a five-day weekend, but you are also getting two short work weeks, which is always a plus. If at all possible, coordinate your fiver so that one of the days off is a holiday and you don’t have to use your leave time.

Now you may ask, “If the fiver is a day better than a four-day weekend and two days better than a three-day weekend, how awesome must a six-day weekend be?” The answer is “Go back to Europe, you lazy socialist pig.” This country was not built by layabouts and idlers. If you want that much time off, you should have become a college professor. If you are going to take four days off, just spring for the fifth and take a whole work week off.

As the new year approaches, do yourself a favor and plan for at least one fiver in the next twelve months. You deserve it.


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  Posted by Dara on 12/19/2007 07:09:00 PM :

       It Came From An Old Comic Book

Check out this awesome rant from the letters column of an old Marvel Fanfare, published back in 1984:



(from Marvel Fanfare #15, Jul. '84)

How dare that young punk sign his name Adams! What a cheap ploy to sell comics! Oh well, at least the guy acknowledged that "it was a good cover." By the way, here's the cover in question:

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Monday, December 17, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 12/17/2007 08:01:00 PM :

       RASL...what up with that?

So Newsarama has a new interview with Columbus' own Jeff Smith, talking about his new creator-owned project, RASL. Jeff sound genuinely excited about getting back to writing and drawing a monthly comic, and that makes me happy because you know all that enthusiasm and energy is going to be on display in the final product.

But this bit about the format of the book kinda bummed me out:
"NRAMA: And you mentioned on Blog@Newsarama that you were re-thinking the oversized format.

JS: Yeah. The oversized format scared people. I think retailers have a lot of experience at trying to sell oversized comics. And what they were telling me is, "Don't do it." [laughs] The retailers I talked to -- and I tried to talk to a good cross section of them because I know a lot of retailers after all these years -- and they all gave me the same advice. And I trust these people. They're friends and they're good businessmen.

It's going to be comic book size. It will actually have 32 pages, which is longer than most comics. And a really cool cover. And then when I do a collection in a year, I can do that oversized. Because I'm told that whatever I want to do then would be fine. But with the comics, 100 percent of the retailers I talked to strongly recommended I do comic book size. And I'm going to listen to them."



Now, no offense to the comic shop retailers who supported Jeff when he was publishing Bone, but it bugs me that they'd be so negative about his book format. First of all, this is an indy book that's going to appeal to Jeff's hardcore (and fairly large) fanbase. I have a feeling they don't give a crap that most Marvel and DC comics are 6.55" x 10.25" in size. WTF? Seriously, given the sad state of the mainstream comics market and the wide (if not underappreciated) dearth of alternative and indy comics, is a "non-standard" book size really that big a deal anymore?

Also, I'm sure that Jeff wants the book to be successful, but I kind of doubt at this point he's much concerned about maximizing his sales potential. Especially on a labor of love like RASL seems to be. I wish he'd said "I hear what you guys are saying, but this is the way I want to do my book and I hope you'll still support it." I don't know, after selling a few million books and creating a legacy like Bone, I think the guy's entitled to doing things his way.

Oh well, at least it looks like the collected editions will be in the crazy 11" x 17" format. I can't wait for the series to hit the shelves in February.

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  Posted by Dara on 12/17/2007 08:14:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Black Knight vs. Black Knight? Oh, it's on!

(no guessing if you have this comic and can just look it up)



(click image to KAR_PWOOMersize)

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

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Sunday, December 16, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 12/16/2007 09:59:00 PM :

       It Came From An Old Comic Book

I picked up a few stray issues of Marvel Fanfare at Mid-Ohio-Con, and they both had interesting letters/editorial pages that I wanted to share. First up, a discussion of race and comics with Jim Shooter, with a reference to an old Columbus-based comic convention!



(from Marvel Fanfare #5, Nov. '82)

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  Posted by Tom on 12/16/2007 09:30:00 AM :

       The fun & the sadness of 2007.. in comics

As the Christmas season (and the end of 2007) loom heavy, I thought it'd be nice to reflect on the year in comics. Here's some hits, misses and everything inbetween.

