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No Drama Without Synthetic Violence: Ray Harryhausen’s Creatures (Not Monsters!)

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Stop-motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen turns 90 today. It’s a perfect time to appreciate his contributions over more than a half-century. Harryhausen’s parade of creatures—giant squids, gargantuan bees, serpentine genies, sword-wielding skeletons, huge crabs, etc.—have fuelled the nerdy fantasies and stoney dreams of many a Boomer teen.

Although the labor-intensive stop-motion method now seems the quaint realm of the video artiste, we shouldn’t overlook its predominance in the realm of pre-CGI modeling. But putting that aside, as you’ll see in Mat Bergman’s obsessive tribute below, Harryhausen refined the interaction between stop-action models and live-action, which sets him apart from acolytes like Tim Burton  and Henry Selick. Catch the interview as well—Ray’s a truly warm wit.
 

 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Partying with ironic hipsters at the G20 riots
06.29.2010
01:35 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
G20
Hipsters
Toronto
2010

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From a pretty thought provoking collection of photos and written snark over at Hipster Runoff. Does this all-irony-all-the-time thing betray a humorous defense mechanism against the horrors of the world or a serious lack of actual feeling and engagement ? Funny what the simple phrase “Justin Bieber” can cause me to ponder.
 
 
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Does n e 1 know what G20 protesters are even protesting? Seems like they just want to make .jpg internet memes (Hipster Runoff)
 
Previously on DM : G20 TORONTO RIOT FOOTAGE & THE RISE OF THE ANTI-G PROTEST VIDEO

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Cat Lassie won’t save your ass
06.29.2010
09:21 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Cat Lassie

 
This is why dogs rule.
 
(via Nerdcore )

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Best Bollywood song ever: Everybody Dance With Me
06.29.2010
08:34 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Bollywood
Jac Zinder
Fuzzyland
Bappi Lahiri

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This is it, the absolute apotheosis of insane 70’s Bollywood film tunes. A sublime and ridiculous Frankenstein of Sketches of Spain, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Wild Thing and I Feel Love, this may be even better than Let’s Dance for the Great Guy Bruce Lee. As with said tune, this was a mainstay at the late, great Jac Zinder’s Fuzzyland clubs in early 90’s Los Angeles not to mention a really easy song to do half-hour cover versions of. Dig that tape echo slathered all over the whole mix. Tasty !

 
thx Wendy Schrodinger !

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
How to Abandon Earth: Your House without You

 
Talk about timeless. Journalist Alan Weisman’s book The World Without Us came out in 2007 just as the implications of the mortgage crisis started coming into focus. This video speculating on how the earth swallows a house over 500 years was produced in conjunction with the publication, and in view of so many foreclosed American houses trashed out by their owners and the oily cancer temporarily zombifying the Gulf of Mexico, it seems rather tranquil.
 
Get: The World Without Us by Alan Weisman [Paperback]

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Hispanic Batman ltd edition collection, for sale only at Comic Con
06.28.2010
10:09 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Pop Culture

Tags:
Royal Flush
Hispanic Batman

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Fans of Hispanic Batman, at long last, Hispanic Batman, the book! The thing is, it’s only for sale at the San Diego Comic Con. They say that unsold copies will be for sale on the Royal Flush website, but with a cover like this, there is no way this baby won’t sell out!

Created in 1997, Hispanic Batman is the retarded brainchild of Royal Flush creators and comic artists Erik Rodriguez and Josh Bernstein. This parody of the classic comics character has certainly found his unique voice over the last few years tackling the tough issues like immigration, slavery, politics and even American Idol and Hugh Hefner.

Light-hearted, goofy, offensive and extremely well drawn, Hispanic Batman’s charms are irresistible. Appearing in every Royal Flush, Hispanic Batman all his adventures are gathered here into one 80-page tome.

In honor of this special edition, many top comic artists and illustrators banded together to try their hand at the famed Caped Conquistador. Tim Bradstreet (Punisher, Hellblazer, Batman) came aboard to do the killer cover that adorns this book. His take on the Brown Knight gives salute to both Adam West’s campy portrayal of the character and the great Mexican cinema art of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

In addition, there’s over 25 pages of exclusive and brand-new comics and pin-ups from such Royal Flush artists as Danny Hellman, Steve Chanks, Ryan Dunlavey, Matt Siren, Sean Pryor, Brent Engstrom, Patrick McQuade, Woodrow J. Hinton III, Tanxxx, Frank Powers!, Cojo, Luis Diaz, Jayro Lantigua, Pat Sentman, Jim Mazza, Adam Turman, John Jagusak, Jesse Philips and Kristin Koefoed.

