Have you ever taken a slice of bread and smushed it into a dense little ball? There’s something strangely satisfying about doing it, but then what do you do with the bread ball? Making a sandwich out of them presents a bit of a challenge.
If you’re Oakland-based artist Milena Korolczuk, you use wadded slices of Wonder Bread to create impressively lifelike renderings of historical figures, artists, and pop culture icons. (Milena took these lovely photos of her sculptures too.) Pictured above are Plato, Walt Disney, Jay-Z, Andy Warhol, John Malkovich, Marina Abramović, and a teeny-tiny Stonehenge.
"According to Raster gallery the series was born from Korolczuk’s hands needing something to do while eating breakfast in the morning. Apparently eating wasn’t enough.”
#watercolor #teacup #tea #sketch #draw
You’ve probably never heard of Jackie Ormes and that’s a goddamn tragedy. But it’s not surprising—there is no “Jackie Ormes Omnibus” available on Amazon.com, no “Collected Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger,” no “Essential Torchy Brown.” She won no awards, can be found in no hall of fame, and is usually treated as “an interesting find” by comic historians. She’s become a curio, a funny little facet of history, undiscovered, even, by today’s wave of geek-oriented feminism.
Jackie Ormes was the first African-American woman cartoonist. Yeah. That’s who we’re ignoring. Her work for the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender—both incredibly influential African-American newspapers—was utterly groundbreaking and remains unique, even in the context of modern comics. Her first work, Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem, featured the adventures of the titular Torchy, a stylish, intelligent young African-American woman who (feigning illiteracy) boards a whites-only train car to New York City and changes her life. Torchy’s story is a great, irreverent window into the migration of Southern-born African-Americans to the North, a movement that defined 20th-century America—but it is also the story of a girl on her own, living her own life and making her own choices. Torchy was an incredible aspirational figure, the likes of which barley exists in modern comics: an independent, optimistic, fashionable and adventurous black woman. Ormes would later revive Torchy’s story in Torchy in Heartbeats, a strip that introduced international adventure into the heroine’s life. In Heartbeats, Torchy traveled to South America, dated idealistic doctors, battled environmental exploitation and confronted racism at every turn. She was, frankly, awesome.
And then there was Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger, her most successful and longest-running work. Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger was a single panel gag strip, like Family Circus—an illustration with a caption beneath it. Ginger was a beautiful, stylish young woman always accompanied by her little sister Patty-Jo, a clear-eyed, sardonic kid who spent most strips calling out the bullshit they endured on a daily basis as black women. Ormes’ talents shine through especially well in these little stories: her canny wit, the absolutely gorgeous clothes she drew her women in (seen also in her Torchy Togs paper dolls) and her skillful, succinct way of imparting to the reader just how goddamn stupid our society can be about gender and race. Patty-Jo is never shamed or taken down a peg for being an intelligent, outspoken little girl—in fact, she was made into a highly popular doll that wasn’t an obnoxious Topsy-style stereotype. She preceded Daria, Emily the Strange, Lian Harper, all those wry little girls we celebrate today—and yet, I see her on no t-shirts, can find her in no libraries. Patty-Jo is celebrated only in doll-collecting circles at this point, as the cute little symbol of a bygone age.
At Jackie Ormes’ height as a cartoonist, her work reached one million people per week. In the 1940s and 1950s, she reached one million people per week. She didn’t just surpass barriers—she leapt merrily over them. She introduced the general populace to a voice that had always existed, but was seldom heard—a voice that is still smothered today. She created African-American women who unapologetically enjoyed glamour, who pioneered their own futures, who refused to keep silent about the walls they found themselves scraping against every day. I haven’t even covered the half of it: Ormes was also an avid doll collector, served on the founding board of directors of the DuSable Museum of African-American history, and was targeted by the McCarthy-led witchhunts of the 1950s. Remember Jackie Ormes. Celebrate Jackie Ormes. Visit The Ormes Society and support the essential work they do. Keep her memory alive so that we may enjoy a million more Torchys and Patty-Jos in our comics—instead of the paltry handful we are offered today.
(First in a series on women in the comics industry.)
Carnivorous Bees Discovered in Columbian Rain Forest
Ecologists in June made a fascinating discovery deep in the rain forests of Columbia; bees that kill, and consume, animal tissue. Ecologists say that in an environment populated by an increasing amount of animals that feed on flowers and their nectar, this genus of bees had to adapt to a different source of nutrients. Bees will actually make their combs inside the deceased flesh of large mammals, use the energy to create a new generation of the bees, and move onto a new host. The entire process from attack to complete consumption is thought to take as little as three weeks.
Pictured here is a hive made from the remaining flesh of a threatened species of red brocket deer native to Columbia. The neck and head is clearly visible. The deadly bees are thought to overwhelm large mammals until they perish, then construct a hive in the animal’s corpse, using it as a reservoir of nutrients. There are no reports of the bees attacking humans, but Patrick P. Howard, expert of tropical insects, says not to rule anything out.
The most frightening aspect of this discovery however, is that these bees may be on the move. Howard says there may be some cause for concern, “We haven’t found any direct evidence of the killer bees migrating north, but the reports that lead to this discovery came out of not South America, but Mexico.” Howard explained that climate change may be responsible for the alleged migration of the bees, “If something isn’t done to reverse climate change in the next few years, we may see these bees as far north as Seattle Washington in under a decade.”
Black 3DS XL releases August 11
On the same day Mario & Luigi: Dream Team releases in North America next month, Nintendo will send out Black 3DS XL (pics via dc89). Add this to the other list of colors the oversized handheld is available in now: blue, red, and pink. Not white, though, because of reasons.PREORDER Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, upcoming games
If he did weep […] in bringing him some drink he would be instantly pacified.
Louis Chalon, from Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel vol. 1, by François Rabelais, London, 1892