Magpie Monday

Look here in the nest and see what shiny baubles and what-nots caught my magpie-eye last week!


Only a smattering of writing links and images for your scriptorial pleasure this week:

Courtesy of The Impossible Cool is this image of director Akira Kurosawa and the accompanying quotation, which applies, I think, to artists of all stripes.

“The role of the artist is to not look away.” ~Akira Kurosawa | Via The Impossible Cool

Here’s another quotation I like, again applicable to all the arts (and something people tend to forget or choose to ignore):

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” ~Edward Land

My friend Diana Muñoz-Stewart shared on Facebook this link for the 45 Best Forensic Tech Blogs, which could be a really useful research tool. Here’s the introductory paragraph to whet your whistle:

Forensic technology encompasses a wide range of fields and technologies and is often used, with some controversy, in criminal trials. The blogs below examine forensic tech from all angles, from professionals active in the field, to journalists covering the impact and evolution of forensic technology, to skeptics concerned about the ramifications of junk science being labeled as forensic science being used to convict in trials.

Photo credit: Fred DeWitt, courtesy of the Orange County Regional History Center

I enjoyed this extract on Envy from Kathryn Chetkovich’s memoir, especially because its focus is on Chetkovich’s envy of her boyfriend (also a writer) who becomes a literary star (to save you from looking him up, I’ll just tell you it’s Jonathan Franzen). Here’s my favorite line from her piece, which keeps coming back to me:

If you’re truly talented, then your work becomes your way of doing good in the world; if you’re not, it’s a self- indulgence, even an embarrassment.

Write and do good, people.

For the fetishist, please to enjoy Flavorwire‘s list of the writing tools of 20 famous authors. The photo of Jack Kerouac above is from the article; he “favored pocket notebooks and old school composition journals, which you can see stacked in the background of this photo.”

Theodora Goss shared some thoughts about craft and art (she makes some good distinctions here).


Three great libraries from the Facebook group No, I do NOT have too many books! First is the Lucasfilm Research Library at Skywalker Ranch:

Lucasfilm Research Library

Next is the University Club Library in New York (click to embiggen):

And here’s the third, though I have no idea where it is!

Looking for a way to keep guests inside, hotels add libraries as amenities, as reported at The New York Times. This idea seems sound to me. Via.


Another installment of Taisia Kitaiskaia’s Ask Baba Yaga:

And another funny bit of satire from Above Average Network–Thingstarter: Better Homeless Signs.


Lots of delicious goodies for you this week. Let’s start with some free previews! The great Gene Luen Yang has a two-volume graphic novel coming out in September, which “explores the stories of two peasants during the Boxer Rebellion in China who struggle with issues of identity during a time in Chinese history when many where asked to choose between their country and their faith.” has previews from both Boxers and also has a preview of Tony Cliff’s Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (Delilah is described as a “lovable ne’er-do-well” and a 19th-century Indiana Jones”). Check them out! At Bleeding Cool, you can check out some pages from the upcoming graphic adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book by P. Craig Russell and featuring lots of other artists, like Scott Hampton, Kevin Nowlan, and Galen Showman. I can’t wait for these books!

Digging these two pictures of one of my all-time favorite X-Men, Storm. Both via The Mary Sue tumblr here and here.

This GIF made by Angeli Landayan is just cool:

And I love this re-imagining of Storm by branch56 for a Project: Rooftop re-design contest:

Kevin McShane’s This Is Why We Love Comics is, as David Malki ! puts it, “a sweet love letter to comics.” This video is really wonderful, if you’re a comics fan. And I am, obviously. Via.

I’m dying over this cover for Batwoman #25 by J.H. Williams III. Click to embiggen. Via.

Cover art for Batwoman #25 by J.H. Williams III

Now for some Wonder Woman! First, here’s the cover by Cliff Chiang for Wonder Woman #25 (via). Click to make that sucker larger.

Cover art for Wonder Woman #25 by Cliff Chiang

And the three parts for the DC Nation Wonder Woman short are now online! Check ’em out!


My friend Andy sent me the link to this fantastic poetry slam video of Neil Hilborn at the Individual Finals of the 2013 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam , and then everyone seemed to be posting a link to it. The poem/performance is amazing, and the last few seconds or so just breaks my heart no matter how many times I watch it, which is exactly what I want poetry to do.

Please enjoy these tasty bits:

From Daily Science Fiction: Zombie Windows by Natalie Graham; Sparg by Brian Trent; Memories of Forgetting by Kenneth S. Kao; The Traveling Raven Problem by Ian Watson; and Just Like Clockwork by K.G. Jewell.

