Archive for July, 2006

Shooting War’s Dan Goldman’s Other Life

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

The comic news hub Newsarama profiles a hot new talent emerging in the comic world, Shooting War’s own illustrator and co-conspirator, Dan Goldman. Before we hijacked Goldman, he was and still is the co-founder of the online comic collective ACT-I-VATE, where his serialized comic Kelly—a surreal Craiglist roommate thriller—has a hot and bothered and always hungry fan base. What’s next when he’s released from the clutches of SMITH, writer Anthony Lappe, and the complicated Jimmy Burns? Dan lays it out to Newsarama’s Chris Arrant:

I’m also co-creating a new comic called 718 with Chris Radtke. 718 is a guy who’s burned his Social Security card and reinvented himself as the superhero 718, the “Soul of the Outer Boroughs.” Taking on the dark forces of greed and despair billowing out from the center of Manhattan, 718 lives cash-free by his wits and reputation alone on the psychedelic ghetto outskirts of the greatest city on earth. An internet star and conspiracy-battling psychic-soldier for the universal enlightment, 718 fights for our collective freedom from the invisible yokes of our fattened lives of credit-slavery and media-manipulation in the Modern World. … 718 is going to be both urban grit and ghetto-voodoo-supernatural, looking at New York City through the blood in the streets and the pigeons overhead.

Knowing Dan, he’ll do it all with a big, goofy smile on his face.
To Dan, we say: congrats & mazel tov & nameste, we are proud to work with you.
To readers, we say: you’re witnessing the birth of a great artist, right here. And he’s wearing a groovy shirt.

To Know It Is To Love It: Peter Arkle News

Monday, July 10th, 2006

Hi all.

My name is Katherine, and I’m the newest member of Larry Smith’s ELITE CADRE OF BLOGGERS here at SMITH. When I’m not committing outrageous acts of blogtastic derring-do (which isn’t very often, as even my day job is in the blog sector, believe it or not), I can be found living in a twee part of Brooklyn, sharing a small apartment with a great roommate, negotiating my mid-late-twenties, and trying to fit in a little creativity around said full-time job. In other words, my life is a cliche, and I won’t bore you further with it here. Naw, my purpose at SMITH is to point out all the interesting personal-media goodness I can find, for your delectation.

And I can’t think of a better way to start than by calling out the Peter Arkle News. Peter Arkle is a graphic designer in New York City (you may know his work from his current series of print ads for Bumble & Bumble), who irregularly puts out a well- printed, black-and-white “illustrated newspaper” about the events of his everyday life. His drawings are beguiling, and his blocky, all-caps handwriting reminds me of Aaron Cometbus. I discovered the Peter Arkle News several years ago, after I’d just moved to Brooklyn for the first time, and I remember being charmed to the core by his observations on New York City life. They seemed familiar, and yet also, somehow, better than mine.

The familiarness-yet-betterness of the world through Peter Arkle’s eyes is best experienced by ordering a real, live, hard copy of the Peter Arkle news. You can do that, and also check out samples from past issues, at Arkle’s web site.

I caught up with Peter Arkle the other day on the World Wide Web, and he was game enough to answer four questions for me. (more…)

Girls You Should Never Cheat On

Monday, July 10th, 2006

Thought this was interesting: a man is suing the owner of Don’, a website devoted to profiles of cheating boyfriends, claiming the information about him posted to the site is defamatory. I hadn’t heard of the site before today, but it’s an intriguing concept — sort of an anti-personals personals site whose purpose is to keep women from repeating the mistakes of others. (Hmmm… maybe some of these women might want to consider telling their story in a certain other forum.)

And yes, I already searched Don’tDateHimGirl for myself. Uh, not that there would be any reason for me to be on there…

The Bryant Park Portrait Project

Monday, July 10th, 2006

Go figure. I was talking about how hard it can be to define “personal media” with SMITH writer and newest blogger Kathy Ritchie in NYC’s Bryant Park. I was saying something like, “I know it when I see it,” when personal media came to us in the form of a guy asking if he could take our picture. If you’re Kathy who has heard, “Did anyone every tell you you look like Angelina Jolie,” so often it makes her lips burn, this is not an unusual occurrence. If you’re me, unless I happen to be getting, say, married, the camera does not find its way to me with such enthusiasm.Bryant_Park_photo.jpg

Shoot away, dude, we said, and wondered: What’s your story?

