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of lesser ideas and concepts

6/14/08 10:55 pm - many many things

now that the MoCCA Art Festival is finally over, its cool for me to be social again. i have the time and ability! much better than those five days last week where i got a grand total of five hours sleep combined.

anyway, this week three of my best friends all told me they wanted to hang out this weekend. however, being my friends, i am fully aware of their likelihood to just completely flake out and be squares. i texted all three of them yesterday and called all three of them this morning, deciding that whichever one got back to me with an affirmative first was the winner of my company. as a result, Heather and I went clothes shopping today. i needed some new things to match my sexy new lifestyle, and i'm the girliest friend she has, which is sad for both of us. i got two fucking sweet new pairs of pants at Express (soundtrack: Cut Copy & Jameroquai), new body wash and facial scrub at Sephora (soundtrack: Stars & Mates of State), a shirt, vest, underwear, batteries, and printer ink at Target (soundtrack: babies crying) and started to vomit at Urban Outfitters (soundtrack: Crystal Castles??? WTF?!?) and Guess (soundtrack: obnoxious remixes of Ginuwine)

i've officially plotted Lorelai Limbo book 2 and come up with ideas for both Lorelai Limbo book 3 and Wonderboy book 2, as well as a new book to work on with Dan. collaborating is fun!

also had the opportunity to feel like a real journalist when my Nerve brothers and I got to go to a press event this week and chat with developers from Capcom, Sierra, D3, and Codemasters, playing through or watching playthroughs of some of their upcoming games and asking questions. Here is my thoughtful write-up of the presentation for 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. yaaaaaay, journalism!

anyway, here's a stack of various fun photosCollapse )

and here's a survey copied from one of my flakey friends that i filled out upon realizing i haven't done one of these in a long time:
behind the cut!!!Collapse )

right on.

6/6/08 12:21 am - art fest? comics? yes!

so you may or may not have heard that a little thing called the MoCCA Art Festival is going down this weekend. apparently its kind of a big deal or something. i wouldn't know anything about that because i've only been running it behind the scenes for the past four years, so to me its just this massive time destroyer that hangs over my head for months and months and then there's this one awesome weekend and i don't have to worry about anything for a month and a half.

anyway, there's an absolutely insane number of great looking comics debuting at the show this weekend, but i hope that some people can set aside one dollar for this humble submission to the scene:

that's right, i actually made a comic. a real(ish) one. for public consumption. all by myself. its called "The Amazing Wonderboy Makes Pancakes" and is adapted from the children's book i wrote two years ago (and probably posted sketches from on here back then too)

see that right there? that's ninety copies of this mini-comic busting out of an egg carton. they're so cute!

the book is a three-inch square, making it perfectly palm-sized, and also shows off the alpha version of Marklar Soviet, the typeface i designed this past winter and will someday finish drawing all the obscure characters for and then allow other people to type with it.

here's a demo of the size, art, and typeface in action, along with a mild story-spoiler behind the cutCollapse )

so yeah, i'm donating most of these books to the MoCCA Make Sale at tables B22-23, where they'll sell for a single american dollar each, with all of that money going directly to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. i'll also be hanging out there from 2 to 3 each day to smile politely and sign any books that people are silly enough to buy. i'll be hanging on to a few of these books myself just so i can walk around and make sure that the artists who've been bugging me to make a mini-comic of my own can see it (i'm looking at you, Brendan Burford and Christine Norrie!)

5/11/08 09:58 pm - increase in productivity

i'm finally buying a new Mac tommorrow. wheeeeeeeeee!
i've been thinking about it and pondering and all that jazz for a few months and finally decided the time is nigh.

i just looked up the performance benchmarks here and here. apparently, the iMac i'm purchasing performs 12.7x better than the G4 i've been using. that's a whole lot. i look forward to being able to run After Effects without having to quit Illustrator, Flash and Photoshop first. access to our shiny new Airport will be nice too! its already made my Wii very happy!

