The Wonderful Art of Jonny Wan

Based in Sheffield, Jonny Wan’s work covers everything from “advertising to product packaging and beyond”. As you’ll see, he likes bold patterns and shapes with plenty of nods to Art Deco.

He also graduated from the Manchester School of Art in 2008 and has gone on to work with the likes of Apple, Nike, and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Being an illustrator can be a very up and down career, where one month can bring a flurry of jobs in and the next one can be dead. It’s important to remain committed and to not forget why you chose illustration in the first place.

Interview with Jonny Wan on Crazy Animal Face

(all image rights reserved by Jonny Wan)

8 Games I'd Love To See On The Nintendo Switch

Nintendo announced their newest console today, the Nintendo Switch. It will be released in March 2017 and acts as a “hybrid device”: both a tablet-like portable console and a home console placed in a docking station (complete with satisfying “click” sound).

The Switch also holds two wireless controllers you can detach, used individually or together as a normal gamepad. Only a handful of games have been announced, including the usual suspects – Legend of Zelda, a Mario Kart game, and a Super Mario game amongst others. But there are a few I’d love to see on the Switch. Here are 8 of them.

Golden Sun

golden-sun

Ever since my cousin introduced me to Golden Sun, it’s been my favourite RPG not called Pokémon (more on that later). The original game, released on GBA, tells the story of Isaac, Garet, Ivan and Mia, four teenagers tasked with saving their world, known as Weyard. It’s an archetypal fantasy RPG with plenty of magic, turn-based gameplay, classes, dungeons and caves. Psynergy is the game’s version of “mana” while Djinn are special creatures that give the characters special moves and the ability to change classes and abilities. The music, graphics and gameplay were already brilliant on both the two GBA versions and the DS versions. A Switch version has the potential to be fantastic, especially scenes like this:

Golden Sun - Judgement

A Pokémon racing game

pikachu and ash on a bike

Asking for an open world Pokémon game would be too easy. There’s definitely going to be one for the Nintendo Switch but what about a racing game? The spinoffs have involved pinball and puzzle games but a racing game would be a great competitor to the Mario Kart version we’ll eventually get. The only concern is how many Pokémon would be made usable, given the introduction of Sun & Moon by March 2017. There’s likely to be around 800 known Pokémon so who knows which ones would be picked. Mewtwo in a car? Perhaps not.

Super Mario RPG

supermariorpg

A Mario spinoff never released in Europe, Super Mario RPG was the first RPG in the Mario series and the only game to be made by Square (now Square Enix). It’s also uncommon in that it doesn’t involve Bowser as the main boss. This time, you have to beat Smithy who steals the seven star pieces of Star Road where “all the world’s inhabitants’ wishes become Wish Stars, and Mario must return the pieces so these wishes may again be granted”. Paper Mario is likely to get a Switch version but perhaps they should look towards a remake of this.

Chrono Trigger

chrono-trigger

Chrono Trigger is an all-time great, not only in the RPG category, but for games overall. It was highly praised for its simplicity, varied gameplay, and humour and spawned a few sequels and an enhanced remake for the Sony PlayStation. What better way to further enhance a prestigious game than to freshen it up on Nintendo’s new innovative console. The simplicity of both game and device would marry up perfectly. It would also sell incredibly well given Chrono Trigger’s stature.

Street Fighter

street-fighter-iii-third-strike

Street Fighter will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017 and 20th anniversary of Street Fighter III. Chronologically, III is the most “recent” game so an anniversary follow up would be quite interesting although possibly confusing. That being said, nobody really plays Street Fighter for the storyline. They want to fight. The multi-playability of the Nintendo Switch allows for vigorous (and/or strategic) button smashing and could add a new flavour to tournament play. I hope this one happens.

F-Zero

f-zero

Mario Kart is a shoo-in for a Nintendo Switch racing game but the world needs another F-Zero game. The SNES version remains a classic; the music, the cars, the incredible track designs, not to mention the graphics and the speed. A sequel was made for the N64 – F-Zero X – and while most features were retained, graphical detail was criticised. Four more were made, three for the GBA and nothing since 2004. The F-Zero franchise has since gone on hiatus, which is disappointing. Bringing the franchise back for the Nintendo Switch would surely entice prospective buyers, sceptical or otherwise. Any excuse to ride as Captain Falcon, to be honest.

A modern-day Strike game

desert-strike

I loved playing Desert Strike on my Gameboy. I don’t know how I found it or why it initially appealed to me but it was fun to play. The last Strike game was released in 2000, and there have been many conflicts since so plenty of inspiration for a new version. It might also be interesting to see an isometric game on a console like this. I just hope it doesn’t involve Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A Waluigi game

waluigi

His first appearance was in Mario Tennis for the N64 in 2000. Waluigi has yet to star in his own game and it’s time for that to change. His brother Wario has had the lion’s share of publicity, headlining around 20 games since his first appearance in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins in 1992.

