The Animated (GIF) History of Music

1999.  Napster is launched.  Vast amounts of music had never been closer to peoples’ fingertips.  Also it had never been free-er.  This made many bands very angry, especially Metallica, who filed a lawsuit against Napster.
The lawsuit ultimately succeeded, and Napster declared bankruptcy.  But it was too late.  The music industry would never be the same.

I am loving this site. Music History in GIFs, in which a musician tracks the development of pop music through animated GIFs that resemble old 8-bit gaming systems, is fun and informative, and just cool to check out when his updates come through my RSS feed. Yesterday, he posted an image about Napster and music file sharing, and how it upended and continues to upend the music business.

But this other one from last week, about Prince, was pretty nifty, too, and a nice use of animated art.

1993.  Prince changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol later dubbed Love Symbol #2.  At first everybody laughs, but then they remember he’s Prince and he can pretty much do whatever he wants anyways.
Also, Prince’s label had to mail out a bunch of floppy disks with the custom image on it.  That fact makes me laugh.
And a little DEVO anyone?
1978.  Devo releases their debut album, Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!.  Their stage antics are full of wacky dancing, sci-fi outfits, and just all around amazingness.
Also their songs are so, so good.
 Check out Music History in GIFs and get rocked.
Peace (in the music),

Walking the Web: Jobs and Woz

In this next installment of my new webcomic, Walking the Web, the boys meet up with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as they develop the hypercard for the first Macs, which opened the door to advanced programming and visual information possibilities. Of course, they stole the visual interface ideas from IBM ….
Walking the Web Comic 4

Walking the Web Comic 5

Walking the Web Comic 6
Peace (in the apple),

Walking the Web Webcomic: Ted Nelson and Hypertext

Before there was the World Wide Web, and before the Internet infrastructure was in place, there were the Big Thinkers who imagined possibilities that were not yet reality. Ted Nelson was one of those. He developed the idea of hypertext, which has become one of the main underpinnings of the graphic interface of the Web. Here, my two characters — Ralph and Carl — meet up with Ted Nelson.
Walking the Web Comic 2

Walking the Web Comic 3


Peace (in the frames),


Banned Book Week: The Annotated Huck Finn

Huck Finn
I saw this via my NCTE connections. In honor of Banned Books Week, a company has put out for free its annotated version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  While the design of the annotated text isn’t all that great (particularly in a Kindle/Nook/iPad world), there is a lot of useful background information at the start, and you can activate various color-coding systems for things like voice, plot, style, point of view and more.
huck finn 2
It might be a nice way to show (maybe on a whiteboard) all of the ways that an author gets at a story, but also, to talk about why this book and others ruffle so many feathers, and end up from time to time on the banned book lists of communities.
There is also this video about Banned Books, which is part of a video playlist from Video Amy over at Edutopia.

Peace (on the pages),

Graphic Novel Review: Tune (Book 1 – Vanishing Point)

Loaded with references to Star Trek and Star Wars and plenty of comics that have come before it, Tune by Derek Kirk Kim is a fun graphic read in which the main character — Andy Go — is at a dead end with his life dream of becoming an illustrator and gets talked into becoming an exhibit at a zoo in a parallel universe. Talk about job opportunity! Much of this first book centers on the character of Andy, who loves a girl who may or may not like him back, battles his parents who demand that he get a job or move out of their house, and is a bit frustrated with his own vision of art.

Derek Kirk Kim has created an interesting character in Andy Go, and the interdimensional creatures that come to recruit Andy for his zoo at the end of the book have a lot of slapstick possibilities. This graphic novel nicely mixes science fiction and comedy, and while never taking itself too seriously, the story does have a solid emotional center around Andy and his own insecurities about life and the dead ends that seem ahead of him.

And Kim keeps the story going at his online site — Tune — where you can also read the entire first book (which I am reviewing) as well as the second book that he published online. How cool is that? Pretty darn cool. This book would be fine for high school students (some profanity), but not so much for middle and elementary students.

Peace (in the other dimension),

Webcomic: Walking the Web (intro)

Yesterday, I shared out a resource that creates a timeline of the development of the World Wide Web. I was so intrigued that I got inspired to create another webcomic series called Walking the Web, in which two characters — Ralph and Carl — invent a machine (The Wayback Machine, which is a website in real life that does allow you to view websites from long ago) to go back to various points in the development of the Web, and meet some folks. I’m hoping to have some fun with recent history. I hope you enjoy it, too. It will be a short-run series, although I can’t quite say how long that will be.

And now: Walking the Web
Walking the Web comic 1

Walking the Web Comic 1a

Peace (in the frame),