§ Bill Baker interviews cartoonist Ronn Sutton, who is busy as one of Canada’s most trusted courtroom sketch artists:

Almost every case I get sent to is a very high-profile murder case. My assignments fit into two categories: the arraignments and the trials. An arraignment is when a person is first charged with a crime and must appear before a judge to set a trial date. This is a lightning-fast court appearance of literally 30 to 60 seconds. In these cases, I get a call out of the blue from the newspaper telling me to get to the courthouse as fast as possible. There are times that I’m on my way and still don’t know the name of the accused or what courtroom he’ll appear in. I have to focus on the face and photograph it in my mind because I can barely block out shapes in pencil on paper in that time. The drawing is only in my head at that point, and it has to be completed immediately after. I’ve gotten very good at it.

§ Desperado publishing poobah Joe Pruett sent us a note that the Desperado Web Store is having a sale, with comics priced at $1 and trades at $5, with works by Brian Bolland, Phil Hester, Bernie Wrightson, Keith Giffen, Chuck Dixon, Vince Locke, Jamie Delano, and others.

This is as good a time as any to say that any publishers having web specials in this gift-giving season can drop us a line and we’ll gather them all up.

§ John Jakala lists his digital demands for publishers:

Yes, individual publishers have made small moves toward digitizing their comics. Marvel has their online digital comics reader (which is currently offering a 10% discount on the annual subscription through 12/1, making the total cost $53.89), but you’re locked into using their clumsy online reader. Plus, it’s based on a subscription model (either monthly or annually) with no option of just buying an individual comic you’re interested in checking out. Other publishers such as SLG offer comics for download in PDF format, which, at least in my experience, isn’t an optimal comics reader. (SLG’s digital offerings are also slim, with only six series listed on their site. I was unable to connect directly to Eyemelt to see if there were more comics available there.)

§ Japanese multimedia superstar Takeshi Murakami is opening an animation studio:

“Animation and film have always been among my greatest influences, ever since I first saw ‘Star Wars’ and Hayao Miyazaki’s films,” Murakami said in a statement. “This studio represents a great step in the evolution of Kaikai Kiki and gives me a closer proximity to the community of artists with whom I hope to collaborate as I continue my explorations of animated and live-action film.”

§ Chris Pitzer is getting started on his Best of 2008:

I like the idea of my creating a “Best of 2008″ list, since I’m probably the worst person to do it. Why? I’m a slow reader… which translates into my having only read probably .05% of what I should have in the year. That said, after thinking this over, I had at least two books that I’ve been wanting to mention on the blog, and one I added to make my magical number three.

§ David Ulin reviews OMEGA THE UNKNOWN by Jonathan Lathem and Farel Dalrymple for the LA Times:

Gathered for the first time in one volume, it is a strange and wonderful hybrid: a superhero comic that reads with all the ambiguity of fiction, set in the Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood and — like “The Fortress of Solitude” — merging the fantastic with the most mundane aspects of teenage urban life.

§ Finally, Martha Thomases, Lillian Baker and Jackie Baker review BOLT.


  1. Nice to see that Michael and Martha have a new blog spot!

    Since B&N let us desk jockeys out early on Wednesday, I saw Bolt in Times Square after work. You can see the Pixar influence on the story, and I think the only criticism is that the 3-D effects weren’t necessary, just a way to boost the box office. The voice acting is superb, as I didn’t notice the actors, just the characters. Pretty much a textbook movie. Best part? The opening.

  2. Is Omega the Unknown out in some limited edition?

    I bought my copy at some bookstore in NY’s Port Authority – because it was the only place other than Virgin Records that had a copy. Border’s didn’t have it and neither did Barnes and Noble.

    Every comic book retailer I went to ( including Funny Books in Lake Hiawatha, N.J. ) disputed me of its’ existence.

    Anyhoo – I’m enjoying the book tremendously.



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