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Archive for ‘Video’


The Internet of Things?

Not comics-related, but I found this article about the impending availability of more wireless spectrum kind of interesting, and I liked the little “Internet of Things” video IBM put together (found via Mark Essel). For a corporate promo, it does a decent job of visualizing legitimately interesting issues, without just shilling for a specific product.*

Big companies seem to be doing a better job of earning those little logos in the last few seconds of their videos ( the herding cats video for example). More are earning at least an “aww” or a “hmm” from us. Fewer just an “oy.”

*though, as the article points out, it may be shilling for a less-than-desirable world, privacy-wise.

The Physics of Iconography

Via Dan Wallace, news of this concept video by TAT Technology.

2014 may seem kind of soon for a lot of what they’re showing, but it’s encouraging to see how close our imaginations are drawing toward the kind of pie-in-the-sky displays I was filling peoples’ heads with during Q & As in the late ’90s.

(Also, yeah, there’s a bit of gratis “product placement” in the first scene, though I swear that’s not why I’m linking to it!)

A lot of the progress we’re seeing in multi-touch display technology (the real thing, not just smoke-and-mirrors promo videos) falls into the broad category of introducing physics into visual iconography; something I’ve wanted to see comics embrace for over a decade.

If we treat comics as a still life of multiple static (or looping) images, then the way we navigate through that landscape matters. Hunting for tiny scrollbar arrows or next page links to click was always a temporary waystation.

When navigating through information is a process of grabbing, flinging, flipping, or stopping continuous images, we can finally delegate the common sense parts of our brain that’ve always known how to navigate the physical world to getting from panel to panel, and devote our attention to the world inside the panels and inside the stories we care about.

And that can’t happen soon enough.


24 in 24 From Australia

Here’s the latest mutation of the 24 Hour meme, this time from Down Under, James and Hania Lee’s 24 Flash animations completed just this weekend. Lots of funny and creative short shorts at the link.

The listing on YouTube is pretty comprehensive, so I’ll be lazy and reproduce it here:

All of these film shorts were created within a 24 hour period. Flash animation by James Lee. Music composition by Hania Lee.

Members of Newgrounds, deviantart and the web helped bring this film together, by providing ideas while I was broadcasting the whole thing live.

I animated everything in Flash, using some textures which were edited in Photoshop. The idea was inspired by Scott McCloud’s 24 hour comic.

Read more about my work on tarboy.com

I seem to remember that the first 24 hour animation contest (about a decade ago?) involved a single 24-second short. It’s telling that in a post-Flash world, a single animator (and musical partner) would even consider making 24 of the things in a single day, however brief some of them were. Very cool.


Friday Odds and Ends

Way, way back in the deep recesses of the horrifying guilt-mountain that is my Inbox, I found an old email from one Michelangelo Cicerone forwarding the news of a very cool Historic Tale Construction Kit, which is essentially a Create Your Own Bayeux Tapestry tool. Give it a try if you’re so inclined.

On the night table: Top Shelf’s excellent alternative manga collection AX; Mario and Gilbert Hernandez’s good-old-fashioned twisted comic book adventure Citizen Rex; and Moto Hagio’s lyrical Drunken Dream from Fantagraphics.

To satisfy your weekly Greek webcomic quota, check out the handsomely-drawn Mused by Kostas Kiriakakis.

And finally, here’s an insidious video that’ll burrow its way into your skull forever, courtesy of Warren Ellis. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Have a great weekend.


“We are the People of the Book”

Here’s a good stemwinder by Cory Doctorow from earlier this year (via Dirk) on the many complex ways copyright control legislation and information access are at war.

A lot of people in comics—writers, artists, publishers—are pinning their hopes on legal protections and new walled gardens like App Stores to restore some sense of stability and control to what looks increasingly like the same leaky boat scenario that’s affecting other creative fields.

It’s important, though, to consider the many ways that the “remedy” being proposed and implemented is far worse than the “disease” of widespread sharing.

I’ve always hoped that a culture of willing buyers and willing sellers, however small, can continue to emerge alongside file-sharing. But the key word was always willing; a concept increasingly at odds with the world Cory is rightly warning us about.


Cartoonists: You Can Do This!

If you can write and draw comics, you can give a great presentation.

Presentation software is incredibly easy to learn. Pick good pictures and some stories to go with them and you’re set. If you’re a little shy, just read one of your comics; maybe one or two panels per slide.

Dave McKean isn’t Steve Jobs or anything in the above video. But compared to 99% of all presenters, he’s mesmerizing. Why? Because his work speaks for itself. And Dave has lots and lots of cool pictures and stories to share.

Pictures blow bulleted lists out of the water, and cartoonist know pictures. Why don’t more of us do this?


Friday Odds and Ends

Not comics, but everybody keeps sending me I am Sitting in a Video Room (be sure to watch the other 999!) and this recent news piece on “the writer who couldn’t read” on the assumption that I’d find them interesting—which I did, so here they are.

Via Spurge, his annual Comic-Con Survival Guide and an awesome Jack Kirby Quote.

Finally, here are some nice immersive comics pages from concept artist Justin coro Kaufman.

So, yeah… truly random, but there you go. Go back to playing Angry Birds and enjoy the weekend!


Randomy Randomness

Okay, lost time in LA yesterday so I wanna get right back to the drawing board, but in the meantime, here’s the new international trailer for Scott Pilgrim (via Mal), a new OK GoVideo (via our friend Lori), and one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while.

One other important item: Comic-Con has identified some fake hotel scams. If you’ve been contacted by anyone claiming to have hotel rooms available for Comic-Con, do your homework and make sure they’re legit. One outfit, “Elite Locations,” is apparently not.


All the World is Sharing

So a few years ago I did an interview which wound up on the Hellboy 3-Disk DVD. The interview was pretty good (although the “examples” they showed had nothing to do with what I was saying).

Anyway, it came out, some people bought it, and from its Amazon ranking, it still sells from time to time.

But…

Like all movies, it wound up on sharing/streaming sites. Now, when I egosurf, I see references to the piece all the time, and I know they’re all bootlegs because they’ve apparently been translated into other languages and then translated back.

Just a few of the names:

A Expeditiously Guide to Thought Comics with Scott McCloud

A Fleet Guide to Concept Comics with Scott McCloud

A Fast Guide to Belief Comics with Scott McCloud

A Hastily Guide to Conception Comics with Scott McCloud

A Lickety-split Guide to Conception Comics with Scott McCloud

A Like A Flash Guide to Notion Comics with Scott McCloud

A Mercurial Guide to Idea Comics with Scott McCloud

A Posthaste Guide to Opinion Comics with Scott McCloud

A Rapidly Guide to Idea Comics with Scott McCloud

A Snappy Guide to Plan Comics with Scott McCloud

A Speedily Guide to Idea Comics with Scott McCloud

A Swiftly Guide to Plan Comics with Scott McCloud

I’ve always held back from vilifying file-sharing like some of my peers who work in the “content” industry. I’m a boy scout myself—nearly all my songs and videos are straight from iTunes or equivalent sources—but I would rather live in a world that allows sharing and tries to build markets from willing sellers and willing buyers, than a world where the Net is so controlled that it can be effectively shut down.

Still, it’s sobering to see the scale of the phenomenon and how rarely these sessions pull up the actual name of the original segment:

A Quick Guide to Understanding Comics with Scott McCloud


Time and Again by Jacques Khouri

Here’s an elegant variation on some spatial ideas that’ll be familiar to regular readers (at least the theory nerds among you).

I liked it a lot. You might too.

Thanks to Rachelle for the pointer.