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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.


Spent some time this afternoon putting the finishing touches on an exhibit of the comics produced at Santa Fe's 24 Hour Comics Day.

"I’m just saying that the book is technology that works." Thoughts on publishing in the digital age.

Recently got around to reading Paul Pope's 100%, picked up before our move to NM in 05 (think I've noted before that I hoard comics). Pope's got a terrific style and I knew I'd enjoy it, but was still completely surprised. It takes place in a dystopian future, but it's not really a dark sci-fi tale. It's actually … just … beautiful. Best way to describe it.


Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. For those of you who may have missed, Squirrel Central favorite Richard Thompson recounts his experiences covering the Presidential turkey pardon here, here, and here.


Monica's birthday today, and for that I commissioned a couple portraits from Richard Stevens, creator of Diesel Sweeties, a favorite of us here at Squirrel Central.


The report from New Comic Night:
  • Tangent: Superman's Reign #9 continues the team-up of multiple worlds with slightly less standing around and talking. At this point, just sticking with it because I always wanted to see what became of the Tangent universe; now, with that backup still just setting up background, I fear that this series is only a prelude to something else. Also, haven't read Superman (the "real" one) in, like, forever, but something about his characterization here seems off.
  • Grabbed Battlefield: The Night Witches on impulse, drawn by the cover (Cassasdy, as it turns out). Another Ennis war story, WWII, centering on a squadron of Russian female pilots. Also follows a group of invading Germans, finding a character in each storyline to focus on. It's not atypical Ennis, but is a solid story with an interesting historical perspective — and only two more issues, so I figure I'll see it through.
  • Yeah, I went for another The Age of Sentry. It continues to be a post-modern romp through the golden age of comics. But I'm not sure if that's enough — it's fun and all, well done, but it's not grabbing me. One more issue to see if that framing device is shaping up into anything.
  • Fantastic Four #561, on the other hand, really captures the spirit of the ol' FF tales, but with a modern sensibility and pacing (and the Marvel Mandated Wolverine Appearance). I'm enjoying the way the story and its subplots careen around while offering little moments of terrific characterization, how worlds and characters are being created that reference, but are not beholden to past and continuity. But there seems to be some disagreement on the quality of this title here at Squirrel Central, leading me to believe that this is totally aimed at the old fanboys.


Using dead stars in advertising is one of my pet peeves — really, how much creativity does it take to say, "oh, yeah, _____ totally would have liked our product. Let's cash in on their caché and buy the rights to their image from the estate"? And then it's often combined with some sort of weak, creepy digital reanimation. (For the record, my criticism even extends to Apple's "Think Different" campaign from years ago.)

That being said, this is totally awesome. Via the always entertaining AgencySpy.


Today in squirrel stuff: this and this.


string #9 is available for download — the latest issue of the 7000 BC anthology continues Estelle's adventures with the Warsaw Panel, and also sees the triumphant return of Sykryk to making comics (though from many hundreds of miles away), along with plenty of other independent comic goodness.


"A common gripe is that gamelike, open-ended series like Pirates of the Caribbean or Spider-Man have eroded filmmakers’ ability to wrap up their movies in the third act." M.I.T. joins with movie executives to save storytelling. Some may say storytelling is is alive and well in advertising.


OK, y'know, it's a bit tough to admit. I've admitted how much I enjoy and admire Sleeper, how I totally want to rip off aspire to that sort of real world collision with the superhero world that Brubaker and Phillips pull off there. But … umm … I never actually owned it. Grabbed volume 1 on sale at Phoenix at the beginning of the year, and then set out to get the rest — at sale prices, 'cause by then it was A Thing. The odd online auction got me nowhere, so I finally relented and got the LCS to order me the rest.

Only to find that volume 4 — the conclusion to the series — is out of print.

Granted, at the time, this series was one of the examples of critically acclaimed but poorly selling. It's gone on to plenty of success, now planned to be a movie with whatshisname. My fear is that DC has let that fourth volume go out of print while still selling everything that leads up to it, and will just release some sort of ultra-expensive omnibus of them all, maybe an Absolute edition, forcing all of us (hey, legitimately, a lot of latecomers could be joining me) to buy that — or give into the insane prices that that dealers are commanding. In that case, I call Superdickery.


Because I can't help myself, had to see Quantum of Solace this weekend. It wasn't the amazing Bond experience that Casino Royale was, but it certainly wasn't as bad as the reviews that heralded a return to the old Bond days.

It was kind of like an old-style Bond story through the post-Royale filter — the return of obligatory Bond girls, a bevy of exotic locations, and a villain with big plans. But Craig's portrayal makes all the difference, the story was still tight (if more than a bit predictable), the villain's plan was actually kinda believable (and only just a part of the unfolding conspiracy), and it was still gritty and cynical. It's awfully kinetic with a lot of chases! action! cars! boats! planes! explosions!, especially after I so liked that card game (with its breaks for violence) from Casino Royale. And sure, the title cards are really a design embarrassment, but how much @$$ does Judy Dench kick?


