February 6, 2020
[comics] Image Comics Free First Issues … Huge collection of taster comics. I recommend: Criminal #1, Die #1, Kill, or be Killed #1 and The Fade Out #1.
February 5, 2020
[life] Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day … ‘All my life, I could hear my voice in my head and speak in full sentences as if I was talking out loud. I thought everyone experienced this, so I did not believe that it could be true at that time. Literally the first person I asked was a classmate of mine who said that she can not “hear” her voice in her mind. I asked her if she could have a conversation with herself in her head and she looked at me funny like I was the weird one in this situation…’
February 4, 2020
[doom] OK Doomer … A great look at playing Doom in 2020. ‘ Doom’s “2.5D” graphics, though primitive by modern standards, help it pull off things that are far more difficult to do with today’s software tooling. You experience the game as 3D, but the game’s level design and movement patterns are more or less reflective of 2D arcade shooters like Robotron, Geometry Wars, Commando, or Smash TV. You move incredibly fast (50 scale miles per hour!) through non-linear explorable levels that are designed to optimize play rather than look realistic. You fight diverse hordes of slow-moving enemies (compared to you at least!) that are individually weak but collectively quite dangerous. At the higher difficulty levels (Ultraviolence is really the best way to play), your only hope of survival is raw speed and cunning. The stylized abstraction of the game makes it feel like a strange, nightmarish vision you are hallucinating, which gets progressively more terrifying as the early infested techbase levels transition into hell itself.’
February 3, 2020
[web] “Link In Bio” is a slow knife … Anil Dash on Instagram’s war on web links. ‘The ultimate triumph of being anti-web is to make links scarce. The smallest possible number of links a platform could allow is zero, so Instagram gets as close to that theoretical limit as possible, and gives you… one. You can have one link. Aren’t you grateful? One!’
February 2, 2020
February 1, 2020
[comics] 100 of the Best Horror Comics of All Time … ‘Gyo: An undercurrent of black humor runs throughout much of Junji Ito’s work, and nowhere does he play with that contrast as fruitfully as in Gyo. Subtitled The Death-Stench Creeps, Gyo commits dozens of pages to bloated, infected humans essentially farting themselves to death, but any hint of a laugh is dashed when the full scope of Gyo sets in. These gasbags are trapped in mechanical carapaces drudged up from the ocean floor, remnants of some long-ago war effort returned to haunt the living. What at first seems like “only” an invasion of land-bound sea creatures (including the most chilling shark scene to ever take place out of the water) soon turns into an Apocalyptic vision of body horror as only Ito can conjure.’
January 31, 2020
[truecrime] The girl in the box: the mysterious crime that shocked Germany … Go read this truly bizarre German True Crime story. ‘It appeared that the kidnappers had planned to keep Ursula alive. The box, 1.40m deep, was fitted with a shelf and a seat that doubled as a toilet. It was stocked with three bottles of water, 12 cans of Fanta, six large chocolate bars, four packets of biscuits and two packs of chewing gum. It also contained a small, bizarre library of 21 books, from Donald Duck comics to westerns, romance novels and thrillers with titles such as The Horror Lurks Everywhere. There was a light and a portable radio tuned to Bayern 3, the same station that broadcast the traffic jingle. To enable Ursula to breathe, the box had a ventilation system made from plastic plumbing pipes, which extended to ground level. But whoever designed it had failed to realise that without a machine to circulate the air, the oxygen would quickly run out. The police believed they were hunting more than one kidnapper, because of the size and weight of the box. At 60kg, it would probably have needed at least two people to carry it into the woods…’
January 30, 2020
[wtf?] 32 Minutes of Soothing, Relaxing, Meditating Vietnam War Sounds for Studying and Thinking … War as relaxing white noise. You can also try: WW1 and WW2.
