Friday, August 22, 2008

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 08/22/08

1. On the subject of 'film', this week I am feeling very ready for:
A new Coen Brothers comedy on the horizon. Thank you very much.

Still under the heading of 'film', I personally am NOT yet feeling at all prepared to contemplate Russell Crowe playing the lead role in a possible future biopic about the late stand-up comedian Bill Hicks, thanks again all the same.

2. I'm very pleased to announce that I've been a semi-regular contributor to the Contrast Podcast for a few weeks now, and it's been great fun.

This past week the chosen theme of the program was 'Wrath'.

I was again pleased to discover that the selection I made, Happy Flowers displaying their typical ultrasonic histrionics on the 1989 track 'I said I Wanna Watch Cartoons' seemed to go over pretty well.

3. Earlier this week I found a link to a creepy and fun 'activity game' site called 'The Hospital' (via Frankenstein's Fun House).

In it you explore the rooms of a spooky abandoned medical facility and click your cursor around to find all the clever little amusements you can uncover.

The site reminded me a bit of Vectorpark's 'Feed The Head'
(which I mentioned here
earlier this year), another perfect and addictive time-killer.

4. The 'Extending Album Art' gallery I found at Spyder's Random Things (by way of coisas do arco da velha) blends and warps familiar album cover art in fun and fascinating ways.

Most of this batch ▲ was originally part of one of the many photoshop challenges found at b3ta,
which is always worthy of a peek.

5. You don't have to be a comic-book geek to enjoy the provocatively-titled list and discussion, '10 Comics Creators We Wish Would Make Movies Instead Of Frank Miller' posted at io9
(found via IMDb), but it sure couldn't hurt.

There's some great folks on the list, and plenty of worthy omissions cited in the post's comments, but I think things perhaps go astray a bit if the expectation is for some of these great visual artists to direct a live-action film. Still, fanboy speculation is a large part of what keeps the internet ticking...

6. - - and finally, still under the heading of 'comics' and 'fanboy', a couple of new books that look quite promising to me:

◀ - 'Telling Stories:
The Classic Comic Art of Frank Frazetta'

There have been several career-spanning collections published of work by the legendary fantasy illustrator, but often the comics artwork he did primarily in the 1940's and '50's is overlooked or given short shrift in favor of his lavish, more famous book-jacket paintings and such.

From some of the reviews I've read, it sounds like this book does a better job of presenting Frazetta's vintage sci-fi, action and jungle adventure stories - - many of them previously uncollected - - than the scant other books that have focused on this facet of his work.

- And speaking of 'previously uncollected', there's
'Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan'. ▶

This large book celebrates vintage Japanese Batman toys and other items, but more importantly, it reprints for the first time the rare Batman manga that was produced in Japan in the 1960's, licensed from DC Comics during the height of the American 'Batman' TV show's popularity.

There were already some Japanese comics publishers at the time who were reprinting translated American comics, but for only about a year there was also an 'experiment' in newly-created stories that gave the character a decidedly different treatment.

- Follow the links to About.Com for both a Preview Gallery for the book, and an interview with the authors, graphic designer Chip Kidd and bat-memorabilia collector
Saul Ferris.

- There's also a pretty good article, 'It's Bat-Manga!' at the Comic Book Resources website, reporting on a presentation that Chip Kidd did at Comic-Con about the book and the material.

1 comment:

Spyder ~ said...

More than thanking you for linking to my post on Extending Album Art, a bigger thanks for showing off the image I created (Beatles walking on Physical Graffiti).

Great blog.

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