1 July 2008
[london] Diamond Geezer’s Capital Numbers‘Six tube lines interchange at King’s Cross St Pancras – more than at any other station.’
[comics] Interview and Q&A with Gerhard (part one) … an interview with Dave Sim’s artistic collaborator on Cerebus … ‘I do… I have… an appreciation for just the sheer amount of work that it took… the sheer amount of, I don’t know, discipline to actually, you know, do those twenty pages a month – month in and month out – I don’t think I could do it now. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it now. ‘Cause I can barely do a commission a month or something.’
[blog] One Post Wonder … a collection of blogs that only had one post or so … ‘Friday, September 22, 2000 I hate school, I hate all of my classes. Damn she’s beautiful. I wish I were drunk. posted by Stupid at 12:48 AM’ [via Waxy]
2 July 2008
[funny] Ah Fuck. I Can’t Believe You’ve Done This … how does a teenager cope with a video like this being viewed 341,994 times along with 5028 comments?
[comics] Two This American Life Animations by Chris Ware: Fake Video Cameras in the Schoolyard and Judgement to the Wife [via The Ugly Truth]
3 July 2008
[comics] Batman – The Superman of Planet X! … scans of Batman #113 from 1958 which are being referenced in Grant Morrison’s current Batman:RIP storyline … ‘I’m the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh!’
[google] Is Google Making Us Stupid? … interesting article suggesting that the internet may well be altering the way we think … [via Metafilter]

‘The Internet promises to have particularly far-reaching effects on cognition. In a paper published in 1936, the British mathematician Alan Turing proved that a digital computer, which at the time existed only as a theoretical machine, could be programmed to perform the function of any other information-processing device. And that’s what we’re seeing today. The Internet, an immeasurably powerful computing system, is subsuming most of our other intellectual technologies. It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV.

When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image. It injects the medium’s content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital gewgaws, and it surrounds the content with the content of all the other media it has absorbed. A new e-mail message, for instance, may announce its arrival as we’re glancing over the latest headlines at a newspaper’s site. The result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.’

4 July 2008
[movies] One Storyboard from The Shining showing Kubrick’s meticulous and controlling eye for detail … ‘THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO DO IT REPEAT NO OTHER WAY exercise the greatest care as the compositional effect of a different path might be BAD BAD BAD’
[comics] God’s Cartoonist: The Comic Crusade of Jack T. Chick … a trailer for a documentary about Jack Chick(more…)
5 July 2008
[comics] Todd McFarlane’s Miracleman … an oddity – McFarlane’s version of the old British Superhero updated by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman and currently tied up in legal limbo‘The character’s future remains uncertain as of 2008, due to further complications which have come to light since the end of Gaiman’s case against McFarlane…’
[comics] Heroes … Ex-comics writer Gerry Conway on work for hire in comics and how he feels about not being credited as one of the creators of the Punisher or for the use of his ideas in the Spider-man movies… ‘So, to put it bluntly, I got nothing for either Punisher film, and nothing for my stories being adapted for the Spider-Man movies. I didn’t even get credit for creating the Punisher, or for the use of my story material in Spider-Man. Honestly, I didn’t expect that I would. I’m not happy about the fact, but I’m resigned to it. I accept the reality of how the business operated when I wrote those stories…’
6 July 2008
[history] German Bunker in my Garden … the blog of a guy who digs up an abandoned Nazi War Bunker in his back garden … ‘Unfortunately… the boulder was too big for the digger to move (we estimated about 8 tonnes) and we needed to get behind it to keep digging. So we had to call a halt to proceedings while I source a rock-breaker attachment for the digger! Oh, and I hadn’t warned my wife either… so I had this to explain when she came home…’ [via Metafilter]
7 July 2008
[funny] Unexpected Results: Kid vs. Wall … I don’t think I will ever tire of looking at this … (more…)
[kubrick] Amazing Promotion Film for More4’s Stanley Kubrick Season … a 65 second one-take tracking shot following Kubrick’s point-of-view as he walks through the set of The Shining … ‘Your Script, Mr Kubrick.’
[books] Spotted on Flickr: Coups neatly executed

Coups neatly executed
originally uploaded to flickr by russelldavies.

8 July 2008
[blogs] The Documentary Blog‘Welcome to The Documentary Blog, a website created by and for documentary fans and filmmakers. Our goal is to become your quintessential source for news and reviews pertaining specifically to documentary films. Our regular ‘features’ will focus on filmmakers, style, and hopefully provide insight into the process of documentary filmmaking.’ [via Metafilter]
10 July 2008
[comics] Galactus is Coming!‘YMB’s crack investigative team has unearthed the long rumored, but never confirmed, collaboration from 1983 between Marvel’s Chairman Emeritus Stan Lee and religious comic tract creator Jack Chick.’
11 July 2008
[comics] Tom Ewing on Secret Invasion and Final Crisis: ‘In the 60s Marvel wanted to be something hipsters could dig, ironically or not. In the 70s it flirted with the counter-culture. In the 90s it pushed the whole comics business into the toys and cards and collectibles market, and now its comics aim for the sharpness and drama of successful TV and film properties. Only in the 80s did it pass the aspirational baton, when its editor-in-chief mandated simple, colorful, and accessible stories at a time when others had their eye on loftier and more literary goals.’
13 July 2008
[comics] Empire Magazine’s 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters … don’t let #50 put you off – skip to #49… Captain Haddock: ‘The full-bearded alcoholic, rageaholic, commitment-phobic British sea captain lucked into a fortune (Red Rackham’s Treasure) and wound up drinking himself insensible in Marlinspike Hall, occasionally giving vent to amazingly picturesque salty language (often through a megaphone) when assailed by bashi-bazouks, troglodytes, prize purple jellyfish, Incan mummies and Signorina Bianca Castafiore, ‘the Milanese nightingale’.’ [via Metafilter]
14 July 2008
[comics] Requiem for a Cheeky ‘Batman’ … Script-writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. on the Batman TV Series … [via Forbidden Planet’s Blog]

From the very beginning, Bill Dozier and I had seen millionaire Bruce Wayne and his Bat regalia as classy comedy, hopefully appealing to kids as an absurdly jolly action piece and to grown-ups for its deadpan satire, entirely nonfraught with psychological issues. I mean, golly gee! How else can one view a character who enters a nightclub in full Batgarb and mask, accompanied by a gorgeous chick, and when greeted by the maitre d’ with an obsequious “Good evening, Batman! A table for two?” gravely replies, “Yes, thank you. But please, not too near the music — I wouldn’t want to appear conspicuous.”

[comics] Jack Chick’s Lisa Tract … the cold, dark, disturbing heart of Jack Chick’s evangelical comics (unsurprisingly unpublished on his website) … [via Metafilter]
15 July 2008
[money] Ask Metafilter: How much credit card debt is too much?‘With the possible exception of emergencies, any credit card debt that you don’t pay off in full at the end of the month is too much credit card debt.’
16 July 2008
[comics] Can cartoonists go too far? Yes. Should we go too far? Yes … Steve Bell on the New Yorker’s Barack Obama Cover

So should we tread warily, lest we are misunderstood? Of course we should. Cartoonists are some of the most painstaking, careful, shy and sensitive people on earth, yet we do play with fire, toying with other people’s (and of course our own) most deeply held beliefs and most cherished illusions. Is it possible to go too far? Of course it is? Should we go too far? Of course we should. That’s what makes our job so interesting. There’s no better feeling than, having taken a risk in a drawing, seeing the thing in print and knowing it works. The converse is also true, which is why I work in a bunker on the south coast.

17 July 2008
[movies] The letters of Stanley Kubrick … Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket: ‘My intention was not to relish violence for its own sake but to emphasise the reality of both the training process undergone by the recruits and the war situation in which they found themselves. A crucial aspect of this process is the use of language to dehumanise the young men. This had to be presented in a totally truthful way otherwise I would have compromised the reality of the story. I make no apology for taking such an approach. Full Metal Jacket offers no easy moral or political answers. It is not intended to be either pro-war or anti-war. It is concerned with the way things are.’
[comics] The 10 Mental Illnesses Batman Indisputably Has … #2 -Munchhausen-by-Proxy: ‘This disorder, which usually exhibits itself in terms of a parent causing the illness of a child in order to garner attention, sympathy, and means of support for themselves, is something close to what Batman does with his many “wards”. Namely, he puts them in constant danger so that, perhaps, he can save them as his parents failed to save him from the life he’s inherited. Also, so he can stand in front of a glass case displaying the Robin togs they died in, so he can feel bad about himself…’
18 July 2008
[movies] Peter Bradshaw reviews Errol Morris’s documentary Standard Operating Procedure: ‘The Abu Ghraib scandal was a product of the digital age: ordinary roll-film cameras or Polaroids might have been too conspicuous, there would be no facilities for development, and any resulting prints might have been confiscated or lost. But digital images, immediately accessible and so easily transferable and reproducible, and with ineradicable date and time stamps, were the captors’ undoing. Watching this film is the grimmest experience imaginable…’
21 July 2008
[comics] Alan Moore Still Knows the Score! … Moore interview from Entertainment Weekly … ‘I was also quite heartened the other day when watching the news to see that there were demonstrations outside the Scientology headquarters over here, and that they suddenly flashed to a clip showing all these demonstrators wearing V for Vendetta [Guy Fawkes] masks. That pleased me. That gave me a warm little glow.’ [via Forbidden Planet’s Blog]
22 July 2008
[comics] Frank Miller’s ‘Dark Knight’ brought Batman back to life … a look back at Miller’s Dark Knight Returns … ‘For his part, Miller says, “There are 50 different ways to do Batman and they all work. In fact, I’ve probably done about ten of them. I was once asked if I felt like I’d been handed a Ming vase” when he first took on the character. “I said no, it’s more like an unbreakable diamond. I could smash it against the wall or ceiling without hurting it. It’s just a matter of finding a facet no one’s used before.”‘
[batman] Meanwhile, in London… Police Arrest Batman … [part of the Evening Standard Headline Crisis 2008]

