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

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

Read Tony Goins' webcomic Downs.
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Saturday, March 13, 2010
  Posted by Dara on 3/13/2010 12:59:00 PM :

       This blog has moved

This blog is now located at http://ferretpress.blogspot.com/.
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

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  Posted by Dara on 3/13/2010 12:56:00 PM :

       Blog unavailabe for a few days

Dear Readers,

The Ferret Press/PANEL blog may be unavailable for a few days while we undergo the process of switching from the old Blogger platform to Wordpress. We hope to be back up and operational soon.


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  Posted by Dara on 3/13/2010 12:25:00 PM :

       Magus: the Alan Moore conference

Are you going to be in Northampton, England on May 28 & 29? Do you have £60 to spare? Then check out the cool conference you can attend at The University of Northampton:

Magus: Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Work of Alan Moore

"The University of Northampton is pleased to announce the first international academic conference dedicated to appraising the work of perhaps the most influential figure to emerge from the comics medium, Northampton’s own Alan Moore."

Go book your flight now.

(Thanks to my brother for the heads up on this one.)

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  Posted by Dara on 3/13/2010 11:59:00 AM :

       Webcomic: Zahra's Paradise

Zahra's Paradise is a webcomic by two Iranians, dealing with the aftermath of the protests and turmoil following last summer's disputed elections. Out of concern for the safety of their families, they are publishing it under the pseudonyms Amir and Khalil.

The webcomic is being serialized on the First Second website. It will eventually be published as a graphic novel by the same publisher. The really cool thing is that it's beinf simultaneously released in 8 different languages: English, Farsi, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Korean (with new languages being added as volunteers step up to help spread the word).

Canada's Globe and Mail has a great article about the comic, and insight from its creators:
"Set at the height of last year’s bloody “Green revolution,” Zahra’s Paradise tells the story of a young Tehrani blogger and his mother (also named Zahra), who are searching for his vanished brother, Mehdi. The story is drawn in spare, flowing lines, stepping readers through a bleak vision of Tehran after the protests, emptied of life and littered with the wounded."

You can read the article here.


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Tuesday, March 09, 2010
  Posted by Craig on 3/09/2010 12:50:00 PM :

       In eight years we all get those cool rocket backpacks.

Peter David's blog has been running his old "But I Digress..." columns. The latest one, first published in 1992, has him taking obvious shots at the Comics Code. My favorite paragraph:

"What purpose does it serve? None that I can see. Keeping things suitable for younger readers? It’s hard to believe that, if the CCA vanished tomorrow, the floodgates of profanity, gore and sexuality would open in the average issue of New Warriors or Superman. I tend to think that publishers are very much aware of what their audience wants and expects from specific titles, and no one is going to go berserk if newfound freedom were bestowed."

Ha ha. Boy, glad that never happened.

(No, I don't favor censorship. Good judgement and restraint would sometimes be nice, though.)

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Monday, March 08, 2010
  Posted by Tony on 3/08/2010 09:24:00 AM :

       Not that he should be beaten with a crowbar or anything ...

I picked up some 1980s Batman comics the other day, and I'm starting to see why audiences never warmed to Jason Todd. That kid was annoying.

Also, if you're explaining the seating situation in the Batmobile, you're losing.

These images come from Batman 397, July 1986, by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake. This issue also told us how one of Two-Face's goons actually had a pretty easy time developing leet hacker skills in a mere fortnight:

Busting heads and busting Gotham's Twin Towers bank database -- no wonder Two-Face hired that guy. That's duality.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010
  Posted by Matt Kish on 3/06/2010 09:33:00 AM :

       For you "Lost" fanatics: And then there's this...

According to this Washington Post piece many of the questions created during the show's run will never be answered...

"...because, the writers say, they have run out of time."


"They have no intention of discussing the show after the finale airs on May 23..."

Wait, wait, wait. I actually have read a handful of the seven hundred billion articles that have been written wbout the show "Lost" and I distinctly remember things like (and I'm paraphrasing here, but the details are the same) "the show was always designed to have a finite run with a distinct beginning, middle and end" and "we know all the details and have had the whole thing basically planned out since the beginning." So how does that jibe with "Holy crap we're running out of time and won't be able to really conclude more than a few important storylines?" Seriously, at this moment, I actually do have a little sympathy for all of you "Lost" fans who have devoted so much time, effort, and support for one of your favorite shows. You really are getting screwed here.

See, all this goes along perfectly with what has been my major gripe about the show since I stopped watching it forever some time in season 2. Anyone with a brain and a decent level of creativity, and really that's an awful lot of people, could have done what Cuse and Lindelof have done. Anyone.

It's beyond easy to come up with an interesting premise. Hell, any 2 or 3 college kids sitting around an apartment drinking beer can come up with 3 or 4 great ideas for a TV show or a movie on any given Saturday night. The ideas, the questions, the unknowns, the premises...these are the EASY parts. It's how these things are developed and ultimately resolved that show true and gifted creativity. True skill as a writer or creator. And Cuse and Lindelof apparently have very little of that real creativity because they don't seem to know how to resolve much of, well, anything.

I don't think I'm smarter than you reading this, but I do think that I started feeling like the show was never really going to answer anything way back in season 2 so I stopped wasting my time. I know a lot of viewers have become very attached to the characters and their lives and backstories as well, and I understand that, but honestly there are just too many great films, novels, and other things that don't require a 6 year investment of time for a payoff. I would rather spend 2 or 3 hours with a great film that has great characters, dialogue, and a storyline than 6 years with a show that's going to eventually show me Sayid's happy reunion with someone but never let me know how anything else ever happened to him.

"Lost"...what a scam.


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Thursday, March 04, 2010
  Posted by Dara on 3/04/2010 07:29:00 PM :

       Lost: smoke monster question

For you Lost fans: something that struck me while watching this week's episode: in the earlier seasons encounters with the smoke monster, it seems to me that it was colored jet black. But this season, it looks more gray. I can’t figure out if this is just an oversight in the special effects (maybe a different production company is doing the CG effects?), or if it's intentional. As in: not all bad (black), not all good (white), but somewhere in the middle.

Am I reading too much into this?

Curse this show and their nuances. Now I suspect everything is a subtle clue.


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Tuesday, March 02, 2010
  Posted by Tony on 3/02/2010 01:55:00 PM :

       Star-Spangled Kid, you're my hero

The really annoying thing about the 1970s Justice Society was how they kept trying to "push" the Star-Spangled Kid.

He's kind of a sucky character. He's impulsive, green and not tremendously competent. He's the only one who's not outwardly sexist toward Power Girl, but he seems to think that should get him through her cleavage window.

And the bragging! He's always bragging about all the things he could do with the cosmic rod that he got from Starman.

(I mentioned Wildcat's kind of a dick in this, right?)

Anyway, here's the Kid using the cosmic rod to maintain Kent Nelson's grip on life, however that would work:

In this scene, it's making a pillow. The thing is seriously depicted as more powerful and versatile than Green Lantern's power ring.

This looks like a personal problem.

I think this would wake me up, too. Where's he putting that rod?

Then this -- I don't know what to say about this. Chomp?


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