Inside Patreon, the economic engine of internet culture

A long read at the Verge about Patreon and founder Jack Conte. A bit of insight from deep in the article:

Unlike their predecessors, internet celebrities thrive on a radical accessibility. [Peter] Hollens, for example, has built his current a cappella career on subverting the rock star mystique. He’s got an easy answer for why there are so few fellow musicians topping Patreon’s charts: “Musicians are a product. We have a difficult time conveying to the audience that we’re people,” he says. “I’m a person first and a musician second, because that’s the best angle to take to succeed in the future as a musician. It’s very difficult to have that come across when you have, like, a slick produced audio and visual thing.” His music videos are complex and stylish, but he ends each one by earnestly addressing the camera, breaking the fourth wall between him and his audience.

In this system, it’s almost impossible to separate a work of art from its creator — or, at least, its creator’s public persona. Is there a future for someone who wants to be a musician, but not a personality? “No. I don’t think so,” Hollens says. “I don’t think the reclusive thing is going to happen anymore. That’s not the world we live in. Like, the Brad Pitts of the world” — distant celebrities who are loved from afar — “are losing value.”

November 10, 2017

21 Tomorrow: a collection of African speculative fiction, free online

The Manchester Review collects 21 African science and speculative fiction stories, including everything from cyberpunk to apocalypse to interstellar travel.

November 9, 2017


Jason Bieler, formerly of the band Saigon Kick, regales us with stories of his waxing and waning fortunes in the 90s music industry. So great.

wrap up the clearly stellar presentation and Andy says a few very kind things about the music and the ideas and then finishes with…this is awesome and we would love to have you on board, unfortunately WEA just shut down new label acquisitions for remainder of the year and we have no clear indication when we will be able to do this, or if we will at all in the future.

What…who…I don’t…spinning, vomit rising…do not pass out. I think I muttered a few things like a guy who was punched so hard his brain had not yet told him he had been knocked the fuck out…so he stumbles around for a few secs before he hits the floor. Great, thanks, brilliant no no this is perfect thanks again, I shake a few hands and leave.

I remember pulling on the handles of the large glass exit door the wrong way and it making a cacophonous horrible sound that alerted everyone in the office DEAD MAN WALKING.

November 8, 2017

About that Boston album cover…

A short, amusing history behind the cover art of one of the most successful rock albums ever.

That album cover went on to influence future techies and software for decades. Lots of 3-D color blends and stylistic elements in design came from that album cover. As Paula Scher mentioned in her book Make it Bigger “I’ve often thought that the entire point of computer programs like (Adobe) Illustrator and Photoshop, based on the way they are advertised, is to enable anyone to create their own Boston cover.”

November 7, 2017

Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way video (1986)

Marvel legends Stan Lee and John Buscema show you how it’s done.

November 5, 2017

Protanopia: amazing-looking motion comic for iOS and Android

Cool motion comic with 3D animations and parallax effects that react to your device. (Looks kinda violent, probably not for kiddos.)

November 3, 2017

Building a CSS-only image gallery (with fallbacks)

Clever use CSS transitions and the :target pseudo-class selector results in a zero-JavaScript gallery widget.

November 2, 2017

The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

Paleoartists attempt to interpret what modern animals would look like based only on their skeletons, thus illustrating how wrong our guesses as to what dinosaurs looked like could be. I will say that the elephant illustration looks like a particularly badass critter.

Also: enjoy the mental image of dinos with soft, kissable lips:

One of [Kosemen’s] main points of contention is the way that we consider dinosaur heads. “The reference has always been crocodiles,” says Kosemen. “The biggest thing is teeth and facial fat. Readers have to be aware that all dinosaurs they see in all media, and especially in popular culture, seem to have their heads flensed. They’ve always got these weird grins with only the teeth visible.” As he points out, most animals have lips and gums and lumps of facial fat that change the profile of the head, and cover the teeth. But in many predatory dinosaur illustrations, these are usually missing, making them look fierce, if improbable.

September 26, 2017

Shariff: social sharing without privacy leaks

Shariff is an open source code library that allow you to add social media sharing buttons without all the privacy-invading tracking code. I’m adding this to Neat Hobby! soon. Also available as a WordPress plugin.

August 14, 2017

CSS is Awesome

Brandon Smith dissects the CSS bug the famous displayed on every web developer’s favorite coffee mug.

July 27, 2017
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