Saturday, May 30, 2009

Magnetic Movie

From Semiconductor Films, 2007. As they state on their site, it's "something not precisely scientific but grants us an uncanny experience of geophysical and cosmological forces."

Yup, More Ferns...

I'll stop posting these when they stop being hilarious. Translation: I won't stop posting them.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Old Covers and New Covers From Old Covers

I've wanted to post a couple great archives of book cover work since giving my spiel at The Show n' Tell Show's book design talk and am just now getting around to it:

The first is Thomas Allen's book art photography. His manipulations of these covers coupled with creative use of focus is perfect... and gives the impression that their construction was simultaneously painstaking and ridiculously fun.

(To give proper credit: before coming across the archive, I was first exposed to Allen's work via Chip Kidd's design of James Ellroy's novels, and had always meant to look into his work more. I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to stumble into other examples.)

The second archive is a collection of Penguin science fiction covers from 1935 to 1977. These are absolutely mouthwatering. And it's great to see Kurt Vonnegut's books looking less ashamed to be housed in that world. Cat's Cradle is science fiction after all (as is my favorite Vonnegut book The Sirens of Titan), but for the bulk of the last several decades, with genre fiction being a sort of pariah in literature proper, these covers and their amazing art have mostly gone the way of the decoder ring.

(And I have to note another great feature of the archive: the side by side comparison of each edition of the different books.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bookforum: Fiction Forward

The new issue of Bookforum is out now, featuring work by myself, Gabrielle Bell, C.F., Tony Millionaire, Dash Shaw, Chris Ware, and Lauren Weinstein. You can see each of the cartoons online at Bookforum's site (mine is included with this story by Ryan Boudinot.)

Time in Edible Pieces

These videos, posted on Wired, and filmed by the people of Time Warp, show moments of our world dragged asymptotically toward stillness by cameras filming up to 86,000 frames per second (and some filming up to an unfathomably rapid 675,000 frames per second). I'm a huge fan of Planet Earth's attention to detail, but I think these may just top a few of the exacting sequences in that series.

The Naked Pit & Fett Erotica of James Kennedy

My friend and occasional collaborator James Kennedy was recently interviewed by School Library Journal, where he paid me the best appraisal yet: "Paul’s not some jackass sitting in his mother’s basement, drawing Boba Fett erotica."

If other authors (and journalists) would like to see how interviews could and should read, please take a gander at this insanity wrapped in a straining alphabet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Have You Had Your Reptiles and Breakfast Meats?

If you haven't already, be sure to visit Adult Swim and watch the genius weirdness of Snake'N'Bacon, from the bronze-able mind of Michael Kupperman. Fruit-adorned heroes and District Attorneys abound.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Huge Suit PSA: Working Together

Raising awareness one high five at a time: featuring the mouthless, deity-esque Huge Suit with Mister Hidden (who will join Huge Suit in the pages of the upcoming All and Sundry collection).

I'll be signing this print (and books) when I'm at Brooklyn's own Desert Island on June 5th, prior to joining the throngs of cartoon and comics enthusiasts at MoCCA. Desert Island has the print available for pre-order and has limited it to an edition of forty, so have at it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Show 'N Tell Show: Tomorrow

Tomorrow night: if you're in the Chicago area come out for The Show 'n Tell Show, a rare chance for designers and artists to get together (in front of an audience) and talk about their processes, successes, and failures. I'll be one of those failures, mainly presenting an evolution of the dozens of stages a couple of my books (especially the covers) went through before reaching their final versions.

I'll be taking the stage with myriad designers and artists, among them my good (and nine hundred feet tall) friend, Jay Ryan of the inimitable Bird Machine. The event is hosted by Mike Renaud, fellow Paper Egger Zach Dodson, and Zach's tranny/granny of a bother, Seth. Men in drag talking about book design: what else would you do on a Wednesday?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Peter Sagal Goes Face to Face

If you're a fan of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me (as I certainly am), then grab some bonus Peter Sagal time courtesy my pal and Face to Face ringmaster John Huston. Sagal's knowledge of his neighborhood's history is uncanny. I can't remember where my own neighborhood keeps its sidewalks.

Happy Birthday, Bertrand Russell

Another of those faces that graced my early apartment walls: the thoroughly readable and reasonable Mr. Russell, born today. Happy Birthday.

Portland Perpetual Print Post

I'll have an update about a new print in the next few days, but the print in conjunction with my recent show in Portland at Charles A. Hartman Fine Art is still available for order, so if you've been on the fence about picking on up, remove yourself from the fence and fall squarely on the side of purchasing, for the good of the nation.

Click here to order the print via paypal.

Deeper Between the Ferns

I posted one of Zach Galifianakis' ingenious Between Two Ferns back in December with a slew of other videos, but his most recent effort with Natalie Portman deserves its own post. The man is a genius of the uncomfortable. Chief question: who is to praise for the bit with the dog? Whiz the dog? The dog trainer? The editor? The unseen hand of a comedic God? Applause to whoever or whatever engineered it. "That's the thing?" and all ensuing lines should be bronzed.

The Portman bit might deserve its own post, but I can't resist throwing in the Kimmel one as well. More ferns. More bananas. More awkwardness.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Great(est) Perhaps: Tonight

It's not every day that three of my favorite people in Chicago decide to get together and share their wares with the public. But tonight is one of those nights. My pal Joe Meno will be celebrating the release of his new novel The Great Perhaps, and will be supported by presentations from Jonathan Messinger (of Paper Egg and Feather Proof Books fame) and Jon Resh (a prolific designer and one of the first friends I made when moving to this city the better part of a decade ago).

It should be a great event, housed by the venerable institution that is Quimby's, so if you're in the area, stop by and get a triple helping of literary cake.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Booksluts Over Berlin

A few people contacted me about this, so I thought I'd post it here: Jessa Crispin, the head of the blog Bookslut, was just on the Chicago radio program 848 and gave me a nice shout out while discussing a variety of aspects of Chicago's literary world.

It's a great interview (conducted by my former downstairs neighbor Alison Cuddy) and a great (if brief) comparison of the creative worlds of Chicago and Berlin (the latter of which will be Crispin's new home).

Free Schweitzer Day

Thanks to everyone who came by Vault of Midnight this past Saturday. I had some great conversations with geneticists, electrical engineers, and Norm (one of the stalwart staff of VoM who was shockingly familiar with a band I had only recently discovered while used record browsing in Chicago's suburbs: Joy of Cooking).

And an extra massive thanks to Ron and his girlfriend Sara for bringing me a handmade bust of Albert Schweitzer (I had joked in a note that if Ron brought me such a bust I would draw a sketch form him, which I fully intended on drawing regardless). The bust came complete with accessories including a wreath of laurel, a turkey dinner, and a miniature copy of The Three Paradoxes. Pink sunglasses and a royal cloak were crafted as well (though not pictured here).

Thanks again, Ron and Sara. And thanks again to the staff and patrons of Vault of Midnight.