Engineering Fiction And The Endurance Capabilities Of My Friends

May 13th, 2009 | brainjuice, comics talk, researchmaterial

Sometimes I get very tired and make my friends look at messages like:

in my head there is an Engineering Fiction comic called KONSTRUKT and it only uses Futura because Futura has Mythic Resonance and the cover is a girl in an oil-stained wifebeater and urban-camo pants holding a wrench in one hand and behind her repurposed Lunar landers are lowering electrogel girder-muscles into place around a fuelless launcher that’ll fling areo-hardened black mosses at Mars and yes i might be a bit tired today

To which Ariana, bless her, calmly pointed out that Futura is fact a bit shit for comics lettering. I hadn’t even thought about lettering. This is why Ariana is clever and makes everything work and I am basically an orang-utan with keyboard skills. In fact, she’s so bloody clever that it took her thirty seconds to do this:

It’s not completely implausible to use a careful mix of Futura for captions, a geometric handwriting to humanize dialogue, and Futura Bold as dialogue emphasis…

3522542605_b20fbd498c

My response was:

it is entirely possible that KONSTRUKT eschews dialogue entirely in the manner of PRINCE VALIANT, RUPERT THE BEAR and the better bits of THE TRIGAN EMPIRE

but yeah okay

OH BUT ALSO THIS

Because sometimes, you know, I’m just super fucking wossname… good with words.

But also: yes. Because I strongly remember comics like that. They’d kind of died out a little bit by my day, but they were still around, lurking in places like LOOK AND LEARN. Comics about things. Screw the dialogue — look at that fucking great THING.

Why does Futura have Mythic Resonance? It’s the font used on the plaque left on the moon by Armstrong and Aldrin. Stanley Kubrick used it. Swissair (you might not get that one. I’ll explain it another time). The Weimar and the Bauhaus (Paul Renner wasn’t Bauhaus, but shared many ideas). It was commercially released in the same year the first transAtlantic telephone call was made, the year of Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS, the year of cable television and the first video recorder. It is the font of construction and progression, cigarettes and soldering irons.

This entire thing has served only as a notebook entry/reminder to myself, basically. Sorry.


8 Responses to “Engineering Fiction And The Endurance Capabilities Of My Friends”

  1. While it certainly has some “mythic resonance” I would also say its creation embodies the spirit of the time – “hope.”

    A name like “Futura”

    A bold, clean construction. Engineered.

    As if Ferriss himself designed it.

  2. I used to work for Hewlett Packard, and guess what their corporate typeface is..? It’s not used on the logo, but it’s on just about everything else. Since I left almost two years ago, I prefer Palatino.

  3. The mythic resonance is exactly why I’m using it on my POD book, which is about the future and the space race and, well, umbrellas. But mostly people who want to leave the Earth, but can’t because no one remembers how anymore (except the Chinese, those fuckers).

  4. I’m just curious, because I don’t have enough rabbit holes to around me with which to get lost/disrupted/distracted by — in what did Kubrick use Futura, anyway?

  5. I love Futura and its font family. I just handed in a Directed Studies Term Paper I’ve been writing for the past year, and I did the entire thing in Twentieth Century MT (which is virtually identical to Futura and is available in MS Word; Futura isn’t). I second guessed myself and was considering changing it all to Ariel or Times since they are the commonest fonts used in Science journals, thinking otherwise it may lower my grade. Luckily I ran this past someone who told me I would be a fool if I changed fonts. I took their advice, and it didn’t affect my grade as far as I know (92%; perhaps it helped?).
    One more term paper to go, guess which font I’m using?

  6. (Hoping basic html works here…)

  7. And it looks like that’s a “no.”

    http://www.katewillaert.com/LJ/futura.jpg

  8. And it looks like that’s a “no.”

    (http://www.katewillaert.com/LJ/futura.jpg)