The Hispanic Batman Collected Archives, Vol.1 is completely self-published and will only be limited to this 1,000 copy edition. If any copies are left after the San Diego Comic Con they will be available on a first come, first serve basis on RFMAG.com for $15 plus shipping and handling.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Harvey Pekar and Douglas Rushkoff team up to take on Corporatism!

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Have you been keeping up with the delightful Pekar Project at the Smith website? The latest installment is my favorite, with Dangerous Minds pal Douglas Rushkoff co-starring with our hero! With terrific—kinda perfect—art by Sean Pryor.

Editor Jeff Newelt writes:

A year ago, our own cuddly curmudgeon, Harvey Pekar, joined author / media theorist Doug Rushkoff on his WFMU radio show, The Media Squat, to talk about a pet peev to both authors: the corporate takeover of society. Doug recently wrote LIFE INC: How the World Became A Corporation and How to Take It Back and Harvey legendarily bashed GE on Letterman in the ’80s, so jamming on this was a natural. To create this comic, “Pekar & Rushkoff Kibbitzin’ About How Life Got Incorporated” (part one of a four-part epic collaboration), we treated the transcript of their talk like the first track laid down for a jazz record. Harvey & Doug remixed the script and then artist Sean Pryor brought the dialogue to life. Note the masterful switch in coloring technique whenever the story shifts from the conversation itself to images of subjects being talked about. Sean first collaborated with Harvey on “Gauntet of Rock” a story for Royal Flush Magazine, and has since rocked out three Pekar Project stories, “Searchin’”, “Jungle Music,” and “Two Working Stiffs.” Sean also designed and contributed a Harvey Head to the new Pekar T-shirt.

This is fucking excellent!

Pekar & Rushkoff Kibbitzin’ How Life Got Incorporated by Harvey Pekar & Sean Pryor (Smith)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Human Centipede cat toy
06.28.2010
08:42 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
Human Centipede

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A super twisted Etsy merchant is selling a Human Centipede cat toy. “This cat toy is 100% medically accurate!”

Wouldn’t you feel bad subjecting an innocent kitty to something so decadent?

Etsy, via Popbitch

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Postcards from Hell:  A rogue’s gallery of failed states
06.28.2010
06:56 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
failed states

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As Foreign Policy’s Elizabeth Dickinson writes in the introduction to this powerful photo essay, “As the photos here demonstrate, sometimes the best test is the simplest one: You’ll only know a failed state when you see it.”
 
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Here, men in Uganda rallying against corrupt strongman Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, burn a bus in protest.
 
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Intercommunal violence in Nigeria’s middle belt means the sight of mass graves is common in the area.
 
The Failed States Index 2010 (Foreign Policy)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rent a White Guy
06.28.2010
03:36 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
China
Fred Willard
Caucasians

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This article, about a rather peculiar business practice in China, is quite amusing, I think you will agree. Hell, with my look, I would be in high demand there! From The Atlantic:

Not long ago, I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit.

“I call these things ‘White Guy in a Tie’ events,” a Canadian friend of a friend named Jake told me during the recruitment pitch he gave me in Beijing, where I live. “Basically, you put on a suit, shake some hands, and make some money. We’ll be in ‘quality control,’ but nobody’s gonna be doing any quality control. You in?”

I was.

And so I became a fake businessman in China, an often lucrative gig for underworked expatriates here. One friend, an American who works in film, was paid to represent a Canadian company and give a speech espousing a low-carbon future. Another was flown to Shanghai to act as a seasonal-gifts buyer. Recruiting fake businessmen is one way to create the image—particularly, the image of connection—that Chinese companies crave. My Chinese-language tutor, at first aghast about how much we were getting paid, put it this way: “Having foreigners in nice suits gives the company face.”

I just have one question: What KIND of racism is this? Positive racism? Lucrative racism? Self-loathing Chinese racism? It’s clearly racism of one stripe or another, seemingly positive, at least for white males who look like business men, but still, it’s a bit confusing, isn’t it?

Rent a White Guy: Confessions of a fake businessman from Beijing (The Atlantic)

Via Steve Silberman’s always interesting Twitter feed

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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