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Star Wars: Battlefront Trailer

There’s an official trailer for the new Star Wars: Battlefront game, and it looks pretty amazing. We’re seeing a lot of what we expected: classic battles from the original trilogy as well as a few landscapes we don’t recognize. We know that the game will include a downloadable level from the new film, The Force Awakens, but otherwise we’re not entirely sure how much of the game will take place during the new era. What we do know is that the game will be released in November.

All Roads Lead to Deviation

It’s been about fifteen years since the incarnation of DeviantArt. DA’s very own spyed takes you back to the beginning and gives you a look at where we’re heading.

Super Sculpey Art

Meet Tiamatus, an artist from the US who is doing incredible things with Super Sculpey!

Look At This Photo of the Moon and the International Space Station

This was taken by photographer Thierry Legault, who specializes in photographing astrological events, and has taken a great deal of ISS transits (including one across the sun). This is one of those holy-cow-this-can’t-be-real photos, but we assure you, it is.

Meet Paul Cezanne

Cezanne’s work inspired some of art’s most important and well-known movements, and helped found modernism as an artistic school. Get to know the man himself, in our birthday tribute to Cezanne from earlier this year.

Wine Glass Beakers

These wine glasses from Periodic Tableware are a fusion of beakers and wine glasses that are classy enough for a dinner party but still super unique. We can’t guarantee that this shape is the best for experiencing all the floral notes of a vintage pinot noir, but they’re certifiably cool-looking.

Site Update

We’ve got the scoop on the recent outage and issues around the site. Get more information here.

Belgium Sees United States’ Runaway Llamas, Raises Them Three Zebras

The runaway animal madness is continuing on strong and we are not one bit unhappy about it. Apparently some rascally Zebras got loose in Brussels this week and went romping about the streets for a few hours before they were contained by authorities. What kind of exotic animal is going to get loose next? And in what quantity? Let’s speculate about this in the comments below.

Forum Feature

Kirlyfish would like to know what video game you’ve spent the most time playing. Discuss your gaming obsessions here.

Cosplay Friday: The Powerpuff Girls

Fri Apr 17, 2015, 12:09 PM
Img-00 by techgnotic

What Are Little Whoopass Girls Made Of?

It was back in the early 90’s while attending California Institute of the Arts that creator Craig McCracken (CMcC) first dreamed up three crime fighting female superheroes for his student short film. The super powered girls Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were the result of Professor Utonium’s experimental attempt to create the perfect little girls using "sugar, spice, and everything nice", but a can of “Whoopass” accidentally made it’s way into the mixture and the Whoopass Girls were born. Armed with super strength, speed, flight, and a few more tricks the girls used their powers to fight crime and save the world all before bedtime.

Once Cartoon Network picked up the show they decided to change the name to something more appropriate for younger audience and replaced “whoopass’ with “powerpuff’. Here’s the short film that started it all.

The Artistic Lifestyle Of Townsville

Dripping pop art and pop culture, the animation style used in The Powerpuff Girls is highly stylized and shows influences from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s art scene. The minimalistic look of the show is reminiscent of British artist David Hockney’s work conveying “1950s futuristic pizazz” according to movie critic Bob Longino. Longion went on to add that The Powerpuff Girls was "one of the few American creations that is both gleeful pop culture and exquisite high art." The character of Ms. Keane, the girls kindergarten teacher, is named after American artist Margaret Keane whose artwork features children with unusually large eyes. Her art inspired the drawing style of many of the characters in The Powerpuff Girls including the girls themselves.

The retro era influences don’t stop at the artwork — the opening credits pay homage to the 1960’s live-action Batman series animated intro which pans across a handful of Gotham villains and shows Batman and Robin giving them a one-two punch. The storyline in one episode is loosely based on the Beatles career with the majority of the dialogue being taken from their song lyrics and some of the villains appearing in roles that were a nod to the band members. The characters’ dialogue in many episodes references classic rock and pop songs from those earlier eras, there’s even references to Star Wars in a few episodes.

Is It The End For The Powerpuff Girls?

The Powerpuff Girls ran for 78 episodes ending in 2005 and featured the voice talent of Tara Strong, Elizabeth Daily, and Cathy Cavadini in the sweet superhero roles. Its popularity generated an anime version Powerpuff Girls Z which debuted in Japan in 2005 and ran for 52 episodes until 2007. So is that it? Are we never to see the girls battling against the crossdressing devil HIM or setting people like misguided feminist Femme Fatale right? Fear not! Cartoon Network is rebooting The Powerpuff Girls who are making their return to the small screen in 2016 on its 18th anniversary of the show’s debut.

For now you can enjoy this sugar-coated cosplay collection full of girl powered whoopass as deviants bust out their best Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup creations. This is a Powerpuff Girls collection even HIM would approve of.

Sugar, Spice, and everything nice. These are the ingredients to make the perfect little girls.”

— Narrator

And, like Ben Franklin always said … Early to bed, early to wake, makes a lady smart, pretty, and great.”

— Blossom

Yeah. Mojo did a very silly thing, he did, blowing a hole in his house. Boy, was he mad. There was steam coming out of his ears, but I knew that deep down inside he was a sad, poor, little monkey.”

— Bubbles

We’re not keeping that stinky fleabag. Because I’m gonna end up feeding it, and cleaning it, and loving it.”

