To support our upcoming reading at Malvern Books, Janalyn’s friend Joe Duncan has made us this eye-catching poster. For more of Joe’s illustration work, check out his website. And if you’re in the Austin area, check out the reading this coming Saturday. It is guaranteed to put happy faces on all of your cells.
Category: Art (page 1 of 2)
Contributor copies are landing in mailboxes and posters are going up for bookstores, so seems about time to show off the next Asimov’s cover. Behold its gorgeousness! This is the work of Gary Freeman (Flash site), who’s done many covers for the magazine over the years. I think this one is perfect; striking, creepy, and clearly informed by the text. I’m finding it unspeakably thrilling to have tossed words on paper out into the world and seen stunning art ripple back. (Is this is how my comics-writing friends feel all the time? I bet it is.) Five women, all different ages but with the same face. I’d go in to all the details that make this a wonderful illustration of my novella, but I don’t think I could do so without spoiling the story. So for now let it serve here the same beguiling purpose it will on shelves and newsstands. The issue goes on sale March 17.
UPDATE: It’s out now! Get it here!
Thanks to Amal El-Mohtar, the newest thing on my wall is this sketch by Tom Siddell, author of Gunnerkrigg Court. Amal asked what I wanted him to draw, and I requested a picture of his character Jones with a trilobite (canonically, she’s seen them). If you haven’t read Gunnerkrigg Court, I recommend fixing that. It’s one of the best comics I’ve ever read, and as you can see from this sketch, his art is gorgeous. He’s still finding his feet in the early chapters, but read through “The Fangs of Summertime” and you should be hooked.
I have a cold, and so plan to spend this Halloween wrapped in blankets in the dark rather than at my desk doing physics. I might do a makeup day this weekend if I’m feeling up to it. Until then, to make it up to you, here’s Joel Micah Harris’s drawing of Supermanatee.
Today my friend Fatima Espiritu introduced me to the art of surrealist painter Remedios Varo, and she’s instantly become one of my favorite artists. She was born in Spain, but was driven to France by the Spanish Civil War, where she got involved with the surrealist movement. Then she fled France to avoid WWII and relocated to Mexico City, where she spent the rest of her life and made the majority of her artwork. She died suddenly of a heart attack in 1963, at the height of her career. Here are a few of her paintings, snagged from various places through a Google image search.
- On Robert Krulwich’s NPR blog, a post about the shape of stories as drawn by Kurt Vonnegut. Includes one of my favorite science cartoons ever.
- The Genderfloomp Reading List. I won a copy of Whipping Girl as my prize for being Best Dressed. I’ve only read the introduction so far, but it looks very good.
- Qik.com. This is ostensibly as service for real-time uploading of video from a cellphone to the internet. I need to look into it more. The potential implications for citizen journalism, esp. in repressive legal cultures, are huge.
- Obituary for Felix Zandman.
- “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas reveals that he is in the United States illegally, and what this has meant for his life and career. An excellent example of why the Dream Act would benefit the nation.
- “Michele Bachmann’s Holy War.” Matt Taibbi’s profile of this election’s craziest serious candidate.
- A public art installation consisting of a topographically interesting basketball court. I would like to see this turned into an all-star game event.
- “A Person Paper on Purity in Language.” Douglas Hofstadter skewering people who argue that there is nothing sexist about the English language.
- Finally, a video I liked:
There’s currently a thread on io9 about the best comic book covers of the past decade. There’s a ton of beautiful work on that list, but one cover that was immediately notable to me by its absence was the cover to LOSERS #26, by Jock. Maybe it was the timeliness — it was practically a political cartoon — but I don’t think any cover has stood out in my memory as strongly in the last decade as this one.
EDIT: Closer reading reveals that io9 specifically excluded LOSERS for not being SF enough.
I can’t stop thinking about Brock Davis’s sculpture in this post. It is so suggestive of genitalia, as it was intended to be, but it isn’t actually shaped anything like any human genitals. It’s just a decorated aluminum can. And to me it equidistant between male and female, suggesting both, but neither predominantly; a clever trick. (Though I half expect my topologist friend Andrew to pop in and tell me I’m wrong, it’s actually closer to one or the other by some metric.) How did he do it?
I think the reason it works so well is that, rather than choose individual characteristics of specific genetalia, he took advantage of heuristics by which we recognize them in general. Flesh tone is an obvious one, with some bumps and texture for verisimilitude. Genitals are part of a body, and a band-aid is something we only apply to a body, so putting one on the can induces the viewer to think of it as a body part. A change of curvature is associated with a fringe of hair. An opening is limned in more reddish “tissue.” These non-gender-specific but related cues all applied to the same object make me look at it and think “sex organ,” despite it not being shaped like one.
I wonder what an analogous technique in prose would be. Favoring descriptive words that are associated with a specific object/class/thing, when that isn’t what you are describing? I read a story recently in which several characters were afraid of encountering a dog. They are worried that a dog could show up at any time, and when one of them says something the verb used is “yipped.” Is this an example of a similar trick? It seems like it would be a powerful tool to have, being able to suggest the presence of something to a reader without the need to actually have it there. What are other ways this is accomplished in fiction?
I was asked by NY magazine Tokion to create a piece for the project section in the new June/July issue, based on the theme of sex. I took an approach around the idea of sexuality and consumerism, resulting in this sculpture.
EDIT: further discussion here.