Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: Paleoart


Book: The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi
ISBN-13: 978-1781169124

Author: Julius Csotonyi
Publisher: Titan Books
Release: May 20, 2014
Length: 156 pages (Hardcover)

Book Rating: B+ (90 / 100)


If you had a fascination with dinosaurs as a kid, now's the time to revive your fascination with this lavish collection of scientifically accurate paleoart.
    Pros: Excellent illustratons of dinosaurs. Plenty of scientific trivia.

    Cons: Incredibly tiny type makes for difficult-to-read captions.

Book Review: Beyond the Horizon

Book: The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon
ISBN-13: 978-1781168424

Author: John Harris
Publisher: Titan Books
Release: May 27, 2014
Length: 160 pages (Hardcover)

Book Rating: A (100 / 100)


This is the perfect collection to adorn the coffee table of any science fiction fan.
    Pros: Gorgeous iconic art reproduced on large format glossy pages.

    Cons: The book is a little light on author commentary.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Commencement Speech: Bill Nye

Bill Nye the Science Guy addressed the graduating class of University of Massachusetts-Lowell last Saturday.  Nye pleaded with the graduating class to change the world, referencing global issues such as the legitimacy of climate change. 
"Conspiracy theories are for lazy people, people who don't want to get down to the business at hand, so everybody please dismiss those ideas at once," he said. "We have to engage [those people], and bring them around, so we can get to work and dare I say it, change the world. We are at a tipping point and with just a little bit more engagement, and discussion, and a few more hilarious comedy bits, people will get to work on climate change. I want you to spark this movement, and give it direction, and I want you to change the world."

Commencement Speech: John Lasseter

Pixar and Disney chief creative officer John Lasseter recently received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement speech at his alma mater CalARTS.  His address was something like a cross between a revival meeting and a rock concert, complete with rowdy audience members chiming in.  Here’s his two-cents on what you need to not only prosper, but stay inspired.

Short Film: Golem

"Golem" written and directed by

Read more about the making of this film at The Dean Brothers website.
"A man seeks to discover his connection with nature while hunted by the onslaught of the machine."

Short Film: The Hunt

In the short film "The Hunt," a father and son who set out on a hunting trip to repair their fractured relationship soon find themselves under siege by a strange and horrifying creature.

Artist: Nicolas Ferrand

Illustrations by Nicolas Ferrand

Link Round-Up: May 26, 2014

With great power comes limited crossover possibilities.
"I suppose this is what happens when you cross fan art with social commentary. I came up with the idea for this gag illustration after watching “The Amazing Spiderman 2″ on opening weekend, but only just now got around to finishing it. It pretty much summarizes how I felt about the new franchise, the larger Marvel cinematic universe and the realities of binding contracts."

10 Geek Holidays and How to Celebrate Them

A “High Elf” attacked a car with a sword, and then gave an interview about the experience. Sometimes we’re glad we’re alive. 

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art has a fairly impressive collection of art stashed away—and now you can download almost 400,000 digital images of its pieces for free.  The artworks have been released as Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC), which means students, academics and anyone working on scholarly-like not-for-profit projects can use them free of charge.

Panda’s mission is trying to keep designers and hackers inspired by filtering and delivering the highest quality content in a beautiful and non obtrusive way. Nice!

Wired has compiled George R. R. Martin’s 14 Greatest LiveJournal Entries.

Humor: Do You Truly Love Science?

Seriously though, people, stop look at science's butt.

Gaming Round-Up: May 26, 2014

Interview: The Financial Post has an interview with Upper One Games, the first U.S.-based indigenous videogame company, where they discuss the development of Never Alone, a game with an Iñupiat protagonist and her arctic fox companion.

Interview: VentureBeat interviews Will Miller and David McDonough lead game designers discuss how Beyond Earth will differ from predecessor Civilization V as well as the last big space-based Civ game, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri.

40 years later, Dungeons & Dragons is still inspiring gamers

Are videogames (slowly) becoming more LGBTQ-friendly?  The Atlantic thinks so.

BoingBoing remembers infamous imaginary games from science fiction.

