Posts Tagged ‘blog: things you should check out’.

Check out: Song Exploder, the podcast

My friend Hrishikesh Hirway (who composed the Machine of Death theme music and makes music as The One AM Radio) has a new podcast called Song Exploder, in which “musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” It’s the newest addition to Jesse Thorn’s Maximum Fun network, and it’s super great.

You can listen to the episodes on SoundCloud, or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or they even have an internet http web-site!

Check out: The Naughty Victorian Hand Book

One of my wife’s co-workers sent this book home with her, saying “This looks like the sort of thing David would like.” And WOW, was he correct. This book is INCREDIBLE.

It’s The Naughty Victorian Hand Book; or, Furtling: The Rediscovered Art of Erotic Hand Manipulation by New Zealand artists Jeremy Bennett and Burton Silver. Bennett is responsible for the many absolutely wonderful illustrations throughout the book — they’re created with a scratchboard technique that mimics incredibly the Victorian-era woodcut style. Silver is the author of quite a few humor books, including two that I already have on my shelf: Why Cats Paint and its sequel, Why Paint Cats.

(Click any image for a closer look.)

The premise of The Naughty Victorian Hand Book is simple. The introduction describes the lost practice of “furtling”, explaining:

To study the art of erotic hand manipulation is to start out on a wonderful journey of discovery, a journey that leads into a world of secret folds and furrows…

For no matter whether this work was billed as a “medicinal contrivance for the diminished urge” or simply as a harmless parlour-game, the prudish Victorian mind would have intuitively grasped the contagious nature of the underlying message…As you will find, these engravings have lost none of their power to excite and provoke.

They induce powerful statements of tactile value where the reader is encouraged to delight in the sensation of touch — as if the body were in miniature and the finger tip the caressing palm.

Every part of the book includes various cut-out sections, where the reader can place his or her hand physically under the page to fill out the illustration.

For example, on a given page, there will be a diagram showing exactly how to place your hand — you turn two pages, and place your hand underneath both in the configuration pictured.

Then, you lift up the top page to reveal the illustration that, with the addition of your hand, has become INCREDIBLY NAUGHTY.

This book is amazing. It’s a one-note joke, but it’s so elaborately done and so wonderfully done that it’s absolutely worth it. I’ve never seen a book quite like it.

Anyone who’s read my any of my books knows that I like to include mechanics in them that respect the physicality of the book as artifact — whether it’s having to repeatedly rotate The Annotated Wondermark, or hold pages in Beards of our Forefathers up to the light, or match up pages in Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death to create recipes for medicine — I love the idea of the book as thing, an item that’s not just a sum of words and pictures but actually something that gains power from having physical mass and occupying a specific space in the world.

Also I can’t stop giggling at it.

This book was released in Great Britain and the US in 1989, but is now long out of print. Over the last few months I’ve been keeping an eye out for copies in any used bookstores I visit, and also snapping them up when I come across them online. A few of you have seen me show it off at conventions — it’s the only product I’ve ever sold that’s not my own work! But it fits so well with the Wondermark aesthetic and sense of humor that I almost feel it’s my duty to give this now 25-year-old book whatever second life I can.

If you’re as tickled by this as I am, you can find used copies on Amazon or in other used bookstores (not around me, though!).

Or, right now I’ve got 19 copies of my own that I’m happy to offer. Mine are all used copies (as Amazon’s would be), and as such are slightly worn or may feature strange stickers — but not in any way that impedes the reading experience. UPDATE: All my copies are gone! If I obtain more in the future I will be sure to say so loudly!

Plus, if you order from me you also get a handwritten thank-you from Piranhamoose! YOUR MOVE, AMAZON.

The only difference between the British and American versions of the book is the cover design (I’ve got some of each). If you get a copy from me, I’ll send you one or the other randomly.

With Valentine’s Day coming up (and of course I still have Valentine cards for sale too!) this would make the perfect gift for the weirdo in your life!

The Naughty Victorian Hand Book:
on Amazon or available direct from me.
Update: I’ve sold all my copies for now!

…by the way, this whole post is NSFWV (Not Safe For Wilting Victorians)

Check out: Kate Beaton’s holiday comics

Kate Beaton’s comics are super great, and if you don’t follow her on Twitter you may have missed her holiday comics — little vignettes of quiet, funny moments spent with her family in Nova Scotia. She’s posted the whole run on her Tumblr:

Kate Beaton’s Holiday Comics 2013

I made some family comics too this Christmas, but Kate’s are the best, sweet and relatable and good-natured like a nice cup of wintertime cocoa. Check ’em out!

Check out: ‘THE APOCALYPSE’, a film about everyone’s heads exploding

I was at a short film screening tonight and saw a bunch of great films, including this one! ‘THE APOCALYPSE’ is by filmmaker Andrew Zuchero.

It’s about five minutes long and, well, it’s a little bloody, if you’re squeamish about that. I liked it a lot!

Watch The Apocalypse

Check out: ‘Help Fund My Robot Army’, a fiction anthology!

Multi-award-winning anthlology editor John Joseph Adams is putting together a fiction collection on Kickstarter about Kickstarter.

It’s called HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Kickstarters, and it’s all stories of fantastic and improbable crowdfunding projects — essentially, using the format of a Kickstarter project to create narratives, such as the short story the book is titled after: “Help Fund My Robot Army!!!”, by Keffy R.M. Kehrli (which you can read online for free):

The field of robotics is full of hacks, engineers with no creative impulse. Scientists who wouldn’t know ambition if it hit them in the face with a laser cannon. Well! I have spent the past twenty years designing my robot army—no machine out of place—to take over the world for my own nefarious purposes.

With this in mind, I am asking for $40,000,000,000 to pay for equipment, raw materials, rent for my secret lair, and a Playstation.

I have no doubt that you are wondering what I will do if—ah, though it is not “if” so much as “when”!—I surpass my initial funding goals. My stretch goals include a squad of “Steam Punk” robots, including gears, parasols, and gold inlay; a domed city to house survivors, surrounded by a moat complete with robot sharks to keep them safe; and a collection of plush versions of my most popular robot models…

The anthology is full of a great roster of talent, as well as me! I somehow snuck in there. I will be writing a story for the book! And John has posted a short interview with me today as well.

The Kickstarter campaign for the anthology ends on Thursday, so there’s a few days left if you’d like to pledge for a copy.

John’s video, I will also advise you, is full of kittens. The man knows how to get me!!