— Buttercup

No! Not my priceless, very rare, one-of-a-kind porcelain poodle! Anything! Anything but my priceless, very rare, one-of-a-kind porcelain poodle!”

— Mayor

Hey you kids, get out of my moat, it was not meant to be played in. I must remember to destroy those kids after my breakfast has been eaten.”

— Mojo Jojo

Your Thoughts

  1. Who is you favorite Powerpuff Girls character and why?
  2. What would you like to see in future editions of Cosplay Friday?

Fan Art Friday: Archer

Fri Apr 17, 2015, 11:10 AM
Img-og by techgnotic

Agent Sterling Archer, codename Duchess, is known from Bangkok to Berlin as the world’s most dangerous spy.

Archer is an animated TV series on FX, which focuses primarily on its titular character and his co-workers — operatives at an agency known as ISIS. The show was created by Adam Reed, who’s known for his work on Adult Swim shows like Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo.

At first glance, Archer is your basic adult cartoon show about the exploits of its bumbling protagonist. But what Archer the character lacks in self-awareness and pragmatism he makes up for in wit and competence as a secret agent, which sets this show apart from other animated series with lovable knuckleheads for heroes (like The Simpsons, or Bob’s Burgers which actually stars the same voice actor, H. Jon Benjamin). Archer drops literary and historical references in almost every episode, and he always manages to thwart his attackers. He is almost always cool, collected, and confident. Especially under pressure. Sometimes Archer is so casually nonplussed during gunfights that he lets his mind wander to subjects and conversations that are entirely unrelated to the present-tense action.

In the season five opener, as unknown assailants are opening fire on ISIS agents, pinning them behind desks, Archer is wondering aloud to himself about a certain Muppet, whose name he can’t remember. And that’s pretty much par for the course.

The show has built its reputation in part around its propensity for running gags and call-back jokes that reference prior episodes.

Among the most famous is Archer’s repeated allusions to the 1986 Kenny Loggins song — and de facto Top Gun theme song — "Danger Zone," every time his frequent partner Lana behaves in a way that Archer interprets as a romantic advance. Others include Archer’s cell phone going off during missions, his mother and ISIS head-honcho Mallory’s frequent abuse of power, and ISIS head scientist Dr. Krieger’s dubious science experiments. The running bits function as a nod to the show’s dedicated fans as well as a brilliant use of repetition-as-comedy.

One of Archer’s most puzzling aspects is what time period, exactly, the show is supposed to be set. The aesthetic of the series is very 60s. Some critics have compared Archer’s appearance to Mad Men's Don Draper, and between the wardrobe, analog technology, frequent references to the Soviet Union, and rampant drinking in the office, a compelling case can be made for the show taking place in the mid-to-late 20th century. But here’s the thing: Archer has a cell phone. The agents are frequently using GPS trackers and laser sights. The references to modern pop-culture (i.e. Top Gun, Burt Reynolds films like Gator) are countless. In one episode the agents are asked what year they believe it is, and none of them have an answer.

The show’s timelessness is achieved in large part through the actual animation.

The clothes that the agents usually wear, the appearance of their office with its 80s-era computers and reel-to-reel mainframe — all of these contribute to the highly stylized, old-school aesthetic of the series. The studio that created the show’s pilot actually based each character off of a model, to give a realistic aspect to the appearance of each one. The series isn’t afraid to show off its self-awareness about this aspect. In season three’s premiere, we’re introduced to a character named Rip Riley who dresses like Indiana Jones and flies a seaplane. Archer continuously makes fun of Rip Riley for harkening back to the aesthetics of a previous era, which is an even-handed nod to the show’s audience.

As one of the most distinctive animated series on television, Archer has inspired no shortage of fan art, which both explores the show’s aesthetic and pays homage to it. For your viewing pleasure, here is our gallery of Archer fan art.

“Danger Zone!”

— Archer

“The cumulative hangover will kill me.”

— Archer

“Look at his tufted ears!”

— Archer

“Idiots doing idiot things, because they’re idiots.”

— Archer

Your Thoughts

  1. Who is your favorite Archer character and why?
  2. What would you like to see in future editions of Fan Art Friday?

Untitled-1 by techgnotic

The Batman v Superman Trailer Has Been Release

In the wake of yesterday’s...anticlimactic teaser-of-the-teaser trailer debut, the actual first look at Batman v Superman has been released. The trailer does a pretty good job setting up the film’s premise, and gives us some hope for Ben Affleck as Batman — just listen to that classic one-liner at the end.

Matthew McConaughey’s Reacts To Star Wars Trailer

Did your eyes get a little misty while you watched yesterday’s Star Wars trailer debut? We’re willing to bet you weren’t feeling half as sentimental as Matthew McConaughey in this reaction video.

Twinkles and the Fox

y2jenn illustrated an adorable children’s book called Twinkles and the Fox, which you can find here.

Archie vs Sharknado

That’s right everybody, per a report from Bleeding Cool, this summer will see the release of an Archie vs. Sharknado comic, which might be the most inspired crossover of all time. We can’t wait to pick up a copy of this.

Jewelry Commission

Wolf-of-Samhain has opened up jewelry commissions to help pay for school. All the information you need is here.

‘Messenger’ Will Hit Mercury April 30th

NASA announced yesterday via a press release that its faithful Mercury probe, Messenger, which has been orbiting the first planet from the sun for about a decade now, will run out of propellant and crash into Mercury’s surface on April 30.

Happy 5 Years!

