Thursday, March 29, 2012

Animals of the week

Speedy the cat was born with different colored eyes and is deaf.

It was discovered that crocodiles breathe just like birds, which might have given dinosaurs a competitive edge over mammals during the mass extinction period that happened 250 million years ago.

Beyonce the puppy, reputedly the smallest dog in the world, fit into spoon at birth and now fits into tea cup.

From one mouse to another

Newfound respect for the Toronto DJ and producer Deadmau5 who told Madonna what’s what.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


GLAAD Media Awards recognized Batwoman as the year’s Outstanding Comic Book and “the first mainstream ongoing series to feature a lesbian protagonist.”

Only in Brazil

A group of pretty blondes and a brunette are performing flash-kidnappings in Rio and São Paulo. They rob women in shopping malls at gun point and max out their credit cards to buy designer clothing and other luxury items.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Scorsese shot this one out of the ballpark. A story full of imagination, amazing visuals and effects, and great performances.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Turns out MDNA isn’t a bad album, it’s just very generic dance pop. But the very best of generic dance pop. The tracks are by a bunch of “hot” producers of the moment, plus collaborators (the new Madonna collaborates a lot) and some ABBA-esque moments. As a result, never has she sounded so contemporary and so ADD. This is a violent, rebellious, religiously dubious and expletive-filled album, but it’s also full of energy and juvenile fun that reinvigorates the queen (as Nicki Minaj calls her on “I don't give a".) Monster uplifting hits throughout.

Neither has she for a long time sounded so grating. There is a lot hard vocals on MDNA and the stretching of Madonna’s nasal proclivities to the max. She seems to yell most verses and her voice sounds as shrill as the songs she’s peddling. There are exceptions of course: "I fucked up" and "Falling free"are quite nice and her singing lessons really pay off.

She’s collaborated with William Orbit again, but there’s no "Ray of light" here, or even a “Substitute for love”. It’s a shame that (Madonna feels that) to stay relevant she needs to “youth-anize” her music and just party, party, party with the kids. After 53 years of being Madonna, it looks like she’s desperately trying to conserve her youth, even if it means devolving her music.

The video for "Girls gone wild" is Madonna at her most iconoclastic and disposable. The video is a collection of phases in the Madonna cannon; it starts with a prayer, it's mostly black and white, Madonna is in full big hair and makeup, it has vogueing, chains, slithering up and down walls and same-sex action with guys in Beyoncé pumps doing Beyoncé steps. What's not to like?

Eric Watson 1955-2012

He was the first one to photograph the Pet Shop Boys. Eric Watson was the visual architect who helped create the classic PSB aesthetics.

 He took the pictures for the covers of “West End girls",  "Opportunities", "Love comes quickly", "Suburbia", "It's a sin", "What have I done to deserve this?", "Rent", "Heart", "It's alright", "So hard", "Jealousy", "DJ culture", "I don't know what you want but I can't give it anymore"  and albums "Please", Behaviour" and “Nightlife”. He also directed many classic PSB videos, including "West End girls", "Suburbia", "Domino dancing" and "Jealousy" as well as the 1991 concert film, "Performance" considered by many to be the Pet Shop Boys’ best concert. He also took pics of other pop stars of the 80s.

On helping create the PSB aesthetics, he said: "We realised there was something about somebody singing and somebody else doing nothing – just looking, then looking away – that adds a hideous tension. It's creepy but also, I suppose, charming. It was only later we realised we'd created a product."

Comic Fine Art Comics

Art in China

China overtakes the United States to become the World's Largest Art Market.

“The next decade will be the first period when emerging market countries contribute more to global economic growth than developed ones. The lack of other alternatives appear to have led to a significant amount of substitution into art as an investment by Chinese consumers.”
Dr Clare McAndrew, The International Art Market in 2011.

Navy Pier Competition

James Corner Field Operations wins the competition to redesign the existing structure and tourist destination designed by Daniel Burnham to connect the people of Chicago with Lake Michigan.  The designs are a little too candy-colored for my taste, but still Toronto could take a cue about how a city can relate to a lake.

And they have some wicked mobile planters!

Google and Amazon together at last

Google now offers “street view” of the Amazon Rainforest. The service has set off to the Brazilian jungle to let users explore rivers, forests, and communities of the Amazon basin within Google Maps. Some amazing sights of Brazil.

The new Captain Marvel

After the old Captain Marvel became Shazam, Marvel was quick to take hold of its namesake by promoting superheroine Carol Danvers from Ms. to Captain.

Of course it's not the first time that a female Captain Marvel has been around. Writer Peter David did it in 2004. But this time, it's the main show and it looks like the right idea.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Was a smarter movie than I thought it would be. The relentless pace suits it well, even though the plot gets  mangled along the way. Yes, an actual, awesome cartoon would probably have been cooler, but this was pretty good on its own merits.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


And speaking of Marvels...

Marvel Infinite Comics

Not to be outdone by DC, Marvel announced its digital comics initiative, to be launched on the same date that The Avengers hit the screens. In this "Marvel Re-Evolution," purchasers of print copies of comic books will automatically have access to the digital version via a redemption code.

My new favorite image

"Album Le Rouge" by Gérard Fromanger.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Moebius 1938-2012

Death of a Master.