Posted in art, books on 08/09/2011 05:55 am by Zachary
I am absolutely in love with Kali Ciesemier’s Amtrak Junior Conductor’s Guidebook. Those colors! Those angles! But should I be worried that Amtrak stations appear to have a serious Raccoon problem?
According to Kali’s blog, this book was a promo for National Train Day with a print run of 150,000 copies. So there should be some out there. If you’ve seen it anywhere for purchase… please let me know! I’d love to get my hands on a copy and rub this turquoise and warm red magic all over my eyeballs. Also check out Kali Ciesemier’s illustration portfolio, which is overflowing with more amazing work.
Guys, Mother’s Day is this Sunday. If you’re trying to find a last minute gift, I humbly submit to you YO MOMMA SO EXTRAORDINARY. My best friend and I sat down and wrote a bunch of ridiculous yo momma jokes and they’ve been collected into this book. When I say “ridiculous,” I mean in the sense that these don’t function as yo momma jokes typically should: they aren’t insulting in any way. They’re complimentary! Because my best friend’s mom is awesome and I would never disrespect her. So it’s got stuff like “Yo momma got such a green thumb that plants talk to her!” and “Yo momma so insightful I sometimes wonder if she’s quoting NPR, or NPR’s quoting her.” And the art direction is done in a Yo!-MTV-Raps-meets-90s-suburbia style with lots of great pictures. This book was a ton of fun to write and I think it came out really well. So buy it for your moms… it’s only $10!
We also made a website, Love Yo Momma, where you can submit your own yo momma compliments. Some of them have been amazing: “Yo momma so micro-gastronomical she freebases salami.” That joke alone gives me such an immense sense of fulfillment, like how Mother Teresa must have felt when she saved her first orphan (or whatever it was Mother Teresa did).
The Controller, a new art and culture magazine from Cory Schmitz, is now available for purchase from Attract Mode. Go buy it! I wrote an article for the magazine titled “Why Games Can Not Be Taught.” It’s a riff on everything I learned in art school and touches on a lot of different ideas, but mainly it’s about the absurdity of institutional theory in the age of the internet. If that sounds too wordy: it’s about Bomberman and stuff. I’m very proud of my contribution, and the book as a whole. Cory did an amazing job with the art direction, to the point where I feel confident that anyone with an interest in art or video games will enjoy it.
This is a huge personal milestone for me, as it marks the first time my prose has been printed. I’ve been published before, but mostly academic works, never anything this personal. I’m really partial to my Murderblog voice — mostly humor and anecdotes fashioned to make a statement about new media — and it’s awesome to see something in the same style make it into print. If you’ve already read The Controller, please let me know what you think. And if you haven’t read it… please do!
It’s weird, right? There’s a huge banner for a half a million dollar TV show even though the page is supposed to be advertising a novel. And then the video rambles on about dolphins and Christopher Reeve and a picture of a crocodile this guy found. Although I’d probably be name dropping Superman every day if I had met him.
The story itself is so creative that it’s borderline yeasty. Johhny Willman, an American soldier who loves baseball and apple pie, is trapped in the jungles of New Guinea during World War II with a Japanese POW and an Australian guide named Footy. Together, this unlikely trio will learn the value of friendship as they murder a giant crocodile. It gets better: the Japanese guy is named Katsu — which is an expletive, FYI — and his only possession is a samurai sword. How could this book possibly be bad with a setup like that? Let’s examine an excerpt:
Five more Negroid warriors step from the jungle. These look so different than their victim, they might almost be a different species. Their facial features are broad, and their bodies shine coal-black. Patterns in red, white and yellow mark their faces, torsos and thighs. Through their noses are paired pig tusks, turned up towards the eyes, signifying war. Floating over them are headdresses of white egret feathers, incongruous in their delicate beauty. These men carry longbows, but with arrows of the kind for killing men. Some carry stone-headed axes and cudgels. They, too, are naked but for their penis gourds, but these are yellow and long, leave the testes exposed, and curl in outlandish shapes.
Pro Writer Tip: unless you’re a forensic archeologist, Negroid is not a word you should throw around a lot. Same goes for the phrase “penis gourds,” which seem to be central to the theme of the book.
This dude has a bit of a hangup when it comes to cock melons. Seriously, they’re mentioned all over the place. I’m guessing that spending his youth in New Guinea and seeing all those huge native sholnsons on display, emphasized by oversized codpieces, left a slight impression on the author. I’m also curious about his liberal usage of the word “jap” in this Amazon video review (of his own book), and his description of New Guinea’s native Austronesians as “bloodthirsty savages.” Is “savage” still in use? Isn’t that a stereotype that Jack London used? Like, a hundred years ago?
I can’t wait for all of this teasing to come back around when I write my book on bad books.