Saturday, August 29, 2020

Chadwick Boseman -- Action is legacy (updated 9.2.20)

The passing of actor Chadwick Boseman (11.29.76 - 8.28.20) was sudden, wrenching news to his fans across the world.

He brought physical strength and emotional gravitas to his role as T'Challa, the King of Wakanda and the Black Panther. Not to mention his performances in "42," "Get on Up," "Marshall," and "Da 5 Bloods."

In movies -- action is character. What characters do is often more important than what they say.

In real life -- Boseman's actions are legacy.

With his passing, the world learned he had been fighting cancer for four years.

Can you imagine the grit it took to show up on set -- and for his many off-screen personal appearances to support children in hospitals -- while suffering from the side effects, and the emotional burden, of a terminal cancer?

His quiet courage. His commitment to being there for others despite his own personal pain. Showing up and getting the job done. Generous to his colleagues. Kind to children. Grateful to his mentors. He personified qualities associated with the very best of our national character. He was a great action hero because he was a real-life role model.

Boseman's story is also about sponsorship. This compilation celebrates the sponsorship story that shaped him. Find ways to invest in the dreams and skills of others. Support the artists you love. If everyone gives just a little support, we will rise up together to our potential. 

Boseman gave a moving address at his alma mater, Howard University, in 2018.

His last tweet showed support for change.

8.31.20 update..
Twitter has confirmed this tweet from the Chadwick Boseman account, announcing his passing, has become the most popular tweet of all time.

While we are gutted by this loss, we can take comfort in the triumphs he shared. Learn from his example.

Rest in power King T'Challa. Art is life. You were young, black and talented. And you sparked a worldwide phenomenon.

Tributes from his peers ... includes a quote from Benedict Cumberbactch who is not on social media.

Interview with Trevor Noah from 2018 "Being the hero in your own story"

Video tribute from Marvel Studios. At the end of this tribute, and the Disney one, is this quote:
"You will always be our king."

A few days after Boseman's passing versions of this meme began making the rounds on social media.
I'll admit I'm the Jon Snow of Comics -- I know nothing about the canon for these characters. But Letita Wright as Shuri brought so much to her character. She can elevate Shuri from a favorite Disney Princess to a powerful Queen of Wakanda. Personally, I would love to see this transition take place. 

Boseman on the set of Black Panther with director Ryan Coogler

From the official statement by Coogler...
"Chad deeply valued his privacy, and I wasn’t privy to the details of his illness. After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.

I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take. 

It hurts more to know that we can’t have another conversation, or facetime, or text message exchange. He would send vegetarian recipes and eating regimens for my family and me to follow during the pandemic.  He would check in on me and my loved ones, even as he dealt with the scourge of cancer. 

In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was because from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again. "

More on Boseman...

LA Times
"Chadwick Boseman: an appreciation"
Excerpt: "We now know that Boseman was, in fact, guarding a close personal secret: a four-year battle with cancer that came to light Friday with his death at the age of 43. The news struck a devastating blow to an entertainment industry already in turmoil; it was also an instructive reminder, in a world that feeds relentlessly on celebrity gossip, that some of the toughest wars are waged in silence. The rigors of an actor’s craft and the struggles of a body’s survival are very different things, though our movie love can sometimes dare us, against our better judgment, to reconcile the two — to try and make sense of the gap between the actor we love and the person we may think we know. And it seems clear that, on screen and off, Boseman had a particular genius for understatement, a genius that he wielded with unerring purpose."

NY Times
"It’s Hard to Make Dignity Interesting. Chadwick Boseman Found a Way."

Washington Post
Kamala Harris, the Obamas, Hollywood stars react to Chadwick Boseman’s death: ‘This is a crushing blow’
The shock of the tragic news amplified the devastated reaction worldwide, as thousands fans, as well as Hollywood stars, politicians and athletes, mourned the beloved actor on social media.
By Emily Yahr

Goalcoast Video
"He hid this secret for 4 years in plain sight" Includes highlights from his Howard University speech as well as footage of him with young cancer patients, and press conference where Black Panther cast supports him as he shares difficult story about two young boys claimed by cancer.

More on the impact of Black Panther in this post here on the blog from Feb 2018.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Google Doodle Alexandre Dumas

Two doodles this month by UK based artist Matt Cruickshank. Today's Doodle honors author Alexandre Dumans.
The doodle is a slide-show format with scenes from Dumas' classic novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo.”