Police Arrest Batman

23 July 2008
[comics] Blood, sweat and ink … Phil Jupitus on his love of Comic Strips … ‘I asked Trudeau to sign my dog-eared copy of Doonesbury Dossier: The Reagan Years, and when he did I felt like a kid again. Here was a man who to me was more punk than the Pistols, funnier than Seinfeld and a better artist than Picasso. That’s what I like about being a real fan of something – the irrational love.’ [via Forbidden Planet’s Blog]
[london] Last year I Killed a Man … a tube driver describes a ‘one under’ on the London Underground

A smart man inquired, “Do you know there’s a person under your train?” I looked at the blood on the windscreen momentarily before assuring him that, yes, I was aware.

He paused for a heartbeat, looked at his watch and said, “So, how long before we get on the move again?”

I was to look back on this exchange with amusement and also, strangely, comfort: in the midst of the horror, normality was briefly restored by a commuter asking for alternative travel arrangements.

24 July 2008
[comics] Dave Sim / Cerebus segment from a documentary about Comics … Sim is interviewed on Ken Viola’s 1987 documentary Masters of Comic Book Art‘It strikes me as a kind of interesting thing to document for 26 years… 26 years!’ (more…)
25 July 2008
[life] Random Acts of Reality: So Obvious‘If this were a ‘Casualty’ or ‘E.R.’ script I’d be laughing at the screen for the scriptwriter having such an obvious cliché while making it all too obvious.’
[tv] Warren Ellis on Joe 90: ‘I didn’t particularly like this show even as a kid. There was something essentially Wrong about it. Stick a kid with fucked-up eyes in a huge spinning machine with pulsating lights while computers ooze magnetic tape like worms.’
26 July 2008
[movies] The Shining (with Robots)‘The famous tricycle scene re-created with a tribot and a couple femisapiens.’
27 July 2008
[funny] Motivation Poster: Jenga‘Your Turn’
28 July 2008
[movies] WarGames: A Look Back at the Film That Turned Geeks and Phreaks Into Stars … Wired on War Games‘Leonard Goldberg, the producer, shows me some footage they’d shot – it was a scene with Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy going into his bedroom, early in the movie, and he shows her how he can change her grades on his computer. She freaks out and leaves. And I’m looking at this and thinking, “What’s wrong here?” Driving home that night, I realized what it was. I stopped the car, found a phone booth, and called Leonard. “I know what the problem is!” I said. “They’re not having any fun!” These kids were treating this as if they’re involved in some dark and evil terrorist conspiracy. If I could change somebody’s grades on the computer, I’d be peeing in my pants with excitement to show it to some girl. And the girl would be excited about it!’
[tv] Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes … Jon Ronson’s wonderful documentary about the 1000’s of archival boxes on Kubrick’s estate in Hertfordshire and what they say about the reclusive director.
[funny] Infinite Motivational Poster … goes on forever… almost. ‘SINGULARITY – Approaching the Self-Referential Event Horizon – Not even Light can Escape.’ [via Waxy’s Links]
29 July 2008
[comics] Has The Comics Industry Really Done All That Well During Legitimate Recessions? … interesting analysis from Tom Spurgeon‘For Miller the key is how comics gets tied into factors of risk. “I’ve said before I think ‘economics is local’ where this is concerned — the prevailing structural conditions in the field often trump whatever is happening outside — or, better put, they either amplify or stifle the negative stuff coming in from outside. Conversely, if our model is fouled up, we don’t feel the positives from an uptick in the economy — just see the late 1990s!”‘
[web] Using your Browser URL History to Estimate Gender … I’m not sure how accurate this is but it guessed right for me … ‘Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 12%. Likelihood of you being MALE is 88%’
30 July 2008
[comics] The Voices of Marvel Comics 1965 … featuring Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Flo Steinberg, Sol Brodsky, Artie Simek, Sam Rosen, Chic Stone, Wally Wood, Dick Ayers, Don Heck and Stan G‘In 1965, Marvel released a special recording featuring the voices of the famous Marvel Bullpen (the staff at the comic book company), to the Marvel Comics fan club members, The Merry Marvel Marching Society.’ (more…)
[comics] R. Stevens Steers Diesel Sweeties Back to Its Roots … Wired interviews R. Stevens on Why Diesel Sweeties is Going Web Only Again … ‘I did my taxes. I realized that I made less money than the last year that I wasn’t syndicated. It’s a hard business and it takes years and years to build up a client list and get paid. I just kinda thought to myself that I spent years and years learning how to make money off the internet. Why should I continue to injure myself, when I could just do what I’m good at? Get creative again, get excited again, change my business model and learn new things, rather than be constantly struggling with deadlines.’
31 July 2008
[comics] Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet‘Al Gore-or, as he is known in his own language, Gore-Al-placed his son, Kal-Al, gently in the one-passenger rocket ship, his brow furrowed by the great weight he carried in preserving the sole survivor of humanity’s hubristic folly…’ [via Beaucoupkevin]