The history of paper engineering in books, or the making of "pop-up books" didn't start as a way to entertain children, but in the search for more tools to educate adults, including some proto-computers from as early as the 13th century. Let Ellen G. K. Rubin, known also as The Popup Lady, regale and inform you at length, in either the form of a 50 minute presentation for the Smithsonian Libraries, or read through her website, where she has a timeline of movable books and see the glossary for definitions of the different movements as starting points. Or you can browse the Smithsonian's digital exhibition (the physical exhibition ended a few years ago). And of course, there's plenty more online. [more inside]
Geeky women's clothing company Her Universe teamed up with Hot Topic and Nerdist to present a fandom couture competition and fashion show. Here are some highlights. [more inside]
Lilly Daché (c.1893-1989) was one of the most prolific and influential milliners of the twentieth century. Her hats adorned almost every star in Golden Age Hollywood - from Marlene Dietrich to Carmen Miranda to Loretta Young, setting millinery styles for decades. [more inside]
If you heard the recent NPR's Codeswitch segment on The Green Turtle, the first Asian superhero created in the United States, you heard descriptions of the 1940s comic. But there's more (so much more!) online. Start with the entire run of The Green Turtle on the amazing Digital Comic Museum, which hosts public domain Golden Age comics (late 1930s until the late 1940s or early 1950s). If you want to know more about Chu F. Hing, the artist behind the original Green Turtle, here's an extensively researched biography on the astounding Chinese American Eyes blog, which covers "famous, forgotten, well-known, and obscure visual artists of Chinese descent in the United States." [more inside]
These days, there’s a broad consensus that the Comics Code — which has been endlessly discussed and condemned by comics historians — was disastrous, and that it damaged comics. But nearly all of the critiques of the Code focus primarily on its dire consequences for white men’s artistic freedom, or the disservice done to readers in coddlingly denying them explicit sex and violence. What’s less discussed is the fact that independent women, and people of color, and all sorts of stories that didn’t fit with the compulsory patriotism and cop-worship of the 1950s, essentially vanished from comics for decades. This is a loss that comics are still wrangling with.Saladin Ahmed explains how censors killed the weird, experimental, progressive golden age Of comics [more inside]
"The cinema was made for horror movies. No other kind of film offers that same mysterious anticipation as you head into a dark auditorium. No other makes such powerful use of sound and image. The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream and horror films are the most dreamlike of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares." And so Mark Gatiss opens his three-part series, A History of Horror. "One of the great virtues of this series is that it is thoroughly subjective. Gatiss does not feel any particular obligation to give us an A to Z of horror, but instead lingers lovingly over his own favourites," taking the viewer with him from the Golden Age of Hollywood horror through the American horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. [more inside]
Last December Amazon blocked sales of the Ebook Spots the Space Marine by author M.C.A. Hogarth after a notice from gaming industry powerhouse Games Workshop that they had trademarked the phrase "Space Marine" and that Hogarth, and anyone else who uses it, is infringing. GW brought this complaint based on "Class 16" of their European tradmark. [more inside]
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness (1935), Reefer Madness (1936) and The Cocaine Fiends (1938). [more inside]
"TV is where writers get to tell interesting stories right now, because writers, for the most part, run television." Matthew Weiner of Mad Men, Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad and David Milch of Deadwood talk to GQ about writing for television. Also: The New Rules of TV everything you need to know about the Golden Age of Television. Want to hear even more about the world of writing rooms, showrunners and screenwriting? Check out the Nerdist Writer's Panel Podcast.
"In radio there was never a term equivalent to boob tube or couch potato." — Norman Corwin, writer, director and producer in the golden age of radio, has died at the age of 101. [more inside]
The Girl With the Golden Wardrobe. Long after the Golden Age of Hollywood has dimmed, and its legendary stars taken a bow, history's most iconic film costumes are returning to the spotlight as actress Debbie Reynolds sells her showcase collection.
The Catalogue (PDF)
The Catalogue (PDF)
Basehead, also known as dc Basehead and Basehead 2.0, is an American alternative hip hop group formed by Michael Ivey in suburban Maryland in 1992. Basehead's 1992 debut album, Play with Toys, was recorded at Ivey's home with various studio musicians (hits: Ode to My Favorite Beer, Not Over You, 2000 BC). Ivey formed a touring band for live performances, which contributed to Basehead's second album, Not in Kansas Anymore (which contained what some consider his best song, Split Personality). [more inside]
The Digital Comic Museum, a site for downloading free public domain Golden Age Comics. [more inside]
An ever-growing treasure trove of magazine cover and advertising art from the Golden Age of American illustration. Check out wonderful covers from Theatre Magazine, Adventure Magazine, the Argosy, Photoplay, and Black Mask. Here's a scary cover from Laughter magazine, a strange and beautiful Life cover from 1887, and a copy of The Liberator that I dearly wish I could flip through. See also collections of great old ads for soap, cigarettes and books, among others. The intro page is here.
The Brazen Android by William Douglas O'Connor, is a 19th century science fiction story based on the myth of the Brazen Head, a steam-powered head that told fortunes. It's available as an audio book from the Internet Archives. (Via)
The author of this site takes screen-shots from long-pan scenes of classic animation and puts them together to re-create the original larger background images. Much cooler than it sounds, honest. [via MeFi's own kokogiak, sort of]
Augenblick Studios provide many strange and offensive animated cartoon video films including Superjail. You may be familiar with their work!!! [flash, mayhap quicktime]
The Golden Age of Piracy [video/audio] in the Atlantic peaked as the War of Spanish Succession ended. Piracy was a natural progression for the privateers  and buccaneers who had lost their sanctioned prey, and faced little resistance due to a lack of strong government in the majority of the American Colonies. Meanwhile captured naval seamen and slaves often willingly joined with pirates, or fled brutal treatment for the egalitarianism of piracy. This motley crew of motives were united in pirate democracy, laid down in a pirate code, preparing the way for democracy in the United States. But as the popularity of pirate life and pirate utopias grew strong, they became a pest to be mercilessly crushed by colonial opposition and the British navy.