Photos of cool miniatures seen at NY Comic-Con

Boing Boing reader Michael Matise shot some wonderful photographs of miniatures and models at New York Comic-Con 2013, and shared them in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. A few are below. Here's the whole set. Michael tells us more about the photos below. Read the rest

The modded musical Game Boys of Blip Festival

I'm at Blip Festival in New York this weekend checking out all the bleeps and bloops people are making. Blip Festival itself starts tonight, but last night NY Pulsewave had an open mic night and I decided to grab a few of the artists to photograph their instruments: mostly custom modified Game Boys. I've included a few highlights here, and the full set is on my Flickr.

Pictured above is Andrew Gould's (AKA andaruGO) GBM1 Game Boy Classic. It's a great example of the two most popular mods: He's got a custom backlit screen that helps him see the music in the dark, and a wiring modification called Prosound which bypasses the standard headphone jack and wires directly into the device's audio chip for better quality sound. He's using the LSDJ cartridge, pretty much the standard for the Game Boy Classic performers. There's also a custom blue screen protector he received as a gift from an internet friend. Read the rest

Mobile ad

Giants Beware: kids' graphic novel that will delight adults too

Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre's Giants Beware is an absolutely delightful kids' graphic novel about a brave young girl who dragoons her friends into going off in search of giants to hunt. Claudette and her friends live in the fortress town of Mont Petit Pierre, whose most famous story is of how the old marquis vanquished a horrible giant who terrorized the town by feasting on babies' toes, chasing it back to its mountain lair and then building the walls around the town to keep it out (and the people in) forever. Claudette can't fathom how the old marquis could have been so irresponsible as to leave the giant alive and still a threat to Mont Petit Pierre, and she is determined to hunt the giant down and kill it. She enlists the aid of her little brother, a timid boy called Gaston (who yearns to be a pastry chef) and her pal Marie, the current marquis's daughter, who plans to become a princess some day, and trains for it by lying on piles of mattresses with peas beneath them and suchlike.

Claudette and Gaston's father is the town blacksmith and a former hero himself, until a misadventure with a dragon cost him his legs and one arm. Now he works with a stoic (but kindly) assistant, and is gruff and fierce, and somewhat disapproving of his son's lack of machismo. The kids conspire to distract him so they can get into his secret stash and raid his hero supplies and equip themselves to stalk and kill the giant of the mountain. Read the rest

Step Gently Out: kid's poem illustrated with gorgeous macro-photo portraits of backyard bugs

Step Gently Out is children's picture book in which poet Helen Frost's verse accompanies the incredible garden insect photographs of artist/photographer Rick Lieder. I've written here many times about Rick's Bugdreams photos, and they never fail to impress and move me. Lieder's photographic portraits of bugs are all the sweeter for his method, which is to patiently crouch in his Michigan back-yard for hours and hours, waiting for the shot; it's a wonderful alternative to the traditional dead-bug-on-a-pin photos I grew up with.

Frost's poem is a sweet accompaniment to Lieder's pictures, a very light narration for photos that really speak for themselves. We got this book this week, and it's a real favorite with me and my four-year-old, and has sparked many conversations and bug-watching expeditions on the way home from day-care. To this end, there's a nice entomological appendix with interesting facts about all the bugs featured in the book.

Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text invite us to look more closely at the world and prepare to be amazed.

What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a cricket leap, a moth spread her wings, or a spider step across a silken web.

In simple, evocative language, Helen Frost offers a hint at the many tiny creatures around us.

And in astonishing photographs, Rick Lieder captures the glint of a katydid’s eye, the glow of a firefly, and many more living wonders just awaiting discovery.

Read the rest

Sincerest Form of Parody: the lost ecosystem of MAD-inspired gross-out comics

Today marks the publication of Fantagraphics' magnificent archaeological comicsology, The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD Inspired Satirical Comics. This volume collects the rare, nearly unheard-of parody comics that sprang up in the early 1950s to jump on the bandwagon that MAD magazine set in motion. Many of the same artists who made MAD such a success (Jack Davis, Will Elder, Norman Maurer, Carl Hubbell, William Overgard, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Bill Everett, Al Hartley, Ross Andru & Mike Esposito, Hy Fleischman, Jay Disbrow, Howard Nostrand, and Bob Powell) were represented in long-lost tiles like FLIP, WHACK, NUTS, CRAZY, WILD, RIOT, EH, UNSANE, BUGHOUSE, and GET LOST. Many of these are racier, grosser, and meaner than even MAD dared. There's also an engrossing appendix of annotations from editor John Benson, a MAD expert who wrote the additional text for the first run of MAD reprints.

I grew up on Cracked and Crazy, but these were late, late, latecomers to the MAD knockoff party, and never went as far as these lost titles.

The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD Inspired Satirical Comics

Read the rest

Tom Gauld's Goliath: exclusive excerpt

As reviewed in Gweek - Tom Gauld's tragic, darkly funny retelling of David and Goliath from Goliath's perspective. Gauld's work is always quietly powerful and emotionally grabbing. Here's a seven-page taste of the new graphic novel, which is presented in a beautiful hardcover format from Drawn & Quarterly

Buy Goliath on Amazon Read the rest

Dead Sea Salt Formations

The Dead Sea's salinity of 33.7 percent makes it 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. Bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, it is 423m below sea level, making it the lowest place on land on Earth. A tourist hotspot for millennia, more than 1m visitors a year visit on the Israeli & Palestinian side alone. The view from the shore is one thing, but from the air, the sheer strangeness of the salt formations in and around the lake become readily apparent. Photos by Baz Ratner, of Reuters, and others. Read the rest

Mobile ad

Sunset on the Tevatron: Photos and memories from a Fermilab physicist

For more than 20 years, the Tevatron reigned as the gold standard in particle accelerators. Under a berm outside Batavia, Illinois, the machine pushed protons and antiprotons to high energies around circular tracks before crashing them into each other. What's the point of that? When high-energy protons and antiprotons collide, they reproduce the conditions at the beginning of the Universe, just after the Big Bang. In the wreckage, you can find particles that don't normally exist, and observe phenomena that humans have never seen before. By rubbernecking at a particle crash, researchers hope to better understand life, the Universe, and everything. It's kind of a big deal.

But on Friday, September 30, the Tevatron smashed its last protons.

Ultimately, the Tevatron was simply the victim of the progress of technology. When it opened in 1983, it replaced older, lower-energy accelerators. And, in turn, the Tevatron has been replaced by the Large Hadron Collider, an accelerator capable of pushing particles to even higher energies. Once that happened, it was only a matter of time before the Tevatron felt the budgetary axe.

The end of the Tevatron doesn't mean the end of research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and it doesn't mean the end of particle research in the United States. But it is the end of an era.

William S. Higgins is a radiation safety physicist at Fermilab, and a contributor to He helped build the Tevatron and he was on hand last Friday, recording his thoughts and some photos to share with us. Read the rest

Hacker stock art

.hackerage img {border:1px solid black;margin-top:10px;} All photos: Shutterstock and Reuters.

Problem: Until they're captured, alleged hackers don't make for stories with good art. But readers won't look at words unless they are immediately adjacent to pictures. Solution: stock art! I am delighted to report that there is an abundance of stock art geared toward illustrating news stories about cybercrime. Read the rest