Archive for ‘Video’

Art Compressed

As long as I’m linking to music videos this week, here’s another great one (via Jenn Manley Lee) that plunges into art history. Good excuse to link to Jenn’s amazing Dicebox while we’re at it.

I’ve been thinking about art history a lot this year as I tunnel through my art-related graphic novel. As dorky and low-rent as most of the tableaus in the video are, it’s surprising to me how much power several of them have; producing almost a shock of recognition. (This is something Michel Gondry really understands too—that it doesn’t have to be serious or slick to deliver a punch).

I’ve been thinking of cartooning as a kind of visual compression algorithm lately. They travel in such a simple, reduced state, but when unpacked in the mind of the viewer, even a few simple lines can yield a huge set of ideas and emotions.

We’re looking at live action in the case of the video, but I think the effect might be similar.

Rube Goldberg was a Real Guy!

Ivy and I love both of the new OK Go videos for “This Too Shall Pass” (check out the marching band one also) but I’m especially fond of the Rube Goldberg machine version because I remember making stuff like this as a kid.

It’s been almost a century since the real-life Rube Goldberg started creating his ingenious cartoon machines on America’s funny pages, but his place in pop culture is as secure as ever.

Everybody sends out ripples in life, but some are more pronounced than others. I think most artists (unless they’re Buddhists?) like the idea that their own ripples will travel for a long time, but you can never predict exactly what shape they might take.

Just ask Kevin Bacon.


Now this is what previews for comics should look like!

Jen Wang‘s Koko Be Good is a book I’ve been waiting for for a while.

I’ll get details soon on where and when you can do this trick at home.

[Edit to Add: Jen has more details here.]

I’m Sure it Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

I wasn’t checking Twitter much yesterday, but Ivy (my wife, not the comic book character this time) pointed out @BGFCentral‘s knowing tweet:

Only men talking in the video, only male hands using the product in the video. Yup. Explains the name.

Can’t comment on the product yet—haven’t tried it—though various specs sound a bit underwhelming if it’s going to be displaying full-sized comics spreads. I guess we’ll see.

[Video via Heidi]

Hey, it’s Brad!

We finally saw the “Mattress” episode of Glee on TiVo last night and Ivy and I were happy to see the silent pianist “Brad” get more face time.

Brad Ellis is actually part of the musical production team for the show, but I remember him from my own High School back in Lexington, MA, and before that, in Sunday School, where he had a habit of bopping me on the head with Hymnals while Bill McKibben and I argued politics.

Lexington… I’m telling you…

Anyway, someone should make a Glee T-Shirt with the face above and the slogan “It’s All About Brad!” It would totally sell. (Well, to us at least).

Taking a Holiday Break

I’m taking this week off from everything but drawing and doing Christmas-related stuff with the family. Look for more posts next week.

We celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, and Ivy’s B-Day all in December, so life can get pretty hectic around here this time of year, but for those of you feeling a bit low on holiday cheer for whatever reason, I offer the above wonderfully insane video from many years ago (thanks to our friend Tom) as the secret to all happiness in the universe.

So Happy Holidays and, well…


Happy 20th Birthday to The Simpsons!

The Simpsons first hit the airwaves 20 years ago today! Great excuse to congratulate its creator Matt Groening (rhymes with “raining,” guys) for all his great work over the years.

AND a good excuse to link to this wonderfully creepy image by Roberto Parada:

The Space Angel Question

Just to answer another frequently asked question: Yes, I am aware of Scott McCloud Space Angel, the primitive kids’ cartoon that ran for two years in the early ’60s, ending when I was only 4 years old. I distinctly remember thinking, “Hey! He has the same name as me!” (sort of — my legal name is spelled a bit differently) and “Wow this animation is terrible” but it’s been a long time, so who knows?

And yes, the great Alex Toth worked on the show, so the drawings aren’t bad, though the creepy mouths still look wrong, wrong, wrong (Space Angel used the same “Synchro-Vox” technique as on the equally terrible Clutch Cargo).

That these things are still out there on the Web, and might be forever, is both wonderful and terrifying. Click if you dare.

Two Videos

1. Seth Kushner’s 30 minute Act-I-Vate video courtesy of Newsarama.

2. Moebius drawing on a Cintiq at Angouleme 2009.

I like how the Act-i-Vate Collective has used technology on all fronts to get their message out from the beginning and Kushner’s cool docupromo thingey really kicks it up a notch.

It’s fascinating though, after seeing the barrage of ideas, words, and techniques flying out of NYC in every direction, to watch the aging Moebius silently, confidently, picking up his pen, putting it to the screen, and simply drawing.

(both via today’s Journalista)

Is There Anyone Who Hasn’t Seen This?

Kseniya Simonova’s remarkable sand painting video has been viewed by eight million people, so I’m guessing a lot of you have already seen it, but just in case, here it is one more time.

There’s this weird thing that happens where if enough people recommend a link to me, I figure I don’t need to blog about it, because everyone has already seen it. Still, eight million out of six billion isn’t exactly full saturation.

Some of the recommendations came with an “is this comics?” heading, prompting my usual answer: “I don’t think so, but it’s still cool!”

We’re getting close to the end of a decade and a lot of people have been trying to sum up the experience. Short of putting “B.O.B.” on endless repeat, I think a big part of what’s made this decade interesting can be summed up pretty nicely in the phrase “Ukraine’s Got Talent.”