Boys Will Be Boys: You Can't Hide Your Gender in Video Games

Comic Round-Up: May 26, 2014

Marvel Comic Heroes by Ryan M Barger

Interview: Comicosity discusses MPH & Millarworld with comic legend Mark Millar

Interview: Legend Brian Michael Bendis on Sexism and a Nonwhite Spider-Man

Interview: Ian Edginton on mechanical universes and Brass Sun

News: First Wolverine Comic Art Is Sold for Nearly $660,000

5 Comics You Should Read After Seeing X-Men: Days of Future Past

5 Constantine Comics to Prep You for the TV Show

Friday, May 23, 2014

Video: Immersion: Mario Kart

In their latest attempt to replicate video games in real life, Rooster Teeth’s Immersion takes on Mario Kart, perfecting the boost start, and trying to spin out an actual go kart on banana peels. What, no Bob-ombs?
"Can running over a banana really spin out a speeding go-kart and how do you pull off the perfect start in Mario Kart? Thank you to the City of Austin for its generous support of this production. Filmed on location in Austin, Texas, U.S.A."

Video: Realistic Mario: Yoshi

"Yoshi looks cute and friendly, but it's important to remember that he's a wild dinosaur."

Music Video: Back to the Future

Music Video: Star Wars A Cappella Tribute

"A Star Wars themed, four-part a cappella musical tribute set to cinematic themes from composer John Williams."

Music Video: Appreciate

Paul McCartney has a new partner — a giant white robot named Newman, who appears with him in the music video for Appreciate.

The Microsoft-presented video begins with the robot visiting a "Museum of Man" in which the former Beatle and his famed Hofner bass guitar are artifacts. McCartney begins to sing to the robot, and together they tour the museum as the other exhibits come to life.

"I woke up one morning with an image in my head of me standing with a large robot," McCartney says in a news release. "I thought it might be something that could be used for the cover of my album New, but instead the idea turned out to be for my music video for Appreciate." Andre Chocron directed the video.

The robot, designed by Mervyn Millar and Ed Dimbleby for Signifcant Object Ltd., will be joining McCartney at upcoming concerts in Japan.

Music Video: Super Mariachi Bros

Super Mario Bros. is famous around the world for its fun game play for all ages, cute characters, and of course, its timeless music. At one lucky wedding, guests enjoyed a Super Mario Bros. medley with a Mexican twist as it was performed by a Mariachi band. It actually sounds perfectly natural.

Video: Science of Game of Thrones

Joe Hanson of It’s Okay to be Smart takes a look at the fictional world of Game of Thrones and some of the most outlandish attributes of that world. Despite all the parallels to real world people and places, the realm of Game of Thrones can be hard to grasp at times.

Video: I Got This

When George R.R. Martin stopped by the Conan show, they put him to work, explaining his series to viewers new to the show.  It's funny because I’ve read the books, and even I had a hard time following the plot once Martin started explaining their plot.

Music Video: Goku vs Superman

Ray William Johnson, one of YouTube’s most popular creators, guest stars in this new Epic Rap Battles of History music video. Ray, as Goku from the famous anime cartoon Dragon Ball Z, battles the Man of Steel Superman, played by Epic Llyod, in an ultimate war of words. Who do you think won?

Video: Mad X-Men

What do you get when you mash together the popular TV show Mad Men with the cool superhero franchise X-Men? You get Mad X-Men of course! In an effort to create an online presence, Quiznos sandwich restaurant commissioned this creative parody that is trending through the weekend.

I don’t know if I’m the biggest fan of making a video production based on what seems to be a title pun alone, but some are, which is why we have “Mad X-Men” here today.  Something something, going back in time, something something, rather good Don Draper impression, something something, hot Mystique.  Which reminds me, I need to watch last night’s episode. It always gets tossed until later so I can watch Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley. 
"To save the world Professor X, Mystique, Magneto, & Wolverine travel back in time to prevent the worst kind of destruction, self-destruction. They must stop Don Draper from completely imploding, and taking down all of humanity with him. In the second parody installment from Quizno’s Toasty.TV, Don Draper takes on the X-Men for a battle like no other."

Short Film: Vacuity

"Vacuity" Written and directed by Michael Matzur

"Vacuity" is a short film that builds upon a simple concept but makes a powerful impact.  In it, a man trapped in an airlock must decide between saving his own life of the lives of his crew members.

Shortly after a major disaster aboard the XOEH space station, Alan Brahm awakes to find himself trapped in the airlock/escape pod, with a torn space suit, and the room rapidly decompressing. With his attempts to force the airlock's door open failing and only minutes left, Alan must make the choice of living to see his family again or sacrificing himself to save the lives of his stranded crew.
"Trapped in a dying space station airlock, Alan must choose survival to see his family again or sacrifice to save his crew."

