Your privacy matters! It does! Really!

Yo, it’s the 25th! Time to get serious with your privacy, people! GDPR is here and here to stay, making money for consultants and lawyers alike and not changing all that much for ordinary folks.

I don’t know how to whip up one of those fancy-pants popups or anything, so you’ll have to read this in a simple post. Here goes.

  1. We use cookies. Yum! Two kinds : Google Analytics ones and Jetpack ones. Couldn’t tell you what they are or how they work — if you want to know, read here and here.
  2. You can email us using the form. Read the instructions, people. You have been warned.
  3. You can reply to posts. In that case, we store your reply and your name. After all, what’s the use of replying if we don’t show it?
  4. You can subscribe to updates for the site. Either thru rss (in which case we don’t know) or via email (in which case we do). In the last case, you will get an email when we actually have an update. Sounds logical, I would think.

That’s it. You won’t hear from us ever again except if you actually do subscribe. Then you get an email every time we do a post. Like this one. Obvs.

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The anti-Valentine

In order to give some counterbalance to the annual smooch fest that is Valentine’s Day, cartoonist Liana Finck presented this impression of Out of Africa writer Karen Blixen’s love life in the New York Times. Once more Finck proves herself to be one of the more original cartoonists that I’ve come across in recent years.

Illustration © 2019 The New York Times Company

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No, it’s your frame of reference.

While thrawling through my feeds earlier today, I came across this visual from a campaign for Sanofi Pasteur about the dangers of whooping cough. It’s probably just how my mind works, and how decades of Tintin have shaped my thinking, but it immediately made me think of the very famous frame from Tintin au Tibet, below.

And then I saw it also featured a Yeti! What are the odds!

I love these kinds of chaotic, big-plan images — you can keep looking at them and find new details you missed before. The campaign has some great other examples, by the way.

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Original and clear signage? Call Joost Swarte

What do you do when you visit a museum that’s full to the brim with artwork by your all time favorite artist? You admire the signage for toilets, wardrobes and the like.

When the Musée Hergé in Louvain-La-Neuve opened its doors in 2009, it really stood out because of its bold architecture, but also thanks to the inventive scenography by Dutch designer and illustrator Joost Swarte. Swarte paid meticulous attention to even the most minute detail, resulting in a user experience that is flawless and at once unique. Even the iconography of the signage fits perfectly in this temple for unique ligne claire art.

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Moebius for Maxwell House Coffee

This illustration is one of a series created by French comics genius Moebius (né Jean Giraud) for Maxwell House coffee. And even though it may seem to be a strange combination at first sight, one can only wonder how interesting and pleasing advertising would be if we’d let real artist at it more.

(via Elégie En Bleu, where you’ll find more)

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Bianca Bagnarelli on the Havana Syndrome

Italian cartoonist and illustrator Bianca Bagnarelli created this brilliant piece for an article in the November 18 issue of the New Yorker on the Havana Syndrome, the mysterious case when numerous people working in the American embassy in Cuba suddenly became ill.

I think this is an excellent example of how comics can appear where you least expect them, but that, while a series of pictures may be used to present a narrative, it’s not necessarily a linear series of scenes.

(Illustration © Bianca Bagnarelli)

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Sunday Evening Special – Júníus Meyvant

Thank God for playlists, offering me (and the rest of us) some kind of brilliance at least every so often. This soul god hails from Iceland, and he makes me very happy.

(this post goes out one day late, but maybe this will cheer up your blue monday)

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Sunday Evening Special – Whispering Sons

There is a kind of music that has been with me for more than three decades and that I always turn to from whatever fad I’ve been into at any time. I’ve heard it in several regenerations, from The Stranglers, Echo And The Bunnymen and Joy Division to Killing Joke and New Order to, more recently, Editors and The National. Call it post punk or new wave, every time a new band tries their hand at this particular rock dialect, they find a warm place in my heart, like a long-lost relative.

This is Whispering Sons, a very young band from my native Belgium, who just released their first album. They are the next line of defence.

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Sunday Evening Special – Hiss Golden Messenger

If you’ve been following this blog for longer, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been floundering for a couple of years now. I guess part of hitting middle age is you start questioning the things you’ve been investing time in, and the meagre benefits your reap from them, material or otherwise.

This is one of the themes that I plan on using in one more attempt to breathe new life into this wreck, to once more flip the switch and run that infernal current through a lifeless hump of stitched together flesh. You’ll get one song every Sunday evening, on that sweet cusp between the stress of the week and the ensuing bustle of the weekend, and that unknown strain that lays before you. No explanation, no reasons, just good music to have that wine or whiskey waltz to while you stare into oblivion. Have a good night.

This series is also in loving memory of Jon Bravard, who used to provide his friends with similar milestones for many, many years. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Jon in person, but his emails and messages were always a source of inspiration and sustenance. And I hope these humble clips will mean the same to you. Peace.


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The 1918 Influenza pandemic remembered

Ten years ago, David Lasky created a comic book about the great influenza pandemic of 1918 for the King County public health department. Now, on the occasion of the centennial of that disease that swept the world, Lasky rejoined collaborator Meredith Li-Vollmer to create a four-part update, telling how that deadly influenza spread in the area around Seattle and how local people coped with a historic public health crisis.

(illustration by David Lasky)

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Forgive me father, for I have sinned…

It’s been more than three months since my last post, and even then my output was at best sketchy. But on my daily walk today, the Holy Spirit Of Blogging came over me again, and I could not help but speak.

While walking I came across an appliance store that had what must be one of the most out-there pieces of comics merchandise I’ve ever seen. Or have you heard of other long-running comics that have actual bathroom scales with specially made, actually funny illustrations?

These scales by Salter feature Belgian cartoonist Philippe Geluck‘s celebrated character, Le Chat, the star of one of the most successful (and most Belgian) newspaper comics to come out of my country. Geluck is a master at combining an absurdly simplified art style with a keen eye for the absurd in any situation. A more than basic grasp of French is required to grasp all the wordplay and double meanings, but they are, without exception, divine.

The cartoons read as follows :

  1. I gained another kilo. Either that, or my scales are in Daylight Savings Time now.
  2. It’s a little more. Will you take it anyway?

(English editions of some of Geluck’s books were published as Le Cat by Rue Elise, but these seem to be out of print)

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