Today is DulcetFancy’s 5 year DA anniversary! Head on over to help her celebrate. How long have you been a part of DeviantArt? Tell us in the comments below!

Meet BB-8

BB-8 is threatening to steal the hearts of audiences the world over this Christmas when The Force Awakens is released, but in the mean time audiences at Star Wars Celebration got to meet the actual droid used while filming the movie. Take a look for yourself. Does R2D2 have some competition?

Forum Feature

Starfiyah wants to know what you hated when you were a kid? Brussels sprouts? Bath time? Share your childhood bugaboos here.

David Lynch Hates Graffiti

So this story kind of flew under our radar, but apparently back in March David Lynch spoke at a gallery exhibition in Australia that featured his work, and, among other things, made the casual and not at all overblown statement that “Graffiti to me has pretty much ruined the world.” To give Lynch the benefit of context, he was speaking in terms of the street art form sullying architecture and making it difficult to film in certain locations, but even then, this statement caused us to raise our eyebrows. What’s your opinion? Do you see graffiti as a valid artform or nothing more than vandalism?

Birthday Patrol

We want to wish the happiest of birthdays to Hyung86!

Ryan Gosling Could Star In ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel

Deadline is reporting that Ryan Gosling, star of Drive, is in negotiations to star in the upcoming Blade Runner sequel. We’ve got mixed feelings about the idea of this classic and near-perfect film getting a sequel, but Gosling’s involvement, along with director Denis Villeneuve and Harrison Ford — reprising his role from the first film — all give us reason to be optimistic.

Sketch Madness Champ

Please help us give a heartfelt congratulations to pikajane, who was crowned Sketch Madness Champion today!

First Donut (almost) In Space

People love donuts, people love space — this was bound to happen sooner or later. We’re both proud of this donut and also strangely jealous of it. Do you think donuts taste better after having been to space? Let us know in the comments below.

East Coast Meet-Up

The EastCoastDA group has announced a DevMeet in Boston on August 15th. Check this out for more info.

David Freaking Hasselhoff

There’s nothing we can say about this video that can describe the magic of watching it. Enjoy.

Keep This In Mind

When you don’t feel like posting to DA, or you are looking for a reason to keep making work, remember that people like mkaye610 are inspired by the things that you do!

Cover for Milo Talon

by Louis L'Amour

Fantasy Art Technique

Muddy Colors is a Fantasy Art Collective that posts regular blogs and their latest entry lists out the aspects of painting in order of priority.

Draw Better

MachinesBleedToo has posted this no-BS guide to improving your drawing.

Forum Feature

DamaiMikaz wants to know how deep your addiction to DA runs. Open up here, we won’t judge.

How To Make The Game Of Thrones Theme Song With Cubase

Well this is pretty cool. Doctor Mix has created a video showing how you can recreate the Game of Thrones theme song using the Cubase program. How do you think they did?

Project Porkchop Artist To Watch

Ceridwens-gallery is an artist living in Germany. We’re having a hard time putting her work into words, which we consider a good thing. See her gallery here, and find out about more Project Porkchop artists here.

Attack On Titan Game Trailer

This new trailer for the Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains game, which is coming to 3DS later this year, highlights specific game features.

Freedom Planet

by GalaxyTrail Games

Play This Game

Freedom Planet is an anthro-based game created by SpacemanStrife and TysonTan. Check it out right here.

Birthday Patrol

Put on your party hats everyone, because today is Bluefley’s birthday!

Img-00a by techgnotic

Every day the sea level gets a little higher, and every day we have a little bit less water to drink.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, 2.7 billion people are faced with water scarcities during at least one month of the year. As drought conditions prevail in many places around the globe and our limited supply of accessible fresh water continues to dwindle, the problem is getting worse, not better.

A global water crisis — a scenario in which there simply isn’t enough potable water to sustain the world’s needs — is the most significant global risk we face on Earth in terms of its potential impact on the population. Of all potential global crises, a water crisis is the eight most likely to occur in a ten year period, according to an assessment by the World Economic Forum in January.

All this is to say that the world’s water problems need to be solved sooner rather than later. It’s a tragedy in its own right that 2.4 billion people worldwide don’t have steady access to water that is sufficiently sanitary — meaning they are exposed to a host of water-borne illnesses, which often prove deadly. But soon this will be everyone else’s problem too.

In terms of the shortage, desalinating seawater seems, at first, like an attractive option.

We know that converting seawater into fresh water is a viable way to create potable H2O, but that process is hugely expensive in many ways. The amount of electricity needed as well as the potential impact of a desalination plant on the ocean environment it pumps water from both present major flaws in this solution. Given the costliness of the process, places that have used desalination as a stop-gap to produce water during intense droughts, such as in California and Australia, often end up shuttering the plants when normal rain conditions resume.

For what it’s worth, we know that the effects of global warming and global water shortages are related.

The rising sea levels mean that coastal locations without much land between fresh and saltwater bodies risk cross-contamination, rendering the freshwater saline and thus undrinkable. In addition, many scientists speculate that global warming is causing and will continue to cause extreme weather conditions — that includes harsh droughts.

Prospects seem bleak, and no self-evident solution has presented itself.