Short Film: Grounded

Kevin Margo, a VFX/CG Supervisor at Blur Studios, recently made his directorial debut with this beautiful science fiction film entitled "Grounded."  His special effects experience (including a sequence in the original Spider-Man film) is readily apparent in this story about an astronaut whose spaceship crashes, forcing him to face life on this unfamiliar planet.

We here at The Geek Art Gallery often complain that these short VFX pieces are nothing more than superficial, even vacuous, calling cards for aspiring filmmakers, but "Grounded" is a short film with a dream-like quality that feels like a dream, laden with deeper meanings just waiting to be interpreted. 
"One astronaut's journey through space and life ends on a hostile exosolar planet. Grounded is a metaphorical account of the experience, inviting unique interpretation and reflection by the viewer. Themes of aging, inheritance, paternal approval, cyclic trajectories, and behaviors passed on through generations are explored against an ethereal backdrop."

Artist: John Park

Illustrations by John Park

Artist: Francesco Lorenzetti

Illustrations by Francesco Lorenzetti

Link Round-Up: May 23, 2014

Death, the Old Guitarist by Theamat

Infographic: This X-Men timeline will help you sort out all the characters of the X-Men history over the last 50 years. Kate Willaert created this for Shirts.com.

News: Disney Studios censors Miyazaki collection, pulls Studio Ghibli compilation. "On Your Mark" a video directed by Hiyao Miyazaki, and produced between early January and late May, 1995 by a team of over fifty animators at Studio Ghibli, in cooperation with other studios, is being censored from the upcoming 13-disc "Collected Works of Director Hayao Miyazaki" collection.

News: Disney is also stopping shipments of a 2005 Ghibli Shorts collection, which features the video, along 22 other shorts that Studio Ghibli produced over the course of decades. The rationale?! Nineteen years after the video's release, one of the members of the band that did the music for the video has been arrested, along with a female acquaintance, after police found MDMA at his home. The musician was arrested Saturday, but has not been charged or convicted, as yet. Both he and the woman he was arrested with claim to be innocent.

The cast of Firefly got together at Dallas ComicCon and staged this rather unceremonious group photo. They’re obviously having a little fun, but I imagine they often feel as they look when they get rolled to conventions and have to respond to awkward fan inquiries.

Longtime veteran courtroom sketch artist Gary Myrick explains his profession.

The Mind Robbers versus Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Hosts Scott Carelli and Matt Smith (not THAT one) talk their Buffy history as well as Joss Whedon's original screenplay for the movie.

Signs from the Near Future: What the Near Future Is Actually Going to Look Like.

Taking the Pulse of the City With Graffiti Artist EKG 

This 3,200 Year Old Tree is so huge it's never been captured in a single shot until now.

Humor: D&D Stats Explained

Strength is being able to crush a tomato.
Dexterity is being able to dodge a tomato.
Constitution is being able to eat a bad tomato.
Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad.
Charisma is being able to sell a tomato based fruit salad.

This is the most epic start to a Reddit forum thread I've ever encountered.  It's been scrolling across my Tumblr dashboard for the past few weeks, and I laugh every single time I see it.  A few people have tacked on extra bits since the original post:

Fortitude is not throwing up a bad tomato.
Reflex is keeping yourself from falling into a box of tomatoes.
Will is being able to stop yourself from becoming obsessed with tomatoes.

Featured Site: Dungeon Robber

Dungeon Robber is a flash game created by Paul Hughes of the Blog of Holding that constructs random dungeons based on the original merciless Dungeons & Dragons rules and allows you to play through them, solo.  If you're a fan of the original game, you're going to find this addictive.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Short Film: Battle Of Carnival And Lent

"The Battle Of Carnival And Lent" is a fun animated short from a team of students at Supinfocom, representing a medieval battle between the popular sentiment and religion.  The film was inspired by an oil painting of the same name created by Dutch artist Pieter Brugel in 1559. 

The team translated the classic painting as a sort of high level chess game playing out between an indulgent king and a celibate priest, with a town and it's inhabitants as their pawns.

Short Film: The Gold Sparrow

In a black and white world, the few remaining artists and performers share their color with others, even as they risk becoming the target of a mysterious enchantress known only as The Gold Sparrow, a malevolent woman who steals the color of any who dare to perform. 

