Welcome to the weblog of the writers and artists of Ferret Press (a publisher of fine comix) and PANEL (a Columbus, Ohio comic creators collaborative.) Here you will find our musings on comics, art, the creative process, politics, the web, and life.

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Read Dara's free webcomic @ Komikwerks.com

LIFELIKE Graphic Novel Order the full-color, hardcover graphic novel from Amazon.com!

Read Dara and Tom's comic @ Brainbotjr.com and in Melt magazine.

Read Tony Goins' webcomic Downs.
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Monday, January 28, 2008
 
  Posted by Dara on 1/28/2008 07:52:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Not much to go on, but you guys are smart, so I'm sure you'll get this one:



(click image to unicornize)

(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, 12/31/2007, 1/7/2008, 1/14/2008, 1/21/2008)

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Friday, January 25, 2008
 
  Posted by Dara on 1/25/2008 10:25:00 PM :

       Cost of a full-page ad in a Marvel comic: $14.99

How else could you possibly explain this, perhaps the most retarded ad I've ever seen in a comic book (and that's saying something):



Seriously? Fucking cake? Surely they didn't spend several thousand dollars to advertise generic cake you pick up at your neighborhood Kroger. Wait, maybe this is some sort of clever viral marketing for the Iron Man movie. Hang on a second...

Nope.

I just went to cakes.com and it's...well, just cakes. And not of the "world famous Baskin-Robbins (or your favorite brand)" variety. Nope. Just the regular ol' "no-brand, corner grocery store craptacular cupcake with a cheap Iron Man plastic sign stuck in it" variety.

Money well spent, gentlemen. I've already put in an online order for two dozen Iron Man cakes from my local bakery. After all, who could resist the hypnotic draw of your godlike marketing prowess?

(as seen in Silver Surfer - In Thy Name #3, March 2008)


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Monday, January 21, 2008
 
  Posted by Matt Kish on 1/21/2008 03:13:00 PM :

       Spudd64.com is back!

Spudd64.com is back! I took some time off for reasons that would probably be boring to recount here. None of that matters anyway, because now I'm back and there's even more to look at. I made a few changes around the site, so here's a rundown of what's new...

--I removed the eight photos of rockets and missiles that I took when I was a child.

--I added eleven 35mm photos to the photos page. As a warning, there is some artistic nudity, so view with caution. I created these images several years ago when I had a darkroom of my own and since I will soon have a new darkroom, I am excited about sharing these photographs for the first time online.

--The ongoing comic "Spaceman," written by me with full color art by Steve Black, is back on the site, with improved navigation tools to make reading easy. Check it out in the "ongoing comics" section on the comics page of the site.

--Now, for the first time ever, you can read every single page of every single issue of my own comic "Spudd 64" on that same comics page, in "the saga of spudd 64" section. As I complete new issues, I'll also post them there as well.

--Also, you can read nearly every single comic I have ever worked on, also on the comics page, in the "completed comics and stories" section. These are mostly short pieces I've done for other anthologies and occasionally with other writers as well as some of my own earliest comics.

--A new contact page and photograph! Ha!


Also, there are a few more exciting changes coming soon. In a week or two, I will have my own storefront on Etsy where I will be selling comics, art books, and art. I'll make an announcement when it's done. Within the next month, I'll start posting pages from another ongoing comic I am doing with my good friend Johnny Ampersand. He is writing it and I am drawing it and it will be called "Pilgrimage: The Transmigration of Hank Ferguson." It's gonna be great. Finally, there will be more art and 35mm photography very soon.

I do hope you will visit the site again. I used to update the news page almost every day, and it turned into something like a personal journal. I'll be resuming those daily updates, so if you want to know the mundane details of my pretty normal life here in the Midwest, keep checking in.


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  Posted by Dara on 1/21/2008 11:15:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Happy MLK day to all our readers.

Well, I didn't get a chance to dig for some obscure pages, so I'll have to go with one from the standby file. I'm guessing it'll be an easy one for you guys:



(click image to 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, 12/17/2007, 12/24/2007, 12/31/2007, 1/7/2008, 1/142008)

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  Posted by Craig on 1/21/2008 09:19:00 AM :

       Ebay has been good to me.

Forgive me, fellas, but I have to share this with someone. Won on auction just last night:

Check out the bottom of that first page; this is like a team-signed world series baseball. My wife is such an enabler...