Nerve launched a new gaming blog on friday, 61 Frames Per Second. i've written a couple of little bits about my bad habit of alternate soundtracking, playing old games with the volume down and other music playing in hopes of finding music that enhances the particular game experience. the first one is scheduled to run on tuesday. after that i can officially say on my resume that my writing has been published by Nerve, hahahahahaha!

otherwise, i've designed a couple of packages for a sketch of stephanie's and i'm putting the last few illustrations in Wonderboy, designing the cover and cleaning up Marklar Soviet Licht so that my happy little font can make its proper debut on paper in the book as well.

that should keep my nights busy after work for the rest of the week.

4/26/08 08:21 pm - if there's one thing i can never confess:

today i finally did what i'd been reminding myself on a weekly basis i desperately needed to do since september: back up my hard drive.

each time i thought about it, the idea of my external hard drive suddenly not working or being erased or in any other way inaccessable was absolutely terrifying. pretty much everything i've done in the past five years is on that hard drive, including ALL of my graphic design work. EVER.

since i'm home alone today, rather than throw a crazy party or dance around naked, i yoinked the external DVD burner from downstairs and plugged it in to my increasingly ancient Mac upstairs, installed the appropriate drivers, and backed up all of my important files. all of my design, animation, writing and whatnot from the past five years is now split up on two DVDs. the only parts of my trust LaCit d2 that were not backed up on DVD were my music (which has been almost all transferred over to my new-ish iomega 500GB drive) videos folder (which i was stunned to realize was almost 30GBs. that's a lot of Gummi Bears and Ducktales!) and the project files from my digital video class, which total 12GBs for three super-short test films. that one folder alone is the size of three DVDs, so i need to come up with a better way to back that up.

still, once i delete the music and video folders (probably going to move the videos over to the iomega too), there will actually be a usable amount of memory on that drive again.

word on the street is new iMacs are dropping on Tuesday. word is also that i'll have the money for a new iMac on Friday. word is also also that, while my Mac has been loyal and true for over five years, its high time i finally had a new one. my first new Mac ever (this one was already two or three years old when i bought it used)
honestly, i'd probably keep struggling with my G4's crawling processor speed if not for the fact that it refuses to install Adobe CS3, which i need in order to work now (i use it at both of my offices, and once you save a file in Flash CS3, you can't open it in any earlier version of Flash. its not like Illustrator where you can save to a legacy format, or Photoshop or Dreamweaver which always read everything. plus the non-destructive filters in Photoshop CS3 are a dream and the color palette in Illustrator CS3 is so smooth and delightful, it pains me to not have them at home)

oddly, i'm missing the rampant consumption of music i experienced when i first discovered MP3 blogs back in 2004. there were funny little blogs that i'd find through a series of links and out of nowhere i'd learn about bands like Something About Vampires And Sluts, Burnside Project, Bangarang, Division Day, girlsareshort, and Cansei De Ser Sexy. granted, Burnside Project, Division Day and CSS later got a bit more exposure in the indie music scene, but i probably would have never heard of the others otherwise. almost all of those blogs gave up after a while, and the others changed format at got boring. i'm sure there are still interesting cutting-edge blogs out there, but i don't have the time or energy to find them. i'm definitely learning about fewer bands now than i did then, which is weird considering the offices i'm working at.

the plus side now is that i get to listen to great music at work without having to rely on my iPod or Pandora. at Nerve, we listen to Los Campesinos! and Foals a lot (and Laura Barrett a little too much. i got her EP my senior year after hearing about her on one of those blogs. two years later, now other people have that same EP and play it way too much). at Pitchfork we listen to The Mae Shi, M83, Cut Copy and Bon Iver a lot. still almost all bands that i was either already aware of or would soon have become aware of, but its pleasant having it around me rather than searching it out.