The Hits:

  • Fourth World Omnibus. by Jack Kirby. Beautiful package and something that my shelf's been crying out for.
  • The Salon. by Nick Bertozzi. Speaking of packages.. err. I dug this one. A surreal murder mystery.
  • Notes from a War. by Gipi. Nice crime book set in a war zone. Beautiful rendered by Gipi. Well worth the price of admission though I'd love it if 1st Second would quit printing the art so friggin' small.
  • Omega the Unknown. by Jonathan Letham & Farel Darymple. Still pretty young in the arc but I'm charmed by the story.
  • Speak of the Devil. by Gilbert Hernandez. The first post L&R book I've enjoyed from Hernandez. If you haven't picked it up by now, wait for the trade.
  • The Killer. by Jacamon & Matz. This has been a solid series from the start. Originally ran as a five volume series in France. Beautifully rendered and a gripping read. It's been really heartening that more European comics have been hitting the states.
  • Super Spy. by Matt Kindt. Really fun and gorgeous to look at. I love all his kitchy items on his website too.
  • Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil. by Jeff Smith (colors & letters by Steve Hamaker) If anything, I love it that both DC and Marvel are trying to penetrate the young adults / kids market. Shazam was always meant to be for the kids. Goofy fun you can roll up in your back pocket and carry around. Jeff had me at bringing back the talking tiger. Truly this was a labor of love as Smith didn't really have to do this. It shows in the pages.

Meh..
  • DMZ/Northlanders: I stopped picking up the monthlies earlier this year. I enjoy Wood's writing but the issues read sooo fast. It begs for waiting for the trade. I have yet to feel compelled to pick up the trades where I stopped off. It's too soon to tell where Northlanders is going but the art is crap. Which suprizes me, because if anything on a Wood project, the art is always intriguing and different. He has a knack for picking artists.
  • Batman. It was off to a good start. Love Morrison but the J.H.Williams and crossover nonsense lost me. Sure the design looks pretty, but following Williams art is almost indecipherable. The design doesn't do anything to service the story. There's no conceptual reasoning behind the layouts other than it looks cool. A huge misstep in sequential storytelling that's just as bad as if Liefeld were drawing it. Granted, Williams can draw Liefeld under the table any day.
  • Iron Fist. Brubaker pulled it off again. I never would have thought I'd be reading Iron Fist. It did taper offf for me after a few issues.
  • Garage Band. by Gipi. Beautifully rendered as always but the story fell a little flat for me. I have yet to read a serious OGN about a band that was any good.
Damn it!
  • The Three Paradoxes. by Paul Hornschemier. Sigh. I really wanted to like this but it fell flat for me. It came off a bit labored. Let me redirect you to a collection that Fanta did that's worth picking up instead: Let Us Be Perfectly Clear. Collecting some of his short stories if you don't own them already, it's new to you. I think he's getting back to shorter strips in place of doing the longer format.
  • Crossovers! Jesus Christ!! Enough already with the crossovers. I don't give a flinging crap about the Illuminati. That is unless I got paid to draw it. World War Hulk, Countdown, Civil War fallout. Now this Al Ghul crossover. Enough already. Some of the bizarre titles that DC was coming up with were amusing. Ex.COUNTDOWN PRESENTS The Search for RAY PALMER: Superwoman/Batwoman. Whaaaaaa??
  • Plain Janes. by Cecil Castelluci & Jim Rugg. Rugg was the only highlight for this dull flaccid retread on Pump Up the Volume. I haven't smelled such fake plastic rebellion since Lollapalooza in `95. It could have been really good but Cecil seems hell bent on codling her target audience. Rugg keeps getting better with every new entry in his building library.

