. . . Of the Week (4-18-14)

So, I’m starting something new here; it’s called ‘. . . Of the Week’ and will be updated regularly every weekend (either Friday or Saturday).  It will feature several items from a series of categories–album cover art, book cover art, a news article, etc.–that I found interesting, enjoyable or enlightening that week in one way or another.  Although I will not put in items from every subcategory each time, I will include several of them in each post.  Please note that these items will not necessarily be new to the Internet that week.  I may include things of historical significance, art and graphic design from any time period, and so on.  Really the only thing that will link them will be my current interest in them.  Now, without further ado, here is your very first ‘. . . Of the Week’ post.

Album Cover of the Week

I came across this one on Spotify a couple days ago and found it to be a fine example of design.  Often the best designs are the simplest, and that’s the case here.  I love how the designer used the negative space to give the immediate impression of a sunrise on the water, though when you examine it for more than a second or two you’ll notice that the outlined circle actually lies over the top of the water.

I don’t know who designed this cover.  The cover of the Yellow Bridges single was clearly designed by the same person and is complimentary to the LP cover, but I don’t think it’s quite as interesting as this one.

El Ten Eleven - Transitions (cover)
El Ten Eleven – Transitions (cover)

Book Cover of the Week

This is an old cover for the science fiction novel Nightmare Blue by Gardner Dozois and George Alec Effinger.  The artwork was done by Justin Todd.  In the period between about the 1940s through the early 1970s speculative fiction was largely ignored by critics, and as such it’s graphic elements were much less of a prisoner to the stifling conformity of contemporary design that literary fiction fell into in that same period.  As such, artists and designers for spec fiction were free to draw from a wide pool of styles both past and present, sometimes even combining elements from assorted styles.  Todd’s design, for example, seems to include aspects of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Modernism, and it works quite well in my estimation.  Justin Todd has worked as an art instructor at the University of Brighton and has illustrated several children’s books and book covers, among other things.

Justin Todd - Nightmare Blue (cover)
Justin Todd – Nightmare Blue (cover)

Meme of the Week

Yep, I’m a sucker for a good Facebook meme too, especially anything which has to do with the pleasures of reading or the encouragement of reading in youngsters.  This one comes from Your Beautiful Life.

Article of the Week

And speaking  of kids and books, our article this week comes from the ironically named Bad Parent, MD website, and it’s from a father who dares to read (gulp) good stories to his  5-year-old daughter.  I encountered it while doing a little research on one of my favorite Ray Bradbury stories, The Veldt, which is one of the stories this young father has read to his daughter.  Some people may think this tale of the dark side of children’s imagination inappropriate for children themselves, especially considering what happens at the end of it.  (I won’t spoil it for you–read the story!)  Personally, I think this dad is swell for reading challenging material to his child.  Fairy tales are fine to a point, but real life is no fairy tale and I don’t think parents are doing their children any favors by keeping their knowledge of the world confined to defanged ‘happily ever after’ stories.  Frankly, I worry about their ability to develop coping skills.  Ironically, many parents see no problem with beating their children even as they censor what those children can see, hear and read.  So, actual violence against children: okay.  Fictional violence? Oh Em Gee, keep it away from them or it will corrupt their weak little minds!  Yeah, I don’t get it either.  Anywho . . .

Inappropriate bedtime stories for a 5-year-old

And since we’re already on the subject of Bradbury’s The Veldt . . .

Video Clip of the Week

The artwork at the top of that article I just posted the link to comes from the stunningly beautiful animated music video for deadmau5’s song based on The Veldt.  I’m not kidding; it brought tears to my eyes.  Of course, I know the story behind the song and video, which helped give it some emotional depth, but if you haven’t read it, you’ll likely want to after watching this.  Oh, and the song’s pretty good too.

deadmau5 feat. Chris James – The Veldt (Music Video)

And that concludes this week’s ‘. . . Of the Week’. 🙂

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