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Raised By Squirrels is published by Panel Press.


You never call! Maybe you should instead? Seriously, we'd love to know what you think about RBS.


Occasional posts from (usually) Bram and (sometimes) Monica about comics in general, this comic in particular, art, design, publishing, visual culture, and far, far too many things about actual squirrels.


Everything's coming together for 24 Hour Comics Day in New Mexico — the Albuquerque event will be held at Harwood Art Center, and Santa Fe's will be at Warehouse 21 with the assistance of True Believers. You can send an email if you're interested in participating. I know one of the guys who's organizing it.


The report from New Comic Night
  • Ambush Bug #3 — that's it, done with this. Not funny.
  • Station #3 — with a touch more exposition in the first couple pages, this could be the first issue and made for a much tighter story. Now I'm thinking in an Agatha Christie kind of style — who couldn't have done it? That'd be the first victim … if we didn't actually see him die. If I cared enough, I'd dig out previous issues.
  • The latest Fables basically offers a jumping-on point for new readers. Better than most of those, and maybe setting some of the stage for the new arc (?).
  • I've followed Perhapanauts out of curiosity, a desire to support the independents, and because there's often nothing else out. Now, I have to admit … I'm kind of falling for it. Sure, the giant spaces between issues often leave me a little lost, but with this issue their odd pacing, the obliquely told stories, the obvious love for silver age comics, it all comes together. Todd and Craig, it's been a pleasure watching you get here.
  • I thought that the The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Death Queen of California one-shot might be the old creative team, but it's Swierczynski and (not from the regular series) Camuncoli. And a real delight — LA superhero noir. A totally fun read, and mostly good-looking (I think I have a problem with the coloring). Gave me new hope for the series, until I read the Marvel Previews and we're in for Iron Fist of the Future. Sigh.
  • Fantastic Four continues to please. Some of this we saw coming, some kind of, some maybe not. But, really folks, it's a Marvel comic where stuff actually happens. And it's good stuff, fun stuff, classic superhero stuff.


My primary criticism of the Sin City movie was that it adhered too closely to the comic. Doesn't look like The Spirit will have that problem, much to my horror.


The Squirrel Smasher. Via Paul. Last graf's the best.


The report from New Comic Night
  • Tangent: Superman's Reign, a respectable fight issue. But so little of the clever spark that characterized the original Tangent run, I'm just sticking with this out of curiosity. The backup, after so much exposition, better end about now.
  • I recently got into Captain Britain and MI13 in one fell swoop; the premise sounded like something right up my alley, with its superhero/gov't agency thing. And I was assured that a knowledge of the characters' histories was unnecessary* and that it wasn't bogged down with the tie-in with Secret Invasion. Both were true, and so now we're off onto a new story — all setup in the new issue, a great cliffhanger. Next issue will tell.
  • Speaking of all setup, War Heroes picks up, but it's still too drawn out. Has the capacity to be a pretty great, dark caper tale, as long as the pace picks up. Harris' art, which I'm usually fond of, is making it difficult to keep some of the characters straight, though.
  • And what can I add to the praise that's been (deservedly) heaped on All-Star Superman? I need a re-read now that it's all wrapped, and I'm sure I'll be baffled by some things still, but Morrison's taken a much-needed, unique look at our super-myths. Quitely's art, there's been plenty of debate about how he draws his characters (I like it, personally) that it takes away from what a master storyteller the guy is.

* It kinda got me into the mindset of the way I got into The Authority without ever having read any Stormwatch, or watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon where you know there's backstory, but in a deft writer's hands, not only doesn't it matter, it's better to learn about it gradually later.


Saturday (and Sunday, if the schedule allows), we'll be at All You Can Eat — ArtFest 2008 with a table full of comics from 7000 BC.


