April 2010 Archives

'Uh, Jughead, I need to tell you something...'

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A new student is coming to Riverdale High School this fall -- and he's not interested in Betty or Veronica.

Kevin Keller is the newest character to join the 71-year-old Archie comic series, and he's gay. Which explains why Veronica's shameless attempts to throw herself at him produce no results. (Welcome, Veronica, to the rather large club of high school girls who fell for gay guys.) After Kevin beats Jughead in a burger-eating contest at Pop's Chocklit Shoppe (must ... not ... make ... inappropriate ... joke ...), Kevin comes out to him.

PH2010042205769.jpgThis happens in "Veronica" No. 202, in comic shops on Sept. 1 and news stands on Sept. 14. The title of the issue: "Isn't It Bromantic?" The cover says, "Meet the hot new guy!"

"The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive," Jon Goldwater of Archie Comics says in a statement. "Archie's hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books."

The Washington Post writes: "With some comics, these collective changes would qualify as non-news. But in the less-diverse world of Riverdale -- where everything but the sundaes has often been vanilla -- this registers as a major shift."

This is the dinosaur franchise's latest attempt to grab our attention, a year after they tried marrying off its namesake.

Maybe this'll help. The poor, pent-up guys in this stunted universe have always had to pay for womanly affection anyway, as this video shows ...

So add Kevin to this (holy cow) long list of all the gay characters in comic books these days.

In other news: Yes, they're still writing Archie comic books.


Sun-Times graphic by Greg Good - click for full size. Or download the PDF: SEWAGE14.pdf

Chicago is, famously, the City that Works. We know how to get things done. Keep the mail moving.

Chicago knows how to take care of business. But what happens when the business is done in a major metropolitan area? That's right, sewer reclamation!

OK, it may not be the sexiest subject. In fact, it's at least borderline disgusting for lots of people. But without an efficient waste removal and treatment system, well, we're in the Middle Ages.

Dysentery, anyone? No? Exactly

So, perhaps the cornerstone of modern society comes down to doing away cleanly with what we flush down our sewers and let flow down our drains. And despite what you might infer its usual color, that muck is not just dumped straight into the Chicago River. The Chicago Water Reclamation District takes 1.4 million gallons of raw sewage and wastewater each day from the entire metro area and in just 8 hours pulls off what Mother Nature takes a few weeks to do - filter impurities out of the water that flows through our lives.

The above graphic offers an explanation of how we get from nasty to natural. Something the ponder the next time you're taking a few moments of quiet time for yourself.


Pyramid_Lake_at_Night_2004.jpgThe beautiful, but not obtrusive photo that serves as the backdrop for Apple's iPad is a bit like all the images Apple uses as stock elements on its devices. It's a standout moment that doesn't take too much attention away from the device itself. And, it's anonymously produced - when's the last time you saw a photo credit on an image Apple plucks from relative obscurity?

Well, almost anonymous. Until the good folks at ArtInfo.com tracked down Richard Misrach, a Bay Area photographer responsible for "Pyramid Lake (at Night)," a 2004 photo from a series he has worked on over the years.

"It's a long night exposure where the moon is lighting up the mountains in the distance," he told ArtInfo. "I shot it on an 8x10 camera, so the quality is really beautiful and you can see star trails going through the sky."

Ironic that the original image produced in large format is actually larger than the iPad, which clocks in at just 9.56 by 7.47 inches, it was destined to decorate.

It also seems the secretive Cupertino-based tech company is no less secretive with its content sources. To hear Misrach tell it, he found out they were using his photo when the rest of the world did, even if most of the rest of the world would have no idea of Misrach's identity:

"I was in bed watching Inglorious Bastards when I got a call from Jeffrey FraenkeL, my dealer in San Francisco, and he said, 'Do you know what's going on live here?'" Misrach told ArtInfo, speaking of the iPad unveiling by Steve Jobs in January. "I was totally shocked. Naturally my other galleries started calling and my family was all atwitter, because it's a whole different world."

Misrach, who calls himself an Apple fan, says he had submitted 10 photos to the company for consideration as screensavers and whatnot over the years, but had never had any success. Until now.

'What's funny is that for years I actually used the photo as my own screensaver," Misrach says. "So I guess they know what they're doing."

Richard Misrach at the High Museum from Atlanta Celebrates Photography on Vimeo.

Video from Atlanta Celebrates Photography
for ACP Now!

Richard Misrach gives a tour of his "On the Beach" exhibition, on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA through Aug. 23rd, 2009.

Ahh the heyday of media in the 1980s, when experts like Roger Ebert could magically beam Star Trek-style into your cocktail party for your personal edification.

A kind soul was good enough to post these gems to YouTube, complete with bad suits and big hair. And advertising budgets. Those were the days.

Thanks to Brad Flora's Windy Citizen for highlighting the find. Go vote it up, people!

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    This page is an archive of entries from April 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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