But consider this: In the US, California is suffering one of its worst droughts on record right now. As the state continues hemorrhaging fresh water, its supply isn’t being replenished at a sustainable rate. To try and curb the effects of the drought, the governor of California has put significant water restrictions in place. During the coverage of these restrictions, a troubling statistic emerged. In California, “outdoor residential use” accounts for one-third of all Urban water consumption. In other words, lawn and garden sprinklers are using a third of the water in California’s cities. That’s a number that should cause your face to flush red, considering how obscenely simple it would be to simply stop allowing people to water their lawns.

This is especially true in Southern California, where rainfall is so scarce that residential lawns must be planted using turf, because the various species of grass found on lawns do not grow naturally there. Incentive programs exist for homeowners to replace their lawns with water-storing plants that are native to the region.

This problem is more pressing than having a nice-looking lawn whether we choose to acknowledge that fact or not. Right now, most of us think about water scarcity as happening somewhere else, being someone else’s problem. But when you juxtapose a lawn sprinkler in California with the millions of people who lack access to clean water all over the world, this problem becomes illuminated in a global context.

A ban on lawn sprinklers isn’t going to solve the world’s water problems — not even close. The fact that turning sprinklers off could alleviate an entire third of urban water consumption in California makes you wonder what other simple conservation steps we could take with a little bit of creative thinking. Beyond that, there are ways we can help people without access to clean water right now. The impetus take this simple step exists already, and every day it becomes a little more urgent. How much more water could be saved?

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you incorporate any water-saving techniques in your day-to-day life? If so, we’d love to hear what they are!
  2. In your opinion, which is a more effective strategy for dealing with resource shortages on Earth: creating solutions through conservation and renewal, or exploring other potential homes for our species throughout the universe?
  3. One solution to water woes used in different regions worldwide are so-called “rain taxes” that charges building owners for excess rainwater. What’s the water situation like where you’re at? Are there any special restrictions or preventative steps being taken to regulate usage?

Edison And Tesla's Electric Feud

Thu Apr 16, 2015, 5:28 PM
Img-00 by techgnotic

The $50,000 Wager

The story goes that when Thomas Edison’s Serbian-born employee Nikola Tesla told his boss that he could make several fixes to his direct current power generators, Edison offered him a healthy reward — $50,000 — if he was successful. In a few months, Tesla finished the project and asked for his payment. Apparently Edison laughed Tesla off and instead offered him a $10 a week raise. Tesla became indignant and immediately resigned, opting to dig ditches instead of continue working for Edison. And that’s about where the story of this feud between supercharged egos begins.

It’s ironic that many people regard Thomas Edison as the father of modern electricity, because in actuality he’s more like the father of archaic electricity whereas Tesla basically engineered electric power as we know and use it today.

Thomas Edison owned patents for the dominant model of electric power distribution in the United States, which used a direct current (DC). Another model, which used alternating currents (AC), had been developed in Europe, but it lacked the practicality of Edison’s system, especially where meters — used to determine consumption volume and price — were concerned. Eventually Tesla developed a model that surpassed Edison’s in terms of practicality. This was mainly because Tesla’s model allowed electricity to be distributed over long distances without as much transmission loss, making it possible for one central power generator to provide electricity to a broad surrounding area.

The Electric Elephant

Edison’s direct current patents were being used by General Electric, while Tesla’s AC model had been co-opted by Westinghouse Electric, owned by entrepreneur George Westinghouse. As the competing systems fought for contracts, Edison began a smear campaign designed to cause widespread public mistrust of the alternating current system. Edison staged a series of public executions of animals, including an elephant, using alternating current electricity. In reality, the risk of being shocked to death by alternating current power was no greater than with a direct current. Edison was merely looking out for his own bottom line.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a superior idea or product has lost out because of a marketing campaign, but Tesla was not destined to lose, at least not yet.

The beginning of the end for direct current electricity in the US came after the Niagara Falls Cataract Construction Company awarded a contract for conduction of its hydroelectric facility to Westinghouse Electric, which used alternating current electricity to harness the power from the falls. AC had beaten DC definitively, and the company Edison worked for, General Electric, developed its own AC patents despite Edison’s objections.

Direct Current Avenged

It should be noted that no small number of household devices actually run on DC electricity, and therefore must convert alternating current energy in order to function. You know that little box part of your laptop charger that gets boiling-lava-hot when it’s plugged in? The function of that mechanism is to convert power from the alternating current outlet into a direct current which charges your battery. And the heat comes from energy being lost in the conversion. It’s a hopelessly inefficient process that sometimes has to happen on a large scale, like at data centers housing numerous computer servers. The economic strain of that lost energy could contribute to a rise in DC electricity. But let’s not get carried away and act like this was Edison’s plan all along. If he could’ve found a way to make DC energy advantageous in his day, he would have.

Tesla may not have cared as much about money as Edison did, but both inventors possessed egos that simply wouldn’t tolerate the other’s. This clash of personalities may be at the root of every great creative rivalry in history — it certainly played a part in this one. Could Edison and Tesla have flourished as partners in another Universe, using Edison’s entrepreneurial wherewithal and Tesla’s unbridled creative genius? Probably not. It isn’t our place to take sides, and certainly both of these men have complicated legacies, but only one of them killed an elephant for the sake of propaganda.

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you or have you ever had a creative nemesis? Do you think that such rivalries can contribute to increased creativity, or is it damaging to spend time worrying about “topping” someone else?
  2. Do you think the world will ever fully embrace wind and solar power, etc., or make recycling a serious concern in our lives? Is our collective psychology such that we can’t value preservation of precious things — like even our own planet?
  3. Do you think great minds can work together to solve our great problems, or are the minds of visionaries like the bodies of athletes — always needing to compete more than complement?