January 29, 2020
[socialmedia] The strange case of Paul Zimmer, the influencer who came back as a different person… Always love a story about influencers behaving badly. ‘On 14 October 2019, Paul Zimmer posted a side-by-side image of himself (sporting a barely-grown-out beard) next to another image of what appeared to be himself, albeit clean-shaven. “This actor @TroyBeckerIG kid literally looks like a younger sexier version of me,” Zimmer wrote. “I don’t even use social media anymore but had to post this hahah…” Clicking on Troy Becker’s Instagram led to an almost unpopulated account, with only 11 posts uploaded before Zimmer’s side-by-side post. For a Gen-Z actor, this would amount to an unusually sparse social media presence.It’s hard to track the fan response to this post because comments on Zimmer’s Instagram are disabled. But almost two months later, on December 10, another “Troy Becker” post was made, addressing those who had responded that Becker was in fact Zimmer by saying: “IM TELLING YOU HE IS MY YOUNGER BRO [crying laughing emoji]”).’
January 28, 2020
[comics] The Forbidden Planet Blog Archive … Good to see the an archive of Forbidden Planet’s blog appear – There is a huge collection of interviews, art, reviews and more. Go click: Brendan McCarthy, Kevin O’Neill and Alan Moore.
January 27, 2020
[movies] Studio Notes to a Test Screening of Blade Runner, January 21, 1981 … ‘This movie gets worse every screening.’
January 24, 2020
[life] How DISGUSTING Are You ? 🤢 quiz… So, it turns out I am more dusgusting than I thought.
January 23, 2020
[movies] 10 great stressful films … ‘Funny Games: Sadistic in its simplicity, Michael Haneke’s razor-edged slice of cinematic brutalism follows a nice, middle-class German family out to their lakeside summer cottage, then watches with clinical detachment as they’re tied up, tortured and massacred by a pair of nice, middle-class young men. Nowhere near as violent as its reputation suggests, Haneke’s film has much loftier ideals than simple shock, asking its audience some of the very same questions posed in our intro above – why do we, as viewers, subject ourselves to this horror? What do we expect to gain from it? And are we truly passive in our response, or is the film giving us something we’re actively asking for? Filmed in agonising long takes and never shying away from the physical and emotional consequences of abuse, Funny Games is a profoundly moral, darkly comic endurance test.’
January 22, 2020
[web] Tiny Helpers … Huge collection of useful single-purpose websites handling tasks from web designers.
January 21, 2020
[life] My (36F) husband (41M) has some disturbing requests for after he’s passed away. … ‘My husband wants me to have his skull taken from his body and cleaned. Then he wants that skull put on the mantelpiece in the living room. The rest of his body he wants sent to one of those places that makes the gems out of bodies and made into two blue diamonds. He then wants those gems to be put in the eye socket of the skull to look like eyes. Then he can “watch the family home” and “be passed down through the generations”.’
January 20, 2020
[comics] “I Feel Like Comics Needs Its Own Thing” … Daniel Clowes interview from 2014. ‘I’m doing The Complete Eightball right now, and I’m doing all these new images for it, for the covers and the slipcase and all that. And I’m trying to draw all these old characters for the first time since I originally drew them, some of them 20 or more years ago. And it’s funny, some of the ones that have this kind of real angular stiffness, I literally can’t draw it as stiffly as they originally looked, even though I’m trying to. I’m trying to recapture that feeling, and it’s just impossible. I’m much more relaxed and confident, and you can’t, like, summon a lack of confidence like that. I’ve been really trying to, like, listen to the same kind of music I used to listen to and really get in the same “headspace” as they would say, but it’s very difficult.’
January 17, 2020
[comics] Captain America by Ed Brubaker Reading Order … I’ve been bingeing on a lot of Ed Brubaker comics recently and this reading order was a great help. ‘It’s the most celebrated run on the Captain America modern series.’
January 16, 2020
[books] William Gibson: ‘I was losing a sense of how weird the real world was’ … Another interview with William Gibson. ‘One character suffers something we’ll all recognise – a “momentary pang of phonelessness”. And, hilariously, Agency prominently features a kickass combat drone – like a sort of R2D2-size Swiss Army deathknife, but the heroes have to spend the whole time lugging its battery pack and charger around after it. “That’s a part of my kit as well,” says Gibson, patting the smartphone resting on a spare battery pack by his coffee. “I don’t want people to forget about the charger. You’re lugging it around. You’d be lost without it.”’