Three items of excellent news from recent Blog@Newsarama posts:


A short report from New Comic Night, from two ends of the spectrum
  • Criminal 2 #5 is more of Brubaker and Phillips' great, moody noir. The addition of the comic strip detective that the main character sees is an interesting one, not really providing comic relief, but adding a certain extra level to the story.
  • And I really, really want to like Patsy Walker, Hellcat more that the last couple issues have let me. But I have hope that it's all going to hold together better as one big read, and be less like "stuff happening" that seems to characterize it now. But, really, when your heroine refers to the giant stone talking calendar as a "useless piece of schist," you gotta stick with it.


Hey, finally some new posts from Poualie.


Especially after the previous post, where I'm extolling the virtues of two techno-enhanced guys in superpowered armor beating on each other, it may come as a surprise that my next recommendation is for the minicomic Blink by Max Ink — it's certainly a surprise to me. There's something about the Blink stories, vignettes really, that just grab me. The grasp of conversation, the penmanship. Though the most recent is probably not my favorite, pick one up, won't you? And then wait for the re-release of the rest.


The report from New Comic Night
  • in Fables #75, the war ends. Fast, but with some action and adventure. I'm actually pretty interested to see where it goes next, now that the exile (that really formed the premise) is over.
  • Manhunter #34 was a real kind of bait & switch issue — a lot of things turn out to be not what they seemed last issue. And, so with kind of a step or two backwards, even with all the jump cuts to the other storylines, very little actually happens. I can only hope that all this setup's going to pay off in the next arc, issue after next. Looks good, though.
  • Challenger Deep features Chee, the artist I was just writing about in The Foundation review, and Boom!'s usual high-concept, ready-for-the-movie story. One little bit (actually recurring) kind of has some fun with that, but at the end, we've still just got one issue of setup.
  • Iron Man: Golden Avenger #1 is a fun little all-ages tale from Squirrel Central favorite Fred Van Lente.
  • and finally, some action in Invincible Iron Man — the slow, decompressed start had me worried, but the last half was the long-promised showdown between Stane and Stark (?). Stane's a pretty great character, clever premise, the kind of superhero techno-geekery that I'm a sucker for.


In the spring, when Monica found new daily comics for me to read using the Chron's build your own comics page feature (free, easy to use, and highly recommended), one of the strips she added was Diesel Sweeties. Recently, the creator stopped offering the strip for print syndication, but he continues to publish daily at the Diesel Sweeties site. It's marvelously clever and wry, and should become a part of your daily routine.


Raph was the first to pass along the sad news that the innaworld guy had died; it's been all over the the adverblogs, and AdPulp has posted a short interview/profile.

Update, because a little time and a few ads have made us realize how much we've lost: Adland's posted the Geico commercial. And a link to a favorite essay that reminds us "people like knowing a movie’s going to be ‘in a world.’ "

Google's rolling out a Web browser, and for the launch they're using a comic to explain it. It seemed to me a little bit Action Philosophers, a little bit Radio: An Illustrated Guide, and a whole lot of Understanding Comics — and then I made it to the end to discover that it was produced by Scott McCloud.

Have to say that I like the principle better than the execution — seems a good way to try and explain some programming concepts, but I found myself skimming and skipping.

First version's only for the PC anyway.


So, then, finished off The Foundation trade, and it was a good time. Worth the sixteen bucks? Eh, probably not. The art, though it was mostly guys in suits standing around, I liked a great deal. The premise worked out well, but the story really did read more like a pitch than a comic — though they got the formula wrong, the one that was drilled into my head in a recent screenwriting workshop, of 1/4 beginning, 1/2 middle, 1/4 end. An awful lot of unnecessary setup, then there were some twists you should've seen coming, but nice reversals; characters that had just enough to drive them. A conclusion that wraps up the story but sets the stage for the sequel.

And then I re-read Stormwatch: Team Achilles, recently returned by a long-lost friend (which will hopefully be a post in its own right soon). Now, I took plenty of $#!+ at the time for reading that series, it's not without a bunch of faults (which I'll be happy to elucidate), and, of course, all the problems that came from the author falsifying his background. But, folks, there's an awful lot to be learned there about how to do a first issue. A first arc. How to keep the momentum going. And how to mix humor in with the proper reverential superhero stuff.

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