Here's the bio on Dumas from the Google Doodle page. This link includes a brief Q and A with artist Cruickshank about the doodle.
"In honor of one of the most revered French authors of the 19th century, today’s Doodle slideshow celebrates Alexandre Dumas. Perhaps best known for swashbuckling adventure novels, Dumas produced a prolific body of work that continues to thrill readers around the world today. An abbreviated version of one of his most famous novels, “Le Comte de Monte Cristo” (“The Count of Monte Cristo,” 1844-’45), is included (spoiler-free!) in today’s Doodle artwork. On this day in 1884, the Parisian newspaper Les Journal des Débats (The Journal of Debates) published the first installment of the novel, which appeared serially in the publication through 1846.
Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie was born in 1802 in Villers-Cotterêts, France. He later took the name Alexandre Dumas, assuming the surname of his paternal grandmother Marie-Césette Dumas who was a woman of African descent and a slave in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti). As a child, Dumas was regaled with stories of his late father’s exploits as a general, elements of which later found their way into some of the writer’s most famous works. 
Dumas moved to Paris in 1822 and became an accomplished playwright before he hit upon monumental success with his action-packed serialized novels of the 1840s, including “Les Troi Mousquetaires” (“The Three Musketeers,” 1844). Today these works have made him one of the most popular French authors in the world, and his books have been translated into over 100 languages.
In the late 1980s, a long-lost Dumas novel was uncovered in Paris’ National Library of France. Titled “Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine” (“The Last Cavalier”), the book was finally published in 2005.
Merci, Alexandre Dumas, for all the excitement you’ve given to so many readers!"
Dumas own life was as dramatic as his many books.
 Discover more about Dumas in these links:

learn more about previous Google Doodles and their artists featured here on the blog:

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Lightbox Expo 2020 -- online registration now open



If you were lucky enough to attend the inaugural Lightbox Expo (LBX) last year, you know what an extraordinary event that was.

We were all looking forward to Lightbox 2020 --- 

and we still can, because it will be online, September 11-13th.

Just as the in-person Expo exceeded expectations last year, prepare to be amazed by the online version.

This 3-minute video gives you a preview of all the benefits at various registration levels. 

Perks include limited edition LBX merch

like a Wendling t-shirt 

and a Mignola Tote bag.

You can sign-up for only $1 to access programming and the virtual Arists Alley!

I will be adding links to articles here:

Five posts here on the blog for Lightbox Expo 2019.

SIFT system and sites to fight misinformation (updated 10.20.20)

This post updated -- new info in BLUE. You can click on images to enlarge them.
Always SIFT through online info. 
This is a Public Service Announcement post, and a bit of my personal philosophy.
Fact check/find corroborating stories from credible sources.
Trace claims, quotes and media to its original context.

This link  
is where I first read about the SIFT system method coined by Washington State University digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield. 

Check before you post.
Is what you're sharing from a credible, original source?
Does it pass the fact-check test?
If not, investigate. Be curious. Be a critical consumer of online content

Share facts not fear.
 "How to Spot Fake News." chart from International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, World Library and Information Congress, 6 Mar. 2017, Infographic.

Social media sites thrive on impulsive sharing. 
Always SIFT first.
Fact check/find corroborating stories from credible sources.
Trace claims,  quotes and media to its original context.

Mis-information is a world wide problem. This 10.28.20 clip from PBS Newshour explores why we are so susceptible to misinformation.

 The United Nations has been posting info graphics to raise awareness and fight the spread. The next 3 graphics are from the UN.
Don't be a misinformation "super spreader." 

Memes and unattributed quotes are designed to be easy to share. Fight the impulse to spread them. SIFT first to find the source. Try to trace back to give quotes attribution and context. Information attributed to random experts can and must be checked. 

If a photo or post gives you an emotional reaction.. and/or urges you to share it.. and/or comes from a source you don't know or recognize. STOP. 
 Emotionally charged posts from dubious sources are gateways to misinformation. Don't give them traction online. Be responsible, not reactionary.

Communication is essential. We must learn to listen and talk with each other, especially when we don't agree. Acknowledge emotions. Respect facts.
This clip from the Lincoln Project You Tube channel has some excellent tips on how to communicate with compassion.

Be the internet you want to see.
Post responsibly.
Engage in discussion, not division.
Insist on knowing it's fact before you share it.
Create beautiful content people can enjoy and rely on.

More tips on SIFTing here:

Here are links for some sources on fighting mis-information online:

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Google Doodle Barbara Hepworth

 This Google Doodle celebrates UK sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth

Excerpt from the Google Doodle's page post.

Today’s animated Doodle celebrates the life and work of English abstract sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth, widely considered one of the mid-20th century’s most impactful sculptors. On this day in 1939, Hepworth arrived in St. Ives, a town on England’s southern coast, where she established her studio and lived for the remainder of her career. 

Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth was born on January 10th, 1903 in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, and by the age of 15, she knew she wanted to become a sculptor. She enrolled at the Leeds School of Art, where she began a mutually influential lifelong friendship with fellow sculptor Henry Moore, and then attended the Royal College of Art in London. While her early work incorporated classic elements, by the 1930s she had shifted to wholly abstract pieces, among the earliest such sculptures crafted in Britain. 

As depicted in today’s Doodle artwork, Hepworth was one of the leading practitioners of “direct carving,” a technique by which the sculpting process is influenced by the qualities of the raw materials, rather than a preconceived model. Her work is frequently marked by a sensitive, organic quality and a signature focus on the interplay between mass and empty space. 

Among her many accolades, Hepworth was awarded the Grand Prix at the 1959 São Paulo Bienal, and for her invaluable contribution to British art was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1965. Hepworth’s more than 600 sculptures remain a testament to the unique power of art to reflect the timeless values of humanism and natural beauty. 

Thank you, Dame Barbara Hepworth, for using your art to help carve a path toward greater harmony within our society and environment.

This link also includes a Q and A with doodle artist, UK based Matt Cruickshank.

Previous posts here on the blog about Google Doodles:

Juneteenth 2020

Hawaiian icon Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole

Google Doodle Mystery artists revealed (updated post from 2014, includes links to Google Doodle posts)

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Masters of the Illustrated Film poster -- links to legacy artists

This post is a deeper look at this online panel from SDCC 2020.
(art by Drew Stuzan)

Masters of the Illustrated Film Poster
"The history of the illustrated movie poster can be tied into the history of art itself, the panelists have expressed that they have 'learned from the masters' and that 'we all stand on the shoulders of giants.' This year we welcome artist Paul Shipper (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) as host to the ASIFA Hollywood panel featuring artists Steve Chorney (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), James Goodridge (Deadpool, Alita Battle Angel), Greg Hildebrandt (Star Wars), Rory Kurtz (The Graduate, Baby Driver), Robert Rodriguez (The Jewel of the Nile, City Slickers II), Akiko Stehrenberger (Girl on Fire, The Last Black Man in San Francisco), William Stout (Wizards, Life of Brian), and Drew Struzan (Hook, Back to the Future)."

I featured this panel in a post last month because it highlights not only the artists on the panel -- but  insights into the artists who inspired them .

Here are some more details and links from this panel...

At appx 25 mins into the panel you can hear icon artist Drew Struzan share his thoughts on life as an artist and how art connects us. Art as part of the human experience for a thousand years. Art is designed to communicate to human beings -- what is life all about: Beauty. Loving. Truth. Happiness. 
(art by Drew Struzan -- detail from 1984 trade paper ad for 20th Century Fox)

27 mins into the talk is a fun moment when Stuzan reveals a number of his originals at now for sale at a gallery in Texas. Watch some of his peers react to this news.

Here's a link for the gallery
 Another icon interviewed is Greg Hildebrant. (There's also a reference to a documentary about him and his brother, Tim.  More on this:

There's a lively exchange between Greg and Struzan at about 34 mins -- They name some of the artists who were influences and mentors
Artist William Stout agrees with a great quote about how "We all stand on the shoulders of giants" 

Here are just a few of the names these contemporary giants look back to:
Howard Pyle
NC Wyeth
Gustav Tenggren
Jessie Wilcox Smith
Dorothy Lathrop

How to the best artists get better? 
They keep learning. 
They don't look at all the other art that everyone else is looking at. 
They go out into the world. They go to museums and exhibitions. 
They look back into the artists who impacted past masters.

Want to learn more about artists like Pyle, Wyeth, Tenggren etc?

Check out the SNB website! Books about these sorts of artists and books featuring their art move quickly in and out of the inventory of reference books. 

Here are books on the individual artists that inspired the panelists:

Howard Pyle

NC Wyeth

Gustaf Tenggren 

Jessie Wilcox Smith

Dorothy Lathrop

And get ready for the grand opening of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Artists like these will be featured in the core collection. It will be amazing to see so many originals on display. (concept art for the museum, currently under construction at Exposition Park, across from USC, in Los Angeles)