However, not everyone likes Waluigi. Kotaku, GamesRadar, IGN, and Complex (who included him in a list of “the ten video game characters who look like sex offenders”), have all expressed their disdain and that’s probably why we haven’t seen a Waluigi game as yet. But done correctly, he could change people’s minds. Maybe.

Internet Archaeology: a gallery of early internet images

The World Wide Web is relatively young.

But the concept of the internet – the “global system of interconnected computer networks” – dates back to the 1960s. The US government aimed to build better communication via computer networks but due to size and cost, computing was restricted to academia, the government and private corporations. When the World Wide Web was introduced in 1989, consumer-level computing exploded and technological advancement flourished.

Interest in pop culture from the 1990s is as strong as ever. Preserving digital artefacts is important in learning how we arrived here and Internet Archaeology plan to do that. The site’s creators say their main goal is to acknowledge the importance of these aforementioned artefacts and understand “the beginnings and birth of an Internet Culture”. Their focus lies solely on graphics – both JPEG and GIF – with the belief they are “most culturally revealing and immediate”.

The site hasn’t been updated for a while; collecting dust on already dated content. But it’s remarkable how far web culture has come since those halcyon days of dial-up and online pizza deliveries. Geocities is no longer with us but opened up a new world to children and adults alike to express themselves and their interests. Most of the images on the site are gawky now but serve a clear purpose. You’ll no doubt relive some memories with what’s on offer and maybe gain some inspiration.

You can find further reading on the subject in the list below the video. And visit Internet Archaeology here.

The Stupidest Rap - Don't Copy That Floppy

Further reading

Vox analysed the impressive economics of Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson: An economic analysis

But how does Homer Simpson represent America? Vox did some calculations to see how he stands amongst the rest of the US and how he represents the “upper lower middle class”.

His salary from the nuclear plant was pretty bad, at least by today’s standards: $37,416 (adjusted for inflation). According to Vox’s calculations, that puts the Simpsons on the zip wire of lower and middle class. Of course, they’ve tasted morsels of the upper class high life (when Marge got that pink Chanel suit and when Homer got hair).

(Full article including list of jobs)

Sucklord, The NYC Artist Who Makes Bootleg Action Figures

Bootleg culture is a major subculture of our times.

It repurposes the discarded and creates new life. The Sucklord lives by his name under a super-villainous guise and makes bootleg action figures. The New York City pop artist is known for his “subversive Action Figure mashups and Reality TV Persona”, according to his website.

Operating under the Brand SUCKADELIC, The Sucklord’s Line of self-manufactured Bootleg Toys steal shamelessly from STAR WARS, Vintage Advertising and All manner of Pop Culture Trash. Packaged in layers of ironic self-Mockery, His shoddy looking wares have inspired an entire secondary Art movement, with dozens of entrepreneurial Toy Bootleggers creating their own versions of highly referential, low-Rent interpretations of their favorite figures.

Stream the video on Vimeo.

X-Men Fan Creates Web Show Based On The 90s Animated Series

X-Men Danger Room Protocols Episode 1 Full

The web series will be called X-Men: Danger Room Protocols and see teams of X-Men characters up against Marvel villains in the Professor X’s notorious Danger Room.

Each episode will be based around a single Danger Room battle and the first one will be called “Survival,” starring Jean Grey and Wolverine (we get the feeling Cyclops won’t like that one). X-Men: Danger Room Protocols will debut on 19th January with subsequent episodes freely available on his YouTube channel.

UPDATE: It turns out X-Men: Danger Room Protocols was cancelled after one episode. Why? Because Marvel said so. According to Joel himself (via CBR):

“When I set out to make this project, I never really thought this was going to be an issue. I didn’t think that Marvel was going to react this way, and this outcome, for me, is a little bit shocking.”

Marvel declined to comment.

The Original Ghost Busters

The Ghost Busters - 1975

In 1975, “The Ghost Busters” (note the space) aired for 15 episodes as a children’s show. Comprised of two men (played by Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch) and their pet gorilla, The Ghost Busters travelled around the world in search of ghouls with their camera-like device ready to dispel them. An animated series was created in 1986 but it was only aired for one season although it did spawn a comic book.

While the series had nothing to do with the better-known Ghostbusters film franchise, Columbia Pictures did pay Filmation, the makers of The Ghost Busters, to use the name.

Fun fact: the characters Eddie Spencer and Tracy were named after the Golden Age actor Spencer Tracy and Kong (not the gorilla’s name, surprisingly) was named after King Kong.

You can watch an episode of the animated series on YouTube.

Animation/ghost related: The damp history of Tigersharks and Steamed Hams made by different-animator every 13 seconds, and Michael Jackson’s Addams family promo that turned into Ghosts.