Things that came out but I have yet to pick up:

  • The Claws Come Out by Pat Lewis. I really enjoyed the mini's I bought from Pat at S.P.A.C.E. The show's coming up fast and it makes me feel better buying direct from the creator. Especially on indie projects.
  • Scott Pilgrim:Gets it Together. by Bryan O'Malley. If I was still on Oni's comp list, I'd have this by now.
  • The Complete Terry & the Pirates. by Milton Caniff. This strip begged for getting reprinted. The strip by which influenced most adventure and superhero storytelling. More so than Dick Tracy. You can see Caniff's art really fall in line within the first collection.
  • The Showcase Presents series. While I don't think everything they're releasing was worth collecting. This goes for Marvel's Essential trades as well. It can get out of hand, just like the regular trades. I'm definetely picking up House of Mystery, Sgt. Rock, and Hawkman for the beautiful line art.
Stuff that my comic shop didn't carry that I'll have to buy elsewhere.. or do I have to slap a bitch to get a comic?
Sigh. This is beginning to become a sad state of affairs. I never used to have this problem but due to my lack of following 5 monthly titles, I can't do the pull account. Haven't tried ordering from Drawn & Quarterly. When I ordered Tales Designed to Thrizzle from Fanta, it took forever. Then I had to email them. Argh. Again, I'm not asking for them to order everything under the sun, but these were a couple of notable blips in the ordering.
  • Meatcake #16. by Dame Darcy. I don't even know where to find this in town. Maybe it'll turn up at an upcoming con. Hmmmm. Honestly, she does have a following here in town. Geesh.
  • Big Questions #10. by Anders Nilsen. I might be able to find this at the Wexner book store. Cross my fingers.
Etc.

  • Love & Rockets. by Hernandez Bros. Love the new Jacob Covey jackets. These are a bit less cumbersome to read than the omnibuses that Fanta came out with. It really pisses me off that these books get nominated in catagories that aren't for reprinted material. Repeatedly.
  • Process Recess 2 & Pulphope. Some nice additions to my collection. Beautiful art books but it'll annoy me if these get nominated for anything but art books. They're already showing up on some top ten lists which is weird as they're not comics. It's like whend Speigelman's Twin Towers board book kept getting noted as a graphic novel. It wasn't.
what's yours?


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Wednesday, December 12, 2007
 
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 12/12/2007 11:00:00 PM :

       Highly Recommended: 20th Century Ghosts

A few days ago, I finished reading Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts, and I can’t get the stories out of my head. From a romance on the set of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead to the title story, a classic ghost story, and from a superhero story with a twist, to the most unsettling story I’ve read in years, “My Father’s Mask,” there isn’t a dog among them.

Hill’s influences are obvious—Ray Bradbury, The Twilight Zone, any number of horror movies, and Hill’s famous writer father, Stephen King—but the stories never seem derivative of any other work. Rather, they are all engaging, and even when I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen next, I still kept turning pages to see how it would all turn out.

Joe Hill also wrote a Spider-Man story, “Fanboyz” in Spider-Man Unlimited #8 illustrated by Seth Fisher, and has a comic series, Locke and Key forthcoming for IDW.

Pick it up when you have a chance.


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  Posted by Dara on 12/12/2007 08:39:00 PM :

       In stores today:CDFTotHaN #3 ; Pre-order now: CDFTotHaN #5

Out today, the second of my 3 adaptations of Cory Doctorow short stories for IDW. Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now #3 adapts "Craphound", featuring the gorgeous art of Paul McCaffrey, under a cover by Paul Pope:



And solicited in this month's Previews catalog, shipping February 2008, is my adaptation of "I, Robot" in Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now #5. Interior art by Erich Owen, under a cover by Ashley Wood (sorry, cover art not yet available.)



So tell your store to order plenty of copies: Diamond order code DEC07 3753.

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Monday, December 10, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 12/10/2007 07:42:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Heh. Ok, after this morning's false start, here's a page where the artist's name isn't on the scan (D'oh!)

Guess away:



(click image to urbanize)

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

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Sunday, December 09, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 12/09/2007 09:48:00 AM :

      


My ebay auction's got 6 hours left to go today. Up for bid are sketches of Deadman, Thor, Batman & Catwoman, Hulk and Mr. Miracle. Beginning `round $30-$35 bucks.


