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Fantagraphics to publish Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree as a book

This is great news: Fantagraphics announced it will be publishing the anthology edition of Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree, which appears weekly on Boing Boing. Congrats, Ed!

What started out as a web comic Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree traces the foundation of hip hop from its Bronx origins with DJ Kool Herc and DJ Hollywood through Doug E. Fresh, Run DMC and beyond in four color fury. The comic easily transitions from depictions of live shows to breaking in the streets to the foundation of record companies, eager to spread the music. Currently published weekly at the epicenter of cool, Boing Boing, Piskor's work will be collected and printed by Fantagraphics next year.

The full-color book will be around 112 pages, collecting the first year's worth of comic strips spanning 1975-1980. As a beautiful backup to Piskor's story, ten beat-friendly cartoonists are providing pin-ups of their favorite hip hop artists and rappers. The overarching theme of comics delving deep into music culture make Hip Hop Family Tree and Ed Piskor make a happy addition to works of cartoonists like Peter Bagge, R. Crumb, Joe Sacco, Mary Fleener, the Hernandez Brothers and authors like Pat Thomas, Jacob McMurray and Kevin Avery.

Piskor is best known for his works like self-published and then Top Shelf published hacker comic, Wizzywig. Piskor also worked with late, great Harvey Pekar in the collection, The Beats. Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds said, "Hip Hop Family Tree is not only a great read, it's a wonderful visual history of the important genre of music of the past 30 years. We're excited to publish it." After all the paperwork was signed Piskor said, "While working on the this project, I began to feel like the belle at the ball, in a matter of speaking, because lots of different publishers started getting in touch. They had certain ideas that would have required compromise. Fantagraphics is one of the only publishers I personally sought out, because I thought they might facilitate my exact vision, and it feels like I was right. Basically, I'm a huge brat and I want what I want, and Fantagraphics is down for the cause."

You can see Piskor and Fantagraphics this weekend at SPX and keep your eyes and ears open for more jammin' comics by Ed Piskor. Start clearing away space now next to your turn table for Hip Hop Family Tree.

Malaysia offers "spot the gay kid" seminars for teachers and parents

In Malaysia, being gay can get you a caning and 20 years in prison. Now the Malaysian government is holding seminars to help teachers and parents figure out which kids are gay (boys with "tight, light-coloured clothes and large handbags" are under suspicion; girls who "have no affection for men and like to hang out and sleep in the company of women" are also suspect). The seminars are reportedly hugely attended, with 1,500 people turning up to last week's event, which was organized by the Teachers Foundation of Malaysia. The official reasoning for this is that being gay is contagious, so straight kids who are around gay kids might catch it. More a Reuters report:

The latest seminar for the teachers and parents was run by deputy education minister Puad Zarkashi, his office confirmed.

Zarkashi wasn't immediately available for comment but national news agency Bernama quoted him as saying that being able to identify the signs will help contain the spread of the unhealthy lifestyle among the young, especially students.

"Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] groups," he was quoted as saying.

"This can also spread among their friends. We are worried that this happens during schooling time."

Malaysia holds seminars to help teachers spot 'gay children'

Victorian and Edwardian proto-science-fiction

David Malki sez, "I moderated a panel at Worldcon the other week on Victorian & Edwardian (proto-)science fiction, and my co-panelist Matt Bennardo kept notes on everything both the panelists and the audience brought up. A lot of great work was mentioned, including tons of titles I'd never heard before. Now Matt's compiled this list of links to free etexts of everything we could find! Months of reading at the very least. Hope you enjoy!"

Over the course of the Victorian and Edwardian science-fiction panel, about 50 books and short stories were mentioned or discussed. It’s not possible to reproduce all the discussion here, but the list makes a fair starting point for those who may be looking for a general introduction to the science-fiction of the period.

This list has many shortcomings. It is nowhere near comprehensive. In fact, the panel largely jumped over the well-known catalogues of writers like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. This doesn’t mean that the unnamed books by those writers aren’t worth reading. But most readers are likely to already be aware of many of them, and the discussion veered more often towards some less commonly read works.

In a few places, the list strays from all reasonable definitions of “Victorian” and “Edwardian”. Some books and stories that fall into different periods were discussed as points of comparison. I’ve included all those that I remember, whether or not they are technically “Victorian” or “Edwardian”. Finally, the list is not very diverse — it consists almost entirely of books written by American, English, and French men. Mary Shelley and Charlotte Perkins Gilman are the only women mentioned, and no writers from other countries make an appearance.

