January 27th, 2010 | station ident
(Templesmith, of course)
January 27th, 2010 | music
Hey Warren, Stu from the Poxy Boggards here. I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that one of our songs, "I Wear No Pants," is going to be featured in the Dockers ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb 7th. We’ve released a music video of the original track on youtube…
I guess I haven’t done this in a while, and people are starting to ask again, so:
For people wanting to send me to their sites, wanting to email stuff or tell me about new music or send me tips or whatever, I’ve set up a Gmail account that I’ll check once every day or two: warrenellis [-at-] gmail com. This isn’t, I stress, my main email account, and it’s not for asking me when some comic’s coming out (there’s a FAQ for that). Always interested in new music, new art, new connections, new madness etc.
If you need to contact me about writing for print or web, please contact my agent Lydia Wills using the link in the righthand menu bar.
If you need to contact me about anything involving film, tv, games or other things that move, please contact my agent Angela Cheng Caplan using the link in the righthand menu bar.
If you (for god knows what reason) wanted to send me something physical, the best solution right now would probably be to send to my literary agency in New York City.
c/o Lydia Wills
360 Park Avenue South
New York 10010
I don’t have a solution for people living closer to me as yet. I stop in on my message board Whitechapel several times a day. I leave Twitter on most of the day. I still have an undead MySpace account — I keep it open because I look for music there.
The inevitable pre-release post about the Apple Tablet, or iSlate or iPad or whatever they end up calling it. I’ve mostly been holding fire until I see what the damn thing actually is, but a couple of thoughts:
* The CALL OF DUTY iPhone game app — which is free — is a 22MB download. 3G speeds are good here, I had it in no time. Literally, I called it in over the air, noticed it starting to download, and then, bang, it was loaded. A .cbz Comic Book Reader file is usually around 15MB. I could yank that down at, say, Whispernet-type delivery time.
* Here’s a thing: the Kindle has a per-page filesize cap. 64K. Comics on the Kindle are a fascinating challenge. In broad terms, the Kindle can’t do comics unless they’re black and white and the linework can survive being smashed down to 64K per Kindle-page. (Which doesn’t have to be the same as comics-page, you can still break the whole thing down into a string of individual panels, but:)
* I’ve seen several iPhone-adapted comics, and didn’t like them too much. Unless a comic is written in a very specific way, calling comics out panel-by-panel clips out important informational strata like page design and page breaks. I mean, a baby’s still a baby after it goes through a process like that, but I think you’d still like it better if it came with the arms and legs it originally possessed. Obviously, a tablet is going to fix that, and you’re going to get pages in something similar to their intended scale.
* It’s going to be all about the price, and to a slightly lesser extent about the data plan. Over here in the benighted UK, the best iPhone data plan available to me came with a cap of 1GB/month. That breaks down to, what, 30 meg a day? I imagine I’d get a concerned phonecall from my telecom provider if I was ripping 30 meg out of the air on a daily basis.
* Years ago, I said that I thought an iTunes for comics would be an interesting idea. And then there was Longbox, a still largely-unveiled ’iTunes for comics’ solution. There are strong rumours that Longbox may arrive preloaded on the Apple Moses Tablet. I have my doubts about that, but: the intent has always been that Longbox would be able to read .cbz files.
* Two .cbz files a day would tap out my data plan.
* If Longbox or something similar is preloaded? And the device isn’t too costly, and the local bandwidth is good and the data plan is all-you-can-eat? I wouldn’t want to be a comics store in San Francisco, know what I mean?
* In Britain, a six-hundred-dollar item is inevitably, criminally, a six-hundred-pound item. When it comes to tech, with the related import taxes and other bullshit, you’re always looking at a dollar-pound parity. It’d be funny if Britain was the last bastion of the print comics market because no-one in this recessionary hole could afford the new magic from over the water.
(as ever, this is Notebook: not fully baked, not even close)
These intended viral teasers have been showing up on YouTube since the end of last year, apparently. I just fell over them today. Some people say it’s Xtina, some people say it’s Goldfrapp. There is a flavour of Floria Sigismondi in places.
January 26th, 2010 | brainjuice
January 26th, 2010 | daybook
Photos by Cassandra:
This is one of those Secret weeks. I’m working almost exclusively on projects that are developing, or pre-pitch, or unannounced. Which means, when people ask me what I’m working on, I kind of have to shrug and make that face that makes me look a bit like a stroke victim and go "Muh?"
And there’s a lot of it: I have to redraft a one-sheet on one thing and beat out a rough structure on another thing in the next, um, four hours or so. And read over a contract for a weird gig I think I alluded to last week. And finish a short pilot-style script, which might not happen, because I haven’t had the funny over the last couple of days, and it needs the funny. (The funny comes and goes. I can go a week without being funny. Hell, some people will tell you I can go years without being funny.)
And because I’m essentially perverse, right now I’m picking at a bit in the middle of FELL #10 that’s been bothering me for a while.