Director Daniel Stessen wrote The Gold Sparrow based on the song by the Brothers Lit. The production team assembled all of the physical objects (with the exception of the backgrounds) for Michael Garza's rotoscope animation. The result is a surreal and striking battle of colors and wills, one that has racked up numerous festival awards.

Short Film: Machine Stopped Working

In "Machine Stopped Working," two soldiers race through a near-future industrial site on a mission to secure an alien life form that they believe can activate a robot capable of saving mankind.  This short film was created for the 2014 Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Competition by team "Bubblegum and Batwings."  The entire piece was written, filmed, edited, and scored in just forty-eight hours. Despite its rapid production, it's a very atmospheric piece, shot in an industrial zone with a distinctly post-apocalyptic vibe.

Short Film: Mis-drop

"Mis-drop" Written and directed by Ferand Peek

Accountants are not typically the subjects of science fiction films, but "Mis-drop" does an admirable job both in building suspense with minimal special effects and immersing viewers in a high-tech, space-faring future within the framework of a story about an accountant's review of a case file recorded with a optical head-mounted camera.  While the story leaves the audience with a lot of unanswered question, it's nebulous storyline only serves to fuel the suspense of the story.

All told, "Mis-drop" is an impressive short film.
"300 years in the future, a forensic accountant reviews the video stream from one mercenary's drop-pod which has been damaged during the initial stages of a colonial invasion."

Artist: Robert Chew

Overwatch Barn Owl Recon Units by Robert Chew

"Animal Mechs" by Robert Chew
Prints available for purchase from inPRNT & Society6.

The world would be cooler, if not better, place with large animal-like mechas in it.  Robert Chew put some insanely meticulous detail into these robotic companions, from Barn Owl Recon Units to Kingfisher Snipers, even explaining the mechanical nuances that allow them to move like their counterparts in the nature.

Artist: Robert Chew

"Big Five" Animal Mech series by Robert Chew
Prints available for purchase from inPRNT & Society6.

B5 (Big Five) is a project by Robert Chew that uses science fiction imagery to address the issue of illegal poaching.  His drones take the shape of local African wildlife and utilize characteristics and traits specific to each.  Profits from the sales of prints will be donated to the The International Anti-Poaching Foundation, an organization with a mission to protect Africa Wildlife.

Link Round-Up: May 22, 2014

"I painted this one for the Terrible Yellow Eyes Blog and because Maurice Benard Sendak (he whos shoes I am unworthy to tie) is one of the greatest artists to ever live. I still have my old Where the Wild Things book... it has a lot of my 3 year old self pencil doodle monsters!!!"

The 10 Most Important Dystopian Books and Films of All Time

All The Makings Of A Classy Star Wars Themed Wedding

Life Lessons: 10 Important Things We’ve Learned from Watching Star Wars

Wired asks Why Are LEGO Sets Expensive?

Woman's car attacked by self-identified "High Elf" battling evil

Humor: Don’t Be That Guy

Featured Site: Atomic Fist Punch

Drew Maxwell is the creator of Atomic Fist Punch, an webcomic for children and adults alike. The comic stars Xander and his big sister, Zoe who assist Doctor Shaw and his robot, Volt, as they battle giant robots.  You can read the series on your iPad or tablet and be sure to check out the online store to get all your Atomic Fist Punch gear.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Interview: Milton Glaser

"The Costa Rica International Design Festival asked La Moutique to interview the legendary Milton Glaser, as part of the festival's final evening of speakers. Festival attendees submitted questions, and the following is an interview where Milton Glaser responds to three of these questions."

Interview: Seth Godin

At the 2014 HOW conference, Debbie Millman, host of interview show Design Matters sat down with Seth Godin to discuss courage, anxiety, change, creative integrity, and why he got thrown out of Milton Glaser’s class. Listen to it here.

Documentary: Restoring Rothko

In the fall of 2012, a vandal approached a painting by Mark Rothko hanging in London's Tate Modern, and scrawled it with graffiti. It took the Tate over nine months of work to successfully restore the painting before it went back on display last week. This video shows the amazing science and craft that went into the job.
"Filmed over 18 months, the story behind the restoration of Mark Rothko's 'Black on Maroon'.

Mark Rothko's 'Black on Maroon' 1958 goes back on public view at Tate Modern on 13 May 2014, following 18 months of intensive work by the Conservation team and colleagues across Tate.

