March 06, 2010
As a kid, I always thought race cars were so incredibly cool looking. Fast, sleek, colorful... like toys. Somewhere along the long, race cars changed; the cars themselves seemed to disappear beneath a barrage of advertisements. This short video explains it all so well...
Go Faster by Sven Voelker
via: grain edit
May 15, 2009
Nixon... Confused and Mourning
How delightful! A confused Nixon... talking to Spiro Agnew. Or below, Nixon (rapidly) mourns the death of the Hulk.
For more presidential cameos from Marvel comics, check out photontorpedoes' Marvel Presidents set.
May 05, 2008
I Don't Mind If You Forget Me
I recently stumbled upon upon a book about the artist Yoshitomo Nara and his +graf A to Z exhibit in Tokyo. While flipping through the pages in the book store, I could have cared less that I couldn't read a word of it... I was so captivated by the photos. Within an old cider brewery, Nara constructed (with the help of the design firm, graf media) a miniature town! And hundreds of his whimsical beings populate the town. Borne of his imagination, it attracts the very old to the very young.
I searched online for photos of the inside of the exhibit but found none. The book, which is only for sale at amazon japan is stuffed full of them. I've never seen an exhibit so inspiring or fantastic; I only wish I could see it in person!
May 26, 2007
Lights... Camera... Tintin!
Yes it's true. After all these years, our intrepid reporter is at last being immortalized on the silver screen. The film will be Directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, all of whom have signed up for a trilogy. In shimmering CG!
Jackson is careful to explain that, while Weta will maintain Hergé's timeless designs, the film and its characters will not look "cartoonish". As he says,
We're making them look photorealistic; the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people — but real Hergé people!
Eek! Sounds a bit scary to me! I can't help but wonder why they wouldn't just stick closer to Hergé's time-tested ligne claire visual style: a look that generations have grown up with.
But I didn't grow up reading Tintin. I discovered the series in the early 90's, right around time we were starting Myst. About this same time, I was beginning to wonder how I'd ever render all the images that the Myst world required. Of course I'd draw them by hand; initially, I had no question about that... after all, that's how we'd done our previous works. And so, for about 20 minutes one day, at the very beginning of the project, I got out Hergé's The Black Island and began to sketch islands.
And then I turned around and quickly abandon the effort. After all, there's only one Hergé!
The rest, as they say, is history: we turned to 3-D. And though desktop computing power was at a minimum (relative to today), the addition of 3-D (Stratavision 3-D) allowed us to render thousands of images, not hundreds. More importantly, it instilled a maturity in the environment: enough to give users the sense they'd actually stepped onto the shores of Myst island.
And now we return to Hergé. While recently in Paris, my family and I visited the Pompidou (like all good tourists). On the way out, we discovered that we had just missed a Hergé exhibit (celebrating the artist's 100th birthday). Oh, how our hearts ached! But the catalog! There must be a catalog! Of course, I immediately rushed to the museum bookstore and found it: Hergé! And what a catalog! If you're a Tintin fan, I highly recommend this thick but small volume, practically stuffed full of original drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs.
I also picked up Tintin et Moi, an revealing biographical portrait of Hergé, told through the artist's own voice. The principle audio of all this is eerily compiled from 14 hours of in depth interviews, recorded in 1971 by Numa Sadoul. It's fascinating! (video preview)
Note: An article entitled A Boy's World: The Tintin Century is available in the latest issue of the New Yorker.
December 01, 2006
X-Ray Acme Novelty Library
The vintage print art in yesterday's post naturally got me thinking about one of my favorite artists and writers... Chris Ware! Each of his books are nothing less than treasures... or better. I digest a new book, as slowly as possible, because I feel I owe it to Mr. Ware. I want to soak up every detail of the amazing worlds he's created!
What I like about his work are the characters. They're real. They're honestly portrayed... even dark and often cruel. But his comic novels are never oppressive: if they were, I wouldn't read them. Instead, they're weirdly uplifting.
Of course, the Chris Ware book covers (which are hand drawn) are graphic adventures in their own right. Now you can see all of them (in Supersized, X-Ray, 3-D-Vision) at the Chris Ware Acme Novelty Library's Archive.
September 26, 2006
Wimbledon Green is good stuff. In his short introduction, the cartoonist, Seth, spends a bit of time apologizing for the sketchbook quality, the poor drawing, the shoddy lettering, and the perfunctory page compositions and storytelling of the comic. He makes all these disclaimers and yet the story and the art is relaxed, unpretentious, and ironic. And great fun! It reads like a comic documentary.
Here are some pages: (click to enlarge)Drawn & Quarterly
July 03, 2006
As a fan of Osamu Tezuka's Astroboy, I couldn't help but love these photos by Hiroshi Araki. It's not Tezuka's artwork or even Astroboy's personality that makes the manga so fascinating. It's the fact that Tezuka managed to create an empathy for entire society of self-aware robotic beings... beings enslaved by humans.
Though Tezuka's inspiration was Disney, his children's stories were usually more forcefully provoking than his American counterpart. Though it was Walt Disney who said "don't ever talk down to a child," it was Osamu Tezuka who lived up to this statement by never shying away from topics like war, death, loss and then even some of the greater questions. What are we? Who are we? What is consciousness?
A few years back a film adaptation was made of Tezuka's Metropolis manga. It actually share very little in common with the manga but it is great looking. And it does display Tezuka's enslaved society of robots. I recommend it, especially as an introduction to Astroboy.
February 12, 2006
Warning! Camouflage Ahead!
A few months ago I painted my office four lovely shades of green – camouflage. There were some unanticipated results. Now I am often confused when I enter the room, I get lost on my way to my desk or it may take me minutes to find my way back to the door.
I thought all this was just me but I recently learned that, according to Abbot H. Thayer, large scale camouflage can often be confusing or even dangerous, especially in small spaces.
Learn these kinds of camouflage tidbits in the above shockinigly well-researched volume, Disruptive Pattern Material - An Encyclopedia of Camouflage, by Hardy Blechman. With a seemingly unending amount of jaw-dropping photographs and information, you will be transfixed for hours. I promise. And you may end up painting your office too. Despite the dangers!
September 27, 2005
The Raven King
"Sir, As a member of the Learned Society of York Magicians, I have often regretted that modern magicians are content to study the history and theory of their subject, and that practical magic has been absent from these islands for more than two centuries. So it affords me the greatest satisfaction to announce to the Public that this melancholoy state of affairs is now at an end."
–John Segundus Esq.
The Daily Raven – Letter to the Editor
March 9, 1807
Today... a book recommendation: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It's a great novel and certainly as mythic a tale as any I've read in a long time. For a story about fairies it's incredibly... real.
May 13, 2005
Tiger Balm Fantasy World
I've just recieved my copy of this extraordinary book. I'm sure I'll be spending many hours between it's pages; what a visual playground! The park is incredibly well documented. Just flipping through seems to instantly transport one to Aw Boon Haw's surreal, fantastic landscape. My favorite? The bird-eye cel overlay that illustrates the losses of the Hong Kong park.