An Animated Short: One Year, One Film, One Second a Day

This animation reminds me of Dante Zaballa’s “The Doodle Project” that involved 62 artists from around the globe, where each artist was given a particular scene of an animation to design that scene according to their interpretation. In fairly similar fashion, Greg McLeod, from the BAFTA award winning Brothers McLeod studio, created a short film that covered a brand new animation every day, for 365 days. There was no script, storyline or storyboard. Pure creative freedom at its finest with a bit of artistic flare. Below is the trailer, that already looks amazing, but if you are interested in checking out the entire film you can purchase it for $3.65 at Brothers McLeod.

CicLAvia is an experience, not a race

The 11th annual CicLAvia bike festival was held Sunday morning making its way through the streets of South Los Angeles. Over 40,000 bicyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians participated to ride down the 6-mile car-free route on Martin Luther Kind Jr. Boulevard. Organizers said the idea behind the festival is to promote public health and the environment by getting people out of their cars and rediscovering their city. With a generous donation made from an anonymous supporter, they are expecting to have 4 more festivals in the LA area next year. If you are interested in attending the next event, be sure to give them a follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates.
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via LA Times

WonderCon 2014 recap

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I have to admit that I used to scoff at WonderCon. It always seemed like a low-budget version of the San Diego Comic-Con, which I began attending as a comic-collecting little kid way back in 1979 and began attending as a Giant Robot booth guy in the mid-1990s. When I first attended WonderCon in Oakland in the late ’90s, the event lacked the all-star panels that I loved as a young fan as well as the indie, arty, and underground elements that fueled my work at GR. My my snobbish point of view, the Marriott basically brought out folding tables for vendors selling superhero comics, original art, big little books, old lunchboxes, and other crusty, dusty stuff.

But now that Comic-Con is practically ruined by celebrity-driven programming, mainstream saturation, and a nerdier-than-thou attitude from just about everyone who can still manage to get in, WonderCon seems a lot cooler. The pop focus (well between the Hollywood insiders nor indie elite) reminds me of how going to Comic-Con used to be–back when I read mainstream comics before I was turned onto underground comix and manga. And it has evolved substantially.

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Last year and this year, I’ve been helping out at my elementary school friend Mike’s Dr. Who-centric booth at the relocated-to-Anaheim WonderCon and have seen the event grow exponentially. Like Comic-Con, you see superhero fandom, anime otaku, Star Wars geeks, Harry Potter followers, and horror movie freaks coexist under the same roof. Except this one was sold out for only one of its three days and there were no corporate pavilions inside or tents. The DC booth was actually rather quaint.

There were indeed some big-time panels (Godzilla, Batman, Groo vs. Conan) but they didn’t seem to have the same commerce-sucking effect that the Hall H ones do in San Diego. And at least they were related to comics, sci-fi, action, horror, swords and sandals, etc. No Glee-type events that I noticed.

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Of course I miss seeing friends at Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, Grass Hut/Gargamel, Super7, and Giant Robot. Those are the indie comics friends and comics-inspired subcultures that I’m closest to. I don’t miss the all-encompassing hunt for “exclusives” that has turned Comic-Con into a treasure hunt for Ebay capitalists. Meanwhile the cosplay is just as good–and more fun than sexy in real life, despite what most glossy/creepy bloggers would like you to think–and ample 12 dollar parking is pretty awesome.

So there is a lot of room for growth at WonderCon. The floor could be expanded by a full 50 percent without adding a hall. But how big is too big? How fast is too fast? Will more days sell out next year? Will the event even return to Anaheim? As of now, the latter hasn’t been settled. Popularity and success are the natural enemies of subcultures, and subcultures by definition can’t take over the mainstream, so as we stash our scores into Mylar sleeves, overstuffed bookshelves, and IKEA display cases we can’t help but wonder what will happen.

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I’m hoping WonderCon returns to Anaheim in 2015 so I can find out. And hang out with my pal selling Dr. Who stuff while I’m at it.

Life is a game, here is your strategy guide

Life is like a game. Nay, life IS a game. A game that everyone plays and eventually dies in. However what determines whether you win or lose that game is not if you die or live, but rather HOW you live your life and HOW you experience it. Cheesy, I know, but its the truth and we all know it.

Every decision we make of every minute of every day determines the path to our very next move. Was the move worth it? What other move could you have played? Does the move get you one step closer to your goal? Will it help you finish the game? If you’re a little on the slower side (pointing to myself) and answered “yes, those daily nights of partying are helping me achieve my goal”… then you, my friend, are in dire need of some help from our good ol’ buddy, the internet – Here is your guide to the game of life.

Good Luck.

First person to Visit all 201 Countries

Now I’ve met a few pseudo-nomads and world travelers over the years, but this one takes the cake by a MILE. Meet 33 year old Graham Hughes who became the first person ever to visit all 201 countries… WITHOUT A PLANE. He accomplished this ridiculous feat using a combination of buses, taxis, trains, and his very own two feet to travel a total of 160,000 miles in just 1,426 days. Or four years.

Think about that for a second. This guy dedicated FOUR YEARS of his life just to traveling. Imagine what you could accomplish if you dedicated that much time to a single task…