Video: American Hand

Scrimshaw is a traditional art developed by 18th-century sailors on whaling ships. To pass the time during journeys that could last months and even years, sailors would hand-carve intricate designs in the cast-off teeth or bones of the whales that they had caught.  While whaling was outlawed long ago, the art of scrimshaw lives on in the hands of masters like Brian Kiracofe, who demonstrates his craft in this video from the American Hand.  Scrimshaw may have begun simply as a way to pass the time, but what it's become is nothing short of art.
"Brian Kiracofe is a Scrimshaw artist from Newport, RI. In this episode we explore the history of the craft, the process and the future of a craft as old as America itself."

Documentary: Making of the Verge

This stunning image was created by Lightfarm Studios over a period of five weeks using a technique they describe as “seamlessly matte painting over 100 aerial pictures of giant proportions.” The original artwork was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's excellent Rendezvous with Rama.
"Lightfarm Studios celebrate the launch of their 3rd Studio - Lightfarm Brasil, based in Rio, with "The Verge” a look behind the scenes at the creation of an epic sci-fi image!"

Documentary: Evolution Of Visual Effects

"A homage to the great moments that changed visual effects: Took a little while to put together but I think its conveys the evolution of visual effects quite well. I tired to the best of my ability to order these clips chronologically (except for of course the first 3) I will put together a full list if enough people want it."

Documentary: Spielberg Long Shot

Steven Spielberg is, without doubt, one of the most successful directors of all time, whether you're speaking terms of artistic merit or financial terms.  Spielberg has a magical way of telling stories that few other directors have ever been able to match.

There are several components to Spielberg's signature style, including his well-recognized, often discussed close-up on an awe-struck face.  One technique that is often overlooked, however, is the  long take, but it's there in almost every one of his films.  They largely go unnoticed because Spielberg keeps his long shots under five minutes and stealthy.  Tony Zhou noticed, though, and he put together this fantastic video essay discussing these long shots.
"One overlooked aspect of Spielberg is that he's actually a stealth master of the long take. From Duel to Tintin, for forty years, he has sneakily filmed many scenes in a single continuous shot."

Video: Movie Theater Stereotypes

Summer is a great time for ice cream, pool parties, and going to the theater to see the big movies of the season. But with a packed movie theater comes those annoying stereotypes. You know, the guys who laugh too loud, ask too many loud questions, or simply talk to the actors on screen who obviously can’t hear them. Dude Perfect covers all of the most annoying movie theater stereotypes in this new video.

Video: Action Movies VS Reality

Action movies are fun to watch, but they really take things too far.  Everything, from car chases to fist fights are over dramatized until they bear no resemblance to reality. Ryan Higa takes viewers on a trip into the world of action movies, and demonstrates the difference between the movie world and reality in this new extended clip.

Video: #GodzillaProblems

Sure, a giant lizard just trashed your city - but does anyone care about how annoying social media has become now that absolutely everyone is Facebooking it? Or how hard it is to get a good cup of coffee now? Nacho Punch cares. And they've made a video to help you express all those concerns.

Video: Luke Won't Forgive Anakin

How exactly does Darth Vader, a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker, get to be a "force ghost" at the end of Return of the Jedi? Think about it. He killed children at the Jedi temple. He assisted in the mass extermination of the people of Alderaan. He tortured his daughter, cut off his son's hand, and murdered his Jedi mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi! How does killing the Emperor earn him a place in the Jedi after life, much less without any training whatsoever? I mean, the last line of the prequels would seem to indicate that Yoda and Obi Wan both underwent some form of mental exercises to prepare themselves to return as "force ghosts," so why does Vader transition seemingly without effort?

In the latest Dorkly video, Luke doesn't understand either, and he won't forgive him for all the terrible crap that he's done.

Video: Holmes Sucks at Deduction

Pete Holmes imagines how a particular scene from the first episode of BBC’s Sherlock would have played out if the consulting detective still had his ego but not his uncanny talent for deduction.

Sherlock Holmes is just so cool. The way he’s able to make such outlandish guesses and deductions from the smallest of clues is just so impressive. The problem is, the TV show only shows the moments when Sherlock is right. In this hilarious Pete Holmes sketch, Sherlock is more often wrong than right. Actually, he downright sucks at deduction.