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Saturday, December 08, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 12/08/2007 04:28:00 PM :

       Will Ferrell

Apparently Will Ferrell was in town this past Thursday at the Value City Arena as part of his "Funny or Die Comedy Tour". Here's a bit from his website:



And I don't know why this video made me laugh so much...I think it's the cocky self-congratulatory posing after each high five. Stupid, but strangely funny.



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  Posted by Tom on 12/08/2007 12:36:00 PM :

       Stick this in your feed..


I happened across a couple of new art blogs: David Choe and Bwana Spoons. Love that rascal Choe. He's one crazy bastard. I've enjoyed Bwana's surreal surfer imagery since I ran into him at SPX ages ago. If I'm ever in Portland, checking out Grass Hut will be on my list.


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Friday, December 07, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 12/07/2007 04:58:00 PM :

       now *that's* packaging for a theme!


We might find some ideas in here for one of our next Panel books.

Cool/bizarre business cards


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Thursday, December 06, 2007
 
  Posted by Tony on 12/06/2007 03:59:00 PM :

       Scenester Showdown!

Over at Roy G. Biv gallery this month, they're doing a poll between Damon Zex and Zachary Allen Starkey.

They made up a stack of prints of each one, and to vote you take one of the cards. The guy with the fewest left at the end of the month is the winner.

As you can see, I went old-school in my vote.



I just called Roy G. Biv, and they said Starkey was ahead. Go in and represent the mid-1990s!


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Wednesday, December 05, 2007
 
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 12/05/2007 08:29:00 PM :

       PANEL 6 Review

Whitey over at Optical Sloth reviewed PANEL: Music today. Although it was our sixth book (PANEL X just came out a few weeks ago), it somehow got lost in the shuffle and is just getting reviewed now.

Overall I didn't think it was the strongest Panel of the bunch, but it's up against some pretty tough competition and there's still plenty here to recommend it, particularly the first and last stories and the Craig Bogart piece.

Personally, this is my favorite book of the series. I love the packaging and feel everyone brought their A-game to these stories. As always, you can your grubby hands on a copy through the Ferret Press store.

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  Posted by Dara on 12/05/2007 06:52:00 PM :

       Maggie Thompson visits the OSU Cartoon Research Library

Maggie Thompson (of Comic Buyer's Guide) recently visited the Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library, and blogs about it here and here and here.



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  Posted by Craig on 12/05/2007 03:43:00 PM :

       Way Back Machine

Marvel Team-Up #4

I don’t know how this book ended up in a 50 cent bin at MidOhio, but I certainly wasn’t going to argue with the guy behind the table. I remember this story from one of those oversized treasury editions Marvel used to put out back in the day before trade paperbacks. This was my first exposure to the X-Men, whose own book was in reprint at the time this issue came out; Wolverine was still a minor Hulk villain and the mutants wear their old school uniforms in the story (briefly) to reflect how they appear in their own comic rather than the Neal Adams models. Anachronistically, the Beast doesn’t appear, as he’s still in hiding rather than show his friends he’s gone all blue and furry.

I said they wear the school uniforms briefly—only when the characters are being introduced. In the next scene they show up looking like a mutant mod squad. Cyclops projects cool with his dark glasses and suit, while Iceman sports the unbuttoned-to-the-naval shirt and big medallion. Angel appears in this scene in his own suit, but throughout the rest of the book wears only a pair of dockers as he flies barefoot and bare-chested. The group rides into battle this issue in these getups, and as dated as they are it strikes me as more edgy than the leather-jacketed biker outfits they have tended to wear recently. I’d like to see them switch back to this look; Wolverine could choose between the necktie or the big medallion.