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Sunday, January 20, 2008
 
  Posted by Tom on 1/20/2008 03:41:00 PM :

       Hello Micheal


I thought I imagined it, but my childhood favorite is riding back for a two-hour movie/pilot: Knight Rider. That's what I'm talking about. It's not a complete reboot like Bionic Woman but a continuation of the story line. Was there a story? Anyway the show runs on Sunday February 17th. Sporting a drunken cameo by the Hoff. This news is Jocko approved.


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  Posted by Tom on 1/20/2008 11:02:00 AM :

       Let's all sell at the same time... pinky swear.

I ran across this release from the ComicsPRO organization which goes something like this...

Issue Presented Direct Market retailers purchase their inventory under a non-returnable arrangement. With very few exceptions, Direct Market retailers are obligated to pay for the material they purchase from a wholesaler, regardless of their ability to ultimately sell that material. This non-returnable arrangement is one of the cornerstones of the current distribution system. Some Direct Market-oriented publishers gain a significant portion of their sales from direct-to-consumer sales at conventions and other fan-driven gatherings. ComicsPRO acknowledges that publishers should have access to as many revenue streams as possible in order to become and remain profitable. ComicsPRO asserts that direct-to-consumer sales of material prior to their release to retailers adversely affects potential sales in Direct Market stores belonging to our membership. When customers have already purchased products directly from a publisher before the retail channel is even able to stock these items, the cash flow and bottom lines of Direct Market retailers are noticeably impacted.

Market Efficiency
In order for a market to function efficiently, all market participants should have equivalent access to the goods offered. If one or more participants has early access to market offerings, all other participants in that market are affected, whether through realization of full sales potential, or from less tangible concerns including reduced consumer confidence in a product line or a manufacturer.

Convention Sales Conventions, even regional ones, will have national sales impacts. East Coast-based customers frequently travel to West Coast conventions (and vice-versa). It should not be assumed that sales impacts are limited to the region where the event is hosted.

Request for Action
ComicsPRO requests that publishers refrain from selling direct-to-consumers in any manner until the same product is received and available for sale by all members involved in Direct Market retailing.

They present no data backing any of this up.. at all. Can one even gleen market share from the crap data Diamond puts out? It seems laughable for a publisher to follow this mandate, especially if you're a smaller publisher like Top Shelf or Fantagraphics. Which is the kind of publisher that this seems to be directed at. So in similar fashion, let me break down the level of shops that currently exist in the DM. Based on my own personal shopping experiences & 'feelings' which seems to be how ComicsPRO came to it's own conclusions:


  1. The pro-indie shop. Carrying an even balance of stock ranging from indie to mainstream books. Do they have the entire Ignatz line stocked? You betcha. Of course they're also stocked with all the hot buzz books you heard about at the last SPX. Goes without saying, they've also got a great selection of mainstream books. The enthusiasm for the medium is infectious. This is the rare shop. Maybe one (if that) in every other state exists.
  2. The half-hearted.. kinda clueless shop. 'Yeah we've got 'Indie'. There's some Hellboy and Vertigo in the back.' This could almost be split. You have the shops that will order indie, blindly sometimes, just to say they stock indie. These are the shops that will have for example, Love and Rockets but won't get a couple of copies of Anders Nilsen's Big Questions. Still not a dominant presence in the DM. I've been in more shops like this than the no. 1 type.
  3. The mainstream shop. A healthy dose of back issues, and new stuff from the regulars:DC, Marvel, Image and maybe Dark Horse. There might be some manga and a copy of Bone in the corner somewhere. Chaos reigns the organization of these shops. It may take a few visits to get the lay of the land. You may ask about Blankets but after a waisted half hour, you leave in disgust. The owner/staff has no clue what you're talking about. This is the majority of comic shops.
  4. The hybrid shop. A store that's confused with it's own identity. They have an even mix of Wizards of the Coast and mainstream books. Indie? They might have a copy of Buffy from Dark Horse. This represents about half the shops in this state that I've been in. Also disorganized. It takes me a moment to walk around then walk out. They have a small rack in the corner and a book shelf of trades. The rest is dominated by gamer crap. Maybe one of the owners is a gamer, the other is a comics guy. Or both, in which case he or she assumes that everyone might be of the same mindset. In which case, either one or the other wins out in the shop or the place folds within a year.
So if I'm a small publisher, I pretty much have to rely on that slim no.1 slot to maintain my bottom line. According to ComicsPRO, the answer would be YES. God bless those few shops that do order from smaller publishers. I can understand why they would feel cheated to some extent. The convention theory seems laughable at best. If that buyer were to buy Three Paradoxes at a con (and liked it), wouldn't they seek out more from that creator or publisher? Let's say you have bought a copy of Black Hole or Meatcake, chances are that you won't find it in your shop. If you do happen to have a pull account, they might order it for you. More likely is that you know the shop won't get it in so you order it off of amazon. That initial spark is gone and they won't return. Cripes. People who buy indie will quickly realize that your store refuses to carry indie so they bail or lose interest or buy it at a show or off the internet. Is a sale at San Diego seriously a lost sale in Michigan? Are all the potential buyers of that item even going to San Diego that shop at your store? Do they even know your shop carries this item? Is it even easy to find in your shop? Do you have any polling information to back this up? Oh wait, no that would be actual marketing. Something this mandate didn't take into consideration. This seems like a marginal threat when the real threat to brick and mortar is the internet. Most shops do not have any online store. You would think they would embrace the internet marketplace more. Shops need to think more about the future and realize that they're not the only game in town anymore. The monthlies are dying. Have been for a while. They need to push for a return policy instead of mandates like this which come off childish and unrealistic.


