Monthly Archives: August 2008

Tintin finally gets it…

Recognition in the U.S., that is.

One idea I have as a dream job is as a Tintin scholar, and this would be the perfect time, he’s everywhere…

“Tintin in Tibet” was given to me by my father when I was about 11 years old, and  I’ve been a fan of Hergé (née Georges Remi) ever since.  Tintin’s adventures always involve international intrigue, solving obscure riddles, and outsmarting very cunning villains.  According to Tom McCarthy in Tintin and the Secret of Literature, the twists of plot and characterization found in the Tintin stories are enough to lead us to a  definition of Literature while having a lot of fun mining the depths of the psyche that created the stories.  The seemingly light-hearted adventures starring Tintin and Haddock hide far darker, richer symbols and themes, many of which could not have been unknown to the author.

While I love the stories, it is probably the crisp, clean, ligne claire style that I enjoy most about these graphic novels (imitated to perfection by cartoonist Joost Swarte, among many others).  As such an essential characteristic of the books,  I’m interested to see how it is rendered in Spielberg’s motion-capture film series, the first of which is due to be released in 2009.   Andy Serkis, best known as Golem in The Lord of the Rings films, is confirmed to play Haddock –  just check out his gruff portrayal of record producer Martin Hannett in 24-Hour Party People (2002) of which  my favorite line has to be (paraphrased): “I’m a genius, you’re all wankers, you’ll never see me again…you don’t deserve to see me again.”

Other Tintin links:

The Adventures of Tintin – Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Tintin

Arts Briefly: NY times

Recent article about a pornographic Tintin comic entitled, “The Pink Lotus”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/19/arts/19arts-SPAINPULLSBO_BRF.html

Tintinologist.org
http://www.tintinologist.org

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Cool Rube Golderg Domino Cascades at Brooklyn Library

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Originally uploaded by BCAP@The Library

I was torn about whether to point to the the Manga drawings or to these awesome videos of domino cascades.

Either way, readers can go to the unofficial Flickr page of the BPL youth wing Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program (BCAP) @ BPL Flickr page and check out the very cool result of some teamwork and ingenuity, as well as some other nice arts & crafts.

Thanks, Lana!

Bike-crazy

I recently obtained a bike after weeks of trawling Craigslist for one with the right specs (I’m a tall guy and need a large frame, and I wanted a classic, not-too-new and flashy kind of thing).  I was pleased to see after commuting to work on the bike for the first time in months, that the Traffic Department is painting fresh, new bike lanes on all the preferred routes for cyclists (where there isn’t enough room for a lane, icons instruct motorists that the road is to be shared with cyclists).   As the crazy ranting guy on Washington Ave. pointed out to me this morning: “Everyone’s riding a bike, it’s ridiculous!” 

Indeed, as every summer in New York City, we have gone bike crazy and it’s great.

There are plenty of bike transport blogs and resources, some NYC-specific, some not that have been springing up in the last few years, two of my favorite recent discoveries are:

NYC Bike Maps – makes available Google Maps mashups displaying bike routes in all the boroughs, maps of the cycling tour routes. Why don’t the mash-ups give directions from point A to B? 

Well…

Google Maps ‘Bike There’ – Creating a mash-up, unfortunately does not mean that developers can provide us with alternative routes to our destinations.  Google Maps started with driving directions and recently provided a ‘walk there’ feature, prompting many users to wonder if other modes of transport were going to be represented. That’s where the Google Maps ‘Bike There’ petition comes in.  Sign the petition, join the group on Facebook, and recruit your friends to urge Google to create cycling directions on the maps of major U.S. cities. 

Latest favorite bike-related reads:

Shift by Jennifer Bradbury.