Panel Press logo

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.


Ryan, one of our earliest supporters from way back, is now writing for Ain't It Cool News — and has just posted a review of The Darkness From Warsaw (scroll down a few screens, past the one of Tangent: Superman's Reign which shows I'm not alone). And, Ryan, there's more RBS happening right now, so stay tuned.


The latest installment of The Panel is posted. I've been unceremoniously kicked aside (but will be back … or so I've been told), so Chris is ably assisted by Anthony (both from True Believers) in their analysis of just what Grant Morrison's been doing to the DC universe.


The report from New Comic Night:
  • So, with Tangent: Superman's Reign #12, our long national nightmare is over. At least it had a rushed conclusion and didn't drag on as I feared it would, though it does leave some openings for further Tangent stories. All around, an ordinary, uninspired, typical Silver Age DC teamup. Why, then, why oh why was I buying? Fond memories of the original Tangent series(es) which, though flawed and uneven, were clever, entertaining reads that carved out some new(-ish) ground. This, though just relegates that universe to yet another alternate Earth, fodder for lame crossovers.
  • Mysterius The Unfathomable, on the other hand, is justifying its presence on my pull list. I think "quirky" applies here, but because Parker's so good, it's a solid tale, smart and fun. Art alone just cracks me up, a terrific cover this time, referencing Mysterius of the '60s.
  • Uncanny X-Men #506 continues the multiple (interrelated?) plotlines, still moving through setup but offering the promise of several beatings to come next issue. I think I earlier posited that this is a more logical continuation of Whedon's Astonishing than Ellis'; this title doesn't seem to have the luxury of kind of operating outside general Marvel continuity, and I think Fraction's juggling it all really well.


Last night's Dollhouse? Looking better; IIRC, this might've been the pilot, and it does start to set the stage for more in-depth storytelling. Still not Joss-y enough. Last week, I forgot to mention how good it was to see Reed Diamond — I'm always happy to see anybody from the ol' Homicide crew again (yes, The Wire is probably empirically a better show, but I still hold up Homicide as my favorite ever). Though I haven't quite got my act together enough to catch the currently most popular alum.


The latest comic from the Raised By Squirrels world, The Darkness From Warsaw is done, printed, and now available.

This standalone supernatural thriller featuring Estelle and Norris from Death, Cold As Steel combines WWII history with fantasy in a world where there's more than even the super-science of 1946 can explain.

Order The Darkness From Warsaw trade paperback at the Panel Press site — and the shipping is free! Preview a few pages of art at ComicSpace.


Via Andy (who's now got his best music of 2008 list posted) a link he correctly notes "I bet no one else sends you:" the bande dessinee murals of Brussels.


The report from New Comic Night:
  • I didn't see the surprise death coming in Fables #81; I mean, it wasn't unexpected, but I didn't think they'd go through with it. But this new villain, Mister Dark? He kills people and eats their skulls, and when he spits up their teeth, it creates a reanimated corpse. That's just such a great touch, it so seems like something from a (Eastern European, especially) fable or legend; I think not relying on "real" ones is making Willingham better.
  • Captain Britain and MI13 #10 shows the promise of vampire invasion from outer space goodness. This installment's a little talky, but it's working out the relationships between and among a bunch of the characters, which I think will pay off down the line by making it a more complex story.
  • Patsy Walker: Hellcat concludes somewhere between the high points of issues 1 and 4 and the slogs of 2 and 3. It's sharp and witty and wacky fun, but does slow down with a lot of explanation. Still, this series was a real unexpected treat and proof that superhero comics — even Marvel ones — can really be anything you want them to.
  • Incognito #2 is just flat-out awesome. Twists and turns pile up and it's starting to veer more into Criminal territory. This is gonna be a great ride.

Also picked up Comic Book Comics #3, but I know that those take a while to read, so saving it for later this weekend. I'll safely give the recommendation that it's smart and entertaining without even cracking it open.

The evening's TV watching was Dollhouse, which I liked a fair amount. It was good, but I'm not sure I can point to anything that was particularly Whedon-esque, though. I was a late convert to The Joss, via Astonishing X-Men and enforced viewings of Firefly. What I like best is the way he handles characters and dialog, and there wasn't much of that on display. Yet.

