A cautionary tale, from Pecker.
"Little Chrissy, don't be frightened now. These are JUST vegetables. They won't hurt you."
Dig the new shirt from the Pink Mince store, all jazzed up with some of the offerings at House Industries' amazing Photo-Lettering site. Pick up one of your own right here, or see if you like some of the others.
Updates to the master playlist of bands I've seen over the years, after catching a bunch at the Dot-to-Dot festival in Bristol this past weekend:
Niki and the Dove
I’m taking the opportunity to re-post this picture and say, again, how much I wanna go back in time and have sex with John Doe.
Joan Crawford Will Kill Your Fucking Ass by Oh The Humanatee
While tidying up a few things in the archives, I came across this post from a little over a decade ago about the first and second First Things First manifestos. These made a huge impact on me at the time, one of those recurring phases when I was extremely aggravated about a lot of the crap that went along with being a graphic designer, and as good manifestos are wont to do, they articulated a lot of pent-up frustrations I had. They've also stayed with me in a very conscious way ever since, whether or not I have always been able to effectively follow their calls to action.
The admonition to consider the impact and the ethics of the work that I do has certainly influenced a lot of my choices since then. Thanks to First Things First, I put more energy in working in the non-profit and arts sectors, teaching, making things for personal reasons instead of commercial ones. (Much to my financial ruin over the years, but I certainly bear plenty of the blame for that.) At the moment, I am working for a profit-oriented company for the first time since I read these manifestos, and I'll admit that some things involved in that give me pause now and again. I still believe, however, that design can be an agent of change, and of improvement. I certainly think that type design can be an incredible tool for these things — improving legibility, literacy, engagement with words. Part of the attraction of working in Indic scripts, for example, is that they so badly need good typefaces to express and promote those languages.
The other thing that strikes me is that in the decade since I read these manifestos, I have met and become a colleague to many of the people behind them, and have been encouraged by their examples — and often the things they've actually said to me — to keep the faith and keep trying to use my talents to make things better if I can, to try and improve my profession at the very least, and hopefully make things better in the world at large now and again if possible.
While I'm at it, here's a listicle that ran this past Friday:
Hay Festival 2011: John Waters on 10 things every role model needs
Words of wisdom from film director John Waters at the Hay Festival
1. History. You can’t have a one-night-stand role model. No one can become a role model in 24 hours. It helps a lot if you knew them when you were young, so they sort of grow or fester with you, like Johnny Mathis was for me.
2. Be extreme: all my role models have to be. They have to be braver than I’ve ever been. Even to survive success is hard, no matter if it’s widespread success like Johnny Mathis had, or Bobby Boris Pickett, who his whole life just had to sing one song [The Monster Mash]. Today too many people are trying hard to be extreme. For the people I admire it was natural, and they turned it into art.
3. Style You can have bad style, but you have to have some style. That’s why I wrote about Rei Kawakubo, who reinvented fashion to be damaged and to be everything you hoped it was not when you bought an outfit. And she quadrupled the price. That’s a magic trick.
4. Be alarming – I think that’s important. And it’s different from being shocking. Alarming threatens the very core of your existence, it doesn’t just shock you – but you don’t know why it makes you nervous at first. You know, St Catherine of Siena drank pus for God. That was important to me because I thought: I want to be her, I don’t want to be half-assed! If I was going to be a Catholic, it would have been before the Reformation.
5. Humour It’s very important to be well-read, but I never understand why people are so sure their partners have to be smart. What kind of smart do they mean? I’m not interested in talking about literature in bed! I like people who can make me laugh. Humour gets you laid, humour gets you hired, humour gets you through life. You don’t get beat up if you can make the person that’s going to beat you up laugh first.
6. Be a troublemaker All art is troublemaking, because why go through all the trouble of making it if you don’t cause a little stir?
7. Bohemianism Bohemia saved my life. And by bohemia I mean all sexualities mixed together, and people who do what they do not to get rich – freedom from suburbia. People who want to fit in but don’t are losers. Bohemians are people who don’t fit in because they don’t want to.
8. Originality Someone unique like Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West, is an easy role model to have. She could fit into any of these categories – her outfit looked like Comme des Garçons, and anybody who could scare children like that… The problem was, I wanted to be her. And as I turn 65, that has sort of come true.
9. Neuroses I think it helps to be neurotic. Neurotic people always end up being in the arts. If your kid fits in while in high school they’re going to be a dull adult. I still see a few people I went to high school with, but the other ones, when they come up to me I say: “I’m sorry, I took LSD, I don’t remember you.” It works, because then they aren’t offended personally. It’s really just manners.
10. Be a little bit insane That’s different from neurotic. You can stay home and be neurotic. You have to go out to be insane. You can be a little bit of both, but both need to be joyous. As long as you can find a moment of joy in even your worst behaviour, it’s something to be thankful for.
