Pixel Scroll 3/9/18 Now Scroll It! Into Shape! Pixel Up! File Straight!

(1) SUBTITLE THIS. Not very sff, but the replies to John Hornor’s tweet are absolute gold.

Among other responses –

(2) WRINKLE IN TIME REACTIONS. Two NPR views: the straight by Linda Holmes: “Oprah In The Sky, With Wisdom: The Earnest, Imaginative ‘A Wrinkle In Time'”

There is a part of a filmgoer who is exhausted by an avalanche of stuff — much of it forgettable, much of it created by committee, much of it branded within an inch of its life and all of it subject to commercial expectations that are either indifferent or hostile to art — that says, “I cannot get on board with a film that delivers wisdom through a giant, glowing Oprah.”

Is that cynicism? Perhaps, but it’s cynicism that is earned. What Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time asks is that this cynicism be temporarily laid down so that you can, in fact, be deeply moved by wisdom delivered by a giant, glowing Oprah.

If you do, it’s a profoundly satisfying, imaginative and beautiful film.

And the slant by Bob Mondello: “‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Will Delight Target Audience That Doesn’t Have Too Many Wrinkles”.

Director Ava DuVernay has a light touch with these early scenes, though she gets seriously bogged down in special effects as the film goes on. In 1962 when “A Wrinkle In Time” was published, critics noted the Christian theology of author Madeleine L’Engle, comparing her to “Narnia” creator C.S. Lewis and wondered if the book’s challenge to conformity could be read as a Cold War allegory about communism. No one’s likely to do that this time.

(3) MORE WRINKLES. The Verge’s Tasha Robinson also isn’t a fan: “A Wrinkle in Time isn’t for cynics — or adults”.

The new Disney film adaptation A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay (an Oscar nominee for the 2015 historical feature Selma and the 2017 documentary 13th), pays a lot of lip service to that awkwardness but never convincingly captures it. L’Engle’s brand of weirdness can be ugly and unsettling, as her characters suffer physical abuse, fight their own uncontrollable rages, or just spout oddball jargon, oblivious to the ways they’re alienating or offending other people. The film is unmistakably the Disney version of the story, with anything potentially problematic or offensive sanded off and replaced with soft, pastel CGI. It’s a pretty take on the story, but it’s also a frustratingly safe and squishy one. It’s infinitely well-intentioned, full of warm self-affirmation and positivity, and absolutely nothing about it feels emotionally authentic enough to drive those messages home.

(4) BETRAYAL BY DESIGN. The Washington Post’s Michael O’Sullivan, in “Beloved books can turn into terrible movies. Will ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ beat the odds?”, interviews A Wrinkle in Time screenwriter Jennifer Lee, who explains how she updated Madeleine L’Engle’s novel to appeal to contemporary sensibilities.

Ritesh Batra put it best. When I interviewed the director of “The Sense of an Ending,” the 2017 film based on Julian Barnes’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel, the filmmaker told me that the best — and most liberating — advice he ever got was what Barnes told him: “Go ahead and betray me.”

The real question for anyone adapting a book, Batra explained, is not to ask, “What do I want people to see on-screen?” — i.e., plot, action, etc. That’s the easy part. Rather, it’s “What do I want people to feel?”

I proposed the theory — that feeling trumps seeing — to Jennifer Lee, whose “Wrinkle” screenplay (co-written with Jeff Stockwell) forms the basis of director Ava DuVernay’s new film. “It’s funny,” Lee said. “That’s exactly what I say about the approach we took.” Lee’s previous credits include co-directing and writing the Oscar-winning movie “Frozen,” based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen.

The challenge of book adaptation, Lee explained over the phone — particularly when the book’s audience is children, who carry attachments to favorite books for years — is that readers fill in missing details with their imaginations and that a movie “chooses for you.” An additional problem is the fact that film is collaborative: a product not just of words on a page, but also of makeup artists, costumers, casting agents, production designers and, if you’re lucky, a director with the vision to unify it all. There is only so much that a writer can nail down.

(5) STOP STEALING, PLEASE. Looks like it’s time for Disney to write someone a big check: “Artist claims Disney stole his work on a series of album covers and used them for the new Han Solo movie posters”.

