Loose Ends: a literary supercut of 137 last lines from sci-fi books by Tom Comitta

I’ve featured Tom Comitta on Cultrface before with his airport novella and his tongue-in-cheek rework of Martin Scorsese’s Marvel essay. Back in September last year, he wrote a literary supercut called Loose Ends that pieced together the last lines from 137 sci-fi and fantasy books.

In true Comitta style, he makes sense out of fragments of media that were never intended to be seen in that way. I’d love to see this in a published book with different fonts for each line.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

Miles grinned sleepily, puddled down in his uniform. “Welcome to the beginning,” he said quietly. “We have a long way to go.”

“But I can’t speak Swedish,” I said.

“You’ll learn,” he said. “You’ll learn, you’ll learn.”

He threw on some more brush and watched the dark smoke spiral up under the sun, a warm and now comforting sun. “Let’s sail till we come to the edge.”

“Not until we can deliver our secret to our respective worlds. And acquire an intact ship.”

“Let’s go talk to Folimum and see what he says.” He turned back to his Master. He was ready to go.

“I think that could be arranged,” I said. I turned away from the bridge and Diane offered me her arm. I hesitated a moment, then took her arm.

Miles smiled. “Let the blind man show the way.”

He did.

You can read the full thing on Wired and there’s also an annotated version with the names of each book for each line.

(Featured image: original image via Flickr)

Black Archivist: a project for Black artists to tell their stories

Black Archivist

Black Archivist is a project created by Paul Octavious, a Black queer photographer based in Chicago. In 2005, he got into photography and his life changed from there.

This project provide the tools and resources for other Black people to document their lives:

Black Archivist believes in the power of the Black narrative and that Black artists are best suited to tell the stories of our community. We provide the tools and resources for Black people to document the life around them, both triumphs and tribulations. We believe access to equipment should not be a barrier to entry for documentation or compensation.

If you want to help, you can donate a camera or apply for one yourself. And if you want to see more Black photography, check out the photography of Kennedi Carter.

Follow Black Archivist on Instagram.

The controversial story of Comic Sans

Comic Sans in German that says "Tschudin Gartengestaltung"

Jon Robinson wrote an article about the history of Comic Sans for UX Planet, arguably the most derided font of all-time.

The short version is that Vincent Connare created the font in the mid-90s, inspired by the handwritten lettering from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

Connare recognized that comic books employed lettering that was hand-drawn to fit each individual box or bubble, providing both flexibility and variety. He drew each letter numerous times until satisfied that every glyph had it’s own unique shape and curve, while still functioning as a family.

Due to its form we classify it as both a sans serif and a casual script font, because the letters mimic handwritten characters that do not connect; but it’s not considered a typeface by most due to the lack of an italic or bold variant. Overall, Comic Sans is composed of rounded letters that would appear to have been drawn carefully in thick black marker by a child learning the alphabet. No sharp points are found in its letterforms. It’s the result of someone attempting to make a font out of alphabet soup.

And now it’s everywhere and polarises everyone who sees it. In fact, I wrote a disparaging article about it years ago (no longer online). But there have been suggestions that Comic Sans is good for dyslexic readers (although this has also been refuted).

If you want to use a font made for low vision readers, I suggest Atkinson Hyperlegible.

Parenthood Activate! tells comical short stories about life as a parent

Parenthood Activate! logo

My son turns 4 next month. While most of that time has been a joy, watching him grow up and experience new things for the first time, that first year was a struggle for me as a parent. He was my first child and I wasn’t prepared for all the sleepless nights and 3am feeds (along with accidental naps while the milk cooled down). And as he’s grown up, I’ve had to learn how to balance discipline with fun time.

Parenthood Activate! uses that journey as fuel for its webcomic and it’s thanks to the visceral humour of Stephanie Williams. Each comic takes a particular element of parenthood and embellishes on the narrative for comedic effect. One of my favourites so far is The Great Tummy Ache where a bottle of ginger ale manages to calm her son’s monstrous stomach. It plays on the myth* that ginger ale eases belly ache. The tale will resonate with anyone who reads it, particularly me as an adult who swears by ginger ale for everything.

Stephanie says she chose to share these experiences in comic form because it was close to her heart.

I currently write for FANGRRLS and other pop culture sites and I’m constantly writing about comic stories old and new, how they’ve impacted my life, how they relate to everyday life, and most importantly, my goal is to introduce others to a form of storytelling I love so much.

Stephanie Williams

I’ve been following Stephanie on Twitter for a while and there aren’t many people I know who can be so funny and geeky and “on the money” as her. Writing from experience can be both a blessing and a curse, especially as a black parent. It’s cathartic and free of hyperbole but it can also expose our vulnerabilities. But it’s a risk worth taking. And with art (by Sarah A. Macklin) and storytelling this good, it’s paying off for Stephanie.

You can read every issue on the Parenthood Activate! website and run some coins their way because black women deserve all our money.

(*Scientifically, it doesn’t help but science schmience.)

Jim Cummings tells stories behind 4 fan-favorite characters he's voiced

jim-cummings

I certainly didn’t think he’d be the same person who voiced Tigger and Pete from Goof Troop. It was one of those things I questioned but had no deep inclination to research. When I found out it was Jim Cummings, I was blown away by the breadth of his voice acting career and how many of my childhood faves he voiced.

Cummings was born in Ohio but relocated to New Orleans, where he worked as a deckhand on riverboats. After a few years in the mid to late 80s voicing characters in The Transformers, Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, and Duck Tales, he joined the voice cast of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh where he voiced Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Since then he’s appeared in a plethora of animated and live action movies and series.

In this video, Jim Cummings discussed four of his best-loved characters and the inspiration behind them. You can check out the video below.

Jim Cummings Gets Totally Nostalgic with 4 Stories Behind 4 Fan-Favorite Characters

Disney related: The history of Walt Disney Home Video