Here’s the story:

1) Spider-Man is ill, having contracted a blood-borne disease from his last dustup with Morbius, the living vampire. While tracking down a scientist who might help, he discovers that Morbius has already kidnapped the man, and gets blamed for the crime himself. Turns out the scientist is an old colleague of Professor X, who assembles his students to track down Spider-Man and rescue the missing scientist. The mutants confront the wall-crawler…

2) …and a type 7 “superhero misunderstanding battle” breaks out. Check out this handful of panels wherein every single character gets to demonstrate their powers for any new readers who aren’t familiar with them. That’s excellent storytelling on the part of Gil Kane (we can thank writer Gerry Conway for the excellent dialogue: “Use your eyes! Your eyes!”). Before the fight concludes, Spider-Man collapses from his illness and is hauled back to Westchester, where Xavier figures out that he has mere hours to live unless the X-Men can track down Morbius and create a vaccine.

1) Morbius has holed up with his victim in an abandoned building somewhere. He originally hoped the man might help cure his condition, but now he’s having second thoughts and might just open his jugular. He gives the scientist a break, choosing instead to go kill a couple muggers (his crime apparently being lessened because these were bad people to begin with). His victims cry out loud enough to draw the attention of Angel who is searching nearby, and the X-Men roar onto the scene sqealing the tires of their sports car to confront the vampire.

2) The big issue-ending fight breaks out as Morbius makes short work of the mutants and comes across as far more evil than in any other book I’ve seen him in. He gets the drop on everyone except the ultra-cool Cyclops, who in 1972 could reflect his eye beams off of mirrors to take out an enemy. Xavier probes Morbius’ mind for the location of the missing scientists and the gang makes it back to the mansion in time to develop a cure for Spider-Man.

Why have I numbered the segments in this fashion? Because that’s how a modern writer would break the story down to stretch it over four issues and rip off the readers paying for the series. This is another of those super-compressed issues that I love, an engaging, multi-layered read that makes you feel like you’ve been away for a while when you close the covers, the kind that emphasizes story content rather than giving you twenty pages of mood and atmosphere and little forward momentum. I spent fifty cents for a story a new series would charge about twelve bucks for—and I’ll wager the artist would be no Gil Kane.

I’m as happy as Spider-Man himself by the end of this story, but I can’t thank his rescuers in the same fashion he does: here he is delivering a personal message to Jean Grey. Gwen Stacy still has a few months to live over in Amazing Spider-Man, but Peter Parker is already showing a preference for the redheads.

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  Posted by Craig on 12/05/2007 03:24:00 PM :

       Late to the party...

Here I was going to post on this today, but Andy beat me to it… Nevertheless, I’ll post Sim’s paragraph on Political Science since I had to do some serious hunting to find it on his blog:

“THE INEFFABLES: POLITICAL SCIENCE trade paperback is by Craig Bogart, another member of the Panel Collective (Tom Williams helps out with the cover colour and Dara Naraghi does the lettering on "Political Asylum"). If you're a) an atheistic secular humanist and b) a fan of early 60s Marvel Comics, this collection is for you. The Ineffables are Chet Burnett, a sometime journalist, Mason, a scientific genius animated Easter Island head, Clarity, a living piece of artwork, and the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln (who joins in the course of the "Patriot Act" storyline). It really is extreme leftist/atheistic stuff but it's very, very funny. Funny enough that I'll forgive Craig for misappropriating a Republican President for his shenanigans! Check it out at http://www.theineffables.com/

I’ll admit that given what I know of his, er, political views I’m surprised he took to my satire so well. I figured Dirty Cop would be more up his alley.

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  Posted by Andy Bennett on 12/05/2007 10:11:00 AM :

       Dave Sim on PANEL

Dave Sim has posted a capsule review of PANEL: TRAVEL on his blog yesterday (December 4). I can't quite tell if it's a good or bad review... but I think he likes me, anyway :)

If you don't have a moment to read it, here's what Dave had to say specifically about PANEL:
Those wacky Columbus, Ohio Panel guys get me every time. PANEL TRAVEL FALL 2005 TWO DOLLARS. What does this look like? I know this format. It's a passport!