Video: Sherlock's Mind Phallus

Vidar Magnussen and Bjarte Tjøstheim of sketch comedy show Underholdningsavdelingen parody the BBC hit series Sherlock in this new sketch.  In "Mind Phallus"  (as opposed to the ‘mind palace’ featured in the TV show), this episode portrays Sherlock and John trying to save a woman who has a bomb strapped to her nether regions.  Read more about it at the nrk website.

Video: Oklahomo

This little three-and-a-half minute video has already reached cult status across the web, with catch phrases cropping up with increasing frequency on social media (Let's do a jump kiss! Rebooting is for cheesecakes!) and fanart tributes being proudly posted all over Tumblr.

The video pokes fun at the "homoerotic subtext" of the the BBC's Sherlock, or at least the subtext fans are reading into it.  The resemblance of the actors and sets to the BBC originals are really quite striking, and with similar cinematography, this parody ends up being a very accurate send-up.

Short Film: Bagged

In "Bagged," two kidnappers stuff a bounty into their backseat to deliver him to their boss and collect their money.  Unfortunately for them, their "victim" is perhaps the most obnoxious man on the planet, and it turns out that their employer needs him delivered tomorrow, not tonight.  The script is not just well-written, it's also extremely well time, with hilarious results.

Short Film: Grandma’s Not a Toaster

"Grandma's Not A Toaster!" directed by Andrew Napier and written by Shawn Christensen

TFF 2013 short film favorite from director Andrew Napier and Academy Award-winner Shawn Christensen present the zany dark comedy "Grandma’s Not a Toaster," a short film in which largely unlikeable characters do despicable things with hilarious results.  In it, three siblings plot to get their hands on their inheritance by knocking off their grandmother after learning that they've been written out of her will, only to realize that their grandmother has other ideas.
"A whiskey-guzzling-mother-to-be, Susannah, tries to persuade her neurotic brother Arnie into helping her steal their ailing Grandmother’s fortune. But things get complicated when their degenerate younger brother, Eddie, shows up with intentions of his own. Unfortunately for all of them, Grandma isn’t goin’ down without a fight. From the filmmaking team that made the Oscar Winning short film 'Curfew', comes 'Grandma's Not A Toaster!""

Artist: Andree Wallin

Illustrations by Andree Wallin

Artist: Nikonov Aleksandr

Illustrations by Nikonov Aleksandr

Event: Comics Unmasked

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK
On exhibit at the British Library May 2 - August 19, 2014

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK is an exhibit at the British Library exploring the history of British comics back through history, including contemporary comics, underground comics, 19th century illustrated reports of Jack the Ripper, and medieval manuscripts.  The exhibit will feature over two hundred pieces, from newly discovered Victorian comics to art from the iconic series "V for Vendetta," , making it the single largest exhibition of comics ever shown in the U.K.

Co-curator John Harris Dunning says, “This show is a call to arms – we’re trying to encourage creative disobedience that challenges the status quo. Comics have never been more influential.”
While the world's two most successful comic publishing houses may both be American, it's an undeniable fact that Britain's contributions have played a critical role in the development of the comic as a medium.  Today's cinematic obsession with all things super-powered was largely fueled by the cynicism and rebellion of the so-called British Invasion of comics in the late eighties. That, however, is only British comic's latest contribution to Western culture.

Historically, comics have been a natural home for fringe politics, thanks to the minimal cost of their publication.  Many social movements have been heralded by dissent expressed through their pages  The Comics Unmasked exhibit is a celebration of Britain's role in the art behind these social movements.

Link Round-Up: May 21, 2014

Something Has Gone Wrong Here by FreeMind93

Infographic: Game of Thrones: A Chronology of the Houses: The London-based creative agency Fishfinger are big fans of Game of Thrones. They created this wonderful infographic that shows the chronology of the four main families (Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Targaryen) and the Night’s Watch over the last four seasons.

Interview: Hayley Campbell on her new Neil Gaiman book and the things in his attic

Interview: Kurtis Wiebe Talks "Rat Queens" and Why Adventurers Are The Worst.

10 Comics That Can Help You Understand Mental Illness

Humor: Misplaced Confidence

Every. Single. Time.

Someday, someone is going to invent a system that objectively identifies a player's capabilities, then places them onto a game server with other players of comparable skill.  That person is going to be ridiculously wealthy.

Featured Site: Jean and Scott Comic

Jean and Scott is a web comic by Max Wittert, depicting domestic life between the X-Men Cyclops and Jean Grey.  I wanted to hate this, but I lost it when Profession Xavier made his debut in Picard's command jumpsuit.  Well played, Mr. Wittert.  Well played.

