Posts Tagged ‘video games’

n+1 #9

Published April 8, 2010 by Molly

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In an age when the print media appears to be coughing its final loogies into a bloody handkerchief, it is worth paying attention to the few magazines that stick around. For a print publication to do well in this freaky climate is no small feat, and n+1 is not only alive, but practically fist-pumping.

If you’re not familiar with the magazine, it can be summed up as a controversial and whip-smart journal of everything that might matter to the contemporary young man or woman: video games, the internet, sex, zombie novels, avant garde food, narcoterrorism in Mexico, parties in Miami, cave painting, hedge funds, and more. Contributors include WLYS favorite Sam Lipsyte (whom we covered here), Benjamin Kunkel, Juan Villoro and more.

The newest issue is hot off the press, and we recommend nabbing a copy before it sells out!

Trevor Burks

Published December 2, 2009 by Graham

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Perusing the website of designer Rob Matthews (whose zine, If Drawings Were Photographs, we posted about recently), I came across a boss illustrator named Trevor Burks, Matthews’ dear friend and the inspiration for an amusingly creepy art piece/t-shirt entitled I Miss Trevor Burks. Burks’ cleanly geometrical drawings seem to suggest the story of a generation growing up on a trajectory parallel to the increasingly complex polygons of their video game platforms. He also made an awesome mural depicting a dog licking a cat licking a gnome.

Perhaps the most intriguingly nostalgic series in Burks portfolio is Skate Myths, a set of drawings examining “personal mythologies surrounding growing up skateboarding in a small town.” Burks was kind enough to break down some of the influences behind these pieces for We Love You So:

The illustrations were based off of different environments we would skate as kids, and the characters were constructed with forms and colors from their surroundings with the idea that those were an integral part of our personalities. All of the gestures and interactions between the characters were formed from real situations too.

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Every now and then when we skated in public, a small audience would gather; generally one or two younger kids who were horribly fascinated by what we were doing (despite how well we were doing it). In one illustration that character is shown as a kid with a grass and dirt colored head holding a football as he watches an older kid with a cement colored head skate in a parking lot.

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Another thing we would do was alter our surroundings to make them more skate-friendly. It was so natural back then to put together some janky set-up to skate on. It might have been the juvenile carelessness of looking at the world of objects exclusively for their form and how we could use it to our advantage, but it was creation at its purest and we loved it. As children, our attempt to rationalize only went so far, we had to fill the rest of our time with our emotional response to the environment.

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Tom DesLongchamp

Published November 20, 2009 by Graham

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Tom DesLonchamp is the filmmaker, RISD graduate, video game developer and swashbuckling daredevil who’s most recently responsible for an almost overwhelmingly endearing animated Jookabox music video. But that’s not all. DesLongchamp is a multi-disciplinary whiz kid. He’s generated a wide gamut of rapturously kinetic artwork, from the childhood cartoon pastiche of his short film Kid Show to a bizarre counter-documentary study of domesticated cats entitled About Dogs.

Browsing through his website is almost exhilarating, as you stumble onto unexpected creative endeavors like a visual Facebook diary and an informative animation about dental hygiene. Regardless of the medium or the subject, DesLongchamp seems to take an effervescent, fearless approach to life. While his devil may care attitude may have landed him in the hospital once or twice (due to tarping-related injuries), it’s also taken him to excitingly fresh creative ground. Check out our interview with Tom below.

How did you end up making the video for “You Cried Me”? What got you into Jookabox, and where did the concept for the video come from?

Last year I was introduced to Michael Kaufmann, who does A&R/Development for Asthmatic Kitty Records. He gave me Jookabox’s album Ropechain to listen to for game or music video ideas. I listened to the album a lot and became very familiar with its themes. I ended up creating a flash video game for the track “Girl Ain’t Preggers.” Almost a year later, Michael contacted me about doing something new for Jookabox’s new album, Dead Zone Boys. I listened to it and “You Cried Me” struck me with its energy. The song automatically conjured gestures of movement in my mind–not entirely specific to characters or images. The essence was something like a “let’s get the hell out of here” kind of feeling. I just held onto that emotion and started drawing ghosts. It was exciting to dive into a spooky theme, since it contrasted so much with my last animation, Kid Show.

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Annie Pootoogook

Published August 27, 2009 by Graham

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Inuit illustrator Annie Pootoogook’s work wields the language of childhood to depict scenes of modern family life in the wintry isolation of Nunavut. Apdoting an elementary school artist’s tendency to produce sparse, minimalist cross-sections of domestic scenes, Pootoogook’s images are framed from a wide-eyed child’s perspective as they highlight the theatricality in small, quiet moments. She seems particularly fond of depicting children watching television, capturing moments of sedentary cultural engagement with what’s either an attitude of coldly voyeuristic detachment or heartbreaking melancholy.

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Where The Wild Things Are at Comic Con – Part One

Published July 24, 2009 by Graham

Just a few pictures from the Where the Wild Things Are display at the 40th annual Comic Con International. If you happen attending the convention this year, swing on by the Warner Brothers booth to hang out in the amazing life-size fort and take the video game for a test drive. And don’t miss the WB presentation later this morning, with exclusive footage from the movie and some special surprises! Also, if you’re interested in meeting this humble blogger, you might just find me working at the Giant Robot booth. More to come from San Diego!

Christian Weber’s Awesome Object

Published July 6, 2009 by Graham

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If only everything could interface with everything else! Now it can, in Christian Weber’s photographic series of dream hybrids, Object. Allow the unconnectable to connect! All cords are connected to every device. All ports are open for business.

Jonathan Mann’s Rock Cookie Bottom

Published June 12, 2009 by Graham

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Jonathan Mann is the artist formerly known as GameJew: a moniker under which he waxed poetic about his favorite video games, created The Mario Opera, was the first person to buy a Wii on the West Coast, and infamously tracked down Nintendo guru Shigeru Miyamoto to sing him a ballad. Lately, he’s stepped outside the gaming world to take on a new project: writing a song a day in 2009 on his site Rock Cookie Bottom.

The tunes are adorable and nerdy, sometimes sentimental and frequently danceable. Whether Mann’s singing about vampire housecats, gay gladiators, Paul Krugman, or Saved by the Bell, your first instinct will undoubtedly be to tap your foot and sing along. While not every song is destined to become a platinum hit, Mann relies on the 70/20/10 rule: 70% of his output will be just okay, 20% will suck, and 10% of the songs he writes will actually be rad. So over the course of one year, he’ll end up with at least 36 rad songs! This Tuesday’s song, his 161st, definitely falls into the rad category: it’s an infectuous, exhilerating tribute to Where the Wild Things Are. Check it out!