Rather than being productive and composing a neat essay or review this week, I'm kicking back and linking to a few articles and pieces that tickled my mental fancy in the last little while. I hope you find them as fascinating as I did.
5 Ways You Don't Realize Movies Are Controlling Your Brain - Neil Gaiman's The Sandman is, at the very least, one of my top five favourite comic series of all time. It blends myth, history in literature without seeming overly derivative of any of its sources and has one of the most memorable cast of characters I've had the pleasure of following in fiction. Moreover, it explored the human need for narrative and storytelling. David Wong's latest article on Cracked touches on the more psychological side of this dependence, as well as the adverse effects it has. As with every Wong article, prepared to feel a little depressed afterward.
Olympians: Superhero Bodies and What Real Athletes Look Like - This piece by Andrew Wheeler at ComicsAlliance was really eye-opening. I think most of us have an idea of what an "athlete" looks like, but there's actually a wide variety of builds and toning depending on an Olympian's specialization. Of course, the main reason this essay appealed to me is because of its superhero-oriented discussion, and now I really want to see Batman sport an mixed martial artist's leaner build more often.
On Kickstarter, Suffering for Art, and Helping Out - I've been reading more and more of David Brothers' stuff on 4thletter! and ComicsAlliance over the last couple months, and while his output tends to leave a bitter taste in my mouth (not so much his fault as his subject matter's) it never fails to intrigue. On the lighter side of things is his defence of artists trying to get funding via Kickstarter and artists in general. I have no idea how this concept of poor, starving artist = more honourable artist has persisted, but Brothers debunks it in a fell swoop. Also echoes points David Wong (who would have thought?) made in a forum post on Cracked a couple years ago.