4/25/08 09:39 pm - you breathe and eat and grow

taking a quick break from posting videos from my job at Pitchfork to instead post videos from one of my other jobs:

Today, Babble posted our first-ever "Babble List", the topic being The Top 50 Sesame Street Moments.
it was a popular topic of discussion in the office for the past week or so, and i was happy to see that all of my nominees are prominently featured in the list of 50.
here, however, is one that i completely neglected to nominate, but once i saw it wondered how i could have ever forgotten it:

Chrissy & the Alphabeats' "You're Alive!" is a shining example of how the songs on Sesame Street were F***ING AWESOME SONGS regardless of their intent to teach children anything whatsoever.
sure, there's a lesson in this song, and it gets a little silly towards the end with all of the animal noises, but the song itself is absolutely rocking! i want this to be my personal theme song and play loudly every time i walk down 28th street!

one more example of rockin' educational songing from the list, Bruce Stringbean's (eh, you see what they did there? classy...) "Born to Add":

4/18/08 10:45 pm - whenever you want me

only two weeks into its life, my current high-profile client Pitchfork.tv has some killer content, and I happen to know that the best is yet to come. still, there's some great stuff so far and here are some of my favorites:

High Places - "Namer" live at Market Hotel

Evangelicals - "Midnight Vingette" music video

Björk - "Wanderlust" music video

Dan Deacon - "Okie Dokie" music video

Dan Deacon - "The Crystal Cat" music video

Sesame Street - "Pinball Number Count (DJ Food re-edit)" music video

HEALTH - "Zoothorns/Crimewave" Don't Look Down rooftop performance

J Dilla - "Nothing Like This" music video

The Knife - "We Share Our Mother's Health" music video

Cut Copy - "Lights and Music" music video

Death By Audio tour - A Pitchfork Special Presentation

and, of course, the previously posted and brilliant Man Man Daytripping.
a lot of great original content, films and music videos in the pipeline for the next few weeks and beyond.

this weekend, i'm gonna be rocking as hard as my neck will allow me to at New York Comic-Con, primarily at the MoCCA table, booth 840. we're gonna have my main man Mo Willems with us on Sunday for Kid's Day. should be a party!

4/11/08 10:13 pm - not just kids, to say the least

if you have not watched this video documenting a day in the production of Man Man's new album Rabbit Habits, you have probably not experienced happiness this week:

i mentioned a while back my Go To Work mixtape, volume number 17 in my probably-never-going-to-end series of self-indulgent mixtapes. i'm still not really in the mood to post the mixed tracks, but here's the front and back cover art. a bit corporate, but i'm happy with it, and that was kind of the whole point to begin with, right?

on wednesday, i was accosted for twenty minutes of my lunch break by a cute girl trying to get me to give seventy cents a day to children in third world countries. the first four minutes were her purely flirting with me, which immediately told me she was going to ask me for money or a signature or something, but that didn't mean i was going to stop her from pretending to like me.

when i got back to the office (Nerve) i heard a group of the office's editors all discussing my infamous boss at P4K, so i walked over:

"You guys talking about Pitchfork.tv?"
"Yeah, we are, actually"
"What do you think of it so far?"
"Honestly...it's kind of awesome."
"Oh, cool. Good to know."
"Oh, I work there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You know, when I'm not here with you guys."
"Holy shit, dude!"
"I swear I told you this when I started here."

at the end of the day, two of the editors got on the elevator with me and started gushing about how cool it must be for me at Pitchfork. i was just like "Shouldn't you guys be DISCOURAGING my other gig?"

4/6/08 11:30 am - technology

some Brawl snapshots behind the cutCollapse )

i was pounding away at a fistful of design projects yesterday and utterly disdaining my computer's lack of grace when saving my illustrator files and updating my iPod. between this and the fact that it can't even install CS3, which i use everywhere else, and the fact that the monitor has been in busted-ass color deformation mode for nearly three years, i am now officially planning to buy a new iMac at the end of the month. if i buy a new one, it'll be my first ever brand new computer with a box and everything, as this, the only computer i've ever called "mine", was bought used from an outgoing senior my freshman year of college and i had to acquire half the wires for it myself because she didn't keep anything organized.