A Brief Survey of Victorian Science Fiction (Thanks, David !)

Bomb threats linked to "Innocence of Muslims" lead to evacuations at 3 US college campuses

Three schools in Texas, North Dakota and Ohio were evacuated today after bomb threats apparently linked to the "Innocence of Muslims" YouTube video freakout prompted officials to issue evacuation orders. More at Associated Press. And here are our archives.

iPhone "oil paintings," animated GIFs of artful screen smudges

A little gross, a little genius. iPhone Oil Paintings (by JK Keller via Gautam Ramdurai).

Japanese man attacked with hot noodles over Sino-Japan geopolitics

Shanghaiist reports that "A Japanese man had hot noodles thrown on his face while another had his eyeglasses snatched on a street in Shanghai as anti-Japanese sentiment surged in China over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea."

Manipulated Outrage and Misplaced Fury: Husain Haqqani on the YouTube outrage

Husain Haqqani, professor of international relations at Boston University and Pakistan's former ambassador to the U.S., writes in a WSJ op-ed that the "YouTube riots" spreading around the world aren't really about that weird video. "Protests orchestrated on the pretext of slights and offenses against Islam have been part of Islamist strategy for decades." Update: Here's a non-paywalled version.

The great Yoga Pants Legal War of 2012

Popular yoga garb maker Lululemon (which is linked to the Landmark Education Forum) is suing Calvin Klein over a design for yoga pants.

California crystal meth busts indicate Mexican drug gangs' expansion

Recent DEA busts of methamphetamine "conversion labs" in California indicate that drug gangs based in Mexico are exploring new business models that mimic "legal industries that have found that, rather than importing finished products, it is more efficient to do final processing close to their customers. 'Anything that any good businessman does, these guys will do."

Middle East mobs freaking the hell out over YouTube video

This story is so weird. And with every advancement this week, it just gets weirder.

"Fury about a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad tore across the Middle East after weekly prayers on Friday with protesters attacking U.S. embassies and burning American flags as the Pentagon rushed to bolster security at its missions," reports Reuters.

Tunisia, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan, 20 countries so far are involved, just three days after the bizarrely bad YouTube video triggered (or was used as an excuse for) an attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libya that killed an ambassador and three other Americans on September 11. And outrage is spreading beyond the mideast, to Muslim centers in Asia and elsewhere.

Of course, one could rightly argue that the outrage isn't really about the video—but about the fallout of years of US wars in the region. A trigger, if you will, but not the underlying cause of the conflict.

The New York Times has more:

The broadening of the protests appeared to reflect a pent-up resentment of Western powers in general, and defied pleas for restraint from world leaders including the new Islamist president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, whose country was the instigator of the demonstrations that erupted four days earlier on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Below, screengrab of a very useful Google Map of the protests, assembled by some guy named John.

Read more: Boing Boing news archive for "Innocence of Muslims."

Gawker outs director of "Innocence of Muslims" as softcore porn director

A reasonably big scoop from Adrian Chen at Gawker: "The anti-Islam film that's set off a firestorm in the Middle East was directed by a 65-year-old schlock director named Alan Roberts, we've confirmed. He's the creative vision behind softcore porn classics like The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood" And related, more of the actors in this film are coming out to give press interviews claiming they were duped. At least one of them has a string of porn credits to his name. More: Boing Boing news archive for "Innocence of Muslims."

More signs point to "Media for Christ" firm behind "Innocence of Muslims"

Marlow Stern at The Daily Beast reports on more evidence that right-wing-wacko Pam Geller associate Joseph Nasrallah ("Media For Christ") may be the producer of the "Sam Bacile" hate video, "Innocence of Muslims." More: Boing Boing news archive for "Innocence of Muslims." (via Max Blumenthal)

GoPro camera captures free-fall from 12.5K feet when skydiver drops it (video, not safe for epileptics)

[Video Link] Warning: do not watch if you're epileptic. "MartialArt23," the YouTube user who shot and uploaded this video, explains:

[I] bumped my head on the door frame on exit unclasping the latch on the box. The camera popped out on exit at 12.500 and fell straight down onto the landing area at the DZ and was recovered by a fellow skydiver. It even caught our landings. Not one scratch on the body or lens. Still can't believe that I got it back and that it is totally fine. A buddy the same day who is one of our camera flyers had the same thing happen but with his SLR....not the same result. I'm definitely a gopro fan for life these little guys are bomb proof.

