Archive for August 15, 2008

Steve Ditko

August 15, 2008

Steve Ditko: the Paranormal Man

Steve Ditko is, along with Jack ‘King’ Kirby, one of the most important visual stylists in comic book art. A key architect of Marvel’s Silver Age, Ditko famously co-created Spider-Man and Dr Strange and shaped their formative adventures between 1962 and 1966. His dynamic approach to storytelling combines iconic character design, idiosyncratic body language and surreal ‘cosmic’ scenarios. But while Kirby is widely acclaimed as a major influence on contemporary comic aesthetics, Ditko remains a reclusive and cultish figure, shunning interviews and earning a reputation as “the Thomas Pynchon of comics.” Ditko also warrants attention for being the only comic book artist to be discussed as much for his political philosophy as for his distinctive illustrations.

However, one of Ditko’s most memorable post-Marvel creations is Shade, the Changing Man, published by DC in June 1977. This regrettably short-lived series is one of Ditko’s most ambitious projects, and certainly his most baffling. A strange, erratic tale of inter-dimensional espionage and (literally) mind-warping underwear, Shade defies adequate summary or satisfactory explanation. It does, however, include some feverishly inventive visual ideas, thanks chiefly to the possibilities of Shade’s M-Vest, a piece of alien technology that induced fearsome hallucinations in those around him. The series is also famed for the Freudian nightmare of its central relationship – Shade is pursued by his homicidal former girlfriend – and for a number of inexplicable jumps in narrative.

Rac Shade! God, how I loved that comic. Another sin of DC Comics. Another was killing Jack Kirby’s Fourth World.

Writer 2.0: Book Trailers

August 15, 2008

Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You

For the record, I have certain reservations about them. First, I think they can be misleading in a way. And by misleading, I mean to the average YouTube viewer who stumbles across your trailer and thinks WTF is this? Is it a movie? Ooooh, it’s a BOOK.

Then he clicks away, wishing it were a movie instead, because a movie gets him excited, but a book — eh, not so much. Books require work.

There are three sample trailers there.

Ironically, the one he did I was unable to play! (Thanks again, Microsoft, for destroying Vimeo video playback, among others!)

Reminder: Someone has done a complete blog for book trailers.

Victor Gischler Breaks Under Questioning!

August 15, 2008

At In For Questioning, described thusly by Anthony Neil Smith:

[S]he stumped Victor! Made him all speechless and sweaty and shifty-eyed.

It’s audio at the site and can also be had via iTunes (see link).

Then run out and get Victor Gischler‘s instant cult classic: Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse.


Previously here:

Writer Anthony Neil Smith
Videos: Out of the Gutter Magazine Party
Austin, Texas: Meet Victor Gischler TONIGHT!!!
I Wade Into Shit For Victor Gischler
Victor Gischler Wants You Punished!
Victor Gischler: Alternate Covers
Victor Gischler’s Next Book

NOW Would You Vote For Ralph Nader?

August 15, 2008

Oh. My. God.

Vote Nader 2008 website
Vote Pact

Previously here:

Ralph Nader: FISA Music Video
Nader: Rush Limbaugh Is On Welfare!
Obama Vs. Nader: Politician Vs. Man
Mumia Abu Jamal Comments On Ralph Nader
The Disgusting Truth In One Image
Ralph Nader On ABC’s “This Week”
Ralph Nader On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday
Twelve Thousand Dollars An Hour
Obama-Nader 2008? Never, I Say!
Ralph Nader In NYC Tonight, June 18, 2008
Ralph Nader On Democracy Now!
Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #126
The People Have The Power
John McCain: Fascist For President
He’s Not Spoiled. Our Political System Is.
Jive-Ass Turkey
And People Are Going To Vote For This Eejit?
The Final President Of The United States
There’s Only One Choice For President
Meet, Support Ralph Nader For President!
The Deserved Fall Of General Motors
Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #112
Ralph Nader: Activist Presidential Candidate
Why Democrats Lose
Ralph Nader Now Has A Merch Store
East Coast Corporate Liberal
A Civics Quiz
Vote For Ralph Nader To Take Back America!
Ralph Nader: The President We Need
Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #017
Another Reason To Vote For Ralph Nader
Lincoln, FDR, Nader
Ralph Nader Tomorrow, March 9 2008, In PA
Just Say Yes: To Ralph Nader!
Ralph Nader On The Daily Show Tonight
Weasels, Part Three
Weasels, Part Two
Ralph Nader’s Big Birthday
Exxon Can’t Hide
Happy Birthday, Ralph Nader
To Name Three: McCain, Hillary, Obama
Now I Can Vote This Year: Nader Is IN!
The Presidential Candidate You Laughed At

Star Wars: The Clone Wars — The ONLY Review You Need

August 15, 2008

OMG! This is just priceless. A real Star Wars fan — watch him show the paperbacks and the animated DVDs he owns!! — gives his take on the new Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie.

And you just know that if I am linking to it, the language is the kind I would use.

Star Wars – the clone wars

Ends abruptly. Apparently just like The Clone Wars!

I Am Internationally Persecuted!