An artist has accused Disney of stealing artwork he did on album covers and using it for the posters for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The retro-styled character posters for the latest Star Wars movie came out in February along with the trailer and feature vintage pop-art style that also include shots of the different characters.

But the posters look almost completely identical to album covers created by Hachim Bahous, who shared the comparisons on his Facebook.

(6) LIBRARIANS WHACKED.  The Hollywood Reporter says “‘The Librarians’ Canceled at TNT” but the series might show up again somewhere else.

TNT is closing the book on The Librarians.

The Turner-owned cable network has canceled the drama from showrunner Dean Devlin. Devlin broke the news Thursday, noting that he would look to find a new home for the series that originally started as a TV movie on the cable network.

“Just got the official call. TNT has canceled #TheLibrarians— I will immediately begin the process of trying to move the show elsewhere. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!” he wrote.

The fantasy-adventure drama was developed by John Rogers and based on The Librarian by David Titcher. Rebecca Romijn starred in the drama with Noah Wyle recurring and executive producing the series alongside Devlin, Mark Roskin and John Rogers.

(7) IT COULD BE YOU. Applications for new HSS/NASA Fellowships are being taken until April 1 – see “Fellowships in Aerospace History”

Pending renewal of funding, the Fellowships in Aerospace History are offered annually by the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) to support significant scholarly research projects in aerospace history. These fellowships grant the opportunity to engage in significant and sustained advanced research in all aspects of the history of aerospace from the earliest human interest in flight to the present, including cultural and intellectual history, economic history, history of law and public policy, and the history of science, engineering, and management. NASA provides funds to the American Historical Association, the History of Science Society, and the Society for the History of Technology to allow each association to award a fellowship. Applications will be entered into consideration for all three fellowships.

(8) GALACTIC PHILADELPHIA. The next Galactic Philadelphia event on April 10 will  feature Sam J. Miller and Samuel Delany.

(9) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites listeners to polish off a Persian dinner with David Mack in Episode 61 of his Eating the Fantastic podcast.

David Mack

David’s written more than 30 novels, including the Star Trek Destiny and Cold Equations trilogies. He was also responsible for several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His newest novel is The Midnight Front, a World War II-era epic fantasy which is the first book in the Dark Arts series of secret-history novels.

The venue for our dinner was Orchard Market and Cafe, a wonderful Persian restaurant recommended by recent guest of the show Norman Prentiss. Norman had told me that the Chicken Fesenjune was one of his favorite things in the whole world, and now that I’ve been there, I can can tell you—he had good reason to say that. Believe me, the food there was wonderful, and I’ll be going back whenever I can.

David and I discussed the weird ways his life entwined with the famed comic book artist who shares his name, how worrying about the details of Star Trek canon helped him when it came time to unravel the secret history of WWII, the way a near-death experience led to him working for the Syfy Channel, why it was so important for necromancers to pay a heavy price for the magic they choose to wield in his new novel The Midnight Front, how not making a pitch to a book editor resulted in him selling TV scripts to Star Trek, his unabashed love for the Beat author Richard Brautigan, the reason that after 27 Trek novels and a ton of other tie-in work he’s chosen to publish his non-franchise breakout book now, and much more.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • March 9, 1979 — Roger Corman’s film Starcrash debuted.
  • March 9, 1984:  Stephen King adaptation Children of the Corn premieres in theaters.
  • March 9, 2007:  Comic adaptation of the 300 opens.

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • JJ finds a familiar figure visiting the shrink in Bizarro.
  • And in another Bizarro, sees an unexpected way to hack Alexa.
  • Chip Hitchcock passes along a real groaner from Rhymes With Orange.

(12) FORGET THAT LONELY GARRET. Jeff Goins’ podcast The Portfolio Life hosts “123: How Community Will Help You Become a Better Writer with Diana Glyer”.

In this episode, Diana and I discuss:

  • Who the Inklings are, and why this group still matters today.
  • The dynamics and quirks of literary groups.
  • How community can positively influence your work.
  • Why people believed the individuals within the Inklings were immune to influence from each other.
  • The pervasive myth of the solitary genius.
  • How great art and writing is forged in community.
  • Why writing is not a momentary flash of genius, but a slow and steady work of art.
  • What you need to know about the transactional nature of writing.
  • Steps you can take to build your own literary group.