(thanks, Joe Sabia)

Fan art and copyright presentation from ComicCon

Here's an hour-long presentation on copyright law and fan art from San Diego ComicCon 2012, presented by a lawyer from DeviantArt who once worked as a copyright enforcer for Paramount. It's a pretty good overview, though -- predictably enough -- the presenter waits until quite late to talk about fair use and other public rights in copyright, generally downplaying them and omitting the de minimis exemption to copyright (the idea that it's not infringement if you take a small enough piece, for reasons that are separate from fair use) altogether.

During the Q&A, he also mischaracterizes SOPA and PIPA as having been concerned with "mass-scale" infringement (the laws allowed for censorship if there was a single link to a website that infringed), but makes up for it somewhat by plugging EFF, Public Knowledge and other public interest groups.

Josh Wattles, $makepictures is an expert on copyright law bringing perspective and experience to the issue from multiple creative industries. From art, film, music, and books, Josh has been directly involved in or advised on copyright issues for the biggest properties in the world. He is also a copyright professor teaching courses at at Loyola, Southwestern and the University of Southern California law schools in Los Angeles.

If you want to get a more thorough thorough look at the public's rights to copyright, read Mazzone's Copyfraud.

Fan Art Law at Comic-Con 2012

We mere non-Marvel executive mortals might get to see Edgar Wright's Ant-Man sizzle reel

Now that New York Comic Con is approaching, let's talk about San Diego Comic Con! Remember when Edgar Wright showed attendees some test footage for the Ant-Man movie he's officially making for Marvel Studios? We might just get to see it, too! In fact, we might even get to see something even better, since that video was a mere "work in progress" according to Victoria Alonso, Marvel’s executive vice president of visual effects. Though Alonso isn't sure which medium will showcase the reel (released online, frustratingly released on a DVD we'll have to buy, etc.), it does look like the studio will be making it available to a much wider audience of people who are dying to see it, present company included. I recommend watching this space for future developments. (via Spinoff Online)

There were even more insane, demented monsters that we didn't see in Cabin in the Woods (but they'll be on the DVD)

The best horror movie of the year, Cabin in the Woods, featured a wall of tons of freaky beasties in one of its most memorable scenes. But as unsettling and scary as that was to think about, there were actually even more monsters that didn't make the final cut of the film. io9 has a short video about a few of those monsters which will appear on the Blu-ray and DVD that will hit stores next week on September 18. (via io9)

Brief confusion-fixer: Paul W.S. Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson

Two starkly different movies hit theaters today -- Resident Evil: Retribution, which is an action movie based on a video game starring Milla Jovovich, and The Master, a movie that is totally not about Scientology starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. However, the directors of both films have the same first and last names, their only difference being their middle initials. Paul W.S. Anderson is directing the former movie, Paul Thomas "P.T." Anderson is directing the latter. But in case you'd like to remain confused (or have your mind blown), Mike Ryan has combined the two in screenplay form to bring us Paul W.S. Anderson's The Master: Retribution. (via The Huffington Post)

Pennsylvania man, imprisoned since the age of 18, faces execution for murder of older men who repeatedly raped him

Terry Williams is on death row in Pennsylvania for murdering two older men who raped him and physically abused him, something he had endured from a succession of predators from the age of six until he killed two of them them around the time of his 18th birthday. The jury didn't get to hear about the rape, and jurors who subsequently learned about it stated they wouldn't have advocated for the death penalty if they'd known all the facts of the case. A vocal campaign for clemency has grown up, including the widow of one of the men Williams killed.

Pennsylvania should not execute Terry Williams because:

- Terry suffered horrific sexual and physical abuse during his childhood and no one intervened to get him help when he was boy;

- The jury did not know about his history of childhood sexual abuse and trauma;

- The jury did not know that the men he killed were his abusers;

- Terry was only 18 years old at the time of the crime for which he was sentenced to death and the jury did not know about the psychological impact of sexual abuse on someone as young as Terry;

- Jurors did not know that he would never be eligible for parole;

- Jurors have stated that they would not have voted for death if they had known about his sexual abuse and ineligibility for parole; and

- The victim’s widow does not want Terry executed for her husband’s killing.

