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Friday, January 21, 2011
Jost Amman, Standebuch (book of trades)
Portrait of Johannes Gutenberg
Hokusai: Mount Fuji
Hogarth: Gin Lane
I was having a hard time figuring out what worlds to visit without a definite problem to solve. So I made one!
“Real World” Characters
Rick--an aspiring poet
Esteban--ricks friend, a doodler whose dad prints a small, unpopular tabloid magazine (like a local Weekly World News, or, if it strikes your fancy, like the Quibbler.)
These were the first names I could think of.
Standard school hallway: Esteban is sitting by the door of the library, doodling. He hears a commotion coming from inside, gradually getting louder as he puts away his drawing, shoulders his bag, and moves a step to the right. The sound reaches its peak as Rick, fuming and talking angrily to himself, throws the door open, striking the spot esteban would have been if he had not moved. Rick does not stop to talk, and Esteban immediately takes up a station beside him as he fumes and continues to stamp away from the library.
R: Hacks! Great hacking hackered hacks!
R: (not noticing Esteban’s lack of emotion) I know, right? That bunch of razzle-frazzle-hornswaggling low down etc etc.....
E: I’m guessing you didn’t get to be in the school newspaper?
R: As IF I would work with those intellectual nematoads! They think the entire world revolves around these hallways. Which brand of headband is “cool” right now. The new lunch menu in the cafeteria, with 30% less mayonnaise. Like my poems make less interesting reading material than an interview with the night janitor! Sorry, Ray.
Ray: don’t worry about it
(Ray, the night janitor who they just passed, doesn’t even look up from scraping a piece of gum off the water fountain)
Rick: If I can’t be published in the school paper, I’ll never make the contacts I need to get my work seen by the people in charge of notifying the editors who can get me noticed by the board who gives out poetry awards and Katherine Sporkles in my algebra class will never notice me!
E: She noticed your last poem.
R: And she made me clean all of that marker off of her locker... sigh...
They step outside, more talking.
R: Wait, doesn’t your dad run a newspaper?
E: My dad? Well... yeah, if you want to call it that... (eveasive)
R: I could publish in there! With your drawings to illustrate my beautiful words! (striking a pose) Hark! Yonder fair maiden, whose plum eyes sparkle buckets of diamond glitteringly into the air, air, air.
clean, mountain air, made sweet with the smell of fighter planes dropping heavy gourds with ruby fruit onto the ground below, the ground which is me...
E: I don’t know, my dad’s newspaper is sort of....
(Cut to an extreeeeeme close up of his dad, in the room which doubles as his office and his bedroom)
(he is examining something closely. A bug? A piece of moldy bread? not sure yet)
(door opens, closes.)
E enters, with Rick in tow: Hey Dad.
R: Hey Mr Whatever.
Dad: (abandons looking at the bug, bread, whatever) hey guys. how was school?
As esteban kicks off his shoes and walks through the hallway, we see that there are magazine test sheets hanging from every conceivable surface, all smeared with ink. He chats with his dad, and it becomes clear to use that his magazine is neither reputable nor profitable.
We zoom in on a picture in one of the pages hung on the wall. It is a crude drawing of a strange creature, with a ridiculous title next to it. (You know how some magazines have artist’s interpretations of bigfoot or the mothman or something? Yeah.) When the edge of the screen is lined up with the edge of the picture, the little creature comes alive. We have entered ImagiNation.
The creature moves around a little, examines a painted bush, and is almost instantly caught in a butterfly net wielded by one of the Imaginauts, who are dressed in wacky safari clothes.
Imaginaut 1 (names!): A Fur-Toothed Bumblebutt! And this late in the season, too!
Imaginaut 2 : (makes a checkmark on their clipboard) If we find a Snark before noon, we’ll be way above quota for the Imagizoo.
1: My friend Jack saw one fly through a Manet the other day. We should head over to--huh
(the imaginaut peeks through the window into the real world that we recently passed through, and sees Esteban and Rick working in their respective notebooks. They look a little frustrated.)
1: Who’s that?
2: I don’t know--
BEEZEEP ZEEP. BEZZEEP ZEEP.
#2 whips out a portable computer sensor thing
computer voice: FRUSTRATION DETECTED. IMAGINAUTS 1, 2, PROCEED WITH MUSING.
The imaginauts look at each other, nod, and get into the waiting vehicle (in a very extreme way). The little imaginary creature, apparently forgotten, takes a hesitant step towards the bushes, but a mechanical arm from the imagijeep (because it’s a safari?) grabs it and pulls it into the car.
Passing through gin lane and beer st, we visit the city of print. Characters of the alphabet hop around the imaginauts’ feet like birds. We follow them to Gutenberg’s press, where they’re printing out the Gutenzine. (they wouldn’t STILL be working on that bible, come on.)
The artcentric imaginaut only wants to look at the Durers and the Hokusais, which jostle each other amiably in the jumble of crosshatching and flat blocks of color that make up the print city. that is, until they see (and hear) some Lutherans being thrown out of a window, and the historynaut explains (maybe with a little animation?) how the printed word was a sea change in the course of human history.
They learn how a letterpress works, how engravings were made, and they go to the print city zoo to see Durer's rhinocerous! (so it connects to the beginning of the episode?)
Guys let's do it. We are going to get kids excited about printing!
I spent too much time on this episode and I don't have Comics/Animation figured out as well. I will get on it.