There are seven installments, to date: episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4, episode 5, episode 6, and episode 7.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Music Video: Time Machine

Pogo, the YouTube musician best known for his auto-tuned music crafted from videos sampled from popular movies returns with a tribute to the Back To The Future trilogy.

Music Video: Tetris Song Medley

A really cool medley of various Tetris songs performed on a Launchpad by Youtuber SoNevable.

Video: Game of Thrones with Kids

Have you ever stopped to think how ridiculous some of the dialog on this show really is?  It's made very clear when kids voice the characters.

Video: Game of Thrones Opening

In my estimation, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have two of the best intros on television, not just in recent memory, but ever.  That might not be saying much, given that most television series  intros these days are little more than a title card, but I can't help but get excited each week when I hear the Game of Thrones theme start rolling.

Their airing schedules don’t overlap, but thanks to the MusicAreaHQ channel, now their intros do.  Here’s a rather good mash-up featuring the Game of Thrones visuals edited to The Walking Dead theme.  What's impressive is that the footage seems to be made from scratch, not just salvaged from the show.

Video: Law and Order: GOT

Double Prizes gives the previous week’s Game of Thrones episode an appropriate Law & Order: Special Victims Unit mashup. Don’t worry Westeros, detective Fin Tutuola’s on the case.

Actually, do worry a bit.
"Law and Order: Game of Thrones. King's Landing serves up some hot justice, Waterston style."

Video: Dangers of Binge-Watching

Watch out!  Binge-watching whole TV series all at once can be very dangerous!

Video: Addicted To The Internet?


Video: Voldemort's Final Horcrux

The Nokia 3310 cellphone is famous as being indestructible, and that's why the sinister Lord Voldemort chose to convert one into a Horcrux for the last sliver of his soul.  At least, that’s the concept behind this nerdy Harry Potter-themed skit by Pistol Shrimps.

Short Film: The Winter’s Club

The Winter’s Club is a science fiction short film directed by Chris Stone for the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge 2013. The film stars Rachel Shenton, Richard Jack and Lewis Brindley. The team was given a random title, a plastic bag to use as a prop, and a line of dialogue that had to be included: "Have you tried turning it off and then turning it on again?"

Short Film: Danger Word

Danger Word is a short film that straddles the line between science fiction and horror.  It centers around a thirteen year old girl holed up in a cabin in the woods with her grandfather in the aftermath of an apocalyptic plague that's ravaged the world.
"A 13-year-old girl and her grandfather, hiding out in a wooded cabin after a plague, meet the challenge of their lives when her birthday trip to a trading post goes horribly awry. Starring Frankie Faison (The Silence of the Lambs, "The Wire," "Banshee") and introducing Saoirse Scott ("One Life to Live").

Nominated for Best Narrrative Short: Pan African Film Festival and BronzeLens Film Festival.

Directed by Luchina Fisher (Death in the Family).
Written by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due, based on their novel Devil's Wake."

Short Film: Factory Farmed

Before Gareth Edwards created the cult sci-fi hit Monsters and well before he directed this year’s kaiju film, Godzilla, he created this short sci-fi film for the 2008 Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge. Entitled Factory Farmed, the film tells the story of a possible future world where people are birthed on clone farms and one man’s desire to find something special.

During the contest, the film had to be completed within 48 hours and also include a clear bottle with red or green liquid and the line of dialogue, "I am required to carry out this task until completion: your orders do not override anything."

Artist: Dennis Chan

Illustrations by Dennis Chan

Artist: Andree Wallin

Illustrations by Andree Wallin

Humor: Afterlife of H.R. Giger

Welcome to H.R. Giger's hell.

Featured Site: Commencement Speeches

The fine folks over at NPR have hand-picked the best commencement speeches available to read, listen to, or watch on the web.  There are three hundred in total, dating all the way back to 1774. There are some truly awe-inspiring words of wisdom contained in this archive.  Search the speeches by name, school, date, or theme.

Best wishes to everyone in my readership who is graduating this spring, be it from high school or university!

Link Round-Up: May 20, 2014


Merchandise:  Cameron Moll’s stunning Brooklyn Bridge Poster is now for sale.

Amazing Spider-Man: Spidey and Rhino Concept Art

Did you know that the Triforce was originally going to be made of microchips?

