Zombie Is The New Vampire

Here’s the statistical evidence.

Vampire LARP games: Old and Busted.

Zombie Walks: The New Hotness.

The rising tide of Zombism appears in superhero comics, politics; even philosophy. And of course my family.

I have mixed feelings about this development. Not very strong mixed feelings, because mostly, I don’t care. It seems to me that shambling around demanding brains would get old even faster than painting your fingernails black and listening to Dead Can Dance. On the other hand, it’s hard to believe that zombie walkers can take themselves particularly seriously, and that’s a bonus.

There was a funny CatScratch episode where Waffle, trying to create chip dip, read the Scottish Book of the Dead (apparently one of Gordon’s books) instead of a cookbook, and he created a sour-cream-heavy goopy aberration which ended up creating dozens of zombies from a nearby cemetery.

(I could also mention Shaun of the Dead, remakes of classic zombie movies, guides to zombie survival, etc.)
Bottom line, zombies in, vampires out.

Manga Matrix

Barnes & Noble.com – Books: Manga Matrix, by Hiroyoshi Tsukamoto, Paperback

I caught this in the bookstore, checked it out, and it has to be the weirdest of the big pile of “how to draw [style of comic art]” books that I’ve seen.

The “matrix” in question is, at least partly, just the idea of creating a two-dimensional grid, and putting thingson either axis. Then each cell in the matrix is a possible combination of different things. So, like, if you select the square in the fire column, and the carp row, you draw a fire carp.  Seriously, that’s apparently the big secret.

There are a whole bunch of other levels on which the Matrix applies, like costuming and personality and the like, and the author rightly insists that this can all lead to an infinite number of possible character ideas.  There may be more to it than that, that’s just what I got from checking it out in the store.  Still, fire carp.  How can you go wrong with fire carp?

What makes the whole thing extra fun is that this was clearlynot written originally in English, and the translation from Japanese is, well, it’s not quite “all your base are belong to us — take off every zig,” but it gets close sometimes.

It’s way more interesting than the discussions of how to build up a character from stick figures, cylinders, spheres, and boxes which was laid out pretty completely back in 1984 in How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, and which  has been repeated about 10,000 times in subsequent books about drawing figures in comic art and other such illustration.

AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Shocking election-theft testimony

AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Shocking election-theft testimony

The fact that this is not the top story in America is very disturbing.

It would seem that America is not really a democracy at this point. Was not in 2004. In a less obvious way than in 2000, I mean.

The Economist points out that this kind of election theft is unnecessary for representatives — there is a perfectly legal and above-board (though arguably completely unethical) way to control the results of a Congressional election: gerrymandering, i.e. redistricting in a transparently partisan manner.  Done by state legislatures for the benefit of the U.S. Congress and themselves.
Demographics are a powerful enough predictor of how a district votes that if you can draw your own districts you have absolute power to draw district boundaries, you can generally predict with near certainty how the votes will turn out.

Aged Audio

Aged Audio

Most [vintage audio blogs] focus on old rock and indie 45’s, but I have yet to find one that’s dedicated to that lost art of music called easy listening.

Some may call it lounge music, others call it rest-home music. I recall ilstening to alot of this stuff on the AM radio on the way to church in the early 70s in my folks Oldsmobile as we trekked thru the cornfields and headed to wherever.

The stuff faded from memory as music left the vinyl format and into CDs and tapes. I also caught the rock bug and decided that old music was bland and not for me. After alot of phases of scenes (techno, punk, goth and britpop), I got the opportunity to collect all the old records from my folks along with the ever-needed Technics Turntable.

This and a penchant for Tom Jones caught my fancy for collecting old vinyl. Soon I was hitting dollar-bins in the used record section and found countless releases with strange covers, titles and eventually got around to actually listening to the stuff on the ‘ol turntable. I discovered a world that’s slowly deteriorating as more old-releases from the past are getting lost by non-CD releases and eventually never going digital. After while I got more fascinated. Why was this album produced in the first place? Who gave the green light for the strange model on the cover?

Now I’ve got this huge collection of what I’d call “classics” that would probably go away as time progresses to the digital age. Its time for those sounds to get their grooves cleaned, digitized and recognized one more for a last shot at stardom.

This is gonna be a fun blog.  Via personal communication (the blogger is an old college friend, biggest music nerd I know).