The report from New Comic Night:
  • Fables #78 — I suppose I'm a fan of Fables, having bought all the issues from the get-go, but I'm rarely enthusiastic about it. It's solid, consistent storytelling, it comes out when it's supposed to, and seems to be a pretty good "gateway comic." So far, I'm liking this post-Adversary tale more than just about anything else that's been done (maybe except for those Cinderalla spy stories). That backup shows promise, but is taking up too many pages for what it delivers.
  • Manhunter, it seems, is slated for cancellation for the third time. And, I'm sorry to say that I'm not sorry to see it go. I was never entirely comfortable with this whole "ripped from the headlines" approach since the relaunch, the guest stars from the rest of DC seemed gratuitous, and things just took too long to unfold. I still think the first issue is one of the best, Kate is a terrific character (especially in those early issues when she's not really that appealing), and I have a great deal of respect for a lot of the things that Andreyko's doing in this series, but it's just not coming together in an appealing package anymore. Oh, yeah, issue #36 — a conclusion of sorts, a lot of talking, great art.
  • Captain Britain and MI13 #7 — oh, no, please don't make me have to wade through the Captain Britain Wikipedia entry again to try and understand his history. This story's unfolding well, character interactions are good, there's some monster-beating action. But one of the things I liked so much about this series was that it brought together characters with all this backstory — and you didn't really have to be familiar with it. Now I fear that's over. Also, coloring seemed kind of fuzzy. Just saying, it's distracting.


A couple days back, ran across this WSJ article about the designer of the MLB logo. It was fairly interesting, in that whole "designers working back in the day on things that then got big" sort of way; I did come away with a better appreciation of how long the mark has lasted (in this day of constant corporate makeovers), and how it really did influence (read: establish the style) for so many other athletic organizations.

Turns out, though, that the interview — wherein the designer just wants a little recognition — set off a bit of a controversy. ESPN has sorted it all out though, and it does have a comics connection, with James Sherman (who I met at a con, like, 25+ years ago and got a sketch from) involved in the whole story.

Most interesting, from that ESPN article, is Mr. Dior's attitude toward the logo he created — he'd like some appreciation, but it was really just another job. In fact, the project (at the time) was so unremarkable that its history is murky. But that's work for hire in the advertising/design world, folks: "And the more you learn about people like Dior and Sherman — extremely talented creative professionals, most of whose work is done anonymously — the more ridiculous it seems that designers don't have higher public profiles."

(Doing some more research for this post, discovered that Comic Book Urban Legends also covered this a while back.)
The report from New Comic Night:
  • Well, Station ended. And that's really about all that can be said for this issue — yep, the story ended. The murderer was revealed, and I suppose it was a good reveal; there is a motive, there is an element of cleverness. It's tough to point to exactly what I didn't like about this series (and tougher to rationalize having bought it all), but I think it comes down to a good pitch that turned into a story that isn't really all that engaging.
  • After last week's accidental reading of Age of the Sentry #2, I grabbed #1 this week. Again, good fun — but, again, as great as it is to read classic-style stories, there has to be more, or it's just a kind of in-joke. Let's see what happens next issue.
  • Top Ten Season Two continues to be good entertainment. Alan Moore's a tough act to follow, and I don't think that, if this were my first exposure to Top Ten, it'd catch me the way his stuff did. But I do have the utmost respect for Cannon and Ha and am enjoying watching this story play out.
  • Guerrillas #2 spoiler alert: smokin' monkeys. And it gets better from there. Last issue was a standard story, well told. But with this issue's smokin' monkeys, and the introduction of a couple other plotlines, it really takes off. And liking the art even more, loose and slightly caricatured at times. This is creeping its way onto my top ten of 2008 list.
  • Invincible Iron Man #7 is kind of an interlude, a one-off tale featuring Spider-Man and providing a little glimpse into what makes Tony Stark go. Smart use of Ben Urich, his newspaper, and his history as a reporter's reporter. Enjoyable enough. Now, what's next?


Real-life Photoshop interface — "as real as it gets." Via Lines and Colors.


Tonight, we're at Warehouse 21, staffing the 7000 BC table at NM Youth Unite: Poetry Showcase 2008.


Today, music video news. Because that's what I kept running across. MTV's showing music videos on demand. AC/DC has created their latest video in Excel. And M.I.A.'s newest (which references The Wire's theme) was produced for less than ten bucks.


Matt passes along the good news that his and Carol's Mr. Big gets a nice mention in The Best American Comics 2008.


The report from a disjointed New Comic Night, due to a fairly steady stream of trick or treaters
  • Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #1 was interesting enough; kind of little tales of alternate worlds, spinning out of a scene in the main Astonishing series (and judging from the solicit for the next one of that Previews, Ghost Boxes will have to hold us for three months). But — pretty much unforgivable — for a $3.99 cover price, just under half of the book is script and development sketches. Sure, it's moderately interesting and there's a snippet or two that add to the tales, but it's not like we're lacking for background material from Ellis.
  • and speaking of Ellis, No Hero is talky and explainy and full of fun new ideas. No clue if anything's actually going to get around to happening in this series, but the techno-geekery is fun and the art is just gorgeous.
  • Iron Fist #19 stitches together threads from the previous arcs with the new elements introduced in this one in a satisfying way. Things happen (surprisingly for Marvel, a fair number of things), but it seems kind of workmanlike. Arc concludes next issue, so that'll decide if I stick with it.
  • and I'd been hearing good things about The Age of Sentry; it's a character I knew nothing about until recently, and reading the Wikipedia entry left me more than a little lost, but I'm a Jeff Parker fan from way back. Turns out the first issue I grabbed was #2, but the stories seem standalone — though I'm guessing the framing device (that creeps into one) continues issue to issue. It seems kind of easy to write "classic" superhero comics in the Kirby/Lee style, so I'm hoping there's another level to all this. Will check out #1.

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