War, Hell and Art Quarrels

The commuter train’s running again after its summer maintenance break (poor thing), so there’s been a lot of time to read articles again. Here are some recent bookmarks.

Not much else happened this week: Kept sketching every day, but didn’t finish anything new. Tried my hand at some lunch break “urban sketching” outside the office. (Didn’t anticipate the big, blue, delivery truck stopping right in my face.)

War

British Expedition to Abyssinia - An 1868 expedition into the Ethiopian mountains to save British hostages from a mad emperor. Riveting stuff, especially for Wikipedia!

Ghost Army: The Inflatable Tanks That Fooled Hitler:

Blass and his brothers in arms were recruited from art schools and ad agencies. They were sought for their acting skills. They were selected for their creativity. They were soldiers whose most effective weapon was artistry.

Because their job was to fool Hitler.

Megan Garber, The Atlantic (May, 2013)

More history

I assure you, medieval people bathed

The History of Clarus the Dogcow – oddly interesting story about a cute glyph from the Cairo dingbats shipped with the original Apple Macintosh in 1984.

Paul Kirchner

Got very curious about Paul Kirchner recently, after coming across the comic Hieronymus and Bosch. Remembered Kirchner from “The Bus”, his surreal and hilarious strip about... a bus. Found a couple of great interviews about his creative career:

Comics interviews read like jazz interviews, but instead of music theory, they reminisce about outdated methods (had to look up rubylith). A lot of “who worked with whom” going on, too.

Also enjoyed this review of Tanibis’ Hieronymus & Bosch collection:

Hieronymus exemplifies the human position as an artistic position, one which opposes the existential despair of living in a world of repetition and boredom. If life often seems boring, repetitive, and even meaningless, it's up to us to convert boredom into fun, to find meaning in our own creative action.

Edwin Turner, Hieronymus & Bosch review, The Comics Journal (Jan. 2019)

Classy Trolling

Buttsss: A Case Study – a perfect example of UX writing on Medium. Funny ’cause it’s true butts.

Vantablack hit the news in 2014 as the darkest substance ever invented. A couple of years later, artist Anish Kapoor bought the exclusive rights to Vantablack pigment. British artist Stuart Semple didn’t like that at all, so he invented “the world’s pinkest pink”, and banned Kapoor from ever using it. Kapoor replied with a famously douchey Instagram post. Now they’re back in the spotlight: Semple has made his own “Black 3.0”, staged an exhibition in London, and hired security to keep Anish Kapoor off the premises.