Meet David Zimand, a working portrait and fashion photographer and creator of a Flickr stream featuring portraits of people he spots in Bryant Park. Every day, he explained, he takes intimate photos of people in Bryant Park and posts them here. So far, a little more than 70 people have clicked through to see the photo of the striking blond women who leads his photo set. To find Kathy and I—we need more clickthroughs immediately, friends!—scroll over to page 4 of his set of what’s now about 200 shots. Hint: Kathy’s the one who defies Dorothy Parker’s maxim that “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

The Long Tail and the Long Now

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

One of the books most responsible lately for filling up with buzz that series of tubes that make up the Internet is Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More. Anderson’s argument, in a nutshell, is that online vendors like Amazon, Netflix, and the various purveyors of digital music are providing a welcome (and lucrative) alternative to the blockbuster approach prevalent in brick-and-mortar venues like, well, like Blockbuster. Freed from the limitations of finite shelf space, online merchants can offer a much wider array of goods and services that cater to niche tastes and interests.

More to the SMITH point, he also contends that as sales volume becomes less of a critical issue for the seller, and as barriers to publication fall (think desktop publishing and blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos), the opportunities for individuals to tell their stories will only grow.

Recently, Anderson spoke about all this at one of the Long Now Foundation’s Seminars About Long-Term Thinking. If you haven’t checked out this spectacular series, either in person or via the post-talk audio downloads, Anderson’s presentation is an excellent and timely place to start.

And while you’re there, be sure to investigate the other excellent talks, especially those by Kevin Kelly, Sam Harris, Stewart Brand, Roger Kennedy, and the inimitable Bruce Sterling.

Who’s Right?

Friday, July 7th, 2006

I’d never say “I hate to say ‘I told you so, but..’”–I just like saying it too much. Instead, “It’s just “Told you so!” and “What’s that? Who’s right? I’m what?” any time I am (which is a lot, by the way.) And I now I can regularly prove it, with the entire World Wide Web as my witness, thanks to Who’s Right, a brilliant new blog dedicated to conflict resolution between friends/lovers/significant others/siblings/etc. Think you’re right that baby carrots are actually baby carrots, when your opponent insists they’re simply carved from big ones? Who’s Right will set the record the straight. Think a headstrong co-worker should apologize? You’ll find out. Should hubby replace the garbage bag after removing the trash from its bin? According to Who’s Right, it’s a resounding yes for this one. And in this case, the blogger also provided tips and regulations for making sure the bag gets changed, “Becasue it’s no fun being right if you don’t win.” (Well said.) Be it a playful spat or a full on war, satisfaction, and hopefully vindication, can be yours! Ah, the Internet.

And Now, Your Moment of… Hasselhoff?

Friday, July 7th, 2006

After just three work days, it’s time for another Friday viral video. This one comes from an NBC show I was, frankly, totally unaware of: America’s Got Talent. In this case, the talent is yodeling.

No, seriously. And this little girl is, like, ridiculously good.

Watch for the Hasselhoff cameos. Somewhere out there is a scrapyard where KITT is spinning in his grave.

PS - By the way, anyone else think they should have just given us these three days off? Did anyone actually get any work done this week?

PPS - And while we’re on the subject, who is “they,” anyway?

PPPS - I’ve always thought it was ducks. A secret cabal of evil ducks.

PPPPS - Seriously, think about it. It makes sense.

If Satan Was On MySpace

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

So online magazine Slate has apparently created a MySpace page for Rupert Murdoch, who, through his all-encompassing News Corp, now owns the site. I’ll be honest — I don’t quite get why they did it, and I tried very hard not to enjoy it. But I gotta admit: it’s funny. I even giggled a little. Check it out here.

Shock and … OW!

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

shock the manBack in the ’60s, when people under thirty were loudly distrusting authority, the psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of experiments at Yale aimed at finding out just how far that distrust (and its corollary, resistance) went.

“The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act.” (1974)

You can read more about that here.

Anyway, in a weird, Webby update of Milgram’s shock experiments, the owner of has committed himself to wearing a dog obedience shock collar (an Innotek ADV-300, for all you gadget freaks) for the next three months.

Visitors to his Web site are invited to pay a token amount to either shock him or prevent a shock from happening.

During this period you have the choice to shock me or prevent a shock from occurring. There are four levels of intensity to choose from, each progressively more painful. The price is represented by the Intensity level, $1-4. This is about dog karma. I used this on my dog and after testing it on myself, I realize this #%$^ hurts. So now it’s my time, shock the man or save him. …

10% of all monies collected each month will be donated to a local animal rescue, placement, or shelter center.

Follow the action here.

Naked City Shutterbug

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Recently came across “Naked City Spleen,” a collection of work by a photographer named Miru Kim. It’s a collection of photos she’s taken across cityscapes—generally, the underground, forgotten portions of those cityscapes. The “personal” aspect of it? In each photo, she appears as a tangential element—naked. (See, Naked City. Get it?)

She explains:

One significant motivating force in Naked City Spleen is the identification with the creatures that inhabit the forgotten and forbidden urban spaces. Images of my body in the photographs appear to impersonate the condition of freedom which is intrinsic to all sentient living beings.

Check the whole thing out here.

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