Hey folks. Other than that AWESOME NEIL GAIMAN ANNOUNCEMENT it’s been a while. I was still kind of recovering from Fringe, to be honest. Anywhoddle, as you know, Bob, part of my remit here is that I talk about cyborgs, robots, artificial intelligence, time travel, magic, alternate realities, and human augmentation, and all the ways those things show up in popular culture; and so, with that in mind, if you thought I was going to miss out on seeing Iron Man Three as soon as was inhumanly possible, then you didn’t read that last clause back there. Yeah, that one.
I’ve been looking forward to IM3 since it was announced, and since they started talking about what the screenplay was going to be based off of (more on that below)–so when we got to the theater and that theater was mostly empty, I was a little sad. I’d wanted a big crowded experience, and there were literally about twenty people in our showing. But still, I was with friends and I was content to enjoy this highly anticipated film in their company. That, plus the new Thor 2 trailer the manager was gracious enough to splice in for us guaranteed that it was a really fantastic time.
Longtime readers of Need Coffee will know that we are huge fans of The Neil. So when we heard that his US book-signing tour for The Ocean at the End of the Lane was the last one he’d be doing, we were understandably distraught. But we were also determined.
Do you want to know a secret? Back in 2010, we embarked on a plan to get an exclusive interview with Neil Gaiman during his book-signing tour for the release of the 10th Anniversary Edition of American Gods (the miniseries of which is still underway and still teaching us exactly how bated a person’s breath can get). This plan was tied to forays and efforts made by individuals and entities and forces and, wellâ€¦ Let me put it this way: Do you remember us posting any big exclusive interview with Neil, back in 2011? No. No you don’t. Things didn’t work out, as things sometimes don’t.
Now, Pretenders, here: I like Love–hell, I Love Love–but in the Fringe Universe, it was previously always about what Love caused humans to do, not just “Love made this happen…somehow.” Try to guess which of these I find more interesting. But I’ve already written about the ways in which these things seemed senseless. Those links all catalogue that. What I want to talk about now is the end of the series–the last chance to get it right.
I first heard of and met Kim Boekbinder in 2008, when she and her sister Zoe appeared as the sister-cabaret duo Vermillion Lies, accompanying Amanda Palmer on her first solo US tour (That’s also the year I first encountered The Builders and the Butchers, but that’s another interview). Their songs were vibrant, funny, heart-wrenching, memorable, and very, very good. As I listened to all of their albums, I began to get a sense of each sister’s lyrical voice and tone. Eventually, as the two moved on to their own solo careers, they developed and expanded those voices independently.
Just now, Kim has been working on a new album about space, collaborating with astronomers, physicists, and people who are just plain interested in the subject. She’s been funding the project through Kickstarter, and has been providing regular updates to fans and supporters.
Recently, I got the opportunity to ask Ms. Boekbinder some questions about her work, the focus of her current project, and the shape of crowdfunding today.
Well, keeping with what the public knows of his manic, obsessive personality, Matthew Inman has thrown his hat and his considerable internet reach into the ring, to help the Tesla Science Center, a 501(c) 3 non-profit, in their efforts to purchase Tesla’s famous Wardenclyffe Laboratory property–efforts, I might add, which have been in the works for Quite Some Time. Once purchased and protected, the first step at a museum is complete.
Every so often, there comes a project the scope of which is kind of baffling–not just in terms of the physical components, but in emotional and psychic resonance. TOME, by Ben Templesmith’s new artist collective/publishing house 44Flood looks like it’s shaping up to be just such a project.
To quote directly from the Kickstarter Page:
TOME is an annual anthology in an oversized format showcasing world-class artists as they explore a single theme using the comic book, painting, and music mediums. And by oversized we’re talking big, around 11×17″ [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][They have since updated this to 12×18″] and 180 pages! That size will let you experience art and sequential storytelling in a way that would be almost impossible outside of standing in front of the original work itself.
This year’s TOME will focus on the theme of VAMPIRISM. Modern popular culture has shown us all kinds of depictions of vampires, from the silly to the subdued. The artists in TOME will each take 3-5 pages to explore what we think is a unique and relevant take on vampirism as a whole, including the misuse of power and the objectification and exploitation of others. And at the conclusion of each artist’s contribution, they’ll have a one-page interview conducted by another artist to continue their artistic exploration.
This isn’t really a review of Prometheus, so much as it is a spoiler-filled retrospective of some things which may have been missed in the tulmut of awesome which was that film. What I mean is, I want to talk about some of the elements of Prometheus which add to the world/universe-building, and maybe draw one or two conclusions from there.
I am completely willing to be wrong about many of these points–particularly the conclusions I draw–but some of them are just facts on the digital image film.
Ready? Did you catch that I said “spoiler-filled” above? Good. Let’s go.
David Bowie, standing in for Tesla. He too has Wizard Eyes.
Thanks to The Oatmeal, the world now knows that Nikola Tesla had what the kids at “Adventure Time!” aptly termed Stanky Old Wizard Eyes*.
And, really, is that surprising? The man was a Ghat Danged LIGHTNING WIZARD. In an age when people were still using the fart stank residue from oil wells to light their homes, Nikola Tesla created wireless electrical transmission and used it in his house. He showed off his ability to create ball lightning to his friend Mark Twain. And then…!
I mean… Just… WHAT THE HELL, people?!
I tell you this, for free: If I had a time machine, the first thing I’d do is go forward in time, dig up Tesla’s corpse from the monument at which I’ll have it buried, then I’d go back in time to the moment of Tesla’s “death.” I’d swap out his corpse for him, and bring him back to the present, where Modern-Day medical tech–much of which owes its existence to him–could revive and nurse him back to health. Just so he could SEE it, you know? Just so he could take it all in, and understand how much we rely on even the smallest of his works, and so he could do maybe ONE last thing with that mind of his.