For all these reasons, we urge the members of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, and Governor Tom Corbett to commute Terry’s sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Terry Williams A Case for Clemency (via Reddit)

World's tallest mohawk

A Tokyo fashion designer did a public appearance in New York's Washington Square Park in order to show off his 3' 8.6" mohawk, which has held the Guinness World Record for world's tallest mohawk since 2011. More from the Houston Chronicle

Forty-year-old Kazuhiro Watanabe (kah-zoo-HEE'-roh wah-tah-NAH'-bee) says he's been growing the hair for 15 years. He says to make it stand upright it takes stylists two hours, one can of gel and three cans of hairspray. He says he wanted to grow the mohawk to rebel against the conformity of Japanese society.

Man shows off Guinness' tallest mohawk in NYC park (via Neatorama)

(Image: downsized, cropped thumbnail from a picture by Guinness World Records)

Major Lazer's "Get Free" (featuring Amber Coffman)

I encourage you to shake your rump to "Get Free" by Major Lazer (aka Diplo) featuring Amber Coffman (Dirty Projectors.) The song is included on Major Lazer's forthcoming album "Free the Universe" with a newly-delayed release date of February 19, 2013. (Thanks, Sarah Ruxin!)

Man believed to be "Innocence of Muslims" filmmaker once arrested for making PCP

Yesterday, I posted an update on the stranger-by-the-day story of "Innocence of Muslims"—the craptacular film trailer (the actual feature may or may not even exist) is blamed for a string of violent attacks by ultra-conservative Muslims, including one in Libya that led to the death of a US ambassador and other US agents at an embassy.

The trailer is sort of like Birth of a Nation meets Bed Intruder meets Team America: World Police.

The story got weirder as news organizations traced the identity of the person, or persons, operating behind the apparent pseudonym of "filmmaker Sam Bacile." Noah Shachtman at Danger Room digs into public records and finds that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the primary guy using the "Bacile" alias, was arrested in 1997 for manufacturing drugs: angel dust and crystal meth. He has also been convicted of financial fraud charges.

Laura Rozen wonders how it is possible that Nakoula was released from prison one month, and was out directing this schlock-hate-film a month later. Was he an informant? If this is a disinfo job, by whom and to what end?

Meanwhile, Vice digs in a different direction, unearthing documents and raising even more questions about another linked character who uses the name "Robert Brownell."

I haz a confused.

More: Boing Boing news archive for "Innocence of Muslims."

Glitch, the whimsical game, reboots

Last November, I blogged the open beta of Glitch, a whimsical, beautiful, dreamlike browser-based game from Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, with help from Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takehashi. Stewart and co took Glitch down after its initial test and did a substantial revision to it, which is now live. I've been playing the Glitch reboot today, and it's just so lovely I can't say enough nice things about it. It's one thing for a game to be fun, another for it to be fun and beautiful, but to be fun, beautiful and witty is something special.

Glitch is a web-based massively-multiplayer game which takes place inside the minds of eleven peculiarly imaginative Giants. You choose how to grow and shape the world: building and developing, learning new skills, collaborating or competing with everyone else in one enormous, ever-changing, persistent world.

What's different? For starters, it's all one big world. Which means everyone is playing the same game and anyone's actions have the ability to affect every other player in the game. It also involves very little war, moats, spaceships, wizards, mafiosos, or people with implausibly large muscles. Also: we have egg plants. Egg plants make it very different.


Magnificent Zelda Fitzgerald cake


"Zelda is half Peach Cake soaked in bourbon, the other half is vanilla cake with a salted caramel buttercream." Yes, cake. More magnificent cakes at Karen Portalo's cake gallery and Flickr stream.

Acid Test diploma up for auction


The above 1966 Acid Test Diploma of Merry Prankster and Jerry Garcia's former wife Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia is up for auction as part of The HeART of Rock and Roll Poster Auction. Current bid is $5,775. Over at Collectors Weekly, our pal Ben Marks puts this tattered piece of paper in context as a souvenir of a milestone event in psychedelic, counterculture , and multimedia history. "The High Price of a Degree in LSD"

Composites of 1906 San Francisco earthquake photos and today


Photographer Shawn Clover makes composite photos of the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the same locations in the present day. Clover created part 1 in 2010 and part 2 was just published. (via Colossal, thanks Koshi!)

Sulu talks

Over at Mother Jones, George Takei, who played Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, shares some fascinating stories about Asian stereotypes in Hollywood, his childhood memories of a post-Pearl Harbor internment camp, and being "quietly out" in the late 1960s. From Mother Jones:


MJ: Did the cast know you were gay?