From Swift, Brutal Retaliation by Meghan McCarron.

From flax-golden tales by Erin Morgenstern: The Floral Post.

I’ve been enjoying V.E. Schwab’s explorations of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust over at The first post is about physical, social, and metaphysical boundaries in the novel, and the second is about tolls, rewards, and treasures.

from Stardust | Illustration by Charles Vess


For all your Romantic and romantic reading….

A garden reading room



Two new videos in my friend Cameron Cook‘s Master Shot series, wherein he answers questions about film. Good stuff!

Fellow Buffy the Vampire Slayer obsessives, prepare yourselves for this chart put together by Mark Elwood that visually organizes all the TV shows, comics, novels, and games in the Buffy-verse (via). Below is a snippet:

For the Whovians, please to enjoy these bits


This story about a waiter who used Doctor Who quotes to get tips at the Olive Garden is probably old news by now (it spread quickly), but it’s still charming.


Comedians campaign for more dongs on HBO is a funny video from CollegeHumor (sorry I don’t know how to upload it here). In response to that video, Flavorwire compiled a brief survey of male nudity in television.

If you’re throwing Breaking Bad parties to send off the show in style, mental_floss has you covered with 9 kinds of food and drink for your Breaking Bad party.

And now, film trailers!

I’m not sure what to make of this trailer for A.C.O.D., but great people are in it:

McCanick looks interesting, and it’s one of the last pieces of work from the late Cory Monteith. I’m definitely curious about the central mystery here.

Antboy looks mega-charming, if a little derivative. And it’s from Denmark!

I’m intrigued by the trailer for Four:

C.O.G., based on a David Sedaris essay, looks like it could be good … or bad.


Love love love this satirical piece by Melanie Gillman! Thanks to Laura who shared it on Facebook. (Click the image to see it larger.)

This teacup is part of Livia Marin‘s series, Nomad Patterns. They’re really quite wonderfully strange. You can see the entire series by clicking on Marin’s name or the image below. Via.

from Nomad Patterns by Livia Marin

This GIF by extremist-s makes me explicably happy (via).

The Enchanted Sea, by Henry Arthur Payne, has become one of my current art obsessions. Discovered at The Hanging Garden tumblr. Click to embiggen.

The Enchanted Sea by Henry Arthur Payne

BuzzFeed compiled the creepiest collection of doll photos ever assembled, which pleased me. Speaking of dolls that please me, check out this beautiful art doll by Marina Bychkova, which I came across at The Goblin Market.

Beauty and the Beast, or the Stockholm Syndrome in Fairy Tales Porcelain doll by Marina Bychkova

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz make snow globes that are macabre and unsettling, which probably explains why I like them so much. Click the link above or the image below to see many more examples of their snow globes. Via.

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz

Flavorwire has a gallery of images from the photographic series Masculinities by Chad States that’s well worth wandering through:

The artist finds his models through Craigslist by placing an ad seeking those who identify as being masculine. “I intentionally leave it gender-neutral so males, females and transpeople feel free to respond. Most of the respondents are men, but a few are female and a few are trans. I posted to a bunch of different categories to cast as wide a net as possible,” the photographer said in a recent interview.

Romeo & Juliet by dipthatpen

Wonderful Shakespearean death scenes by dipthatpen from Macbeth, Othello, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Hamlet. At left is the death scene for Romeo and Juliet. I think the design and linework of all six pieces is lovely indeed; do click through to have a look at the others. Via.

While you’re at it, check out these starkly beautiful St. Petersburg landscapes by Josef Hoflehner. Via.

The exhibit Ghosts, Underpants, and Star featuring works by Torafu Architects sounds absolutely delightful. Showing at Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art, “This is a summer-holiday exhibition aimed mainly at infants and primary school children. The normal, staid rules of the museum, such as ‘Don’t Run’, ‘Don’t Touch’ or ‘Keep Quiet’, will be relaxed and we will provide a place where children are free to touch and have fun. Based around three keywords that symbolize children: ‘Ghosts’ (imagination), ‘Underpants’ (children’s growth) and ‘Stars’ (wishes), the exhibition will consist not only of works that are just to be appreciated for what they are, but will also include participation works or programs.” One of my favorite images from the exhibit is below, but do click on the links to see more images. Via.

Torafu Architects

Check out Grant Snider’s new cartoon for Modern: People of the Art Museum: An Illustrated Journal.

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