Quotes and takeaways

  • We are mesmerized by the end of the story, but we forget about the beginning.
  • To build community, you have to take a risk and share your work with others.
  • Start small when you build a community of support.
  • Loneliness will leave you feeling empty, but community will help you sustain your work.

(13) HITCHHIKER AT 40. The BBC is celebrating Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with a new series based on Eoin Colfer’s Hitchhiker novel Hexagonal Phase. Catch the first episode here.

Ars Technical’s Jonathan M. Gitlin says give it a listen:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy deserves a special place in the geek pantheon. It’s the story of hapless BBC radio editor Arthur Dent, his best friend Ford Prefect, and the adventures that result when Prefect saves Dent when the Earth is unexpectedly destroyed to make way for a galactic bypass. Written by the late, great Douglas Adams, HHGTTG first appeared as a radio series in the UK back in 1978. On Thursday—exactly 40 years to the day from that first broadcast—it made its return home with the start of Hexagonal Phase, a radio dramatization of the sixth and final book of an increasingly misnamed trilogy.

… So I’m happy to report that this latest installment doesn’t disappoint. And even better, unlike the BBC’s TV content, it’s not geoblocked or behind any kind of paywall. So go on, what are you waiting for—the coming of the Great Prophet Zarquon?

(14) CLASS IS IN SESSION. Cat Rambo has been working on promotional graphics lately —

(15) COMPASS CASTING. From Andrew Liptak at The Verge we learn: “Logan star Dafne Keen will play Lyra in the BBC’s adaptation of The Golden Compass”.

The BBC has lined up its star for its upcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novel, The Golden Compass: Logan star Dafne Keen, reports Deadline (via io9). The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper will also helm the 8-part series.

(16) A TANGLED WEB. Dr. Janelle Shane is at it again: “SkyKnit: How an AI Took Over an Adult Knitting Community” in The Atlantic.

Janelle Shane is a humorist who creates and mines her material from neural networks, the form of machine learning that has come to dominate the field of artificial intelligence over the last half-decade.

Perhaps you’ve seen the candy-heart slogans she generated for Valentine’s Day: DEAR ME, MY MY, LOVE BOT, CUTE KISS, MY BEAR, and LOVE BUN.

Or her new paint-color names: Parp Green, Shy Bather, Farty Red, and Bull Cream.

Or her neural-net-generated Halloween costumes: Punk Tree, Disco Monster, Spartan Gandalf, Starfleet Shark, and A Masked Box.

Her latest project, still ongoing, pushes the joke into a new, physical realm. Prodded by a knitter on the knitting forum Ravelry, Shane trained a type of neural network on a series of over 500 sets of knitting instructions. Then, she generated new instructions, which members of the Ravelry community have actually attempted to knit.

(17) BLOWN UP, SIR! Peter Blumberg, in “‘Zombie Go Boom’ Attack on YouTube Ad Policy Is Ruled a Bust”, on Bloomberg, says that the owners of the YouTube Zombie Go Boom channel, in which as many as ten million people a month delight in watching imaginary undead creatures explode, tried to sue Google when they declared that ad revenue for the site would fall from $500 a day to $20 because some advertisers declared the site offensive.  But Judge Edward Chen said that Google was under no legal obligation to share any ad revenue with the site.

The freedom to produce a YouTube channel dedicated to bashing the undead doesn’t come with a guarantee of steady income.

So said a judge in ruling Wednesday that Google’s video-sharing website isn’t responsible for taking a big bite out of the revenue that was flowing to the owners of the wildly popular “Zombie Go Boom” channel.

(18) GRINCH TRAILER. Benedict Cumberbatch will voice The Grinch, due in theaters at Christmas.

For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, it’s a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism. Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Who-ville when he runs out of food.

 

(19) FLYING CARS. Here’s your flying car (finally) — if you have the money: “Have you ever dreamed of flying in your car?” This BBC video shows Transition and other cars live.

(20) SPEED OF FRIGHT. MIT researchers find fake news ‘travels faster’:

A study of 126,000 rumours and false news stories spread on Twitter over a period of 11 years found that they travelled faster and reached more people than the truth.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also found that fake news was more commonly re-tweeted by humans than bots.

They said it could be because fake news tends to be “more novel”.

The most common subject matter was false political news.

Other popular topics included urban legends, business, terrorism, science, entertainment and natural disasters.

(21) UNDER CONSTRUCTION. This video at the Disney Blog takes you on a flyover of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction site at Disney World.

While the highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands won’t debut to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort guests until 2019, eager fans can take a voyage over the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction site – right now!

At Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, guests will be transported to the planet of Batuu, a remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge that was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes. Here, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action at two attractions that take detail and immersion to the next level: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

(22) BUCKMINSTER FULLER. The once well-known futurist makes a comeback, sort of, in The House of Tomorrow, in theaters April 27.

16-year-old Sebastian Prendergast has spent most of his life with his Nana in their geodesic dome home tourist attraction where she raises him on the futurist teachings of her former mentor Buckminster Fuller in hopes that one day Sebastian will carry Fuller’s torch and make the world a better place. But when a stroke sidelines Nana, Sebastian begins sneaking around with Jared, a chain-smoking, punk-obsessed 16 year old with a heart transplant who lives in the suburbs with his bible-thumping single father Alan and teenage sister Meredith. Sebastian and Jared form a band and with his Nana’s dreams, his first real friendship, and a church talent show at stake, Sebastian must decide if he wants to become the next Buckminster Fuller, the next Sid Vicious, or something else entirely.

 

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Juliette Wade, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Mlex, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Joe H.]

40 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/9/18 Now Scroll It! Into Shape! Pixel Up! File Straight!

  1. 9
    I haven’t met that restaurant (never been to Philly), but Persian food is very much worth trying. (It certainly hits a lot of the right spots in my taste buds!)
    Don’t ignore sumac; it’s a sour-flavored spice, used where lemon won’t do.

  2. 6) It’s not a real surprise about The Librarians getting cancelled.

    I really enjoyed the show (both because it’s fun and because it was filmed here in Portland), and I hope it finds a new life elsewhere, but the ratings have been going consistently down every season.

    At least they ended this season with an episode that also works as a season finale.

    (I would love to see them do a reunion film of Leverage, as a crossover with The Librarians–since both series were produced by the same people, and both filmed here in Portland–with Christian Kane both of the roles he played in the two series.)

  3. (1) SUBTITLE THIS.

    (With apologies to some fellow filers)

    In a future dominated by self-driving cars, one lone rebel known only as JJ decides to hike everywhere – even crossing the roads. Is the future ready for…JJ WALKING

    In a lonely generation ship ploughing through the stars, only Kip W is awake and doing maintenance – but soon be too must enter cold sleep. Can he solve the mysterious glitches onboard before he needs to…TAKE A KIP

    (Does kip=nap work on the other side of the Atlantic?)

    In a post-apocalyptic America a lone man forges a group of people together…but how will Paul Weimer govern this fragile new community, and is the world ready for…THE WEIMER REPUBLIC.

  4. Mark: In a future dominated by self-driving cars, one lone rebel known only as JJ decides to hike everywhere – even crossing the roads. Is the future ready for…JJ WALKING

    *snort*

  5. 1) Well, this puts the kibosh on my plan for a trilogy of short novels featuring Our Gracious Host, in which he breaks the sound barrier, is unexpectedly forced to eject, and then needs emergency surgery… BOOM MIKE, MIKE DROP and OPEN MIKE.

  6. (11) Parroty hacks are all well and good but, it’s when dolphins call the tune that the chickens come home to roost.

    (16) Knit AI is no game! As Neotene recently noted on Twitter:

    Knitting is Turing complete, meaning there are a non-zero number of universes where the malevolent, genocidal AI is manifest in a quilt

    (Neotene thread found courtesy of KnitYak which has a pretty cool project: cellular automata, quines, and Mandelbrot fractals in knit. I got one for my girlfriend at Christmas and they’re just eminently cool!)

    @Steve Wright
    re: The Mike Trilogy: grooooan… +1 🙂

  7. Mark:
    I get the reference, because I keep finding new things that my small monicker has lent itself to. At least there’s not a lot of currency in ‘small pile of hides,’ or ‘house of ill repute,’ or even ‘part of the wheel assembly for a railroad car.’

    The Norwegian Blue prefers kippin’ on it’s back! Remarkable bird, innit, squire? Lovely plumage!

