Headlines: Batman, Grunge and Propaganda

1) Artists Get Creative with Batman Covers

A Batman cover illustration by Chris WareIllustration of Batman by Chris Ware 

Artists and illustrators including Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware and Stephen Doyle have all provided custom visions of characters from Batman comics for an exhibit at the Museum of American Illustration and Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art at the Society of Illustrators. The covers are for DC Comics’ 6-issue Black and White series, the first of which was authored by Chip Kidd and has a  blank cover that anyone can fill in. Numerous artists, illustrators and thinkers have contributed art. Some of the drawings fit right into the Batman canon, while others take the characters on a surreal, tongue-in cheek journey.


2) Design Project Lets You Taste Your Facebook Activity


A photo of the Social Shot, collaborative design project


Ever wonder how your Facebook activity would translate into a cocktail? Probably not, but wonder no more, as the Social Shot, a collaborative design project by Nina Eberhard, Max Eschenbach, Simon Frambach and Jorn Roder, harvests data from participants’ social media accounts and uses them to mix  a unique cocktail. The machine condenses data about your posts into five colourful drink mixers, which are assigned to common psychiatric traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.


3) Kurt Cobain's Iconic Sweater Goes to Auction


A photo of Kurt Cobain during Nirvana's MTV Unplugged appearance


If you’re into grunge and have money to burn, you’ll be excited to learn that the sweater famously worn by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged appearance will be heading to auction on Saturday. The starting bid is reportedly set at $20,000, with the item expected to possibly fetch double. Among other items in the auction – a lock of Cobain’s hair, and platinum and gold record plaques for Nevermind and In Utero, respectively.


4) North Korean Defector Uses Propaganda Skills to Poke Fun at Leaders


A photo of artist Sun Mu working on a painting



Here’s a fascinating article in the LA Times with artist and North Korean defector Sun Mu. Sun was trained as a propaganda artist under the Kim dynasty, and now uses his traditional art skills to poke fun at the nation’s dictatorial leadership. In North Korea, only a select few artists are permitted to portray the country’s leaders, and art that portrays them in a less-than-glorious light is subject to persecution. The artist Sun Mu has become renowned as “the artist with no face,” as he refuses to appear in public or give away his real name so as to protect family members still in North Korea.


5) Hobby Lobby Owners Involved in Shady Artifact Import Deal


A photo of a cuneiform tablet



The conservative Christian family who owns American arts and crafts supply chain Hobby Lobby has been under federal investigation after paperwork surfaced indicating that the family may have attempted to illegally import several hundred culturally important cuneiform tablets from Iraq. The Oklahoma-based chain was in the news last year after winning a controversial case in the United States Supreme Court over whether a corporation had the right to religious freedom, and subsequently the right to deny its employees access to subsidized birth control. The 200 to 300 clay tablets in question are thousands of years old.


Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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