3/29/08 10:32 am - dance! dance! dance! dance!

if only selecting a president was as simple as selecting a pokémon:

things are really quite busy at both new jobs. i'm finally going to "announce" what they are in about a week, but i might post some sketches i'm doing later today for one of them. we'll see...

yesterday, while i was at job #1, steph and i talked online about how we're both far too busy to ever call each other. this part of the exchange amused me:

her: This Saturday the theatre is celebrating one of the bosses' birthday, and they're going to have Rock Band, so now I have to go to show off my skills
me: ha, nerds. i maintain that proficiency in video games hardly qualifies as "skills". possibly "skillz" but not really "skills"
her: drum skills
me: then just play the drums. for realz!
steph: no! I rock band drum only
me: that's drumscrimination
her: lies
me: come on, that was a good made-up word and you know it
her: it was creative

she then went on to brag about how her brother had to beat 92% of Super Mario Bros 3 for her, utterly rebuking her prior claim of video game "skills"

also at office #1 we had a fire drill which boiled down to an elderly indian man in a maroon jacket who clearly picked up english as a third, fourth, or later language reciting a seven minute long speech from memory about why you should take the stairs rather than the elevator in case of fire. the whole thing felt like watching a fourth grade play, the way he spoke slowly, as if struggling to remember not what idea or sentence came next, but what word came next. to make matters worse, he spent most of the speech looking directly at me and i had to pretend to have an itch on my chin every few seconds just so i could force the corners of my mouth down. i worried about laughing in the poor man's face as he was just trying to do his job.

on my lunch break i went to my favorite chinese take-out place for some steamed dumplings (awesome!) and saw a sweet Tenori-On poster, which I politely asked about and the people at the restaurant allowed me to take, so SCORE! apparently the Tenori-On, the new musical interface designed by Toshio Iwai (of ELECTROPLANKTON fame), is having a global launch tour, and the NYC party is wednesday, April 16th, at Southpaw in Brooklyn. no power in the 'verse can stop me from attending this shindig. people should come with and rock out to the sweet electronic sounds.

i hope that someday in the reasonable future (ten years or so) the Tenori-On will either drop in price to under $400 or someone will miraculously give me one.

oh yeah, and i'm just about done with sanskrit mixtape volume 17. i did the art last week and i really like it, i just still need to work on the crossfades a bit and then its ready for distribution.

3/24/08 09:48 pm - that's when the audience died

when Rock Band was announced last year, i was very excited. i'd played Guitar Hero exactly once before, at a housewarming party for my college ex-roommates, but i knew that by allowing four people to play simultaneously as a cohesive unit the fun factor would skyrocket. immediately rumors of a Wii version swirled and Wii owners like myself patiently waited for our time to rock.

today, Electronic Arts announced the release date of Rock Band for the Nintendo Wii and, as if an indicator of kismet destiny and whatnot, that release date happens to be on my birthday. amazing, no?


because as they day went on, more information was slowly released from Electronic Arts.
first was that the Wii version of the game would cost $170, the same launch price as the fully-featured PS3 and XBox 360 versions from this past fall rather than the cheaper and significantly less-feature-packed PS2 version. okay...sure.

second was that there would not be downloadable content (new songs) OR online play. so...what the hell am i going to be paying full price for?

third was that there would be no character creation mode. well that just sucks, but the Wii has its own character creation tool anyway, right?

fourth would be that there's no Mii integration in place of a character creation mode. well fuck that. how am i supposed to get emotionally invested in the career or my on screen avatar when i have no control over how s/he looks/acts/feels/anything? i'm not, am i?

fifth was that the game doesn't support the existing wii guitars for Guitar Hero 3. well...okay. i'm glad i didn't buy that, waiting for Rock Band instead, now that i know any guitars i got for that would be utterly useless, though it is neat how the wii remote plugged right into it.

and sixth, the instruments DON'T EVEN CONNECT TO THE WII REMOTES, which begs the question WHY did it take half a year to make this sloppy PS2 port? they didn't need to work out how the instruments would use Wii controls since everything just runs off of USB. there's no additional content or even online play. it doesn't use ANY of the Wii's features aside from USB ports and a disc drive, which my bargain basement DVD player has.

so no, unless at least half of those problems are corrected, i will likely never buy Rock Band for the Wii. i will instead take those $170 (which could alternately be used to buy three Wii games, or six DS games, or a brand new DS Lite AND a game for it) and likely invest that money in concert tickets so i can rock out FOR REAL all summer long.

fuck you, Electronic Arts, for slapping us very patient Wii owners in the face like this. the very least you could have done is offered this package at the PS2 price point, but you couldn't even do that. fuckers.
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