Being essentially perverse, of course, the back of my brain is working on something else. Or at least chewing on something else. Sort of trying to put it into words. Killed my Facebook account (again!) last night — I had needed to hold on to it for work communication, but that ceased to be a requirement a few days back, and then Facebook did something really fucking annoying, and I just killed the account. To no change in my daily information diet at all. MySpace may have been a clunky piece of shit, but that place, at one time, was crawling with bands and photographers and people making stuff. (Hell, my MySpace account has been static and untouched for months, but I note tonight that bands are still contacting me there, like the San Francisco spacerock collective Spirits Burning and the German military-classical spookmongers Argheid. I’m tempted to re-open that account just for music collection.)
What’s forming up is an attempt to surround in useful language a sense of the continuing fracture of useful cultural information. Which is an abortion of a sentence, and doesn’t really do the job, either. The expanding universe of the internet means that things fly apart, and places that were hubs for creativity fractionate according to that rule and also the rule of Scenes, which is that they have a short lifespan. And they keep splitting, and the scenes get smaller, and so today you’ve got five things that do the same thing Soundcloud do, and tomorrow there’ll be ten, and etc. And so you find you can’t pause in that part of the job which is tracking cultural shrapnel. I have a hundred RSS feeds in the box and I feel like I know less than I did six months ago.
So, yeah… another time.
Also, it suddenly occurred to me that the best TV series in the world is lurking in the first two chapters of Charlie Stross’ ACCELERANDO: a show where venture altruist Manfred Macx comes up with a new crazy scheme to immanentise the Eschaton every week while being pursued by his dominatrix ex-wife and the American tax police. I would watch the shit out of that on a weekly basis. And so would you. I get great television in my head, I tell you.
January 25th, 2010 | brainjuice
January 25th, 2010 | researchmaterial
An early birthday present from the sainted Cherie Priest and her other half, Aric The Roastmaster of the Fremont Coffee Company. If you live in the continental US, you can buy coffee from them online. I’m here to tell you: DO IT. Aric releases God from the Bean with Fire.
Additionally: Fremont Coffee Company, unsurprisingly to be found in the Fremont area of Seattle, will soon be instituting art shows on their premises. Given the number of art weirdos I know in the area alone, I imagine the place will repay regular visits.
January 25th, 2010 | Work
This appears to be video of (part of) an art installation: a particularly hermetic and surreal piece of design fiction. Described as:
reconstructions of prototypes of inventions used during the creation of "The Telepathic Motion Picture of THE LOST TRIBES"
January 25th, 2010 | Work
TOTW is basically a joke that Ariana and I pull each week in our joint guise as the International Electrophonic Unit. Basically, we take some of the stupider things I’ve said on Twitter and elsewhere, often in a state of extreme alcoholic refreshment or severe sleep deprivation, and put them on a t-shirt. Ariana set up a Cafe Press store (because this is a joke and engaging with a serious maker of t-shirts would be less funny to us), and… well, once a week, here we are.
Through this website and this Cafe Press store, we’re going to release one t-shirt a week. Until I either run out of dumb ideas or Ariana’s brain explodes.
Now. Bit of a change here. Previously, the shirt lived for one week only, and then we put up a new design. Because we were using the Cafe Press free store, which allows for only one design at a time. Which we rolled with, because this was a joke, right? But then Cafe Press noticed us, for some reason. And instead of kicking us off the site entirely, they very kindly gifted us with a free upgrade to their premium store structure. So you may soon notice a small change in the way we offer our stupid tat to you.
Every Monday, I’ll post the new shirt here, and you can peer at it more at http://www.cafepress.com/electrophonic.
Anyway. I present to you T-Shirt Of The Week #010: THE CIGARETTE OF VICTORY:
(Just in case anyone remembers the old FALCONER shorts I wrote!)
We also now offer several perennial items, including:
(Yes, the old WHERE’S MY FUCKING COFFEE mug is still there. And other stuff.)
(And also a MAN COOK MEAT WITH FIRE "splatter-shield", because Ariana’s crazy)
Thank you for your kind attention.
This week on my message board, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and writer/artist/octopoid-multitasker Emma Vieceli will be answering questions and talking about their work in five-day residencies. Em writes, draws, teaches, publishes and organises, and Kel’s probably the only person I know who’s written more than eleven thousand pages of dialogue and still had a more interesting life than most of us.
Come and meet them.
January 24th, 2010 | brainjuice
January 24th, 2010 | notebook
* experimental/avant-garde/art/scene/movement newspapers/broadsides/freesheets/one-sheets – often hyperlocal due to distribution issues (stuffing & sending envelopes is a non-trivial pain in the arse), sometimes hyperlocal by design –
– if you’re giving them away, or charging a token amount for the pleasure/privilege of holding the print object and thereby paying the print bill —
– surely a printer-ready ghost of that object could live on archive.org under a CC license that preserves your authorship(s)/curation and otherwise allows the thing to instantiate anywhere some interested person/nutter would like it to?
(none of which is a new idea, but the archive.org bit just popped into my head, as did the idea of someone with fifteen minutes’ access to a newspaper printer yanking down the InDesign (or whatever) file of PAPER SCIENCE and banging off 1500 copies for free distrib at (say) Toronto Comic Arts Festival)
January 23rd, 2010 | brainjuice