When ‘Mad Men’ Meets Augmented Reality

March 25th, 2009 | people I know

The first of Jamais Cascio’s new columns for Fast Company:

We’re in an arms race with advertisers (and spammers, their less-reputable cousins): As fast as we improve ad-blocking technology, they improve their ability to get past it. This will only get worse as the Web becomes something we carry with us as a constant presence. But what happens when you combine increasingly immersive digital tools and aggressive competition between advertisers and filters? Unintended, and potentially quite unsettling, consequences.


PLANETARY #1 Special Edition

March 24th, 2009 | Work

The one-dollar promotional "After WATCHMEN" edition of PLANETARY #1 is available in stores from this Wednesday (Thursday in the UK), apparently.

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(FAQ: your PLANETARY #27 update)


WB POD DVD

March 24th, 2009 | researchmaterial

Remember when I told you this was going to be the year that POD finally broke wide and mainstreamed? And you all laughed? Behold:

Warner Bros on Monday became the first studio to open its film vault to "made-to-order" DVDs, as it sought new revenues in a slumping DVD market by making it possible for fans to buy decades-old films.

Warner Bros, owned by Time Warner Inc, made an initial batch of 150 titles available for purchase online at www.WarnerArchive.com , including 1943 comedy-romance "Mr. Lucky" starring Cary Grant and the 1962 release "All Fall Down" with Warren Beatty and Eva Marie Saint.

The on-demand service allows Warner Bros. to avoid the risk of manufacturing too many copies of old or obscure titles and shipping them to retailers because customers directly order only the titles they want to buy.


Wednesday Comics

March 24th, 2009 | comics talk

DC Comics, of late, has not been a foment of innovation. But today (I don’t pay an awful lot of attention to comics news) I tripped over a write-up of a new thing they’re doing, run by their brilliant art director Mark Chiarello (also a fine illustrator in his own right): Wednesday Comics.

The publication size is 14 inches wide by 20 inches tall, so it’s big. That’s the front page – so when you open it, it gets 28 inches wide, so it’s an enormous page. So for 12 weeks, that “cover” will be an installment of the Brian Azzarello/Eduardo Risso Batman story. Page 2 will be Sgt. Rock, and so on. So essentially, it’s 12 big-ass pages. Each story takes up one whole page, with no staples. It’ll be just like the Sunday funnies you read as a kid.

As an aside, it’s not just a comic book page that’s been blown up really large – it’s an average of sixteen panels per page.

Twelve weekly issues, twelve one-page stories (either a standalone or an episode of a 12-part serial). The sort of thing that, really, only DC Comics could pull off. I’m delighted to see them setting off a firework like this. Creators involve apparently include Neil Gaiman, Adam & Joe Kubert, Paul Pope, Dave Gibbons, and Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner.


currently watching: SPACE RACE

March 24th, 2009 | brainjuice

This is one of those things I tend to re-watch annually: had a torrent off it taken from its original transmission on the BBC until the DVD came out. Everyone knows I’m a space freak, and this is prime space porn, a docudrama of the weird struggle between Korolev and Von Braun. The effects are superbly subtle, and it was simply a beautifully staged and produced piece of work, prime BBC. Writer Christopher Spencer does a generally fine job of dramatising Deborah Cadbury’s book, enough that you forgive him his shaving of events and details for tv. Steve Nicolson as Korolev gives a standout performance: he should have immediately been given his own detective show after this. Or possibly KOROLEV: ROCKET DETECTIVE OF THE 21st SOVIET CENTURY. Anyway. Beg, borrow or steal: