Belated Happy New Year from Edmund Bagwell

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If you read this blog regularly you may remember that around New Year Edmund Bagwell does an annual ‘cover’ to mark the date in the style of the old Jack Kirby 2001 comics. I checked his blog earlier this year to see if he’d uploaded one but nothing doing. Then today the 2015 one popped up in my Twitter feed and checking back through my posts I realised that I hadn’t posted 2014’s cover either. So here they are although the 2015 one is very low res unfortunately. UPDATE: Edmund just sent me a hi quality version – thanks! :)
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Instructables – Blooming 3D printed Zoetrope

Fibonacci Zoetrope Sculptures from Pier 9 on Vimeo.

This mesmerizing blooming zoetrope sculpture is designed using the golden angle — 137.5º. The infinite blooming effect is achieved by spinning the sculpture very fast and photographing it with a camera with a fast shutter speed.

And again, lit by a strobe at the right speed.

Fibonacci zoetrope sculpture under strobe light from Pier 9 on Vimeo.

For more fascinating info on the technical aspects of this go to this page.

More of Dan Lish’s ‘Egostrip’ images

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Can’t get enough of Dan Lish‘s ‘Egostrip’ illustrations at the moment, he’s illustrating some of his musical heroes – mainly from the world of Hip Hop – for a future book. In a mix of Moebius and Jeff Soto they inhabit a psychedelic otherworld straight out of a mushroom trip. He’s only gone and done Kraftwerk as well…

Below: Questlove, Q-Bert, Madlib, James Brown, Edan.

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Divine Styler ‘Def Mask’ album

will-barras-divine-stylerThis one passed me by before the year ended as it got lost in the Xmas rush but I’m glad I remembered it as it’s a corker. Divine Styler makes records at about the the same pace as me, ie: not very often but this was well worth the wait. A dystopian sci-fi collage of film samples and electronic beats with his signature rhyme style unchanged from years past. This is Hip Hop that doesn’t look back to the golden age or ape the past even though it takes past practices. It’s a forward looking one that manages to sound contemporary without kow-towing to current sonic trends or fashions like EDM or its ilk. Sure it has touches of bass-wobble and the double-time snap of a drum and bass rhythm but that’s as far as it goes. For all the current media darlings of Rap’s bragging and boasting, even if they have a great voice and flow, few can touch Divine Styler’s pin prick sharp delivery or authoritative swagger.

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Couple this with art by Will Barras who envisages scenes from Styler’s future world in a limited edition book available with a special version of the vinyl on the Gamma Proforma label and you have a pretty unique vision for a Hip Hop album in 2015. If you don’t know Gamma Proforma then they’re the place where street art and electronic music meet, a boundary-pushing collective who have championed some of my favourite artists over the years. They stock music, books, prints, original art and T-shirts as well as hosting exhibitions and creating last years ReWire exhibition, book and compilation via Kickstarter.

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Anyway, back to Divine Styler’s album: more Blade Runner than Run the Jewels (in fact it starts with what sounds like a decaying sound effect from the film) it’s a refreshing counter balance to dull murder raps and the seemingly endless macho bullshit paraded on 95% of current Hip Hop. Buy it here direct from the label on LP, CD, DL and a special edition LP with signed 42 page book and print.

Simon Stalenhag paintings

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Absolutely love these images by Simon Stalenhag – his use of light and everyday rural locations with futuristic contraptions and machines remind me of a simpler, less hi-tech Syd Mead. His vision of the future is one that I think could be a reality within the next 50 years (maybe minus the dinosaurs that occasionally pop up in some of the paintings). His site has lots more plus close up details and you can now buy a book of them too if you follow the easy to read pdf to navigate the online shop.
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Stan & Vince space girl Steranko tribute

Stan & Vince after Steranko:Wally WoodI saw this on the web last week – attributed on numerous sites to Wally Wood, which seemed a bit wrong. The pose seemed wrong, too modern for someone like Wood, plus it was obviously a pastiche of the infamous Steranko cover of Nick Fury – Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. no.6 (below) and I didn’t recall Wood ever doing that. There was also a signature on the bottom right corner that looked like Stan Vince and, after a bit of digging, I found that the French duo Stan (Manoukian) & Vincent (Roucher) were responsible.
It was a commission they had done for a friend a few years back and both were as mystified as to why it had been tagged as a Wood piece as I. The two images make a great couple but this was another case of the web stripping images of their info and misinformation passing as fact.
Nick Fury Shield cover

Alien activity

There’s been lot of online activity surrounding the Alien film franchise recently, specifically aimed at the original film. I don’t seem to be able to go a day without some new spin-off popping up, I’ve updated this post three times already.

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You might have seen the recent Alien: Isolation game that takes the look of Ridley Scott‘s version and goes to great lengths to emulate it. The Art of the Title website has an extensive feature on what went into creating the look and design of the game here with some fascinating info and behind the scenes stuff. Just the opening title sequence alone is worth a watch (above – click the image to be taken to the site).