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Saturday, January 19, 2008
 
  Posted by Tom on 1/19/2008 10:42:00 AM :

       Tonight we party... and try not to freeze.



Come on out to Red Rover tonight and celebrate the release of Lifelike. 7-11pm in Clintonville. Rock!

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Thursday, January 17, 2008
 
  Posted by Tony on 1/17/2008 02:02:00 PM :

       Toothpaste for Dinner

Panel field trip!


toothpastefordinner.com

Drew, the creator of Toothpaste for Dinner, will be stopping by to share about his experience earning a living as an artist and humorist. From the economics of independent vs. mass media, to his pointed views on the worlds of fine art and comics, Drew has wit to spare. He and his wife Natalie have made their living off of drawing online webcomics. His website: www.toothpastefordinner.com includes his hilarious comics and blog.

Join OUAB for a lecture and Q&A with this great local comic artist.

Drew from Toothpaste for Dinner

Wed Jan 23, 2008 - 7:30 PM

Campbell Hall - Room 200


Jess knows Natalie and I can tell you that these are great people. Toothpaste For Dinner is pretty funny. I'm going -- who's going with me?

(Thanks to Sean for the heads-up).

Natalie's comic is hilarious, too:


nataliedee.com


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008
 
  Posted by Dara on 1/16/2008 09:35:00 PM :

       Initial designs and covers: Zombies! - Hunters

I finished the script for the first issue of the 5-issue Zombies! - Hunters limited series earlier this week. It's scheduled to debut in May, from IDW. The art is provided by Don Figueora, best known for his work on various Transformers comics. Here's a look at some early, pre-revision character designs from the book:



And Don's pencils for the cover of issue #1:




I'll post more sneak peeks as I get artwork to share.

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  Posted by Dara on 1/16/2008 07:34:00 AM :

       my Newsarama interview

The media blitz continues...

Newsarama has posted an interview with your truly regarding the release of Lifelike. Hope I don't come off sounding like a jackass :-)

Given the mostly mainstream audience there, I have a feeling there won't be much discussion generated by the article, but it's still good publicity. Thanks to Tom for pointing Chris Arrant my way.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008
 
  Posted by Dara on 1/15/2008 08:09:00 PM :

       Reminder: signing at The Ogre on 1/16

Just a reminder to our Columbus readers: Andy, Tom, Tim, and your truly will be signing copies of Lifelike (and any of our other books, I suppose) tomorrow from 5-8 pm at The Laughing Ogre, located at 4258 North High Street.

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Monday, January 14, 2008
 
  Posted by Dara on 1/14/2008 07:37:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

Ok, let’s take a break from the color pages for some old black and white art. As always, if you have this issue, no guessing.



(click image to mobsterize)

(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, 12/31/2007, 1/7/2008)

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Friday, January 11, 2008
 
  Posted by Tom on 1/11/2008 07:19:00 PM :

       James Jean relaunched

James Jean recently relaunched his website. Updating the 'folio' and probably one of the neatest things- the front page. If you keep hitting refresh the images take you through a tour of Jean's studio space. It's a coding trick that I've been trying to figure out but I'm clueless with css.

Anyway, other artist's studio spaces always interest me. I'd like to one day acheive the nicely organized space to my left here instead of the organized chaos I'm currently enjoying.


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Thursday, January 10, 2008
 
  Posted by Dara on 1/10/2008 08:02:00 PM :

       my Ashley Wood cover

Here's Ashley Wood's cover to Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now #5, written by yours truly:



I adapt Cory's "I, Robot" short story in this issue. Interiro art is by Erich Owen
The book ships in February and will be available in fine comic book stores everywhere.

