They might indeed be geniuses. Â What other band has, in the last quarter century, produced such consistently great music? Â Music for films, TV, adults, children, and mammals of any description? Â I ask you: Who? Commemorating new music by They Might Be Giants (who, dear reader, are this blogger’s favorite band), here are nine TMBG songs
69 years ago today, the first daily strip of Crockett Johnson‘s Barnaby ran in the newspaper PM. Â One year from today, Fantagraphics will begin reprinting Barnaby in full (co-edited by me and Eric Reynolds) – and the University Press of Mississippi will publish my biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss. Â In anticipation of both
The clock contains the right number of letters to announce the time in a complete sentence.Â Its sans serif typeface is easily legible, telling us that “IT IS TWENTY TO TWO,” and then “IT IS A QUARTER TO TWO” in crisp, white lettersÂ (it measures in five-minute increments). But what I especially like is the way it slows down the experience of time, converting something precise into something precise enough.Â I also enjoy the gentle irony of having an iPhone app that translates the digital precision of 2:16 p.m. into the comfortable analog, “IT IS A QUARTER PAST TWO.”
As the iTunes reviews indicate, it would be great if one could make this app the phone’s background.Â As reviewer JLSchend notes, “I see the time on the wallpaper long before I open the app.”Â However, the point of the QlockTwo app isÂ not instant access to the time.Â The point is to provide an aesthetically and emotionally different experience of time.
Digitally rendered time, with numbers and colons, is exact, keeping track of each second as it slips away.Â The second hand on a clock face also tracks time’s relentless dissipation, but, without numbers marking each second’s passing, clock time seems to move with less insistence than digital time.Â The Qlock’s rendering of time as text, however, abstracts the temporal from both the spatial (clock face) and digital (numbers and colons).Â Time’s past and future are not mapped as they are on a clock face.Â And the absence of a digital timepiece’s swiftly accruing seconds gives a feeling of slowness, of being in the present.
Unlike other timepieces, the Qlock does not emphasize time passing.Â Instead, it narrates the gradually changing present.
I’m thinking, in particular, about how to find the good new ones, from among the many thousands of children’s books that appear each year. Â This is a question I’m often asked, but it’s a question of particular interest to my Literature for Children classes right now, since their third paper requires them to find a
The only edition of James Marshall’s The Three Little Pigs (1989) currently in print has been vandalized by its publisher, Grosset & Dunlap.Â In reprinting the book at 8” x 8” instead of its original 8.5” x 10.5”, the publisher has truncated images, altered the layout, changed the typeface, and removed the final illustration. Here’s
As a follow-up to Saturday’s post (featuring Crockett Johnson’s Little Man with the Eyes strip), here are a few more of Johnson‘sÂ Little Man comics, starting with one for April Fools Day, 1941. I was pleased to see Mark Newgarden share the original post on Facebook because — as I was writing the original post —