[Taken from The Telegraph, 27 May 2011]
Girls and their costumes.
matchindia073 (by pilllpat (agence eureka))
Another stop on John's book tour for Role Models. This was at the Festival of Ideas in Bristol, a spur-of-the-moment ticket booked while my pal Jeremy from Bristol was visiting me in Brooklyn. Charming as ever, and an intimate little venue for a change.
Although it was a minor detail, I was happy when he told the story of meeting Justin Bieber, who told John that his mustache was "the jam", on Graham Norton's show. (See the clip.) That happened the day I last saw John at the Southbank Centre in December, when I was stranded by the snow in the UK for a day after my visa expired. I had John autograph my outdated visa that night, which pissed off the folks at passport control when I re-entered as a tourist later that month.
It was a superb start to a superb weekend overall. I like Bristol more and more every time I visit.
Univers Devanagari by Adrian Frutiger and Mahendra Patel
take note boys and step on the pedestal
My pinkmince haul (Taken with Instagram at Otterwood)
“We’re here, we’re queer, we riot!”
arcádia, candyshop, porto
All this stuff I’ve been writing about webfonts just makes me want to crack open a dusty old specimen book and enjoy some ink on paper.
Tattoo Shop from the 1950s
Poster art for The Tingler, 1959.
Teddy Boys in 1950. Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt.
“Psychiatry taught me that you have to come up with your own version of neurotic happiness. I’m never going to be a normal person. No one changes, no one gets better — once you make friends with your neuroses you can plan a life”.
From Gately’s Universal Education, 1883-1886. Via Sheaff Ephemera.
How Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1)
Buster Crabbe, publicity shot for the Buck Rogers serials, 1930s
Since I talk about this disaster rather a lot, I suppose I ought to just record a few basic details so I can refer to them without exaggerating:
On January 15, 1919, a tank of molasses exploded in Boston’s North End. The explosion caused a huge shockwave that was sufficient to knock houses off their foundations. Shards of metal from the tank were found up to 200 ft. away. Right after the explosion this accident took a very strange turn.
The tank was filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses. When the tank exploded, the molasses formed a 25-30 ft. wave, that went through the streets of Boston at speeds of around 35 mph. People caught in the wave were either smashed against large objects, or they drowned in the molasses. This strange accident caused 21 deaths and 150 injuries. Rumor has it that, on a hot day in the North End, the air still smells sweet.
In the Paleolithic days before widespread internet use, this was just a crazy story we once heard about when I lived in Boston, but no one could say for sure if it was an urban legend or not. I'm pretty sure it was Dave who finally cracked the case, coming across a news story about it while gathering clippings at his awful PR job. I love the internet for making it easy to find things like this now.
Come get your Mince at the Victoria Baths Fanzine Convention in Manchester this Saturday. And say hello!
Check it out — a new Pink Mini! “Leftover Beefcake” is a bonus pack of vintage gentlemen.
Creepy characters from Trade Marks, 1910-1913
These few samples are just a small portion of a gorgeous stack of covers for old 45s (well, some are 33rpm records of the same size) that my pal Erin (the amazing Hindi Rinny) was given while we were travelling in India last March. Hopefully she'll get around to scanning or photographing the rest of this collection to document the incredible, exuberant fun of the photography and lettering on these.
Most of the singles are songs from Bollywood (and Kollywood) films. I haven't had much luck tracking down dates, so any hints would be appreciated.
You know the scene in all the children’s movies when the lonely little wolf cub watches all the other wolf cubs playing down in the valley and doesn’t understand why he doesn’t have a pack of his own?
My relationship with other gay guys.
At last! Americans are getting their copies of Pink Mince #7.
Taken with instagram
‘They figured it would sell for at least $100,000. Well, the auction was yesterday, and it sold for $448,125, making it “the single most valuable piece of American comic art to ever sell.”’
OK, suddenly I have a new concept for how I want my room to look when I move.
(via cool rooms)
Red Women’s Workshop was a screen printing workshop run as a women’s collective between c1974 and the early 1990s. It was a radical campaigning and publicising organisation fully committed to the ideals of the second wave feminist movement.
Building in Amsterdam West, designed with ceramic books
Greg modestly didn’t mention his contributions to Pink Mince, but we’re sure it was an oversight.
jonnodotcom: Love Boat Follies (1982): “A rarely seen clip, and perhaps Merman’s final film performance, this is Ethel Merman, Ann Miller, Carol Channing and Della Reese performing ‘I’m The Greatest Star’ from Funny Girl on an episode of ‘The Love Boat,’ known as the Broadway Follies Episode.”
i’ve seen his dick.
Pink Mince published it