Kickstarting

KSlogoOne of the problems with restarting posting is that there are so many things I intend to post about. Kickstarter is more appropriate than most for the restarting phase. KS is “a funding platform for creative projects.”

I have backed a few projects on KS, most of them in the Tabletop Gaming category (i.e. boardgames or cardgames, videogames go in the category next door). One of my first was Eight-Minute Empire: Legends. As its KS project page shows, it met its funding goal of $10,000, and so was produced. It also met several stretch goals, attracting over $40,000 in funding. So I feel a little foolish that one of my reasons for funding was to make sure this worthy project got produced. Another reason was to get an early copy. Yet another was to get extra boards, and so I went up to the funding level at which they were included.

TanStatesMore recently, I backed Tangram States, in the Illustration category. I’ve always been fascinated by maps, and this one seems particularly cool.

Kickstarter is an example of crowdfunding (links to Wikipedia and to Forbes). Comments on KS, or on crowdfunding in general, are welcome…

Like Etsy But…

IMG_3082Another weekend, another Halloween… but I’m getting ahead of my blogging. Last weekend saw the last SoWa open market of 2009. SoWa is a silly term for the south end of Boston’s South End.

It was a lovely sunny October day, we bumped into some friends, we bought some art… The print of dinos reading is by Eric Sturtevant: our home life sometimes resembles the picture.

The two smaller prints are by Chen Reichart, whose blog and Etsy store are called botodesigns. The autumnal print seems to illustrate that we should become a two-Android family soon. Chen and her partner were kind enough to compliment me on the tshirt I was wearing, and to ask where I got it (Threadless, Star Men in Moon’s Milk).

Indeed, the SoWa market is like Threadless, Etsy, and similar web sites come to life, in ways that demonstrate advantages of real life over the web. The market has a good selection of tshirts, crafts, etc. It also has an antique market next door, in a rather wonderful old trolley barn.

The market also provides the chance to meet the artists: that’s face-to-face, the ultimate social medium. On Sunday it had sunshine, halloween candy and other seasonal flavorings. Now, time to post this, and get ready for halloween itself.

Media: Praise for Paper

NYerClowesWe the parents each took some reading matter along to Kids Fun Stop on Sunday morning. When we got there, we saw that they have wireless, and wondered if we should have brought computers.

While we were there, I read (some of) the New Yorker, which is the only magazine that arrives in our house by subscription. With a PC, I could have done the same reading online. For example, here is an interesting article on the question: Should creative writing be taught?

But I was better off with the magazine in paper form. It’s very portable (important when one is keeping kids in view), boots quickly, offers excellent print resolution, etc. Of course, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been struck by the advantages of paper, it won’t be the last, and many others make similar remarks.

I wouldn’t consider it worthy of remark were it not for the illustration that adorns the cover of the current issue. A space traveler sits among gadgety debris, happily absorbed in a book. So: praise for paper; and kudos for Daniel Clowes, the artist.

Screenprint by Scott Saw

Artist Scott Saw is getting into screenprinting. I’m tempted by Deep Space, a limited edition print on black acid-free paper.

The web is great for visual art. As a consumer, I get to “sample” a lot of it online. I hope that it’s great for the artists as well, since they can easily give out samples. But you can’t beat the real thing, preferably signed by the artist, for your wall.

Bestee Finalists at Threadless

For someone who tends to mock awards, I tend to post about them a lot. So it is with cognitive dissonance, as well as with pleasure, that I link to the Bestee Award nominees at Threadless.

My vote goes to “Grandpa Cassette” by Zack Finfrock. I like some of the other work at Zack’s site, particularly this strip about the webcomic creative process.

Sea Serpents and Suchlike

One of the things I suggested relatives buy for our 5yo daughter was The Sea Serpent and Me. I’m delighted to say that Maddie got the book, that Catia Chien‘s illustrations are just as lovely as I hoped, that Dashka Slater‘s words are also lovely, that words and pictures go together wonderfully well, and that Maddie likes the book as much as I do.

I was pleased to see that Sea Serpent was one of the books for sale at the Museum of Science: to be precise, it was in the stock of things relevant to the Mythic Creatures exhibition. We enjoyed the exhibition. The kids particularly liked being able to build their own dragons, and to release them so that they could fly through the virtual clouds. Apparently dragons can fly even in the presence of Microsoft error boxes.

Fail Whale, New Yorker Style

This is the image in question. If you don’t see an image with roads, then the New Yorker’s fail whale has failed (or perhaps just changed).

This is the Wikipedia article that sent me on the wild whale chase. Of course, it may well have been fixed by the time you read this.

This is a previous post on Twitter’s Fail Whale.

If I knew of a page about Fail Whales and their relatives, I’d link to it. Ideally, it would collect fail images.

Totoro Book Available

The Totoro Forest Project book is now available at the project website. See my previous post for an account of the project, and a sample of some of the lovely illustration contributed to it.

The very limited supply of books is expected to go soon. I wish that more had been printed, and sold through an existing online channel. That might have raised more money and awareness for the Totoro cause. Well, at least my order seems to have gone through.

Update, a few hours later: sold out.