Also finally watched The Amazing Screw-On Head; the print version vies with Frank Ironwine for title of the Most Perfect One-Shot Comic. The animation, as Monica noted, was like the old G.I. Joe. Not necessarily a bad or inappropriate thing, since it worked with the art, but given that it's a lot of talking heads, a bit distracting. I think this could've been a decent series, offering some hints and nice touches that could give it longevity. But, like the comic, mostly pleased that it didn't get ruined by trying to make more.

7000 BC meeting on Sunday.


Just posted, Pete's annual Phoenix Comicon video, with a look at a little of what we saw there.


Maybe the most consistently solid Friday of reading in recent memory; the Report from New Comic Night:
  • Battlefields: Dear Billy starts off harsh and brutal and shows the promise of more to come — but already, Ennis is giving us well-developed, very human characters. I'm approaching this with equal amounts dread and anticipation. Good, spare art.
  • X-Men Noir #3 is deftly bringing and crossing storylines together, some of the characters are getting well fleshed-out in unexpected ways, but there's still too many digressions. And the illustration … I mean, it's evocative and nice to look at, but doesn't make the story any easier to follow — if Monica's right about the twist she thinks she's spotted (and I think she is), it'll be despite the clues that were in the artwork.
  • Invincible Iron Man #10 still, I think, tends to suffer from some sort of Marvel-mandated slowdown of pacing. But still, it's spinning some compelling tales, this issue kind of jumping among several characters and getting the "Most Wanted" storyline really kicked off.
  • Immortal Iron Fist #22 continues to pleasantly surprise. This arc starts up in medias res to show us just how badly things have gone since the end of last issue, when the immortal weapons set out to find the eighth city. The technique pays off, allowing the story to move quickly while providing necessary background. It's not the equal of the Fraction/Brubaker run, but it's still darned good and carving out its own style.
  • And, ohmigod squeeEEE, it's Agents of Atlas #1. Just go out, get your hands on that first miniseries, and then jump on board with this. The characters and Parker's handling of them make this title, and there's plenty of that on display, along with his skill weaving assorted plotlines together. He's so good that the tie-in to Dark Reign actually seems natural.


Smell like Kirk!


So, there were new comics (two weeks of them!), and a night of reading them. Sure, it was almost a week ago, but that means a report from New Comic Night:
  • Tangent: Superman's Reign #11: One. More. Issue. Mustn't. Black. Out. Actually, I fear that this is just setup for more.
  • Elephantmen #15: maybe a too-tidy conclusion (that still leaves some plot threads hanging), but a good read that shows some more about the characters and their relationships, while setting us up for some more.
  • Battlefields: The Night Witches #3: I could've told you it would end badly, but I didn't know exactly how. It's what you expect of Ennis, for good and bad. Me, I was just in it for a WWII story from the Russian front, but Monica liked it well enough that we're on the list for the next Battlefields storyline.
  • Astonishing X-Men #28: a lot of action, not much forward motion in the story. But you just know there's some great ideas behind it.
  • I'd heard good things about Uncanny X-Men Annual #2 and was a little underwhelmed. With Fraction at the helm it's a solid read, entertaining, kind of creating some past history to justify the current Dark Reign status quo. And maybe that was it; I just don't know or really care much about that.
  • Fantastic Four #563: It's just all so ominous-y and set up-y and so nice to look at. I can't resist.


Forgot to include this link to Rorschach Tilley in yesterday's post.


Andy (and plenty of other comic blogs) point to a NYT article on Watchmen. The idea that it aims to comment on superhero movies the way the original did for superhero books is the first thing to give me hope.

Also, the standalone release of Tales from the Black Freighter.


Got a few photos included in the first installment of Chronic Mould's Photoshow.

Into the second half of the Super Bowl. Having a tough time picking a favorite ad, 'cause can't even remember any of them.

Stop whatever you're doing, take 2 minutes and 13 seconds and let the amazingitude that is the video for ALL CAPS by Madvillain wash over you.

Got it? Wasn't that incredible? Now stop and take another look and think about how these guys might've cracked how to portray comics on the Web. There's movement within each panel. There's panel-to-panel transitions that capture the essence of how comics work, making the reader (viewer) put the sequence together. Dialogue, sure, but only the minimum necessary. No additional gimmicks, no gratuitous use of technology that really changes it to just another animated cartoon. Some (self-indulgent?) nods to the traditional comic page, sure, but it's smart.

Marc sent it to me.

Blog Archive