This month, we’ll post about a few 2013 books and other things we encourage you to give as holiday gifts this year. But first: A look back at a few things we admired, here at HiLobrow, during 2013. The following entries are excerpted from posts — by Peggy Nelson, Joshua Glenn, Matthew Battles, and Adam McGovern — that appeared in our KUDOS category.
A weekly digest of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917, as told by @EShackleton on Twitter.
Over at the Disquiet Junto, the year-end challenge was to construct an audio journal of 2012, with twelve 5-second segments chosen in chronological order, representing each month. These “snapshots” were then strung together as is — no revisionist transitions allowed.
Artist Angelika Dass offers the humanæ project, where she maps individual’s skin tones to the Pantone color chart, resulting in a wide variety of replacements for Flesh.
Illustrator Tim Lillis launched a project inspired, or perhaps we should say compelled, by John Cage’s journals. Entitled Cage’s Pages, Lillis did a single drawing each day of January 2013 inspired by one of Cage’s phrases, using only sturdy white paper and felt-tip markers, whose wavery persistence gently echoes Cage’s voice.
Poster by illustrator and designer Aaron Williams.
Annie Nocenti’s comic Katana (with artist Alec Sanchez): A stylish and textured samurai fable in modern-day murk. Every point of reference is bodily, from the heroine’s catalogue of injuries to her consciousness of the combat each feature of her physique and dress is designed for to the sacrificial sex she has with mental ghosts and nightmare intruders to the tattooed outcast whose skin tells a mythic story she’s trying to make sense of.
[Gif and GIFbite by elixrix]
Earlier this year, Matthew De Abaitua’s sf novel The Red Men spawned an ebook and the short film Dr Easy, an intensive expansion of the first chapter.
For the ebook De Abaitua pushed a close rereading of The Red Men into a substantial rewrite, and added transparency into the process.
[Dr Easy from Shynola :: film blog :: Film4 and Warp Films]
Fantagraphics’ The Daniel Clowes Reader is a critical edition of Daniel Clowes’ Ghost World, plus over a dozen favorite Clowes stories: including “Blue Italian Shit,” “Like a Weed, Joe,” “Art School Confidential,” “The Party,” “Buddy Bradley in Who Would You Rather…?,” “Ugly Girls,” and “King Ego.”
HiLobrow editor Joshua Glenn’s 1999 Clowes interview — now being touted as “Clowes’s definitive discussion of Ghost World” (!) — appears in the volume. He’s also written a new essay for the Reader. “Against Groovy” locates Clowes as a thinker and writer within a specific generational context: the Original Generation X, key members of which embrace anti-boomer ferocity, anti-hipsterism, apocalyptic fantasy, and trashy messianism.
With Street Ghosts, Paolo Cirio has mined masses of Google Street Views to collect stray passers-by captured in the act of passing by, then turned the capture around on itself. Transferring the oddly-2D skins and blurs to life-sized digital prints, he applies them back to the streets from which they were taken, as digital readymade guerilla graffiti. Often, the surrounding graffiti has changed in the meantime, leaving the image a traveler out of time, stationary against a wall, while the various ends of histories flow implacably around.
Designer Andre Levy saw potential where the rest of us see only pocket change, and has updated various profiles to reflect superheroes, cartoon characters, pop portraits, and, somewhat unexpectedly, Karl Lagerfeld.
Illustrated by Carla Speed McNeil (best known for the science fiction comic book series Finder), Bad Houses (Dark Horse) tells the story of two teens investigating old houses — inhabited by hoarders — in their once-thriving hometown of Failin, Oregon. It’s like Elizabeth Enright’s Gone-Away Lake for hipsters. I mean that in the best possible way. Will Anne and Lewis succumb to their elders’ fate and become bitter and disaffected? Not if they can crack the town’s mystery together.