They've done a mini-comic the exact size and shape and texture as a U.S. Passport. Get it? Special Travel Issue – and it looks like a passport? 9 stories by the usual suspects. I'll give Dara Naraghi and Andy Bennett the nod this time out for "best of show" with "Bystander".
Thanks, Dave!

Update from Dara:

He's apparently reviewing all the Day Prize entries. Here's what he had to say about fellow PANELista Tom Williams:
"Tom Williams who was a Day Prize Recipient for MISA is back with a digest, S.P.B.:RISE. It's a gorgeous piece of work but he's (personal opinion) going esoteric to the point of incomprehensible but I can't fault that any more than I can fault the guys whose drawing chops just aren't there but whose stories are interesting enough that I don't even really notice. I can and have spent a lot of pleasurable time flipping through Tom's work. This time out he's working in black-and-white, sepia tones and sepia variant tones with the occasional splash of green or pink or blue. The original strip (reprinted in the back) is really more of an infernal riff on PEANUTS than anything else. Tom admits to getting "weirded out by the possibility of it getting lumped in with the whole `goth comic' racket." The part I liked the best was his profile of each of the characters in the back. Check out Tom's work at www.opencrashcomics.com. You should know within a few mouse clicks if he's your cup of tea or not."

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Monday, December 03, 2007
 
  Posted by Dara on 12/03/2007 06:17:00 PM :

       Funky animation

Check out this very clever, kick ass animation my coworker told me about: Animator vs. Animation. It's by a guy named Alan Becker, and apparently it took him 3 months to do.


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  Posted by Dara on 12/03/2007 06:13:00 PM :

       Comics to check out: Mister Universe

I was telling a couple of the Panel guys about this Image one-shot I heard about a few weeks ago. Now, CBR has an interview with the creators of the comic Mister Universe: Greek comics authors K.I. Zachopoulos (co-writer) and Vassilis Gogtzilas (co-writer, artist)



The art has a bit of the Steve Black vibe to it, don't you think? Anyway, the book comes out in January and sounds cool. Plus, it's only a one-shot, so it's not a huge monetary investment to try. Looking forward to this.


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  Posted by Dara on 12/03/2007 08:54:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Last weeks stumped you guys, so let's see how we do this week. Found this in the quarten boxes at Mid-Ohio-Con as well. And if you happen to have this comic, no guessing...



(click image to Clobbersize!)

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

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  Posted by Tony on 12/03/2007 08:33:00 AM :

       1-900-NERD-GIRL

(not a real number; don't call!)



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Sunday, December 02, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 12/02/2007 02:34:00 PM :

       Top 40 worst Liefeld drawings..


It was only a matter of time but Progressive Boink counts down the all time worst renderings by Rob Liefeld. Kinda like picking on Bush, it is a funny read.

'No.26:

I thought I would be above making a comment about how it looks like the Invisible Woman is taking a shit, but there it is. I’m pretty terrified by this drawing, honestly. This looks like it should be in an issue of Heavy Metal with VERY DIFFERENT THINGS happening to cause that expression. Liefeld’s approach to drawing women? Fat lips and plenty of eyeliner.

Look at where her upper arm is going off-panel and where “her” “fist” re-enters the frame. Also, any time he draws anyone running ANYWHERE, they always have their arms held straight out to their sides. Like, I understand that you have to create the illusion of movement but I think what is more important is the illusion of me not hating you.'



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Saturday, December 01, 2007
 
  Posted by Tom on 12/01/2007 01:05:00 PM :

      



I'm throwing these up on ebay `round the evening tommorow. I went back on a few of these sketches and added some washes n' stuff. Bidding begins tommorow and runs for a week. I'm thinking of starting the bidding at $35 for most of them. Except the Mr. Miracle piece. That'll start at $30. If you don't see anything that fits your fancy here, I also do commissions. (as mentioned above). Keep in mind: I suck at likenesses.

update:
My batch of sketches are up on ebay as of now! Auction ends in a week. Bid on the following..


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