Part of my original vision for Transmissions was occasionally inserting space news tidbits or upcoming astronomical events.
But so much has happened since Issue 001. Mars is a hopping place lately with helicopter flights and gorgeous full-color images. SpaceX is getting us one step closer to a new era of manned space travel. Not to mention the Moon turned pink.
See. Way more than a “tidbit”. We exist in a time when it’s hard to keep up with all of the space news occurring in the world and outside it. How awesome is that?!?
There are some exciting things on deck for Issue 002, so let's get into it.
Mike Mignola: The Quarantine Sketchbook
Let me tell you why.
Few positives came out of the last year of quarantine. But this is one of my favorites. Mike Mignola’s Quarantine Sketchbook is a collection of sketches that Mike started posting to his social media to keep himself busy during lockdown.
Best known for his creation, Hellboy, and the subsequent BPRD universe spin-off, Mike Mignola is currently a semi-retired comic book creator. With lockdown, he found himself with ample time on his hands. So he started posting daily sketches. Subject matter spanned breakfast cereal mascots, cartoon characters (old and new), sci-fi, horror, and so much more. These daily sketches were a bright spot for me, personally, every day he posted a sketch. They always put a smile on my face.
I’ve been drawn to Mike’s work long before I even knew who he was. Starting with a Superman comic I acquired by accident. There was something different about his approach to storytelling that I couldn’t adequately put into words at the age of 12, but I knew I loved it.
As I've grown as an artist, my appreciation for his mastery of the craft has grown. Exponentially so. The way he boils down shapes, textures, and details to their most essential forms is mind-boggling. It’s hard to describe with words, but when you see a Mike Mignola piece of artwork, you know it. There’s no one else that even comes close. An ever-growing following of his daily sketches reflected this. In spades.
Mike and his wife decided to auction pieces contained in this book to help support World Central Kitchen. The auction was so successful, they kept auctioning more and more of his sketches. During the past year, they’ve raised over $325,000 for WCK. Dark Horse Comics also agreed that all profits from this book would go to World Central Kitchen.
I love that creativity born out of boredom and hardship can help so many people, and have such a lasting effect on the world. A bright spot to be sure.
So buy the book already. There is so much fun to be had digging through this collection of art (Seriously, the Flintstones have never looked so cool. And his Thundercats!!! Not to mention his Kermit the Frog...). I’m thinking I might need to buy a second copy to deconstruct So I can frame and hang some of these in the office. That’s how good this is.
Pixar hacks your brain
Photo by Lucas Benjamin
This was a last-minute addition. I ran across this article in Wired about Pixar and how they use color to hack your brain.
As an animation geek, a designer/illustrator, and a lover of science - it checks all the boxes for me. This is actually an excerpt from Full Spectrum, a book about the science of color by Adam Rogers. Apparently a book I'll be adding to my already mountainous "to-read" pile.
This article/excerpt is a deep dive into how Pixar cheats at evoking certain emotions using color, and the science behind it. It may be a longer read. But an extremely fascinating one. Set some time aside to get geeky about color.
LEGO's Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile
I was going to take a break from LEGOs for Issue 002, you know, for variety’s sake. But this just arrived, and I had to share!
I have an absurdly long and winding history with Adam West’s Batman television show. To place me, historically within Batman pop-culture - I’m not so old that I watched the Adam West Batman in its original run. I watched the reruns (So. Many. Re-runs). But I was also just a little too young to watch Tim Burton’s Batman movie when it was released. Don’t get me wrong. I WANTED TO. But I had wise parents that had me wait until I was ready.
Since this was before Batman: The Animated Series arrived on the scene and blew all of our minds, I was left with Adam West’s take on the Caped Crusader. That was fine by me. It was funny, adventurous, silly. And sarcastic. In a way that probably influenced me more than I give it credit for.
I have these memories of a Batman-themed birthday party. We watched episode after episode of the show on VHS taped from TV. Commercials and all. (I wonder where those tapes ended up?). Of course there were cake and ice cream breaks. Because birthday.
I still have the signed copy of Adam West's memoir Back to the Batcave that my aunt stood hours in line for, got signed, and then gifted me for Christmas.
I now live in Adam West's hometown.
All this to say, when I saw Lego’s announcement for this set, I was as first-in-line as you can be on the internet.
This may be my favorite Batman mini-figure of all time. The cowl with the eyebrow and nose outlines is perfect. Their take on Cesar Romero’s Joker is fantastic. It ignites memories of Romero's ludicrous smile and his laugh. That. Laugh.
There are only two things I wish this set included. Robin. And most importantly, shark repellant (If you know, you know).
This set will always spark a trail of fond nostalgia filled with garish colors, cheesy dialogue, and quality “ZAP”, “POW” word balloons.
Twenty One Pilots/ Mute Math
Now for some tunes.
I wasn't aware of Twenty-One Pilots in any conscious fashion before running across this video on YouTube. I’d heard their music in soundtracks and I’m sure it popped up on recommended lists. Because algorithms. But I had never really sought them out or placed their music with a name.
This particular performance is a team-up with a band I was more familiar with. Paul Meany from MuteMath helped produce music for Twenty One Pilots so it’s really no surprise that Paul’s band performs with them for this video.
It's a performance that gets the blood pumping. It brings energy to the room and helps motivate me when I need a musical pick-me-up.
There’s a lot of cool stuff going on here musically. My six-year-old drummer of a son especially likes the fact that there are two drummers. Take a listen. Especially when you need a little extra “get-up-and-go” in your day.
That’s it for Issue 002. Hopefully, you found something cool to brighten your day, maybe something interesting to share. See you in 2 weeks for Issue 003 where I’m going to be talking classic sci-fi, and showing off one of my favorite “new” comic book sub-universes in quite some time.
As always, if you have something that you think the Meteor community would appreciate, send ideas my way.