A hardcover, collecting all 6 issues, hits book stores sometime in April or May.

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  Posted by Dara on 1/10/2008 06:08:00 PM :

       C-Note Art Show

Wendy saw this on Columbus Underground and forwarded it to me. Basically, a Columbus art show where every piece will be priced at an even $100.
"The Cnote Art Show will take place at Junctionview Studios on March 7th and 8th 2008. The C Note show will be a price point art show with all original artwork of every medium being sold for the sweet price of $100 each. There will be no restrictions on size and some people have already entered some very large pieces for the price point. Every artist that submits will be able to show their work and there is a voting process in place on the website that will offer certain artists special hanging options."
Deadlines are as follows:

February 20th - Registration closes
February 24th - Image Upload closed
March 1st - Artwork drop off date and hanging
March 7th - preview night
March 8th - main event



More info at C-Note Art Show.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008
 
  Posted by Tony on 1/09/2008 10:33:00 AM :

       loose ends

I'm kind of finding myself at loose ends this morning.

One of the reasons I'm not a better artist is that I sometimes go a month without setting pencil to paper. But right now I've kind of got some momentum going, and Jess is out of town, so I'm itching to draw tonight.

The problem is, I found out that the project I was planning to work on bears a close resemblance to a certain Adam Sandler movie. "And there is no new thing under the sun," kittens. So scratch that for now.

But what's plan B? Another Downs story? Panel: Work? I'm conflicted.

***

Perhaps the solution to this is to push it as far as I can. Breathe deep from the Haney fumes and get as crazy as I can.

Did Sandler ever do a movie with an ancient Chinese agriculture god? I thought not. Suck it, Sandler.

But on the other hand ... Bogart and Kish probably have insurmountable leads in the "crazy ideas" race.

***

I mentioned last night that I'm tangentially involved with two indie film projects. I am continually amazed at how different they are from comics, because they're so much more collaborative.

The first one bears some of my fingerprints in its structure, but precious little of my dialog is making it into the shooting scripts. I turned in a draft of the first, and it wasn't quite what the guy wanted. He asked me to rewrite it.

With comics, I spend 15 minutes writing an outline, 45 minutes banging out a script, get a few comments from Dara and Sean, and then I'm off to the drawing table.

But this film experience has me spooked. Maybe I should spend more time rewriting my comic scripts?


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  Posted by Craig on 1/09/2008 12:10:00 AM :

       2007 Day Prize Short List

http://www.backporchcomics.com/day_prize_announcement.htm





Egads.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008
 
  Posted by Tony on 1/08/2008 04:58:00 PM :

       playin' with CSS



I've been trying to put up a web site for Downs, and teach myself a little bit of CSS. How am I doin'?

(Don't pay too much attention to the graphics right now -- I dashed those off in 5 minutes with a sharpie.)


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Monday, January 07, 2008
 
  Posted by Dara on 1/07/2008 08:11:00 AM :

       LIFELIKE World Tour - stop #1: The Laughing Ogre

If all goes according to plan, my graphic novel should hit stores next Wednesday, January 16. To celebrate, the first step on my world tour will be a book signing on that day from 5-8 pm at my LCS of choice, The Laughing Ogre, located at 4258 North High Street.

I'll be joined by 3 of the book's artists, my partners in crime Andy Bennett, Tom Williams, and Tim McClurg.

Check out the nifty signing poster/flyer that Tom put together:

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  Posted by Dara on 1/07/2008 07:44:00 AM :

       Monday Morning "Guess the Artist"

A new year, a new page. Say hello to Marvel’s version of Green Lantern: Quasar.



(click image to WKRAAKesize)

(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, 12/31/2007)

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Saturday, January 05, 2008
 
  Posted by Tom on 1/05/2008 12:12:00 PM :

       Comics Reporter is back!!

After unfortunate site problems, the Comics Reporter is back. Today's holiday interview is with my former Stuck collaborator Vito Delsante.

Also you can read interviews with Eric Reynolds (of Fantagraphics) and the previously mentioned interview with Adhouse's Chris Pitzer (interview #8).

The Beat was a little weirded out by Reynolds' comment on artist's speed.

'I feel like we’re in a good groove now, just by widening the pool a bit so people can take an issue or two off, here and there. Most of these folks have jobs, and ten pages every four months is a lot to ask, I can tell you myself.'

