New site

I've been working on a new entertainment site for Connecticut called metrocrawl.com. So far so good, though still in beta stage and we'll be adding a lot of features. RSS is coming for example, which should be up sooner, but so it goes. The site covers Connecticut nightlife, specifically Hartford Live Music and New Haven Live Music. Any feedback would be welcome.


Current Web Style

I'm not sure how many - if any - people read this, but it's been a while. I won't even make a promise to post more often, as I would inevitably make that statement into a lie. Regardless, this is fairly interesting.

Ben Hunt of the UK firm Scratchmedia has a post about Current Web Style, and I think it's largely accurate as a description of a trend. Now, this isn't a monolithic movement, but take a look, and I think it reflects a lot of what you see online nowadays. What I think is most interesting is how this diverges from what traditional print designers do online. Web is its own medium, and as such will have different groups develop, no one would argue with that. But the myopy on the part of both web and print designers strikes me as hardly a good thing for either party.


Portable High Definition

So, been away from this for a clip, will try to update more often. In news, The Digital Bits tell us the first Blueray disc has been authored by Sony, and it is... Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle... Aside from feeling bad for all the people who have to watch this as a test case, it means it is being tested. I'm curious about HD as a format since i hear different things, but mainly curious if it is gonna knock regular DVD out of consumer dominance fairly quickly, or if like CDs, DVDs are here to stay for a bit longer...


Better Late Than Never

Stolen from Panopticist, but this is too good to pass up.


Designing for Google

I have a guest editorial up at the design forum Speak Up. Check it out.


A Morally Superior Media Delivery System

This type of nonesense is exactly what makes smart integration of print and "new media," for lack of a better word, difficult. It has nothing to do with the consumers of said media, but rather outdated and misguided beliefs. Though I do agree, I do like reading analogue media while in the bathroom rather than hauling in a laptop. That's about the only salient point...



This past weekend I finally got around to seeing MirrorMask, the debut film of graphic artist Dave McKean. I’ve been a fan of McKean’s record sleeves going back to Front Line Assembly’s Hardwired and Download’s The Eyes of Stanley Pain, though many more people probably know him from the Sandman comic book covers and his long standing collaborations with Neil Gaiman.

McKean’s work is distinctive: design collages of sculpture, photography, drawing, handwriting and funky typography ala Neville Brody under saturated color schemes. I knew he had applied it to motion graphics before, doing some short films I haven’t had the opportunity to see and the title sequence for the Gaiman scripted British TV series Neverwhere. When I picked up the Neverwhere DVD set earlier this year, I enjoyed its modest pleasures, but said I would have liked to seen the entire thing done in the style of McKean’s title sequence. That concept right there is basically MirrorMask.

I knew the rough story of MirrorMask going in, that it was produced by the Jim Hensen company, who was looking for a PG film in the mold of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. The film would follow the Wizard of Oz mold where young girl growing up slips into a world where various things from real life blend into a distorted dreamscape. You know the drill. We had originally planned to head to
Manhattan to see this for its September release, but I’m glad we didn’t. We saw it in Hartford, at what we thought going in was an art house theatre, but in fact turned out to be on the campus of a local college. But the theatre was quite nice, with a balcony we sat in, a huge screen, and a gorgeous print of the film. No place this would have played in Manhattan could have possibly had a screen that big.

The major success of MirrorMask is that it isn’t just eye candy with a story you wait to be over. The story goes over familiar paces, true, but I found it genuinely engaging nonetheless. Most interestingly, I really enjoyed the non dream world stuff, the real world scenes shot on a low budget where the McKean visuals weren’t the focus. When McKean works again on a less fantasy oriented piece, as he has stated is his intention, I’m looking forward to it.

MirrorMask is a modest pleasure, to be sure, but worth seeking out on DVD, which is going to be out early January of next year. Hopefully those McKean short films will be on there.