    Irrelevant flashback: I used to call my DAPAzine “File 13,” and each issue was differentiated by changing the letter after the number. At one point, someone said, “But there’s already a File 770,” which seemed to me as pertinent as saying, “But there’s already an APA” or “Someone else is already using a title with ‘The’ in it.”

    SCROLLZILLA VERSUS PIXRA

  8. @Mark
    hehehe
    In history class in high school, an advanced (but not yet AP course), when we learned about the 20th century, everybody except the teacher in the class insisted on calling the Weimar Republic the “Weimer Republic” 🙂

  9. 2-4) Awwww. I was rooting for that one. I’ll still check it out when I get a chance.

    5) Normally I’m like “… I guess?” for these you copied me things, but that one’s pretty blatant. We’re in the Adventures of Cassie Edwards and the Black–footed Ferret territory there.

    *

    Woke up to an e-mail reminding me that there are only seven days left to nominate for the Hugos and the Retro Hugos, and asking people to if possible avoid the last day rush (I’m sure worldcon’s servers will appreciate those who do).

    On that note, here are a couple reviews of things I read for the Retro Hugo category:
    Novel: Grand Canyon by Vita Sackville-West

    Graphic Novel: Nelvana of the Northern Lights by Adrian Dingle

  10. @Stoic Cynic
    Knitting is algorithmic, is what I say. (I’ve changed instructions when the change made the pattern work better. (Petal Cowl, for example…I found it was much easier if round 5 was worked as (yo, k2tog) instead of (k2tog, yo).)
    Then there was KnitML.

  11. The kips I know are the gymnastics move on the high bar or uneven bars and the money in Laos. Lots of currency in the latter, I’d say.

  12. In a future in which competitive ship-building is watched by all, our hero, the single-named Steve, hopes to break into the sport, and make the world WATCH STEVE WRIGHT.

  13. BigelowT, I’d almost forgotten mat kips, along with short sit-outs and half nelsons and the other detritus of that junior high unit on rassling.

    I also show up in place names, like Kiptopeke and Kich-iti-kipi.

    Then there are the times I think I hear my name, because there are many syllables of things that sound like it. One reason I’d usually put food orders at Taco Bell in my daughter’s name.

  14. (6) I’m honestly surprised it took this long. I was a big fan of the Rogers/Devlin show Leverage, which was bad but in a charming, self-aware way, but The Librarians was just poorly executed on all fronts. I wanted to like it, I tried to like it, but it was just painful.

  15. If you want to get into the mood for the Infinity Wars – Movies and like boardgames, maybe this is something? Although Thanos has constipation methinks.

    Nice to meet you, where you been?
    I could read your incredible things
    Magic, spaceships, pixels, sun
    Saw you there, and I thought
    “Oh my God, look at that book
    You look like my next timewaste
    Love a story wanna file?” Ayy
    LeGuin, Wong and Liu
    I can read you like a magazine
    Supergrande´s funny? Mord can fly
    And I know youbelong to me
    So hey, let’s be friends
    I’m dyin’ to see how this one ends
    Take your cover in my hand
    I read about the bad guys about for a weekend

    [Chorus]
    So it’s about The Forever war
    Or it’s about books in flames
    You cant tell me when it’s over, mm
    And If the setup was worth the pain
    Got a long list of nominees
    Which makes parsing them insane
    ‘Cause you know I love the players
    And I love Wax&Wayne
    Some heroes are young and we’re reckless
    Some are way more bizarre
    Some are left breathless, hmm
    Or with a nasty scar
    Got a long list of nominees
    Which makes parsing them insane
    But if youre about vast space, baby
    Then I’ll write my name

    (With apologies to Tayler Swift)

  16. Hereabouts, a kip is not of ill repute, just messy, dirty or unpleasant, like a dump.

    “I’m staying at Dave’s”

    “But Dave’s is a complete kip!”

  17. Hmm, my reaction to 5 is…you claim to have invented the inverted mask? Use a bright, primary color filter for your image (pretty standard for posters these days), then a large, san-serif font for an inverted mask? That’s like Photoshop 101!

    I admit the images look pretty similar–but that’s because both rely on extremely simple standard techniques. I’m not sure–there may be more subtle, damning details–but at first glance, my reaction is that this is silly and way overreaching.