GT: Most of them knew, but they were cool. They knew what impact it could have on an actor's career. Once I was at work chatting with Walter Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov, and he started gesturing at a group of young extras who were dressed in the Starfleet shirt. There was a gorgeous young guy with a fantastic build and that tight shirt on him and that's when I knew that Walter knew. I turned back to him and he was grinning. He was helping me out! Bill [Shatner] was oblivious. In fact, when he was on the Howard Stern Show, Howard had me call in and chat with Bill. I mentioned Brad and he didn't know who Brad was. Everybody knew! We had a very public wedding. Bill says, "Who's Brad?"

"George Takei, the Best Driver in the Galaxy"

Great Graphic Novels: West Coast Avengers, by Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom

GreatgraphicnovelsLast month I asked my friends to write about books they loved (you can read all the essays here). This month, I invited them to write about their favorite graphic novels, and they selected some excellent titles. I hope you enjoy them! (Read all the Great Graphic Novel essays here.) -- Mark

West Coast Avengers, by Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom

West Coast Avengers 022 cbz  Page 19TIME magazine chose to put the money quote from Richard Schickel's review of Raiders Of The Lost Ark right on the cover:


Was there any need to say more? It's a perfect review, in three simple words. "Raiders" broke absolutely no new ground whatsoever. It was old-fashioned at its core. But it was engineered to hit every button that gives us pleasure as moviegoers. Here is a movie that reminds us of why we love movies.

West Coast Avengers -- the original 1984 four-issue limited series and the first 42 or so issues of the monthly that followed -- was "A COMIC BOOK COMIC BOOK!" And that's why it's one of my favorite series ever. It anticipated Marvel's current vogue for spinning off a popular logo into multiple franchises. The Whackos were formed when the New York team's leader decided to create a Los Angeles-based team, designated to handle "all threats west of the Mississippi."

It turned out that Earth and the Universe were both located somewhere of Indianapolis. It seemed as though every threat that affected the whole planet and every battle that involved warring alien factions was handled by the original East Coast team in their own book. The West Coast Avengers tended to tackle more manageable, down-to-earth problems. Things like an enormous walking, talking totem pole, and an organized crime syndicate whose leaders dress in bulky costumes representing the signs of the zodiac.

Read the rest

First-year criminal law course in webcomic form

Nathaniel Burney's Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law is a complete first-year Criminal Law course in comic form, in 17 parts on a Tumblr. It's clearly written, and the illustrations go a long way toward making complex ideas easier to grasp. Burney's comics have been collected between covers in a printed book, which would make a great gift for would-be criminals and anyone considering pre-law.

The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law (via MeFi)

John Lennon interviewed by Jann Wenner, 1970


In December 1970, John Lennon sat down with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner. This interview took place in New York City Shortly after Lennon and Yoko Ono finished recording the monumental "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band." The conversation is not to be missed, and you can hear them on the Rolling Stone podcast. Lennon is at his best -- provocative, brilliant, direct, and honest. The 1970 recordings are items two through six on the podcast page. "John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interviews" (via John Curley)

Caine's Arcade 2: The Global Cardboard Challenge & Imagination Foundation

[Video Link] Nirvan Mullick says:

5 months after Caine's Arcade, here is the followup film, inspired by the response of kids around the world.

We're also kicking off a Global Cardboard Challenge, inviting kids young and old to build something awesome out of cardboard and imagination. The Cardboard Challenge will culminate in a Global Day of Play on October 6th, the one year anniversary of the flashmob we did to make Caine's day. One year later, the idea is to have cardboard themed events around the world, celebrating the creativity and imagination of kids everywhere.

So far, there are already over 150 events being organized in 25 countries around the world, from cardboard arcades in kitchens, to a Cardboard Amazement Park is Kampala, Uganda. Events can be of any scale, and the idea is to just invite the world to play.

The Cardboard Challenge also marks the launch of the Imagination Foundation, a new non-profit which we formed after Caine's Arcade with the mission to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in more kids. We're putting together project based learning curriculum and working to build Imagination Maker Spaces for kids -- the first of which we want to build in the Boyle Heights community near Caine's Arcade.

Boing Boing was the first to share the original film, and the comments and response was a huge inspiration. Please feel free to share with Boing Boing, and perhaps we can have a BoingBoing themed cardboard challenge?

Hope you like the new film, and hope to see you soon - oh, and save the date to come to the Oct 6th Cardboard Challenge event in LA!

Caine's Arcade