Untitled-1 by techgnotic

New ‘Star Wars’ Trailer

The second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released. In addition, we got a little tidbit of trivia about the new film. Do you remember the shot on the first teaser trailer for The Force Awakens that features a desert environment everyone assumed was Tatooine? According to a report from IGN, director J.J. Abrams confirmed today at Star Wars Celebration that the planet is in fact called Jakku. We’re expecting a healthy amount of news about the upcoming film in the coming days, so stay tuned for more updates.

Color Commissions

Ahkward is offering full color commissions to raise money for graduation and an upcoming senior show. There are only two spots available so act fast!

When Marnie Was There Trailer

We’ve arrived at a bittersweet moment — here is the trailer for the very last Studio Ghibli film ever to be created. Let’s all sigh a collective sigh and watch, shall we? It’s hard to escape feeling a lot of nostalgic and mournful feels while you watch this with the knowledge that you’ll not be seeing any more trailers like this in the nearing future, and the premise of the film also appears to be, as usual, a heartrending and beautifully-animated tale. Grab a box of tissues to dry your eyes and tell us your favorite Studio Ghibli film down in the comments!

Support A Deviant

Seb-M is participating in a contest which could help to finance a feature film. Note that if you want to vote, you’ll have to create an account on the site.

See Emma Watson As Belle

This artist posted her vision of what Emma Watson might look like as Belle in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast film. It won’t come out until next year at least, but this seems pretty spot on!

Request A Tutorial

TehAngelsCry specializes in Photoshop, HTML/CSS and writing and is offering up tutorials based on your requests. Check out her journal and let her know what you’re looking for.

Matthew Vaughn May Direct Flash Gordon

The director of X-Men First Class, Kick-Ass, and Kingsman: The Secret Service is in talks with Twentieth Century Fox to direct their upcoming Flash Gordon movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. With stellar credentials like the ones Vaughn has, we’ve got our fingers crossed that he gets the project.

30 Writers

Check out the latest edition of LadyLincoln’s feature ’30 Writers You Should Discover.’

Honey, on Tap

We don’t want to oversell this, but here is the best invention we’ve seen since the internet. Flow Hive is a special kind of bee colony structure that allows beekeepers to harvest honey with a tap, rather than going through the immensely labor-intensive traditional process. We are in awe of this wondrous device.

Fandom Recommendations

VanillaSwimmer is on summer vacation and wants to get into more fandoms. What are your favorites?  Make your suggestions here.

Wireless Charging Furniture

Ikea has released a collection furniture that come with wireless charging capabilities, so that you can keep your devices on by simply setting them on the furniture. The products range in price from $9 to $119, and include pieces like a floor lamp and a night stand.

Forum Feature

Tomokata wants to know what your current book or comic obsession is. Share what you’re reading here.

Batman v Superman Trailer

Here is thirty seconds of footage that Warner Bros. is calling a teaser trailer for Batman v Superman. Excuse us if we sound disappointed; the trailer is essentially just close-up shots of a superman suit, a batman mask, and then two logos sandwiched on top of each other. Pretty compelling stuff. Wake us up when an actual trailer drops.

Birthday Patrol

Birthday PatrolToday is Exileden’s birthday! Help make it a special one by saying happy b-day!

Watch The SpaceX Rocket Explode

You know how this is going to turn out the second that you click on the video, but you also can’t help but be disappointed when the Falcon 9 stage on booster falls over and explodes right at the end. It was just so close! We are keeping our fingers crossed for the next run.

Woodworking Showcase

Andorada has put together a fantastic showcase of artists who specialize in woodworking. Check it out here.

Wonder Woman Has A Director

Remember two days ago when we were all, “Wonder Woman doesn’t have a director anymore!” Well, Wonder Woman has a director again, according to a report from Deadline. Patty Jenkins, who wrote and directed a movie about a Daytona Beach prostitute-turned-serial-killer in 2003 called Monster has signed on to the project. Fingers crossed, but we hope this means the film will remain on-schedule for its 2017 release.

Silver Work

Check out these amazing silver pieces by flintlockprivateer — the detailing in his work is astounding.

Who’s In Star Wars?

We now know, or at least we think we know, who’s going to be in the new Star Wars film, as far as characters are concerned. Making Star Wars has released what it touts as a list of every character who filmed a sequence in The Force Awakens during production last summer. The list hasn’t been confirmed by Disney or Lucasfilm, and as Making Star Wars points out, it probably contains a few codenames for major characters. Anyway if you don’t mind the potential spoilers and you want to see the list for yourself, you can see it here.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

This ‘Light Hunters’ feature by VenatoresLucis is quite beautiful.

Get To Know A Forensic Photographer

Check out this mini-documentary about Nick Marsh, a forensic photographer. Though the rise of digital photography means this profession is shrinking, Marsh has a unique skillset and a very interesting way of looking at the world.

Project Educate Calendar

projecteducate has posted an updated schedule. Check out what’s coming up and how you can get involved here.

freecatdollby 法雪needle felted cats

Thanks, Japan! But Also: Get It Together, Japan

A pair of students at the Japan School of Wool and Art have created an ultra-realistic cat head mask that is so convincing it looks like it was photoshopped onto the heads of the people wearing it in photos. As of yet you can’t buy the mask, but golly gee, we’d sure like to.