August 15, 2008

Yesterday, Chippy of UMPC Portal and jkk of jkkmobile had a live video chat. In which a planned 30-minute podcast became 44 minutes. The aftershow went on for hours.

It commenced with innocence. Chippy showing his MSI Wind clone, the Medion Akoya:

Click = big

But then jkk goaded him to taunt me with it!

And then jkk got downright evil:

He put the dreaded N-word logo in front of the camera! And then both of them took a bladder break and put the logo in stereo!

Click = big

And if you think it was all my imagination, look at the close-up:

Imagine having to stare at that for ninety-minutes (OK, it seemed that way!).

Then they brought in an accomplice: Thoughtfix! He started waving N-products at me!!

Click = big

Enlarge that to see my suffering in the chat room!

Will I ever be free to walk the digital landscape unmolested?!

What ungodly agents of Finland are waiting for me?!!?

October: The iPod Touchbook

August 15, 2008

Note: This is half what I suspect and half what I know. Beyond that, I say nothing!

Bravo To Rex Hammock:

What I’d rather have than an eBook reader: the iPod Touchbook

iPod Touchbook mockup filched from Rex Hammock’s blog

I’ve been calling it the iPod Air.

But I think he actually got the name Apple will be using.

September: New MacBooks.

Shortly after that, I expect press invites: “Apple Turns A New Page …”

October: iPod Touchbook

* Five-inch “better than VGA” screen

* eBook reading software in ROM

* eBooks are compiled and compressed to thwart piracy (they might be ePub in a wrapper; but can’t be opened by current tools)

* Yes, Cover Flow!

* iTunes update to enable desktop/notebook e-reading

* Library Shelf in MobileMe (avoids pesky iTunes Store redownloads)

* No iWorks built-in (probably separate buy in 2009)

* Exclusive eBook relationships with:
Miramax Books
Disney Worldwide Publishing (note this author)
– – which includes Disney Books (Hannah Montana!)
Gemstone Publishing (comic books, but not immediately)

To understand the incredible scope of Disney, read these details. Of note:

* The largest publisher of children’s books and magazines in the world
* Sold 160 million children’s books in 2005
* The largest publisher of children’s comics (excluding magna)
* Published 441 children’s magazine titles, and 222 million magazine copies in 2005
* Annual retail business just under $2 billion
* Product printed in more than 85 languages across 75 countries1
* Through books and magazines, DPW reaches an average of more than 100 million readers monthly

This explains why there hasn’t been any leakage from the usually chatty New York City houses.

Why does Apple need them to launch into eBooks?

Apple doesn’t need them.

Apple has Disney. Disney knows how to shut up.

Everyone else will want to pile on ASAP. The way the eBooks are created — compiled and compressed — will convince the New York City houses that It’s On, baby.

Steve Jobs will have conquered eBooks.

Rex’s mockup makes it look ginormous. Here’s the ECTACO jetBook in my hand.

I expect it to be about that size, which is quite nice and can be put in a large inside jacket pocket easily. (Compare it to the Sony Reader at the link.)

What I don’t yet know: What happens to individual authors who want to sell eBooks; writers not under current contract obligations to publishing houses? Will there be an “EDK” (eBook Developer Kit) for them?

What I also don’t know: SIM slot? I don’t know if this is why Apple and AT&T recently extended their agreement. I am a cellphone illiterate so I can’t comment on the ramifications of a SIM slot that would accommodate non-AT&T SIM cards. Nor do I know anything about how this would be handled under existing iPhone subscription contracts.

Lastly, the October date is, like all official not-announced dates, slippery. There are three factors: Fixing the iPhone 3G call-dropping issue (that’s if the iPod Touchbook has a SIM slot); getting MobileMe running smoothly; setting up a proper eBooks section at the iTunes Store.

And yes, expect an iPhone/iPod Touch OS update to include eBooks too.

Still thinking about a Kindle?

This will be the needed Big Bang for eBooks: millions and millions of portable reading devices out there (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod Touchbook), an easy and already-established and used by millions and millions of people way to buy eBooks, the ability to read at the desktop (or notebook) as well as on-the-go (and on TV via Apple TV?), and a window for big sales before any attempts at piracy can succeed.

Technolicious: iPhone + Smart Car!

August 15, 2008

Smart Car road tested using iPhone dyno app

Previously here:

Photo Album: Smart Car Pr0n Yes!!
Smart Car: Panel Swapping
Badder Badass Batman Smart Car
The Obligatory Smart Car Pr0n
Reference: Smart Car Tips
Your Weekend Smart Car Pr0n
NOW Do You Believe In My Persecution?!!?
Smart Car Stuff
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan #3!
More Smart Car Videos
This Is Why It’s Called The Smart Car!
Fugly MINI Cooper Vs. Cutie Smart Fortwo
Smart Car: Coast-To-Coast Possible
The Smart Car Cult
Badass Batman Smart Car!
Video: Smart Car
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan Again!
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan
Cars Of The Future: Lose Weight Or You’ll Walk!

Today’s Laugh

August 15, 2008

They were supposed to be free!

Twitter Is Like Xmas Every Day

August 15, 2008

For the second laugh, see the tweet below it!