On the Alien: Isolation website there’s a whole host of Alien advent calendar goodies to get into, most pleasing to me being that you can now download parts of the comic that Henry Flint drew for the release around the time of SDCC. As well as that there are posters, concept art, game play tips and add-ons.

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Poster posse have a great gallery of tribute posters to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the original and most, predictably, centre on the mood and tone of the debut. They’ve split the posters into three different phases and they can be viewed here PHASE 1 / PHASE 2PHASE 3.

alien-doalyPaulAinsworth-Red-768x1024 Nostromoposterpossecredits2-783x1024 Alien-poster-NEW-410x1024If sound is your thing then Ambient Sleep Aids in the form of looped atmospherics and sound FX from Sci-Fi films are at your fingertips. Want to drift off to the sound of the Nostromo or the Death Star drifting through space? Someone called Crysknife007 has posted 20 minutes loops of just that.

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and there’s more… check out this gorgeous fan image by Lord Mishkin which reminds me of John Bolton‘s work. Just look at that light source casting shadows and the reflection in the helmet, beautifully realised. She must be really knackered not to have clocked the Alien hanging from the rafters though…

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I’ve saved the best post for last, I hope you have some time on your hands because this one goes way deeper than most. Dave Addey‘s Typeset In The Future site has published a feature on the graphic design of ‘Alien’ after his exploration of the typography in ‘Moon’ and ‘2001’.

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It’s beyond nerdy in all the best ways – going from the opening titles to signage and on screen read outs on board the Nostromo. Clothing insignia, food packaging, warning signs and even keyboard labeling is covered, the last of which reveals some telling details about what the designers were reading at the time.

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Punks The Comic #3 Self Censorship Kit


Punks The Comic #3 arrived this week and has generated a little bit of a fuss in some stores over the inclusion of Fist flipping the bird on the cover. There was meant to be a censored version (see right, above) but this got lost somehow at the printing stage so Kody Chamberlain (the artist) thought he’d have fun with the occasion and has made a censorship kit.

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Graffiti: Kings on a Mission documentary

Here’s a really good half hour documentary from the BBC World Service about graffiti which interviews original NYC writers and has a great selection of relevant music rather than the usual well-worn tunes. Unfortunately they won’t let you embed the programme so here’s the link.

There are quite a few vintage New York-centric graffiti items popping up at the moment. The ‘Training Days’ book is out which I mentioned a while back, a ‘where-are-they-now?‘ book which interviews old writers and finds out what they’ve done in the past 40 years.

The Seen book, ‘They Call Me The Godfather of Graffiti’, finally shipped out last week too and it’s a treasure trove of unseen images or different views on old classics from one of the undisputed Kings. Also the restored ‘Style Wars’ Blu-ray is finally ready after years of work on the original reels which adds 40 minutes of unused footage from the original shoot.

 

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Punks The Comic original art by Kody Chamberlain


I recently bought some original art from Kody Chamberlain, the artist on Punks -The Comic. I managed to get in early and nab the Dimension X variant cover which is an homage to The Incredible Hulk 181 where he battles Wolverine. Kody also did another homage to Superman‘s first appearance on the cover of Action Comics and there’s Peanuts and Spiderman ones forthcoming.

The art is a beautiful mess of Xeroxed, distressed photocopies and Scotch Magic tape complete with creases and no attempt to keep things clean in the best tradition of DIY Punk artists like Jamie Reid. I also got page 1 of issue 1 and a trio of Nutpuncher games cards featuring the character, Skull (see gallery below).

Punks #1&2 are out now from Image Comics, #3 is out this month sometime and you can buy original art from Kody’s site. There are also two previous issues, a Summer and Winter special although these date from 2007 (!) and are mostly being reprinted in part in the back of the new issues. The Summer special is well worth tracking down for an interview with Art Chantry who talks about collage work, David Carson and the age of the computer in the design world which is no less relevant now than it was 7 years ago.

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Andy Partridge ‘Powers’


I’m not so up on Andy Partridges‘ solo work (I mainly know him from his XTC days) but this album swam into my field of vision the other day after a search for the book of collected Richard M. Powers‘ artwork. Apparently Partridge was fascinated by Powers’ book covers as a kid and later made a whole album of ambient / electro-acoustic sound pieces to soundtrack the fantastic worlds he saw on his library loans. The 500 copy CD is long sold out but you can still buy the 12 tracks as downloads from his Ape House imprint. Think Raymond Scott, Louis & Bebe Barron or Tod Dockstader and you’re in the right area.

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Jeff Soto

Nice to see Jeff Soto reintroducing some of his old characters back into more recent work, the Walker and the Builder were what attracted me to him in the first place but he’s since largely moved on from them. Maybe one day we’ll get the Walker toy they were always going to do…

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