The "Dying Merchant" Scene In Game Of Thrones Was Straight From Beckett

Here’s a history of the last time Hollywood tried to tackle the God-Lizard, and here are 25 fun Godzilla facts sure to liven up any cocktail party.

Were comics more diverse before the Code?

Why is the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons a big deal?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Video: What if Godzilla Was Real?

"Godzilla is the king of monsters. We all love to see him destroy buildings and rampage through the city. Yet how would that translate into real life? In honor of the new Godzilla movie, we ask this question. What if Godzilla was real and existed? How would the world look? How would people react? What would be the social and economic effects if this monster attacked a major city?"

Video: Science of Godzilla

Video: Could Godzilla Exist?

Godzilla returned to theaters this past weekend, scoring over US$38 million. That inspired Jake of Vsauce to ask an important questions: could Godzilla actually exist?  Just over the weekend, this nerdy video has amassed over 1.4 million hits.

Video: Everything Wrong With First Class

With X-Men: Days of Future Past garnering some very promising reviews, this is the perfect time to take a long, hard look back at the last installment of the franchise, X-Men: First Class.

CinemaSins examines the film with its signature jaded eye. The complaints range from totally valid (that villain plot does seem awfully convoluted) to the totally silly (who cares what happened with those Twinkies?).
"You've been asking for this one for a while, and with the new Days of Future Past opening soon, we finally have a good excuse. Yes, X-Men: First Class may be an awesome film, but like all films... it, too, has sins."

Video: 8-Bit Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump was an instant classic that had audiences everywhere tearing up.  Given all the crazy elements the film incorporates - football, war, ping-pong, fishing – it’s a wonder that no company ever made a video game adaptation... or not.  CineFix thought it needed an adaptation at least, re-imagining what the movie would look like as a classic side-scroller.

Video: Star Fox 64 Honest Trailer

Star Fox 64 was one of the most popular games released for the Nintendo 64.  After a considerable amount of begging on the part of fans, Smosh Games teamed up with the Honest Trailers guy to review the classic game in that special way he has.

Video: The Science of Godzilla

Science takes a day off, as Godzilla attacks! Two scientists (okay, one, really) explain just how far-fetched giant monsters really are in this funny short video.

Video: Godzilla vs Walter White

Flashgitz Animation created this animated parody featuring someone who does a dead-on impersonation of Bryan Cranston in which Walter White and Godzilla square off.

Video: Bryan Cranston Hate Godzilla

Turns out Godzilla is quite a diva  In an interview with Fandango, Bryan Cranston opens up about what a pain in the ass it was to work with Godzilla for the film.

About ninety percent of promotional interviews for movies are complete tripe, but this is one of those rare exception.  Despite being an actual interview, this funnier than most SNL skits.

Video: Godzilla is Angry

These two scientists’ worlds are turned upside down thanks to The Godzilla.  He’s angry and destroying all the Greek restaurants in the city… right at lunchtime, damn it.

Short Film: The Scientist

"The Scientist" by Ng Ken Kin from BMW Shorties Malaysia

The Scientist is a short film about a lonely scientist deeply engrossed in his job.  In order to continue his work in a resource-exhausted world, he scavenges out in the open for any junk parts that might be modified into useful elements.   One day, when he is out scavenging, he discovers a foreign object that may change the way he sees himself altogether.  The Scientist was nominated for Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Production Design at the BMW Shorties 2011.

Short Film: Status

Prints available for purchase from BigCartel. Etsy. Society6. StoreEnvy. US$

Social networking is taking over our lives.  It’s inevitable.  Australian director Richard Williamson envisions a future in which social networking has transitioned out of the virtual world and into the physical realm, operating straight out of our brains with a microchip that allows us to send and receive messages by thought alone.

"Status" is a psychologically deep science fiction film that marries Her with The Walking Dead.   It's an impressively well-written short film that steadily builds suspense from beginning to end.
"In the near future social networking has moved out of the virtual world and into the physical. A confronting portrait of a world we may soon know too well. Welcome to the evolution.

2018. The world is changing. Social networking sprawls far beyond desktop computers and iPhones: "Welcome to Statlink."

Live connected 24/7 through microchips inserted directly into your scull and nerves. Ultimate connection is yours. It is only a thought away. Welcome to a new world. Welcome to connection as you have never known. Welcome to the evolution of social networking."

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