Forum Feature

How’s your week going so far? Jess77712 wants to know, so whether you’re feeling accomplished, frustrated, or somewhere in between, head over to the forums and share.

Watch This Insane Person Piloting A Wingsuit Through A Target

So this guy flies a wingsuit through this flag target and very nearly meets an untimely end after hitting the aforementioned target face-first and exploding it everywhere. Here are a few questions this video raises, in no particular order: What is the purpose of doing this? How fast is he going? What is that target made of? Did flying through it/exploding it hurt? Where is this guy’s mom? Does she know he’s out there doing this? We’re all for chasing your own rainbows, but we also kinda just want to tell this guy to pump the brakes a bit.

Project Porkchop Artist To Watch

SBraithwaite is a digital artist living in Australia. His artwork often features high fantasy in a dark, somewhat sinister aesthetic. Check out his gallery here, and learn more about Project Porkchop artists here.

Comic Advice

If you’re looking to break into comics but don’t know how to start, you may find this Darwyn Cooke panel from WonderCon helpful.

Birthday Patrol

Today marks Norke’s birthday! Don’t be shy, wish him a happy b-day!

Making The Ghostbusters Universe

Wed Apr 15, 2015, 4:22 PM
Img-00 by techgnotic

There’s a word floating around Hollywood right now that is coveted like no other. That word is “Universe.”

A decade ago, the word was trilogy. Conspicuous examples like The Lord of the Rings and Christopher Nolan’s Batman set the standard in terms of making money and attracting engaged audiences, and every studio was hunting for their own three-part blockbuster.

The rise in the Universe approach to creating and building a superhero series is exemplified by and largely because of the great things Marvel has accomplished with films like Iron Man and The Avengers. Marvel’s The Avengers grossed $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film of all time. Iron Man 3 is the sixth-highest grossing film of all time.

Marvel established a successful track record that continues to be the set the bar for “universe” properties in Hollywood. Now, almost every other major studio is scouring their properties for a similarly profitable strategy. Such was the context in early March when Sony announced that it was working with Ivan Reitman, Dan Ackroyd and others to expand the Ghostbusters concept as part of its own universe.

But what are the parts that make up the anatomy of a film universe?

Marvel is drawing from a well of source material that they probably couldn’t exhaust if they wanted to. Just as an example, Iron Man first appeared as a character in comics in 1963, and has been in thousands of issues since then. When the studio goes to make a new Iron Man film, they have a wealth of stories to tell and villains to introduce. The same applies for basically every character in The Avengers. The Marvel Universe existed long before Robert Downey Jr. put on that red and gold suit, it was just a matter of adapting the characters and their stories for the screen.

Making Ghostbusters into a universe would present any screenwriter with a somewhat tall order. What every good universe needs to support a theoretically limitless number of films being created within it is lore — a cultural mythology that answers fundamental questions about what the setting of the story is like. Marvel has a firmly established world to work with because of its back catalogue of source material. Even Star Wars, which, thanks to Disney, is fast-becoming a cinematic universe of its own, has had novels, comics, games, and TV shows set in its world that both expand its borders and also give filmmakers looking to make adaptations something to draw from. All of these populate the Star Wars universe with details, making it more realistic.

The Ghostbusters Universe is lacking that level of detail.

Even though the original film has been spun-off into comics and a few animated series, they lack the cultural ubiquity and engaged fandoms of other comparable properties. No one denies the overall likability of the original Ghostbusters film. Although the same can’t be said of the sequel. Ghostbusters 2 — and I’m quoting from the Rotten Tomatoes critics’ consensus here — “is reasonably amusing, but it lacks the charm, wit, and energy of its predecessor.”

In other words, the creatives in charge of willing the Ghostbusters Universe into existence have one cult classic and its half-baked sequel to use as foundation for a world in which infinite storylines should theoretically be able to be created. One can’t help but think about what happened when a relatively short tale about an adventurous young Hobbit and his Dwarven, Wizard, and Elven friends was overzealously expanded into a meandering trilogy, the end goal of which was presumably to fill company coffers more than entertain audiences. It was a shame that The Hobbit’s film adaptation wasn’t better, especially considering how good The Lord of the Rings movies were. Maybe it’s an oversimplified view, but it seems fair to at least blame part of the problem with those three films on there being too much time and not enough story to fill it. One can easily imagine Ghostbusters facing this problem.

With all that in mind, the fact that Paul Feig is directing the first Ghostbusters reboot with a cast led by four of the funniest women in showbiz is definitely a reason to be optimistic. As culture critics far more qualified than this one have pointed out, the fact that Sony is also developing a male-led Ghostbusters film with Channing Tatum and the Russo brothers has needlessly created a potential battle-of-the-sexes scenario that Sony should have been wise enough to see coming and deft enough to curtail. But even with that in mind, having talented people attached to both projects is a good sign.

You could certainly argue that the sort of blank slate that creators involved in the new Ghostbusters films have to work with is actually a good thing.

It gives talented writers room to tell a story from scratch with few constraints. This should come as a breath of fresh air, except if you’re going to create something new, why not just do that? Surely someone out there has an idea for a script that takes place within a universe that can easily be spun-off and repurposed over and over again. You can almost hear the words “It’s a Universe” spilling from the mouths of thirsty screenwriters in pitch meetings with studio execs at this very second.