January 15, 2020
[memes] Distracted Quantum State Boyfriend …
January 14, 2020
[moore] A Handwritten Alan Moore Interview from 1987 … ‘Q: If Jim Shooter and Dick Giordano wrestled, who would win? Alan: The mud.’
January 13, 2020
[crime] Do It For State Snaps: How a Feud Over a URL Ended in a Bloody Shootout … an astonishing true crime story about how an internet domain name led to a violent dispute.
The gunman wore a baseball cap, had pantyhose pulled over his face, and sunglasses covered his eyes.
January 9, 2020
[comics] Sandman to Hark! A Vagrant: the best comics of the decade … another comics roundup of the past decade this time from the Guardian. ‘Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (2015-17) – The capstone to Moore’s remarkable career in comics, Providence is a horror narrative of staggering depth and detail. The book works as a complex meditation on identity and morality, but it’s also a huge addition to the body of narrative gamesmanship surrounding HP Lovecraft, who lived and worked in the city that gives the story its name. Providence (the comic) at first appears to be a collection of oblique, linked short stories and then resolves into a gigantic vision of inevitable – providential – destruction, wrought by countless tiny, familiar failures.’
January 8, 2020
[crime] Who Really Killed Jimmy Hoffa? … Errol Morris examines who really killed Jimmy Hoffa. ‘What happens next is a matter of conjecture, of inference—a collision between unimpeachable data such as phone calls, the unreliability of witness testimony, and fish-delivery times. We do know several things for certain: there’s a real world out there, a real asphalt parking lot, a real phone booth, and a real Machus Red Fox (now called Andiamo). And Jimmy Hoffa was there, left, and never came back.’
January 7, 2020
[tech] How the Death of iTunes Explains the 2010s … Some thoughts on how tech trends in the 2010s turned us all into digital hoarders. ‘A friend compared looking at a smartphone home screen to looking at the messiest closet in someone’s house. “I would never ask to see either of them,” she said. But trying to organize your phone (or computer) is like trying to organize a closet that can always get larger. Now there’s essentially no hard limit on what you can store on a personal device, be it phone or computer—since 2010, the cost of a gigabyte of hard-drive space has fallen from 10 cents to 1 cent. Why spend your one wild and precious life organizing app icons on a home screen? Why throw out books when you can always buy a new bookshelf?’
January 6, 2020
[movies] “The monster is always to blame—what a convenient stereotype. Everything’s the monster’s fault” [via] …
January 4, 2020
[comics] The Tempest by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill – it’s been a blast … Reviewing the final major comics work from Moore and O’Neill. ‘Power is often a sham in The Tempest, and many of its superheroes are amateur copies of American originals, who themselves are built on a lie; those behind the scenes are not to be trusted. Moore and O’Neill, of course, are also using the creations of others. But they make something new from them. For all the silliness, there’s a reverence here, and a giddiness to these grumpy old men that spills from The Tempest’s pages in joyful hat-tips and preposterous set pieces. As a reader, you feel like a visitor at a party with a bewildering guest list, two hosts who won’t shut up and a new wonder around every corner.’
January 3, 2020
[politics] Who said it: Dominic Cummings or Nathan Barley? … ‘We need some true wild cards, artists … weirdos from William Gibson novels like that girl hired by Bigend as a brand ‘diviner’ who feels sick at the sight of Tommy Hilfiger or that Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB.’
[blog] Go click: Jamie Zawinsky’s 50 most popular blog posts from 2019 … Zawinsky’s blog is reliably funny, offbeat and relevant to my interests.
January 2, 2020
[web] href.cool: Links of the 2010s … a roundup of the offbeat web sites from the 2010s.
December 31, 2019
[til] 52 things I learned in 2019 … Fifty-two TIL from Tom Whitwell. ‘Polling by phone has become very expensive, as the number of Americans willing to respond to unexpected or unknown callers has dropped. In the mid-to-late-20th century response rates were as high as 70%… [falling to] a mere 6% of the people it tried to survey in 2018.’