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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kids Books, Veggies, and Dumb Joggers

1. Children's Illustrations
2. Joggers; Why do I only see dumb ones?
3. Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"

Victory! On Sunday, after five months of work, we wrap pre-viz shoot for the third feature, currently titled "Curse of the Bambino." Don't ask me what this film is about. I'm still figuring it out. But this is why we are shooting rehearsals, to develop the story. Let's just say I will never do another film without doing pre-viz this way.

But I have other things on my mind! Childrens' books. I adore them. Not so much for the stories, but for the illustrations. Not that the stories are bad, but of course, what grabs one's eye quicker than an amazing illustration? There was a brief time in my life when I would collect children's books, because I loved looking at the illustrations. I think they are a very under appreciated form of art, primarily because they are associated with kids and education and the "cool factor" doesn't extend into these worlds. Graphic novels for adults do some amazing things, but there is just something about what illustrators for children's books do that adult graphic novels only sometimes achieve. I think text can bog down the graphic novel, in ways that don't happen in children's books.

That being said, let me introduce a new illustrator I've recently learned about.

Meet Pim and Pom.

This is from Dutch artist, Fiep Westendorp, a very famous artist in her time, who died in 2004. There are plenty of animated videos of these cats online, but they first started to appear in Dutch newspapers in the 50s and 60s. They aren't well known in the states, unfortunately. I'll include another image to her other work because I think its fabulous.

I've found other amazing illustrators on places like, but I'll get to that another time.

Joggers. Umff. I don't understand why some of them run on sidewalks and asphalt. When I see them, (and most of them are college aged females in their early 20s, probably trying to lose weight and stop hating their bodies so much), I can hear their joints grinding themselves down into dust. When I lived in NYC when I was in my late teens and early 20s, I too used to wake up at the crack of dawn to jog in Washington Square Park (also just as image obsessed), and now, my knees hate me, my lower back hates me even more. And I attribute part of this early onslaught of joint problems to jogging on hard surfaces so often.  So,...JOGGERS!  You can get your cardio without killing your skeleton! Soft grass, sandy beaches, bicycles, rowing, not to mention the nice little machines at the gym. Save yourselves!

Any by the way, may I kindly request that you also quit being idiots and stop jogging in the bike lane against traffic!? It really sucks for us cyclists to have to move over into traffic we can't see to accommodate your sorry asses that feel you have the right of way in a BIKE LANE. Get on the damn sidewalks. That's what they are there for. 

I can't tell you how many joggers I've bitched at for this crap. And it really ruins my day. Dumb joggers.

On a more serious note, I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," a wonderful gift from Mom.  This work is about Kingsolver's family moving from their desert state, taking a year to alter their diets and lifestyles in a more earth-friendly way. This actually does not sum up the book very well, and sounds rather bland. But "earth-friendly" involves more than just buying organic, but also has a lot to do with "thinking seasonally" and locally.  We rarely think about the amount of gas involved to ship out-of-season produce and goods to us. My boyfriend today drank a "Thumbs-Up!" soda from India, and as I reluctantly placed the beautiful bottle of this soda into the recycle bin (I will not be a pack rat), I thought about how far that soda had come to get to us, how much gas had been used to deliver it to Austin. It made me feel pretty bad actually, especially as there are plenty of locally made delicious sodas here in Austin.  I'm only 70 pages into the book, and as a reader, Kingsolver is preaching to the choir as I firmly believe in organic and local produce. But her research and facts, the focus on the agendas of Big Agriculture, and the general American ignorance of seasons, nature, and what corporations want us to put in our bodies is both shocking and sad. This generation of children have a shorter life span than their parents, and this, according to her book, is the first time in history where life spans have retrograded. Why more people are not concerned about this, and worried about the future of our food, is perhaps even more shocking. 

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