This is the Ghostbusters paradox. Its writers lack a universe full of stories to draw from, but they are working within the realm of a credentialed franchise with plenty of fans. The most cynical possible assessment of this direction is that someone at Sony is betting that any reasonably well-loved property can precipitate a universe on the basis of its potential fans alone. And that strategy will probably work for one film or two, but the real secret ingredient studio execs should be looking to Marvel for is the level of talent involved with each of its projects, as well as their almost uncanny knack for picking the right people for the right roles (can you imagine anyone other than Downey Jr. as Iron Man? That was considered a controversial casting choice at the time).

Early signs indicate that Sony already knows that, seeing as how they are snatching up the Russo brothers, who’ve already helmed Winter Soldier, one of the most well-regarded films in the Avengers Universe, and will also be directing the next two Avengers films. However, the thinness of the source material and the fact that Sony bungled the Universe announcement by inadvertently creating a petty boy film vs. girl film mentality does not bode well.

Your Thoughts

  1. Are you excited for the upcoming Ghostbusters films? Would you rather see reboots with new cast members, or a third installment featuring the original cast? Do you look forward to seeing veteran “Busters” like Dan Aykroyd training and mission-advising new recruits like Kristen Wiig (like seeing Spock in the Star Trek reboots)?
  2. Do you believe that Ghostbusters is a meaty enough franchise to grow into a universe? Or do you think its source material will prove too thin? What makes the difference between a story that can become part of a universe and one that simply can’t?

Img-og by techgnotic

Many of us — especially writers — find ourselves buried beneath a growing pile of books we’ve been meaning to read but haven’t been able to find the time. More depressing is the even longer list of book titles we know we need to read. The pile gets higher, the list gets longer every day. There’s always another seminal classic we haven’t gotten around to. It’s difficult to keep up, but as with any artistic medium, writers need to be aware of their surroundings.

Enter the literary journal

Journals are wonderful resources for writers for a variety of reasons. Literary magazines are where aspiring writers usually have their work published for the first time, and journals can also expose you to new writing, giving you an idea of what kind of work is being published in the here and now. Almost universally, journals recommend that writers who would like their work published read a copy of the journal to get an idea of what kind of work they’re looking for. With that in mind, subscribing to one provides the added benefit of preparing you to eventually submit your work. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are five of our favorite literary journals for you to check out.

1. Glimmer Train

Our first two journal recommendations are meant to send a few groups of writers in different directions. Glimmer Train only accepts short stories, so it’s a great magazine for fiction writers. Poets and nonfiction writers, not so much. Every journal has their own submission schedule (some will take submissions all year, others only accept them only during certain months), and Glimmer Train’s schedule is among the most specific. They have contests, categories like “flash fiction,” as well as standard submission periods. Here’s something that makes Glimmer Train truly stand in a class of its own where literary magazines are concerned: they pay extremely well. Their rate for a standard submission is $700, and their contest prizes are even more valuable. As you can imagine, rates like that attract a lot of good writers, which is partially why Glimmer Train consistently publishes some of the best short fiction you can find. It isn’t hard to see why we love this journal.

2. The Believer

For those who aren’t fiction writers, there is The Believer, which accepts nonfiction prose pieces, poems, illustrations, and reviews (of books and other items with “a linguistic quality”). It doesn’t hurt that The Believer was co-founded by one of the most well-regarded authors of our generation (Dave Eggers), but what makes it really stand out is its sense of humor and aesthetic sensibility. This is one of the best mags around.

3. Oxford American

The Oxford American publishes what it touts as the best of “Southern writing.” We don’t necessarily know what defines Southern writing, but the pieces that Oxford American chooses to publish are consistently among the best contemporary writing available. The magazine accepts submissions for fiction, poetry, and nonfiction as well as pitches for feature articles. Aside from being a literary journal, the Oxford American seeks to explore the Southern United States and document its culture. They also release a special music issue every December, which focuses on unique music and culture from one Southern state each year.

4. The Paris Review

The Paris Review (or TPR, or The Review) is probably the best and certainly the most well-known literary magazine currently being published. It also might be the last literary publication to accept submissions exclusively by snail mail (you can decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing or not). Part of what sets TPR apart is its extraordinary series of interviews. Over the years they’ve published interviews with Ernest Hemingway, Allen Ginsberg, Lorrie Moore, Joan Didion, and Hunter S. Thompson, just to name a few. These interviews often go into uncommon depth and provide a level of insight into writing and the writers who produce it not readily available in your average magazine profile. The Review also has a reputation for finding the best undiscovered writers, having once published a short chapter by a scrappy upstart writer named Jack Kerouac that would later be included in his seminal work, On The Road. We can’t say enough good things about The Paris Review. It is arguably the hardest magazine to get your work published in on this list, but it is the one you should always aspire to be featured in.

5. Your Local Review

For a lot of writers, this is your starting point. If you attend a university, there’s a good chance that it has a student-run magazine or review that you can submit to. These tend to have less funding than your typical national magazine, so many of them only come out once or twice a year and have very specific schedules during which they accept submissions. If you’re submitting work somewhere for the first time, a student-run review is a great option. They tend to receive fewer submissions, and if you’re younger, they are usually being edited by people close to your own age, which can mean that their interests are similar to your own, especially where subject matter and aesthetics are concerned. If your submission is selected, it can be a great jumping off point for you to submit to another, bigger magazine. There’s nothing quite like seeing your writing in print for the first time.

