WWII's VD posters: exciting nexus of propaganda, Mad Men, gender and design


Ryan Mungia's Protect Yourself: Venereal Disease Posters of World War II uncovers many obscure propaganda posters that were, once upon a time, just as popular as the iconic "We Can Do It!" woman.

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Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?

Brian Fies‘s 2012 graphic novel Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? expresses a beautiful, melancholic and hopeful longing for (and suspicion of) the futuristic optimism of America’s 20th century, starting with the 1939 World’s Fair. Cory Doctorow finally got caught up with the future and read it.

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Orwell's review of Mein Kampf

From March, 1940, a fascinating look at the development of Hitler's reputation in Germany and the UK, and the way that his publishers were forced to change the way they marketed his book.

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Skimpy Skirts and Hippie Hair

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"Skimpy Skirts and Hippie Hair," a 1972 Christian pamphlet spotted by bruce_lee_webb, reminds me of another similar classic in my own library, titled "Communism, Hypnotism And The Beatles."

Sticky Monsters – Magnificent monster drawings on Post-it notes

At first glance, I assumed John Kenn Mortensen’s ghoulish images were storybook illustrations that were originally drawn on large sheets of paper. Then I read his tiny introduction and discovered that these magnificent monster drawings are simply (and complexly) doodles on Post-it notes.

Born in Denmark, Mortensen is a director of kids’ TV programs, but in his spare time he enters a black and yellow world in which monsters loom over unwitting humans, and it’s hard to tell whether these monsters are hungry for human flesh or whether they just want some mischievous fun. A cross between Edward Gorey and Maurice Sendak, Mortensen’s art is both eerie and playful, dark yet adorable. Although I love the whimsical nature of his medium, it would be great to see what he could do with a few square feet rather than a few square inches.

Sticky Monsters, by John Kenn Mortensen

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Scarfolk: creepy blog will be an amazing book

Discovering Scarfolk is a book-length adaptation of the brilliantly creepy Scarfolk Council blog, which chronicles the government publications of a English town that is forever trapped in a loop from 1969-1979, a town that's like Nightvale crossed with Liartown USA, written by John Wyndham.

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Bang your eyes: the 13 hardest rocking heavy metal movie posters

The poster is to Heavy Metal movies what the album cover is to heavy metal music. One glance, and you know where it stands: proudly part of the genre, but boldly rippling with the promise of a one-of-a-kind experience, while also embodying metal aesthetics and expanding hard rock’s most visceral visual vocabulary. Mike “McBeardo” McPadden presents the 13 eyebangingest posters ever.

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Hooray! The next Neal Stephenson novel has been announced

It's called Seveneves and comes out in April 14, 2015. (Thanks, Ilya!) (Image: Max Photography for GDC Online, CC-BY)

All Wrapped Up – A collection of wrapping paper from its artistic glory days of the 1960s

In the early 1900s, wrapping paper as we know it did not exist in America. People “dressed” their gifts in tissue paper. But in 1917, the greeting card company Hall Brothers (which later became Hallmark) ran out of tissue paper right before Christmas.

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NerdFit: Why Techies Love CrossFit

JC Herz reports on the strange bedfellows to be found when you’re into “measurable, observable, repeatable” benchmarks.

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A strong, self-absorbed female protagonist pushes the boundaries of spacetime

Leigh Alexander talks to Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan O’Malley about his new book, Seconds, and moving on to a new character–one for whom the imagined burdens of middle age loom large.

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The Works – A tour of New York’s infrastructures inside and underneath

Take the infrastructure of any large city. Take New York City, for example. The dozens of systems NYC depends on to thrive – water works, trains, bridges, mail, cargo, electrical, data – are each as complex and fascinating as a meadow.

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Weird, real titles of 19th century novels


The Toast has over 100 examples of the genre, including "The Adventures Of An Irish Smock, Interspersed With Whimsical Anecdotes Of A Nankeen Pair Of Breeches," "The Charms Of Dandyism; Or Living In Style. By Olivia Moreland, Chief Of The Female Dandies" and "Fashionable Infidelity." No wonder novels caused a moral panic akin to reefer madness, Seduction of the Innocents, PMRC music-bans and video-game violence hysteria.

Cowardly DE school board cancels entire summer reading list over LGBT-inflected YA novel

The Cape Henlopen School Board nuked its entire summer reading list to keep kids from reading The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M Danforth's acclaimed YA novel about a gay teenager coming of age in Montana.

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Sword and Laser bookclub kicks off The Name of the Wind

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use offer code SWORD.

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