Good things to read.
Prophet. Comics mastermind Brandon Graham took a mediocre mid-90s action series, and turned it into an extraordinarily complex, wonderful, and deep space faring adventure story. Probably the best comic being published in the USA right now, it wears its influences proudly, with a strong Moebius/Juan Giménez influence.
The Photographer’s Eye. If you have a decent idea of the technical side of how to take photos, but struggle with the creative side, Michael Freeman’s book is genius. It really hits the art theory side of what draws you into a photograph, and how to bring that into your own work. One of the best works on how to compose photos out there.
The Drunken Botanist. A wonderful guide to all the plant life that goes into making our various tipples. Everything from the basic plant that forms the underpinnings of the major drinks around the worlds, down the most obscure berries and seeds that flavor some aperitifs. If you have any interest in how your drinks get made, it’s an awful lot of fun.
Good things to watch.
The Fall. Tarsem Singh has made a great many mediocre movies. However, he has made one that is perfect. Truly and honestly the most beautiful thing ever committed to film. Largely self funded, it took Singh four years to shoot, with photography taking place in 20 different countries. It was a financial flop, making just $3.2 million back on its undisclosed budget. But the very fact that this movie exists is in itself a thing of joy. It should be watched and celebrated for what it is: one of the most visually arresting things the world has ever seen.Pacific Rim. Giant robots punch giant monsters. ‘Nuff said.
Ze Frank’s True Facts. Mostly true facts about mostly real animals, as narrated by the mostly sane Ze Frank. Bizarrely hilarious and wonderful. Watching him talk about the tarsier caused me to laugh so hard that I couldn’t breath. Not as in “I’m on the internet, I’ll say ROFL but mildly chuckled”, but actual, honest to god, full blown, can’t breath, shrieking like a banshee laughter. Has become my go-to antidote to a horrible day.
Good things to use.
The Sony QX100. The Sony RX100 Mk II is probably the best compact camera on the market, and arguably the best ever made. This thing takes glorious photos, and has inspired some severe gadget lust in me. And then Sony went and announced that for $250 less, you can get a lens/sensor combo that links up to any smartphone or tablet, and is turns it into the RX100 Mk II. It’s bonkers, awesome, and I’m super excited for how much potential it has.
The Uni-ball Jetstream. Right now I’m working on a piece about pens, and for a pen that you can get in any Staples, Office Plus or on Amazon for just a couple of bucks, it’s exceptional. Butter smooth, dries instantly, never skips. Make your writing more awesome.
The Opinel #8. The Opinel knife has remained essentially unchanged for more than a century, an incredibly simple, timeless design that is all but perfect. They hold an edge extremely well, and are awesome for everything from chopping apple to cutting cord. I’m not a person who carries knives as I have little use for them, but I love the simplicity and excellence of these things. And at around $13 a pop, if something happens to it, it’s not the end of the world.
Connect with Tim on Twitter, @TBarribeau.