Early art from the creator of Steven Universe

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Features

Today Rebecca Sugar is a superstar - at least in the eyes of animation nerds like me. She's the creator of Steven Universe and before that she was a writer and storyboard artist on Adventure Time. They're both incredible cartoons well suited to her particular style. But before Rebecca Sugar commanded the helm of her own animated TV show, she created several artworks that hold up today and give an insight into her personal flair.

She first came to my attention with her graduate film, Singles. Rebecca attended Cal Arts, a prestigious animation school with ties to Disney Animation Studios. The animated short has minimal story, but its core concept of a man who exists in a room that exists within his own body is visually striking. It also shows off Rebecca's fondness for squishy movement and distressed faces that we're starting to see shades of in the later episodes of Steven Universe.

Singles from Cartoon Brew on Vimeo.


Rebecca also made the rounds on the internet with her comic, Don't Cry For Me I'm Already Dead. In just a few pages it tells a sweet story of two brothers who share a love for Simpsons quotes. Even in re-reading this again it can make me tear up. Prepare your feelings. The line work is especially impressive. Steven Universe has a very clean work, but in these two works we see a style that plays with really expressive lines, especially on the characters faces. I can't get enough of it. Thankfully, a fellow fan has preserved the entire comic here.

 



Cornfest: An Interstellar dinner menu

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Features

There's this scene in Interstellar where the family dinner table is filled with nothing but foods made up of corn. In this dystopian future, corn has become the only viable crop - so it's corn for breakfast lunch and dinner. Interstellar may not be the best film ever, but it is a film of grand ideas.

So it came to be that on a Wednesday night as our sharehouse settled in for a movie night to watch Interstellar, I served up a dinner menu consisting of 90% corn. This would be a meal that was more of an art experiment than a real dinner.


Tonight's Dinner Menu:

The result was about as corn filled as you'd expect. The corn fritters were reasonable - essentially they're corn omlettes. The corn custard was too sweet for most tastes - unsurprising for a desert made mostly from corn and sugar. The popcorn and corn cobs came out nicely though. There's links above if you want to make any of these yourself.

It was a fun experiment at least. I tried to adhere to the homeliness of that scene too, buying whole corn cobs rather than tins of corn kernels. When it came to the popcorn, microwave packets were out the question. The results was palatable, moderately filling and with some moments of sweetness. Not unlike Interstellar really.

Kell's Wonderful Life: The Importance of Coffee

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Podcasts

Each and every morning, millions of people chemically augment their frail meat bodies with a black brew. But the importance of coffee extends beyond keeping people upright for the day, as the history of coffee is rich and aromatic, spanning a multitude of countries and religions.


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A fearless adventure in knowing what to do

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Features

When the Valve employee handbook was leaked back in 2012, I was struck by just how bold the ideas were. Sure there's the boss-less workplace structure, but what was truly compelling was the philosophies behind the book.

''This handbook is about the choices you’re going to be making and how to think about them. Mainly, it’s about how not to freak out now that you’re here.''

Strip away words like "financial return" and "game development" and it suddenly sounded as though Valve are giving you advice on life in general. Makes sense for a company that espouses a healthy life/work balance.

"Screwing up is a great way to find out that your assumptions were wrong or that your model of the world was a little bit off. As long as you update your model and move forward with a better picture, you’re doing it right. Look for ways to test your beliefs. Never be afraid to run an experiment or to collect more data."


But my favourite quote is the one just inside the front cover:

"A fearless adventure
in knowing what to do
when no one’s there
telling you what to do"


Now just imagine that being read aloud by Morgan Freeman. Feels nice doesn't it?

Ok, just one more:

"WHAT ABOUT ALL THE THINGS THAT I'M NOT GETTING DONE?
It’s natural in this kind of environment to constantly feel like you’re failing because for every one task you decide to work on, there will be dozens that aren’t getting your attention. Trust us, this is normal. Nobody expects you to devote time to every opportunity that comes your way. Instead, we want you to learn how to choose the most important work to do."


Article photo by Isado. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Kell's Wonderful Life: Exoskeletal

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Podcasts

''In 1890  Nicholas Yagn, a Russian inventor, received a patent for an assisted device to aid a user walking and running using pneumatically powered gas bags.'' As Dr. Kell explains, the history of human augmentation via exoskeleton stretches further back than you might think - and the future of exoskeletons is tantalisingly close.


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Article photo by bluemoose. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Kell's Wonderful Life: Whirlygigs

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Podcasts

''Telling the pilot I was a helicopter engineer, I challenged him to make the helicopter do something I wouldn't think was possible.'' This show comes from a time when Dr. Kell was working in the USA and he had the opportunity to see military helicopters at MIT in Boston, New York and was introduced to some of the biggest, baddest whirlygigs that the United State of America has to offer.


Download the podcast

Stay tuned for a new episode each week by subscribing to the podcast feed on iTunes or via the RSS Feed.

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Article photo by Clubber Lang. Used under a Creative Commons license.