burns’ spinner

Most of the art in the wonderful ↵Blade Runner Sketchbook is by ‘visual futurist’ ↑Syd Mead, but I remembered that illustrator Jim Burns, whom, like Mead, I do admire since childhood, also did design work on ‘Blade Runner’ (Scott 1982). But his name is neither to be found in the sketchbook nor in the full cast and crew at IMDb. Now I found an ↑interview with Jim Burns which clears the matter up: [Anthony Brockway:] You did a bit of work on the Blade Runner film back in the Eighties. What did that entail exactly?     Jim Burns: Here’s … Continue reading

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hello matakichi

A picture book entitled Namennayo! (Don’t Mess Around with Me!) and commercial goods modeled on those in the book are caricatures of ↑bosozoku symbolism and display a crucial aspect of such symbols and the commercial exploitation of them. This work, which was published in 1981, and had a sales of about 335,000 copies by the summer of 1983, features a cat called ↑Matakichi. Throughout the book there are numerous pictures of cats who stand upright wearing human clothes. miniature props (auch as motorcycles, cars, and buildings) are also provided. The plot concerns Matakichi’s youthful experimentation with several expressive styles including … Continue reading

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riding rockets

Tom Wolfe’s book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality. It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once. Thus wrote ↑Tom Vogel at IMDb on the novel ‘↑The Right Stuff‘ (Wolfe 1979) and the ↑movie of the same name (Kaufman 1983). It couldn’t be summed up better, and I … Continue reading

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blade runner sketchbook

  Here are two sketches— from pages 32 and 35 in the sketchbook—for Rick Deckard’s (Harrison Ford) apartment as seen in ‘↑Blade Runner‘ (Scott 1982). Note the distinctive relief ornamentation on the faces of the concrete cubes, inspired by the texture blocks designed and used by ↑Frank Lloyd Wright for ↵Ennis House:  SCOTT, RIDLEY. 1982. Blade runner [motion picture]. Burbank: Warner Brothers. SCROGGY, DAVID (ed.). 1982. Blade runner sketchbook. San Diego: Blue Dolphin. blade runner sketchbook from [HP] via Facebook—tnx! … Continue reading

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sphere from above

what goes up must come down Do you remember ‘↑The Gods Must Be Crazy‘ (Uys 1980)? That old comedy movie telling the story of Xi, a Kalahari bushman, who undertakes an epic journey to bring an artefact which fell from the skies back to the gods? Well, in the midst of November this year it wasn’t a Coca-Cola bottle, but a metal sphere that fell from the skies over Namibia. On its impact the sphere, 35cm in diameter and about 6kg heavy, dug a crater about 30cm deep and 4m in diameter. Local authorities contacted NASA and ESA, asking for … Continue reading

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atlantis

Quite vividly do I remember when I sat in my parents’ living room on 12 April 1981, watching the launch of ‘Columbia’ on television. The ↑first flight of a ↑Space Shuttle into orbit. During the years when men walked the moon I was too young, and hence have no recollection of that at all. For me the Space Shuttle program was, like the Cold War, something that defined the world of my childhood. The Space Shuttles transposed what I read in comic books and science fiction stories into empirical, everyday reality. In July this year the era came to an … Continue reading

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seterra

No, this is nothing out of a science fiction movie, but details of ‘↑Seterra,’ a moc [my on creation], more precisley a ↑SHIP [seriously huge investment in parts], by afol [adult fan of lego] ↑Thomas Haas. The huge construction (not a rendition of something seen on the silver screen, inspired though, but Thomas’ own design) is 3.8 m long, approximately 1.4 m wide and 0.6 m high. He has no idea how much parts he used during the three years of building time, but estimates its weight at about 60 to 80 kg. Sadly ‘Seterra’ exists no more—Thomas had to … Continue reading

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bricks and games

truly transmedial to and fro This is a moc [my own creation] ↑interpretation by afol [adult fan of LEGO] ↑m_o_n_k_e_y of the ↑Vic Viper. This fighter spaceship is a signature element of the ↑Gradius games, a series of scrolling shooters by Konami. The first game of the series was released in 1985, the latest in 2011. So over the course of a quarter of a century versions of the ship appear in more than two dozen computer games for different platforms.     Within the LEGO scene the Vic Viper has a ↑massive and very productive fandom, ↑originally inspired by … Continue reading

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cyberanthropology reviews

Now that some reviews of my book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ have seen the light of day, it makes sense to begin to collect them [naturally they’re all in German]:     The Titel-Magazin was first with ↑Ein Buch mit System! (27 September 2011). As short as enthusiastic—and it is very short.     Next came Karl-Heinz Kohl’s review in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: ↑Völkerkunde war gestern, Cyberanthropology ist heute (16 November 2011). Unfortunately behind a paywall on the FAZ-server, but buecher.de has the ↑full text of the review online (and perlentaucher.de posted a ↑short notice).     On 30 November 2011 SWR2 … Continue reading

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who’s bad?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #7 What’s the name of the villain?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be held, but published immediately by the system.] UPDATE and solution (13 December 2011): Frankly, I have no idea how he’s … Continue reading

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