    I know I’ve seen the technique used in other places. I’d guess the main reason you don’t see it used more often is that it’s so trivial most graphic designers probably think it beneath them.

  18. Imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, Steve Wright escaped when the prison library shipped out a large container of outdated law books. Now he and his books have landed in a used bookstore, where he hopes to stay on the straight and narrow and away from cops and marshalls. Will he make it? Find out in WRIGHT OR WRONG, coming soon to a bookstore near you. (Yes, it was the obvious choice. I couldn’t help myself.)

    And now for something completely different… Because we talked at length here about the lack of Rey action figures, I thought you might appreciate this reaction to the absence of Black Panther on a Marvel t-shirt.

  19. @Xtifr: The overall effect of the particular combination of mask + specific colors* + specific outer coloring + similar font makes Disney’s feel like copies to me**, even if the individual traits may be bog standard.

    * In 3/4 cases; Chewie’s dark brown goes nicely with Disney’s dark gold background, though.

    ** This doesn’t mean it’s not coincidence. It’s also possible the designer saw it, forgot it, then was subconsciously influenced without realizing that/where they saw the same thing before. And it’s possible they ripped it off. (shrug) No earthly clue.

    Anyway, the whole is greater than the sum of its simple, standard, trivial, beneath-most-graphic-designers parts. 😛 I like both sets of images a lot; they’re way groovy!

  20. Private investigator Hartmut Xel has a new case. And anew partner. Watch Xel as he is forced to work with senior Counsel Hildegard Roll in PI Xel & SC Roll

  21. @Kendall: Maybe…but there’s only so many bright primary colors to go around, so the coincidence of colors doesn’t seem particularly meaningful.

    As for the font, that simple, thick, san-serif font is just about the only possible choice if you want to show as much through the mask as possible.

    And the paper-colored foreground seems like a pretty obvious choice for posters and album covers.

    The whole thing, while very nice, just feels like something I’ve seen plenty of times before.

  22. It’s a nice treat when you can see Taranaki from the Central Plateau mountains – there are often clouds around one or the other. I have seen both while looking out either side of a DC-3 aircraft – which isn’t as much of a cheat as you might think as it was lower than both.

    Lovely capture Soon Lee.
    I’ve walked to Fathams Peak (the blip on the side of the mountain in Soon Lee’s photo), it’s more of a hike than a climb.

    And Soon Lee, it is SFF: The view from Mt Doom!

  23. @13: has anyone read Colfer’s follow-on? I think I read it, as well as one Artemis Fowl novel; I don’t remember being at all impressed by either.

  24. Yes. It started surprisingly well, but fizzled out quickly. The only good thing past the first two chapters were the describtions taken from the hitchhiker. The whole thing was not very noteworthy imho.

  25. @Xtifr: ISTM you’re very focused on the trees, whereas I’m looking at them only as how they make up oddly nearly-identical forests. Okay.

  26. @Soon Lee. I remember that lovely mountain…and you’ve captured it very nicely indeed, twice. Thank you for sharing that 🙂

  27. 13) Eoin Colfer’s HITCHIKER novel wasn’t very good. He can be funny, but his funny is in visuals, and not verbal phrases. And Douglas Adams was about lines that spoke beyond the story.

  28. @Kendall: I just think that once you start using that sort of tree, you almost inevitably tend towards a forest like that. (To strain a metaphor.)

    Once you have the idea of using inverse-mask letters, the rest of the details we see seem to follow naturally. You want the letters to stick out. If you use an unmodified photo, the shapes in the photo will tend to break up the shapes of the letters, and make it harder to read. Applying a bright, primary color filter will give more unity to the shapes of the letters and make them pop. It’s nearly a forced choice.

    Likewise, you still want people to be able to see the image through the letters, so you need that thick, sans-serif font, so as much of the background as possible shows through. And even then, you want a fairly simple image–a single person in sharp focus, for example.

    So, we’re almost there. Now, if you’re going to do more than one, you’ll want to use different colored filters. And if you’re going to do that, you need a foreground that will be distinct in all cases. Which pretty much leaves you with white or black as your options. So…50-50 chance you’re going to pick white, and now you’ve got almost exactly those images. Without ever having made any real decisions past “I’m going to use inverse-mask lettering” and one coin flip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.