QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded
Tag search results for 2011 Page 1 of 3


Last night I read The Octonauts & the Frown Fish to my six year old. At one point a character tries to get information about the "frown fish" at a computer by typing


I read that aloud (load frown fish comma eight comma one) and laughed a little. My son laughed, repeated it, laughed again, repeated it, and then asked "Why is that funny?"

If you don't know: It's how to load a program from disk on a Commodore 64.

Being Elmo

Being Elmo: A Puppetteer's Journey isn't the best made documentary of the year, but it's awful sweet and a nice behind-the-scenes look at Henson's work and legacy. I'd have appreciated more of the technical how-tos Kevin Clash explained he wanted to learn when he first visited Henson's workshop. And I couldn't help buy notice some of the video being reused later in the film. But Clash finding his way from ten-year-old making puppets from his dad's coat to becoming one of the major influences of Seasame Street, is heartwarming.

Four hands in a puppet out of five.

Being Elmo at IMDB

Final thought: first time in a long time seeing a movie shown with no trailers


Marwencol at IMDB

This is a great little documentary about Mark Hogancamp's outsider art / self-therapy art. Mr Hogancamp was a drunk, and apparently a bit of an asshole when drunk, and was severely beaten just outside a bar in 2000. He spent nine days in a coma and then forty more days hospitalized recovering.

After a while the money for therapy ran out, but he was not fully recovered. Slowly he turned to art to work out his problems. Model making to help with his fine motor skills and story telling to help with the mental scars.

Marwencol is the name of the fictional Belgium town, built in 1/6th scale and set in a WWII era. The original population was mostly Barbies, but it slowly acquired more men, and some non-Barbie women.

A lot of the visuals are from still photos Mr Hogancamp took with him talking about the shots we are seeing. To say much about the shots would give away parts of the narrative. Suffice to say there is a fair amount of 1/6th scale violence and some 1/6th scale nudity.

Five out of five passengers in model jeep on a two mile walk to town.

Final thought: the SS had killed the original male population of Marwencol

Go watch The Watchmen

In Aug of 2009, I wrote:

I enjoyed it a lot and I have not read the original. Judging by the special features, the Rorschach character is a favorite of people who read the book, but he definately wasn't a favorite of mine (not that I disliked him). The Comedian, there was a character I liked. Here's a misanthrope who believes life's biggest joke is life, a cynical muscle man with a big sexist streak, but at times has a Lebowski air to him.

Having now completed the book, I can see how Rorschach is more significant there (at least more significant than I remember him in the movie). Much of the story is clearly told from Rorschach's point of view. The Comedian is here, but seems a more minor character. Much of the story is as I remember it from the film, and the panels have very careful art that foreshadows and hints and provides depth.

There are some things, besides the psychic squid, that are only in the book. There is an arc with a kid reading an old comic (there is a difference in halftone size to show the switch) with bits of that story echoing things going on around him ("Tales of the Black Freighter", a demonic pirate story). Each chapter in the book (presumably issue in the original) ends with a non-comic segment. "Excerpts" from books, magazines, and other sources, providing additional background on various characters and the world they live in.

I don't read a lot of graphic novels (or even novels) but I enjoyed this.

Final thought: heading to the library to try to get How Buildings Learn next