Just some random bits of nerdery and pop culture that I’ve been enjoying in recent days.
I love the fact that Marvel/Disney is making blockbuster movies for some of its lesser-known characters (e.g., Guardians of the Galaxy). Doctor Strange won’t be released here in the States for another week or so, but it’s already shaping up to be another hit for Marvel if early critical reactions are any indication. For example:
I saw Dr Strange. It is better than I could have ever hoped for. Among the very best Marvel films. It dazzles and entertains throughout.— Jeff Cannata (@jeffcannata) #
not going to say DOCTOR STRANGE is the best Marvel movie. It’s not. But it’s an awesome Doctor Strange movie with visuals that will floor u.— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) #
#DoctorStrange is SPELLBINDING! Hot movie! Great performances especially Cumberbatch as Strange, storytelling, & incredible visual effects!👍— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) #
DOCTOR STRANGE is guilty of *all* the usual Marvel movie problems, but Tilda & some VERY trippy visuals make it a spectacle worth savoring.— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) #
Naturally, I’m looking forward to Steven Greydanus‘ review.
As an added bonus, Doctor Strange boasts arguably the most unique closing theme of all Marvel movies, courtesy of Michael Giacchino (one of my favorite composers working today). It’s certainly the trippiest. But what else would you expect from a song titled “The Master of the Mystic”?
The Incredibles 2
I don’t know if The Incredibles is my favorite Pixar movie but it’s certainly in the top 5. Perhaps more importantly, The Incredibles is the Pixar movie that I find most enjoyable, and it’s definitely one of the best superhero movies of all time.
Suffice to say, I’ve been eagerly anticipating a sequel ever since I exited the theatre after my first viewing back in 2004. So I’m very excited that an official release date has been announced: June 15, 2018.
Yes, that’s almost two years from now, but still, woohoo!
The History of Apple.com
Via The Loop comes this nearly five-minute time lapse video showing all of the many incarnations of Apple’s homepage. Treacly soundtrack aside, this is a great historical document of one of the most popular and well-known websites out there.
Whenever Apple releases a new product, I always look forward to seeing how the homepage will be redesigned to match and promote it. As a designer, I’ve always looked to Apple for inspiration, and their website is no different. For years, it was one of the best computer/tech websites out there, and a perfect example of how online and offline branding could meld seamlessly.
Font Awesome 5
If you’re a web developer than you’ve probably heard of Font Awesome. If you haven’t, it’s an icon font, i.e., a font containing vector icons that can be styled with CSS. It’s a great alternative to using actual images for icons because of its flexibility; since they’re essentially text, icons can be scaled infinitely with no file size increase and it’s already retina display-friendly. But it’s not perfect; it has some accessibility issues and some of the icon designs have idiosyncrasies (especially when they’re animated).
Font Awesome 5 is a complete redesign of the entire set to ensure better visual consistency and improve performance. What’s more, Font Awesome 5’s “Pro” version will include an SVG framework (SVG is awesome, by the way) and over 1,000 new icons beyond the free version’s set.
A Kickstarter campaign (with a great video) was recently launched to fund Font Awesome 5’s development. The campaign isn’t even a week old and the original $30,000 goal has already been smashed; over $350,000 has been raised to date. As with all Kickstarter campaigns, backers can get some cool goodies including shirts, mugs, and commissioned icons. Heck, if you contribute $2,000, they’ll even create a Font Awesome icon of your logo.
Brandon Sanderson’s “Cosmere,” Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You
Variety has announced that the movie rights to Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy novels have been purchased. His novels span several series, including “Mistborn” and “The Stormlight Archive,” and are all linked together in a larger, shared universe called the “Cosmere.”
The first Sanderson novel to be adapted will be The Way of Kings, the first in “The Stormlight Archive.” It’s a huge fantasy saga set in a diverse world racked by war and giant storms. Centuries before the novel’s events, a group of warriors called the Radiants, who were tasked with protecting humanity, abandoned humanity and left behind their advanced weaponry.
Sanderson does a solid job of balancing the characters and intricate storylines while teasing out the central mysteries surrounding the Radiants, their betrayal, and their otherworldly enemies. While countless fantasy novels bear an obvious debt to Tolkien, Sanderson should be acknowledged for creating a world that, while obviously a fantasy setting, feels unique and far-removed from usual tropes.
In this day and age of Game of Thrones, it’s nice to see studios buying into good, well-written fantasy (see also the works of Patrick Rothfuss). But I am concerned whether movies will be able to do justice to Sanderson’s epic scope. “The Stormlight Archive” will ultimately consist of ten books, and the first two were over a thousand pages apiece. That’s a lot to adapt, and — even more challenging — to adapt well.