The Rights To "Do The Bartman" Sold For $38,500

Although long rumoured to be a Michael Jackson creation, the song was, in fact, written by singer-songwriter Bryan Loren. The latter called the prolonged rumours a “thorn in his side” and advised:

“Along with me, Michael Jackson does sing backing vocals. And it WAS his idea to call the song, DTB. AND, he did insist I include his name in the lyric.”

Hardcore MJ fans like myself may already know Loren’s name as Michael sang backing vocals on one of his tracks, To Satisfy You (which is brilliant, I might add). This also wasn’t the only Michael Jackson/Simpsons collab either. Michael voiced the character of Leon Kompowsky (but not the singing voice; that was Kipp Lennon) in Stark Raving Dad as well as adding a clip of Homer and Bart at the end of his infamous Panther Dance.

Related: Michael Jackson vs. Michael Jordan vs. LA Gear, MJ’s Addams Family-promo, and The one At The Bottom remix.

Everything Wrong With Batman & Robin In 17 Minutes

Everything Wrong With Batman & Robin In An Awful Lot Of Minutes

In case you weren’t aware of the horror that is Batman & Robin, CinemaSins has it covered with a 20-minute video detailing all the mistakes and continuity errors. I’ll admit to enjoying this film when I was seven, not least for the inclusions of Alicia Silverstone and Uma Thurman. I know better now.

Acting in the pre-Nolan Batman movies was never stellar. It pretty much peaked at the start with Michael Keaton’s brilliant performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jack Nicholson as The Joker, and Kim Basinger as Vicky Vale.

Ah well, at least Batman Returns is intact. Oh wait, maybe not.

Play 3 Video Games Featured On The Simpsons

Rumours of Homer and Marge splitting up were quickly refuted but they sounded believable and caused an outrage (not least because the person who was slated to split them up was a pharmacist voiced by Lena Dunham). While the writers try and get the series back on track, its fans continue to breathe life into Simpsons-related nostalgia.

Developers GumpyFunction have created playable editions of three games that featured in the series, including:

Prizes for anyone who can remember which episodes they come from without having to look them up. It’s a pity Disembowler IV, Bonestorm and Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge weren’t included but we can’t expect miracles. For more in-show games, head to the Simpsons Wikia page and check out The Column of All Cosmos’s Fake Simpsons Video Games, Ranked.

(via A.V. Club)

It's Not Hip To Be Square: What Is A Hipster Really?

But has it always been that way? Well, the truth is they aren’t the first hipsters to walk the earth.

A quick search of the term “hipster” on Wikipedia brings up two examples: one from “contemporary subculture” and one from “1940s subculture”. By definition, the former relates to the hipsters we know today, described as coming from a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior”. From this perspective, the term first came into prominence during the 90s before gaining a new life in the past five years but looking at the term’s previous history in the 1940s, everything changes.

In 1948, American literary critic Anatole Broyard wrote an article called A Portrait of the Hipster where he described the hipster as a “the illegitimate son of the Lost Generation” longing “to be somewhere”. Brossard’s article continued, describing terminology of the hipster such as “jive” – described as “a philosophy of somewhereness”, “solid”, “out of this world, and “drag” amongst others.

Norman Mailer in his essay “The White Negro” described hipsters as “philosophical psychopaths living on the fringe of society” but the crux of the essay depicted them as white people appropriating black culture through their adoption of black styles, vernacular and jazz music as their own as well as their choice of living in abject poverty. He also discussed the idea of hipsters living a life surrounded by death and choosing to disconnect from society with their own brand of existentialism.

Looking at the two produces stark contrasts in definition and subculture but in some cases, there are similarities. There’s a sense that the current hipster (or as I like to call them “fauxhemians”) chooses to look dishevelled and absent from the mainstream culture as do the hipsters of the 40s.

But getting into the nitty-gritty of their motives is where the likenesses branch off. Fauxhemians are more aligned with indie music while hipsters were lovers of cool jazz and the former’s association with organic produce is a unique development. The reason I call them fauxhemians is because their lifestyles seem to be closer to those of the bohos of pre-20th Europe (although they are said to be descendants of the 40s hipster) rather than their appropriating American counterparts.

Their disconnect from mainstream society isn’t related to a life centred around death; rather it seems to be a choice purely in the name of paradoxical individualism, as perfectly depicted on 2000s TV series Nathan Barley. They even have their own brand of racism and sexism, involving “ironic” Kill Whitie Parties and appropriation of Native American headdresses supposedly to satirise political correctness and repeated uses of the terms “bitch” and “slut” amongst others.

Truth be told, it’s a complicated subject to form a complete picture of how the movements are all related and what they truly mean to those involved. But one thing’s for sure – the new hipster isn’t going away any time soon and they’re not quite as cool as their 1940s cousins.

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