Fifteen Dogs is a hard book to sell. In words, its premise sounds silly: a bunch of dogs are given human intelligence via a wager between two Greek Gods. The wager? If dogs have the same intellect as humans, would they live happier lives? Typically “what if dogs were as smart as humans” is a hypothetical scenario more fit for Disney than literary adult fiction. But Canadian author André Alexis takes a more philosophical approach, exploring morality, depression, and our perceived “places” in society. Oh yeah, and there’s lots of doggy deaths, too.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, July 27th, 2016||No Comments »|
Minneapolis-based band Polica might have the personality of a solo artist, but they’re surprisingly made up of five band members. Their debut Give You the Ghost was the type of record that grew in quiet notoriety, mixing twee sparseness with pop melodies to create an undanceable dance record. However, their newest album, United Crushers, proves the band is no longer playing it safe, showcasing a more confident sound — and even a confident message. Their single “Wedding” is a testament to that, strongly critiquing police brutality with a music video that strongly satirizes our love affair with the righteousness of law enforcement. The rest of the album continues in that realm, being a bolder, better version of the Polica we’re used to. And hopefully they keep it up.
United Crushers is currently out now.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, March 24th, 2016||No Comments »|
This year’s Black Comic Book Festival held in Harlem drew swarms of fans obsessed with Luke Cage, Sherlock and Holmes, and other superhero faire. Whit Taylor‘s tiny booth of mostly autobio comics quickly caught my eye, and I left with a copy of her comic Ghost expecting it to be a light-hearted, philosophical look at society.
Boy, was I wrong.
Instead I was left with an unparalleled experience that shocked me with its raw honesty. And yes, it’s a “twist,” but it’s a good kind of twist. The kind that doesn’t cheapen itself or dumb itself down, but actually elevates itself into another realm. I could bore you with a quick summary, but Ghost is the type of comic that’s more powerful if you go in blind with no expectations. Equal parts funny, inspiring, and heartbreaking, Ghost is a comic that’s not easily forgotten.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, January 20th, 2016||No Comments »|
We haven’t played Genesis Noir yet because, well, it hasn’t been made yet. Currently in the blueprint stages, creators Evan Anthony and Jeremy Abel were inspired by literary stories and, of course, film noir to create a game that’s as much about science as it is about romance. Taking place before and after The Big Bang, the game puts you in the middle of a love triangle. After a shot rings out, it’s up to you to stop the universe from expanding and to save the one you love. Presented in non-linear format, the players will be able to click and explore the story at their own pace.
What caught our eye about this game is the concept art. Using a pristine, minimalist design, the art captures the noir aesthetic without feeling too familiar. You can keep track of the project here, but in the meantime, enjoy these stunning screenshots of the concept art, which should satiate you until the real thing comes out. (H/t: Video Game Art Styles)
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Friday, November 20th, 2015||1 Comment »|
“There are so many ways to sugarcoat this, but I’m going to be honest with you: this project was born out of anger,” wrote editor Bill Campbell in the introduction. Back when Ferguson, Missouri was shrouded with daily protests over the death of Michael Brown, who was shot dead by police officer Daniel Wilson, the country was a landfill of hot button issues no one really wanted to touch — issues of race, American exceptionalism, and the military industrial complex. But for some people, the best way to channel that anger and frustration was through art.
Artists Against Police Brutality: A Comic Book Anthology is a collection of comic, essays, and short stories about the damage police violence has done to black Americans. From cynical views of the American judicial system to singling out white liberals who misunderstand the issue, APB is a depressingly realistic take on the current racial climate in America. With contributions from more than 50 artists and illustrators, APB puts a human face, a personal touch, to stories most only read about in newspapers. AFB shortens the gap between impersonal news coverage and the reality of the people suffering from it, illustrating that the daily victims of police violence are more than just numbers.
All proceeds will go to the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Monday, November 16th, 2015||No Comments »|
If there is anything certain about screenwriter Eric Heisserer’s The Dionaea House: Correspondence from Mark Condry, initially written as a web pitch to a yet-unmade movie, it is that piercing horror best takes hold through evocative fragments, through investigating the silent dead ends and meticulously stirring a sense of authenticity.
The tale begins with emails from Eric’s adolescent friend Mark, who writes of receiving an unsolicited newspaper clipping naming one of their former friends as the culprit in a gruesome public murder of a married couple in Boise, Iowa.
The circumstances of the shooting are peculiar, and after Mark’s investigation into his friend’s murders leads to his ultimate disappearance, Eric posts all the emails on the web, “in hopes that you’ll better understand why he did what he did.”
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Thursday, November 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
When it comes to #TBT pieces, we usually try to go as far back as the ’90s or earlier. Cobra Killer‘s sophomore album 76/77 isn’t that old, but it was released over a decade ago. And while I remember their track “L.A. Shaker” making a minor splash on college radio, I highly doubt anyone remembers it now. In fact, I forgot all about them until this song randomly popped up in my iPod one day. And how fortunate I was too, because this song is too awesome to forget.
The German duo had a vampy, retro style that played with electro hooks and vintage samples. They had the kind of coy, playful sexuality that made their music as dark and alluring as a sleazy bar. And if their “retro kitsch” style wasn’t obvious enough, they even sampled the famous guitar riff from Southern Culture On The Skids’ cult classic “Camel Walk.”
But don’t let the sample fool you. Cobra Killer totally makes the song their own with an explosive chorus that shakes off any lingering suspension of irony and becomes a full bodied force of ghoulish, dark fun. It’s a shame the duo aren’t making much music anymore. However, according to their Facebook, they’re getting ready for a comeback.
Now might be the best time to get introduced (or reacquainted) with a unique band.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, October 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|