I can never really pin down what exactly is going on in the collective heads of Fantagraphics. They've established their core money makers to finance everything else. Which is smart for any indie publisher these days. For every Anders Nilsen there's five wonky books like Percy Gloom that stink up the line. Every year they sink a little lower in my view of the company.


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Thursday, January 03, 2008
 
  Posted by Craig on 1/03/2008 10:16:00 PM :

       Way Back Machine

I had intended to submit this one a couple weeks ago as a “sweet Christmas” themed post, but things were a little hectic over the holidays. My apologies. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you all, nor does it mean it’s too late to throw an old Isaac Hayes LP on the turntable and curl up with Marvel’s answer to blaxploitation cinema:

Luke Cage, Hero For Hire #5

I’ve previously written about the Power man/Iron Fist era of this series, which was where I first encountered this character. The depiction of Luke Cage in those later issues was pretty watered down, to say the least; if my eight year old self had stumbled across this issue first instead, well… let’s just say that a kid growing up in the suburban Midwest wasn’t the target market for the exploits of Mr. Cage.

Luke was the original working class super-hero; he didn’t get to fight Galactus or Doctor Doom, instead being pitted against low-level gangsters and street thugs in his earliest appearances. Like any cinematic private eye of the era, he took the jobs other superheroes wouldn’t do, no matter how undignified, to make himself the bread he needed to get by. His powers were pretty minimalist-- bullet proof and strong-- so his earliest adventures didn’t read too far outside the genre mined by Shaft or (my personal favorite) The Black Six. The criminals he battles in this issue even complain that he doesn’t fight fair, despite his enhanced abilities. Luke was a jive talking soul brother, a child of the ghetto, and only one writer could capture that voice in 1972: future West Coast Avengers scribe Steve Englehart.

No, really. All kidding aside, Englehart does a sweet job with this issue. There are a couple lines of dialogue that absolutely slew me-- like these panels:

Man, there was a time Englehart could do no wrong. I have no idea what happened to him after Reagan took office. The pencils for this issue was provided by George Tuska, who was ubiquitous for much of this decade, having excellent runs on the Avengers and Iron Man as well as this book. His figures have a fluid quality to them, like a less moody Gene Colan, and his faces are wonderfully expressive. He’s one of my favorite artists everyone seems to have forgotten about.
Our story: Luke finds himself pitted against Black Mariah, one big momma who runs a ring of fake police cars and ambulances. They pick up newly deceased persons and steal their possessions, gaining access to their homes and offices for later plunder simply by stealing the keys from the corpses. Here’s Black Mariah herself: I’ll confess I’m not too sure about this character. I got the same feeling reading these panels as I might get reading a World War II-era comic and seeing the depiction of the Japanese.

Behold Luke Cage in terrifying battle with Black Mariah herself! Remember what I said about “undignified”? Tony Stark wouldn’t be caught dead in this fight scene. Despite his earlier tendency towards fighting dirty, the future Power Man is disadvantaged by his reluctance to fight a woman. What a noble guy.

Take another look at those panels, if you can. That’s Avenger material there, baby.

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  Posted by Dara on 1/03/2008 07:44:00 PM :

       Mini movie review: Paris, Je T'aime

Wendy rented Paris, Je T'Aime earlier this week and I was really impressed by it. It's an anthology movie, featuring 18 vignettes set in (and inspired by) Paris. It features an ensemble cast of American, British and French actors (Bob Hoskins, Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, the ubiquitous Gérard Depardieu, and many more) and directors (Alfonso Cuarón, Gus Van Sant, Wes Craven, Bruno Podalydès, The Coen Brothers, etc.)

As with any anthology, there are hits and misses, but the vast majority of the shorts were well done. A few of my favorites:

Parc Monceau - A conversation between Nick Nolte and a young woman, filmed in a single continuous shot, with a very clever, funny, and unexpected ending.

Loin du 16e - a heartbreaking piece about an immigrant nanny.

Quartier des Enfants Rouges - notable not so much for the story itself, but actress Maggie Gyllenhaal delivering her entire dialogue in French, with a great accent to boot.

14e arrondissement - a bittersweet story as told in broken French by a middle-aged American tourist making a "book report" of sorts for her French class about her first trip abroad.

Watching the movie, it suddenly occurred to me that this is what a Lifelike movie would look like, were such a thing ever to come about. The individual films are all very short, 5-10 minutes each. And they're filmed in a variety of styles and techniques. Highly recommended.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008
 
  Posted by Dara on 1/02/2008 08:24:00 PM :

       It Came From an Old Comic Book

Imposters (TM) - The original Transformers!



(From Strange Sports Stories #2, DC Comics, December 1973)

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