Your Thoughts

  1. Have you ever had your work published in a journal, chapbook, or collection? What was that experience like, if so? If not, have you submitted your work to be considered for publication before?
  2. Where do you turn to for quality contemporary writing? Does reading work by other current authors interest you, or do you prefer to stick with the classics?
  3. Where do you get book recommendations from? Do you ask people you know who are avid readers, or do you check out best-seller lists and book reviews in publications?

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Watch 8 Minutes Of Behind The Scenes Footage From ‘Avengers’

We have no idea where this footage came from or what it’s doing online, but what we do know is that this video contains 8, almost 9 minutes of completely out of context behind-the-scenes clips from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Is this a tease meant to drum up interest in the film? It doesn’t seem likely. The unaffiliated YouTube account name and low view count gives this all the markings of a leaked video, so with that in mind, watch it while it’s still up.

Film Industry Life
by Regan MacStravic

Life As A PA

Cinestress has shared a behind-the-scenes look at her life as a Production Assistant.

Florida Man Lands Gyrocopter on US Capitol Lawn

If you’re intimately familiar with Florida’s reputation, that headline may not be surprising. Either way, Doug Hughes, a Florida resident, flew his gyrocopter onto the US Capitol building’s front lawn in protest of campaign finance laws and political corruption. When detailing his planned protest to the Tampa Bay Times, hughes said he did not think “that the authorities are going to shoot down a 61-year-old mailman in a flying bicycle.” No one suspected that this was a national security threat, but President Obama was briefed on the incident due to its notability. We offer a hearty “keep on rockin’ in the free world” to Mr. Hughes, and hope that he makes it back to Florida safely.

Discover New Artists

MicahJGunnell has started a new feature that highlights artists he feels deserve your attention and we think it’s great! Discover a new artist now.

Joss Whedon Is Getting Sued

Whedon and Lionsgate face a $10 Million Dollar Copyright lawsuit, as an author is claiming they stole the premise of Cabin in the Woods from him. Peter Gallagher wrote a book called The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines. While Gallagher self-published the books, he apparently registered the title with the Writers Guild of America in 2006. Cabin in the Woods was released in 2012.

On a rather dubious note, Gallagher claims to have sold copies of the book on the Venice Beach boardwalk and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The book’s relatively unknown status seemingly decreases the chances that Whedon ever actually encountered it, and yet it also makes us wonder if we’re living in the alternate universe in which the Firefly creator is an evil genius who stole the premise from a self-published book because he knew he’d get away with it — we certainly hope that isn’t the case!

Here Is A Pie

In order to restore the balance in the Cake vs Pie universe, we present this delicious Banoffee Pie by Nimmxx. Are you a pie person or a cake person? Represent your side in the comments section.

Look How Good This Animation Is

Hayao Miyazaki fans, and fans of quality work in general are going wild for this animation created by Goo00.

Morning Warm-Up

nebezial’s morning warm-up looks a lot better than ours (awkwardly attempting to do squats, in case you’re wondering). Be sure to check out the process video in the description.

Pluto In Color
by Ralph’s Camera

Pluto In Color

Pluto, which is a planet again, in case you’ve lost track, has been photographed in color for the first time by NASA spacecraft New Horizons. So the photo is a little small, and maybe slightly blurry, but it’s more about the achievement that it represents here. We hope to see more photos in the future.

Forum Feature

BlissClouds has a sweet tooth and wants to know what your favorite sweet is.  Share your sugary cravings here.

Robin Williams Tribute

Comedian Jamie Costa posted a compilation tribute video to Robin Williams, in which he does some pretty spot-on impersonations of his favorite Williams characters from films throughout the years.

Birthday Patrol

It’s SeizureDemon’s birthday! Help us wish him a very happy one.

Kimmel Shows ‘The Avengers’ Cast Fan Art

The cast of The Avengers stopped by The Jimmy Kimmel Show ahead of the film’s premiere last night in Hollywood, and Kimmel had a special treat waiting for them. During the interview, Kimmel showed cast members some fan art, much of which was taken right here from DeviantArt — Kimmel focused especially on pieces that featured Tony Stark and Bruce Banner together as a couple. Pieces from CABARETdelDIAVOLO, Turtletamer42, and ichigomarshmallow were featured on the show.

Writer Seeks Advice

Diggerman is looking for some writing advice. Can you help him out?

SpaceX Launch A Success, Mostly

SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket today in a mission that had two objectives: launch a supply vehicle en route to the International Space Station, and recover the stage one booster rocket. The first objective was completed successfully. The Dragon unit carrying food, equipment, and an espresso machine is well on its way. The second part, which was a crucial test for SpaceX’s technology, fell just inches short of completion. SpaceX wants its booster rockets to be reusable; traditional booster rockets can be used only one time, making them prohibitively expensive. If SpaceX can successfully engineer a reusable booster, they can afford to do more launches more often, which they believe will eventually make interplanetary exploration missions economically viable. According to a tweet from Elon Musk, the booster rocket found its way to the robotically controlled floating landing pad — the ship is named Just Read The Instructions — and landed successfully, but tipped over after landing due to “excess lateral velocity.” Even though it wasn’t a total success, today’s launch is a step forward, and shows just how close SpaceX is to meeting its goal. See photos and video of the launch here.

Illustrating Westeros

lovelessdevotions posts a fantastic interview series called ‘Illustrating Westeros.’ The latest edition is up, and it features ProKriK.